The Greatest Adventure of our Lives
Air Date: December 15, 2020
Dec. 14, 2020
0:00 Darren Thomas, Assistant Professor, Indigenous Studies
16:17 Serena Austin, One Market Research Assistant & DMJ student
25:34 Alicia Schiassi, Academic Program Assistant, Faculty of Liberal Arts
One Market is hosted by Associate Professor Bruce Gillespie, Program Coordinator of Digital Media and Journalism.
Thank you to Serena Austin, One Market Research Assistant, Melissa Weaver for graphics, and Nicole Morgan for campus promotion. Music by Scott Holmes.
Bruce Gillespie 0:02
Welcome to One Market, keeping the Laurier Brantford community connected. I’m Bruce Gillespie. On this episode, our final episode of the season, we hear what it’s like to defend your dissertation over Zoom. Then, our research assistant and intern makes her on air debut, telling us about the work she’s been doing behind the scenes of the podcast since late summer. And finally, we hear a pandemic story from one of our staff like no other. I can’t tell you more without spoiling it, so trust me when I say you will want to hear this one. So, stay tuned to the end. All that and more coming up on this episode of One Market.
Our first guest is Darren Thomas, an assistant professor of Indigenous Studies, Darren had the unique experience of having to defend his PhD dissertation this summer, which meant doing it over Zoom as opposed to in person, Because that’s so far from the norm and because it gave us a good excuse to call him up and have a chat, we asked him to tell us about it. Here’s our conversation. Hi, Darren. And thanks for joining us today on One Market.
Darren Thomas 1:08
Hi, Bruce, and your audience, it’s certainly my pleasure to come and visit with you for a few minutes today.
Bruce Gillespie 1:16
Well, we appreciate it. We thought it’d be fun to talk to you for all sorts of reasons just because you’re a lovely man to chat with, but you had a really interesting experience this summer because you were defending your dissertation. And, like most folks who ended up defending this summer, you had to do it via Zoom and, sort of, virtually, which is, I mean, until recently, really unheard of. So, we thought it’d be fun for those of us who have not had to do that to, sort of, walk through the experience of what that was like. So, maybe the place to start is, I presume that that is not how you’d expected or wanted to defend your dissertation going into this process?
Darren Thomas 1:49
Yeah, absolutely. I was, you know, quite, quite upset, actually, to be honest with you. You know, the defense, although it’s incredibly intimidating, you know, to go through the process, but it is really seen as an opportunity to celebrate, and you know, your triumph of all your work and all your effort. And, you know, because I had so many friends and colleagues and family. And I had invited everyone, you know, who was wanting to participate in and watching. So, I had about 20 people that were set up to come as guests. Of course, we couldn’t have any guests at all, because we had to go completely online. And so, I was quite upset and disappointed with that, because I was looking forward, for one, to have the support behind me as well.
Bruce Gillespie 2:51
Darren Thomas 2:53
And to just be able to, you know, show my family more, you know, what I’ve been through? And, you know, I mean, they certainly were witness to it, but to actually see the combination of all my work and effort in front of them and in front of a panel of experts, as well. So, doing it online was really disappointing. I mean, it all went well and, you know, but unfortunately, like I said, it just, it was nowhere near in my vision as I was going through the years of work to completion.
Bruce Gillespie 3:34
Well, and as you say, I think there’s so many examples of when dissertations were actually, like you say, really celebratory. I had the pleasure of chairing a defense committee, or defense presentation, a couple years ago for Community Psychology. And it was just such a lovely time. She had lots of supporters there. It was a really interesting and engaging, sort of, question and answer kind of session. In the end felt really celebratory. It was a lovely moment, which I think is not how we’re used to thinking of dissertation defenses. So, I can see how it would be disappointing to have to, sort of, try to do that over Zoom, or something. How much notice did you have? Like, was it a couple weeks to prepare, or did you, sort of, have a couple months? I’m not sure what the timing was.
