Hau‘oli Makahiki Hou!

Aloha k?kou and hau‘oli makahiki hou i? k?kou a pau (Happy New Year to all of us). 2006 went by in a blur and I imagine 2007 will go by even faster. We spent the last week of 2006 on Maui visiting my parents, brother and his family, and my wife’s family as well. I was expecting a lot of rest and relaxation but it was more of a working vacation. I did get to meet up with many old friends, colleagues and former collaborators, and planted seeds for a number of new musical projects. Of course, Kenneth already has a few projects lined up for us to tackle.

On the Ph.d. front, I did put in a Fulbright application in September, and if it comes through we’ll be heading of to Eire in the fall. Even if it doesn’t come through we may still be able to pull it off, but I’m leaving my options open. I had to choose only one country to apply to, and chose the republic and UC-Cork. I agonized a bit as I have had some great correspondence with the faculty at Queen’s University Belfast, but would really prefer to be in the south. If the Fulbright does not materialize, then QUB will remain in our potential destinations, as does Sheffield. I’ve even been considering UH-M?noa, if there program would allow me to be on campus no more than one day a week. I still need to speak to the faculty there regarding their program.

The Fulbright process is interesting. It took me several weeks to pull the application together, get the letters of reference, compose my vita (which is not really a vita), research proposal and set up an interview with a hastily-arranged committee at UH-Hilo to endorse my application. I was told that there will be a preliminary weeding-out of applications which should be completed sometime in February. The US Fulbright committee will select perhaps twice as many applications as they have scholarships. Those applications will be sent to the host country (in my case, Ireland), and they will select the applicants will be chosen. Of course I think my application was pretty strong, but I’m sure that all applicants feel that way.

Finally, congratulations to all advocates for the Irish language and it’s new status as an official language of the European Union.

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