Today marked my first day as a staff member, although I cannot quite shirk the feeling of being an impostor.
I felt decidedly postgraduate as I trundled about the baking streets, dodging graduates in their billowing gowns, proud parents festooned with elaborate fascinators and grandparents steaming under trees.
I am in a state of disbelief – an excited disbelief as I cannot wait to get started; in fact, my eagerness is so much that I do not know where to begin.
My first trip to the library resulted was a randomly fevered affair: Palace Walk by Naguib Mahfouz, Al-Kitaab fii Ta’allum al-Arabiyya (whether I actually use it is another matter; while I much prefer Alif Baa, Al-Kitaab has always been a staple of my bookshelf) and Arabic Grammar: A Reference Guide.
The collection of books is simply staggering: in the language section alone one can choose to learn Moroccan, Sudanese, Lebanese, Egyptian or Palestinian dialects.
The literature section groans under the collective weight of Arab authors in French, Italian, Spanish, English and of course, Arabic.
Had I but the time, I could easily have passed the entire day tracing the spines and mumbling ecstatic expostulations of rapture over the sheer breadth of Middle East-centric tomes.
It is indeed book heaven.
After a hiatus from the tangible academic world I am broiling with objectives: there are so many conferences I want to attend, papers to explore, a book to publish and of course, the main project that I am contracted to complete over the two years.
One would imagine after the PhD that slipping into another study would be easier; it is not necessarily so, but I hope I learned enough during the doctorate to avoid the slings and shots of writing and disseminating research.
The general feeling is then, one of abject excitement and trepidation.
If only my head would stop spinning long enough to actually do something.