Darren Thomas 4:15
Yeah, so I knew I was going to be in a position for a defense for some time. And so, really, since I guess, March, when we immediately went to remote teaching and everything like that, I put the calls out right away to Grad Studies and my supervisor and said, okay, what’s this mean for defense? You know, because we we’re trying to, we we’re actually trying to defend in the springtime. So, it did put a delay on some things while we had to kind of wait and figure out what exactly it was going to be like. So, it just pushed it back into very early summer, and beginning of July is when I actually defended. So yeah, I had plenty of time to to prepare and know what the guidelines were going to be. In the very early conversation, there was still some potential opportunity, initially, that we may have been able to have some guests join the Zoom. But, I think with a lot of folks, when all learning about the limitations of Zoom in the early days of COVID, I think just for security reasons, they just said no guests at all.
Bruce Gillespie 5:50
I guess that makes sense, right? This is, like, back in the spring and early summer was when most of us probably didn’t know what Zoom was. Whereas if we did it today, we’d probably know, we could probably do it in, like, five seconds, right?
Darren Thomas 5:59
Right. Exactly. Exactly. We heard so many horror stories in the early days of Zoom, of people just Zoom bombing and doing all these, you know, rude things to people. And I think that’s where our Grad Studies just said, “Okay, we can’t handle any of that.”
Bruce Gillespie 6:17
Yeah, that seems like a wise decision.
Darren Thomas 6:19
Bruce Gillespie 6:20
So, what did your dissertation look like, then? Was it just you talking to your Zoom, computer, for a couple hours? Like, what does it actually end up looking like?
Darren Thomas 6:29
Yeah, that’s essentially what it was. Set up for, I think the whole process, I think was probably two and a half hours. So, of course, they gave me 15 minutes to present my work. And then, the committee went around, did their, you know, the normal process. You know, they each went around for about 15 minutes, each of my committee members, asked me different questions, a couple of rounds now. They gave me the option to take a break, but I just wanted to power through and, kind of, get it done. And so, the chair was the host of the Zoom, so they had the power to place me in the waiting room and things like that. So, much like you do with a physical, in-person defense, you know, the candidate steps outside of the room and the committee talks. So, they just placed me into a waiting room. And so, I had to, you know, of course, they put me in the waiting room for, you know, five to seven minutes, but it felt like forever.
Bruce Gillespie 7:40
Darren Thomas 7:40
You know, and they come back and, you know, “Congratulations, Dr. Thomas.” Right?
Bruce Gillespie 7:47
Very nice. Darren, for folks who don’t know, can you tell us a little bit about what your dissertation was about?
Darren Thomas 7:53
Yeah. So, at Laurier, one of the things that we have in our program of Community Psychology is, we have the option to do, of course, the traditional manuscript, or a multiple manuscript model as well. So, I ended up choosing them the multiple manuscript model, because looking at the issues I was intending to look at, are very complex. So, my work is located in the ring of fire, what’s called the ring of fire in Northern Ontario, which is this massive proposed mining development project in a region that’s called Matawa. And Matawa is actually nine different small First Nations that operate as one collective. Now, the first reaction I get from many people, they say, “Well, I thought you’re doing a psychology degree, what are you doing in mining?”
Bruce Gillespie 8:56
Darren Thomas 8:57
Right. So, one of the things when you look at Community Psychology, we’re always interested in an analysis of power, and what’s going on when we start looking at community health and well being. And when you’re looking at natural resource development in Canada, you can’t have that conversation without looking at how this impacts on Indigenous Peoples rights. And so, what I really got interested in is this area because it is such an emblematic case study. Because the Ring of Fire is actually a proposed, it’s nicknamed the next tar sands, because the mining deposit itself is estimated to be a value of $65 billion. And because it’s in the far remote part of Ontario, you have to build roads or rail to get there. So, all the subsidiary development in the region is in excess of $225 billion.
Bruce Gillespie 10:07
Darren Thomas 10:07
You’re talking 100 years of development potentially. But, in amongst this area are nine First Nations communities that are very small in population, very vulnerable in terms of infrastructure, housing, water, poor education standards, health care, all these issues. And it becomes a real moral question around economic development at the cost and impact of environment. And, you know, although, you know, I wanted to write and, kind of, almost talk about extortion. Because when government and business are saying to these communities, “Well, we’ll build you that infrastructure if you give us access to the minerals.”
