Week 10 Resources!

Congratulations on making it to week 10!

I’ve always thought that “dead week” as the calm before the storm of finals…but this morning I heard a different perspective. It’s called dead week because we’re all dead tired! I don’t know about you, but this is more descriptive of my experience this term.

Remember to take care of yourself, and that there are resources and events available to help!

My favorite week 10 event includes hot cocoa, treats, and Sam the therapy dog- how could you go wrong? Come destress at the Hot Cocoa bar in the PFSC Atrium this Friday, December 3rd from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.

If you have a long study session and don’t have time to go home, remember that there is a microwave in Break Room 101 in PFSC. This room has a camouflaged door, and is located on the right side of the hallway past the FERN study area as you head towards Richardson. If you can’t find it, ask at the Student Services desk or ask one of the FERN Center staff! Please be respectful of the shared space and clean up after yourselves.

Finals Survival Guides are available in the Academic Success Center in Waldo 125. If you need more help, schedule with a strategist to plan for success. If you are experiencing other life stressors, remember that CAPS and the HSRC are also great resources. Details for these resources can be found on our announcements page, too.

Right around midterms and finals, it can be difficult to stay motivated when we are all working so hard. I find it helpful to stay future-focused. Remember your long-term goals, and why you are here in the first place.

College is your biggest investment in yourself, and in your future.

You’ve got this!

The return to “normal”

Well, here we all are again. After a long academic year of learning and working remote, we are back on campus, in person. It is great to see people doing mostly normal activities again and makes the start of fall term seem a little more real than it did last year.

I don’t know about you, but returning to in person has been a bit of a transition and remembering what my routine used to be before it became staying home and logging into my computer in leggings and sweatshirts and taking lunch hour walk and run breaks.

Being back brings a lot of uncertainty for many people. We are still navigating a pandemic and a virus that seems intent on sticking around for awhile. But it also means that we have the chance to feel more engaged. Our conversations can be more meaningful because we are not looking through a computer screen. Our experiences are more than emails and Zoom classes. There are so many interactions and activities that we may have taken for granted before the pandemic that now seem so special. And even though we are still working hard to remain safe and keep our loved ones safe, we know more about how to carry on with “normal” life.

So here’s to being back, making good choices to stay safe and enjoying the buzz and energy of “normal”.

Winter break already?

By now you have completed your final exams and have checked out for a much needed break. Congratulations on making it through fall term. It was certainly one for the records.

Because we are still dealing with what seems like a never-ending COVID-19 pandemic, this winter break might be a little different for you. Some of you might be traveling very little, or not at all. Perhaps you will not be headed home to be with family this year. So what will you do if you are staying put this year?

Might I suggest binging “The Best Christmas Movies of All Time” according to Rotten Tomatoes. There are 62 movies on the list! I haven’t seen them all but here are my top five favorite holiday flicks:

5. White Christmas (1954) – Who can pass up Bing Crosby singing “White Christmas”? And let’s be honest, if you don’t tear up a little when Bing and his pals put on a musical extravaganza to save the General’s country inn, then you are channeling to much Grinch.
4. Home Alone (1990) – I never watched this movie until I was an adult with kids of my own and, as a parent, I have mixed feelings about Kevin’s behavior and his dysfunctional family, but I enjoy watching it with my kids and counting the number times Harry and Marv should have ended up in the hospital or, more likely, the morgue. I know…it’s morbid but we really can’t watch this without pointing out every single plot hole. (Bonus, for more morbid holiday fun, check out Home Alone 2!)
3. Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) – I’m a sucker for Judy Garland and this one has some great songs, including the very best version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”. I mean come on… how can you not love this?

2. A Christmas Carol (1951) – There are countless versions of this story (including my personal favorite that includes Barbie and her little sister) and I don’t know if this is the best version, but the story of Ebenezer Scrooge treating everyone really bad and then being visited by a group of Christmas spirits who teach him about holiday cheering and caring is a classic holiday theme. Spoiler alert…Ebenezer does a complete personality 180, saves Christmas and “God Bless Us Everyone!” is born.
1. Die Hard – I’m on the side that contends this is, in fact, a Christmas movie. The whole story takes place at a company Christmas party so I’m not really sure how you argue against it being a Christmas movie when it clearly is. Besides, it has everything… action, holiday music, inept terrorists, Bruce Willis and the guy who played that loveable Dad on Family matters. What’s not to love? (FYI…Die Hard 2 also a Christmas movie.)

Honorable mentions to my list include the Rankin/Bass version of Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer (again…the plot holes alone make this worth the annual viewing! Plus, Santa is such a jerk in this movie!!), Elf (Come on… Will Ferrell and spontaneous singing in Central Park? Yes please.) and The Nightmare before Christmas (classic Tim Burton animation, great music and both Halloween and Christmas themes? What’s not to love?)

Whatever you end up doing during winter break, be sure you are staying safe and taking care of yourself and each other. Student Services will be open during the winter break so please reach out if you are in need of support.

