There has to be a better method to gather together a very diverse and sometimes dysfunctional community of academics to socially interact with one another. The president of my university this year sent out a very disturbing and somewhat insulting memorandum to all staff entitled: “Mandatory Holiday Luncheon.” In it, this generally respected and revered leader bemoaned the fact that the annual presidential holiday luncheon, held every December, has suffered from declining attendance and disinterest. Therefore, this year’s gathering, held earlier this week, was mandatory.
Despite what the featured photograph and title may infer, the designation “Black Friday” has nothing whatsoever to do with a racial reference. Instead, the term “Black Friday” is what is known in the U.S. retail industry as the official first day of the Christmas holiday shopping season. It is the day after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday (always the fourth Thursday in November) which means it is always a Friday. The “Black” designation is in reference to the customary business practice of posting commercial profits in black ink and commercial losses in red ink.
I realize that the photograph above may be somewhat late in the season for those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere where the summer is already an item of our past. However belated, this image caught my attention and I wanted to put it to use here. Autumn now invades our lives and soon scenes such as this will only remain as a fond memory of 2018. Most outdoor pools have already closed for this year. For those living in the Southern Hemisphere, please anticipate the summer before it arrives there!
Our skin covers and protects our bodies. Few people realize that it serves another equally important purpose – that of a living canvas for our noble expressions of creative art. Since the beginning of time, humanity have used our bodies as a natural inspiration for both design and interpretation. We decorate it to share our own messages and stories, both fact and fiction. We use it to caution and warn, to amuse and to frighten or to beautify for the admiration of others
For some strange reason, Halloween is an unofficial holiday that promotes varying degrees of antisocial and awkward behavior among people, especially here in the USA. First, there are those parents who force their offspring to dress in bizarre and often frightening costumes so that they can go out and solicit candy treats from strangers. These unsuspecting youth are taught to intimidate these same strangers with the taunt: “Trick or treat!” Implying that if you don’t give us a treat, we’ll play a trick (prank) on you.
October 11, annually, is Coming Out Day a time for all gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer (GLBTQ) people to open the closet (secret hiding place) door and step out into the world as a proud member of the GLBTQ community. National Coming Out Day is observed on October 11, in the USA and is also celebrated on October 12, in other countries throughout the world. The term “coming out” is used when persons who are GLBTQ take the steps to let others know of their sexual orientation.
The second Monday of every October is the observed Columbus Day Federal holiday in the USA. It is a national (federal) day set aside to honor Christopher Columbus and the beginning of the colonization of the Americas, both North and South. It is commemorated in some of the individual states in the USA and disregarded in others. It is a controversial observance in that originally it credited Columbus with “discovering” the “New World” when, in fact, all he did was introduce the indigenous populations to exploitation, greed, disease, famine, oppression and theft.