Before the break

I write to you from the airport in Pasco WA. I spent the week with my father including a trip up to Spokane to go to thrift stores, eat in different restaurants, and to revel in the austere beauty of the Palouse country. Steeply rolling hills, groomed from harvesting this year’s crop of wheat and already the green of the winter wheat sprouting. I saw my nephew Mason who is working for the school year in Spokane on AmeriCorps and prepping his application for creative nonfiction MFA programs.

A couple of bits of good news.

The CPD earned another Bohemian Foundation grant of nearly $25,000. Wee hoo!

Meanwhile, the undergraduate department action team wrote a successful grant that received $9,994 grant to support undergraduate efforts in diversity and inclusion. Super duper!

And you may have seen that the ACT Human Rights Film Festival was accepted into the Human Right Film Network—one of only two festivals to gain this recognition in the US! Right on!

So three of our major programs—our undergraduate program and the CPD and AHRFF have all had their successes reaffirmed.

Good work to all the folks who made these great things come our way: Kalie, Martín, Katie K, Carol, Scott, Beth, Elizabeth W and the DAT. I am sure I have missed folks I should have thanked.

And that’s the note for the week and likely for the year!

I hope for each of you amazing and wonderful holidays. I hope you receive and give the gifts needed. Gifts of time. Relationships. Love. Care. Compassion.

As my dad and I wandered our way south from Spokane to Pasco this morning we reflected on good people and just how many of them there are. People who—usually quietly and with little fuss—step in and help when help is needed. Folks who support and care and love. Jessie S took care of Panda this week on the spur of the moment, for example. Christy, a near saint in Walla Walla, stepped in with some additional care for my mother when we really needed it. And the list goes on.

I take this as a moment to reflect on these good things as we bring the semester and year to a close.

I will see some of you at Commencement tomorrow. Others of you, I will see in the halls over the break. And others, I will catch up with when we return in five or so weeks.