Pass/Fail: 3-day break offers time for reflection; Weather changes swiftly, hectically

By Marilou Terrones

Pass: 3-day break offers time for reflection

NIU gives students and employees three days in addition to the weekend to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving break is long enough for students, faculty and staff to relax, but it is short enough to not find their family’s presence bothersome.

Stress is reduced during holidays as the only thing students and staff need to worry about is spending their nights surrounded by blankets warm enough to defrost the bad attitudes they get during winter.

As students grow older, these time-outs become more valuable. They remind students and employees breaks are helpful for relaxing and studies as every day off from class or work is used for completing work at their own pace.

Breaks aren’t just reminders of what makes winter unpleasant — never wanting to get out of bed — as they’re also reminders of what students and employees leave behind when their lives become absorbed with work.

The mini-vacations students have during the school year are opportunities to reflect on what’s important. During the school year, students and employees have schedules to follow, giving them very little if any room to spend time how they chose. When students are asked to do things as part of an assignment, such as reading a book or drawing, they forget how much they enjoy these tasks.

Fail: Weather changes swiftly, hectically

The weather has changed so erratically in short periods of time that students, staff and faculty have experienced different seasons in less than 24 hours.

I looked outside the window around 9 a.m. Monday and saw rain pouring over students waiting at a bus station. After checking the weather application on my phone, I thought I would only need to wear a light jacket because the temperature was supposed to be around 46 degrees. But, when I was walking on campus an hour and a half later, snow began falling. There was enough snow and sleet to cover the parking lots as well as the sidewalks, making it difficult for anyone to travel.

The weather has been so dramatic in DeKalb even weather applications and websites appear unreliable or misleading.

It’s always good to have an extra umbrella or pair of gloves. While carrying extra pieces of clothing may seem like a hassle, it can make the difference between someone’s fingers freezing or ears burning bright red from the wind.

The truth is nobody can accurately predict the weather on a given day, but everyone can use the resources available to make better decisions.