Happy winter solstice! It is the shortest day of the year today, the point at which the northern hemisphere of earth is tilted as far away from the sun as it will get during the year... before it begins to tilt back again. It always seemed a little weird to me that the days should start to get lighter even as the weather continues to get colder. Although, with the weather we’ve been having these days, you’d never know that we’re not in what is typically the coldest time of the year. It was -17 C on my walk to work yesterday morning and -14 today, with wind chill well below -20 on both days. We’re not supposed to get back above freezing until Sunday, and even then only barely.
In more positive news, the fall semester has come to a successful end. We had our undergraduate graduation thesis presentations this morning, which is typically the last official departmental event of the year. I’ve also finished up my grading for the semester—although I’m still waiting on a few late submissions, so I probably won’t be posting the final grades until next week. I will take a bit of a break over the holiday weekend, including a visit to family on Sunday and possibly a day out with HJ on Christmas itself. As I have mentioned here in years past, Christmas isn’t really a family holiday in Korea; it’s more a holiday for couples. Well, HJ and I qualify as both a couple and a family, so I figure we’ve got things covered. I’m still not sure what we’re going to do. It should be a little warmer on Christmas, but the current forecast is for a high of about 2 degrees, so we’ll have to see how it goes.
Once the holiday weekend has passed, I will be shifting gears and trying to get a number of projects done that need attending to. I will not bore you with the details; suffice it to say that these are things that have been put on the back burner and need to be repositioned to the front burner again.
I think that will be all for today, though. This is just one of those short notes to mark the passage of time, and the solstice seems as good a time to do it as any. So I will wish you a happy winter solstice (again), along with a merry Christmas, a happy new year, and whatever other ritual occasion you may be celebrating. May your year end in peace, and I’ll see you in 2024.