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Campus update for April 27, 2020

April 27, 2020

Dear students,

You and your parents received a message from President Bahls this morning about our plans for the fall semester. If it got lost in your inbox (happens to us, too), here is a link.

Today's updates:

• Seniors: Join the Office of Alumni Relations at 7 p.m. this Thursday to learn about Last Lecture, graduation details and homecoming plans, the Augustana Alumni network, Alumni Board and more. There will be info on the GOLD Council, and opportunities after  graduation, plus a message from President Bahls.

• Campus Rec is launching Mission Control — an e-sports league — starting May 4. Download the app and register to play with your friends and win prizes.

• The Global Engagement Team and Office of International Student and Scholar Services is creating a video that takes us "around the globe" with our Augie community. They are looking for your submission!

• Take Back the Night has gone virtual. Register to join in — the event is 8-9 p.m. this Thursday. 

• Dat Poetry Lounge is hosting a virtual "Night of Snaps" open mic at 8 p.m. Thursday live on Instagram @datpoetrylounge. This commemorates April as National Poetry Month. If you would like to perform, contact All forms of art are welcome!

• If you have not moved out of campus housing yet and want to get your stuff, instructions will be coming soon from the Office of Residential Life.

• Housing selection is next week. The deadline to submit an application is TONIGHT at 11:59 p.m. Everyone who submits an application by the deadline will get an appointment time to select housing. Make sure you have your roommates selected in the system. Here are instructions for selecting roommates and rooms.

• Email Kirsten Day for an invite to the Classics lecture at 4:30 today.

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Today’s video: Shades of Beauty: What leveling up means

Today's recipe: Pickle Wrap Pizza

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So Shakespeare, so what?

Jennifer Popple, assistant professor of theatre arts

Have you seen the memes about William Shakespeare and his artistic output during the Plague of 1606? In case you haven't seen them, here's the one that I first saw:

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When Cash tweeted that, emails started flying around from friends and colleagues, and multiple family members called to interrogate me about the exact truth behind this, to which I had to shrug and say, "You know William Shakespeare was a pseudonym for Beyonce, the immortal being who was into writing plays back then, right?"

The exact "truth" about these memes and Shakespeare's writing is unknown, but the evidence does suggest that Shakespeare wrote some of his greatest tragedies and poems during a couple of plagues and periods of political unrest in England. But what do we do with these truths?

First, I think we continue to appreciate the beautiful art that has been produced in this world — and by art, I mean all sorts of things: paintings, music, athletics, photography, and yes, theatre.

I can't rehearse and present the plays I'm used to working on with my Augie students, and I miss it. But I can watch some of the gorgeous productions that companies are offering online, and I can read and re-read works by playwrights from the past and present. Art continues to bring us together, and until we can practice it and experience it physically together, we can engage with and talk about it together.

Second, we can practice grace with ourselves. It does no good to feel guilt about the fact that I am not going to produce the next King Lear during this time. I am OK with that. We can dream of the things we will be able to work on when we are together again, and do what we need to do to live day-to-day, connecting with the people in our home and outside of it in the ways we can.

Third, we can speak the truths about how we are doing. In re-reading "King Lear," I marvel at so many of the lines in that play about being honest about how we are doing. At the very end of the play, Edgar says, "Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say."

So don't be afraid to reach out to us — your professors, your friends and classmates, your family members, counselors, and coaches, and speak what you are feeling.

Fourth, do your best to tap into your sense of humor when and how you can. There were many hilarious responses to the initial tweet I posted above, but this one is my favorite:

Bob Vulfov @bobvulfov
incredible achievements while under quarantine:
shakespeare: wrote king lear
isaac newton: laid the foundations for his laws of motion
me: invented the peanut butter and jelly taco

And there we have our modern day King Lear! Who knows, maybe it can come from one of us. Take care, remember we are here for you, and we love hearing from you (in meme form or any other).


maddy murillo and daniel artman '20

Congratulations to seniors Maddy Murillo (basketball) and Daniel Artman (soccer) for winning the CCIW's Merle Chapman Leadership Award. This award especially honors loyalty, enthusiasm, leadership, sportsmanship, and a commitment to academic, athletic and personal excellence.