Saturday, July 25, 2015

Everything New This Season (Except the Name)

 
If you saw the number of drafts I have started, outlined, spewed forth, scrawled out, etc. etc. you might be surprised. It is hard to get back into a writing groove. I have been wanting to write and post, but then Twitter distracts me. I want to share things, but then I sometimes doubt myself. Actually, a lot of times I doubt myself.

I also waded into a world where I wasn't as actively constructive as I could be before. I imagined myself an instrument for good and I kind of just stopped. When I handed in my park ranger badge, I thought of all the different ways I could still influence and contribute to the world of history (and interpretation). I have done a little. I'd like to do more.

This is pretty much how I feel.
As a way to reintroduce myself into this wild world of blogging, I'll start by saying what I do for money (sometimes called "work") has changed. I still work with an historic walking tour company downtown Nashville. But now seasonally, I work as a tour director. Think Tour Guide Barbie who also shares about local history, culture, food, and people while keeping 40+ people organized on the road for weeks at a time.

This is pretty much me four months out of the year now.
The tours take me many places, but I am currently concentrated in the desert southwest of the United States. I'll be here at least another six weeks. It works out well, as I visit several National Park Service sites with the group during these trips AND I get to pull on my way-back-when studies of the American West.

Fun Fact About Elizabeth: my previous research has included the geography of the American West, the history of tourism in the United States, and cultural landscape studies related to touristy sites in the American West. Oh, and prostitution, but that was not just restricted to the American West.

 
"Can you say 'Saguaro? Say it with me: Sa-WAR-Row."
Yes, this particular line of work fits me well. Yes, in many ways it is a dream job. No, it is not easy. I work between 10 and 14 hour days and don't really get days off while on the road. Keeping 40+ people happy alladatime is stressful. Shoot, just keeping track of 50 pieces of luggage every day is stressful. But I enjoy it. I am writing this as a preface of sorts for my upcoming posts. While on the road I have loads of raw data I am planning on working through related to research back in Tennessee. I plan on writing about some of that here. I will likely share thoughts about interpretation on the road. That means my writings will likely swing from racial relations in post-Civil War Tennessee to cacti, from what an inky page from over 145 years ago might mean to geology. Oh, and prostitution (again, not restricted to the American West). I think it is fair to share a disclaimer that sometimes I feel incoherent (lack of sleep and all) so maybe I will sound incoherent. Also, there is this:
 
At least there is a dinosaur to sooth my frustrations.
 
Connectivity is weird on the road, especially in parks. I know, I know: I am supposed to connect with nature! Between cell phone reception and internet, I don't always have access to sharing or posting. It's a real bummer sometimes. But I will try.  
 
So that's that. Here's to Everything New This Season, including the costumes.
 
 
 
DISCLAIMER: I still wrote all this nonsense on my own time and these are all my own thoughts! I could have been napping, but I am not!

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