Monday, October 12, 2015

Gobbling FTW!

Today is my last Canadian Thanksgiving as a permanent resident/landed immigrant.  In less than ten days, I will be a Canadian citizen will all the rights and privilege there onto appertaining.  My posts lately have been pretty negative due to the election and the anti-Canadian-ness of the Conservative appeals to fear and intolerance and such.  So, a good time to be positive and thankful.  I have done this before (here, here, and here [only on odd years for some reason]), but I am feeling especially thankful this year.
  • I am grateful that the Citizenship process was quicker than I expected and mostly less painful.  I enjoyed studying for the test, although taking it did produce some nervous moments.  I now know a bit more about this amazing place's history than I did before.  [Oh, and Columbus did not appear at all in the Citizenship guide--Canada has other explorers it venerates even as Thanksgiving is on ... Columbus Day]
  • I am grateful that I have had two great jobs here.  I am still loving the NPSIA life, and I have very fond memories of most of my time at McGill.  In both places, colleagues have been good friends.   
  • I am thankful for these NPSIA students who have much passion for the stuff and very interesting backgrounds.  That many of them are already working in some capacity in the government gives my classes heaps of insights that I would never otherwise hear abou.
  • I am so very thankful to have an excellent director of my school (department chair equivalent).  Having great administration has been, um, rare in my career, so I don't take for granted Dane Rowlands at all.  I also appreciate how supportive the Dean has been of me and my efforts.  Last week's acknowlgement reminded me what a very supportive place Carleton is.
  • I am thankful for having a pretty cool neighborhood as the folks here are very nice, and it still very much feels like a neighborhood (and, no, I don't feel sufficiently Canadian to add extra 'u's to neighbor, etc).
  • I am very thankful for the support my research has received in Canada--the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council has been very, very good to me.  This has enabled me to do the most interesting and fun research of my career. 
  • I am very grateful for the access I have had here.  As I was reminded while watching Hyena Road (a Canadian movie about the Afghanistan war) the other night, I got to interview nearly every general who commanded there, not to mention most of the senior officers in the chain of command back here.  I have interacted with senior people in other government agencies and even testified to the House of Commons Defence Committee.
  • Indeed, this access means I am grateful to U of Toronto Press and my editor, Daniel Quinlan, as the access has produced a new book that will be out in January.  Which means next year I can be thankful for the associated book tour (I am hoping to go to places with great skiing again).
  • Ottawa.  I have really enjoyed the past three years in Ottawa.  The city is small enough to get around reasonably quickly, which means it is easy for me to run downtown for an event or for a media hit, or to meet up with people in the Byward Market, where there are heaps of good places for beer and food.
  • Like Montreal, Ottawa has a great frisbee community, so I continue to play ultimate.  The fall season is nearly over, and I didn't sign up fast enough for the winter season, alas.  But the summer season is a blast on mostly close and mostly terrific fields.  
  • Lastly, I am very grateful that a 78 day campaign is seen as long, and even more thankful that it is nearly over.
This time of year always makes me feel like Jessica.  No, not that one.   This one:

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