Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The very bearable lightness of being

An hour ago, I completed my first year in Santa Barbara and at UCSB. What an inspiring and exciting year it has been! While I keep thinking that the honeymoon should end at some point, the fascination of looking at the Pacific Ocean at breakfast and at the villas on the Riviera at sunset does not seem to diminish. In between these morning and evening pleasures, the days are filled with excitement and the smiles coming from colleagues enjoying and sharing their world class work, administrators encouraging us to excel, students eager to learn, personnel caring about customers, or strangers crossing my path. The only downside of this blissful life is that one may be lulled into forgetting the high expectations and standards that are applied to our work. What a contrast to my previous university, which has been agonizing for more than a year and in three faculty meetings already, over whether it is "morally justifiable" to grant me affiliate status.

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