Given that the forecast is for 75 degrees and sunny, it is almost certain that Mountain Day will be tomorrow. Comments:
1) This is a great chance for those who want to participate in Mountain Day to do so. Many years, the weather is too iffy to make firm plans. Highly recommended.
2) We still don’t know enough about the details behind the history of Mountain Day, especially those unsung heroes among the faculty who supported the idea of cancelling classes. The Record reports:
This year , Mountain Day was dramatically changed, from being a small event held on a Sunday to an official campus-wide celebration. Spearheading the efforts to reinstate the tradition of Mountain Day celebration were Heather Williams a professor of biology, and Bert Leatherman ’00, former College Council co-president.
As last year’s chair of the Calendar and Schedule Committee, Williams brought the proposed changes to the rest of the faculty at a faculty meeting.
In the April faculty meeting, the Mountain Day proposal sparked a heated debate among the faculty. The faculty members were divided over supporting the proposal until Leatherman stepped forward and helped get the proposal approved.“I think that it would have failed in the Faculty meeting if [Leatherman] hadn’t gotten up and made a speech about how important Mountain Day is,” said Williams.
Do any readers remember that debate? Would be great to see the notes from the faculty meeting.
One of the major changes made this year was that Mountain Day is no longer scheduled on a set weekend day. Instead, it is a spontaneous celebration announced on a Friday in October.
“Spontaneity is definitely what makes it that much better,” said Keiller Kyle ’03. “I didn’t go on a Mountain Day last year and I think the reason was that it wasn’t spontaneous and it wasn’t something that I was anticipating and looking forward to, and all of this anticipating is coming out in this hike in the form of energy.”
Frank Morgan a professor of mathematics, said, “The advantage is that we are guaranteed good weather and it also means people don’t already have other plans so everyone is free to come. So that’s really nice.”
Unsurprising that friend of EphBlog Frank Morgan was on the right side of that debate.
As one of the co-leaders of the Hopper Trail hiking trip, Morgan was an active participant in Mountain Day.
“I don’t think that we have begun to realize the possibilities of education in the most general sense,” said Morgan. “We think about being in the classroom, but I think a mix of different kinds of activities is what being at Williams should be about.”
“To have this chance to be out here today with other faculty and a lot of my students, I think is not only fun but I think is probably one of our more valuable days, too,” added Morgan.
Furthermore, the presence of faculty helped attract students to participate in Mountain Day events.
“I came because of professor Morgan,” said Nishibayashi. “He’s really been contacting us beyond the classroom, which is great, I think.”
Indeed. I bet memories of Mountain Day are some of the most poignant and important for many of the members of the class of 2001.
Mountain Day was probably the most important change made by President
Schapiro Vogt. What should Adam Falk do?
With the success of this year’s Mountain Day celebration, many members of the College community are already looking to next year’s event.
“This year, Mountain Day. Next year, Mountain Day, River Day, Tree Day. . . we’ll celebrate every biome there ever was,” said Lewis in a speech atop Stony Ledge. “This has just been just wonderful.”
More Record coverage here.
Sad that this hasn’t happened yet. Since we all agree that Mountain Day is wonderful, why not a similar day in the spring, one Friday in April? We could easily sacrifice Claiming Williams Day so as to not lose another day of classes . . .
3) Shout out for the Mountain Day miracle of 2009, also known as Siberian Mountain Day, perhaps the event that will be most remembered about Bill Wagner’s interim presidency.