I must admit that I enjoy and downright celebrate April Fools’ Day.
I have been on both the receiving and giving ends of tremendous April Fools’ jokes over the years, and they have become part of my lore. For example, a colleague once sent a mass email to hundreds of folks at my work letting them know that April 1 was my birthday (it wasn’t).
For the rest of the day, people stopped by, texted or emailed me with warm (albeit very early) happy birthday greetings. One year, my former supervisor crafted a fake email that made it look like an important report I had written was being called into question for accuracy; he let me panic for about 30 minutes before pulling the plug on that joke (which wasn’t funny to me at all, but funny to everyone else).
But my favorite all-time prank is when I convinced a colleague to call Dr. Ella Funt at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. After multiple calls to the zoo trying to reach Ella Funt, I saw in real time his reaction when he finally got the joke. For some reason, he didn’t laugh as much as I did.
So, my advice to you is to participate in a non-destructive, non-hurtful, but hilarious April Fools’ prank. But hey, watch your back because someone is aiming for you, too,
While April Fools’ Day is my favorite day in April, it is only one day of the month.
There is much to celebrate in April including, just to name a few, National Beer Day (April 7), Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day (April 12), and Earth Day (April 22). Is it just me, but shouldn’t National Beer Day and Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day be celebrated together?
In the higher education biz, April also means that summer and fall class registration has begun in earnest. High school students who will graduate this June are thinking about their future plans. But while we tend to think of graduation as a time of celebration, for many high school students, it is also a time of stress and anxiety.
For 12 years, these young men and women have known exactly what they will be doing the following year – they go to the next grade level. But now after graduation, they must more actively engage in planning for their next big step.
For me, my choices after high school graduation were to work in the coal mining industry, join the Army or go to my local community college. I chose to attend my local community college, where trained, caring professionals helped me select my classes and program of study. Their careful guidance set me up for success at the community college and for my next step at Virginia Tech, where I earned a bachelor’s degree in biology.
I’m proud to say that Pennsylvania Highlands Community College is also here to help with that post-secondary transition to college. Beginning this April, the Penn Highlands faculty and staff will guide and mentor hundreds of high school students and help them identify their academic goals and their best paths forward to achieve those goals.
And yes, while the coronavirus has disrupted some college services, we are still answering questions and registering students for classes remotely by phone or email. Feel free to reach out; we are here to help.
See you next month.
PS: My heartfelt sympathies go out to each one of you as you deal with this pandemic.
Written By Dr. Steve Nunez, College’s Fifth President. This monthly series appears in The Tribune-Democrat, and will allow Dr. Nunez to provide his perspective on the value of education and of a community college.