And now it is December. What? How did that happen? If time goes fast when we are having fun, then man oh man we must be having fun!

The Friday email has had a couple of weeks off and there is a lot to report.

Take for example Jordin winning the CLA Excellence in Teaching Award for GTAs!

Or what about Hailey Top Student Paper in Feminist and Women’s Studies at NCA?

Then there is the news that Elizabeth’s edited book won the Outstanding Edited Volume Award from the Organization Communication Division at NCA.

Oh, and then there is Allison election as membership officer of the American Society for the History of Rhetoric.

I keep hearing, by the way, of folks accepted to WSCA, RSA, and ASHR (meeting with RSA). As we approach those conferences I will get out a list of our many accomplishments in those organizations.

I know you are likely to accuse me of bean counting, but just in the last month as a department we have picked up something on the order of five awards from NCA and its divisions and a teaching award.

One of the stories I tell about our department is that we are award-winning teachers and scholars, that even though many departments will say they are committed to excellence in those areas, we have evidence that we are, in fact, excellent in both areas.

See above! Folks, we rock and roll, we are the bee’s knees, we are the seeds on the sesame bagel; PB and J on a PB and J sandwich. We are the rice in the risotto, the bubbles in champagne. We are the time of a Derby winner, we are cellophane, the Eiffel Tower (ok, now I am quoting lyrics for an old jazz standard, but you get the point)!

Folks we are on the downhill side of this semester and I am so proud of what we have accomplished. Sure there are the awards (see above: we are Mahatma Ghanadi and the purple light of a summer night in Spain).

But more important are the little kindnesses, the little acts of courage, the little moments of grace that get us through every day. All of the unseen and unsung moments when your students feel supported, those actions that seem banal until someone remembers them a day or two (or year or two later), these are the warp and woof that weaves our community together.