From the big city to the Prairies

PROFile: Jennifer Reid, Instructor, Department of English, U of W

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Before Jennifer Reid became an instructor for the University of Winnipeg (U of W) English department, she taught at the University of Toronto (U of T). The story of why she left Toronto and began teaching at the U of W, however, is a heartwarming tale. 

In 2016, Reid attended a media studies conference at the U of T, where she met a mature student from the U of W. 

“We hit it off,” she says. “That’s how I ended up moving to Winnipeg. I actually followed a man!” 

Despite her family’s skepticism, Reid was determined to make whatever changes necessary for the relationship to work.  

She emailed the U of W’s English department chair, inquiring about any positions that might be available. She applied, got the job and followed her heart to the Prairies. 

Fortunately, Reid’s transition from living in Toronto to Winnipeg was more seamless than some would expect. 

“I was going through a bit of a transition in my life anyway,” she says, “because I had to leave (my) professional life for quite some time because of caregiving needs for my parents, who were very ill.” 

With these difficulties in Reid’s personal life, for a time, she felt significant uncertainty about a number of different things. But through the chance meeting of her significant other at the 2016 conference, everything fell into place. 

“The timing was just right.” 

What is something you’ve learned from your students?

“How much I don’t know.”

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

“It would be the power to speak ... any language that ever existed.”

What was your worst grade in university?

“Ironically, given my PhD in medieval studies, it was a D in Latin. It happened because my friend had just broken up with her boyfriend, she was really down in the dumps, and so I took her out on the town. My friend’s band was playing at this little place in Toronto, and I took her there, and this is where she met her future husband. So I got a D, but she got married and had two kids.”

What is something you miss about Toronto?

“Lake Ontario.”

Published in Volume 75, Number 07 of The Uniter (October 29, 2020)

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