This is no time for a football rivalry
April 28, 2011 § 10 Comments
I am sure most of my readers are well aware of the massive storms that devastated much of the southeast last night. If you’re not, you might want to Google it.
I live in a town that harbors a strong rivalry against what our news outlet was calling “Ground Zero” for the Alabama storms. The death toll is rising as Tuscaloosa digs themselves out of the rubble. The University of Alabama has halted campus activities for the foreseeable future. I am confident that they are, just as we are, wrapping up their Spring semester and embarking on finals week. I wonder how the students will study. How they will be able to focus on their exams. How the graduating seniors will graduate on time. Whether there will be an “on-time” graduation at all. I’m sure these are questions and issues the President’s and Provost’s offices are currently struggling to answer.
We were spared. The storm that ripped apart our rival town glided past us to the north. The southerly little “tail” that seemed to be heading straight for us, that could possibly have spawned a tornado, even it slipped by us with nary a hailstone. We had a great deal of wind, a light show, and some rain. But nothing close to “that town to the north.”
We were lucky. They weren’t.
“4-27-2011 Tuscaloosa Tornado”
“4-28-2011 Tuscaloosa Tornado” (note: this is of the 4.27.11 tornado, but was uploaded on the 28th.)
I can only hope that as my students begin their final exams this week, they can take a moment out of their stressful days to reflect on just how lucky they are to be stressing out over tests, and I hope they are grateful for that luck.
Edit: As of 2:45 p.m., this is the latest I’ve heard in response to my own questions above. The University of Alabama has chosen to cancel final exams campus-wide. Students will have the option to accept the current grade they have in the course (adjusted to account for the removed final), or they can contact their professor about arranging a make-up final exam. Graduation has been moved to August 6th. I can only imagine this will cause some frustration for the summer graduates because it means that the summer graduation will essentially be two graduations smashed together. But, again, if they survived and are capable of feeling frustration at the new graduation schedule, then they are lucky.