Message From the Chancellor (COVID-19 April 1, 2020 5:49 p.m.)

The value of perspective

Dear TWU Community,

April Fool's Day is cancelled this year because no prank could match the unbelievable stuff going on in the world right now

I hope this message finds you well as we start April with courage and hope.

Coronavirus is unaware of month or day, not at all like landlords and mortgage lenders. The first of the month may spark a more acute awareness about the economic reality right now. I have been grateful for messages from students and others who have shared their need before it becomes a crisis. There should never be shame in asking for help, least of all now. I wish I had a way to fix everything magically; I don’t!

What I do believe is that early communication about problems and perseverance in finding solutions has served me well in my life. I have heard stories about ways you are reaching out at this time of the month to those in your social circles. Even though you may not have financial resources to help others, offering your ear to listen is powerful. Sharing our struggles, disparate though they may be, can be a source of strength, giving us the courage to persevere in finding a way forward.

Throughout my life, I have been fascinated by the value of perspective. That is why I became a linguist. Each language is like seeing the world out a different window. The outside does not change, but what I see and how I see it can be very different. Some of you have shared your woes about learning online. Others, like my son Max, have told me that it is so much less stressful to “read on my own, do homework, figure things out, and take tests.” I believe the key phrase there is: “figure things out!” I believe that is precisely what higher education is all about, and I think it has special meaning as we all “figure things out” here at the start of a new month, in a world that looks so different from what we have known.

'Wherever you go, the sky is the same color.' Persian saying

I want to end with a Persian proverb: “Wherever you go, the sky is the same color.” My hope for April is that we “figure things out” together.

With a pioneering spirit,

Carine M. Feyten
Chancellor Feyten, Ph.D.

P.S. For the latest information, check out TWU’s COVID-19 webpage.

Page last updated 8:39 AM, April 23, 2020