Dear Wartburg College Community,
Today is RICE Day, and my calendar has been insistently reminding me of the many activities that I should be attending: the early morning reception for parents, the luncheon in honor of donors who’ve established scholarships, the late afternoon reception for parents, and many more.
Obviously, the coronavirus derailed our day, the day I love only slightly less than Commencement Day. We’ve only been observing RICE Day for a few years, but it has become such an integral part of our academic rhythm that I deeply feel the loss. A whole day to celebrate our students’ work—their research, their internship experiences, their creative endeavors—is like a day in academic heaven. They so impressively display their knowledge, skill, and confidence that those of us who work with them nearly burst with pride.
We have gathered together some of our students’ work, and we’ve posted it to our RICE Day webpage, and we’ll continue to post work as it comes in; but, sadly, we won’t be able to duplicate the day.
Nevertheless, I ease my sorrow a bit by remembering that RICE Day is only a day of show-and-tell; we weren’t able to gather together, and students weren’t able to share, but the work they’ve done is what really matters. I would have loved to see them in action, but the important thing to remember is that they’ve accomplished so much.
Even this enormous disruption doesn’t deprive them of the knowledge they’ve gained, the skills they’ve developed, the confidence they’ve gained. If anything, the challenges they’ve faced in these past weeks have strengthened those character traits.
After spending five minutes watching and listening to the talk I would have heard at today’s scholarship luncheon, I relaxed, realizing that our students’ spirits haven’t faltered; instead, I clearly see how powerfully they’ll be able to express their faith and learning.