There are many things I appreciate about fall; the crisper air, leaves changing, seasonal drinks, and parking in California going back to normal (sorry out-of-state vacationers, I’m not the best at parallel parking and it’s rough out here). This summer has been a HOT one, and with fire season starting earlier and earlier in California, many of us hope for a cooler, wetter fall with less winds resulting in less fires. With that, we’ve been blessed with a few cool and cloudy days since the start of fall, but it’s difficult to fully predict where we’ll be in a month from now when fire season is in full swing. All environmental things aside, now that the fall equinox has passed, life is starting to settle back into a non-summer flow and pumpkins are appearing at all of your local grocery stores, I figured, why not join the kids and refresh our memories on what the fall equinox really is and why in the world do we have this tinder falling from trees come September and October?
Like most people, I probably learned about the seasons in grade school, but have no recollection of this knowledge other than the fact that I might’ve made a collage that my parents have stored away in a box in their garage. For the average Joe, the autumnal equinox doesn’t really mean much more than an acceptable time to drink pumpkin flavored things and put up some seasonal décor (it’s me, I’m average Joe). For astronomers, it’s a biannual phenomenon where the sun directly passes over the celestial equator (invisible line through the center of the Earth) and signifies the start of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere and the start of spring in the Southern Hemisphere.
The word equinox comes from the latin root “aequues” meaning equal, and “nox” meaning night, literally translating to equal night. The two equinoxes a year are the only two days that day and night are the same amount of time (it actually depends on where you are but that’s our little secret), and that’s why the sun starts rising a bit later and setting a bit earlier here in the Northern Hemisphere. This decrease in daylight in the Northern Hemisphere is what causes the trees to change colors, not the cold air or the trees feeling festive. Trees use sunlight to photosynthesize light into their energy, and without those long days, there’s not enough energy for them to sustain their leaves, so they change colors and fall to the ground. Hence the seasonal name “fall” (or “fire season” to bring that full circle).
Now I know you all didn’t open this newsletter to learn about the seasons and leaves, photosynthesis, or my hatred for finding parking in summer, but I wanted to use this as a reminder that things happen all around us that we may not notice or think about until someone points it out or we learn about it. I recently attended a keynote by Scott Hanselman at DynamicsCon (feel free to rewatch his keynote, or any other session here), and he spoke about this fact of life that really resonated with me, we’re all amateurs and we’re constantly expanding our knowledge. He mentioned that there are no professionals, just people who recognize patterns that they’ve seen before, and that some people have seen more patterns and thereby know how to handle them. All learning is, is recognizing patterns and knowing what do with them.
That being said, the technology that you may have worked with at the beginning of your career, probably isn’t the same technology you work with today (here’s where I insert Windows 365 and Hololens, things we couldn’t have even imagined in say, the 1950s or 1960s). Technology aside, the most important thing you can learn as you grow, is how to learn. The world is evolving and changing, and (consciously or subconsciously) so are you, and hopefully somewhere along the line you learned how to learn.
Take this mini anecdote as you may, but maybe this can be a reminder that every person you meet can help teach you something (and vise versa). Whether that’s your grandchild teaching you how to use your new smart blinds that roll up at the click of a button, or you teaching your friend how to turn on a printer, we’re all amateurs out here so why not embrace it. So, with this long winded and slightly off-track story about the equinox, I hope you learned something new. And please, if there’s anything new that you learn and you want to share it, feel free to reach out to me anytime! I thoroughly enjoy new knowledge and my LinkedIn inbox is open for any of you patient enough to teach me.
All the best & happy pumpkin season to all of my fall lovers,
Abby Korsen – M365 Account Manager
News You Should Know
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