Friday, February 29, 2008

The press - ack!

I did a newspaper interview earlier this week about the events that I've been involved in organizing. The journalist was the same one who wrote the horrifically racist article to which some friends and I objected, which led to an insane brouhaha. I did not have high hopes about what would emerge from the interview...but I thought it would all be fairly innocuous.

Not so. I have just seen the article, which focuses on a community event being held downtown. The tone of the article manages to completely misconstrue my remarks and it can be read as me actually taking a position I find absolutely deplorable - the position, in fact, that I explicitly want to AVOID with this whole event. Holy shit - how awful. It makes me want to hide - and it certainly makes me feel like I have to do damage control.

Next I have to do a TV interview - great. I can only hope that the camera will be kinder to my position than this journalist was. It's not that he was trying to be UNkind, it's just that clearly he has NO idea how to see the issue outside of a particular, very negative light that is the bane of my existence.

My one consolation about the article is that my name is spelled wrong. Now, this is in theory just terrible - the man had a press release with my name on it, for goodness sake, and it is all just further proof of the horrible calibre of journalism in this city - but I am actually rejoicing about it because it means that this article won't come up in future if people happen to google me. Phew.

PS - What's even worse? There's plenty o' space on the merit forms to detail every single media interview I give. So this god-awful representation will count for something, when all the real work I've done will not. Love you, universe.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Discovering My So-Called Life

I am having a TV experience. I am watching My So-Called Life on DVD. I never saw this show, because it was on in 1994-95, and I didn't watch TV in the 90s.* But R watched the show, and was hooked, like so many people - and so she recently ordered the DVD of its single season. She watched and then passed it on to me. I am utterly hooked. I love it. R called tonight in the middle of one of the episodes I was watching. I was weeping a bit. I told her that for some reason, the show gets me on an emotional level. It really does. She said, "I kinda suspected you would identify with it." Damn me, do I ever. Probably more than any TV show I've ever seen. I know I'm, oh, fourteen years behind the hype here - and almost twenty years beyond the age the show is depicting - but wow.

And...back I go for another episode. It's terrible - I haven't touched my research all week. It's a damn good thing I'm almost done with the season, that's for sure.

*It's true - I'm not being cavalier. There are reasons for this - and they don't involve me taking an obnoxious moral stance against mass culture.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

You have got to be kidding me, part II

So I just opened up the merit forms to have my first look at them. I mean, I won't get merit pay, but I have to go through the work of submitting the forms.

Forgive me if I appear naive, but I was a bit shaken: There are no points awarded for things that have taken up the bulk of my time since I began this job. Including DIRECTING AND GROWING THE PROGRAM!!!!!!!!! How is that possible? I have spent dozens - dozens - of hours on this. It is what I was hired to do - believe me, I'm not doing it as a lark. I have done so much work revising the bloody calendar entries and adding new curriculum - brand new courses, which have to be entirely laid out, including all readings, learning outcomes, assessment, etc. That process involves many meetings, and consultations with other department members and chairs and librarians, and writing courses from scratch, and learning how to speak in the particular language of these things. As well as writing lengthy rationales for each course and even each small change.

And all of that means nothing in terms of my "merit" as a faculty member? What the hell? I guess I just expected it to count for something. It has taken plenty of hours away from the research that actually does count for everything, according to this. How demoralizing. I hate this place.

On top of that, my home - which is the one thing I really love about Scary City - might be sold and the new owners move into my unit. And I would have to leave, and to find a new place to live in an INSANE real estate and rental market. After moving how many times? over the last year and a half? And in my life?

Oh Scary City, why did I ever think this was a good idea?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

That did NOT just happen

So I went to a talk today. This was by a visiting speaker, who has traveled a very long way to be here. I don't want to give away the details, but let's just say that she was here talking about her book, which is newly translated into English. Her book is the story of her life, especially a recent struggle. The details of her life - which she was recounting - amount to a highly distressing story of injustice. The kind that is in danger of paralyzing you with its monumentality, but that is also meant to urge you to action on issues of indigenous rights, poverty, and gender equality.

The speaker did not speak in English. Her interpreter for this talk was a faculty member from the uni, who teaches one of the speaker's languages, and who translated both her presentation and the Q&A that followed.

