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Monday, December 16, 2013

Re: Two Romanian Connections. "Hope Springs Eternal... ."

Alexander Pope — "Hope springs eternal in the human breast; Man never Is, but always To be blest."
Shirl and me on the Someș Mic, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Connection Nr. 1: Wednesday 11 December

On Wednesday, 11 December, I drove two hours to downtown Boston, meeting the (on-leave) UBB Ph.D. candidate Titiana MORARIU (din Sebeș) there, where she had just gotten off work at noon.  Titi took the afternoon off to accompany me to New York for the Romanian cultural event that evening at Columbia University, as described in the previous post.

We drove from Boston to Port Chester, NY, grabbing a Turnpike lunch along the way, and arriving about 5 PM.  We stopped in Port Chester to pick up Diana Doroftei (din Bîrlad), co-author of The Little Book of Romanian Wisdom,  As it was dark already, and as Diana is a competent driver in the New York traffic, and as I had by then a very tired set of eyes, I turned the wheel of my Hyundai Santa Fe over to Diana, and we headed into Manhattan to find 116th and Amsterdam Ave., in the heart of Columbia's urban campus.  It was supposed to be an hour's drive, so arriving on time for the 6:30 event seemed feasible.

At 8:00, after two hours stuck in gridlock, we got to the event as refreshments were being served.  (That was a very good thing, because the two ladies were by then close to starving.)  Fortunately, my New Trier High School classmate Connie (Heaton) Goddard had told the group that her Fulbrighter friend from New Hampshire was on his way, so our arrival was greeted with enthusiasm.  I was pleased to renew my acquaintances with both Dna.Mirela Hadaller (din Constanța), and Prof. Mona Monescu, who teaches Romanian at Columbia.
Mirela Hadaller, Mona Monescu, and David Hadaller, taken in 2012 
I was soon happy to be introduced to the two distinguished visitors from Babeș-Bolyai University, Prof. Ioan-Aurel POP, Ph.D., Rector, and Prof. Virgiliu-Leon ȚÂRĂU, Ph.D., of the Faculty of History and Philosophy. Rector POP told me that he was himself a Fulbrighter, having spent a year at the University of Pittsburgh back in 1990!  (He said that in that same year, my colleague and friend from the EURO Faculty at UBB, Prof. Mircea Maniu, Ph.D., had done his Fulbright at the University of Tennessee.)

Both my UBB colleagues were most gracious about our tardy arrival at the event.  I expressed my disappointment at having missed their talks, which was made more acute as I learned that Rector POP had talked about religious architecture n Romania.  (Followers of this blog know how I have loved visiting and photographing the Romanian churches and monasteries.)
16th c. Church of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel, in Breb, Maramureș

I presented to Prof. POP the Plymouth State University pen that our University president, Sara Jayne Steen, Ph.D., had provided for me to take to him.  I told Rector POP that he has an invitation to visit our New Hampshire campus, on his next visit to America.

Connection Nr. 2: Thursday, 12 December

I do not recall posting previously in this blog the fact that I have applied for a Fulbright Grant once again, again in Romania.  Well, I have done so for the 2014-2015 Academic Year, and upon returning to Campton on Thursday, exhausted after a 25-hour round trip of approximately 700 miles (Campton-Boston-NYC-Boston-Campton), I had energy only to check my e-mail before crashing into bed.  Therein came news from the Center for the International Exchange of Scholars (CIES).  My new Fulbright application has passed peer review in the United States, and is on its way to the Fulbright Commission of Romania for final review. That was welcome news, indeed.  I slept that afternoon with a happy heart.

Please keep your fingers crossed for Shirl and me.  We are very much looking forward to our next professional and personal experiences in Romania. 

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