Monday, May 10, 2010

What Might Have Been

A chance comment by Mr. Tangaroa, and Annabella has more questions. However, these are questions I have studiously avoided for ten years. Though I may be a doctor in his estimation, I have no right to use the title. The lambasting I received at my vivas from the head of the department left no question in that regard.

She is not the first to question why I did not continue to fight for my doctorate. Though the refutation of my dissertation was likely motivated by internal University politics, I have not had the resources to renew the process.

Dr Wirefly had found the papers I published under my name. She made no mention of the other, less scholarly popular science articles, published under a pseudonym. I made no attempts to disguise my writing style, and using my mother’s maiden surname is not a very difficult puzzle to solve. Those articles were not my best writing, but they were what the editors wanted, and the income they generated helped pay the bills.

I rather doubt anyone at the University has read them.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Journey Begins

Well, we are underway, without too much trouble. I was glad to note that Annabella did not over-pack greatly. Two city dresses, and the rest in the sturdier day-wear suitable for field work. We managed to cull her choices down to fit in a single trunk, and I am quite proud of the thought processes that she voiced while detailing the reasons for her selections.

Still, I worried that we would have too much luggage, until I saw the mountains of equipment Dr Wirefly brought, and the supplies packed by Professor Chavignol. I count it fortunate that our luggage was able to fit into our cabin.

Annabella is still excited about the adventure of going abroad. True, it is the first time outside Caledon for both of us, but I have been re-reading the professors’ notes. I hope there will not be anything to tarnish her exuberance. However, we are following a path that is fraught with danger.

I worry that Professor McMinn was not exaggerating the problems with the last expedition. He was one given more to understatement than hyperbole, as I recall. Then again, he was a much more jovial fellow before he left with the professors. I ask myself again, what dark memories trouble him so, that he rarely smiles?