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TTFN, Athens

August 23, 2010

Since I’m heading back north early tomorrow, today is my last full day in Athens. I’ve got a couple last minute interviews, some errands to run and some bags to pack, and then the intensive research phase of this project comes to a close.

I was in Athens for a total of six months almost exactly, arriving in late January and spending about a month in Bucks County with an ankle injury, and I leave here with a sense of accomplishment and a heavy heart.

In terms of the project, I’m satisfied with what I’ve done so far. With the interviews I conducted, the press clippings I unearthed, the photos and posters people volunteered, the contacts I made, and lots of little intangible things, I feel like I have a strong foundation to build from. I’m not done the researching–not even close–but I’ve got enough stuff to put together a rough first draft and fill in what I need from wherever I end up in whatever spare time I have. I was careful not to set concrete goals with so much uncertainty, but I don’t have any serious regrets about how I spent my time here.

That said, I’m can’t say I’m totally stoked to be leaving. Part of me is very ready to get back north, see some people I miss a lot, and start another chapter of my life, but part of me is really going to miss this place. I understand all the Athens hype now. It’s a charming town and one I enjoyed living in. But more than the music scene or the abundance of cheap Mexican food, I’ve met a lot of people here I really like. I’ll see some of them again eventually, but I don’t know when or where that will be. And that’s hard.

Going forward, my top priority is to find a full-time job. Once I get that settled, I will spend my free time digging through my massive pile of interviews and clippings and stuff and crafting it into some kind of narrative. Simultaneously, I’ll be conducting additional interviews: over the phone, mostly (but not all) with people I’ve met and spent time with (and in some cases, interviewed) in person; in person, mostly when they tour through wherever I end up; and possibly through e-mail or other media when appropriate.

Eventually, I’ll put together a rough first draft and then know exactly what needs to be beefed up, which means more interviews but probably shorter, more direct ones. Things are kind of up in the air at that point. More so than usual.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Lauren Graham permalink
    August 24, 2010 9:50 PM

    The readership welcomes you back to Pennsylvania. :-)

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