Just for fun, we decided to mine the archives for some of those interesting items that don’t quite fit into our usual posts. Instead, we selected some gems that convey a campus mood or a mindset if you will! So this year we asked, what do we have that speaks to “winter, or holiday break?”
To some, it’s a long-awaited reprieve from homework and exams – a time for family and friends. Generations of students have anticipated the end of the fall semester with thoughts of rest and relaxation, mixed with generous amounts of fun and frolic. A December 19, 1885 article in The Troy Polytechnic advised against enjoying the holiday break too much, warning that “usually, the more fun a man experiences, the less he is inclined to study when he gets back to his books.” However, that never stopped Rensselaer students from enjoying themselves before, during, or after the holiday, as seen in a snowball fight engraving from January 1884!
For many members of the campus community,the focus this time of year is holiday cheer. Christmas activities and décor highlight the season, including parties, concerts, and gift giving. Post-World War II “polywives” even shared tips on sprucing up their barracks-like apartments with holiday greens in the Ren’wyck News. For many years Campus Carols were a major event at the Field House; now the Institute holds a holiday concert at EMPAC.
And then there is… winter. Brrr. In spite of its harshness, we all find ways of coping with and/or celebrating the season. Whether huddled up with a book, watching the RPI Holiday Hockey Tournament, or enjoying the snow, we manage to plow through the break, until January arrives and a new semester begins. Such is the cycle of campus life!
Whatever your predilections, we hope you enjoy the break. See you next year!
Jen, Tammy, John, and Kitty