Remember: “On November 13, Felix Unger was asked to remove himself from his place of residence…”? On June 28, Billy Strean was told to remove himself from his office in the Phys Ed building – the timeframe given: “I won’t say absolutely immediately.” This led to scurrying through file cabinets, drawers, and bookshelves; packing some boxes for storage, some boxes for the new office in Extension, and predominantly recycling and discarding over 20 years of evidence of my life.

There is something both liberating and painful about parting with everything from course materials to thank-you cards to stacks of annual reviews. As the papers were cast aside, I wondered what would carry on in terms of the work I’ve done. If I don’t have the documents to show my contributions, where’s the proof? If a professor falls in the forest, does he make a noise? As many class lists went to the blue bins, I hope that good memories linger for all those students whose names filled them.

As I was the “first domino to fall” in the moves in Phys Ed and awaiting some offices to empty before I could move in at Enterprise Square, I had a genuine feeling of limbo. For the first time since my move to Edmonton in 1993, I had no office at the University of Alberta. There was a strange sense of independence and a moment to contemplate what is me, separate from a work and corporate identity.

Now I’m happily typing from my new locale and very excited about the new possibilities in developing teaching and learning in the context of community engagement.

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