School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies

The Lake Shift - Day Four

By Colette Steer, July 27, 2016

I thought that at least once, I should start the day's summary with - good morning campers!!

I have been tempted to bring out the camp counsellor persona for this writing retreat, but luckily for everyone I have resisted and toned down my enthusiasm to be at camp. It doesn’t mean though that I have completely hidden, just that I can act wildly out of camera (so to speak).

The day started at home for me to catch up on some work. Unfortunately my dog (Finnegan – a wheaten terrier) somehow missed the memo that said, “this isn't mummy time”. It didn’t take long before I realized that I needed to go to the office to work. I am not alone in this issue either. I might not be a grad student or a mum, but there are many grad students who are Mums or Dads who have to balance – work, study and family. No easy thing to do. Mummy time (or Daddy time) is not that easy to find and as a grad student, it’s just one more thing to have to do to get some balance in your life.

Tuesday night Helene Lawler was near the end of her workshop and said “lastly, although this should be first, we need to look after ourselves”. How very true. We can’t function and handle adversity nearly as well, if we don’t feel good about ourselves, aren’t eating correctly or exercising or just finding time to wind down. If you can find some “me time” whether that be for your writing or to unwind by going for a walk or cooking a nice meal and actually sitting down to enjoy it and a plethora of others activities (they will make an academic out of me yet with that big word), then do it.

So what happened next? Time to pick up the celebratory cake. Yes, at this stage in the week, it is time to say “well done”. As Maggie Berg mentioned on Monday, reward yourself lavishly. So here is the cake. A little worse for wear as the car had no air conditioning (other than open windows) and boy was it hot! The roads to camp, well let’s just say, a little windy, and a little rough at times. Did I mention that I had a 10 minute wait at the Lock? Yep so close to camp and I was stuck in a traffic jam. Still, I think the cake was appreciated.

QUBS has a seminar series as mentioned in a previous post. The artist in residence Evaristo Hernandez Fernandez, presented his Art in Nature talk. Fascinating – how someone can just look at a bird, not take any photos and come back and draw it is amazing. Seeing his process of how he gets to his final composition was well worth listening too.

the lake shift cake

Summary of Day:

  • Visit to Westport hospital – 1 but all is okay, just poison ivy
  • Mosquito bites – too many to count
  • Racoon sighting – 1
  • First time swimming – 2
  • First time canoeing – 2