Thursday, November 25, 2021

Giving Much Thanks In Hard Times

 I keep losing track of the pandemic--it really is year 2 with year 3 on the horizon.  I am thankful that no one in my immediate family has paid the highest price although we have one long hauler among us.  I am grateful that my family and friends have embraced the vaccines, with only us Canadians un-boosted.  I am so very thankful my friends can finally have their kids 5 and up vaxxed.  I am thankful that I have been able to travel to see my family twice now--in August and now for Thanksgiving.  I am very much looking forward to finally seeing the other side of my family over winterfest as it has been way too long--two years. I am very thankful that I can travel for work again, albeit at a lower pace.  

I am very thankful for my co-authors who have carried much of the work this year.  Although we got a series of rejections lately, I am grateful for the serious and constructive reviews we received.  Hopefully, 2022 will see the completion of several projects and the start of the next big one.

I am very, very grateful for the entire Canadian Defence and Security Network.  The staff at the HQ have done most of the heavy lifting in often challenging circumstances so thanks to Melissa, Kaha, Paxton, and Racheal. The co-directors have given much time and effort for the greater good.  The students involved in our efforts have been creative, constructive, and injected us with their energy.  Our partners have provided many great ideas and initiatives.  The grant gods were most generous this week, so much thanks to them.  And the semi-weekly chats with Stéfanie von Hlatky for the podcast are highlights of my, um, battle rhythm.  The Summer Institute was a great experience even if it had to be online. 

The basic idea of the CDSN was to build connections among the various subcommunities in our business, and we are getting there. I am thankful that the media has relied on so many of our experts in the CDSN as they have covered the various trials and tribulations facing the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence.  These scholars and defence scientists have provided much clarity and keen analyses as the government has struggled with this crisis.

Carleton has managed the pandemic better than most, including providing me with two flu shots and one covid shot.  Our students have managed the online experience better than one could have expected.  It was great to see some of them in person last month.  I look forward to next year when my MA class will be in person.

My family has navigated the past year quite well, all things considered.  We had one case of breakthrough but it was short and the niece who had it recovered quickly.  While the next generation may not all have the jobs they want, they are all employed.  My daughter changed jobs moving from the talent management side of Hollywood to the creative side, working in a small production company tied to a pretty terrific actor.  Mrs. Spew has spent the year helping to keep the local gardening club alive and thriving.  And I am grateful for the stand mixer that has gotten far more use than I expected thanks to discovering easy pita recipes.  The next round of winterfest cookie baking is nearly upon us, and I plan to go even more overboard than last year.

Finally, I want to thank those that gave us much before they left us.  Three amazing professors who taught at UCSD during my time in grad school passed away this year.  I only took classes from one but benefited from what the other two taught.  John, Mat, and Frances will be missed.  I was lucky to cross paths with them at key point in my life.  They were very, very different people, but each was not just smart but passionate about the stuff and so supportive of their students.  

I hope you and yours have much to be thankful for in this challenging time.  Gobble, gobble!

1 comment:

Mrs. Spew said...

I would not say that I've been thriving during the pandemic. But I am slowly improving from setbacks. And I am happy to be with family and get to see the rest of my family soon. Here's hoping a better path for us all over the next year.