Happy Friday! Happy March! How did that happen? I have talked with folks about their feelings about March. Some love that we are another month closer to spring (which, around here, shows up around May 31). Others—like me—know that more arctic blasts are coming and feet of snow are still possible. And so, even on a day that is supposed to be 60 we are bracing for the next appearance of winter. Meanwhile woo hoo for 60 and sunny!

Guess what? Our community keeps doing cool things.

Scott has a new essay out: “Hands, Fingers, and Fists: ‘Grasping’ Hong Kong Horror Films,” in Daniel Martin and Gary Bettinson, eds., Hong Kong Horror Cinema (Edinburgh University Press, 2018), pp. 110-132.  https://global.oup.com/academic/product/hong-kong-horror-cinema-9781474424592?cc=us&lang=en&#

I keep talking about engaged scholarship and engaged communication (just a short shout out to Carol and me: we have organized our departmental storytelling around engaged communication long before CLA wrote position papers on engaged scholarship. We are so often ahead of the curve!).

Anyway, I got this note from Elizabeth W the other day: “Thought I’d share some good news I just received.  I was named to the advisory board of ResponderStrong—an organization aimed at addressing mental health issues in first responders.  I’m really excited about the impact this organization will have and that I get to be a part of it.”

Many of you followed the Anti Human Trafficking Symposium here at CSU and know that Kari was deeply involved in the program. Read more here.

My good friend at CU Boulder Larry Frey sent me this note about their endowed lecture—the Josephine Jones Lecture. The lecture isWednesday, March 14, 5:30 pm. Here is a link and a paragraph about the speaker Amal Kassir https://calendar.colorado.edu/event/i_swear_by_humanity#.WpW6OKaWyUk

This talk is a testimony narration infused with poetry about the resilience of humanity and the impetus of mankind. By discussing deep tragedies in a variety of places, Amal Kassir will bring forth the examples of how, despite the wars and injustices, the impetus of mankind is unbreakable, even in the worst conditions. She will draw upon her own travels and experiences, as well as her academic research, to describe what true activism, public service and humanity look like, and how to preserve social justice through the individual.

You know I give shoutouts to lots of you when you go to conferences, receive awards, publish essays, or have built a cool program.

I want to end my note today paying particular thanks to Carol and Lindsey and Carly and Dawn. Here’s the truth—springtime around here is nuts. We have so much to accomplish, nearly all of it is good by by Jove there is too much.

Carol is deep into the final stages of ACT Hunan Rights Film Festival planning (it starts in less than five weeks). At the exact same time, she is shepherding over 300 scholarships the college and its departments and programs award every spring. Three hundred! What? How is that possible to do both of those things?

Well it is partly possible because Lindsey is pulling long hours trying to pull together the last bits of the festival. We need dozens of moderators. We are flying in guests from around the world—Lindsey is taking care of that. And you can imagine that filmmakers and film participants each have their own needs. She is arranging for dozens of nonprofits to join us for the festival. Well you get the idea. Again, the only word I can think of is “amazing.”

And what about Carly? Graduate student recruiting visit days are next Monday and Tuesday. She has arranged all of that. But to do get us to graduate student recruiting, she has managed nearly 100 graduate applications and supported the graduate committee as they have made their decisions. All while arranging all the recruiting and partying at WSCA a couple of weeks ago.

But the hero of heroes has to be Dawn. A bunch of us return from WSCA and we want our travel reimbursements right now. At the exact same time, Dawn is guiding the graduate recruits and their travel needs. Wait, there’s more. She is also arranging all of the travel details for the AHRFF. All at the exact same time. What?

I have left out Kalie and the steady hand she has with the CPD events, helping graduate students finish their CPD projects, keeping at least one nearly-always-behind faculty member on task (you know who you are!). And Gloria, who somehow watches over all of this with a smile, a joke, and a poem on the door.

Folks, we do too much. I am really being serious about this. I have talked with nearly all of you over the last two weeks. I know a little bit about how much each of you do. And you share with me your plans to do more. Sometimes I want to say—indeed sometimes I do say—you are doing enough. You are enough.

As we barrel towards Spring Break, let’s be clear with ourselves. We are astonishing. We are remarkable in our big things—our festivals and our centers and our recruiting days. And we are amazing in our little things: the extra smile, the moment of cheer in the hallway, that extra email one of you sent me over this week thanking me for some support the department was able to provide. These gestures are also part of our amazingness.

But we don’t have to do more to be wonderful, we don’t have to build another program or start another graduate degree or write another book to be remarkable. We already are.

So imagine taking a break. Imagine a moment to breathe. Imagine taking a second to soak in the presence of a friend or a lover. To just absorb the day’s sunshine (or snow). To revel in the curled up fluffiness of a middle-aged dog sleeping on the couch.

Have a good weekend, my friends.