Uncharacteristically Bad Planning

I like to think of myself as a good planner. I’m an organized, detail-oriented person so things usually don’t get overlooked. However, when I planned out my research schedule for this project I clearly had an American semester system in mind and not a UK one.
This was my original plan:

Phase I
March 11 – April 15 Fieldwork in Glastonbury
April 15 – May 16 University of Exeter
May 17 Day in London
May 18 Fly home

(The few weeks between Phase I and Phase II includes time home in FL, time in KY for sister’s graduation and a family vacation.)

Phase II
June 14 – July 4 Fieldwork in Tintagel
July 5 – 8 Family Wedding in NYC
July 9 – July 29 University of Exeter
July 30 Day in London
July 31 Fly home

Now, at first glance, this schedule seemed simple and balanced. Three to four weeks of fieldwork followed by the same amount of time at the University of Exeter where I’m currently a visiting research student. Trouble is, I somehow failed to look at their academic calendar. Of the 9 total weeks I planned to stay in Exeter, only 2 of them are during active semester periods. The other 7 weeks are holidays between semesters. ARGHHHHH!!

Now, this wouldn’t be a problem if I had any other reason for being in Exeter, but I don’t! I had allotted this time to take advantage of what the university had to offer and to begin transcribing, coding, analyzing, etc. Well, the transcribing/coding I can do from basically anywhere, so really the reason I’m here is to participate in the university community as a visiting student. That’s going to be awfully hard if there’s nothing going on. I’m so frustrated with myself right now.

My initially thought was, ok, cancel the Exeter AirBnB and go back to Glastonbury to do more fieldwork. My second thought was, that’s a waste of the money I won’t get back from the Exeter AirBnB, and would cost a lot extra to find a place to stay in Glastonbury again on such short notice. And my third thought was that I have actually collected enough to work with, so maybe I should just go home? It’s $300 to change my return flight.

I’m really confused right now. I have four weeks ahead of me right now and I have no idea what to do with them. This is so unlike me. I’m a list-maker… a calendar user… I don’t do things like this. That, combined with being in a new place, and some homesickness, has me feeling really down right now…  Waiting to hear back from both my advisor here at Exeter and my advisor at USF. We’ll see what they think. For now, I’m going to force myself to go outside because I’m hungry and need to find food.


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