The last time I posted to this blog was the Fourth of July in 2019. Wow. A lot has happened since then, huh? Yeah. A lot.
In 2019, the Art History major was eliminated at my school and only the minor remains. One of my colleagues in the department was let go. Another retired. I am the last Art Historian standing. Odd that.
And then: 2020. The Pandemic. I was on sabbatical for the first months of 2020, but it was still all weird. I wrote a book during the first six months of 2020. It's now being read by peer reviewers. I should get some comments back in early winter. The book, not surprising to blog readers, is about how Division III institutions can better support their student athletes.
Classes have been completely online since the fall term began, for me, in the middle of August. I teach them asynchronously (which I will talk about on this blog in future posts).
In the middle of October I joined the Department of History. As I am now the only Art Historian at my college, a colleague who knows me well reached out to ask if I would be interested in teaching in and building a Public History program. And I was. So, we are now the Department of History and Art History. I'll still keep my office, but I am excited for this new role and teaching these new courses. There are exciting overlaps between art history and public history and I look forward to exploring them all.
And what about those student athletes? Well, as at many places (Notre-Dame and Clemson not withstanding), there are no sports on our campus this fall. Some of the teams were finally able to start practicing together a few weeks ago. But there are no competitions. Will there be some games and matches in the spring? I hate to say it, but I'm not holding my breath.
And I miss them. I miss the players. Zooming with them is not the same. Not Tweeting them Friday nights before their games is sad; it's a ritual I miss. And Saturdays? Oh, don't even get me started on the first crisp Saturday afternoon when I realized I would not be traveling to campus for a game. It hit me like a brick. I finally watched an NFL game later that weekend, and I found myself stuffing my feelings with wine and Dorito's. It was a sorry sight. I knew the football team had become a big part of my life, but having it gone? It was really and very truly difficult.
So, that's news. I'm craving connection that Zoom can't bring. I'm hoping to use my voice, my words, my blog, to make some new connections and remind everyone who follows this blog that I am still out here, even if it has been radio silence for awhile.
And this is also to remind everyone that like the football team and student athletes everywhere, we need to continue to develop and demonstrate the resilience that they show every game, every practice, every season. Even in this crazy year, when they are not playing at all.
Hang in there, all.