Is my future full of Fulbright?
This morning I attended a presentation about the Fulbright program offered by the US Department of State. I didn’t much about it going in, and honestly more than anything I was attending simply to think about possibilities. As I mentioned in my earlier review of The Professor Is In, I need a Plan B, something to bridge the gap into the full-time teaching job I want.
And as it turns out, the Fulbright program might be a part of that solution for me. The program pays for one year of teaching English in a foreign country or one year of research study in a foreign country that can apply for a master’s or PhD degree or even a post doc. You could even get in on this action a few years after graduation. Recipients are expected to serve as ambassadors of US culture to other nations, and in exchange they get a modest living stipend for a year in a foreign country as well as paid travel to and from.
You need to a have a plan, though. It’s not like you throw your ring in the hat and hope you get sent somewhere great. Your application is essentially no different from a grant proposal, so you propose research in a specific country because something about that country holds an essential element for your research. For example, a biologist studying a species found only in a particular country could propose a research project in that country because only there is found the species that is the focus of the study. In my case, it would be working with a particular researcher. I would propose going to a particular country because in that country lives and works the particular researcher who can foster my research.
I didn’t start my PhD program with the idea of taking my research international, but as I sat listening to the presentation, it all felt right. A peaceful calm and assurance enveloped me. As I have thought about that experience throughout the day, it continued to feel right, like this could be the path for me. I don’t know that it is, but following it makes sense. One thing that sets more qualified candidates for academic positions from the rest of their hopeful competition is an expanded network. The more qualified have recommendations as well as a CV that shows evidence of a network expanding beyond one’s degree granting institution. Simply having a nationwide network would set me apart from the bulk of my competitors, so imagine what an international one would do.
Plus I’m still single and can really more easily accommodate doing this while I still am. And who knows? Going to a foreign country might be what I need to change that! Depending on the country, I might also have access to a healthier diet. I’ve heard over the years people talk about how “polluted” food in the US is. I never gave that much thought until recently. After years of trying to lose weight without much success, I wonder if there isn’t something to that idea.
At any rate, I’ll need to think about this some more. But it could be that an international adventure lies in my future. I’m open to possibility. Maybe this opportunity holds the possibility I really need.
Pi Day 2022
I settled upon something I haven’t done in years. I went to Micky D’s for an apple pie. The whole trip took roughly a quarter hour, and the pie actually tasted better than that fried thing I remember having the last time I got a pie there. I don’t think I’ll be doing it again anytime soon. But it did save the day for me.
And I got a better idea afterwards that I’ll use in the future. Next time I’ll visit a diner for a real piece of pie. Plus I can deviate away from apple if I so desire. I think I will desire!
Bill and Ted Face the Music
In preparation for my first viewing, I decided to have a trilogy party. Watching the first two films brought back lots of good memories, and I surprised myself with how much of the dialogue I actually remembered. I found myself laughing at all the great aspects from the first two films: phrases like most non-triumphant, the circular logic Bill and Ted used to decide what to do next, the conversations they had with future/past versions of themselves, the games they played as they fell down the seemingly endlessly deep hole to Hell, how Missy went from dad to dad, and of course the Grim Reaper. Death has to be one of the best comic characters ever.
So I was happy to see Death make a come back in the third film. And he’s still one of the best characters ever! Of course that means Bill and Ted go back to Hell. How else can Death come back into the story? That scene with Bill and Ted asking directions from the two goblins is just priceless. “Yeah, that’s a robot in Hell.” And speaking of robots, the robot in this film is awesome. I love how his name is Dennis, named after the ex of Rufus’s daughter! Brilliant!
While we’re on the subject of robots, what happened to the Good Robot Usses? I mean, they didn’t have to have every character from the previous films in this last one, and I’m not missing Station and his totally huge Martian butt, but what happened to Station’s creation? Did they not survive the 25 years between the second and third films? And what does that say about Station’s place the universe’s greatest scientist?
And what happened to showing the prolonged drop into Hell? That was one of the funnier parts from the second film. I was disappointed to see it cut out of the third, especially given how the film shows the daughters mimicking their fathers with how they speak to each other. Speaking of which, I just couldn’t get into how the daughters kept calling each other “Dude.” I just couldn’t get into that.
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