Friday Message Oct. 15, 2021 “A life spent reading – that is a good life”

There is no shortage of good days. It is good lives that are hard to come by. A life of good days lived in the senses is not enough. The life of sensation is the life of greed; it requires more and more. The life of the spirit requires less and less; time is ample and its passage sweet. Who would call a day spent reading a good day? But a life spent reading – that is a good life.
– Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

What kind of life do you want? How is what you are reading now, in your courses, in your time away from school, how is that shaping you? Making you uncomfortable? Offering an alternate universe to explore? Testing your patience?

I would love to hear from anyone who wants to share a snippet of what they’re reading. Drop me a line or talk with me when I’m doing a walkabout on campus.

Let’s embrace a good life and be intentional about making that happen.

Healthy Thinking Workshop October 19, 10:00 a.m. in B 104

Learn how to identify, control, and change unhelpful thinking patterns.
Book Online – go to MyStMU>Classes>LCBookings to open the Success Seminar Calendar
For more information, contact

Book a Peer Mentor!

Peer Mentors have availability all next week and can be booked for one on one sessions to help you to navigate your post-secondary experience with effective study skills and habits. Peer mentors are here to help you and can work with you to break down your assignments into manageable tasks, explore your course content from a student perspective, or help you identify the steps of a writing assignment.

Want to Learn more about Disabilities as Rights and how to become More Inclusive?

On-0line Presentation Oct 20th, 2pm

Voices of Albertans with Disabilities (VAD) will be giving a presentation on Wednesday for St. Mary’s. This presentation will cover disability awareness (including invisible disabilities), how to treat and act around a person with a disability, appropriate language usage, the meaning of disability and impairment, understanding vs myths and misconceptions, and attitudes and barriers faces by people with disabilities. In these tumultuous times more than ever, compassion, respect, and kindness go a long way towards creating a safe, accessible, and inclusive community.

The 1.5 hour presentation is open and free-of-charge for any staff, faculty, and students at St. Mary’s. The presentation will be delivered over Microsoft Teams Wednesday October 20th at 2:00pm

Microsoft Teams meeting

Join on your computer or mobile app

Click here to join the meeting

VAD recommends that you watch the following videos prior to the presentation:

The goal of the presentation is to break down barriers to accessibility and inclusion by creating awareness and understanding about people living with disabilities. The presenters themselves live with a disability, so they bring a personal perspective and experiences to the presentation through their own stories.

St. Mary’s community members are strongly encouraged to attend the presentation, if possible. How we treat others is instrumental to the wellbeing of a community, and allyship with those who have disabilities is often a key factor in their successes.

Please reach out to Academic Access Coordinator if you have any questions.

More information about VAD can be found at

Field of Crosses needs volunteers: Join St. Mary’s PVT to set up and light 3,500 candles at the crosses of our fallen soldiers from Southern Calgary

The next President’s Volunteer Team event is fast approaching, and although we have not had the opportunity of doing monthly charitable works this year, this event is especially important and I really need volunteers to make it a success. We have once again been asked to support the Field of Crosses: Night of Lights which will take place over two days. As you may know, the St. Mary’s President’s Volunteer Team is solely responsible for this part of the Remembrance Day Celebrations and this year we have been asked to take on additional duties for the set up and take down of the candles. St. Mary’s was honoured to accept the expanded role of sole responsibility to set up and light 3,500 candles at the crosses of our fallen soldiers from Southern Calgary, and then remove the candles and repack them the following day. This is a major event in the university calendar, and an important opportunity for the university to give back to the community.

On Day One – Wednesday, November 10th – location: 200 Memorial Dr. NW (I have included a map of the area)

There will be two shifts needed for Day One. The first shift of 17 individuals will be responsible for setting up the tables, transferring the boxes of candles and helping with installation of fencing/signage. For the second shift, I will need 50 volunteers to light and place candles at each cross and recognize the fallen soldiers.

The volunteer times for this day will be as follows:
Shift One – Starting at 9:30AM – with planned completion by 11:00AM
Shift Two – Starting at 11:00 AM – with planned completion by 4:00 PM

On Day Two – Thursday, November 11th: (same location as above)

This is a difficult shift to get volunteers because it starts at 4 am! I need some twenty or thirty volunteers to meet me at the site to set up supplies, remove and pack the candles. This is a very early shift, so I hope I have enough volunteers.

The volunteer times for this day will be as follows:
starting at 4:00 AM with a planned completion by 6:45 AM

Please reach out to Kim Bourque at if you would like to sign up for this amazing and meaningful volunteer opportunity.

I’m reading a new translation of Homer’s Odyssey, given me by our new Dean of Arts & Sciences, Dr. Karim Dharamsi. I know the plot, Odysseus’ never-ending journey, his travails and griefs. But this is a new tale. And I’m hooked.

Is it the leanness of the language? The book’s heft and texture? (the pages are silky and thick, with a slightly deckled edge – truly luxurious). Is it the way that the introduction enticed me to journey with Odysseus and gave me way-finders to follow through the narrative? Pondering how – or not – this version is inflected by the translator’s gender? (this is the first volume of The Odyssey by a female translator). Or all of these?

I’ll let you know later. My book is waiting…