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CMF Graduate Kala Ortwein on Convocating and Completing Her Thesis, 'My Father the Homeless Guy'

Submitted by krystle.monahan on Wed, 03/22/2017 - 9:15am

CMF Graduate Kala Ortwein shared with the Department her thoughts on convocation:

“Earning a Master of Arts has been the most rewarding challenge of my life. I appreciate everything my cohort, mentors, and students have taught me; and I extend my deepest gratitude to the women who shared their stories with me for my research. Convocation felt like a formal welcome to the academy, and also like a scene from Harry Potter, both of which being a profound accomplishment.”

She also shared this excerpt from her completed thesis, 'My Father the Homeless Guy', which she found fitting:

“The week my dad [passed] was the same week my application for the Communication and Culture master’s program was due. I was really close to not applying. I had just moved to a new city, I hadn’t worked in months due to a car accident, and I had been travelling across provinces to visit family while both my gram and my dad moved on from this world into another. I remember the anxiety of not having the spare cash to spend on a grad school application, on top of the crippling denial that he was gone. Yet, there it was. His last hundred dollars, folded neatly in the pocket of his tattered jeans the hospital handed over to us in a sterile bag. I didn’t think about it then, but now I understand I was always meant to write this, only not in the way I thought. Originally, I thought I would write this story, package it up, and give it to him. All along, it’s been a gift from him to me.” – Kala Ortwein, “My Father the Homeless Guy”

 Kala and her work here also recently featured in the Calgary Herald: