Dear College of Science Faculty and Staff,
For Week One! The semester is up and running, students are happy to be on campus, and ready to have their minds stretched by your outstanding teaching. Thank you for accommodating students not in person during illness and quarantine. Thank you for teaching remotely if you are isolating at home. Thank you for covering for a colleague who is out. Thank you to our Advising and Co-op teams who are guiding students. Thank you to our Grants Administration teams for submitting complex proposals and monitoring complex budgets. Thank you to our Human Resources team for navigating Workday, and for now scaling a mountain of unavoidable backlog. Please be patient, we are getting there! Thank you to our Finance team for ensuring careful stewardship. Thank you to every person staffing every office in the College. Thank you for leading departments, units, programs, committees, initiatives, facilities. Thank you for serving on committees! Thank you for running research groups, for training, for designing and carrying out experiments. Thank you for collaborating so broadly.
Across every unit, COS members have been infected with COVID, and the symptoms can be debilitating. Please look after your health, get medical treatment and stay home until you feel better – rest and sleep are essential to full recovery. In our recent Community Meeting, we named this the ‘Supportive Semester’ as faculty and staff of the College support one another and are supported across Northeastern. Please let your department or program chair, or your manager know if you have to be away, and be in touch with me or one of our Associate Deans as needed.
The COVID positive rate seems to be decreasing in Boston and on campus, and it’s anticipated that the peak of this round has passed. PCR-based wastewater monitoring to view overall viral load is a fantastic example of the good power of Science.
As we near the end of pandemic year 2, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with too much to do, easy to be discouraged. The cold, pale light of mid-January Boston adds no cheer. What does help?
Here are a few on my list.
Take a look at this TED talk (thank you, Kevin Thompson)
Realize that your job is important
This is crucial. Your work in the College of Science and at Northeastern University impacts lives directly and promotes a better future for society. That’s about as important as it gets.
Streamline your workload
Discussing with your chair or supervisor as useful.
Protect time for lunch!
For online meetings, take a break from screens
Try meeting over the phone instead.
Make a daily end time to your COS work
To do something else – maybe family-work, but hopefully also some personal time.
Check off your accomplishments
A written list works for me. Great to include easy things, so there’s lots to be proud of.
Stop following the news so much
The other day while driving home I switched from news to a music station. Don’t stop believin’ was playing. My headache vanished immediately.
Take a walk, with a friend or just you
With phone notifications paused
Enjoy one small cup of salted caramel ice-cream
Remember that you are part of our COS Community
We’re there for one another, respecting, helping and encouraging.
And know that Spring is not far off
Take a look at the buds on the same branch every day, and you’ll see that magically they are growing, ready to wake up when it gets warmer, and fill the world with flowers.
Please reach out with worries, needs and ideas.
Come by the Dean’s Office if you need a mask, some candy, a hello, help.
Thank you again.