Reflection on Round One of Fieldwork

I have been back State-side for a few weeks now. It took a bit of time to readjust, mostly to the climate, which has switched to full Florida summer-mode in my absence. I’ve been fairly busy since arriving back in Florida. My return journey was long but fairly uneventful. I took the overnight train from Exeter to London Gatwick and then after a few hours of waiting at the airport, flew direct from London to Orlando. Unfortunately, despite an early check-in and no connecting flights, my suitcase didn’t make it. Fortunately, I was “home” so I could do without those particular clothes for a few days. I picked up a one-way rental car and drove home from Orlando to Tampa.

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Goodbye, England!

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The Union Jack sure looks good against that blue sky!

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Hello Florida Coastline! Flew in right over Cocoa Beach. 🙂

To be perfectly honest, I haven’t been as productive as I would have liked to be since arriving back home in Tampa. Life has gotten in the way a bit, but I am really happy I was able to go to Mike’s Spring Concert and the end of the year Band Banquet. (If you’re new to this blog, Mike is a high school band director.) That said, I’ve been slowly preparing myself for round two of my research in Tintagel. I’ve been able to reflect back on what worked and what didn’t work in Glastonbury. The main difference between the research as it was outlined in my dissertation proposal and what was actually executed in Glastonbury is the absence of a completed visitor survey.

Originally, I wanted to survey visitors about their motivations for visiting various places in Glastonbury. This became difficult to operationalize when the director at Glastonbury Abbey asked me not to approach people on property. However, I was able to get a lot of observational fieldnotes, 17 semi-structured interviews varying in length from 30 minutes to 90 minutes, and a huge set of photographs that I now need to sort through. The result of the missing survey is mostly that my focus has now shifted from visitor consumption to heritage production, which may not be an entirely bad thing.

At the end of this week I’m heading up to Kentucky for my sister’s high school graduation and then I head back over to England, but with mom, sister and husband in tow. They’ll be hanging out with me for a bit before I hit the ground running in Tintagel.

Last week I found out that I will be teaching ANT4401 (Exploring Cross-Cultural Diversity) again in the Fall at USF, which is a huge relief since that comes with a tuition waiver and health insurance. Once a student earns Phd Candidate status (which I got in February) they must be “continuously enrolled” until graduation, which includes summer terms. That means I had to register for a minimum of 2 credit hours in the summer – an added expense of $900 I was not anticipating. And since I’m not able to teach this summer, I have no form of tuition waiver to pay for it. Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal, but I am stretched so thin this summer I was upset about it for a few days. Financial stress is, in my opinion, the worst kind of stress. But, we’ll make it through… we always do. In the meantime, I will be prepping for round two and gearing up to spend some much needed time with family!

My sister has never been to the UK and my mom hasn’t been since she was in her teens, so I’m excited to finally show them around one of my favorite places on the planet. Updates about that adventure will be posted on my travel blog: https://wanderlustundheimweh.wordpress.com/

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