The 5 seasons

For many people there are 4 distinct seasons, but for me there has always been a shorter and more invigorating 5th season that takes place in late August through early September:  The Beginning of the School Year.  There are subtle clues that summer is coming to an end around here: shopping malls are packed with families frantically looking for shoes to fit rapidly growing feet, the construction scaffolding begins to come down in Harvard Square, and most notably (and welcome) to me, the afternoon light begins to change in my office. This is without a doubt my favorite time of year.

It’s the time of year when you can wear sandals AND a sweater; and the crisp evening air seems to make your brain focus better.  New students and residents arrive all shiny like pennies, excited to begin their Harvard careers in such a storied place. Books and politics get discussed at Friday Happy Hours, as do historical perspectives on war and the latest tech discoveries. Harvard allows you to ask any question, and perhaps more importantly, discuss any possible answer.   I am really proud to be a part of this new school year transition for students.  It signifies hard work paying off for them and the beginning of something new and magical in their lives. That something just can’t be replicated in any old career.

I am beginning my 11th year working in student affairs, and this year I am blessed with a tremendous staff who work hard, have great attitudes, and are just plain good people.  Our summer was spent planning (a lot) and relaxing (a little) in preparation of the Graduate Commons launching its 8th year of programming.  We’ve secured speakers from across the university for our MEET THE SCHOLAR lecture series and worked with our Faculty Director team to create relaxing events for you each month in their homes.  Our family programmers have already been hard at work meeting new families in all areas and hosting events like BEAT THE HEAT and INTERNATIONAL POT LUCKS to help you meet your neighbors.

As new adventures get underway, we hope the Beginning of the School Year season includes your Grad Commons family!  We look forward to meeting you and cheering you on for the next 10 months.  Bring on 2015-16!

Best wishes for a successful year,

Lisa and the Graduate Commons team

Fall in Harvard