Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I am back in Raleigh with the rains of Hurricane Ida. And the next few days I am getting caught up with life survival activities...and preparing for Finland next week.
As I pause to think about these past three weeks... I recall a discussion with an fellow traveler in the "holding lounge" in Taipei on our way from Kuala Lumpur to LAX. He believed all college students should spend a summer, a semester, a year, in a developing country doing service work. He believed that Americans (he was Scottish, Malaysian, and Australian ) were very naive and ethnocentric. So, he challenges all of us to move beyond our comfort zones - and learn and be in the world of diversity beyond our white faces, our cultural understandings, and our achievement focus. In particular, he and I spoke of the many international students in the US...who gain so much beyond the classroom, while few US students have the same type of opportunities.
Another key reflection from my chats with my Malaysia counterparts - they view traditional extension outreach by the university to no longer to knowledge exchange. Rather, it has become entrepreneurial, focused on benefit exchange between private industries and the university, and with traditional training activities become cost centers. Yes, even in Malaysia, they have seen significant changes in the roles of universities providing lifelong learning supports.
I will share more when I start my next segment - my Fulbright experience in Finland around November 19th-20th. So, thanks for checking this blog out! And I have learned many painful lessons about connections between my laptop and hotel internet access. You don't want to learn about the many crazy moments... just say, even in the best of hotels and universities - technology does have its own glitches.

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