Yesterday I gave my final Geography lecture at Exeter University. Who knows, it may even have been my last Geography lecture ever. But never say never! A frog came into the lecture theatre mid-way through the class. Not any old frog, but a student wearing a rubber frog mask. He walked in, walked behind me and the lectern, took a bow and walked out the other door. Now, if you think I’m going to turn this into some profound insight into the nature of humanity, you’re wrong. I’m merely recounting the event because it was my last lecture, things like this don’t happen to me every day, and I won’t forget that last lecture any time soon. And I can imagine Anne Jarpe’s face as she reads this. That type of thing tickles her pink!
Yes, yes, so I’m emphasising (overemphasising, some might say) that it was my last lecture, but that underwhelming event brings me one step closer to life aboard Carina. Yesterday was momentous in another way too. Deep breath, I’m so happy to announce this…I finished my book!! I’m ecstacic beyond belief, although what I really want to do is lie down and sleep for a very long time. I printed out the manuscript this morning and it’s all ready to pack in my suitcase to take to New York. I have an American publisher, and they want hard copies, so it makes sense to mail it when I get to the US. I started my doctoral research in 2001, and it is only now, thirteen years on, that I have finally written the final sentence of the final paragraph of the final chapter of the book that emerged from my doctoral research and dissertation. Better late than never I guess. Now it’s out of my hands for while, as I await reviewers’ comments.
This week we officially informed the school that Lily and Katie will not be returning after the Easter holidays. The girls now have two more weeks and then we’re back to home educating them. It’s been a great experience for them, but Julian and I are both looking forward to having them all to ourselves again for (educational) adventures on the high seas!
You’ll notice I slipped New York in a few sentences back. Ah yes, I’m off to the Big Apple on Monday morning, with 36 undergrad Human Geography students for a field trip to Manhattan. Boy oh boy am I excited. I did the same trip last year, and I can’t be hyperbolic enough about it. Last year I visited my wonderful friends Meredith and Bryan at the end of the trip. This year, my sister is flying over to New York to join me for some Tyrrell-girl adventures once I’ve said goodbye to my students.
The trip to New York feels like a transition. Before New York there was teaching and writing the book; long days at work for me and long days at school for the girls; Julian ensuring the smooth running of everything at home. After New York I will have a couple of months of student assessments and marking, and the start of a brand new writing project. From early April we will be fully responsible for the girl’s education once again, and in late April we will move back home to Carina. I’m looking forward to taking on more domestic duties (I miss baking) and Julian will have more time for boat maintenance and repair.
Now, I must dash. Toothpaste and new socks to purchase for the trip!