I've got glasses, finally. I've been planning for this since that time, more than two years ago, when the doctor in France didn't want to give me the health certificate for work because of the state of my eyes. As I've checked them now, it seems to be the same problem I had since I was twenty; perhaps I needed glasses all my life, but always preferred to see the world with my own eyes.
I've submitted yet another article, this time for Montenegro. I'm still learning, making experiments, getting used to my English. I follow closely the ranking, and prepare to switch to SCImago Q1 - Q2 quartile exclusively. But for the time being, I'm still attached to the idea of this global exploration, of penetrating a variety of academic contexts. I regret I didn't do this when I was younger. I had time for this. Why did I stick to all those silly Polish journals? But of course, it is something that cannot be undone. Never mind. I still have time. And to my considerable surprise, Q1 - Q2 quartiles include a couple of journals in such places as Manilla, Philippines. Pity they have virtually no journal in the Middle East. The ranking, by the way, seems very incomplete, at least as referred to ERIH+ listings, and it wouldn't be such a reasonable professional strategy to treat is as an absolute indicator.
I start to miss Holland. I feel like immersed is some sort of crippling, viscous reality, sticking to my past, immobilised. Some things still need digesting, but I look forward to opening a new chapter. In a lower quartile.
Since Christmas, I haven't manage to arrive back to Leiden yet. There has been a trip to Egypt, and now I'm busy making order in my remaining Polish papers. I'm quite surprised with the respite that Europe gives us. I might call it fidelity. They simply don't let us go. They stand by.
I've lost my credentials as political analyst. Till the last moment, I was persuaded that Brexit wouldn't take place, that they would rather get rid of us and, confronted with this scenario, the English would say, OK, in this case we stay. Things happened the other way around. They went out and we stay in. For the time being.
How long would it prevail? How does it change my life prospects? For a moment, I thought the tide is turning, and I could, after all, stay. That was weeks ago. Now I believe less in the turn of the tide and, what is crucial, I've verified empirically how little chances I have as a scholar in Kraków. Well, the awareness of my handicap is not entirely new. Years ago, I came to understand that I would never be employed at the Marie-Curie University in Lublin, no matter how excellent my academic performance. It is just a history repeating itself. I will not be employed at the Jagiellonian University, no matter how excellent my academic performance. I may as well seek for a job at Oxford.
And with my characteristic, neurotypical lack of sense of humour, it is for Oxford that I'm packing. Just to break the whole thing down for now: my track record and academic experience make me every day more unsuitable for the aforementioned institutions. Bigger I grow, less I fit in. As for Oxford, I might be smallish now, but as I go on growing, the lines will naturally intersect at some point. The other way around - I don't really see how... It's an anatomical issue.
Of course, the growing process could be more intense; I'm living rather relaxed that target-oriented existence. I've submitted yet another article in Polish (the last, vintage one, that I've wished to publish since 2006). And I still read a lot, too much indeed, in Polish, yet slowly breaking my mind to offer the entirety, or nearly entirety, of my book collection to public libraries. From Poland, I would like to take a few selected volumes of Polish literature, but all these translations, and all those lesser things should go, or rather, remain where they belong. Last week, I offered to the library my Polish Faust and my Polish Buddenbrooks, together with the horrific porn novel Jak podrywają szejkowie by Marcin Margielewski (a synthesis of the Polish male's fears and obsessions --including the fantasy of squashing one's own pregnant ex-partner with a sport car-- under an Oriental disguise). I laughed like a squirrel when I read it (the most hilarious item was the author's conviction that the Emiratees get really excited with the Arabian mares from Janów Podlaski), till the moment when it made me very sad indeed because of the author's provincialism (the book culminates with a coprophiliac suggestion --of golden shit-- switched from Emirates right into the dark heart of Saudi Arabia). Nonetheless, I'm surprised by a recent article in "Gazeta Wyborcza": "Does Poland deserve a better porn literature?"
No, I don't think so. Now I read, or at least surf through, the Blogotony by Inga Iwasiów, before I put the book into the bag I use to carry them to the public library. I hope it finds a better life there.
Meanwhile, I keep just one sentence from this book (p. 252-253): "Możliwość, że kobiety mogłyby postępować podobnie, brać sobie mężczyzn, seks, władzę, rodzi panikę". I suppose this is the explanation why I cannot teach at the Jagiellonian University. Because I take scholarship as a man would. And it causes panic.