There and Back Again

I was in Ithaca for a brief spell, attending a friend’s dissertation defense (more or less on a whim) and meeting with my dissertation committee. I even had a few extra days built in for writing – so I finished my first full dissertation draft, with enough time for serious revisions. Perhaps most helpful was just meeting with committee members face to face – I got more insight and information in the first twenty minutes with each person than I could have in a month of e-mails.

I wrote this the first full day there (but didn’t post it because I kept my laptop internet-free the whole six days there – right now I’m sitting in an airport waiting for my return flight to Bogotá). So this is a week old:

~::~ It’s so good to be here. Last night my bus got in about an hour after dark, and instead of calling a cab I walked the quiet dark streets from the bus station to the hotel on the Commons, about as far as I walk between home and office in Bogotá, and it felt wonderful after sitting for almost 24 hours. I walked past all these quiet houses, worn and softened by age, and I could smell them in the cool night air – smell the quietly sagging wooden porches, and they smelled exactly like my Grandma’s house on a farm south of Buffalo. I think most of what I love about this place is the connection to those memories, a place that anchored me, a place we always went back to, where the fragile kindness of my lovely grandmother who shares my name, first and last (a big reason why I didn’t take my husband’s last name when we got married) always so delighted to have us come.

This morning at the library I sipped a soy latte, the taste that filled my mouth for the 2.5 years I was on campus experimenting with lactose intolerance, met with one committee member (who was so kind and encouraging! Why am I so amazed at this?) then wandered around the stacks for a while resisting the urge to bury my nose in rows of yellowing books. Why am I not pursuing the academic career that would make this my life?…

I miss this place. It’s good to be here. I feel so thankful for this time. ~::~

I’m on my way home now. And that’s a good feeling too.

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3 Responses to “There and Back Again”

  1. Wordgirl Says:

    I get this on so many levels. And I’m so happy for you! I will be here reading, waiting to hear what the next steps are.

    Xo

    Pam

  2. noemi Says:

    I love the energy–and calm–of this post. I’m so glad you had that time and it was so productive. I can’t believe you have a completed draft of your dissertation! You’ve been working on it since I started reading you! And now you’ve written it! You should be so proud!!

  3. Tara Says:

    so well written. I’m glad you kept it internet free and it was successful.

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