Weathering Winter

Adventure Living Learning House members Morgan Walker, Grace Manger, Dr. Pat Ponto, Allison Kennedy, Katie Ring and Kira Sandiford ’15.

Being glad, not SAD, are (top row, l-r) Morgan Walker ’15, Grace Manger ’15, (bottom row) Dr. Pat Ponto, Allison Kennedy ’15, Katie Ring ’15, and Kira Sandiford ’15.

“Cold Weather Catharsis” was the topic of Winter Quarter 2013 Week Three (Jan. 25) Community Reflection in Stetson Chapel. Co-sponsored by the Adventure Living Learning House , several speakers shared ideas on how to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), spice up the season, stay active, and release the pent-up energy of winter.

Chaplain Liz Candido ’00 welcomed the students in the audience, whom she called “the few, the proud, the brave.” Student Chaplain and Adventure Housemate, Katie Ring ’15 outlined her Living Learning House’s recipe for adventurous living, which she said can help shake up winter fatigue. Then Counseling Center Director Dr. Pat Ponto defined SAD as “a kind of depression contained in fall and winter and in a specific latitude.” She says one treatment for the seasonal mood swings include light therapy.

David Graham ’14, leader of the Active Minds student organization, spoke about how Kalamazoo College has invested in four light therapy lamps, which students can check out when they’re feeling the winter blues. “Nobody deserves to feel SAD’s potentially debilitating effects,” he said. Allison Kennedy ’15 read a comical list poem addressed to herself, reciting all the ways she would not give into “the buzz kill of winter.” Adventure Housemate Kira Sandiford ’15 spoke about the Kalamazoo Outing Club, of which she is an board member. Sandiford suggested joining the club on a winter escapade of snowshoeing, cross country skiing, ice climbing, or ice fishing. “It’s a wonderful way to combat SAD,” she said. Adventure Housemate Grace Manger ’15 said she suffers from SAD herself, and spoke about how she “unwinds” by performing stunts with Cirque du K, K’s circus club. Morgan Walker ’15, another Adventure Housemate, offered some practical advice to staying positive under what he called “the weight of winter.” Candido closed the event by urging attendees to “find your winter adventure—something to keep you positive.”

Friday Chapel programs are called Community Reflections and offer a unique forum for discussion, worship, performance, and community expression each Friday at 10:50 AM; refreshments at 10:30. The entire campus community and general public are invited. Week Four’s Community Reflection is called “What’s Love got to do with it? Anti-Racist Activism in the Creation of Beloved Communities” which will feature a conversation about love as an underlying motivator for Social change and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s philosophy of the beloved community as an end result of non-violent social change.