So...about a year ago I began applying for a fulbright grant. The baby Girl wasn't born yet and KWW and I were planning out the next few years. First came maternity leave. Working on her dissertation while romantically living abroad with a young family seemed ideal. I began working on applying for a grant. I attended a seminar at NU on applying for a Fulbright Travel grant.
I can only speak a rudimentary form of english and was interested in doing work with a prominent art museum, --that narrowed down the world into London and Amsterdam. I figured everyone would be interested in going to London, so I crafted an application outlining a course of study and work in Amsterdam. Lots of things fell quickly into place. A professor at Carleton is a durch painting specialist and gave me the contact information for the head of pretty much everything I care about at the Rijksmuseum, who wrote on my behalf. I received help from the Art Institute of Chicago. Artists I know wrote effusive things in my recommendations. Emailing resulted in opportunities to have two exhibits of my work in Amsterdam.
THEN..., KWW got a job in Omaha and took a leave of absence from NU. This job has ups and downs, but even at its worst is probably not one that any idealistic scholar would walk away from eagerly. Kids are thriving here. We currently own two houses.
I recently found out that my Fulbright proposal has been recommended to the Foreign Scholarship Board and some equivalent set-up in the Netherlands. I have not been awarded anything, but my chances have increased from, say 10% to 50-66%. I applied as a student (there is a 5 year window), but would not be abe to do so again at a later date.
What seemed like a great idea a year ago now would, if I were to be awarded it, require me to leave my family for long stretches of time. Ahh my dilemma. In some ways, getting turned down now would be the best result. I would feel good at having made it so far, but would be able to craft a smaller residency and make things easier on those in Omaha.