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From the mouths of professors

They grade our papers, lead lectures on endless topics and even occasionally eat Sodexo. But what do our professors do on Valentine’s Day?

Whether it is dinner plans or stuffed animals, Valentine’s Day is (in)famous as a day for making plans to show a significant other appreciation and love. We have seen in movies elaborate plans that turn out perfectly and good intentions gone awry, but have we ever thought to consider what our professors are scheming for February 14?

Dr. Kevin Maness could perhaps use a little advice on the subject. He expressed his distress in deciding what to do. Should he spend a small fortune on a dozen roses? The bill on Valentine’s Day can be pretty steep, so is it money well spent? They say that you cannot put a price on love, but for the everyday person it can be pretty pricey.

Professor Rebecca Gidjunis looked back to a particular Valentine’s Day as a teenager. As a single 17-year-old, she had not made any romantic plans for the day, so she and her friends decided to create a day filled with love and appreciation. Instead of praying for boys to show up and sweep them away, they went out shopping and to a nice lunch. They even bought each other flowers.

“I still look back on that as one of my favorite Valentine’s Days,” Gidjunis said. “My friends and I were so happy to just celebrate the people in our lives, whether or not society deemed them ‘significant’ others.”

The commercialism of the day can be a turn-off to some people like Dr. Andy Horvath. But, instead of immediately writing it off, he used to turn the whole thing into a joke, satirizing the fanfare. For his wife, he bought things she hates: pink stuffed animals, heart-shaped balloons, sappy cards and other “junk from the dollar store.” He has even gone as far as to personally deliver the obnoxious gifts to her at work in front of everyone. It was always a joke and he thought that she seemed to enjoy it. Surely her co-workers thought it was cute!

Unfortunately, Horvath’s plans have not always met with success. His wife began to take offense to these gifts, so he has since stopped the flurry of fluffy presents.

“I am back to thinking of creative and more meaningful ways to tell her that I love her on Valentine’s Day—without pink bunnies,” Horvath said.

From funny gifts to serious ones, successful plans to epic fails and significant others to best friends, Valentine’s Day for our professors has taken on different forms. So if you are struggling with your own plans for this year, perhaps your answers lie in the same hands that hold the answers to your exams.

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