FedEx confirmed receipt of my visa application for my Fulbright Specialist visit to the Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab, India on January 16, 2015. I would have driven my application to the Indian Consulate in Chicago but it requires that I use the company, CKGS. On February 4th, I am still waiting for word of approval of my visa application. Patience is not one of my strong qualities. I am trying to breathe deeply. I am creatively visualizing that visa!
This adventure began last August when Fulbright administrators telephoned and asked me to apply for the Fulbright Specialist Program (FSP). The FSP provides short-term academic exchange opportunities, funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). The FSP matches U.S. scholars and professionals in select or combined disciplines with projects submitted by host foreign countries. Now confirmed, I remain on the roster of Specialists for five years. I hope to spend February/March 2015 at Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab, India. This is an interdisciplinary appointment. According to the Fulbright Program Officer, Carmel Garaghty, “Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law (RGNUL) offers an interdisciplinary professional degree of Law at undergraduate as well as graduate Level.” RGNUL would like me “to deliver lectures on the constitutional aspects of federal form of government in the US and its comparison with the Indian model of federal system.” In particular, it seeks someone who can speak to “new politico-legal trends and challenges in the federal system of governance which calls for discussion and understanding.” I will see how this translates on the ground.
The Fulbright organization will not authorize the purchase of the airline ticket to India until I have the visa (and now I see why). I was supposed to leave February 1st but that was delayed until February 8th since I did not receive final approval of the project until January 7, 2015. Whew, what a journey– and I have not even left yet.
Professor Frank Sullivan, the generous colleague who offered to cover all of my Contracts classes for me for 5 weeks, starts Monday, January 9th, whether I am here or not.
A lesson in letting go…..