It is Spring Semester 2022 and that means I get more into my research as I try to set a good example for a new bunch of SOCL 3000 students. I can't wait to see what they are doing this semester.
When we left our hero a ridiculous number of years ago, she had just finished up her field research and other stuff. In the interim she collected more data, and presented preliminary findings at the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. I got to meet an author whose work I had quoted, and that was really great. She had lots of good advice, and we had an email conversation going, but I have not heard from her recently. I hope she is okay.
For the Neopaganism project, I am analyzing that data so I can send it out finally to journals for hopeful publication. Everyone keep fingers crossed.
It is that time again for sabbatical! So I have proposed a continuation of that project, including participant observation this time. There were so many things I saw during the 2018 field research but since it wasn't part of the IRB approval, it would be inappropriate to include it.
Included in that is my long standing "how do believers in UFOs and alien abduction manage that stigma" project, which will also involve participant observation.
Two things can screw this up. One, my sabbatical can be denied. That would not be terrible; I could still do the work, I would just have to weave it into my other responsibilities, like I'm doing this term. This would make it go SO much slower.
The other is this blasted pandemic. One event I was planning to attend in February 2022 is already canceled by the organizers. I am trying not to take it VERY personally that my career goals are LITERALLY being thwarted by 40 percent of the US population's refusal to participate in "loving thy neighbor."
BUT...well, that is a good example I suppose of how research can be derailed by things outside of our control, and learning to adjust and roll with those changes. A researcher needs to be flexible, and able to think of a Plan B, or C, or more.