In Faculty Voices

Dear Pacifica Community,
It is with great sadness, and with great joy, that I announce Ginette’s impending retirement, effective at the end of the Summer Quarter of this year, 2015: sadness, because she will not be here with us as a full-time core faculty member; joy for two reasons: that of having had the supreme good fortune of being her friend and colleague since 2005; and for the fact that she will continue to teach her “Archetypal Psychology” class for us as an Adjunct Professor in the Winter Quarters, so that we will still have her animating presence among us.

We all know and value her extraordinary achievements, during the course of a beautiful and long career of teaching, writing, and lecturing. Her widely acclaimed early books, ground breaking in their time, delineating the psychic fields represented by a number of Greek goddesses; her more recent, also groundbreaking, books in tracing the connections between the archetypal themes of heartbreak, the dependence of psychology on the humanities, and the relevance (or lack thereof) neuroscience; and her marvelous courses on film and the cinema—all will remain a permanent and essential contribution to the special applications of mythological imagery in our lives.

Ginette also served as Research Coordinator of the Mythological Studies Program for twelve years and developed a research model that has yielded an abundant number of exceptionally scholarly and innovative dissertations as well as post-doctoral publications written by our graduates.
Perhaps what I will miss above all is Ginette’s daily presence: her unique insight into the myriad complexities of the Pacifica mission of tending the deep psyche, her directness, her humor. Her directness: the first time I met Ginette, after introducing my children to her at lunch on the Lambert Campus, and sharing the pain of my impending divorce, she turned to me and said “Are they angry? Children don’t want you to change.” It was like a Zen koan: I was speechless, yet grateful for her bringing the obvious to consciousness. Her humor: Ginette recently helped me find my French nom-de-plume, Lancelot Forgeron, author of a series murder mysteries with an academic setting. Thanks Ginette: we can share the royalties.

I imagine all of us can recall and cherish similar memories, particularly of that inimitable smile and eruption of mirth, that I will miss so much—and treasure all the more—when they come in the years ahead, as Ginette moves into this next phase of her life and career.
-Lans Smith
Chair, Mythological Studies Program
A letter from Ginette

Dear colleagues, friends and co-workers,

After much thinking, I have come to the conclusion that it is time for me to retire from my core position at Pacifica. My core faculty contract will end on August 31, 2015. I plan to remain involved as adjunct, at least for 2015-16.

I have been teaching since I was twenty three year old, while studying for my MA in psychology, which means a total of forty six years! I am ready for something different and wish to retire while I still feel passionate about the beautiful vocation of teacher.

This transition will allow me more time for writing projects, such as the ongoing Second Edition of Wisdom of the Psyche that Routledge is asking for, as well as third edition of the book on Heartbreak. I also wish to continue developing the Hillmanian archetypal approach that I have been teaching for 23 years at Pacifica. James Hillman’s gift was in expressing the theoretical basis for this major re-visioning of psychology. I would like to contribute my part in creating ways to translate these principles into practice, especially for those working in venues such as schools, colleges, hospices, prisons, hospitals, where there is a need for a short, practical, and minimally conceptual approach.

The last two decades as core faculty at PGI were a wonderful experience; the quality of our students, the generosity of my colleagues, the environment at PGI and the originality of our programs were a great gift from life. My husband and I have no intention of selling our Santa Barbara house, because the beautiful climate has so spoiled us that we cannot imagine going back to the cold dark winters of Quebec!

With a heart filled with gratitude,
Ginette Paris

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