Bruce Gillespie 11:08
Darren Thomas 11:07
So, you know, essentially, it’s extortion. But, my committee said that I better shy away from that word. But, that’s exactly what’s playing out there, right? And these promises of basic human rights that every citizen in Canada is supposed to have. But, these communities are denied them because it’s not cost efficient for the government to, you know, like, Neskantaga has been in the news lately. Neskantaga has been on a boil water advisory since 1993. They’ve been without potable water. And they’ve been in the news lately, because they’ve just been evacuated once again, to Thunder Bay, because they just can’t do anything about the water. And, I think for many folks, they don’t realize what it’s like when you go into the remote parts of the country. So, with many of these northern First Nations, they don’t, they’re not on the grid. So, they’re dependent upon diesel generators. And that’s what happened in Neskantaga, they had a major diesel spill in 1993.
Bruce Gillespie 11:08
Darren Thomas 11:19
And it ruined their water treatment plant. But, there’s only 300-350 people that reside there. So, the Government of Canada said, you know, it’s too costly for us to replace your water treatment plant. And they’ve been rationing water for a good number of years. About three or four years ago, they finally installed a reverse osmosis machine. But, still means that people have to take water jugs to this, you know, tank to get their water. But, up until that point, they’re given, every household is given six, two-liter bottles of water as their potable water per week.
Bruce Gillespie 13:09
Darren Thomas 13:10
So, you get these situations like that. So, as a community psychologist, that’s what my focus was, is looking at, okay, communities are sitting in this position of power. They don’t recognize it as power, because they actually have rights, they have constitutional protections. They have treaty rights, they have inherent rights. The government and industry wants to get at these minerals and natural resources. So, maybe this is the chance, an opportunity for them to try to exercise some of that power, and negotiate a better situation for themselves. So, my focus was really looking at what’s informing their negotiations. So, the title of my dissertation was “Transforming Relations: Anishnaabe Natural Law in the Ring of Fire”, and so it’s really looking at how can these communities exercise their priorities through their negotiation process? So, as I said, with my multiple manuscript, one was just looking, well, one was my methodology, one was looking at what is Anishnaabe natural law. And the third piece, what are the leaders looking for in terms of their priorities and community needs? And when you do a multiple manuscript, you can’t just write three articles. You do have to bookend it, so I had to do an introduction and conclusion type of thing. But, I mistakenly thought it was going to be easier that way.
Bruce Gillespie 14:56
Funny how that happens.
Darren Thomas 14:55
You know, I think it was certainly harder, because although I could look at three very distinct lenses to the overarching research, they still had to connect, each piece.
Bruce Gillespie 15:13
Darren Thomas 15:14
You know, and that’s kind of where the introductory and concluding pieces put that together. So, right now I’m deliberating, should I put this out as three articles, or maybe I expand it a little bit and make it into a book.
Bruce Gillespie 15:38
Well, I mean, it sounds like fascinating and really timely research either way. So, I’m thrilled that you were able to talk to us today and that you were able to defend, however unconventionally, this summer, so thanks for your time today, Darren.
Darren Thomas 15:50
Not at all a problem. Certainly my pleasure to talk and visit with you and certainly with with your audience.
Bruce Gillespie 16:00
Our next guest is Serena Austin, a second-year Digital Media and Journalism student who is also our very own research assistant and intern here at One Market. And she’s here to pull back the curtain about what goes on behind the scenes of the podcast every week. Here’s our conversation. Hi, Serena, and thanks for joining us live, I guess, today on One Market.
Serena Austin 16:21
Hi, thanks for having me.
Bruce Gillespie 16:23
It seems weird to welcome you because you’ve been with us all season long, but in the background. This is your first time on the podcast, so we’re really happy to introduce you to listeners today.
Serena Austin 16:33
Yes, this is my first time on any podcast.
Bruce Gillespie 16:36
Oh, there you go. Well, we’re honored. So, you’ve been working behind the scenes with us since, I guess sort of, late summer, early fall, which seems like a really long time ago at this point of the year. Can you tell the listeners a little bit about what your roles have been on the podcast.
Serena Austin 16:55
So, I’m the research assistant/intern, I guess. My main role has been just taking the recordings of the podcast and transcribing them so that anybody who wants to read along or would just prefer to listen that way can do so. And it’s been pretty enjoyable.
