Cold Weather & Conversations

And now it is December. One more week of classes, a week of exams, and commencement. We have very nearly (and in some cases just barely!) made it through the fall semester. Congrats to all of us!

Monday through Wednesday is supposed to be our first real cold snap (not that it hasn’t been rather cold for the dog walks this week!).

Reminds me of the weekend I visited Fort Collins for my interview in January of 2000. Six inches of snow were on the ground and the temperature at DIA as I waited for the shuttle around midnight was dipping into negative numbers. “The winters are amazing, here,” folks kept saying. In my head, my response was—maybe. If you are from Upstate New York! I am visiting from Pasadena! I think Katie G knows what I am talking about!

Gee, that was a lot about me right there. Other stuff.

A number of you joined us Wednesday evening for the CPD 10th anniversary. Carol counted 109 folks in attendance at one point and—as with the audiences for the ACT Human Rights Film Festival—there was a cool mixing of students, alumni, faculty, and community members. Folks representing major funding for the CPD were there, the mayor and the provost joined us. The event was hugely successful thanks to the work of Jed, Sam, Carol, Katie, and Martín. Well done, folks!

Dr. Ximena Zúñiga will be here early next week as part of a project to explore starting an Intergroup Dialogue program at CSU. She is speaking to the CPD class on Monday from 4:00-5:15 p.m. in BSB 105. Martín is part of the university discussions about the possible new program and is hosting Dr. Zúñiga in the class. He is opening the class time to the whole department. Dr. Zúñiga is the author and editor of multiple books addressing racism, immigration, and globalization issues in anti-racist education, and also consults with institutions about social justice education, intergroup leadership, and faculty development. Could be an excellent opportunity for us to think hard about our own practices.

Finally, I promised that I would begin some conversations about teaching, scholarship, and service in the wake of the last few challenging weeks. As chair, I continue to engage with people in the department and out around classroom and campus climate. The recent election season has, it seems, raised hard questions in classrooms and enabled some students to express their positions in ways that others in the classroom find discomforting.

I do hope all of you have a wonderful weekend. For me it includes more work with the job searches, some time at the basketball game, and recruiting for the athletic department. Don’t worry, I will also spend good time with Elizabeth and friends at coffee and some time petting the dog.

Yours,
Greg