Friday, June 12, 2009

Joys of Professional Recognition

The Hungarian Fulbright Commission called me late last week to ask if I would be an evaluator for Fulbright applications submitted by Hungarians who want to go to the States on the scholarship. I have been doing this for them for the past six years. Usually, they have six to eight applications for me to read, but this time around it only three. That is more manageable given time constraints and their needing them back by Tuesday. It is intriguing to me to read the scholarship that different people here are wanting to pursue in the US as well as their achievements thus far. My only regret is not being able to sit down with these applicants after their evaluations are turned in and having a coffee with them. The topics are incredibly diverse, intensely interesting, but especially stemming from a Hungarian. For example, one applicant wants to explore the narrative prose of Chicano/a authors in modern American literature. That is a simplistic explanation; however, at my university, there are no such courses. He is on a tenure track for teaching Chicano/a literature in the American Studies department at his university once he completes his doctoral dissertation. Not only is it a privilege to be asked to be an evaluator, they pay me for it too. A double bonus. I guess I need to thank all of my early childhood teachers for teaching me to read.

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