Music, Work, and the New Year

It’s been just over three months since I crossed the Atlantic from Ireland to study at Princeton’s Department of Politics, and so far so good. Craigslist may not be for everyone but through this site I managed to find an affordable room in a very friendly house full of aspiring musicians. There’s a bit of a trade-off in social terms, not living on campus with other graduate students, though I prefer the intimacy of a household (especially when there’s music going on).

Still, going to the university every day, which became very easy to get to as soon as I managed to get a bicycle, presents me with no shortage of occasions to meet students from all across the US and elsewhere.
As expected, Princeton has turned out to be a perfect place to further my research, which deals with the cross-section between democratic theory, European studies, and federalism. Access to expertise at the University Center for Human Values and European Union Program, in addition to the seminars and events run by these institutions, have been of particular value.

Some big highlights for me so far…Academically, this was having my work discussed at length by PhD students and Profs at a weekly colloquium. The working paper that was discussed is now much stronger as a result. Another, less academic, high point was spending thanksgiving with some friends here, which was a lot of fun. I especially liked how open people were to inviting others into their home to share this holiday.

As things go back to normal after the holiday season, I’m looking forward to what promises to be another rewarding semester in the new year, which will include my leading a workshop on the EU at the City University of New York City and hopefully attending a conference in Washington D.C.

— Joseph Lacey