Help, Spring – 3.31.23

Dear College of Science Faculty and Staff, This week we saw devastation wrought by the massive tornado in Mississippi, and another terrible shooting at a school in Tennessee. The unabated accessibility of firearms is deeply frustrating to me. I hope your family and friends in these regions are safe. And this week, the sleepiness of Winter in the natural world rapidly dissipated. On Krentzman Quad the allium bulbs have sprouted, and rabbits are enjoying the bright shoots.  A neighbor’s garden is a carpet of snowdrops and little blue star flowers whose name I don’t know. And my favorite chipmunks, having been cuddled up in their burrows, are venturing out. There is a lot of scurrying in Spring, and how wonderful are the longer days. In the College of Science, we are also scurrying in this most busy time of year. Merit, Hiring, Promotions, Recruitment, Spreadsheets, Teaching, Exams, Research, Grants, all the other Work that keeps our College moving so effectively. Help. Thank you everyone! And many exciting events! This week, Director of Co-operative Education Ronnie Porter and Advancement gave our pre-med students the opportunity to meet Dr. Andrew Schafer, an eminent alumnus and supporter (Biology ‘69).  Dr. Schafer discussed Unclean Hands, his novel about Ignaz Semmelweis who showed that handwashing saves lives. Thank you! This week we celebrated the crucial Service contributions of College members who have been at Northeastern for 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 years. Congratulations, and thank you! Our department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology hosted the Henry J. and Linda C. Pownall Lecture in Chemistry and a Science Communication workshop with the fabulous forensic chemist and science communicator, Raychelle Burks. And this week Associate Dean Randall Hughes and Assistant Dean Rachelle Reisberg brought together a truly fantastic Women in Science event, including fifteen lightning talks. Congratulations to everyone involved! Weekly Updates from the end of March 2021 and 2022 uncover interesting history – in 2021, I encouraged you to be careful, as most people were not yet vaccinated against COVID; and it’s good to see that last year I could change the tone to “The vision of Spring as FLOWERS, BURSTING, GREEN, EXCITING repetitively permeates poetry, so that most poems on the topic don’t seem fresh.  One can count on e.e.cummings for a side view.” Like most of his work, the poetry improves on re-visiting, so here again:SPRING IS LIKE A PERHAPS HAND BY E.E. CUMMINGSSpring is like a perhaps hand(which comes carefullyout of Nowhere) arranginga window, into which people look (whilepeople starearranging and changing placingcarefully there a strangething and a known thing here) andchanging everything carefully