November did produce a happier note from a nearby university campus with Kent State President Beverly Warren's asserted goal to make her school "America's healthiest university". She devoted a lot of her first State of the University speech to her vision of a place where physical fitness counts.
For me it was a refreshing departure from the flood of defensive metrics that have been pouring from the lips of the management team that's running the University of Akron these days. Sorry, Ohio's Polytechnic University. How could I have forgotten?
In case you missed the report in the Beacon Journal, Warren's fitness landscape ranged from concerns about processed food, to fuller exercise routines to health insurance discounts for those who participate in the programs.
She also talked of encouraging students to have a positive mission in life that could lead, say, a geology student working toward society's "access to clean water" and other "positive impacts on the environment".
I haven't heard much of that kind of talk from the upper reaches of higher education of late. But who would disagree that a learning experience must embrace all of those who enter the outside world from the campus with a diploma in one hand as well as a grip by the other hand on the critical issues we all face today.
So, thank you, President Warren. There are some of us in these parts who needed that lift from a titled educator.