When we started this blog, we had always promised ourselves that we would only continue if we were still having fun doing it and it didn’t become just another thing our to-do lists. In the past couple of years, as you may have noticed, we have not published many posts. It’s a combination of having different priorities and commitments for each of us and changes in the Carleton environment. It’s been exciting to see a wider range and greater numbers of faculty and staff now speaking up about the kinds of issues we were interested in exploring on this blog. The start of a AAUP chapter on campus this past fall is one indication of that change–the chapter and the associated Slack has become a space where many faculty can discuss and debate more freely issues of power and privilege on Carleton’s campus and organize to work towards more equitable practices. We also have our individual reasons for why the blog has not been a priority.
Anita: During the last couple of years, I’ve been able to connect with communities outside of Carleton in various ways that has allowed me to work on building more equitable educational spaces or at least to dream of such spaces with a diverse group of people. First, I’ve been a part of the participatory action research work in Faribault with Somali and Latinx parents and youth. You can find more information about that project here (information is also available in Spanish and Somali). The second main way has been through my involvement with Education for Liberation Minnesota. Being a part of this network of preK-12 educators, professors, youth, and community members has been incredibly grounding and inspiring, especially during the pandemic. I love having an intellectual community that is diverse in multiple ways and yet united in our desire to create liberatory educational spaces. Despite the many challenges of teaching during the pandemic, it was rewarding to bring into my classrooms many of the people I have connected with in Faribault and the Twin Cities through research and organizing. In the next few years, I want to focus my time and energy on this community-based work.
Adriana: The last few years of my life have been etched and grooved with grief. To be precise, first there was the protracted anticipation of my dad’s decline; with my mom, I steeled myself for figuring out elder care and moving my folks out to Minnesota. In the summer of 2019, doctors gave us a diagnosis which suggested we might have a few years left with my dad, but he died within the month. My mom followed him five months later; it was sudden and violent and I was seated right beside her, unable to do anything. It turns out there is a name for the overwhelming and seemingly endless grief that has ensued, complicated and attenuated by a global pandemic: cumulative grief. In the wake of these waves of loss, as I work on healing (consider this a plug for therapy), I’m still figuring out who I want to be in a world without my parents in it. What I know, though, is that I’ll be prioritizing joining communities of poetry writing and reading and music making and playing.
We want to thank everyone who has engaged with our blog posts in a variety of ways over the past few years and we hope that our efforts to grapple with issues of culture, equity, race, power, and privilege have been useful in some way to those of you who have read our posts over the years.