Sunday, December 12, 2010

Preparing for Fieldwork

A wise man told me recently that these last few weeks will be the hardest.  I am leaving for Taipei in 19 days to do my dissertation research.  This will be my 2nd time living in Taipei and somehow I find the opening statement strangely true.

My language ability is stronger, I know where I will be staying, and I actually have friends living in Taipei; yet I am more nervous about returning than I ever was going in the first place.  Not that it is all just nerves.  Every time I step out into the whirlwind of snow outside I cannot wait to get back to Taipei.  It was 75F there today.

I left a new boyfriend back there too.  We have been apart from each other longer than we were together. He says we’ll have to start over from scratch if we want to date when I return.  I think he is right.  A lack of shared experience can really pull people apart. I do not think my chosen career path is particularly conducive to long term relationships.  The few colleagues I have spoken with on the matter all agreed.  Not that any of us are attempting a monastic lifestyle or anything, just recognizing reality for what it is.

It takes a special kind of person to live with a wanderer.

To add icing to the cake, I still don’t have my visa, funding, or IRB approval yet.  I think it might technically be more work to get to the field than it is to actually do the fieldwork.

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