Let the sound of tubas inspire you this week.

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It’s true: there are many times when I miss being in college. Today, the Sunday before Finals Week, is not one of them. It’s 3:00 p.m. and I’m still in my pajamas (as I’m sure many of you diligent scholars are as well), but I don’t have a paper or an exam looming over me. It’s a wonderful feeling. I do sympathize with all of you students though. I’ve been there, and I’ve survived. Don’t forget to take regular study breaks to increase the capacity of your brain. This will all be over soon and you’ll have a lovely 4-week break to spend relaxing.

Napping was always my favorite type of study break.

Speaking of a study break, did any of you stop by the Old Capitol steps on Friday afternoon? It was the campus tradition of Holiday Tubas! The weather was absolutely frigid, but there was still a decently-sized crowd gathered on the Pentacrest to hear some Christmas carols and other winter tunes.

It's "tu-bad" if you missed out on this....get it? Too bad. Tuba. Ha. Ok sorry, that was awful.

Here’s an excerpt of the joyous Christmas hymn “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer” for you to enjoy: TUBAS. You will notice in the video the fierce winds raging, but despite the cold we still ran into several friends in the crowd. One of the great things about Iowa is that even though it’s a large school, sometimes it feels like one big family. There are so many events and places that really bring people together.

[Stars of the video (in order of appearance): Eric Rossow, Student Org-estrator for the Center for Student Involvement & LeadershipAaron Parker, former Admission Counselor (and blogger) turned Children’s Medicine Moneymaker for the UI Foundation; Sheila Schechinger, Admissions Guru; Tara “Had a Little” Lamb, another former Admission Counselor turned Advisor Extraordinaire for the College of Nursing; and Betsy Winter, former Tuba Virtuoso and current Admission Counselor (and in case you were wondering, winter is her least favorite season, I asked her the other day.]

So good luck to all of you students on your finals! Remember that these tests and papers are but a sentence in the grand book of your life. They may, however, partially dictate how the next chapter unfolds, so study hard and do your best!

Just in case I don’t write anything again before the sun sets on 2011, I hope everyone makes the most of time spent with family and friends this holiday season, and I will see you all back here in 2012!

Taken on a drive through those beautiful Iowa cornfields.