Lily Polowin, Communications Coordinator, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The first time I experienced the joy of moving was when I packed up my teddy bear, band posters, my first laptop, and my dignity in many boxes and made the trek out to Lennoxville, QC to move into my residence at Bishop’s University where I was going to be studying music and philosophy. In second year, I recall living in a very cramped four-bedroom apartment on top of the local poutine restaurant, and in third year, a horrific day in which a roommate and I moved two apartments’ worth of contents into separate apartments. Watching my roommate haul his fridge up four flights of stairs is a sight I will never forget. No matter that the new place came with a fridge, he insisted on bringing his own.
There’s something profound about moving. Not only does the process of sifting through the contents of your space force you to reflect on things like consumerism and waste, unfinished projects, ill-advised ambitions, and memories you’d rather forget, being able to count on someone during that period of anxiety and instability causes bonding. We at the Federation experienced that bonding earlier this month, and are now happily settling in to our new office at 141 Laurier!
These are the types of projects that feel bigger than all of us. And though we work on team projects all throughout the year, the feeling of actually needing other people – depending on them to make a project move forward – becomes all the more real when it involves physical labour. In our day-to-day, digital connections often bring us farther apart. But the physical, located, rooted process of moving is a welcome reminder that our physical space connects us just as much as the digital networks we have come to rely on.
Speaking of reflecting on our possessions, it was unearthed during the move that the Federation is in possession of not one, not two, not three, not four but five coffee makers. Needless to say, we know where our priorities lie. Settling into our new office means a space with more light, more room, and an opportunity to create a place that our community can feel is their own. The new location contains coloured accent walls to hint at the Federation’s branding palette, and a brighter and more open workspace. Of course, we still left ample space for books.
Our new boardroom is in a bigger space and is equipped with a big screen TV. We hope to host events for the HSS community here to take advantage of the new digs!
Moving day also brought to mind a certain yearly project that we at the Federation are all very familiar with. Our COO, Brenda Dashney, expressed that sentiment in an email:
“Moving offices was like watching an all-hands-on-deck at Congress. I love how everyone pulls together to make stuff happen. This is why the Federation is able to pull off what feels like the impossible and make it look EASY!”