A brief holiday interlude

Things are beginning to slow down a wee bit for Fletcher students. “Starting” is the key word here, as plenty of students aren’t out of the woods of finals quite yet, but most can at least see the finish line at this point. The Ginn Library reading room was as packed as I’ve ever seen it late last week, but this week it’s started looking sparse.

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“Empowering the Third Sovereign” with Carlo

One of the fun things about administering the Fletcher Educational Enrichment Fund – a small grant program designed to provide support to students’ independent research and experiential learning pursuits – is getting a close-up look at all the interesting things our students are up to. The fund has supported all manner of excursions to professional and scholarly conferences, field-based data collection and other research, and competitions and simulations. Until recently, though, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a documentary film as the end result of a project proposal.

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January 10th application deadline reminder

Readers, I realize it may seem comically premature of me to start issuing deadline reminders a full month in advance. The January 10th application deadline – the big one, the scholarship priority one, the one that applies to the majority of applicants – is still weeks away. Let’s think about the other things many of you have going on during that time, though. The collective list may include finals, end-of-year workplace budgets, reports, and projects, holiday shopping and planning, travels both near and far, and hopefully a bit of seasonal celebrating and relaxing. That month, which seems to promise loads of available time to work away on your applications, can start looking pretty short pretty quickly.

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Januarian commencement

A busy last week at Fletcher ended with an important annual event. Though this year’s class of 2nd-year “Januarians” – Fletcher parlance for the smaller cohort of students who enroll in the spring semester – won’t officially graduate until February, their commencement ceremonies are held during the last weeks of the fall semester, when everyone is still around to join them in celebration.

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Fletcher heads to Quantico

Fletcher typically has a prominent military portion of our community, with a significant number of students who are veterans or active-duty service members, in addition to several faculty whose work focuses on security policy and military affairs. One of their important functions is to act as liaisons for non-military students interested in learning more about various areas of the armed forces. For those of us with no direct experience or connection, the military can seem complicated and a bit intimidating.

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The lighter side of winter

The first major snow of the year often elicits some collective grumbling in these parts, especially when it arrives in early December. As much as none of us likes having to drag winter gear out of the closet for the first time, extract the snow shovels from the corner of the garage where they’ve happily been gathering cobwebs over the past months, and be digging my car out of my driveway at 5:30 AM the past two days in a row, there are reminders of the lighter side of winter that pop up around here that almost make it worth it.

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Visit Day, impeded by neither snow nor rain

Is “goopy” an acceptable meteorological term? Even here in New England, where we’ve no shortage of creative terminology for various types of weather (we all know to fear the dreaded forecast of a “wintery mix”), today seems to beg for its own descriptor. All of our team fortunately made it back fine over the weekend from our various Thanksgiving travels, only to be greeted by a big, gross snowstorm that started Sunday afternoon, and continues as I write this. Of course it can’t just be a bunch of snow, though, which is an inconvenience, but which the region is collectively pretty good at handling. It started as snow, changed to freezing rain at some point early this morning, is currently a cold sleet, and is predicted to return to snow at some point today, lasting until at least tomorrow morning. Those prospective students who brave the forecast to join us for our final Visit Day of the season are a hearty bunch indeed. Do your worst, weather – you can’t derail us!

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Thanksgiving well wishes

Thanksgiving! A non-scientific, small-n survey of People I Talk To yields the conclusion that it’s pretty close to a consensus favorite holiday. The specific reasons for this likely vary from person to person, as “typical” Thanksgiving celebrations can range from the local and fairly simple to complex and far-flung affairs involving all kinds of extended family. At minimum, most folks can count on a gigantic meal with little of the guilt that normally comes with gluttony. 

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Application tips – the digest version

Around this time of year there’s usually a lot of interest in tips for preparing your strongest possible application to Fletcher. With the Thanksgiving holiday coming up later this week (in the US, at least), many applicants are looking at a few slightly less hectic days during which they may plan to make some progress on their application. It’s also far enough out from the next major deadline (January 10 for most degree programs) that a lot of applicants are in the earlier stages of gathering their materials.

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