Bruce Gillespie 17:17
It’s a really important job. Transcribing is not always the most fun thing to do, as anybody who’s done research or journalism knows, but, it’s really important. And again, there’s lots of people out there, I think, who really do take in podcasts visually as opposed to listening to them. So, we’ve been thrilled that you’ve been able to do this work for us, I am admittedly the one who’s behind in this project. Serena has done all this transcribing, and I’ve been really slow to upload it to the site. But, that is one of our holiday projects, to get everything uploaded, so that people can actually see all of our transcripts and be able to follow along that way. We’ve been actually really lucky too, we’ve used some transcription software. It’s actually the first time I’ve used any transcription software in any great detail. I’m old school, of the day when we didn’t have these kinds of things and always had to transcribe by hand. But, I don’t know about you, I really enjoyed using the software and it’s amazing to see how from one transcript to another it really does sort of learn people’s voices, and I find that they really do get more accurate over time.
Serena Austin 18:14
Yeah, I have no problems using Otter and definitely, I can’t even imagine how long it would take me if I didn’t have something to already go off of. So, I really do appreciate that. And then, just there’s always like small little things. Laurier, Brantford, it can never get correctly. Which is funny because it’s definitely said in every single episode multiple times. But, yeah, I do find that it’s, it’s not as choppy or as inaccurate as it was when I first started. Yeah, I like it. Usually it takes me, like, one or two, usually two run throughs before I’m fully satisfied with how the transcript has come out.
Bruce Gillespie 19:04
Yeah, it’s amazing. I mean, this is an AI based platform. So, it’s amazing how much it really learns what you’re doing. But, to your point, I’m still amazed that it has not learned because we fix it every time, Brantford and Laurier, the spellings are always different, always weird. Never even consistent through one episode. It’s really funny to watch the kinds of weird words it comes up with.
Serena Austin 19:24
And also with names. Not necessarily the names of our guests, but if they, like, mentioned somebody else, or something else that I hadn’t heard of, I’m like, “Oh, I need to go figure out what that is.” Usually, they kind of give more detail and won’t just say, like, the person’s name, so I have something else to go off of. I’m often looking at faculty and staff lists from other universities.
Bruce Gillespie 19:46
Yeah, there’s actually an amazing amount of, sort of, fact checking and verification required to do transcripts, especially if you are as concerned as I am and I know you are, about making sure they’re accurate. It’s actually, I think, a lot more involved than people would assume it is
Serena Austin 20:00
Mhmm, it really is. But, you learn a lot.
Bruce Gillespie 20:05
Yeah, you really do. You’ve also been helping out Tarah with social media stuff this season. And you’ll be doing more of that next season, which is exciting. How’s that been going?
Serena Austin 20:15
Honestly, it’s really interesting because I get to hear the podcast before anybody else does. And then, I kind of, listen to your intro, and then your further introduction when you speak to each guest to, kind of, pick out little bits and pieces that I think are worth mentioning on social media. It’s interesting, the kinds of, like, on the different platforms, the different style of, like, promotion that you would do. Twitter is definitely a lot more concise. Twitter is one that I struggle the most with, like, how can I make this, like, punchy and interesting in, what is it, 280 characters?
Bruce Gillespie 20:56
Serena Austin 20:58
Yeah, that’s, that’s a struggle sometimes, but we manage,
Bruce Gillespie 21:03
And you’ve been doing a really great job. So, are you a podcast listener in general? Like, what’s your, sort of, interest in relation to podcasts?
Serena Austin 21:12
Honestly, I had always thought that podcasts would be something I would really be interested in, or that would work for me. And I had never really sought out to listen to them until probably, like, a month and a half ago. And then, I found one that I liked, and I think I listen to all the episodes that were interesting to me. And I was, like, “What the heck am I supposed to do now?” But yeah, I don’t know, they’re kind of my new addiction.
Bruce Gillespie 21:40
I think that’s true. I think anyone I’ve talked to who gets into podcasts always sort of finds that that one beginning that, sort of, sucks them in. Because there’s so many out there, it’s, like, where do you even begin. When you find that one that just, sort of, really grabs you, and it’s, like, oh, like you listen to it obsessively. And then, you need to find something else.
