There is something to be said for researching, writing, and then presenting a paper to a group of like-minded women. All the members of the club are life-long readers and each one has a lively interest in intellectual pursuits.
I find that actually having to 'perform' in front of an audience is so much more fulfilling than the times in school when term papers were simply handed in to the teacher and then received back with a grade. Somehow having to think about how my audience might respond to the information I am writing makes for a tighter and more entertaining paper.
I have come a long way since the time I was in a fourth-grade talent show and kept my eyes closed the entire time I was on stage thinking - with my elementary-school brain - that if I couldn't see the audience then they couldn't see me!
Over the years I have learned some tricks that make speaking in front of an audience less terrifying than my early school year experiences. Yes, I did keep my eyes open! As a matter of fact, getting to share with the group the intriguing ideas and information that I have come across in my research is truly the best part - the frosting on the cake!
Thanks for your comments and for sending me your well wishes for this project.
Hmmm. Now, what do I want to research for next year's paper?