Dear faculty, staff, students and friends,
During the month since my last message I have been inspired by how our CAAH community has risen to the many challenges facing all of us in our personal and professional lives.
In less than a month we have moved into what feels like a new reality. It is hard to find a single word to describe how many of us feel; for me the word “weird” keeps popping into my head. I think that’s because so many things are happening all at once.
Our sense of community and our personal space have been redefined, and how we work and play “together” is very different, but yet familiar. While I have never been a big fan of Zoom meetings, like many of you I have adapted to this technology and have found productive ways to continue helping advance the College’s mission.
What’s most impressive to me is how all of you have embraced the challenges of distance learning and are supporting teaching in creative new ways. I know it’s been a big adjustment for everyone.
As you read this month’s newsletter, you will see numerous examples of the dedication and creativity that are carrying the day, the true hallmarks of our College. Everyone is working hard to help us move through this period of remarkable transition. Remember, we are not in this alone; we are getting incredible support from CCIT, facilities division, human resources, the business office and campus safety and security.
While I am writing to say thanks, I also want to respond to a question that many have asked: what can I do to help? The following are just a few suggestions you might consider.
Take a few moments every day to text or call a friend, coworker or neighbor. Connecting with someone just to simply ask how they’re doing can make a big difference as we continue to deal with physical distancing.
Invest in collaboration
Look for opportunities to collaborate with your colleagues and classmates. Our students and faculty are embracing new approaches to teaching and learning, and our staff are adjusting to a new form of work life. Our academic advisors are helping keep us connected with our students while also connecting with prospective students as we look to the summer and fall semesters. Now, more than ever, we need to strengthen the Clemson community.
There are many things you could do for the Clemson Family and the broader community.
Donating blood remains as safe as ever according to the American Red Cross and other health officials. The coronavirus has not slowed our nation’s need for blood donors.
Learn how to make face covering/masks for your personal use and for others. My wife Marcia started by making a few face masks for friends and neighbors and through word-of-mouth, the demand for her face masks continues to grow. One of the key ingredients is breathable cotton fabric, and as Marcia scours our house for additional materials, I am becoming concerned about the future of my T-shirts (smile). There are numerous examples online showing how to make masks, whether you can sew or not.
Laugh a little or a lot
While these are serious times, look for things to watch or read that are not only entertaining but funny. There are hundreds of examples on the Internet. My favorite is a brief set of clips from the TV series “M*A*S*H.” If you liked “M*A*S*H,” you’ll love these clips: bit.ly/MASHvideoclips.
Offer words of thanks
Look for creative ways to say thank you to your mail carrier, healthcare workers, store clerks, delivery drivers, sanitation workers and others who continue to work hard to get us through these times.
I want to close by sharing some timely words from Ron Anders, the mayor of Auburn, Alabama: “Keep your hands clean, your heads clear and your spirits calm.”
Thank you again for all you do for our College,
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