I have been in all sorts of meetings, read a ton of documents and browsed dozens of websites. Transition to this new academic realm feels like immersing oneself in a sea of information and so many fellow fish… thankfully all very friendly.
I’m an optimistic. Can’t fight it, although I have become more skeptical over the years, which I thank because it helps me to not be carried away so easily by my optimism. But optimism is what has helped me face the unknown and push myself through limits I never thought possible. I’m happy about my optimism and want to keep it under my wings. These first months in my new position have been a very good experience of transition. I deeply appreciate the time to meet with people for the first time and learn about what they do and how they think. I also appreciate reuniting with those I met long time ago and that the promise of catching up can finally be achieved. I have been surprised by the professional environment here in many ways. It’s definitely more focused and friendly. People smile at you and offer help. We have a chat of all people being mentored into the academia in the school where we can learn about the many positive things going on (newly earned grants, given talks) and questions that need answers (e.g., how do you report on an expense for this project?). There is a sense of colleagueship and focus on production and contribution. It’s also a very Chilean environment in a way that only Chileans can bear (Can we?) but I won’t extend on that until I can do something to make it better.
In these weeks I have committed to a number of projects and have started to work on my grants, getting acquainted with the systems, norms and processes. I have read a lot of documents and papers, although it’s never enough. My pile grows and grows. I don’t think I will ever be done.
The next couple of months will be critical to finish my proposals and prepare for teaching. I feel positive about it (oh my optimism).