The speaker had brought with her some crafts from her local area, which she was selling to raise money for the organization she works with.

BEFORE THE Q&A PERIOD WAS OVER, THE INTERPRETER FROM THIS UNI HAD LEFT THE PODIUM, LEAVING THE SPEAKER ALONE UP THERE, TO SHOP. Yes, the interpreter went over to the craft table and commenced pawing through it, turning the jewellery and dollls this way and that, being a shrewd shopper. Luckily, there was another faculty member on hand who could pinch-hit the remaining few questions.

I have to repeat it to myself because it's so hard to get my head around: The interpreter left the speaker before the talk was over, so she could acquire pretty things. (God, how can we expect courtesy from our students if faculty behave like this??)

This would be bad in any case, but the fact that it came in the context of this particular talk - the absolutely soul-destroying things that were being recounted? Shocking. Shocking.

In many ways, that was as important a comment on the "state of the world" - and the conditions of possibility for what the speaker was talking about - as the talk itself.

Monday, February 25, 2008

A major sigh of relief

I saw my teaching evaluation scores from last term this morning. Remember, I was so worried about them? I thought my teaching had suddenly become awful. Not so, according to students. The scores are very high. I'm so surprised - I was steeling myself for the worst numbers ever. This says something about my inability to gauge things properly when I'm in a bad way, as I was in November. I must remember this.

(Interestingly, my highest scores came in the category "Respects students." I wonder what this is about - I wonder what makes them think that. I mean, I do respect them, but I wonder what it is that makes them feel that way.)


So that was a sigh of relief. To counter it, media releases are going out today for next week's week of events, which I've co-chaired. The communications people here think that one event in particular will generate a lot of media interest - an off-campus, community event. So I should be readying myself, they say, for calls from the press. Ack. I am so not a good spokesperson - I have a fundamental shyness around that kind of public display. It means I am almost hoping the media won't be interested, which is terrible of me. Since the whole point of the event was to generate discussion in the wider Scary City community.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Random bullets of Friday

- Well, that turned out to be a pretty un-fun visit to Home City, in many ways. Can you say fighting?? Ugh.

- But now I'm in Nearest Metropolis, seeing C., and going dancing in a few hours (the old kind of dancing that I can't do anymore, that was such a part of my life for 15+ years, and that I won't be able to do again until a week at dance camp in August. So excited - ready to squeeze every drop of joy out of this experience, to last me for six months!)

- Returning to Scary City on Sunday will mean re-immersing myself in the upcoming Week-Long-Series-of-Events-Whose-Organization-I-Spearheaded-But-Which-Give-Me-a-Headache-Every-Time-I-Think-About-Them. Good lord. I CANNOT wait for two weeks from today, when all of this will be winding down. I am INSANE for taking this on. Remind me that the idea for next to year is to get one big-ass speaker. One event. No more.

- I had 5-6 inches cut off my hair on Wednesday, taking me from having Long Hair to having a bob. I am currently not very happy about this, not at all, but have some hope that it will get better...I tend to like new haircuts dramatically better after about 7-10 days.

- I saw a boxer in the park here in Nearest Metropolis yesterday, and I visited with her for a few moments. The way she held her paws, and the way she looked at me through those boxer eyes, unraveled me. I left crying, feeling I'd almost touched Mr. K again. But not.

- This week I got notification from the organizers of another conference I'm going to in the summer (not this one) that they were pleased to award me several hundred dollars of funding. Huh?? I didn't apply for funding! Hurrah, right?! What a funny - great - thing. I had also in the fall received a travel grant from my institution for part of my (expensive) plane fare, so the whole thing is becoming much less dauntingly pricey a proposition than it was previously. Nice.

That's all!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Grad student anxiety

One of the things I've been contending with recently in my job is working with grad students. I find this really exciting. It is probably the aspect of my job about which I am most invigorated.

But I do have some serious impostor syndrome. Having just defended my own PhD in December 2005, it feels - no matter how much I reason with myself - a bit presumptuous of me to be gatekeeping for advanced students. Being the university examiner on that thesis defense a few weeks ago - which meant I was the "special" one, the one who asked the first and supposedly hardest questions - did my head in. I was nervous, for god's sake.

