After starting off yesterday morning with a fire alarm at 5:45AM, followed by a day of cantankerous classmates and heated discussions, today we a lot more fun. We studied audience evaluation and I was able to work out some real-life projects that I want to do at home. Not that I’m ready to go home. Aside from the fire alarm, I have to say this experience is a historian’s paradise. I get to talk about history all day long with people who love it as much as I do, and I’m meeting some great new friends who are my history people (public historians are each other’s favorite sort of people, with apologies to everyone else on the planet). Also, the hotel feeds us breakfast and provides full housekeeping. This means that I haven’t had to lift a finger in two weeks to do ANY kind of housework, yard work, office work, cooking, etc. And a classmate’s mom even sent a care package of cookies for us all. It’s been pretty darn wonderful and I kind of don’t want this to ever end.
Tonight I took some friends to the South Bend Chocolate Company on Monument Circle, which is another one of my Favorite Places. Some of my best and brightest memories of sharing stories and laughter with my best friends happened over chocolate at the SBCC, so it has a dear place in my heart. Tonight my friends and I sat at a table talking about on-purpose vagabondyhomelessness and tried to connect it to the closing of the Western frontier. We also asked Sirri all sorts of random questions, talked about school, and generally had a wonderful time. My face hurt from smiling. The experience reminded me of every happy meeting-of-the-public-history-mind that happened with there when I was in grad school. If dementors ever attack me and I need to cast a patronus charm, I think those will be the powerful happy memories that I summon.