Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Giving a Talk at NYU-London and Attending Bhupen Khakar Seminar at Courtauld Art Gallery

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

It was a momentous day--for America, as my compatriots go to the polls (I mailed my overseas ballot form in weeks ago) and for me personally, as I gave a talk to students and my fellow faculty-members at NYU-London.
     I awoke at about 5. 45 and began doing what I do every morning. While still in bed and while the rest of my Ealing neighbors ignore their alarm clocks and get a bit more of a snooze, I am hammering away at my laptop as I draft blog posts, make arrangements for future travel and respond to email. This morning, I spent time preparing for the lecture I would give this afternoon and calling my Dad to give him my good news of last night. Needless to say, he was simply thrilled with me. The best part of great news is that you get to share it with those you love and see (or in my case, hear) them rejoice with you.
     I ate the last bits and bobs in my fridge for breakfast--one slice of toast with peanut butter which I finished up and two cheese cracker biscuits with a cup of tea (I have no cream in my fridge so I will not have any more coffee)!
     I decided not to focus too much on any more packing (apart from putting together my files and papers) and instead to focus on my talk--my mind can only concentrate on one big thing at a time--plus I have all of tomorrow to get my things organized and moved out of here.
     I showered, dressed and left my flat at about 10.30 and left for NYU-London. I reached there at about 11. 10. On the Tube, I reviewed my lecture again and tried to calm the butterflies in my tummy.

Giving my Lecture at NYU:
     In addition to students and faculty members who came for my talk on the ground floor wood-paneled room at NYU-London (where we used to have our Faculty Meetings when I used to teach here), two of my friends arrived: Raquel and Devika, a new friend I have just made. I sat for a while with Raquel and brought her some pizza which had just been delivered, as she was starving.
     My talk began at 1.00 to a fairly full room--which was very heartening for me. I had a Powerpoint presentation projected with photographs that I have taken from my research at the British Library and I spoke for about 30 minutes on my recent findings. It was fun, after I got rid of my initial nervousness, to share my research with the academic community so soon after I have done it. I was introduced by the Director of NYU-London, Gary Slapper and was thrilled to see Mick Hathaway, Clive Bloom and Valerie Wells, among the faculty in attendance.
     My talk was followed by a few really interesting questions from the audience. People also commented on my work and my findings and it was really good to get their views and to be able to incorporate them into my future probing. So, over all, it was a good experience and I was very glad that I was able to go through with it. I was also very grateful to the staff at NYU-London who organized this talk from planning and designing the lovely colored poster they made, from booking a room, from publicizing it among the students, from ordering pizza that was provided to make it a luncheon talk...they did so much and I really owe them big time.
    Raquel and I went up to my office so that I could eat some pizza as I hadn't eaten lunch. I got the last two slices and while chatting with Raquel I ate it. She stayed for another half an hour and then left me to get some printing done. My friend Annalisa in Vicenza is still trying to order a shuttle bus for me from Venice airport to her place and back and I had some directions from a hotel in Sicily on how to get to it--there was so much to print out.
     I also spent about an hour in the mail room downstairs packing and putting together more books to be mailed back to my home in Southport, Connecticut. I will take those off to the post office tomorrow.

Off to a Bhupen Khakar Seminar at the Courtauld Art Gallery:
     My new friend Devika had suggested I attend a seminar at the Courtauld Art Gallery on Bhupen Khakar, the Indian artist. I decided to go there since it was rather early. I took the Tube to Temple and reached the gallery soon enough.
     When I entered the tiny room in which the seminar was being held at exactly 6.00 pm, I found it packed. There was not a single seat available and there was no way I was going to stand through all of it. I waited for the introduction by art critical Gayatri Sinha and then left. It was exactly 6. 30 when I made my way back home. I reached home at 7.10--I was tired and hungry and decided to have dinner right away--the last bits of ravioli and cheese sauce in my friend with a brownie sundae for dessert.
    I feel overwhelmed by everything I have to do tomorrow---plus I will need to deal with the outcome of the US election. Results will start to come in by midnight here.
    I Facetimed with Llew before I fell asleep--earlier than usual, but I am feeling the need for more rest. I also intend to wake up in the middle of the night to get election results. I am simply too keyed up to sleep...
     Until tomorrow, cheerio...  

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