Entering the Final Stage

Today I am taking a Lithuanian language placement exam — tomorrow I start a three and a half week intensive Lithuanian language course.  I know it seems odd to be taking a language courses at the end of my year in Lithuania, but there is some rationale to this decision.  My Lithuanian language skills have improved a lot this year through using the language in daily life, using it in research and working with a tutor.  I expect that the intensive course will solidify the improvements that I’ve made and will push me forward a level in my language abilities.  Hopefully it will also help me maintain my language skills once I return to the U.S. and stop using Lithuanian every day.

Because the language course will require a significant time commitment — daily classes on weekdays and homework — I’ve been wrapping up my research this month, trying to get as much done as possible before today.  I still have a few interviews in the process of being scheduled and one more day’s worth of work in the library archives.  And I have a lot of people whom I want to see before I leave.  But all in all, the majority of my research here in Lithuania is completed.

Yesterday I went through my dissertation to-do list and got it down to one page.  Some things I crossed of the list because, in the end, they aren’t that important.  Quite a few things were moved to the “future research” list.  My research topic is constantly expanding as I come across new information or think of new ways to look at events or see connections with something else.  But the reality is that I need to write a dissertation now.  Once the dissertation is completed, I can explore some of these other research paths and see where they lead.  Right now, I have a manageable list of really important items that I can accomplish in between conversation practice and grammar exercises.

About amanda

Creating academic and public environments for the humanities to flourish Researching Soviet and Eastern European history Engaging people and ideas as a writer and interviewer Traveling as much as possible View all posts by amanda

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