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Done… Almost.

Hurrah! Last tutorial today, so all my teaching is done.  The tutorials this semester have been something of a mixed bag. Some have gone really well, others have dragged.  It really does depend on how much prep the students have done in the first place though.  It is impossible to get a decent discussion going when they haven’t even looked at the text, nor have they brought a copy with them.  But its done…

….apart from the last of the marking 😦

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Stateside this summer

Hurrah!  I was awarded a summer residency position this summer in Ohio where my only obligation (at least that I’ve been told about) is to carry out my own research.

Five weeks in Cincinnati with University and library access and an apartment in some fancy off-campus student accommodation. While I realise that “student” accommodation may sound warning bells, but seriously, I’ve yet to come across university housing which comes equipped with dishwashers.  Yup, dishwashers. And the ground floor is full of restaurants and bars. And a gym. And wi-fi.  I think I’m going to be very happy.

I’ve got the flights sorted, which was actually trickier than expected.  Cincinnati seems to be off the main routes of most major airlines (including the american ones).  From my searching, flying from the UK to a secondary hub (either in the UK or mainland Europe) only offers one airline which flies straight to the city.  So I’m flying via London and Newark, 3 flights in all.  I could have taken the the 2 flight option of going through Paris. But that would have meant paying more, and spending far more time than I could stand in Charles de Gaulle airport – possibly the most expensive, clinical and downright unfriendly airport I have ever spent time in. (And this list includes Acapulco… where I once waited for a very long time for no apparent reason. The only comment from the pilots and cabin crew to all the passengers when we finally got to board was, “where have you lot been, we’ve been waiting for you for hours”).

The visa is sorted too. I’ve been trying to work out what things are where in the city with varying degrees of success.  I know where I’ll be living and where the library/department are that I need but I have no clue as to where I can buy food. But I figure that that is the kind of thing that can be sorted on arrival. Two things I don’t get though.

1. Why is the city shunned by guidebooks? A trip to the bookstores around here yielded a total of about 5 pages of information.

2. Why do all attractions/malls/general area information only include directions for people driving?  I won’t have a car, and I sure ain’t taxi-ing it everywhere. Is is so hard to say if you can walk someone or catch a bus? *

Now all I need to suss out is what the shopping and sightseeing research I’m going to do this summer.

*Actually looking at the city there appears to be a couple of bus services which should get me everywhere I need to go but still some help/general guidelines would be useful.