Serena Austin 21:55
Yeah, and a lot of them, I’m really into true crime. Like, it’s almost bad how interested I am in it. But, I find myself listening to things that, like, I would have never even have cared or have known about this. I think the one that first really got me it’s called, You’re Wrong About and they just talk about, like, common history, not necessarily historical, but also, like, pop culture events that most people don’t know the full story behind. I think the one that really got me was it was about Courtney Love, which I’m born in 2001. I’ve never listened to Nirvana, I don’t know anything about it, but it was so interesting to me.
Bruce Gillespie 22:38
I am obviously much older than you. I know Courtney Love from back in the day, big fan. But, I think that’s a really great point. And I think podcasts are a really great example of how you can take something that seems really niche that people don’t know a lot about, and because of the quality of storytelling, and research, and presentation, you can actually make it really interesting and accessible to a wide audience. Which is, I mean, I think, the whole goal of journalism, like, how do we take topics that people think they won’t be interested in, or not know anything about, and actually engage them? So, I think podcasts do a really good job of that. So, in addition to your work on our podcast, you are also a full-time second-year Digital Media and Journalism student. So, what’s the past semester been for you, like, in terms of the whole remote learning environment? How’s it gone?
Serena Austin 23:20
Obviously, when the semester started, like, kind of all my peers who I knew were in university were like, “Oh, man, this sucks.” And I didn’t feel that way, I still don’t really feel that way. But, it’s definitely been different. However, I do you feel like my program is very adaptable, and might even be suited to, at least some of the courses, suited to, like, asynchronous learning, or remote learning. I definitely do miss, like, the Conestoga courses that are definitely more hands on, where we would have access to, like, the equipment and everything. I do feel like I’m missing out on that, because, you know, like they have those assignments where it’s like, go out and do this, or do that, and I’m, like, “My camera sucks.” Or, “I live in Pickering. What am I supposed to get here?”
Bruce Gillespie 24:08
Yeah, I think you’re right. In many ways our program is, kind of, adaptable. And we talked about this as a faculty early in March, really thinking, like, you know, we could try to do classes in person, or put them off. But, realistically, in a field like this, of digital media, and communication, and journalism, there’s professionals out there everyday who are having to do the same jobs from home with very limited resources. So, I thought, “Well, actually, this is no one’s favorite thing to do.” But, it’s actually, we’re teaching students how to do the same thing professionals are learning how to do, which I think is actually a good learning experience, However frustrating might be. Especially when you say, I think we’ve all been missing that opportunity to talk to people in public, go places in person, pick up some equipment, hang out in the lab, like, I think there’s those things we mess. But, it’s amazing to me how much of what we are used to doing in person has actually been really adaptable to the remote environment.
Serena Austin 25:00
Yeah, I definitely think a lot of what our learning experience has been this semester is, for a lot of us in the program, is what our professional experience will also kind of mimic. So, I’m okay with that. I don’t mind it. It’s, it’s okay. I like the nature of my classes, so I don’t think I really had anything to complain about.
Bruce Gillespie 25:20
Well, that’s nice to hear. And thank you again, for all of your work on Season Two of One Market. Here’s hoping you have a a restful holiday, and you’ll be back and ready to work on Season Three early in the new year.
Serena Austin 25:30
Of course, thank you. You too.
Bruce Gillespie 25:33
Our final guest is Alicia Schiassi, an academic program assistant in the Faculty of Liberal Arts. She has a pandemic story like no other. And we’ve been dying to ask her about it for months now. But, for reasons that will become obvious, we had to wait to tell you this story about what she calls, the biggest adventure of her family’s life. I asked her to start at the beginning.
Alicia Schiassi 25:55
We actually listed our home for sale at the end of February and with the hopes that we would be moving into a new home in the spring. And it sold very quickly. We actually sold it and had, like, a three week close to pack up our house and find another place to live. So, it was fast. So, this all happened before we went into lockdown, actually. So, as soon as we got home from work and it became obvious that things were escalating in terms of the pandemic, we, kind of, hit panic mode.
Bruce Gillespie 26:34
Alicia Schiassi 26:35
Yeah. So, we packed up our house, we did not have anything lined up in terms of another place to go, the market was really quiet at the time in terms of houses for sale. And so, we made the decision actually to, kind of, wait it out and see where things were going and we actually moved up north to a family farm. So, when we got there we were up in Meaford. So, we moved into a 1960s trailer with no heat, no electricity, no bathroom, and enough power to power our home. So, we were literally living off the land
Bruce Gillespie 27:22
You’re, like, pioneers practically.
