Two Weeks to Go
With that being the case, it's suddenly all too clear that almost no further research can be done on this trip. Library stuff, sure, but I think those various archives I had planned to go back to or add to my list are now out of the question, because generally speaking you don't get archival materials the same day as requested. Now and then, yes, but it depends on where they're stored. Naturally this makes me feel like a complete idiot for putting off certain things.
On the other hand, I'm not in fear that my dissertation will be incomplete as regards Czech sources. I'm sure there are exciting sources out there that I haven't yet discovered, but they'll probably have to wait for another time, or maybe another project, like a journal article or the attempt to turn the dissertation into a book. (It is not encouraging to read that on the one hand, expectations from employers are ever higher that the new PhD will shortly turn the dissertation into a book, and that on the other hand, fewer and fewer such books are published, thus providing a good excuse not to give people tenure.)
So, in the meantime, I can obsess about how much stuff will have to be mailed versus how much can be put in the luggage. The fact that the Parental Units took away most of the winter clothing and some books does not alleviate the fact that the rollerblades take up a lot of space in the big suitcase. Perhaps Hubert can advise me on this sort of thing when he arrives (Thursday), as in his peripatic life as a wandering composer, he is more accustomed to packing and mailing his belongings.
We were hoping that Jesse would also make it back to the Czech Republic this summer, but it's not looking like it, so the most we can expect for in a reunion is that Alex will manage to come in from Zlin for the weekend or something. I mean, I want to see Alex, but that's only three of us. However, Jesse is hard at work (I suppose) in Ann Arbor, Megan is becoming a star in the nonprofit world, and Dawn has gotten a teaching job and is in the middle of buying a house. Nathan already dropped by for a few days, and I am utterly uncertain of Kelly's activities although I feel certain that they involve teaching, working on the house, and child-rearing. Yep, all those characters who once populated this blog on a regular basis, and we can only expect to get Hubert and Alex into my living room again before I move out...
It's a weird sensation getting ready to leave Prague after spending most of the past two years here. There's the split between feeling as though the time is passing much too quickly and not enough has been accomplished or seen or whatever, and feeling that it's time to get on to the next stage of things so what are we waiting for and why can't everything somehow be packed at the last minute the way most people seem to? John tells me he heard somewhere that two years is about the longest most people really like to live abroad; I find this mildly implausible, but I do look forward to his meeting me at the airport.
And so... back to the conference paper.
Let it be noted that Alex will indeed be joining us for the weekend. Party on Saturday night!