School of Athen by Raphael

Geraldine McConkey: Liberal Studies

Alumna Focus

In 1995, Geraldine McConkey graduated with distinction in Liberal Studies as part of the last cohort to receive their BAs under the auspices of VIU’s initial partnership with the University of Victoria . Since then she has taken teacher training and written a lot of poetry, and now works for Simon Fraser University.

“At the orientation in 1992 I dreaded having to talk to highly educated grown-ups again after 15 years of using childspeak, husbandspeak, neighbourspeak and shoppingspeak. But once I received the reading list and was launched into the roller coaster of reading, writing, speaking, editing, thinking, and enjoying that thrilling, challenging ride, something opened up inside that I had only briefly glimpsed while in college 20 years before. It was dangerous, it was exciting, it was a reflection of my real self.

“Everybody kept asking me what I would get out of this degree, specifically what kind of employment I would find and how much my income would multiply. That’s not why I needed this program. I needed it because it struck a chord with me, it incorporated and interwove the liberal arts with the world. It made sense of ideas and history and my own creative energies. Well, I fell in love. A lot of us fell in love with our teaching team. Apparently some of them were quite taken with us too, judging from the lavish feedback, supportive comments, and long-past-class conversations and gatherings.”