The semester is not over. Yet the end of our in-residence portion of this semester is upon us.
It is a bittersweet time. It has been wonderful to welcome our new First-Year students into the college and to welcome back most of our upperclass students. And yet it’s clear that the need for our in-residence portion of the semester to end early was the right call. CoVID rates are rising quickly in the country, in Connecticut, in New Haven and in Yale College. Traveling home and back would have been unwise.
Yet we’ll miss our First-Years! It has been wonderful having you here and we so wish this was a normal year and you that all could return after Thanksgiving and next semester as well.
Many, many First-Year Trumbullians and, indeed, many, many First-Years across all of Yale College applied to return in the spring. Decisions of who could and who could not return were made centrally by the YCDO. As you likely know, most applications were declined in light of space and what is occurring nation-wide with CoVID rates. That makes me sad. Yet, at the same time, I am glad that despite all our swabbing and testing, masking and social distancing, despite our staying outside of our common room and the Trumbull house and despite all the events we did not get to hold, nonetheless, they enjoyed their time here and that they did want to return.
The vaccines sound promising. I am optimistic that you all will return in the fall of 2021 and that, at that time, we can make up for many of the events we missed last spring (commencement!) and this fall (sailing, TrumBall, receptions and study in the House, use of our common spaces and a busy dining hall).
Meanwhile I thank you all for all the regulations you have followed, for all those daily health checks and for all the twice weekly CoVID tests with which you have complied. Those things made this semester possible.
Travel home safely (be careful!) and I wish you all as stress-less a finals period as is possible, a wonderful end of the semester and a joyous holiday season.
I thank our wonderful FroCos and TCC for all that they have done to make the semester as good as it could be. I thank Trum-Dean Chandhoke for her work, Deb Bellmore and Debbie Rueb and Karen Eisenman for all their help in doing what events we could do, our custodial staff, our dining staff, our grounds crew and Tyler Kellenberger for carrying out their missions in challenging circumstances, our resident fellows for sticking with us, Adam Sexton for running our Mellon Forum, Associate Head Polner for supporting me, and all our students for providing the reason for the rest of us are here.
“Grapes”: The “grapes” were really just grapes – regular, ordinary, grapes. I have received lots of appropriate teasing about the quotes around the word! Now every time I hear that word I’ll picture it with quotes around it. I hope you enjoyed the regular, ordinary, grapes made special only because they were Trumbull grapes.
The bulbs and resulting flowers. Some of you have sent me pictures of the flowers resulting from our earlier planting event. I’m so glad that at least some of these managed to bloom before you left for Thanksgiving. (That’s what I had hoped would happen.)
If you’re not taking them with you (which you are welcome to do, of course), you can put them on the long table in the Common Room for pre-break decorating purposes. I’ll rescue them later. (If some of you are local and wish to adopt a plant, just let me know.) If any of you need cactus-sitting-service let me know.
Class of 1955 Fellowships. In January it will be time for our juniors to be apply for Trumbull’s Class of 1955 fellowships designed to support you in doing something that will broaden your horizons. Debbie Rueb will provide you with access to the application form when it’s available and information about past winning projects. If you were unable to attend the information meeting on this or the follow up session, just write to me and we can arrange an individual Zoom call to discuss the nature of this fellowship and how to apply for it.
Safe travels and best wishes for the end of the semester and for a coming, eventually-to-be-normal-again, New Year.
Warmly, Head Clark