Friday, October 3, 2008


I got up at 4:00 AM to watch the Veep candidates' debate, then went back to sleep, decidedly uninspired. Then I awoke, made breakfast, and was chewing my muesli when I finally looked at my watch. It was 10:30. I had asked Monica by e-mail to meet me at my office at 10:30. Thank God for cell phones. I dialed her number. "Hello Professor Duncan!" she said. "Do you know that we have a meeting of the English Program faculty at 11:00?" It was the first I'd heard of it. I had under 30 minues to get across town to the Campus (as opposed to the Universitatea, which refers to the main downtown buildings of UBB). I just made it, thanks to a good taxi driver.

Since Monica had not yet received last night's e-mail, she didn't even know I was late to our meeting. My learning of the English Program meeting was shear serendipity, as have been so many events related to this Fulbright experience. I still do not know why I am here, but I believe it is for a reason.

Interesting meeting. As it turned out, I hadn't been invited for a reason. Mihaela had somewhat corrective messages to impart to my colleagues, and would have preferred to do so without the newcomer present. Roxana Stegerean, who heads the English Program faculty as a peer leader, or coordinator, reported feedback from a satisfaction survey done last spring. It seems that while largely satisfied with the program, the students had complained that some professors were teaching in Romanian, and as English Program students, they wanted to be taught in English, only. That bodes well for my classes, since I have no choice. (Thanks, Mom, for being such a stickler on grammar and diction. My English may actually be able to serve as a useful example.)

My new office computer is alive and well, and I even have a phone and printer working now in ECON 409. So, less than a week after the start of the school year, I have a functioning work station. That is pretty good, if you ask me. Let's hear it for Mihaela, and for the ECON staff!

This afternoon I prepared a syllabus for my Operations Management class, and prepared assignments for next week’s classes in both my courses. With those tasks behind me, I can actually have a weekend!

I will take my camera where ere I venture, and then publish some new pictures for my esteemed readers.

Oh, one erratum to correct. The traditional old town to the north that I mentioned before is Satu Mare, not Sadu Mare. I am told by Mihaela that Satu means “village,” and I know that Mare means “big.”

If the weather is good, I am headed that way, this week or next. Probably, I will make it a day trip. It's only about 200 clicks. That is about a three-hour drive, each way, which should make for a great photography day. Unlike taking snapshots in Bucharest, I shall try to get some good images. As I did in Greece in ’01, I will take my time, stop often, and if I don’t get as far as Satu Mare, so be it. It will be life.

(By the way, Nancy and Pat, if you are reading this, please let me know if you and Evan want to ride with me up to Satu Mare, because I could certainly come by way of Oradea.)


SKM said...

Happy to hear that you are all hooked up now. And already prepped for next week's classes. Sounds like this adventure is getting serious now. You might be there awhile....

Rather Dashing said...

What sort of computer did they give you? Dell? HP?

Duncan McDougall said...

It is an HP Desktop. Works fine, but the Internet is the Ortodox (Communist?) version. It censors many links, especially dirty ones, like the Boston Red Sox videos.