So much has happened in the last two years. . . let me sum up. The good news? I still have a full-time faculty job. The bad news? Too many others don’t. Yes, my university has gone through the wringer. Truth be told, we’re still in the midst of matters and it’s a big ol’ mess. Here’s the CBC story covering the provincial auditor’s preliminary report on the matter.
Those of us who remain are becoming experts at doing more with less. I’ve said too many goodbyes, among them the cheerful kind that comes at convocation where students celebrate their triumphs and share their plans of what comes next. But too many of my goodbyes have been sad ones: of careers cut short or student dreams denied. I also bid my beloved Siberian cat, Sisu, goodbye, last December when cancer finally got the better of her.
We had already welcomed Gráinne into our lives at that point. Named after the pirate queen of Connacht, she is small but imperious: a worthy successor to Sisu. Along with Kaiser, the two cats keep us busy.
I’m working, as much as possible, from my home office this summer. After being dismissed as Chair of History when our department was amalgamated with all the others in the Faculty, I’m now a sort of “super-chair”: Director of the School of Liberal Arts. It’s a fancy term for someone who’s good at signing a lot of digital paperwork and supporting students in programs from English through Law & Justice. I’m also getting to teach some of my favourite courses along with one new one: a second-year class on Games and History. Lots of reading, lots of administrivia, and a little bit of summer fun, including some counted cross-stitch, a hobby that’s sustained me through this pandemic.