Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fulbright Orientation

   I just spent three days in Paris with the other boursiers Fulbrights, ranging from English-language teaching assistants to research scholars working on advanced projects.  A good majority of them were in Paris or its surrounding area, though if I remember correctly, not a single research scholar is working in Paris right now (Lille, Bordeaux, Montpellier, etc.).
    It was a really invigorating and enjoyable time.  On the enjoyable side, we had a trip to Chantilly (and got to see the opening of the Delacroix/Orientalism exhibit, as well as a truly fantastic symphonic perfomance) and some great chances to connect with scholars that I would never otherwise meet.  This year's research scholars are biologists, with a political scientist and a behaviorial psychologist; I was the only humanist among them.  We had conversations about such diverse things as genetically-modified food, organic farming, and the problems of enrolling kids in French schools.   I was also able to speak with some of the doctoral Fulbrights about their work (many more of them are humanists) and their career plans, and I think I had some good advice and connections to offer.
   I left feeling both encouraged (I've gotten some work done and have had what appears to actually be an easy time negotiating school enrollment, etc,) and challenged to get the rest of my work done (make those contacts!  keep up that research!).  I now have a "to-do" list that has gotten a bit longer than before, and I'm very conscious of the fact that I have just over two months remaining.

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