Alicia Schiassi 27:24
Yes. And I’ll remind you, it was March. So, it’s heavy snowfall up north.
Bruce Gillespie 27:30
And it’s not just you, like, tell us, how big is your family that you we’re moving with?
Serena Austin 27:33
Yeah, so I have two teenage children, and my husband, and a not so small dog.
Bruce Gillespie 27:42
So, you move into this trailer, what were the first few days like? I imagine it was a big transition for everyone.
Alicia Schiassi 27:50
It was a huge transition for everyone. So, at the same time, I don’t know if you know this or not. But, I actually just started a new job at Laurier. I’ve been with Laurier for four years now, but I’ve moved into a new role. So, I think I’d been in my new role for about a week. So, at which point I packed up my office, packed up my house, moved up north three hours away. My kids were also obviously not going to school at this point. So, trying to adjust to the remote learning for them. And yeah, like, my kids who’ve lived in the city their whole lives. So, bit of a culture shock for them. We were on an 85 acre farm, which was amazing. Like, they got to help out with the chores and, see I have a bit of a, some people have called me crazy along the way, but I like to look back on it as the biggest adventure of our lives. So, kids had 85 acres to roam, they got to help feed the animals, got to learn to ride horses. We pulled a pig out of a tree. So, it was a lot of fun. But yes, it definitely had its ups and downs. So, technology, as you can imagine was a bit of a challenge. I think I spent the first month and a half trying to get a Wi-Fi signal by tethering to my phone. So, yeah, it definitely had its challenges.
Bruce Gillespie 29:19
Well, that’s exactly I was trying to think of beyond the fact that, you know, your kids are probably not terribly impressed with the move to the country, but, like, how were you actually able to work if you’re on an 85 acre farm in the middle of nowhere. But, tethering to your phone, that’s a lot.
Alicia Schiassi 29:33
Yeah, it was. And we were trying to tether me, so that I could work, and then my kids, so that they could do school and keep up with their schoolwork, right? It was my daughter’s first year of high school. So, I mean, that in itself was a big transition. So yeah, it was not anything that we could have anticipated at all.
Bruce Gillespie 29:54
And on top of that, it sounds like you were far away from, I mean, you moved three hours away. So, your family, your friends, most of those people would be a long ways away from you.
Alicia Schiassi 30:02
Yes, that is true. So, we were at a family farm. So, it was my husband’s cousin. So, we were around family, which was nice. But, yeah, my sister had had a new baby in November who I have met once. And, yeah, there’s been a lot of emotional stuff that goes along with that, right? It’s very hard. Like, we’re very family oriented. I’m a very social person. I am so grateful, like, I have great relationships with my family and my coworkers. And so, that’s definitely been a big challenge for me, not getting to see people face to face.
Bruce Gillespie 30:44
So, how long did you expect to stay in the trailer? And how long did you actually stay in the trailer?
Alicia Schiassi 30:50
So, we were in the older trailer for about three months. And then, finally, we decided to buy our own, because we realized that this was a little bit more permanent than we had initially anticipated. So, we bought a brand new trailer, which had heat and water and all those things that you take for granted. And we lived there for the entire summer, we actually just moved into an apartment in October.
Bruce Gillespie 31:22
Alicia Schiassi 31:23
Bruce Gillespie 31:25
That is a real adventure.
Alicia Schiassi 31:27
It definitely was.
Bruce Gillespie 31:31
Did everybody acclimate by the end of summer, like, were your husband and your kids, sort of, in the new groove? Were you, sort of, happy to be there? I mean, presumably, having some heat and water and the weather turning nicer, probably made a big difference.
Alicia Schiassi 31:43
Absolutely. Like, I mean, I am so amazed by how we all just made the best of it. So, I would say looking back on it, like, initially, I thought, “Oh, my God, we’re nuts.” But, looking back on it, I’m so grateful for the experience that we had. I mean, prior to the pandemic, our lives were pretty chaotic. The commute into work, my kids, we were living in Norfolk, my kids go to school in Hamilton. So, we spent about three hours a day on the road. Both my kids are very active, and so it was long days, often we’d leave the house at about 5:30 in the morning and not get home till nine or 10 at night. So, having that extra time together is something that I’m really grateful for. And having those experiences like responsibilities on the farm, and whatnot, I couldn’t have anticipated how those would have impacted our relationships with each other and even just having the time to be more present and more engaged in each other’s lives.
