I have journeyed farther

It hasn’t been a month yet since I got back from Spain. I’m still transcribing and translating interviews. It’s tedious work but I got a bunch of good stuff that I am looking forward to analyzing.

Meanwhile, I’m pondering being a third-year.

When I return to UNC next month, I will be entering my final year of course work. I will spend fall semester writing applications for grants to fund my dissertation research. I will spend spring semester preparing for and taking my comprehensive exams.

Once I’m done with all that, I will be admitted to candidacy or what they call ABD. Stands for All But Dissertation.

All of which reduces to this: I’m getting closer and closer to my goal of earning my Ph.D. by May 2021.
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I can see the red tail lights heading to Spain

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.
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I’m alive!

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.
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What a difference a day makes

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. 
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