Archives—May 2011

Feels Like Summer

The sixth annual Parade of Thanks took place last Saturday on Sheldon Avenue.

With temperatures reaching the upper 60s this past weekend, students in the Houghton area were heading to the nature parks, hiking trails, and waterfalls.  Although 60 degrees may not seem very warm to some of you, for Michigan Tech students this modest increase in temperatures symbolizes the start of summer.  Several Michigan Tech students made their way to the local beaches this weekend and a few of the brave even went swimming in Lake Superior, which is rarely ever above 50 degrees!  Many students are hoping that the weather will continue to warm up and be sunny for the upcoming Memorial Weekend.  Most students do not have Friday classes in the summer and all students are dismissed from class for Memorial Day Recess on Monday.  Memorial Weekend provides students with the opportunity to take some time off from the fast pace of summer courses and enjoy the local area.    Whether it’s camping, biking, hiking, or a car trip along the Keweenaw shoreline, there is lots to enjoy this weekend.

Memorial Day Events

The Memorial Day remembrance ceremonies began this past weekend with the Parade of Thanks.  The sixth annual Parade of Thanks took place on Saturday, May 21 at 10 a.m. in downtown Houghton.  The parade honored armed forces personnel and veterans.  To continue the remembrance of those who passed away in active military service, the Fort Wilkins Historical State Park Memorial Day Ceremony will be held on Monday, May 30 at 10 a.m. at Fort Wilkins State Park in Copper Harbor.  The program will include the Keweenaw Detachment #1016 United States Marine Corps League, a student program by the Copper Harbor School, a musical tribute, and a Memorial Day address.

Ride the Keweenaw Weekend

Riding the Copper Harbor Trails at last year’s Ride the Keweenaw Weekend. Photo Credit: The Copper Harbor Trails Club

Also taking place this weekend, Friday, May 27 through Sunday, May 29,  is the second annual Ride the Keweenaw Weekend hosted by the Copper Harbor Trails Club.  The Ride the Keweenaw Weekend originated last year as a celebration of the Copper Harbor Mountain Bike Trails being designated by the International Mountain Bicycling Association as an “Epic Ride”.  The rating of “Epic Ride” is one of the best designations a bike trail can receive.  The Copper Harbor Mountain Bike Trails received the “Epic Ride” designation because of the diversity of the trails, the thrill of the ride, the beauty of the surrounding area, and the collaboration of the people who make the trail system a success.

The weekend’s events include food, music, demonstrations, and of course biking on the “Epic Trails”. On Saturday, May 28 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., there will be guided tours for the Michigan Tech Trails, the Churning Rapid Trails, and the Swedetown Trails. On Saturday evening in Copper Harbor Park there will be live music and a barbecue. On Sunday, May 29 there will be demonstrations and more biking! All proceeds from the weekend’s events will go toward funding the Keweenaw Point Trail Project. The plans for the Keweenaw Point Trail Project is to create another trail approximately 25 miles long that will travel along the shoreline at the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula. At this time the project is estimated to cost $10,000 for each mile of the trail, which is expected to be eight to ten miles long.  The Copper Harbor Trails Club is hosting the Ride the Keweenaw Weekend as one way of raising funds for the project. When the funding for this project comes through the trail would improve the local area not only in a recreational manner but also economically.   The addition of a waterfront mountain bike trail to a trail system already designated as an “Epic Ride” would increase the number of visitors to the surrounding area significantly.

I hope students and parents alike enjoy the beginning of summer!  Please feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or suggestions you may have. Don’t forget to check back for next week’s article in which I will be writing about the Seaman Mineral Museum.

Staying Active in the Keweenaw

Keweenaw Bike to Work Day

A Michigan Tech student participating in a local mountain bike race. Photo Credit: Brockit Inc.

It seems summer weather has reached Houghton just in time for Keweenaw Bike to Work Day! The forecast for the next week is expected to be primarily sunny with temperatures in the low to mid 60′s. Perfect weather for biking!  May is National Bike Month and May 16-20 is Bike to Work Week.  To help promote the healthy and environmentally friendly transportation of biking, the Houghton Area will be holding the third annual Keweenaw Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 20.

To further encourage people in the local area to bike to work this Friday there are several events taking place throughout the day for those who choose non-motorized transportation. Those who register for Keweenaw Bike to Work Day will be entered into the raffle and will have the opportunity to win great prizes that are donated by local merchants!  On Friday there will also be snack, prize giveaway, and bike safety check stations throughout the Keweenaw Peninsula.  All-day throughout Calumet, Laurium, Hancock, and Houghton, police officers and Bike to Work Day volunteers will be handing out water bottles.  From 7-10 a.m. and from 4-6 p.m. there will be snack stations across the Keweenaw Peninsula and from 4-6 p.m. there will be bike safety checks.

