This morning I completed my one official task for Orientation (beyond meeting students and drinking coffee). I ran one of the 13 ice-breaker activities taking place around the building or, in my case, next door in Olin Hall. I met a group of about 25, most of whom I had (surprisingly, to me) not interacted with previously. Here they are, squeezed into a classroom that was not quite right for the job.
In any incoming class, there are always folks I’ve worked with through the admissions process, but this year there are a few people with whom I’ve had several years of contact. Either it took them a while to decide finally to apply, or they’ve applied before, requested feedback, and reapplied successfully. I’ve really enjoyed seeing them get settled here.
Even as one Orientation session follows another, there’s already a long list of upcoming events on the Fletcher calendar. Starting with Convocation on September 7, the activities will engage and, occasionally, overwhelm students with choices. I already mentioned the cybersecurity conference, which is happening super early in the academic year. (As it’s not student-led, the usual half-year of organization time wasn’t needed. The spring semester features nearly weekly student-organized conferences and similar events.) Out-of-class activities are a big part of the student experience and, much as they need to pick and choose how to allocate their time, most students will mindfully build out a weekly schedule that includes many of these special events.