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From the e-mail I sent to Judy Fischer:

I have decided that I am going to decline the Watson. It's a tough decision, and not one I ever anticipated having to make, but I think all along a part of me has known that was the right decision to make. I don't have the excitement or the energy about the project anymore that I would need to make the most of the year and really live up to the goals of the Watson. And I think this is especially true vis a vis the alternate candidate who will now be receiving this kind of an opportunity. I may very well go to New Zealand to do a similar project at a later stage (which I don't think can be said of a lot of non-recipients, given the unusually academic nature of my project). But if and when I go, I think it will be with a clearer sense of what I'm doing and more enthusiasm for something with a clear place in my life (as dissertation fieldwork, for example). I want to assure you that I don't think the assessments of either the Colgate or national committees were in error -- they were simply based on a representation of myself as I felt in October. The proposal writing and application process were valuable experiences, and I regret not being in a position where I can feel comfortable accepting this opportunity.


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