I hope all of you are well and you have had a wonderful week.
I just want to touch base quickly this Friday.
I am journeying from my familial home of Walla Walla where I have attended the memorial service of Solanage “Solita” Henderson, the mother of the first friend I remember having. One year younger than me, Rob and his sisters and parents moved into a house two doors from where I lived (and my parents still live) in 1966 or so. I was two. Rob was one. I have known him ever since. We learned to play basketball together, we spent a summer hoeing strawberries. We took AP English together in high school (our teacher of that class has just moved back to Walla Walla and was at the service), and roomed together our first year of college. His parents and mine worked for the same little college and he was but one of surely a dozen or more people I started grade school with whom I graduated from college. Such an pre-modern life, the sort of life that Ferdinand Tonnies would say was (and still is) marked by Gesellschaft–that is by living memory and closely woven community ties. The same day as Solita’s memorial service my father celebrated his 84th birthday and my parents celebrated 59 years of marriage. I bought them plates of pasta at Jacobi’s. Fifty four of those years lived in the Walla Walla Valley and of those 50 lived in the little ranch house on Dewey Drive. I honored those ties this week.
You didn’t want to know all of that, but it is what’s on mind.
Also on my mind, however, is some good news throughout the department.
Hye Seung and Scott’s daughter Pepper Kathleen entered the world a couple of days ago. That’s pretty cool, right? Pepper arrived a bit early and so will be in PVH for a few days but she is healthy and, I am guessing, damned good looking and smart considering the genes.
Second and far less importantly, the Colorado Commission on Higher Education–the highest governing body for public higher education in the state–just officially approved our PhD! As the very short memo said, we may now start admitting students to the program. I think we wrote the first draft of the PhD proposal somewhere around 2007 or 2008. Ten years later, we are ready to rock and roll!
Third, we have been approved to make a higher for an Assistant Professor beginning fall 2017! As some of you know, the faculty (including, please, the special faculty representatives) will meet on Wednesday to finalize the position for which we will search. This search may well absorb substantial efforts over the semester but it will make our department even stronger.
And we have two new publications. I don’t have access to the details at the moment as the United CRJ700 Canadair regional jet’s wifi is not working, but Julia has a new essay out and so does Hye Seung and Scott. Carol will post the information on our website so you can find the data there.
I am sure there is more to say this week, but as I am hurtling through the air in a skinny aluminum tube heading back to Fort Collins, I think I will take a few more minutes to reflect on connections and relationships and history and memory. I trust each of you will find meaningful ways to connect and reflect over the Labor Day weekend.