Monday, January 26, 2015

Snow Day on the First Day of Classes and Twitter

Some light snow on campus this morning.
We are expected to get hit with a blizzard this evening.  The storm is expected to last for about 24 hours.  As such, Hofstra University is cancelling classes starting at 1pm today.  Some other local universities are staying open through the day and others cancelled classes for today and tomorrow.  I think the officials at Hofstra did the right thing by staying open for the morning.  Since this is the first day of classes, it provides an opportunity to get things started.

However, not everyone agrees with me.  Last night, when I was poking around on the Internet, to see if we were going to be open or not, I saw lots of students complaining about Hofstra being open today (prior to announcing we were closing at 1pm).  After the closure was announced, other students were complaining about their universities being open when Hofstra was closed, or Hofstra being open for the morning when other universities were closed.

Here are some of the Tweets from the last 24 hours or so.

"Kudos to Hofstra for having us go to school in the blizzard"  Um, the blizzard isn't starting until tonight.

"Common Hofstra, commuter students can't do this today."  All of the mass transit is running fine.  We close at 1.  There are no problems expected until later tonight or tomorrow.

"Thank you Hofstra for cancelling after 1:00 so I still have to get up early."  Our first classes start around 8am.  A normal time for folks to go to work or school.

"Hofstra cancelled class....after 1pm though.  Words can't express my anger..."  Yikes!  Remember, you paid to come here.  It's our job to stay open.

Okay, these are the glass half empty folks.  We've all been there...wanting an extra hour of sleep and avoiding the workload that school brings.  And most of us have taken frustrations out on Twitter at one time or another.  So I am not throwing stones at these folks.  I take the Tweets for what they are--harmless venting.

Now let's take a look at some other responses that are from the glass half full folks:

"Hey Hofstra Juniors and Seniors, remember Hurricane Sandy week of 2012? Now it's our chance to show the next generation the way."  Way to go!  Hofstra students were among the first to come through with helping to clean up hard hit areas after Hurricane Sandy.  You are turning a bad situation into a positive one.

"I may not get to all of my classes today, but the the fact that I'm starting a new school is exciting."  The start of the new school year is exciting for even us old timers!  It's always nice to turn a page and start a new chapter.  What a great outlook on life.

The way we react to these types of events in life teach us a bit about who we are. Sometimes our glass is half empty.  Yet I think it is important to strive to keep our glass half full whenever possible.

I am lucky to work at a university where I have the freedom to explore new ideas, meet fantastic students and colleagues, and be rewarded for my creativity.  With time, I hope that those with glasses half full recognize that for a very short time in their lives, they have the same opportunities.  Even thought the university is open for five hours today, that's 5 hours to do something special.

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