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'Tis the Damn Season

The final round of problem sets has been handed out. Student presentations were better than expected. There’s thankless grading ahead; still, a few students stay behind to tell you how much they enjoyed the class.

Shouts of GTAC members calling for a living wage ring out along Jayhawk Boulevard. You draw energy from their energy. What would you be willing to stand and shout for?

Conversations in office doorways and mailrooms. Is it possible 2021 was worse than 2020? A usually cheerful colleague uses the phrase dumpster fire.

Urgent emails announcing new procedures for annual evaluations and degree assessments. Those in Strong Hall insist that these changes will make things easier. The seven explanatory emails that follow and hurriedly scheduled how-to workshops suggest otherwise.

Further delays of fieldwork and research trips. You consider, once again, pivoting to research you can conduct from your couch.

A message of thanks from a former student. A first round interview for your postdoc.

Tornados touch down in Mayfield, KY and Edwardsville, IL. The deaths of eight people at a candle factory and six more at an Amazon warehouse offer further evidence of the failings of our political economy, which favors profits over people and quotas over workers’ wellbeing. Meanwhile, labor organizing gains momentum at KU.

Mercifully mild December. Laughter and patio dining along Mass Street. A week of beautiful Kansas sunsets. Perhaps you can keep going after all.

We are stronger together. OneKU

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