Monday, April 22, 2002

I'm thinking my proposal for the SCA isn't going to work, but I haven't given up yet. I'm a little swamped with make-up work this week (that's what I get for going out of town), but I'm going to try to dig out as many primary sources as possible between now and Saturday, then get to work and see what I really have. Thank god for e-mail, it gives me a few extra days to work on it.


Just got back from the annual meeting of the SAH. There's so much to wonder about I don't even know what to write. I was completely stressed out about going, afraid someone would realize how badly my career has tanked, but luckily, that didn't happen. I talked to Christine a bit about my "research," and Terry never really asked, probably because he hates his job, too. I could completely sympathize. I was eaten alive by envy for all that Christine has managed to do. I guess that's what happens when you have a passion for something, instead of a vague interest (like me). Anyway, I made various career-related decisions over the course of the week. I'm going to join the Recent Past Preservation Network (thanks, Christine!), I'm going to try and volunteer for BRI and get some hands-on experience, I'm going to try and figure out a way to work 1/2 time so I can finish my design technology degree and get the hell out of here, I'm going to just keep plugging away w/research on a couple of topics that interest me and see if I can't come up with some paper proposals.

So, the conference was good. Richmond is a neat place, at least the part of it I saw. I understand parts of it are less appealing, but that's pretty much how cities work. I know I should be appalled by the southern-ness of the place, but I found parts it quite sweet. The guide at the Capital Building won me over and


I used to think people who specialized in the history of the Civil War were all weird. Now, I wish I had done it. Either that, or World War I. If I could do that history degree over again, I'd be a military historian. I was thinking it would be an interesting paper to study informal Civil War scuffles in the western states, or at least monuments in the western states. I found this bit of an e-mail on the web and it really got me thinking:

"Sir, It's commendable that you are embarking on a page for California in the War of Northern Aggression. But what about the actions fought IN California? The Rebs were about to launch a privateer from SF bay when they were surprised by a US Navy ship who captured them all.... What about the Battle of Volcano in which the Union garrison turned back a group of Southerners by threatening to fire a cannon loaded with iron scrap, nails and broken glass? The cannon is still in Volcano, CA."

I saw the cannon when I was in Volcano in high school. There must be more things like this out there, especially in California since so many Californians fought in the eastern and western theaters. I guess Washingtonians did, too, even though it was only a territory.

Beyond history and architecture, we had an interesting time staying with BR. I am so confused about the whole weekend. I find myself caught in this trap all the time. Whenever I meet someone, I want to be friendly and open, because I know other people take it personally if I am quiet and shy. After a bit, though, I just want to pull away and protect myself and stop telling people things. This is what happened this weekend. It's stupid, because BR is the genuine article, and I don't expect any malice or duplicity from her. For that matter, it will be a long time before we see her again, so why would I even worry about what she knows about me or what I've said? I just felt like I needed to hide after awhile. It always happens like this, and I hate it.

I guess when it takes you 13 hours to drive home, you have a lot of time to analyze your personality. I don't know what this push/pull thing is. I want to get to know people and share bits of my life with them, but when I do, I instantly want to end the friendship. At the very least, I pass the friendship over to Catherine and make her do all the talking. That's what happened again this week. I tell myself to just get over it, but then, I worry things will end up like they did with Todd, and I can't go through that again. Luckily, Catherine doesn't have these hang ups, and she manages to keep in touch with my friends for me.

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