Thursday, May 14, 2009

anchors across the sea

Trying to make a home, or at least imagine a home while working at BNL is challenging.
Firstly, there is Long Island itself, which is not an easy place to live for a Californian.
Some of it seems cultural, some is the landscape, some simply the lack of time and the feedback loop of too much work and lack of engagement.
Another aspect is the transiency of the people I meet in similar situations as me. The graduate students and postdocs are often only there for a few years and either plan to go back to where they came from, or on to somewhere else beyond BNL. Many are from across the Atlantic. This is a difficult situation. Its not that I don't want to travel to Europe, and can imagine living in Europe, but there is still a gap. If I were to live in Europe, it would be a jump. And my approach seems to be to continue moving in some direction. I feel like I need to consolidate rather than expand. So I make friends with those with anchors elsewhere, and I'm pulled. At the same time I search for grounding in this sandy land, and it seems rather inhospitable. And somehow, I feel that there is still something to learn, connections to be made before moving on.

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