Thursday Advisory Groups. TAG. Everyone’s favorite thirty minutes to sit on Zoom (or in person) to discuss (or sit in very awkward silence) the most pressing issues in our lives as academics, humans, and global citizens. As an in-person Winter Term 2 approaches, there are numerous topics that could, and dare I say need, be discussed in the 4-5 critical group meetings we will have this term.
For the first week, I suggest that the topic should be about how to discuss such personal and difficult topics with a group of people you don’t interact with, finally breaking the ice and ending the stilted conversations that have previously plagued TAG meetings. (Does Ms. Lynn Lyons have a webinar about social anxiety?). In thirty short minutes, everyone will finally be able to spill their deepest insecurities without any hesitance in future weeks because that’s how human psychology works, right?
Since some students may be barred from leaving campus for over 15 weeks, the next meeting should be about how to fill this time without going incredibly stir-crazy or gaining a newfound claustrophobia. And since we’ve already established in the previous meeting that there will no longer be any barriers to deep and meaningful conversation, everyone’s greatest fears will be revealed, explained, and then hopefully quelled. We also will gain a newfound appreciation for never-ending Flik dining, the fire escape in Brush (who even knew that area existed until this year?), and the endless time spent on our dorm floors.
The third week marks the first TAG meeting after the conclusion of the Loomis Chaffee Stock Market Game, so I think it may be a good opportunity to revisit the unused financial literacy theme—taught by the winners of the challenge, of course. Because we all know that to be comfortable in life, the best thing one can do for themselves is make absurdly risky investments hoping to make it big. (Is there a risk that you lose everything? Yes, of course, but we don’t acknowledge it).
Moving towards the end of the term, it will be important to discuss rest and relaxation, especially as we power through the first third of 15 consecutive weeks of school. In this meeting, advisors can discuss with their students on how to take advantage of the random Wednesdays and long weekends scattered throughout these weeks because those days will obviously serve as more than enough time to reinvigorate our spirits and work ethics.
And in the final week, TAG should deal with the fun and lighthearted topic of returning to the beginning of 2021. What lessons can we learn? How can we, as a country, learn to not commit insurrection? How can we convince ourselves that vaccines do not come from the devil and are not just a byproduct of our government’s desire to track us (you know, if vaccine rollout ever speeds up—at this rate, this may not even be a worry we must face). By this point, everyone in the group advisories will have already become the best of friends, so these discussions will be ever more fruitful than the ones during WT1.