Oregon’s poet laureate Kim Stafford writes alone every morning in a small shed in his yard, fueled by coffee and inspired by a desire to be “a servant of the world.”
The Oregonian recently took us – from a safe distance, of course – inside Stafford’s world. An educator, Stafford tells his students that the news only tells part of the story. It’s up to the rest of us to tell the other parts. That’s what I hope this blog will do – tell the full story of Portland State University during a spring like no other, in a world seemingly stilled but still simmering with activity and ideas.
As I said in a message to campus earlier this month, none of us anticipated that the spring term would look quite like this. In many ways, this crisis has brought out the best in our university, and I intend to celebrate our successes while also being candid about what we can do better. I’ll give you my take on what we are doing as a university to keep our students on track while we help flatten the coronavirus pandemic’s curve and protect our university community.
I’ll tell you honestly: I miss seeing people, and I miss the energy of students and the hum of campus. The days in self-isolation seem to both drag and fly. I hope this blog provides us all a chance to connect, to engage, and to feel a sense of hope. Remember: you’re not alone. We’re all in this together.
In the words of Stafford:
Tiny virus wears the crown?
Pandemic thinks it’s got us down?
We, too, will rise.