My little brother took this picture for me on our way back into Winnipeg from the lake, just over a week ago. And now neither I nor the sign are still there. These are turbulent times we live in, I guess.
Yes, folks, I've moved away; I caught the flight last Tuesday and I'm currently dwelling in an underground apartment, deep within the (enemy?) territory of London, Ontario. I've just today started my run as a graduate student in the MLIS program, at the nearby University of Western Ontario -- and I think I'm adjusting alright to the sudden change of surroundings, aside from occasional pangs of loneliness or bouts of where-the-hell-is-everything-located-here.
It's going to be a profoundly busy program, but me being me I'm loathe to drop my writing gigs. And I'm not going to! I'm in discussions about maintaining my status as an Uptown columnist (albeit that said discussions are tricky to conduct when I no longer have a phone line), and the blogging will continue at a reduced frequency well into the future.
Given that I've undergone a change of location and change of vocation (lol see what i did there), I figured that a change of physical address likewise warrants a change of online address. So for the sixteen months or so that it takes me to complete the program and earn my Master's degree, you can find me at a newly-established second blog: Gone East to Western, my new base of operations for the time being.
I imagine most of you will pass on it, and reasonably so; you live in Winnipeg, the new blog is most certainly not about Winnipeg, there goes your interest. But if anybody back home is wondering how I'm doing, or what sort of shenanigans and goings-on I'll be up to now, you'll know where to look in the meantime. Feel free to drop by!
A few people have asked me if I intend on returning to Winnipeg, once I've got the degree. And I do, for the most part, but it'll definitely depend on finding a lucrative quality job with my degree. Mind you, that's what I told myself with the last degree, and yet there I was making fifty cents above minimum wage when I left my last job to go to graduate school. Hell, the complete and staggering lack of decent jobs in Winnipeg was what drove me into graduate school to begin with! I've got a lot left behind in Manitoba that I want to come back to -- the girlfriend, the immediate family, the extended family, the pets, the lake, the columnist gig, the precocious and probably imaginary local notoriety, et cetera -- but I'm not dropping countless thousands of dollars on the kind of Master's degree that makes employers drool just to come back and make nine or nine-fifty an hour at the jobs that I was overqualified for six years ago when I graduated from high school. So we'll just have to wait and see what opens up, once I've got another piece of paper to my name. It's certainly not as though I'm leaving forever; hell, the breaks between graduate terms are a month long each, so three months from now I'll be back in town until the new year anyway. But if future-me is going to stick around, he's going to need a viable financial reason to do it. (Short version: Hello, I'm every Manitoba graduate ever. Perhaps you are familiar with my story.)
My sincerest thanks to everybody for reading me, these past couple of years, and I'll see you all around when (and assuming) I come back. I'm over here now, in the meantime, so if you're looking for me you know where to find me. I'll keep in touch.
James Hope Howard is a currently-job-hunting Librarian, a current affairs panelist on 101.5 UMFM's Winnipeg Internet Pundits, a competitive gaming stream commentator for Chip Damage, and the reigning five-time Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown champion of Winnipeg. Plus other duties as assigned.
He blogs in his spare time.
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