And then last week there was a thing with one of the grad students in my fourth-year class - another MFA student, a working artist with a highly theoretical bent. She wrote a critical response to a reading we'd done. Her response was simply an ungrounded, political rant that had very little to do with the reading. I was very worried about what to do about this, feeling that some of the ways I could call her on it would be perceived as too subjective. (Read: feeling freaked out about my authority over a grad student.) So I wrote extensive comments about the major inconsistencies in the arguments she was making, which were glaring, and gave her what for a grad student is a low mark - though I did also of course point to the really good things that were buried in there. I did say she should come and talk with me if she wanted to. I felt...well, just weird about it. Who am I to be giving grad students low marks?

Now, this student is on a three-person panel of grad students I've put together to make a presentation during some research-related events in a few weeks. She was going to be giving a paper. The day after I returned the critical response to her, she wrote me a long email in which she said that, because she is an MFA student, she doesn't actually feel comfortable presenting her written, theoretically engaged work, and asking if it was okay if she showed her video work instead. I said sure, whatever she wanted to do was fine - after all, this is for the students, and not for me. But I feel as if it was my response to her work that prompted her crisis in confidence. And, knowing the hell that it is to be a grad student, the constant feeling of intellectual inadequacy, I am quite struck by the fact that I am, possibly, complicit in that. How awful.

Now, it's true that I don't know for certain that it was my comments that prompted this change. But it is also true that she wrote to me about this about 24 hours after receiving my comments. That she had seemed quite excited about her presentation before this - and had sent me her paper, wanting me to read it. It seems this change of heart is more than coincidental.

I guess there's nothing I can do about this, really. Whether or not I am reading this one particular incident correctly, what is important is the recognition that what I say has a lot of weight, especially for grad students. I feel as if I'm moving in to occupy the space I remember that professors occupied when I and others were grad students. They loomed so large. Which is a really very strange recognition. It will take me some time to get used to that.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

5 Random trip things

The lovely Psychgrad tagged me for a Random Facts meme.

Here are the rules:1. Link to your tagger and post these rules. 2. Share 5 facts about yourself.3. Tag 5 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.

Since I haven't posted for days, I'll twist it slightly. I'll give you five random facts about my trip to date.

1. I had been having back troubles for the last couple of weeks, before I left for Home City. In the same general vein as the debacle of last summer, though less severe. I hadn't been doing anything about it (bad, I know) just because I was coping and getting by. Running was aggravating it. Anyway, my long plane rides home fixed it. I kid you not - sitting on the plane for many hours seemed to be exactly what my back needed. I began the journey hurting - I ended it pain-free. And that has continued. Weird.

2. It's very sad to be here without Mr. K. Very sad. I can't get used to his loss. The place feels soooo empty without him. I continue to be haunted by the day of his death - I just don't feel right about the way it unfolded. Being here brings it into sharper focus.

3. Staying in and watching eight episodes of a TV show on DVD, as R and I did on Sunday - it was disgusting, foul weather - is a really bad idea for me. It depresses me beyond belief.

4. I have been returning, in my research lately, to the very questions that, ten years ago, set me on the research path I'm still on. I sort of got sidetracked from those questions in my PhD, but I suppose I never resolved them for myself - I wasn't capable of doing so maturely at the MA level. So it's interesting to be re-entering this territory from this more, well, schooled perspective. To finish what I started. Because I realize that the book project I'm undertaking now is really that - where I was trying to go, in my MA, but had no idea how to get to.

5. In some ways, I see, it messes me up to come to Home City. One week here isn't enough, I'm just so aware of all the people I'm not able to see - and I'm not back until July. I feel as if my relationships will slip away. Are, already.

Now, the rules say I'm supposed to tag five people. I'm going to be a rule-breaker and just encourage you to give me (us) some random facts, without tagging you specifically.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I'm going back to Home City tomorrow, after my class. For the February break is upon us, next week. I'll be there for a week, and then in Nearest (to here) Metropolis for three days, seeing my friend C, and dancing. I intend to actually use this Reading Week to Read - or, get several days' worth of reading in, at least.

