Friday, July 27, 2012

The cat is out of the bag!

With a very sweet announcement from my boss to my work community this morning (see below), the cat is finally out of the bag about my move to Alaska. I decided to move a few months back, but I decided to wait to tell work until this point in the summer. The move is planned to take place the third week of October- I will drive my car across the country to Bellingham, Washington where I will put my car on the October 19 ferry to Juneau.  It takes about 2 1/2 days to get there so as of the early morning hours of October 22, I will be a resident of Alaska.

Me and Cousin Eric in Juneau (2010)

I don't plan on looking for a job until I get there, but I have a safety net until I find one. My Aunt Sue and Uncle Larry live there, and I will be living with them until I can find a job and get on my feet. Sue and Larry have been in Juneau for more than 30 years, and they've been encouraging me to move there for years. I've been to Juneau many times- most recently in 2008 and 2010. On this most recent trip to Alaska this summer, I did not visit Juneau (I spent a week in Denali National Park and another week on Prince William Sound- neither place is anywhere near Juneau). 

View from Mt. Roberts over Juneau (2010)

I've barely transitioned back to regular life after vacation, but I wonder if I should even try. I've got a little over 2 months to prepare my life for the move. I'm only going to bring what can fit in my car, and I'm sure I'll have to make several tough decisions. I must channel Buddha and un-attach myself from the stuff.

Celebrating Katy Giorgio!

Karl Paulnack
7:32 AM (1 hour ago)
to Karl
My Dear Colleagues:

Those of you who know Katy Giorgio understand that Alaska is a place very dear to her heart. Katy has spent the past several summers in Alaska, forming a close connection to the Earth there, embracing both human and non-human critters, vegetation, and all of the natural wonders that place holds. So it came as no big surprise to me that when Katy returned from Alaska this summer, she shared with me her plans to move there in October and spend the next part of her life connected to that amazing place.

If you have worked with Katy, you know that she has a big, compassionate heart for people, as well as a big, sharp mind for complex processes and tasks. It’s perhaps poetic that the only state vast enough to contain all of that is Alaska. She has done so much to help us and move us forward as a school in the four years she has spent with us. While Katy will never have a replacement, we have already begun to plan the search for her successor, and that person will be well positioned to continue the forward progress that Katy has been so instrumental in leading.

I have treasured my working partnership with Katy and benefited from her devotion to the Conservatory.  While I have some sense of loss in her move, any loss I feel is more than mitigated by the excitement and joy I sense for her in what lies ahead for this next great chapter of her life. I feel grateful that Katy has shared the last four years with us, and optimistic about what her successor will build on the foundation she established. True to her considerate nature, Katy has planned her move for the middle of October so that she can help us get off to a solid start during this upcoming academic year and allow time for a smooth, orderly transition.

I’m glad we’ll have a couple of months to conclude our time together, to celebrate Katy, and to send her forth.  We’re planning for some sort of social event in late September so that we can have a chance to honor her together. In the meantime, I wish all of you an enjoyable and restorative summer.

With warm regards,
Karl Paulnack

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