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  • Writer's pictureKieran Fenby-Hulse

The Autumnal Academic: new start, new season.

Hues from a woodland cottage hearth, crisp and crimson orchard apples, hearty harvest festivals. Autumn is a journey to the quieter winter months. For northerners, autumn is a transitional season, a shift from the excitement of summer to the rest and introspection of winter. Connected to ideas of harvest, of leaves falling, of temperatures stalling, Autumn becomes a sign of slowing down, of completing tasks, of finishing things. It’s also a time of preparation for the cold winter months, of filling cups, festivals, and strengthening our reserves.

The start of a new academic year feels out of sync with Autumn’s mood. The academic year brings new starts and new students, new courses and new connections, new ambitions and new objectives. Out-of-sync, we work against the season, we start rather than store, we expand rather than recess. We hurtle towards winter, unprepared for it’s bite, it’s pace.

To be an autumnal academic would be to walk at pace with the season. Amidst the chaos of a new term and new tasks, the autumnal academic, suited in mauve, tangerine orange, and leaf green, takes time to gather, to draw together, and to prepare for the Winter months ahead.

Winter brings time to reflect and to look inward, time to recalibrate before the buoyancy of Spring, a time for emergence, ideation, and fresh smelling perspectives. Can we learn from the Autumnal Academic? Can we work with the season and against the unsuited academic calendar? Can we find time to finish, to fill our larders full with seedy philosophical damson jam? Can we find time for loud and joyous festivals of nourishment and of fulfilment? Can we commune and sing with others through celebrations of progress? Can we find time to ease towards winter? Can we turn green-yellow-red and gently lilt towards the earthy and supportive ground of winter?

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