I realized recently that I was writing to one friend a bit compulsively. In some ways, it was nice to get back in touch, and to have him to stay in contact with, but also, I realized, he was filling a void. I haven't been sending fieldwork updates to my friends, the way I did when I was in N. Africa for 2 months one summer. Partly because fieldwork is now in the States, and it's easy to have a phone call or feel no real break from life before and after. But it also means that I won't have a written (casual) record of time here. In Morocco, I was also writing to my boyfriend at least once a day if not more often, making my life as humorous as possible, crafting the story a little bit. It's a great record to look back on every now and then. So, I decided it was time to re-visit the blogging experience. The last time I kept a blog was in college -- and I kind of cringe at the thought of it. It was in the early days of webpaging, and it was awfully confessional. I finally got my college to remove it a year or two ago, much to my relief.
Fieldwork at home is weird. I'm not sure where it begins or ends, and while some might say fieldwork rarely has convenient packaging like that, there is something particular about working in your own country. Being able to fly home for holidays or drive north to visit friends in San Francisco. At the same time, I love this about my chosen career. I like that things are rarely seamed, that I can return easily, should I wish, to do more work. Of course, the downside is that much like being a student (where there is rarely a moment that work isn't somewhere rattling around as a possibility), it's hard to not feel hyper-vigilant all the time. I can't read the NY Times online without one part of my brain scanning for research tidbits. U.S. goings-on tend to relate back to my research somehow. This is true for anyone who does research, I know this, but somehow it feels all-pervasive, with no discrete fieldsite.