26 April 2021

Dear Everyone:

The tulips are in full bloom in my yard — spectacular primary colors thrown against the new greens of spring make me not mind so much that every allergen seems intent on making me sneeze — particularly unpleasant in a mask, lol!  (Very, very small price to pay for the wondrous protection masks provide, I hasten to say.)  I am feeling a bit of spring fever these days, maybe especially because the work between now and summer is so intense — for you all as much as me, I know. I hope you can get outside into sun (and rain) and maybe even catch a glimpse of a cicada or two as they emerge from their 17 year hiberation in the weeks to come….

Find a shady place to set up a phone or laptop and join us for Missy Watson‘s lecture on Friday, 30 April (Nancy Silverman’s message from earlier today is below, complete with description and registration information and link — with thanks, NS!), and then plan on joining us for the end of year open Executive Committee meeting on Friday, 7 May, to be followed by program awards and prizes announcements, and then by a not-commencement celebration of those who defended (or will defend) their dissertations this academic year, and then by on-line Revels!  Full and robust and celebratory and exciting things to come!  More specifics on all that will follow.

More sedately, a couple of notes to share and not in any particular order:

First, as you’ll see as registration gets under way tomorrow, the GC is offering a slate of courses in person, as hybrid, and in fully remote mode for Fall 2021. We were as a building to try to offer around 25% in person courses, which amounts to at least two per program, and English has submitted our designations for those. The actual scheduling is a mindboggling puzzle undertaken by Cheuk Lee and Vin Deluca, who have to consider not only program curricular priorities, but also social distancing, elevator and bathroom spaces and access, tech issues, and so on, and so on. I’m immensely grateful to them for their work, and on all our behalf.

Second, the GC is trying to organize a proper in-person commencement ceremonies for those who graduated both last AY and this one, to be held sometime in the fall.  Details will follow!

Third, although we should anticipate that the library will open in some capacity — to things like book lending and perhaps even interlibrary loan — in either the summer or the fall, and while we’ll be holding some classes in the building, the GC will remain closed to programming and events for the time being.

Finally for now, I want to offer deepest and sincerest thanks to all of you who have been out in the streets as an expression of solidarity, in an effort to keep the cowards attacking individuals walking alone at bay, in an effort to decry and defunction the taking of Black life, in the work of volunteering and feeding and offering care to kin and well beyond. The thanks aren’t really mine to offer but I’m doing it anyway, because it is the gratitude I have for the abundant acts of mutuality and kindness so many of you show regularly that keeps the rest of it at bay. There are endless images of yet another assault that circulate ad nauseum across both mass and social media. Focus on these underrepresented acts of mutuality and find in them gratitude and something like hope, I think.  I think those acts are maybe like the tulips — the primary colors that are so much signs of vitality…thank you, thank you, thank you.

Warmest wishes for a week full of interesting ideas and abundant color.


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