Every four years we add an extra day at the end of February in order to keep the calendar in line with the Earth’s movement around the sun. The normal calendar has 365 days in the year, but the Earth actually takes 365.2421 days to complete a full rotation around the sun. This extra day is added every four years in order to keep us on track with the quarter of a difference within the rotation.
Cleverly named “Leap” year because each date on the calendar jumps ahead two days of the week instead of just one. Although adding a day to a calendar doesn’t seem to change a day-to-day occurrence, the quarter day would throw off the consistency of the astronomical year.
Since the “holiday” isn’t considered to be impactful there is little to no information taught to students about the importance of having a Leap Year.
“I feel like I learned about it in elementary school, and we’d have a day dedicated to it, but other than that I don’t think it impacts too many people’s lives,” Lauren Hunter, student said. “Unless your birthday falls on it.”
While it may not be important to some, Phi Theta Kappa makes sure to take advantage of the extra day by hosting a teacher and staff appreciation event where students were able to fill out thank you cards for faculty. This leap year, the celebration was held Friday, Feb. 28, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. outside of COM 201.
“[When planning the event] our idea was that leap day is about getting more than you expected or getting more than you that you planned on,” Ashley Hooley-Lickteig, vice president of communications said. “So, we wanted to take the time and acknowledge the staff members, faculty and professors that step up and go above and beyond for us and help us succeed.”
The event was organized by Nellie Schuckman, Phi Theta Kappa adviser, along with the help of the officer board. Both Schuckman and the board scheduled the event and are responsible for getting the letters to the teachers. Along with Hooley-Lickteig, the board consists of two other members: Taylor Reed, president and Christina Rause, vice president of services.
The board prepared 40 letters and envelopes for students to fill out, writing their appreciation for specific teachers who have impacted their educational experience and beyond. Karli Swedlund, student, wrote one to her art professor, thanking him for his help this semester.
“I wrote [a letter] for Sam Davis in the art department, he’s my ceramics teacher and he’s just the best,” Swedlund said. “He’s been a huge inspiration for me, and I’ve only had him as a teacher for a semester. I know I’ve really grown as an artist the past semester, and it’s all because of him. He really is just a great teacher.”
Hooley-Lickteig considered the event to be a success with a little over 25 cards getting filled out. Some students focused their appreciation on a single teacher, while others wrote to an entire department.
“I know that [as students] having three, four or five classes can be stressful, so I can only imagine how stressful it is [as a teacher] having to manage 80 or 100 students,” Hooley-Lickteig said. “I hope that this encourages our staff members by showing them that we are seeing how hard they work to help us and that we really do appreciate it.”
This event was in conjunction with Phi Theta Kappa’s Awareness Week which had a goal to bring more awareness to the honor society and what they do. For students looking for more information about joining PTK or getting involved can contact adviser Nellie Schuckman or visit their office in COM 201.
Story by Alieu Jagne