By Carla Nappi, Canada Research Chair in Early Modern Studies and Associate Professor of History

The emotional aspects of this coming together in the service of reform at UBC are so complex and practically challenging to work through. I find myself thinking these things alternately or at the same time, often over the course of a single day:

I feel so empowered: we can work together to make UBC into what we need it to be.

I feel so disempowered: is it ever going to be possible to balance the amount of work/energy it is going to take to spur this reform with the basics of self-care to avoid complete burnout?

I am just at the very edge of burnout.

I have gone well beyond the edge of burnout.

This is so energizing!

This is utterly draining.

Yes, it’s completely feasible – and important – to do the work above and beyond the required teaching/service/research to make this happen.

How am I so incredibly behind on my teaching/service/research? Will I ever catch up? This is impossible.

Why are these asshole admin not listening? Fight the power!

Why are these asshole admin not listening? Is this just pointless and not worth it? Will it ever make a difference?

UBC can become what I need it to be in order to feel like I can flourish here.

UBC will never, at this rate, become what I need it to be in order to feel like I can flourish here.

I want to work at UBC indefinitely.

I want to find another job at another university.

I want to quit academia.

I love academia and nothing else will give me the freedom to do the creative work I need to be doing.

I have no time to do the creative work I need to be doing.

I love this community. This is my community. I feel so appreciated.

This is not my community. I feel totally un-valued.

I feel like a pawn in someone else’s chess game.

I need more sleep.

The best parts of this experience, so far – and the ones that have felt the most productive and powerful and nourishing – have been the opportunities to come together and support one another. Let’s make another big opportunity to do that. And let’s try to figure out a way to do that while helping one another not burn ourselves out. That’s possible, no?

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