Right now, I am in Spain. This is the view from the balcony outside my bedroom. It really is pretty.
You may recall that I was stressing out about it a little because of money and waiting and stuff. (After giving birth to four children, you’d think I’d be better at waiting than I am.) Well, that source of stress is done and I am here — with other sources of stress.
I fully comprehend the ease and comfort that can come with having lots and lots of money to travel with … or, alternatively, getting somebody else to foot the bill.
For this trip, I flew into Madrid and took a 7 hour train ride from there to San Sebastian. Then I hopped on the Basque metro and got myself out here to Errenteria, where my Airbnb host is located.
I’ve been thinking about my mother a lot lately.
There are a few different reasons for that.
For one thing, I have now officially outlived her. She died when she was 59 years and thirteen days old. I passed that milestone (if that’s what you want to call it) on April 16th of this year. I spent a few months fretting because, deep down in the irrational part of me, I was afraid I wouldn’t and that was unacceptable to me because I still have things I want to do.
Another reason that she has come to mind is because she never did forgive me for dropping out of college (twice!) without earning any sort of degree. At the time, I told her that there wasn’t anything I wanted to do for which I needed a degree, and if I ever decided I wanted to do something that required a degree, I’d go get one. As matters evolved, that is precisely what I ended up doing.
Wow. It’s been awhile, hasn’t it?
The last time I told you anything was more than six months ago. I have a little catching up to do.
So, all things went well eventually and I now have a Master’s Degree in anthropology. All of that involvement in the department got me a thing called the Honigmann Graduate Prize in Sociocultural Anthropology, as well. It wouldn’t pay a month’s rent but it looks good on my CV.
I am doing a bit of toe-tapping right now as I wait for money that is coming to me to hit my bank account. Once that happens, I’ll be able to make arrangements for a trip to Spain to do a bit of preliminary research. This stuff will probably net me and conference presentation, a journal publication, and a post-doc project.
And I am now a third-year.
Well, a year, actually.
I am in the second year of my graduate program and I would never have expected that to matter as much as it does.
For starters, I’m not crazed with massive amounts of reading this year. This is not to say there’s only a little of it; anthropology is a reading intensive subject, let’s face it. But I have amounts of reading to do that are actually humanly possible.
I like that.
At the same time, as a second year, I feel like I’m more involved with the mechanics of the department, and those sorts of politics have taken up a noticeable chunk of my time and neurons.
I’m not sure how I feel about that.