Bruce Gillespie 32:46
That’s so nice to hear. And so, when did you decide that you would look for an apartment? Did you decide early on that you could weather a summer but the fall and winter were were absolutely off the table?
Alicia Schiassi 32:57
Yeah, I was not going to do that again. Like, it was an experience, but it was not one that I was going to go through again. So yeah, we still were, kind of, debating whether or not we were going to buy another house. We ultimately decided for the fall, at least, that we would move into an apartment, and then, kind of, reevaluate where things were at in terms of the pandemic, and what we wanted to do in the spring.
Bruce Gillespie 33:31
Well, I’m glad to hear you’re more settled and you have, you know, what I’m assuming is a stable Wi-Fi connection and a bathroom.
Alicia Schiassi 33:38
Yes. Yeah, and we all have kind of our own space. For a trailer, I mean, it was a good size, but we were always on top of each other. So, it’s nice. I think the kids are appreciating having their own rooms to go to and, kind of, get away from each other for a few minutes. As much as it was, like, great to have all that time together. It’s nice to have your own personal space too.
Bruce Gillespie 34:00
85 acres is a lot of space to spread out, but.
Alicia Schiassi 34:02
Bruce Gillespie 34:06
Okay, before we let you go, my brain is still stuck on this. So, tell us about getting the pig out of the tree because I need more details about this.
Alicia Schiassi 34:11
Oh my goodness. Okay, so, living on a farm, you never know what you’re going to get when you wake up in the morning. So, oftentimes we’d wake up and the ponies would be loose, or the pigs would have escaped. So, one morning we woke up and we heard this horrible squealing and I was, like, “What is that noise?” And the dogs were going crazy, so my husband and I came running out of the trailer. And the fence, the electric fence that was around the pigpen had, a couple of pigs had gotten out and they were running around on the driveway. And I’m trying to chase down the sound of the squealing and I walk over to the pigpen and one of the pigs has climbed up into the tree.
Bruce Gillespie 34:53
I wouldn’t have thought that was possible.
Alicia Schiassi 34:55
Neither did I. Like, it’s one of those if pigs can fly moments, right? I call my husband over and I was hysterically laughing. I should have been more supportive. But, at the time, like, I just couldn’t even believe what I was seeing as he’s trying to fish this pig out of the tree. And I mean, that’s something, like, you can’t, we can’t even imagine that happening. So, it was it was amazing.
Bruce Gillespie 35:23
These are stories that will probably live on in your family for generations to come.
Alicia Schiassi 35:28
Absolutely. So, one of the greatest Adventures of our lives for sure.
Bruce Gillespie 35:32
No kidding. Alicia, thank you so much for telling us about them today.
Alicia Schiassi 35:36
Yes, thank you for having me.
Bruce Gillespie 35:41
And that’s a wrap on Season Two of One Market. I say this every episode, but Tarah and I really do hope this has helped you feel a little more connected to the Laurier Brantford community. Thank you to everyone who’s joined us this season, whether as a listener or a guest. And a big thank you to Heidi Northwood, Laurier Brantford’s Senior Executive Officer, who has generously provided all the financial support for this season, as well as next season. We couldn’t do this without her. Thanks, Heidi. We’re taking a short hiatus over the holidays as we attend to our marking and prepare for another semester of remote teaching and learning. And maybe we’ll do some baking. But, we will return with a brand new season early next year, so stay tuned. In the meantime, you have a great chance to catch up on all 29 of our past episodes. You can find them on Apple, Google, Stitcher, or wherever you find your podcasts. Worried about missing an episode. Sign up for our newsletter. You can find the link on Twitter and Facebook @onemarketlb. One Market was created and produced by Bruce Gillespie and Tarah Brookfield. Music by Scott Holmes, graphics by Melissa Weaver. Our research assistant and in turn is Serena Austin. For now, Happy Holidays. Thanks for listening. Keep in touch.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai