summer 2021

Good morning, friends,

We’ve been on hiatus, trying to recover from a difficult academic year and preparing ourselves for the year to come. We’re grateful, as always, for this community.

We’re returning to invite you to two virtual events:

The VFC annual open meeting will be held on July 14 at 5pm et. Join us to learn more about the collective, get involved in our project, or just meet some lovely people working in and around higher ed. Email for zoom information:

Academic Tarot Reading Parties will be held on first Fridays at 5et, starting in August. Email for zoom information:

Looking forward to seeing you all.

In solidarity,

Hannah for the VFC

How are you feeling this week?

Reminder: Take the international students experience survey!

Universities benefit from international students and workers, but their policies cause significant harm to the students they recruit and to their families.

While immigration policies are set at the national level, universities and departments can make changes, alter policies, and provide further resources to improve the quality of life for international students.

Learn more about the VFC’s efforts to build a community of support for international students, document their experiences, and take action to fight for a better future.

Take the international students survey

Academic Tarot: Summer Reading

Dear coyote & bones,

Where should we put our energies this summer?

To answer this question we’re doing a three card spread. The first card will help us to think about where we are, the second will help us understand our current path, and the third will offer insight into our potential.

Where we are now | The IT Specialist (Strength)

Our first card is The IT Specialist. From our reader’s guide:

As she installs yet another hybrid classroom, the IT specialist is intertwined with the system: at times in control, at times controlled by it. The IT Specialist asks us to accept reality and embody the strength to coexist with our own wild beasts. Feel those feelings of rage and frustration, but channel them into what you do best: learning, communicating, and creating.

Despite a lot of messaging to the contrary, we are still very much entangled in this pandemic. There are still a lot of unanswered questions, and we are still struggling with the consequences of a year of isolation and fear and institutional failure.

This card affirms that even as we may feel small and powerless in the face of larger forces, we are coming out of this past year in a position of strength. For me, much of that strength lies in the communities of solidarity that have been formed during this pandemic. These are networks that work.

Our current path | The DEI Committee (Justice)

Our second card is the DEI Committee. From our reader’s guide:

In traditional tarot, Justice is the card of fairness, of truth, and of the law. Drawing the DEI Committee means that now is the time to take decisive action. Balance intuition with logic and your hard-won knowledge as you proceed. Be sure that you are prepared to stand by your actions, since actions always carry consequences.

I admit that when I saw this card, it felt wrong. I don’t feel like I’m on a path to justice. I feel like the IT Specialist, a cog in a machine that does more harm than good. But I am taking this card as an affirmation that the path we’re on will give us opportunities to make choices that lead towards good. It is our responsibility to recognize those choices as they arise and take action when it is called for.

Our potential | Commencement Reversed (The world)

Commencement is a card that represents the end of a cycle and the celebration of an accomplishment, and signals a time of change. But reversed:

Reversed, Commencement suggests that you may be seeking closure before it’s time. You may be seeking shortcuts through a process that needs to conclude, or you may have lost your passion or commitment near the end. Find the patience you’ll need to get through this phase. You’re almost there.

Friends, I’m so tired. I don’t want to keep going on this path: of injustice, of pandemic, of uncertainty and solitude and the never-ending pressure to produce.

So I’m trying to focus on what this card is saying. To unleash our potential for accomplishment and change, we have to seek both patience and renewal.

What are the things that keep you going when you’ve lost your energy, and where do you go to build your strength?

For me, in this pandemic, the answer has been this community and the work we do together.

Wishing you all strength, and justice, and the whole damn world. 🎈