Read. Watch. Listen. with Betsy Skarakis-Doyle

Read. Watch. Listen. introduces you the personal side of our faculty, staff and alumni. Participants are asked to answer three simple questions about their reading, viewing and listening habits – what one book or newspaper/magazine article is grabbing your attention; what one movie or television show has caught your eye; and what album/song, podcast or radio show are you lending an ear to.

Betsy Skarakis-Doyle is a Communication Sciences and Disorders professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences.

Today, she takes her turn on Read. Watch. Listen.

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I recently read the novel A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. The opening lines of the first chapter grabbed me instantly. “Hi! My name is Nao, and I am a time being. Do you know what a time being is? Well, if you give me a moment I will tell you …” They are the first entry in a Japanese teenager’s diary that washed up on a remote beach on the BC coastline following the Fukushima disaster. It sets in motion a story that traverses time, place and parallel universes.


The Netflix documentary Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold. I have long been a fan of Joan Didion’s writing having lived through many of the events she wrote about when I was a teenager in Southern California. This documentary was the third narrative in a trilogy about her life – the first two she wrote, the books The Year of Magical Thinking and Blue Nights; the documentary was done by her nephew and completes the picture of her life. An amazing writer, an amazing woman.


Last Waltz. Robbie Robertson’s guitar and Garth Hudson’s organ make the version unique. As I approach my retirement from Western, I have been reflecting on all of the students who have become part of the fabric of my life over almost 40 years. The sentiment of the song found its way into my final lecture.

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If you have a suggestion for someone you would like to see in Read. Watch. Listen., or would like to participate yourself, drop a line to