December 6: Fulbright Visiting Scholars and their families enjoyed watching a hockey game on a cold Boston evening. The Merrimack College Warriors took on the Boston University Terriers in an exciting game that ended with the Terriers on top, 4-2. Scholars enjoyed learning about hockey, but they were even more enthusiastic about audience participation throughout the game and dancing to the tunes of the Boston University Band.
November 3: UCLA and the Fulbright Association hosted a welcome dinner and reception for Visiting Fulbright Scholars and UCLA students and faculty. Distinguished political science professor, Dan Caldwell, gave a keynote speech about the fall U.S. elections. Scholars and students enjoyed great food, wonderful company, and are excited to welcome the new year in Los Angeles!
November 8: Fulbright Scholars rolled up their sleeves and got to work painting Winthrop public school with the help of Publicolor, a local nonprofit that transforms under-funded inner-city schools into vibrant engaging spaces for children. Volunteer Scholars were paired with students to make Winthrop’s halls come to life by painting the walls with a student-chosen color scheme. Students taught scholars painting techniques and scholars had the chance to be mentors and role models, if only for a brief moment. A Visiting Scholar from the U.K commented, “My student was initially very shy, and a little disengaged, but we became very good friends during the day. We spoke about going to college, work, future aspirations, gym, sports, music, school in America and U.K., and family.” After a day of hard work, scholars felt rewarded by the relationships they built with local students.
October 24: A group of Fulbright scholars, students, and their families headed out from Manhattan for Alstede Farm in New Jersey for their first ever apple picking experience! They were treated to a hay ride tour where they learned about the cultivation of a family owned farm and organic farming practices. After romping through the farm’s apple orchards and picking apples to take home, the group enjoyed an American BBQ and a chance to explore a corn maze, visit the petting zoo, and shop at the local store for farm fresh produce.
May 31, 2014: On one of the most beautiful days of the year, the group set out on a bus from Washington, DC to Annapolis, MD. There they met Chesapeake Bay Foundation staff who took them out on a day-long trip on a 112-year-old skipjack. Lunch was held at an old waterman’s hangout, where guests set the sails, dredged for oysters, talked about the history of the local waterman’s culture, and the current environmental challenges of the Chesapeake Bay.
May 17, 2014: Scholars and their families took a three-hour sail down the Hudson River aboard the Clearwater, a replica of a traditional Dutch sloop that was common during the 18th and 19th centuries. During the trip, scholars had the opportunity to work with the crew to raise and lower the sails and navigate the boat on the water. Scholars explored the sleeping, living, and cooking quarters below decks and heard stories of life aboard the vessel. The Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, a non-profit organization that has been at the forefront of environmental efforts to clean the heavily polluted river, set up stations aboard the boat to teach the scholars about the river’s relationship to NYC, its role in supporting local ecosystems, and the environmental issues it faces.
On the tour, scholars and their families learned that the fort at West Point was built during the Revolutionary War by George Washington because of its strategic location on the narrowest point on the Hudson River. The West Point motto of “Duty, Honor, and Country” was truly reflected in the architecture, design and monuments throughout the campus of the USMA and our tour helped to situate this revered establishment within the context of U.S. history.
May 12, 2014: The Huntington Library, besides having one of the world’s finest collection of rare books, has a new science wing closely allied with Caltech which is five minutes away. The Fulbright group was treated to a tour by the curator of the restoration room, printing labs and visiting scholar library by the curator. The group then focused on the rare book exhibition where we saw an original copy of the Gutenberg Bible, Chaucer volumes, the Book of Hours, on up to Lincoln letters and the Federalist Papers. It was exciting to see the new science wing of the Library. From the Library, the group went to the Caltech Athenaeum for lunch hosted by Astrophysics Professor George Helou and then heard him give a riveting lecture about exploration of outer space with infra-red photography.