Note: this was a post that I started drafting back in June 2020, but never got around to finishing. I had big plans for how to talk about the disruption of my post-Fulbright plan…but alas, there was too much work to do, and I got interrupted. There’s something meta about that! But, I’m recommitting to posting in this blog, and letting this imperfect, disrupted entry get published is a first step at doing that. What appears below was written back in June 2020.
Connecting and Serving
The disruption to education that resulted from COVID-19 was – dare I say – unprecedented 😂(oh, that word! I mean, really, is it even a blog post about COVID-19 if it doesn’t use this word!?). And, it’s meant a LOT of Zoom meetings about the implications for student teaching candidates, advising newly admitted international students, supporting colleagues and students who have been called to rapidly adjust to online/remote instruction, and more. I’ve been able to offer service, step in where its helpful, connect people to resources, and be available to contribute to these meetings in ways that would have been challenging (but not impossible) to do from the other side of the globe.
This pause has given me the opportunity to connect to other Fulbrighters, and offer service and expertise to that community in a variety of ways. On May 28th, 2020, I connected with four other Fulbrighters with expertise in online teaching, either from their experience as educators in universities or K-12 schools or their research. It was a dynamic group of folks bringing a variety of perspectives together, and we chatted for over an hour and half and had more than 450 people attending live, including Puji, one of her colleagues, and two new Indonesian doctoral advisees. Those folks were up LATE to join in! Got time on your hands? Watch the recording if you’re interested.
Being part of the Fulbright network continues to enrich my work in other ways, including giving me opportunities to offer mentorship to returning ETAs who have reached out for guidance on (Education) careers. I had one of these conversations last week, and I appreciate being able to pay forward all of the mentorship that helped get me to where I am today.