The third quarter of the academic year is always the hardest. The cycle of the academic year has always been the same. We return from the joys of a vacation and a break and embark on the Fall with zeal and energy. Then as the nights get longer, we are blessed with the gifts of the finest American holiday invention, namely Thanksgiving, followed by the joy of the arrival of the Christ Child. Then we hit January. February and March are brutal. It is Lent; we are very conscious of our brokenness. We are tired, exhausted, and anxious.
It is always the same. Every Rector, every leader of a major organization, will tell you. An incident in October can create a problem; the same size incident in March can create a massive problem. In addition, we behave less well. We will give up on worship because it doesn't suit; we will cease making the effort to talk to those we find hard; and instead we form a little bubble of our own.
Dr. James Farwell invited the Faculty into a powerful Lenten discipline at the last Faculty meeting. He had listed all the Faculty and set their names against each day of Lent. He wanted us to deliberately and consciously lift each other up in prayer. It was a wonderful idea. What better way to sweep away the March blues than place each other into the presence of God. Prayer is the best antidote to this seasonal dip in energy.
The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D. Dean and President