I made it!
Last summer I went through the difficult decision to turn down or postpone my employment in Boulder as Southwest Research Institute and accept a Fulbright grant in Paris. At the time I thought this would mean forgoing the job in Boulder that I really wanted and gave a list of several reasons it made sense. Those reasons included continuing my research on the spiral troughs, bettering my French, more international experience, and of course the prestige of the Fulbright.
All of those things came true, especially on the research and French language side. I really did make some advancements on those fronts, and they are coming to fruition as I prepare papers and proposals based on the research. The language is more personal, but I feel a deep sense of accomplishment to have learned as much French as I did.
After all of that, including ~8 months in Paris (after the 3.5 from 2012) I was truly ready to return to the States, especially Boulder. Thankfully this opportunity came up again, and I was chosen for the job. There is a lot of work to do, and much of it along side my own goals, so I will definitely be busy here. This is good for my career and keeping me sane.
Some of the advantages of living in Boulder are already taking shape, even after less than a week of being here. Yesterday I saw a baseball game with my coworkers, and today I rode my bike to work. The ride is easy, as it is downhill (this afternoon will be slower going), and it is quite beautiful to see the mountains at my side. I’m really going to like it here.
Paris had much to offer. Besides the things already mentioned I have developed an appreciation for museums and art, thanks to my friend Akili, and I was surrounded by good scientists, like Aymeric, with whom I hope to have a lifelong working partnership. I was also able to travel some, both in France in in Europe. I visited more of the south and west than I had before, and after my stay I was able to visit Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, and Athens. I’ll always have those memories and photos to keep me going.
All in all, there have been some big changes, but I’m finally where I want to be. Let’s make the most of it!