Every semester, the UE creative writing department celebrates one of our favorite holidays: Adam Sandler Day! For those of you not in the department however, you might not be familiar with this legendary – if not at first confusing – holiday. To put it simply, it is a celebration of Adam Sandler, which happens every semester on reading study day, where students from within and outside of the department gather to watch an Adam Sandler movie to share in some laughs and avoid the stress of finals. It’s put on by none other than by Katie Mullins, a professor in UE’s creative writing department.


It all began back in the fall semester of 2017, the semester after Katie had suffered a stroke. Exhausted, she wanted to do something uplifting for both the students and herself. She showed Billy Madison, where Sandler stars as an adult who is going through school again, as she found that it was a humorous reflection of how she herself felt after the stroke. Katie had forgotten, however, that Billy Squier’s song The Stroke played as the end credits scrolled by, which she recalls “sent the room into hysterics.” As ironic as it was, Katie said, “I felt normal, and my kids and Adam Sandler gave that to me.”


Since then, Adam Sandler Day has become a beloved tradition within the department. Every semester on reading study day, students gather in her classroom for a movie, snacks, and fun. “Believe it or not,” Katie said, “a lot of homework gets done and finals get studied for, there are just also things like fake photo booths and tarot readings.” It’s not about actually watching the movie, although seeing Adam Sandler up on the projector is always a plus. It’s about having a safe place to breathe and get away from the stress of finals. “Students need a break between the intensity of the semester and the anxiety of finals. I hope I can give them 4 hours of calm.” Additionally, she uses Adam Sandler Day as a way for being to get to know more people outside of the department and make friends outside of their classes. Anyone is welcome to come, not just students in her classes and the department. Students are encouraged to invite friends from other departments to join in the excitement.


Katie’s appreciation for Adam Sandler started long before she created the holiday. She first saw him on SNL, and even as a kid who prided herself on her intelligence, she couldn’t help but laugh at his silly and ridiculous humor. When she moved to watching his movies, she appreciated that they still held that same humor while also telling lovable stories of the importance of family and what even a goofy person like Sandler’s characters will do for the people he loves. “I always get some good cheap laughs, but it always makes my heart swell, too. I like movies that assume everyone can be the good guy if they choose to do so.”


This semester, Adam Sandler Day is back once again with rom-com 50 First Dates. When asked why she chose this film, she answered, “I love your average Adam Sandler movie about family and connection, but I figured people might enjoy one where the plot is actually as good as the laughs: this is one of his few stories where the narrative is more complicated than ‘do the right thing’.” As the semester draws to an end, anticipation for Adam Sandler Day grows, and the department is already buzzing with excitement. In the movie, Sandler sings along to The Beach Boys’ lyrics, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we were older, and we wouldn’t have to wait so long.” We hear you Adam, and we want the wait to be over too. Don’t worry though. Soon enough, we’ll be older, and Adam Sandler Day will be here once more.

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