I've noticed a new kind of haunting by Mr. K in the last couple of days. I had been starting to feel better - every day was getting better - but in the last forty-eight hours or so, I've been invaded by memories of him constantly. I'd already been thinking about him so much every day, but these are more like violent intrusions, making me feel very uneasy. I suspect this is because I'm about to go back, and he won't be there. The jury's out on what that will be like.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Rather bad form

So my friends M and Flake and I proposed a panel for Congress this year, after such a successful one last year. And when I say successful, I mean mostly that our papers worked well together and that we had a great time, the three of us - I had brought M and Flake together for the purposes of this panel. I don't say "successful" in the sense of good attendance or anything - oh, no, not that - because my scholarly association has bizarrely poor attendance.

So anyway, this year - months ago - we submitted a panel proposal (although M and I have certainly complained since then about the scholarly association and talked about presenting at another one, next time). We received an email a while back telling us that the process of vetting abstracts and notifying people of acceptance would be delayed. They gave us a date, though - then that date passed, and we've just been sitting here waiting, with no further word. Strike one against them. Then today we get notification of acceptance of our panel - and what does the notification inform us (in ways that were so convoluted that I wasn't initially sure what we were being told, I might add)? That they've just chosen to add another paper to our panel. Um. What? Who does that??? You don't just an additional paper to a panel without asking, without consulting. This association has already egregiously short time slots, and now we have to manage four panelists in that short time?? This seems really unprofessional and rude, frankly.

Now, I happen to know this added panelist (or at least I did, 10 years ago, when we were in grad school together). I like this person. The paper fits well, judging from the title. But still, I find this pretty outrageous. What is more, they've emailed the notification to our panel and the new panelist, so we can't write very well say, "No, we don't want that."

I am seriously bugged. What think you?

Anyway, no more of this association for me. It's embarrassing, frankly.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Why I love teaching...

A couple of weeks ago, when I was still in the throes of the loss of Mr. K, Squadratomagico tagged me for the meme that was going around at the time, about why one loves teaching what one teaches. I haven't been able to complete it until now - I have begun to feel better in the last few days, both about Mr. K's loss and in terms of the depression that I've experienced for the last three months or so. (Gee, how much of that do you think has to do with the fact that the sun is starting to come up before 7am these days, and is shining warm on my face as I write this, while the temperature rises above freezing and I can hear birds?)

I've never been explicit on here about what I teach...the country is too small for me to feel as if I can name my field like that. But I'm sure attentive readers have been able to read between the lines, and I'll say it now (though will probably edit it out in a day or two, to prevent future identification, etc.).

I teach X.


So, yes - for all of my ambivalence about this field, there are some really, really valuable things in the teaching of it, that enrich me as a scholar and as a human being.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Decaf tea

Okay, this is a departure from my regularly scheduled whining (for another kind of whining - ha).

Has anyone found a brand of decaffeinated black tea that they like? I ask because I am obsessed with tea, and I drink a lot of it, and I feel as if it would be good to cut back the caffeine a little. Herbal teas are fine, but it is black tea that is the object of my obsession. But I can't find a good decaf black tea. (Yes, I've bought it at specialty tea shops before, but that's been no better than the supermarket brands I've found.) The one I'm drinking right now tastes like rancid nothing, and smells like old fish.


Thursday, February 07, 2008


...In the wake of yesterday's news. Which really was a kind of shock, I have to say. I wasn't enjoying the job, and I was feeling pretty damned cynical about it, before. But I was still labouring under the assumption that I/the program mattered, on some level. So it really requires a significant paradigm shift to get my head around the new reality.

I was talking to a colleague/friend about this just now...She came here a couple of years ago, feels as if she was sold a bill of goods, has been entirely let down. She said to me, "Like stages of grief, I really think there are stages of reaction-to-being-lied-to. The first is the fuck-you one [this is where I'm at right now, adding a little incredulous laughter to the mix], and then you get to a point where you say, 'I'm not going to let them ruin my career with this...I'm going to work with grad students and do the best I can in other areas...' "

It's funny that she said this, because she essentially reflected back to me the thoughts I'd been having about this today. I need to withdraw me energies from curricula/program development, yes. But I can't mistake that for checking out altogether, because that would be suicide. Both because it would isolate me too much, and because it wouldn't do anything to add to my attractiveness as a candidate in my attempt to get out of here.

