16 May 2022

Dear Everyone:

Here we are, the last week of spring semester, and here I am, writing my final “dear everyone” Monday email! First and always, thank you for the generous ways you’ve received and responded to these missives, which have done much to keep me grounded and aware of the filaments of connection that bind us even in our dispersed-of-necessity state. I looked back at some of the early messages I sent and with some wonder, was reminded of the scope and intensity of what we’ve lived these past years — from pandemic to war to ongoing racism to deepening poverty to transphobia to accelerating climate catastrophe to the loss of faculty and community members and family and friends and everything below and above and in-between. In the thick of all that, people took and taught courses and wrote papers and passed exams and completed dissertations and published books and thought deeply and hard and un/learned and began with us and graduated and won awards and fellowships and new faculty joined us and some departed and we revised curricula and syllabi and figured out how to teach remotely and tried to remember to unmute and wrote thousands of emails and letters…It doesn’t seem possible that all this could happen all at once!

Back in April 2020, I wrote of our ability to reach beyond our capacity, to do things that are impossible without quite realizing we ought not be able to do them. Together with a heart-stretching sense of gratitude, it’s this sense of wonder of the normalcy of the impossible that you all accomplish all the time, that I have to offer in today’s note. Across these “dear everyones,” we’ve shared poetry and dance and music and photographs and even my kid’s pet hedgehog! I am mildly embarrassed and wholly unsurprised to find the attachment to sincerity with which I am afflicted pervading the lot, and glad enough to find that the repeated beats have been on the notes of mutuality and collegiality, laughter and movement, generosity and kindness, and, always, gratitude.

Some of you, I will see at commencement on 9 June! All of you, fyi, as we shift into summer mode, I’ll be available on-line through the end of June when my term formally ends, and for sure as soon as the new administrative team is in place, I (or they) will write. I’ll in any event see you in the fall happily with my regular English professor hat on.

Finally, here, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” a repeat share from that earlier message – the singers are so very dear – as are you, everyone!

With abundant well wishes,


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