Well, folks, this is it: the last week of classes, and my signoff Monday morning email for the Spring 2021 semester! You all have made it through one of the most difficult academic years—if not the most difficult academic year—in living memory, with the runner-up being last year, which you also made it through. I hope you pause for a small moment to acknowledge your strength, perseverance, and ultimately, commitment to your own education during this incredibly challenging time. As I have struggled myself to make it through this past year, I have found inspiration in all of you—especially the students but also the faculty and staff—in the MU Geography community. We made it through this together…
…and now, as I think you can tell, everything is beginning to lift a little, and it feels like a revelation. This is no time to be careless or get complacent, of course, but it is definitely a time to enjoy the relaxation of Covid-related restrictions (coupled with the absolutely gorgeous weather we’ve been having—have you noticed?) and the start of our return to at least a “new” normal.
To wit—Congratulations to the following Geography Club officers, elected by unanimous vote to serve during the 2021-2022 academic year! (Dr. Hurt, though, was a little surprised: “What, no write-ins this year?!” I almost bought the vote of a student to write The Dude in for President, but I like Sarah too much!)
Vice President—Austin Reed
A couple big things coming up for GTU/Geography Club next year: a book sale of Dr. Kit Salter’s donated books; an exhibit on Carl Sauer at the Warrenton Museum (under the direction of Larry Hall), and, quite possibly, a big camping trip to Arrow Rock—among all the other things the crazy folks in Geography/GTU get up to. If you are not actively involved in Club, you should definitely consider joining and jumping in next year.
We have about 20 spots left for the MU Geography BBQ this Friday at 6pm at Deb’s Clubhouse at Cambridge Place, 1925 Scarborough Avenue south of town. The Urban Coyotes have been rehearsing and the food order is on its way, so…if you want to join us in person, please do sign the guest list: https://forms.gle/ChDM763VNas3ai9c9.
And then sign up on the potluck list, either in person in the Geography Department Office (202 Stewart Hall) or online: https://forms.gle/yv8ZdRJz12B8ywqBA
Remember that our Geography Spring Celebration and Awards Ceremony will be held in person, Friday, May 7 at 3:30pm in Stewart Hall Parker Auditorium. There is now a Zoom link available for those of you who would prefer to attend virtually, and you will soon receive a Zoom invite as well: https://umsystem.zoom.us/j/93780103670.
Last but certainly not least, we are still needing your photographs of places in Missouri for the Missouri Bicentennial map project that Tom Vought and his crew at MSDIS are working on. We’ve set a goal of featuring photos and short descriptions of 200 locations from around the state, and we are a ways away from our goal. It can be any place, so long as it’s within the State of Missouri! So, please send your Missouri photos with location information and short description to: firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no limit to how many images individuals can contribute! And thank you for making this storymap a reality.
On behalf of the entire MU Geography faculty and staff, I wish you all the best as you head into finals week, and a “sunshine daydream” summer that sees you get some time with loved ones and friends, a much-needed rest from the intensity of the semester, and clarity of mind as you gaze into the future.