Author: Patrick Bredehoft
When it snows, you have two choices: shovel, or make angles.
~Author Unknown (so it might have been Benjamin Franklin)
Janus, the two-faced Roman god, was believed to preside over transitions: the beginnings and the ends of conflicts, births and deaths, past and future—his domain is any gate or doorway leading to an unforeseen route. Since January 1st, this Penn traveler has already journeyed along plenty of new roads: I’ve already flown more than 35,000 miles in 2014, across the country and around the world, and most of it was to celebrate and promote the university. Traveling with the Dean of Admissions and the AVP of Alumni Relations, we celebrated historic levels of interest from prospective students, alongside phenomenal engagement from alumni across Asia. When one is sitting on a different airplane each day, finding the time to make (or keep) a New Year’s resolution seems almost beside the point.
This Janus-sponsored snow day is therefore a welcome opportunity to pause and reflect on the year that has passed, as well as the one to come. Penn has much to be proud of, but there is also much more to be done. How can we offer interviews all of these incredible new applicants to the university? Is there some way we can get an army of sentient robots to help? And why don’t meteorologists get a score based on the accuracy of their past weather predictions?
Ben did once comment that, “Some are weather-wise, some are otherwise.” Here’s wishing for much wisdom and success in the New Year, and the occasional snow day to help us all ponder the open roads ahead.