More Snow Pictures

March 13th, 2010

Parc Joan Miro, mar8-2010

I know…it’s just snow, and it only lasted for a day. But it was amazing, and I only today saw Juanjo’s pictures. He went for a run to Montjuic during the storm, and evidently discovered running was hard in conditions, but got some great photos.

plaza de torros, mar8-2010

walk to montjuic, mar8-2010

view from montjuic, mar8-2010

This weekend we haven’t done much. Just getting organized, getting some work done, resting from a tiring week. Also just got our tickets back for Juanjo’s graduation in May. Looking forward to the Fulbright mid-year conference in Santander this coming week. Will definitely post pictures from there!

Why We’re in Barcelona

December 6th, 2009

a favorite picture, october 2009

You all know I’m on a Fulbright, and that I’m here working on my dissertation research. You all know too that it has something to do with schools, and immigration. That this will be my thesis at Berkeley. But I promised long ago to give more detail about it, so here goes.

I am studying education policy here, specifically integration policies in schools. I’m trying to understand how people in the education policy world think about what it means to integrate immigrants, and how they take action to change schools. At the same time, I am studying the implementation process, and what actually happens in schools. I’d like to observe and interview in two schools, and compare the experiences of teachers and their immigrant students. Barcelona, Spain is a great place to study this because Spain went from being a country that sent immigrants abroad 20 years ago, to one of the main destinations for immigrants from Latin America, Northern Africa, and Eastern Europe.

So the project is about immigration and school change. It is about cultural difference, and how people work with it in policy, and in practice in schools. This is why a Fulbright is so appropriate to support my research, because the goal of the Fulbright is to bridge cultural boundaries and increase understanding between the US and other countries around the world. I think the things I learn about immigration and schooling here in Spain will help to understand immigration and schooling in California. My fantasy would be to build on this research which compares Barcelona and California, but I might not have enough time to do this during the dissertation. We’ll see!


That’s the story, in brief, that’s my project that brought us here. Make sense? Please comment, I’ve been curious lately who is following us here, so say hello! It will be good motivation for updating more often….


November 18th, 2009

The Oldest One, 11-18-09 The Middle One, 11-18-09 The Baby, 11-18-09

I’ve said it before: I love my friends’ children! I spent last night with our friends in Madrid. This morning I got to brush the girls’ hair, help the little one get dressed in her school uniform, talk about the oldest one’s new toys (he turned 6 recently) and generally enjoy being part of family life on a regular Wednesday morning. I’ve always loved being an auntie, and wish I could be an honorary auntie for these little ones more often!

Juanjo had come back to Barcelona Monday, but I stayed to go to a celebration for the 50th Anniversary of the Fulbright in Spain last night (then went and stayed with these guys). The Fulbright event was very neat, there was a panel of talks, and then a reception. Three of the original Spaniards in the Fulbright program were there: when they went to the US in 1959 they traveled across the Atlantic by boat! In the last 50 years, there have been over 4,000 Spaniards who’ve gone to the US and over 2,500 Americans who have come to Spain. An amazing thing to be a part of!

50th Anniversary of the Fulbright, 11-17-09

We’ll be back in Madrid for a Thanksgiving dinner with this family, on the weekend after Thanksgiving. I’m really looking forward to spending time with the kids again (will bring the camera and get some better pictures too)!

Trip to Jaén

November 14th, 2009

View of Jaen, 11-13-09 Street in Jaén, 11-13-09

Thursday night we took the last train to Madrid, and Juanjo’s dad picked us up and brought us to Toledo. Then we left early Friday morning and drove 2 1/2 hours south to a small city in Andalusia called Jaén, where one of the professors supporting my Fulbright application teaches. I went to a day-long conference of sorts, where I presented about my project and got feedback. There were about 10 of us, all students or colleagues of this professor, and all working in immigration studies in Spain. I learned a lot from hearing about other peoples’ projects, and it was wonderful to finally meet this professor in person. Definitely worth the trip.

Juanjo came with me and spent a little bit of time in the morning exploring the city, including visiting the Cathedral. Then he found a library where he spent most of the day working too.

Jaén Cathedral, 11-13-09

I expect to have more small trips like this one this year, hopefully to many places in Spain. Part of my goal for the Fulbright is to learn about and meet people in the world of research and academia here, and this kind of forum is great for this: a small group for the whole day, all doing research in similar areas.

Workdays at the UAB

October 27th, 2009

Poplar Trees, 10-27-09 Nightime Fall View, 10-27-09

I am lucky enough to have an office at the Autonoma University of Barcelona, so until I start interviewing people and spending time in schools, I’m going to be working there a lot. The office is at the end of a looooooong hallway in the Geography Department, the home of the Migration Studies Group that I’m affiliated with as part of the Fulbright. Today I worked late since tomorrow my parents arrive for a 10-day visit, and I plan to work half-days while they’re here. All in all, considering how scarce space can be in most universities, it’s pretty great that they were able to give me an office for my time here!

Afternoon coffee, 10-27-09 Hall, 10-27-09