TrumBulletin for May 1, 2020
It’s the first of May. The lilac wisteria blooms are beginning to appear in our courtyard; the daffodils are still blooming and the tulips will soon be up. Yet our courtyard is empty every day.
Ordinarily I would be rising early and putting coffee and snacks in the FARR room as people finish their papers and study for finals. Ordinarily our graduate affiliates, our Dean, our resident fellows, our TCC leaders and I would be hosting study breaks in the dining hall or House each evening. Yet the dining hall remains open just for a few students that remain with yellow tape at six foot distances, all chairs on top of the tables, and a cross-cutting between colleges and staff dispensing bags of food. A guard stands outside the door checking IDs and making sure distancing rules are followed.
As all this continues, I think of all our first-year students who are away at the end of their first year and have never seen the courtyard come back to life and of all our seniors who are missing their senior dinner and will miss celebrating with their fellow seniors when their theses are turned in and pictures taken in front of Sterling Library as well as their final finals and senior week and commencement.
For some of you studying and finishing work at a distance with families providing personalized study breaks and support, may actually make this reading period and finals time a slightly less stressful time than usual. For others, I know well that this has been a more stressful time than usual. (If you fall into that category you are definitely not alone.)
It’s tough to be physically distanced from others. It’s tough when family members have lost jobs and insurance. It’s tough when family members are sick and it is also tough when family members have jobs exposing them daily to the threat of CoVID. I also know that some of you have taken on care for younger siblings and older family members as you strive to complete your own work and that others are truly isolated and alone. Finally, all our routines are just different and that too can be distressing. We, the staff and I, are thinking about all of you and missing all of you.
Know that we welcome any student getting in touch with us. We are here. We care and just connecting to talk as normally happens in our college is fine and good too.
In the midst of all this, it does make me happy to say that there are Trumbullians to thank and Trumbullians to recognize and to congratulate. (Moreover, in a short time there will be many more Trumbullians to congratulate, but we’ll wait on announcing spring and graduation awards for just a bit.)
Congratulations and Thanks
Thanks go to Trumbull fellow Wayne Grasdock and his wife, Darlene Grasdock. She sewed cloth face masks for many people and he brought some to Trumbull for our staff, resident fellows and students who remain here and who needed them. I thank Captain Grasdock as well for his leadership of our Class of 1955 fellowship committee this year.
Thanks go to Trumbull fellows James Meehan and Peter Burrow for their special support of Trumbull students during the pandemic.
Congratulations (and thanks) go to Melissa Mendizabal and Margo Feuer for jointly being named “Recylcers’ in Chief” for improving in-college materials management by delivering recycling bins door-to-door.
Thanks go to our seniors Alexyss Lange, Simon Doss-Gollin and Melissa Mendizabal for organizing our Trumbull virtual graduation ceremony. They have been amazing and we’re all deeply grateful to them. (This will occur on Friday, May 15). Thanks to Debbie Rueb, Deb Bellmore, Dean Chandhoke and Leah Jehan for their help in making this happen.)
Thanks to Christian Olivier for his letter to us recognizing the dedication of our dining staff. (And, I invite any student who wishes to thank any member of our custodial, grounds or dining staff for their service, especially our seniors, to send their note to me, firstname.lastname@example.org. I will print them off and get them to the proper people for distribution. You have finals, so if you want to do this know that there is no rush; this can be done after papers are in and finals are taken.)
Recognition goes to Nellie Conover-Crockett who has been volunteering at a food bank each week in her hometown. And, although I may not know of others’ actions to support their own communities, if you are doing that, that’s terrific.
And a very special recognition goes to our sophomore Konrad Collins who, along with his mother and supported by a friend, literally saved a man’s life this past week. His actions were duly noted by both the athletic department here and Yale University more generally. You may read about them here: https://www.uslaxmagazine.com/college/men/yale-men%E2%80%99s-lacrosses-konrad-collins-saves-a-mans-life-with-cpr. Just know that Trumbull too is proud of you Konrad; very proud.