The next day, we learned the outcome of the trial in the murder of George Floyd. I felt a brief moment of relief at the verdict and then a crushing wave of pain thinking about Daunte Wright, Ma’Khia Bryant, and so many other innocent Black and Brown people killed by police. The George Floyd trial verdict felt like a raindrop in an ocean. I have some sort of whiplash in reflecting on the rose and the thorn and trying to hold on to hope and joy in the midst of despair and pain.
Angelica’s doctoral student peer, Jean Sohn, added “A Bud” to the check-in exercise. The bud represents new ideas that are blossoming or something you are looking forward to experiencing. The bud represents a liminal time, a period of transition. We are all in the liminal time right now, just ending the semester, finishing up finals and papers, wrapping up grading, scheduling final meetings before the summer, packing and unpacking, preparing to move or to start a new internship or job, saying goodbye to old friends and hello to new colleagues. Some of you are joining TC’s community for the first time. Others are ending your first full year of studies with us. Some are graduating. None of us is standing still, yet most of us have not yet moved beyond the liminal time. Transitions can fill us with anxiety and excitement simultaneously. We often feel uneasy – optimistic and anticipatory, yes, but also nervous and out of sorts. The boundary position is challenging, but also precious.
So, I urge you to savor these days as much as you can. Try to pay attention to what you are doing, thinking and feeling during this liminal time. Take a few moments to reflect on all you have learned and how much you have grown this past year. Steady yourself when you feel apprehensive and relish the feelings of excitement and hopefulness about what is yet to come.
The intense paradoxes of these times can feel disorienting and difficult. Working with all of you this year has helped me find equilibrium. I have been steadied by your thoughtful engagement in class, the kindness you’ve regularly shown each other, your optimism and drive amidst confusion and challenge, and your work for change and justice. For those of you who are graduating – we miss you already – and we are proud of all you have accomplished. For our new and ongoing students, we are looking forward to our continued learning together on Zoom this summer and in-person in the fall.
Wishing all of you peace, joy, time for relaxation and renewal and continued hope for our shared future.
Sarah Brazaitis, PhD
MA Program Director
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