Date: February 6-7
Participants: 29 Fulbright U.S. Grantees
It’s that time of year again! The mid-year meeting!!
Torun was the perfect place for the mid-year festivities. You had the smell of pierniki wafting in through the windows and the enormous red-bricked history of the city pulling you into the town square. It was also a perfect place to reconnect with people you had not seen in months, and meet the new scholars who were fresh faced and excited to learn about all the things Poland has to offer.
After a pierniki making and decorating workshop, everyone made their way to the Olbracht Brewery for a fulfilling Polish dinner filled with beets and beer. Among the beer flight was a special gingerbread-flavored blend made specifically in Torun. After dinner there was a chance to talk to new scholars and old friends. In the cold February nights where sometimes it’s hard to leave your bed, this was the perfect place to get warmed up with good conversations and invitations to new Polish cities.
The next day was all business, where Fulbrighters who were already halfway through their grant shared their expertise on traveling, food, culture, and host university relationships with the new scholars. The discussions were organized so people could share the difficulties they had experiences as well, and how they were able to successfully deal with them. Other than formalized teaching advice, coffee breaks included an expanse of conversations where ETAs, researchers, and scholars shared their passions and travels. Conversations covered a plethora of different topics, ranging from caving experiences to cheap flight options to lectures about the history of potatoes in Polish cuisine.
The one problem was this meeting was too short. I’m sure that as everyone was leaving, they were already making plans to peruse around new places. This mid-year meeting was just like a Torunski piernik: a little bit of sugar and spice and everything nice.
– Written by Natalia Ochman, 2019-20 English Teaching Assistant (ETA) at the University of Białystok.