Monday, February 7, 2011

Heading Out

My neighborhood has stabilized.  Shops are opening, people are going about their business as normal, at least until curfew time (which is ridiculously early for baladelba7th, as this is not a country that sleeps at 7pm. Or 12 am.  Or ever).  There are no looters, no protests near me.  It looks nothing like TV, or Facebook, or Twitter, or YouTube.

Nevertheless, my husband and I are leaving tomorrow.  This is not our choice.  Rather, my funding comes in a roundabout way from my government.  They informed me that if I stayed, they would end my funding.  If I leave, I keep my funding, but I can't actually use it outside of baladelba7th, so I've suddenly just lost all my funding, until I can come back or the summer semester starts.  I think my funding organization is hoping that things will settle down and we can return.  This is all well and good if you work in an archive I suppose, where your papers will just sit in wait for you.  However, my research is time-sensitive--if I can't start certain procedures next week, there's no point in pursuing Phase 4 farther at all.  If I can be back here next week, what's the point in making me leave at all? Not that we could come back next week, no matter what happens, since I'm pretty sure my funding will make us wait at least a month.

Then don't even get me started on the hypocrisy of my government, which is so concerned about me that I must leave, but apparently doesn't give a rat's ass for the people in baladelba7th who are actually suffering, and actually in danger, and risking their lives to help each other.  When I think about his, I want to simultaneously vomit and/or break/punch something.  Preferably the administration.

So the long and short of it is that we are now without funds and must go live with my parents until further notice or June, when I can get university funding again.  My parents will be thrilled, and I generally do not mind living with them, although I haven't lived with them for this long since I was in high school.  My husband for some reason actually wants to go live with my parents.  Our social life will be zero, because the few friends I did have in high school no longer live in the area.  Actually, almost no one from my high school still lives in the area since there's not much to do there.  But I digress.

Then there is my research, which was supposed to have four Phases completed in two years.  Originally my committee was skeptical of this two year plan, thinking I could accomplish everything in one year.  Hah! In fact, only Phases 2 and 3 were actually completed, as Phase 1 got disrupted by swine flu (remember that?) and Phase 4 has been ended by the revolution.  The good news is that I can write a dissertation with what I have.  It won't be the best, but it will work.  Plus, how many people get to work swine flu and a revolution into their dissertations?

Which then leads to the question: what next? If I can't do research, is it worth the hassle of coming back here if I can just to get money? Or should I just continue transcribing/start writing at my parents' house? Or should I calculate how long my savings will last in my university town and try to move back there so I can do the folk dancing I miss here? Meanwhile,  my husband will be applying for jobs, and if he gets one that will lead to a whole new set of questions, since wherever it is, it will not be near my university or my parents.

When I started this blog I was completely stressed out about the uncertainty of my life because it was difficult to schedule things with my participants.  Now, that uncertainty pales in comparison to this!


  1. I'm sorry you're being made to leave--and the conditions of your money sound meshuggeneh, if you'll forgive my language. They did give you the fellowship to do the research and write it up, right? You'll be doing that in your parents' basement, too.

    Good luck with the moving. I hope it goes as painlessly as possible. Especially with the kittehs, oy.

  2. The government has been pretty disappointing all around on this, I agree. I have a host of questions about how they decide what they can say, and how they can exert pressure on various figures. That's neither here nor there for you, though, so I'll spare you a long rhetorical blog comment.

    Miss you guys.