dancing on my own

Hello all!

It’s spring here in Edinburgh which means sun and light and seasonal allergies. I’ve once again been thwarted by pollen and it has been horrific.

But, I’ve been well this semester. Just carrying on with things. I’m writing this from a sunny bench in Greyfriars Kirkyard where I go to sip my ice coffee among the 18th century graves.

Among essay writing and reading, I have been keeping myself busy. Here are some things I’ve done in the past few weeks:

  • Cycled regularly to Portobello to stare at the ocean and eat cinnamon rolls
  • Listened to the ‘Anne of the Island’ audiobook like four times
  • Watched the second season of Bridgerton
  • Plotted my third novel with around 10,000 words drafted of lovely historical fantasy angst
  • Went to a book event for V.E. Schwab’s newest release and got my copy of ‘A Darker Shade of Magic’ signed. It was very emotional. Then I took myself out for ice cream and went on a nice evening stroll around Edinburgh.
  • Sophie and I went for a classy dinner at the Dome

The most tragical event, however, did occur when I lost my Glossier lipstick somewhere in the streets of Edinburgh. I can only deduce that it fell from my bag. Gone. Vanished to the wind. Deeply upsetting.

With around two weeks of lecture left in the year, I am finally coming to the end of formal teaching. It’s a bit strange to think about, but I am glad to be moving forward with research. I love university but after two degrees, I am tired of structured classes. Also something Sophie and I talked about over dinner was how coming to “professional working age” during the pandemic really did a number and sometimes we forget that almost three years have passed. You really do have a make an effort now instead of just running into folks after class. It’s not a bad thing – just different.

But! I’m so proud of everything my friends are doing but I can’t say I don’t miss living together in the same city. Those years between 2015 and 2019 were golden, but that doesn’t make the years from now any less adventure worthy.

Which brings me to my newest adventure! I have been awarded the 2022 Sally Kress Tompkins Fellowship through Society of Architectural Historians and Historic American Building Survey with the the US Department of the Interior and National Park Service. Over the summer, I will complete a building survey to be added to the HABS archives in the Library of Congress. The fellowship is awarded to one post-graduate student in an architectural discipline each year. I am so incredibly honored to be selected and cannot wait to start my research which ties directly into my masters dissertation! A dream job for me has always been the National Parks Service and I’m just so thrilled to have this opportunity to produce useable and relevant research.

I’ll be framing my research on Carnegie Libraries to demonstrate their social impact through the conservation of their built fabric. For both my dissertation and HABS report, I’ll be back in Lawrence surveying the 1904 Carnegie Building which was the Lawrence Public Library until 1970.

As a former “Lawrence Public Library Teen Zone Teen,” I cannot wait to combine my love of books with the built environment. Libraries are so incredibly special and there are not enough words for me to describe how much I love them.

I’ll update more as my Renaissance Girl™️ summer progresses, but I am in the final stages of my research framework for the University before then building my research framework for HABS.

So while sometimes it feels a bit like I’m dancing on my own, I always have to remind myself that I’m not really. There’s a lot of good to come this summer and beyond and I’m excited to see what happens.