To Queensborough, in earnest

Montreal from my office

One of the last things I did today as I cleared stuff out of my office at The Gazette was to take this photo of downtown Montreal from its window. Let’s just say the view is a little different from that of tiny Queensborough from the Manse!

It seems like only a few short weeks ago that I did a post about Raymond’s retirement as executive editor of the Montreal Gazette – the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. And there’s a reason why it seems like that post was such a short time ago: it was just a short time ago – this past Aug. 30, to be precise. But in the six weeks since then, there’s been a new development: I too am leaving The Gazette, and in fact today was my last day as its deputy editor.

Mind you, I am not retiring; far from it. I’m moving to an exciting new position as a professor of journalism at the School of Media, Arts and Design at Loyalist College in Belleville, Ont.

What makes this new role more exciting than just any journalism-teaching position? Well, I’ll tell you: it’s because Loyalist College has put a huge commitment of new resources into establishing a program that trains young journalists to be skilled and agile on all platforms (digital, broadcast, social media, print), and able to adapt quickly to changing technologies and the changing demands, interests and habits of the consumers of news. The training is heavily focused on giving the students real-life hands-on experience instead of a lot of theoretical classroom instruction. (Don’t get me started about how unprepared students who’ve only received theoretical instruction are when they first enter a real newsroom. Believe me, I’ve been watching this for years from my vantage point at The Gazette and other news-media operations.)

In addition, Loyalist has joined forces with Trent University in Peterborough, Ont. (of which I am a graduate) to establish the Trent-Loyalist Journalism Program. Students in this program will graduate with a B.A. or a B.Sc. in journalism plus whatever other discipline they choose. And I think that is absolutely marvellous; in my long experience, the best and most well-rounded journalists are those who’ve studied something – be it political science, philosophy, biology, architecture or engineering – before, or along with, or sometimes even instead of, a program of journalism alone.

digital media centre at Loyalist College

The newsroom in Loyalist College’s new Digital Media Centre. Is that a great place to teach, or what? (Photo from countylive.ca, which has an excellent report on the Digital Media Centre’s opening here.)

The showpiece of the Loyalist program is a beautiful spanking-new “integrated newsroom,” a real newsroom where all this practical instruction takes place. The equipment is state-of-the-art, the layout is clean and ergonomic, and it’s just a totally exciting, challenging place to be. (You can read more about it here.) I am convinced that thanks to Loyalist’s smart decisions and serious commitment to this new venture, the journalism program can and will be one of the best in Canada. I am thrilled to be involved, and I can’t wait to start!

But the other great thing about this big change in our lives is this: my new workplace is only a pleasant 40-minute drive from the Manse. If you put two and two together you’ll quickly figure out that Raymond and I are – wait for it – moving to Queensborough!

The move will be gradual; we don’t expect to put our place in Montreal up for sale for several months yet, and we will certainly be back in the big city fairly often (the newly retired Raymond probably more often than me) to see family and friends and stay involved in the church and cultural activities here that mean a lot to us. But slowly but surely our centre of gravity will be shifting from the big city to tiny, quiet Queensborough.

To the Manse, the house that I grew up in.

Which means: I am going home.

40 thoughts on “To Queensborough, in earnest

  1. Many congratulations, Katherine! It’s such a heart-warming story. And congratulations, too, to Loyalist for their brilliant move in hiring you. As a mature student grad of a community college and, later, an employee in public relations and communications at the same institution, I can say with some experience that people like you make all the difference in the success of both programs and students.

    • Thank you for your kind words, Brenda. I do hope I can make a good strong contribution to the excellent program at Loyalist. Everyone I’ve met at the college has been so warm and welcoming; I am really looking foward to working there!

  2. Wow this is great news on so many levels. Coming home, start new, and taking this blog as an example of community news and spirit to the classroom.

    The students will love that you get social media and have real newsroom experience. My guess is you will learn from them as much as they will from you.

    Congrats on this very exciting new chapter of your life.

    Jo-Ann
    Sent wirelessly from my BlackBerry device on the Bell network.
    Envoyé sans fil par mon terminal mobile BlackBerry sur le réseau de Bell.

  3. And now you really will need good internet service full time.
    Sent wirelessly from my BlackBerry device on the Bell network.
    Envoyé sans fil par mon terminal mobile BlackBerry sur le réseau de Bell.

  4. Congratulations Katherine on your opening a new chapter! May it be filled with much happiness. And, it’s always wonderful to be home. My best to you and Ray(mond)!

  5. Raymond just told me! I am so excited for you and him, this will be wonderful 🙂 Like I mentioned to him, I simply cannot wait to see what you do to the kitchen at the Manse!

    • Oh boy, Nicole, now you’ve got me nervous! I hope what we do meets the expectations I may have raised in readers with all those photos I’ve found of gorgeous kitchens, appliances, etc.! But we are very happy to be at the Manse, and I think – I THINK – we are ready for the renovation challenge. You have to come and visit when next you are in the Campbellford area!

      • Absolutely! Don’t feel kitchen pressure – it will be what it will be, and you are home, so it will be wonderful. I also keep my eyes peeled for anything turquoise and kitchen related whilst on my antiquing trips 🙂 You never know what you might find….

      • Truer words were never spoken (re finds while on the antique hunt), Nicole. Mine today (though not kitchen-related) was – a vintage wooden sled with turquoise runners!

  6. Happy trails, indeed. As one door closes, another opens to brighter horizons. Congratulations to you and Raymond!

    Of course, those of us you have left behind in the Gazette newsroom can still stay in touch with you through this wonderful medium. It will be fun reading about your new life in Green Acres, er, Queensborough . . .

    Happy Thanksgiving to you both, and to all your readers celebrating the holiday this weekend.

    Cheers

  7. Exciting news – in many ways! I look forward to seeing more of you around Queensborough! And just as much – to see the results of your mission to get high-speed internet to Q’bro!!!

    • We too are SO looking forward to spending a lot more time in Queensborough and being able to be more involved in community events, Sally. And I hope you’ll join our Campaign for Real Internet!

  8. Congratulations, Katherine, on returning home! And a big thumbs-up for giving the next generation of journos “real- life” experience: I understand what you mean. Wishing you all the best.

  9. Congratulations Katherine on your new chapter in life. You will like Loyalist College. I just might see you around campus. I had heard a little rumor of your change but didn’t want to believe till it came from the horses mouth herself no pun intended. 🙂

  10. Well done, Katherine. You’ll make a wonderful teacher. Am I too old to sign up for one of your classes? All the best to you and Ray. (Don’t tell him that his Sox are going down.)

    • Hey, thank you for the vote of confidence, Jim! As for the Red Sox, as I type this your prediction is looking to come true: 5-1 Tigers at the top of the eighth. But we citizens of Red Sox Nation always hold out hope!

  11. When do you start full time at the college? And are you full time, part time or casual?
    Sent wirelessly from my BlackBerry device on the Bell network.
    Envoyé sans fil par mon terminal mobile BlackBerry sur le réseau de Bell.

  12. Wonderful News, Katherine! Montreal’s loss is certainly the Quinte area’s gain, and more importantly, your affinity to Queensborough and the Manse!… Welcome Home, Raymond, Katherine & Sieste, Welcome Home!!!….

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