Chronicles of Lara, a Fulbrighter
Colorado University, Boulder :
Sept 2019-May 2020
The Fulbright program is incredible. Acknowledging the diversity of humankind simultaneously with the possibility and the need of finding common ground, it is resources well committed. More strength to it!!
These are some jottings about my Fulbright experience. I landed the Fulbright for my research proposal “Improvisation in Jazz and Indian Classical Music – a Cross Cultural Study”. I will be researching and teaching at the Colorado University in Boulder for the next 8 months.
I arrived on 8th September at the Denver airport in the afternoon. On my visit to CU on the very next day of my arrival I encountered very friendly people – students, staff. Polite, helpful… I met Prof John Gunther, head of the Jazz program there. He was preparing for his graduate class but met with me and my daughter. Looking concerned he said “You need to drink a lot of water – it is the altitude.” And he said with a laugh – “and it will get cold”. I buried my face in my hands as I said “I know. For me 15 degrees celsius is cold. Not looking forward to the cold several degrees below here.”
The graduate class that we were invited to sit in was a discussion of an essay by Keith Waters, another faculty at CU, about the music of Miles Davis. I was struck at the complete absence of any professional rivalry – John was talking so warmly of Keith’s work. The atmosphere of casual but serious interaction was most interesting. And admirable. The professor was informal, students were relaxed, drinking tea despite a notice forbidding food and drink in the classroom, walking in and out of the class without disturbing…