Thursday, May 28, 2009

Keele Diary #21

In the next ten minutes I'll lock the door to the office. And a long day of travel, involving two trains, what should be a precarious ride on the tube, and a bus, will begin after a bit of a debriefing with the executive assistant in charge of the larger research center to which the Bruce Centre is attached.

It has been a great trip. Last night I painstakingly made sure to download everything I had worked on at my office computer from my flash drive to my laptop, a process that is essential lest some of the work get lost if I work from the wrong version. I packed up and watched the Champions League final, a somewhat anti-climactic 2-0 Barcelona win. This morning I had intended to come to the office early, but whether it's because I grew up poor, am cheaper than I'd like to admit, or am a glutton, I decided to have a bit of a cook up of all of the perishable food I had left. Which was not too much, but was enough to leave me pretty stuffed -- a couple of eggs, four bangers, several glasses of milk, three glasses of juice, and, of course, cheese.

I'll miss Keele. It is far enough off the beaten path that no one just ends up here. Which means that I may not be back for some time, though I'd like to assume that I'll come back someday. It's been a wonderful month. A productive month (I worked on some 20 different documents this month, though a few were tied to my presentations here). A month of opportunity. I'll pay for it with what will seem like an immensely long day, but then the reward will be that tomorrow I'll board a plane bound for Texas, bound for home.

None of this would have been possible without the support of the David Bruce Centre for American Studies at Keele University, and particularly the help and support of Axel Shafer, the center director. Many individuals came to my talks, welcomed me into their classrooms, took me out for coffee or meals, and generally made me feel like I was part of Keele. I will never forget that. And I will miss it.

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