On May 8th, the last of our monthly meetings of the 2012 VT Future Professoriate: Global Perspectives program was held prior to our individual departures to Switzerland. Although our departure dates vary, the official start of our collective experience begins at 3pm on May 20th in the lobby of Hotel St. Josef in Zurich Switzerland.
A couple of days later, I ran into Lucy Ferrari (co founder of CESA) in President Steger’s office on the eve of her return home to Switzerland. She expressed excitement and pleasure that yet another Global Perspectives group would join her for dinner at her favorite restaurant overlooking Lugano and Italy – Ristorante San Grato.
As the days to departure decrease, the ability to focus on the global perspectives trip increases. Commencement(s) are done. The Honorable Michelle Obama and Senator Mark Warner spoke at VT commencement. The speeches were inspiring and intensity (security) great. The students are on their way – some are traveling in Italy, some in Switzerland and others to countries beyond. I’ll be the last to fly – and then we will meet in Zurich.
During the previous Global Perspectives programs (this is the 7th year), I have encouraged participants to “look” and “see” the world around them. I have especially encouraged the observations of doors and windows which I find provide wonderful views into the culture of the places we visit. Yes, the “doors and windows” are obvious cultural markers and can easily serve as an initial focus for viewing the world. And yet, observations should extend well beyond simply the doors and windows as physical objects to “doors and windows” as metaphor for “seeing” to understand and appreciate the culture. During our individual and collective global perspective experience, our lives can be enriched by opening the doors and the views provided through the windows. Let the journey begin.