Thursday, April 26, 2012

I was really frazzled about my meetings at ENS-Lyon today. I was meeting with the administrator of the research group and then meeting with the colleague in charge of the research division that I'm joining while I'm here.  I was nervous about communicating my research interests without sounding like a fool as well as comporting myself in a professional fashion.  It went surprisingly well!
My conversation with the administrator was great (entirely in French on both sides) and we started everything rolling for the forms that need to be filled out for me to get a visa for the summer. It was good that I was here in Lyon to start things, far easier this way and with very quick/easy communication possible (I could ask questions and not wait for an email response etc). He figured out what I needed and then we worked through it with the person in charge of foreign researchers. It's just waiting on a signature and then it will go to the prefecture, so it's farther along in the process than it would be if I hadn't come to Lyon.
My conversation with my colleague was excellent, too. We made small talk in French about families and research leave and the like, then we talked about our individual projects. For that, I spoke in English and she spoke in French. (Professionally, that was perfect; I could be sure that my ideas were conveyed clearly and she could respond fluidly.) There's a lot of engagement between our work and I'm really looking forward to working with her. I think she feels the same way; she seemed excited about our conversation. And since she spoke *to* me in French, I'm pretty sure she doesn't think I'm an idiot. (I know it's pride, but I still hate that.)

I also took care of professional affiliation things; I have an email address now and a badge. Very official :)

I am exhausted from just a few hours of work -- I find that's true almost every day -- but it was a very productive few hours!

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