Leo Tolstoy and I are 21 DD/MM/YYYYs old today! (He is really 177 & “Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy”. Лев Никола́евич Толсто́й.)
Yesterday morning my literature professor brought me a packet she had put together announcing the joint BAAL & IRAAL Annual Conference at UCC September 7th –9th. That’s the British Association for Applied Linguistics and the Irish Association for Applied Linguistics. Unfortunately, the going rate for non-member tickets is € 245 per day (that’s about $319 a day and $957 for the conference). I left registration completely defeated, but the next piece of advice: “In the pursuit of knowledge, all is free. Show up and act like you belong”. The conference has been wonderful but the added kindness!, attentiveness!, patience!, and encouragement! I’ve received from these British & Irish (Welsh, South African, Chinese, Japanese, Iranian, American, et al.) Drs and Professors is without compare. Today I was given a ticket to a private reception dinner (“Cailin, there will be free wine…”), but because I’m shy & a little taken aback by their attention I reluctantly did laundry instead. I have endless naïve questions & derisory responses – met with so little pretension. Everyone needs a bit of encouragement & sometimes I feel like the whole department is one astounding, neuter mentor. There is also a very wonderful infoshop 4 blocks from my house. Therein lies more community, support, and cat owners.
I miss: astringent, the peace of mind I had with a quickbike so I could leave places very late & not feel as paranoid about harassment, spray butter, tinyface tinypaws tinytongue tinymeow tinybundle of tender affection, small red backpack, long underwear, used clothing, sewing tools, all the friends. If these sage ones find out it is my birthday tomorrow I think they are going to embarass me very much. Am I seriously about to celebrate my 21st with 35-60 year old academians? Ah well, that’s what happens when you move somewhere totally new right before your birthday!