The last rose of summer

Yesterday evening, I went for a walk and happened upon a rose bush still in bloom. It was a cheerful sight in the midst of the usual autumnal flower colors of yellows, golds, and whites. Another flower color that I enjoy seeing in the Fall is the rich, deep purple of wild asters.

On my walk, it was also hard to miss the heightened police presence everywhere. Not a cheerful sight.

Autumn is in full swing where I live, even if it only officially began on Tuesday of this week. The days have generally been mild and the nights have been quite cool. The hours of daylight are noticeably less. I love everything about this time of year except for the reduced daylight and the obnoxious use of pumpkin spice flavoring in everything. I don’t even really like pumpkin pie, to be honest — I never have. Oh yeah, and I also don’t like the ugly, creepy, horror side of Halloween that pops up everywhere.

At work, we were recently informed that the mode adopted for the Fall semester will continue through Spring as well, with a few tweaks. The Spring semester will start later and Spring Break will not happen. It means that I will continue to work fully remotely for several more months, which is a relief. Also, recent mandatory testing of the entire undergraduate student body turned up only one positive COVID case, which is encouraging. However, I also found out that an employee had recently tested positive. Fortunately, the person’s symptoms are mild, although it’s ironic that the affected individual happens to be opposed to use of masks, social distancing, and following lockdown procedures in general.

On a more somber note, we are also in the midst of working through responses to a survey that will be used to assess where, how, and when our organization can be reshaped or changed to achieve necessary cost savings. Notice I didn’t use the word “if.”

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