The weather, as is its wont this time of year, has taken a turn for the autumnal. Keats’s season of mists and mellow fruitfulness arrives some time between Labor Day and the September Equinox, this Thursday. That’s when days start getting shorter in earnest.
The day after, Sept. 23, is when mid-term grades are due for classes at UNCG. This semester, teachers will be entering an official mid-term grade in an effort to give students a clearer idea of their progress earlier in the semester than usual. In my role as a teacher, although I don’t use a traditional grading model, I hope to see this strategy promote transparency around assessment and help UNCG students assess their approach to coursework.
I often remind my students (and myself) to be as communicative as possible early in the semester in order to avoid letting the workload become overwhelming. As autumn progresses (and bends with apples the moss’d cottage-trees), it’s important to notice where you may be struggling as a student or where responsibilities could put you at risk of burnout. Fall is traditionally for melancholy souls, but in my experience it’s easier to deal with the cold and dark if you’re feeling comfortable about succeeding as a student.
The first of October, incidentally, marks the opening of FAFSA availability. Oct. 7 is the deadline for undergraduates to apply to graduate, and also, importantly, the last day to withdraw from classes without receiving a WF on your transcript. As a teacher, I always emphasize this date with my students. My colleagues and I talk frequently about the difficulties students face when they reach the end of the semester and find that they can’t pass a course for one reason or another.
While it’s obviously not ideal to lose the money you’ve paid for a class, students who’ve reached the mid-term and realized from their grades or attendance issues that they’re unlikely to pass a class, may want to talk to their professors and advisors about the relative benefit of dropping before this date to keep from having an F calculated into their GPA, which may be especially difficult early in college when there isn’t much going into the average.
That Friday, Oct. 7, is also the beginning of Fall Break, which at UNCG lasts through the weekend and the following Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, Oct. 12, while barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day, students and teachers will return, hopefully refreshed, and find that advising has begun for undergraduates. On Oct. 24, registration for spring semester begins, answering the old question, “Where are the [classes] of Spring? Ay, where are they?”
Hallowe’en, as usual, comes on Oct. 31, and quick on its heels comes midterm election day, Nov. 8. This is a Tuesday, so students and teachers may want to think ahead about their voting plans, including whether voting early or by mail is an option and checking up on their registration status. North Carolina is electing a United States senator this cycle, along with House of Representatives, state and local elections—and sometimes like a gleaner the voter dost keep steady their laden head across a brook.
The last day of classes before Thanksgiving is Tuesday, Nov. 22, and students return again for the final stretch the following Monday, Nov. 28. Classes end just two days later, on Wednesday, Nov. 30, followed by Reading Day on Thursday and then final exams stretching from Dec. 2 to 8. As gathering swallows twitter in the skies, and fall winds its way into winter, the term ends with December Commencement on the ninth, followed by final grade submission on the tenth.