So I need to focus my energies on the tiny places where I see potential for hope. One is in working with grad students...The other is in building coalition with people who are on the same page. Both of these are happening right now. In the grad student arena, I have two grand grad students in a class, and I'm talking with another about co-supervising, and I have organized a panel of three cool grad students for a Research showcase week that's coming up. I've been enjoying facilitating things for these folks, helping give them opportunities - especially since this is such a dire place to be for many grad students. On the coalitions-with-the-like-minded front, I've gotten to work with some cool like-minded souls in setting up a whole week of events in early March, which will be bridging university and community and giving crucial issues some presence on this campus. And I today met with a colleague about setting up a Working Group on [Thing], which could result in some cool initiatives, bring some good energy to campus, and have me feeling less isolated in the work I'm doing.

And, as Marcelle says in comments to the post below, I should also concentrate my energies on publishing to get out of here. No more of this kind of schedule, in which I seem to have at least 2 administrative meetings a day, every day - that does not allow me to ge my own research done.

This is my strategy right now. Ironically, this ridiculous paradigm shift has happened right at the time when I started to emerge from the lowest point I feel I've ever been at, in my life - that's felt easier in the last few days, both the loss of Mr. K and the other generalized depression. So I actually have energy for the first time in a few months - only to find that where I thought I'd be putting it is not viable. So I will put it elsewhere, and bide my time.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Unexpected freedom

So I'm feeling perversely free this evening. Why so?

As you know, I was hired at this job to grow this tiny program. I am the ONLY faculty member. I have spent the last four months dutifully doing the very tedious job of curriculum revision, proposing brand new courses, etc. (Which have been approved, as of last week - yay, me, I suppose.) What has become clear to me over the last couple of months is how incredibly isolated I feel in my job, being a program of one. I don't like it. I didn't realize I'd dislike it so much, but I do. I have an "Advisory Committee", but they're totally burnt out - the last meeting I called, two of the other three people just didn't show up. Uh-huh. Gee, do I feel supported.

The program currently offers a minor, but basically no student does a minor because they haven't had the faculty resources to commit to teaching enough courses for people to realistically minor in it. That doesn't get much better with me - I teach a 2-2 load. Since 1-1 of that load is the Intro courses - Intro I and Intro II - that sure as hell doesn't free up much for offering any more courses and enabling students to actually take this program.

So of course, for next year, my Chair and I hoped to hire an adjunct to teach 2-3 courses in addition to my 4. (Well, I don't hope for an adjunct, I hope for a full-time hire, but that's not happening.) I was just counting on this happening, in fact. Of course, I thought, it's a no-brainer. You can't grow a program without throwing some (admittedly, inadequate) resources at it.

What do I learn today? From on high comes word that there will be no sessional hires next year. There will be only me again, teaching my 2-2 load. This is the most ludicrous thing I've ever heard. As I say above, it is not possible to grow - or even really offer - a program under these circumstances.

But I must say, I feel incredibly, laughingly free. You know why? Because it means I can leave this godforsaken institution with no guilt, without looking back. I feel lied to, I feel like my job is completely pointless. Why should I stay here? So I can toil away in isolation, as the bone that was thrown to what were considered to be a bunch of whiny faculty members, to shut them up? That's humiliating, frankly.

Let's review, shall we?

- Because of the lack of resources, students can't take a minor properly. (In fact, if I feel any guilt, it's about the completely misleading existence of this program in the calendar, masquerading as a viable minor...I have first-year students who are liking it, and want to do a minor.)
- I have no colleagues, hence nobody with whom to bounce around ideas and share the admin workload (there is some, when you're supposed to be growing a pointless program).
- I can't mount a course in the very thing which is the area of my expertise, which also absolutely should be a required course because every student should have a Theory course, since a territorial person from another department (who is not an expert in this area, I mean) has put on a similar course and made it clear that they will raise hell if I teach this.
- I'm liking working with grad students (i.e. the two I have in my class, and being the University examiner on this defense the other day) and have a potential one I'll be co-supervising next year. But grad studies is a right mess, resulting in me having to give uncompensated directed reading courses to every single grad student who crosses my threshold because there are no courses for them.
- I have a higher-up with whom my every interaction feels punitive.

So, I call bullshit, and that is liberating, see.

