ONE LOVE/ONE UWI #6: Message from the Vice-Chancellor

A Series from Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles

“After all, we make ourselves according to the ideas we have of our possibilities.
I would have hidden in my hole and been crippled by my sentimentality,
doing what I was doing, and doing it well, but always looking for the wailing wall.
And I would never have seen the world as the rich place that it is.”
(V.S. Naipaul, A Bend in the River)
Thankfully, our days and nights working with COVID-19 are now interrupted by a long holiday weekend. We give thanks for the reprieve as we celebrate the bountiful blessings of health and peace of mind.

Your visionary responses to the virus have been inspiring. As staffers and students you have been inventive, innovative, and simply awesome. Your impulse to imagine making life better is deep and profound and critically, endemic to our UWI community. I have seen it over the decades and recognise it with a smile each and every time.

The psycho-trauma we are all encountering is being scientifically addressed and I wish to thank our disciplinary experts for their webinars that have offered relief to many of us and provided the general understanding that is necessary to adjust and cope.

Most of us have been working from home. The significance of this is seismic. The University has penetrated our homes more deeply than ever. Our place of rest and peace is now a place of work and productivity. The work/home experience is now seamless for most of us. The University does not take this for granted and expresses gratitude.

Many of us live alone and therefore work alone. Some of us are especially challenged by the additional isolation imposed by curfews. This weekend is opportune to reach with the technology into the homes of friends and colleagues for whom uninterrupted isolation is not necessarily welcomed.

Hopefully, students, you will have the opportunity to recharge your energy source and prepare for the new online learning culture. Colleagues, please make a tactical effort to fully reclaim your homes over this long weekend.

For everyone, I wish peace of mind and the blessing of rest.

With gratitude,

Professor Sir Hilary Beckles

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