Houston,  On the move,  Preparation

Time is coming to an end for my Fulbright year in Texas

Incredibly enough, ten months of our time here in Texas is almost upon us, and after 11 months, we go on a 1 month roadtrip before we fly back to Norway to restart our “normal” life.

Has the year been what i expected? Yes – just more! I expected to get a lot of work done on articles, working with my colleague Elizabeth Nyman closely, and we have done so. We have worked on a lot of articles and so far this year, I have five published works (one book chapter and four articles), and I also have two Revise and Resubmits in the work, as well as one that has been resubmitted already. Its been a good year for publications in other words.

I expected to go to the office more often- which I unfortunately was unable to for a host of practical reasons – most important of which was the distance combined with traffic in Houston. So I ended up working a lot from cafes and from poolside at the apartment – which in my opinion was just fine 🙂 My colleague Professor Nyman joined me often and we still got to continue our close working relationship. We also went on a number of conferences together.

Professor Elizabeth Nyman and I at the Intergovernmental Conference for the BBNJ treaty in New York City at the UN building.

I didnt expect to teach two classes at Rice University – which I loved! The classes I ended up teaching were for a class on International Relations, taught by Professor Songying Fang at Rice: http://songying-fang.scholar.rice.edu/ and these are the class descriptions.

Myself at Rice University 2019

Global Environmental Politics – The earth is warming faster than expected and scientists are raising the alarm. Then why do people care more about marine plastic pollution than climate change, which arguably is much more urgent and with much more dangerous consequences? How does this translate to global action – or inaction – by states? What can we learn from successful global agreements on complex environmental challenges about what sways public opinion to affect the agenda setting of states? 

Ocean Politics – 70% of the earths surface is covered by the Ocean. 64% of this area belongs to no state. How do we manage and area that belongs to no one, but where changes have a great effect on us all? What is the role of private enterprise and public governance in these areas? This lecture looks at the Mare Liberum (freedom of the seas), tragedy of the commons, and how global leaders negotiate to manage – or not – an area of great economic potential that may need more protection than exploitation.

I likely worked a bit too hard though and gaped over too much on a very intense work trip to Europe in January, and unfortunately got sick with pneumonia and stayed seriously ill for three months – which was a damper on my work, though I did manage to push through it – which likely only extended the period of illness of course.

I didnt for some reason expect to see my family so much – but we did and we loved it – and we are so blessed for it. The trip to New Orleans is 5 hours each way – but we went there often and they came here often!

My brother visiting for a weekend!

The kids did amazing too – and my youngest at 6 years old speaks amazing English – so do the other two of course (14 and 11) but the youngest one is who we can hear the little American through and through when he speaks. He is nervous about going home though and having to relearn Norwegian. Amazing how fast he lost his language.

We are now packing up, selling what we can of the furniture we had to buy when we moved here – since there were practically no furnished apartments available at all in the city – and we are getting ready to ship a lot home as well – we became attached to some things 🙂 Like my two living room chairs 😀

Will I come back – absolutely! Am I sad it is over? So much, I dont want to talk about it anymore.

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