Todd's Tales: Volume VII

June 8, 2020

Osiyo & gurggle blug glugg, NAH family & extended NAH family!

Hello once again from the NAH kitchen counter.  And welcome to a special End-of-Term/Graduation Edition for Volume Seven of Todd's Tales.

I hope this finds everyone well, despite the seemingly ever-increasing craziness of the world right now.

A few quick updates on the lighter side of things.  The NAH Garden is taking off big-time, thanks to a lot of hard work from chief engineers AJ & Latrell and with a lot of help from Poli & Shelbi.

Most of you probably already know that the actual building that is the NAH goes back to the 19th century.  It has at various times been dorm space, nurses' quarters for the old hospital and even a bed & breakfast.  While digging around in the garden, AJ uncovered the old horseshoe below.  Nobody has any idea how old it is, but it's been a minute since anyone's been shoeing horses on this part of campus!  Must've belonged to old Eleazar hisself.  Or maybe one of those early Native kids just chucked it at him when he wasn't looking.  Ayyyee.

So. Here we are at the end of Spring 20 and the bizarreness of time marches on.  The term has gone by quickly in many ways, yet it feels like forever ago that y'all were last here on campus and in the House.  Time ticks by slowly when you only see the same 3 people outside your tank every day.  As my distant cousin Dory says, "Just keep swimming."  [Btw, quick clarification – those movies made a big deal about Dory speaking Whale.  Dude, EVERYONE speaks Whale.  It is literally subtitled underwater.  Whatever, Hollywood.  But Dory's still cool.]

Looking back on it, this has been an indescribably difficult term – from the limitations brought about by online learning to one form of isolation or another to the losses and damage that everyone has witnessed and/or experienced.  So, huge, Huge, HUGE props to all of you for making it this far still on your feet.  Or fins.

There are so many layers upon layers to all of this – from the widespread calls & protests for racial justice, to the underlying divisive political climate, to the desperate situation for the economy and all of it underscored by a deadly pandemic and months-long quarantine.  The scope of each of these layers by themselves is literally unprecedented.  Dealing with all of them at once would have been completely inconceivable as recently as last term.

Yet, under it all, hope remains.  The response to all that is happening, too, is unprecedented.  The furry guy that feeds me is – evidently – really old (in goldfish years, he'd basically be fossilized).  But he's been saying that the current momentum behind BLM is the widest and most broadly-supported call for racial justice in his lifetime.  History [yes, goldfish study history, along with Buddhist Studies & Greek Philosophy] has, unfortunately, consistently shown us that for every period of social progress, there is a backlash in response.  Fortunately, these are often the last gasps of an old order that gives way to change.  All of you are important parts of that change.  Remember, too, though to take care of yourselves.  Every act of self-care is in itself a radical act.

All the best of luck to each of you with your finals, papers and projects.  Big, BIG CONGRATULATIONS to the 20s and all the graduates.  We will miss you so much!  And everyone here misses everyone out there.  Take care of yourselves and one another and remember we are all still here for you!

Much goldfish & air-breather love to all.

Yours in NAH-ness – Gurggle blug glugg,

--Todd