Pacific Magazine - Volume 16, Number 3

School's not out in summer

Mission to serve never takes a vacation at FPU

“Good sleeping weather.”

With those words Stu the sports guy annually announced autumn’s arrival to the newsroom at one of the Midwest daily papers I used to call a paycheck. Stu was our balding and bespectacled Capistrano swallow. No Punxsutawney Phil, he, predicting what weather might be. Stu was a reporter, not a pundit. He spoke when the temperature dropped. Not before.

We fellow staffers considered this pronouncement part of the fall ritual, right up there with the turning of the leaves and the opening of the sweater drawers. It confirmed that life went on and was sometimes regular. Sure, we made jokes, but we’d have missed Stu’s words had he stayed silent. I miss them now.

Cycles are what weather is all about, and no one knows that better than people in and around agriculture. Even city folks in the Valley learn to keep one eye on the sky and one ear on the TV or radio reports. Fall and spring may rush by as fast as downtown Minkler, while summer drags like root canal in overtime, but each season contributes to the rhythm of the year.

Time can change rhythms, however. The agricultural calendar once designated summer as downtime for education. With lots to do on the farm, every hand was needed in the field—time enough for school in winter when there’s little to do but water the livestock.

Today we measure time in seconds rather than seasons and there’s always plenty to do everywhere. Especially at FPU. While some faces become scarce around campus in summer, others stay and new ones appear. Graduate and degree completion classes continue at the same rate, and special programs bring fresh opportunities to minister in new ways. No summer siestas here.

For every time there is a season.

The time to fulfill our mission is always

because our values are ever in season.

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