By Doug Ward

We don’t know the last time the first day of classes was canceled.

We’re guessing it was January 1892, when the temperature fell to minus 23, the bottoms of thermometers shattered, and students started using the phrase “froze my bottom off” (or something approximating that).Cover of Pupil magazine

Of course, everyone was hardier back then, having to walk five miles to campus barefoot through the snow and fend off wolves with their bare, frostbitten hands and all. At least that’s what our elders told us. So everyone may have just shrugged off the lethally cold temperatures in 1892 and showed up for class as usual.

Unfortunately, Pupil magazine didn’t exist then, so we may never know. Thankfully, it does exist today, and we have a new issue available! (No applause necessary. Our frozen fingers and toes and ears and hair follicles are tender, too.) After hunkering down in a perpetual shiver for five straight days, you no doubt need a laugh.

Please don’t laugh too hard, though. The polar bear may hear you.

Polar bear?

Shh. Have a great start to the semester!

Doug Ward is associate director of the Center for Teaching Excellence and an associate professor of journalism and mass communications.

By Doug WardCover of Pupil magazine with an orange-haired person sitting in a booth with a pile of keyboards

We just looked at our office clock and realized that it was already March.

After we did some deep-breathing exercises and some puzzling over what happened to February, we realized the upside of losing track of time:

Spring break is only days – yes, days! – away.

We know how time can drag when you use an office clock as a calendar, though. So to help you get over those extra-long days before break, we offer the latest issue of Pupil magazine.

This is a themed issue, focusing on artificial intelligence, a topic that has generated almost as much academic froth as Prince Harry’s biography and Rhianna’s floating above the precious turf at the Super Bowl and singing “Rude Boy,” which we assumed was a critique of Prince Harry’s book.

OK, so we’re exaggerating about the academic froth, but we will say that we have uncovered a jaw-dropping secret about ChatGPT. It’s so astounding that we are sure it will make the days until break float by with ease.

Doug Ward is associate director of the Center for Teaching Excellence and an associate professor of journalism and mass communications at the University of Kansas.

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