20 August 2009

A La Retour

Bags are in the process of being packed; clothes are in the process of being ironed; errands are nearly finished. But today is my father's birthday, so before there is the leaving tomorrow there is the feasting tonight. My parents and I are going out to dinner, and I'm writing this as I wait for them to finish dressing.

Yesterday I went and had lunch with my acadend/frientance G. An acadend is someone one never sees outside academic settings - usually conferences - but with whom, in those academic settings, one acts as if one is dear close friends. G. was originally an acadend, but because he lives in the same city as my parents, and because last summer he came to London while I was there, he has morphed into a frientance. We had a nice time, and he was interested in what I was up to, but as I was walking to the train station I reflected that these days I have a lot of people in my life whom I need to palliate in some way or some area, and very few people with whom I can be frank and fully relaxed. This is a tense position, and one I'd like to change.

There are parental stirrings, so I'll have to finish this when we return...

It's five hours later, and the dinner was delicious. Now I'm exhausted, but how many final nights does one get? (two so far, in my case) So I wanted to finish this.

Of course I'm excited to go; I've made that clear before. Over the past few days, as I've had occasion to sit down with various people and tell them what my aims and goals are, I've had to give quite careful thought to what I hope will happen and what I think will. Tonight on the way to dinner my father said, "I hope someone gives you a job." God bless him, I hope so, too. I'd like to say I'm not normally one to make predictions, but that would be a lie. It's true, though, that I'm not normally one to make predictions about myself: I'll make predictions about what other people will do or say, or about how specific situations I'm heading into will turn out (which I suppose is a prediction about myself, but feels more like a "here's what I bet will happen" sort of prediction). In any case, one to make predictions about myself or not one to make predictions about myself, I'm going to make some predictions now about the next year. I don't expect these to come true; they're just things I sense will happen, with no facts or reasoning behind them. So I guess you could say I'm making intuitions, not predictions. And here we go:

I think nothing will change, but I think I might just get a job for next year. "Nothing" is a broad word, so let me be more specific. I think I'll meet more people (new academic year, more tango...); I think some more people might be added to the core group I know; I think there will be changes, and perhaps re-changes, in the relations of the group I already know. But I don't get the sense that I'll acquire a partner. I do get the sense that I'll have more ammunition in my job search, though. I also get the sense that, because I'm freed from The Book and in a curious way from other work - because I can do what I want in a stimulating environment - I might very well have a very intellectually interestingly productive year.

Tune in next July to see if I'm right and, if I'm wrong, whether I'm wrong pleasantly or unpleasantly.

But either way, this time tomorrow I'LL BE ON THE GROUND IN LONDON!!!

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