Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Year Deserving Much Thanks

This has been a pretty amazing year, so I have much to be thankful for.  As I am behind on nearly everything thanks to the grant application that ate my semester, let's just go to the list:
  • The move went so well.  Aside from the movers forgetting to put the door back on the hinges (and I had quick heartburn as I looked for the pins), it really was pretty simple and easy.  We now have a great new house in a very friendly neighborhood.  It only took me a couple of days to find a new ultimate team or two.  And the only boxes left to be unpacked are awaiting bookshelves as we have too many books (yes, very surprising).
  • I am very thankful for the friends we left behind.  My kid realized in her last month in Montreal that she really developed an excellent network of friends, as they gave her some great going-away celebrations.  Same for me.  I am thankful for the folks I left behind.  I was incredibly touched by the surprise pickup ultimate game.  A bunch of folks showed up to play an extra game with me before I left town.  
  • I am very thankful for my new job.  I really like the new setup at Carleton.  I can get to meetings with government types in fifteen minutes, and the real challenge is figuring out what not to do, given all of the events in town.  Indeed, I am being asked to more (including a business lunch on Monday where I got to hang out with business types), which helps to explain why I have been blogging less.
  • I am very thankful that all of my McGill grad students successfully defended their dissertations.  It meant a long fall of train trips to Montreal and back, but it was nice to see them (AA, TM, JT) finish, and it was nice not to have to work on their stuff anymore ;0.  I am already accumulating commitments to Carleton graduate students in my School of International Affairs, but also in the Political Science dept and the School of Public Policy and Administration.
  • I am very grateful for my friends in Ottawa.  This is the first time I moved to place where I actually knew a few people, and it has been terrific.  Not only has it been fun to hang out with them, but they have also introduced me to new, interesting folks.  
  • I am very, very, very thrilled that the oft-mentioned Dave and Steve book on NATO and Afghanistan passed muster at a prestigious university press, so it should be out in 2013 hopefully.  I would be more thrilled about my book contract for my next book on learning about Canada from its experience in Afghanistan (with a really cool title), but the grant that ate my fall also ate my my progress on this project.
  • I am very thankful I got out of Quebec before the PQ took power although it would have been nice to have been around when the Mayor got knocked out of office and replaced by an Anglophone!  Oh well.  
  • I am very thankful Hurricane Sandy only inconvenienced but did not harm my family spread across the Northeast.
  • I am very, very grateful that my wife and daughter, the Spews, are enjoying their new home. Moving a family can be problematic, but they were great sports.  
  • I am thankful that #voterfraudfraud ended up being counter-productive.
While there are many challenges ahead for the US, Canada and everyone else, I have much to be thankful for this year.  I hope folks enjoy their turkeys, their pies, and their families.

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