This blog will comprise a collection of ephemera, mess and miscellaneous artifacts reflecting on the writer's life.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Fieldnotes chapter 1

Artemis sat in her usual cafe on Washington Square, scowling at her lap top, sipping her first skinny latte of the day.
Life at San Paradiso University was not quite as glorious as she had hoped.
Despite excellent feedback on her dissertation: 'I shop therefore I am: an ethnography of a department store in central San Paradiso' with particularly good attention paid amongst her peers to Artemis' reflexive stance when it came to the Laura Mercier lipstick counter, her career was not going as well as she hoped.
Stuck in an Education department, she had managed to get a grant on whether parents' on-line shopping habits correlated with kindergarteners' reading scores, with a spatial-literacy dimension, but her second proposal, a geo-ethnography of a primary school, tracking A list San Paradiso mothers' shopping habits and relating these to their children's interaction with artifacts, had not been accepted.
'Face it honey' said her dean. 'You need gritty realism, something more close to reality'.
She had tried getting access to the public high schools in New Orleans, to do a time and motion study of jazz and school attendance, but Hurricane Katrina had intervened.
What Artemis needed, she realised, was to find a site with both a department store AND a mall, lots of hills, places she could jog, cafes with wireless, a carb free diet on tap and gritty realism ALL in one place.
Where could this be?
Wearily she scrolled down her emails, wishing she was more like Paul Willis, a hero of hers since she read 'Learning to Labour' at Graduate school.
She wanted to be there, amongst the pits, the class ridden world of the North of England.
Also, a place that offered free healthcare and did not have continually poor homeless people on every street corner would be nice.
Suddenly a message flashed out at her.
It said
Bursary offered for one year to Ruffield University education department.
Must be prepared to do ethnography and be interested in material artifacts.
Corresponding person must then take your job as arranged.
Travel accommdation provided.
Apply to the Hilary Clinton travel fund.
Artemis shut up her lap top.
She must do something.
it was raining again, and the view from the cafe (pictured here for realism)
was depressing her.

She would apply.


cityB said...

I'm hooked so far, but is there going to be a bit more description of what Artemis is wearing?

Joolz said...

Simply brilliant. Really amazing. And at last I know where to apply for travel funding. Thank God. I agree with CityB of course. Is Artemis more of a Ghost, or a Toast, sort of person? Please tell us.

Quita said...

I think you should consider including some kind of romance, romantic adventures, or the possibility of romance (to keep the reader looking for more..)

:) Excellent choice incorporating travel. So many exciting things can happen! I wonder what kind of adventures Artemis will have...

Digigran said...

Wow it's got started! As promised, am reading every word-it's a great so far.
Guess she could meet love interest on plane outand he bw stuck ion Cambridge doing something political- He'd be a bit condescending about her choosing up north. Give you lot's of opportunities for pulling in different locations and misunderstandings re academic life. He will have to be married, of course, and duplicitous.I'm hooked.

Digigran said...

Ps sorry about gobbledy-gook in middle- Don't now where it cocame fro Message to self- preview!

Kate said...

Glad I have some readers!
There is LOTS more to be learned about Artemis and I think she is rather a decadent sort of girl (Saks Fifth Avenue San Paradiso is where she likes to hang out remember) but her relationship with the worthy Hope makes her also quite interesting - this is the romance bit.
However, digigran has already plotted into the future....