Monday, February 04, 2008


Sometimes things are put into perspective. It comes as no surprise to anyone that I really don't like my job for a bunch of reasons unrelated to teaching and having more to do with the institution that employs me and the circumstances of my employ. I feel pretty shitty about things, as you know.

But sometimes I am reminded how bad things could be. I have two friends - let's call them Femma and Journo. Femma is an old friend of mine - we've been friends for almost fifteen years, since early in my B.A. About six years ago, she got together with another friend of mine, Journo - someone I'd become friends with through my (non-academic) work. They live happily ever after.

Except not. Because Journo's life is ruled by her boss. Femma and Journo were supposed to be coming out to visit me around the time of Femma's 35th birthday in April - we've been starting to plan it. Journo put in the request for vacation, and her boss is going to turn it down because of a party. Because he wants Femma and Journo to be in attendance at a party, he will say, "no vacay for you." According to Femma, who wrote me tonight, livid, "the more Boss knows Journo wants to go, the more pleasure he's going to take in saying, no, you have to stay."

Every time I talk to these two, they're lamenting some kind of Event they have to go to. They missed my going-away party, for instance, because of a party they had no choice but to go to. (Not that it's all about me, of course - just an example.) Have to - no choice. It is made clear that Journo's job hangs in the balance. This fucking asshole man runs about buying $10,000 tables at charity events, or throwing over-the-top six-course dinners, just to impress people and purchase his own semblance of self-esteem. And then, sadist that he is, he takes pleasure in miring other people in the muck he's made of his life.

It is good for me to be reminded of how much freedom I ultimately have in this job. How, even though my "boss" is an ass and a half, I have to put scare quotes around the word boss because that doesn't really describe his position. That's a good thing to remember. I am exceedingly privileged, and I'd better not forget it.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Saturday night things

Here I am, Saturday night, having cooked up a big pot of pasta sauce, and halfway through a really quite good bottle of merlot that the wine store woman talked me into even though it costs really way too much for some bottle of wine that I'm just drinking by myself...I've also made brownies to welcome the new people who have just moved into the downstairs apartment. They are a sweet young couple from my Home Province - in fact, they moved from Home City - and I thought they deserved some welcome brownies. But now I'm too tipsy to wander downstairs with the brownies, because then I'd look like their weird drunk neighbour. So I'm blogging, instead.


I think I'm going to give up on this therapist I found. I had vowed to go to counselling after the winter break to sort out what seemed to me to be depression. And to figure out some stuff around R and I. So I've been going to this one for a few weeks. She seemed fine enough at first. But really, at this point I think I get the same thing from my friends - and they're free. Seriously, my weekly marathon conversations with M., or my slightly less frequent conversations with A., are just as illuminating as this is turning out to be. Really, I just feel like I'm paying all this money to vent and be affirmed. That's not what I need - I have plenty of venting and affirmation already in my life. And I, you know, am able to figure some stuff out on my own. I can go in there and lay out what the problems are - and imagine my way to some of the solutions. Some.


One solution is getting some freaking work done. I have this book project, see - and I had initially thought I would get the first chapter written this winter. I have a few conference papers to begin from, and was putting intense pressure on myself to come up with the chapter. I realized I wasn't ready, though - I needed to do some more reading in a few areas. And then I spent several weeks just sitting there, thinking to myself, "Oh, it's so hard...what will I read...oh no, I'll never do it, I am an impostor, this will never happen, I'll never write a book...oh it's so hard, what will I read?" So then on Thursday I put a goddamned stop to that. I just need to read, dammit. So I did some searching, and came up with a dozen or so articles and books that would set me on the right track. Duh? How is it that I become so bloody DUMB? You just look up some sources, dummy. And you feel better.


Kasper continues to haunt me. I am haunted by the day and circumstances of his passing, even though it was the right thing to do. I am stopped in my tracks many times a day, thinking of him, feeling as if something wasn't quite right about the way that all happened. I still need to sort out my feelings of him being lonely - I can't let go of that vision. My poor man.


The cat helps. My borrowed-for-a-year cat, Diamond. She's a dear. She basically lives on my lap. And now, after a couple of weeks with me, sleeps with me for most of the night. Curled in next to me. Thank goodness for her.