Dr. Barbara Bickel, my life-partner, and co-founding member of FMning, sent me this e-mail to a few of her colleagues in Canada. She was fine with me posting it here:

"We [Michael and I] too are fitting in all the details of my retirement and our move while I plug through the end of the teaching term with students that seem to be in perpetual crisis and as an administrator I live with not knowing who will be teaching my program courses in the fall as we live through the unknown of how we will survive with another 30 million dollar cut to the [state] university [Southern Illinois]. We went through this last year as well. There is nothing extra left and we are still having to cut. Courses, program and colleges and faculty are on the chopping block. The administration here has no vision for restructuring while they restructure based on numbers only. At the same time more upper administrators are being hired. I want to tell all of my students to leave Illinois fast. Last year 80,000 people left Illinois and 16,000 of those where students. The brain drain of this state is severe. Living the tragedy of a decimated educational system each day.
AERA reminded me that my state is by far the worse off state in the country education wise. Other faculty are doing okay - although most of them are at the private Universities and not state universities. And that is the way education is going. Only the rich will be well educated at private institutions. I should end here as I am pretty jaded in the moment. The disappearance of quality education from the youth is so hard to live with. I have been watching this slowly take place my 9 years here and know it will get worse before it gets better. I am feeling survivor guilt leaving. And Michael and I look to create an alternative off the institutional grid when I return to Canada. We had this 20 years ago in Calgary before we both entered academia. 
Soooo really looking forward to this retreat. As I head into my detoxification time from the death driven neoliberal patriarchal system. This needs to be turned into art and poetry.
May 4, 2017
Carbondale, IL
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