|Degrees:||Master of Arts in Public History (June 2020)|
“Remember the Former Things, Those of Long Ago”: Situating Memory at Dominion-Chalmers United Church
(a reflective essay and prototypical selections of a commemorative book about Dominion-Chalmers United Church)
What is your favourite thing about the program?
Inspiring classes and brilliant cohort-mates aside, I was delighted by the frequency with which conference leftovers appeared in the staff kitchen. I will not miss the speed with which they also disappeared. This has been partly remedied by the friendships I formed during my internship at Dominion-Chalmers United Church, where coffee-hour snacks are lovingly served, but where one cannot succeed in stealing four Nanaimo bars without attracting at least one disapproving glance. The History Department has been graciously non-judgmental about these sorts of things.
What will you miss the most?
I’ll miss the vague sense of fame that comes with skating, skiing, or canoeing to school (that last one was a plan foiled by COVID, but it was going to happen!). I’m working on producing the same impressed reaction from my conference papers. It hasn’t happened yet, but stay tuned.
What is your favourite reading/book/text from the program?
I would like to highlight Hugh Glassie’s /Material Culture/, for offering me a glimpse of the way memory and storytelling (in its many forms) enchant and give meaning to our world, and Roger Simon’s /A Terrible Gift/, for revealing the duty of stewardship that such an iteration of memory demands of us. Thomas King’s Massey Lectures, /The Truth about Stories/ continue to sit with me in all the stories I tell, and in all the stories I receive.
That said, the most important text from the programme was undoubtedly the sign on my desk, which read “Am I napping under this desk? Am I going to miss something important? Please wake me up!” It certainly had the greatest impact on my education. Relatedly, I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to my classmates, who ensured I never missed a class, and who only forgot about me on one Rooster’s run.
What’s next for you?
I’ll be in Ottawa for the next little bit, working with the government on the parliamentary renewal project and fulfilling my lifelong dream of working on a construction site. I don’t have a great sense of what the future holds, but I did fix a leaky faucet last week, so I am feeling well-equipped to deal with whatever challenges come my way.