Happy holidays!

Remote Learning: Zoom, Teams, and screen time overload!

As we continue to work and learn remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, we may have all reached our limit of sitting in front of a computer screen (or tablet or smart phone or however you are staying connected). Or is that just me?

Everyone is using Zoom, Microsoft Teams or some other platform to attend classes, meetings or connect with family and friends. And while it’s great that today’s technology allows us to work and learn from home, it can get exhausting. So how can we maintain some type of balance?

The Washington Post recently published an article titled “How college students can make the most of remote learning” that shares some tips for how to manage your Zoom time and find a routine that works for you.

  1. Find a daily schedule and a place that works best for you – Stanford University Academic Technology Specialist Jenae Cohn suggests building a schedule around accomplishing tasks, not just when the next Zoom lecture is happening. This includes taking some time to reflect on “your ideal universe” for finishing assignments and reflecting on how you learn. Create a daily schedule and stick with it. Having a structured day can help you feel “more in control” about your coursework. Find a room or place that can be dedicated to class and study time.
  2. Limit screen time if possible – Zoom fatigue is real. It is true that having your camera on for hours during the day can be draining and create a feeling of “people looking at us” (Thomas J. Tobin). And it can be hard to stay focused and engaged during a Zoom lecture regardless of your instructors brilliance and how much you are interested in the topic being discussed. Art Markman of University of Texas Austin suggests trying to engage in discussions and be an active participant. If the professor gives you the option of turning off your camera during a lecture, this might help you listen and take notes without feeling like you are under a microscope. In addition, take breaks between Zoom classes and lectures, research and working on assignments. In other words, get away from the screen!
  3. Socializing in and out of class needs to become more intentional – as we have all learned, there is not much opportunity for side conversations or socializing during Zoom meetings. Art Markman suggests connecting with classmates and friends via text or even AN ACUTAL PHONE CALL (gasp!) to stay in touch and find out how they are doing. Find out how fellow classmates are discussing the course and materials and engaging with each other outside of class.

Ultimately, as we continue to interact with co-workers, instructors, and classmates virtually, it’s important to make sure we are limiting the distractions that prevent us from completing tasks, meeting deadlines and staying engaged. If you have questions or need help with a class concept or problem, do not be afraid to reach out to your instructor!

It is also just as important for us to remember to step away from the screen, get some fresh air, exercise, and find a healthy balance! Stay healthy, wear your mask and keep washing your hands!!!

Here we are… Fall 2020.

Welcome back CoF students! And welcome to all of the new students. I hope your summer was… good?

The start of fall term means that, despite the continuing pandemic situation, recent wildfires, and remote learning, we still have some exciting opportunities in the College of Forestry. There are a variety of opportunities listed in the announcements section of the Fernhopper, including the Mentored Employment Program, Forest GUMP Mentorship Program, DEI Film Festival, Career Fair, and more!

In addition, Student Services is looking forward to seeing all of the amazing photos you took this summer (from a safe distance, of course) so be sure to submit them to the Photo of the Week contest. Email your photos to Student Services.

Peavy Forest Science Complex is open, so stop by (with your mask) and take a look around if you have not done so already. The Student Services office is open from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm during the first few weeks of the term (maybe longer….fingers crossed!)

And let’s not forget that the College of Forestry has a new Dean! Dean Thomas DeLuca arrived in Corvallis in June and has been spending time jumping in and getting to know the CoF family. You can read more about Dean DeLuca in the latest issue of the Focus.

As fall term gets started, OSU and The College of Forestry will continue to support students during these challenging times. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your Academic Advisor or the Student Services office if you need assistance getting connected to resources.

I also want to acknowledge our many student wildland firefighters! This has, no doubt, been a challenging fire season and many of you were (or are) in the thick of it. Please know the College of Forestry is so proud of you and the work you are doing to protect our great state. Please stay safe and reach out if you need anything.

Stay safe!

What can you do with a forestry degree: careers, internships and volunteer positions

Are you interested in finding out what you can do with a degree in forestry? The career possibilities are numerous and there are a number of resources available to help you explore potential careers and benefits of a forestry career.

One such resource is an online guidebook that will help you explore forestry careers and internships. It’s available at FireScienceOnline, which began in 2012 to provide quality data and information for students pursuing a career in fire science. It offers tools and resources that help students and professionals make well-informed decisions about their education and training. This site offers information about a variety of careers, training and education requirements, and average salaries.  If you are interested in Fire Science, then take some time to explore FireScienceOnline.

Student Resources & Engagement also provides resources to explore some of the careers available in the fields of forestry, recreation and natural resources. Explore the Employment Opportunitiesweb pages for information about the SAF Job Fair, Job Shadow Program, career information.  Check out the Find a Job or Internship page for current job and internship listings, job search tips and resources and a directory of College of Forestry employers contacts.

Be sure to take advantage of the numerous resources available to explore careers and find temporary and permanent positions.