Location: The bulletin board in ECS 007, one of the large GTA office spaces. Object: Handwritten letter to the rising second-year grad students — the M.A. class of 2021 — from the outgoing SAGE President Katie Cline (MA ’20), dated May 12, 2020. Observations: 1) Our GTAs moved out of their offices during the past two weeks, following an unusual and challenging spring semester of remote teaching and learning, entering ECS one by one so we could maintain social distancing. 2) While in ECS to pack up her own office space, Katie Cline, the elected 2019-2020 SAGE President, tidied some of general area of ECS 007, too, dismantling the bulletin board assembled last August for the start of the fall semester with its encouragement for incoming first-year grad students. 3) Some traces of the earlier design motif remain, but what attracts attention is the handwritten note pinned to the center of the board.
Location: The bulletin board in ECS 007, one of the larger GTA office spaces. Object: Handwritten letter to the rising second-year grad students — the M.A. class of 2021 — from the outgoing SAGE President Katie Cline (MA ’20), dated May 12, 2020. Observations: 1) When we ask alumni how our M.A. program has helped them during the time since graduation, they will often talk about the friendships forged during the two-year program — “who you meet along the way,” to quote the line from The Wizard of Oz in the photo above. As one alum wrote in response to our 2017 M.A. alumni survey, “The professors were uniformly excellent; they were passionate, dedicated, knowledgeable, and always available. My fellow students, many of whom remain my friends today, were an inspiring, intellectually curious, and just plain fun-loving crew. I will never forget the discussions. It was an all-around incredible experience.” 2) We realize that this kind of community depends on the energy, time, and good will of the graduate students themselves, and we’re grateful for the leadership — sometimes visible, sometimes invisible — that makes this community possible. 3) Our thanks to Katie and our new graduate alumni for helping to create the community of our graduate program during the past two years. We look forward to our new second-year graduate students stepping into leadership roles for their final year in the program — and we look forward to welcoming our new first-year M.A. students in August!
As we shift into summer mode, we’ll have intermittent contributions to the blog. Watch for some updates during the weeks ahead, and we’ll be back with our twice-weekly posts when the semester resumes in August!
Karin Westman, Department Head