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Boast Post!

Today, the English Department celebrated the accomplishments of its students, in a ceremony with certificates and sandwiches and sunshine and applause. I had the opportunity both to judge entries in two categories and to present one award, with suitable encomiums for the lauded student. It was the best part of my week so far.

It was just so cheering to celebrate the accomplishments in our department. I’ve still got a real spring in my step (spring–ha! We got 26cm of snow yesterday) just from rubbing shoulders with these students.

So why don’t we do a Boast Post now, as term drains to its very dregs: are you pinned beneath towering piles of grading? Or are you producing towering piles of writing in your coursework or dissertation? Are you eagerly or cringe-ingly awaiting results from SSHRC Standard Research Grant, Doctoral Fellowship, Canada Graduate Scholarship, or Postdoctoral Fellowship competitions? Dragging yourself through to the end of the traditional ‘hiring season’ or wondering what happens after you graduate?

Pause. Centre yourself.

Now: tell me–tell us, readers and bloggers and all of us–one of your recent successes, big or small. A triumph personal or academic that makes you stand a little taller. Look us all right in the eye and say, in a clear voice, “Here is something that I accomplished. Yay for me!”

Perhaps ridiculously, I’m most cheered by the fact that this past weekend I managed King Pigeon Pose. Damnit, I’ve been working on this for years. I needed an assist, but I did it.

“People may smile, but I don’t mind …”

Bert starts dancing around 1:15 — it’ll get you in the mood for celebrating your own awesome self.

Yoga video with Sesame Street characters not sufficiently inspiring? Well, how about my friend Laura Davis, whose new course on Hockey in Canadian Literature is featured in Thursday’s Red Deer Advocate? AWESOME!

So let’s hear about you now!

7 thoughts on “Boast Post!

  1. I have to say that it isn't one thing in particular that I'm proud of, it's my current academic situation in general that makes me happy and proud of myself. I am twenty five and pursuing a Master's degree in Creative Writing, which means that by the time I graduate I will be twenty six with a finished novel as my thesis. Also, if I get A's in my two remaining classes this year I will get a 4.0 GPA. I was published in my first official publication last year and am a fiction editor for a fantastic annual anthology this year that is also publishing one of my favorite pieces. Basically, I'm doing exactly what I dreamed of doing when I was a little kid and have worked my ass off to do really well. I'm really happy to be here and am very proud of what I have accomplished along the way.

    I have also mastered the wall handstand in my yoga class ( which feels awesome. I'm in awe of your King Pigeon pose and that video made my morning. Wonderful post!


  2. Thanks for this Aimee!

    Like Kat I'm proud of where I am. I am nearly finished teaching, and though I have another course to teaching that begins in May and I'm soon to be buried under mounds of marking I'm feeling proud that this year everything felt slightly more comfortable. Perhaps it *does* get better?


  3. Well, I just successfully made it through a harrowing week involving two major projects.

    As a first-year PhD student, I'm excited about my now program, and proud of the two articles which are soon to be published under my name. I'm exhausted right now, but happy!

    (wow, boast posting is hard)


  4. I'm particularly chuffed that I've negotiated an ideal return to work plan for my upcoming mat leave. My (male) dean is extremely supportive and willing to compromise on which projects I undertake when I'm back on full salary so that I can work from home as much as I (and my child) need for the first year of my child's life.

    Beyond that, I also directed a mainstage play, finished a major article (which the editor loves), and staged four scenes for a theatre lecture. Take that, pregnancy hormones!


  5. Kat, congratulations on doing what you love: in french we would say “tu es bien dans ta peau,” which translates as “good in your skin” and it means comfortable in yourself, sorta. And isn't handstand awesome? I do them in the office instead of drinking coffee at 2pm: really energizes the rest of my afternoon, and is silly. Silly like Sesame Street 🙂

    Erin, you are seeing the light at the end of the perpetual prep tunnel! Hurrah! It does get better, and you get better at it. Hooray!

    Boyda, thanks for making the effort to praise yourself — I know it's hard! Congratulations on your articles, and on getting through most of your coursework year.

    SC — well, holy hannah, many different kinds of congratulation are in order. First on your pregnancy, hurrah! And on your productivity as a scholar and dramatist, and on your excellent negotiating skills. Fantastic!


  6. Congratulations Aimee on King Pigeon–wow, that's impressive, and no, it's not ridiculous at all. When I manage to move from tree pose to toe stand in Bikram I will let you know–no where near happening yet! Thanks too so much for posting and linking the article on my course. That made me smile, as Bert did! Student award ceremonies are always my favourite days, and I also really enjoy going to my students' graduation and congratulating them as they walk across the stage. Congrats to everyone else and especially SC on your maternity leave!


  7. I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy inside, so I will share mine:
    (1) At the event you so eloquently describe, Aimée, my lovely Honours Thesis student who I am so proud of won the Canadian Literature prize from the UWaterloo Dept of English. Yay Lianne!
    (2) This weekend I ran 30kms in the Hamilton “Around the Bay” Road race. Was I fast? No. Did it hurt? Yes. Am I proud? You better believe it.

    And now I'm at St. Jerome's for the afternoon, looking forward to a lovely reading by Guy Gavriel Kay. This Tuesday life looks good for me too.


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