Copper Country Cycling Club

If your student is interested in cycling, he or she may enjoy participating in some of the events that are put on by the Copper Country Cycling Club.  The Copper Country Cycling Club, otherwise known as C4, is one of Michigan Tech’s student organizations.  This Friday, for Keweenaw Bike to Work Day, the Copper Country Cycling Club will be assisting with bike tuning and safety check stations.  The Copper Country Cycling Club works to promote bicycling and an active lifestyle by assisting with cycling events in the local community, working to maintain the university’s trail system, and organizing races.  The Copper Country Cycling Club also has a collegiate mountain bike team that competes in NCCA Division II Midwestern races.  Students interested in joining in this student organization can participate in the Midwestern races or may choose to assist with the other activities and events the organization holds.

Michigan Tech Trails

If your student enjoys mountain biking there is no need to look far!  The Michigan Tech Trails located by the Student Development complex provide students year-round outdoor recreational fun with 35 kilometers of trails for cross country skiing, mountain biking, and running!  There are trails of varying difficulty so your student will never get bored.  Check out the Mountain Biking Trails for detailed trail routes.  Throughout the Keweenaw Peninsula there are miles of trails, several of which are rated as some of the best in the Midwest.  For more information on the trails located in the Keweenaw check out the Keweenaw Trails and Maps.

Please feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or suggestions you may have. Don’t forget to check back for next week’s article in which I will be writing about the upcoming Ride the Keweenaw Weekend.

Let Summer Begin!

The Successful Completion of an Academic Year

Blizzard T. Husky outfitted in a cap and gown for graduation!

Congratulations Michigan Tech students and families, you have successfully made it through this academic year!  That is quite an accomplishment!  Students, I hope you conquered your final exams and passed all your courses with flying colors.  For graduating students, the last couple of weeks have been especially meaningful.  It is a truly great achievement to graduate from Michigan Technological University.  On Saturday, April 30, 753 undergraduates, 156 masters, and 48 Ph.D students graduated.  I am so thankful  and proud to be able to join this class of graduates as I received my Bachelors degree in Psychology.  Parents and family members, I would like to recognize you for the support and encouragement that you have offered your student during their time at Michigan Tech.  I strongly believe that it is your commitment to your student’s success that has prepared your student to create the future both at Michigan Tech and around the world.

Summer Courses

The spring semester has officially come to a close and this week marks the start of Track A summer courses.   Each summer several Michigan Tech students take courses on campus or online from Michigan Tech.  Summer courses are a great way for students to stay on track with their degree requirements.  Even taking just one or two summer classes can allow students to take a smaller course load during the academic year or allow for students to take a co-op during the academic year and still graduate in four years.  I spent the last two summers taking courses at Michigan Tech.  By taking summer courses, Track A and Track B for two summers, I was able to graduate a year early.  I really enjoyed taking summer courses.  One of the key things to taking summer courses is to make sure to stay on top of the course readings and assignments.  Most summer courses are offered Monday through Thursday for seven weeks, requiring students to attend the course period four days a week.  This means that homework or reading may be assigned and be due the next day.  Course periods in the summer also tend to be a little bit longer than they are in the academic year.  This means it is important for students taking summer courses to attend all course sessions, and take notes and stay awake during course sessions.  Although taking summer courses may sound like a lot of work, it is a great way to get a couple of harder courses out of the way while enjoying the opportunity to study on the beach.

Summer is a great time to explore the Keweenaw and find waterfalls.

I have found that one of the best part of taking summer courses on campus is the opportunity you have as a student to enjoy all that the Houghton area has to offer in the summertime.  Since summer courses typically run Monday through Thursday it is easy for students to spend their three day weekends exploring the Keweenaw Peninsula and participating in the local festivities.  There are several things to do in the local area over the summer.  Some of the summer festivities students enjoy participating in include Keweenaw Bike to Work Day, the Bridgefest, the local Fourth of July celebrations, and the Strawberry Festival.  Throughout this summer I plan on highlighting the various upcoming local events.

Students Returning Home

For those of you who have a student returning home for the summer, you may notice some changes in your interactions with your student.  Going away to college and living away from home provides students with valuable experiences that prepare them to enter the work force and eventually live entirely on their own.  Over your student’s time living away from home you may find that your student’s schedule no longer matches that of your family’s or that your student has created their own set of routines and habits.  You may also find that your student is somewhat reluctant to return home.  It is most likely not that your student does not want to live with you or spend time with you, but that they miss their college friends and the life that they have created away from home.  As students begin to see others around them graduating, they too are looking forward to finishing their degree, getting a full-time job and gaining further independence.  As your student returns home I encourage you to talk with your student about their experiences  living away from home and engage in a discussion of your expectations for one another.  Being back together as a family for the summer can be lots of fun.  Enjoy your time with your student!

Please feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or suggestions you may have. Don’t forget to check back for next week’s article in which I will be writing about the upcoming Keweenaw Bike to Work Day.