September 6, 2013
Day four dawned bright and early with a bus pick-up at 7 a.m. so we could make the two hour drive up to the “real” Athabasca campus in the lovely yet somewhat remote village of Athabasca, Alberta. The ride, as all bus trips inevitably end up, was filled with lots of laughter, debriefing about the previous two days and our newly revealed dissertation supervisors. The ride only further convinced me that Athabasca is really pretty much in the middle of nowhere, but the fields and wide wide open sky did provide a valuable sense of rest compared to all the noise and input of the past several days.
After a brief campus tour (which ironically is like almost any other small college campus with the odd distinction of having no resident students) we settled into the newly constructed Centre for Distance Education building and conference room (which is LEED certified and feels a bit like you’ve been tele-ported from the prairie states of Canada to Southern California) and learned how to research, write for grants, and leverage what really is a world-wide network more than willing to support our efforts. I was once again amazed that I was here…in Canada and in Athabasca and part of such a diverse and supportive community.