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I finally got a letter in the mail from the Watson fellowship. When I took it out of my mailbox, I could feel it was thick. They don't send thick packets to losers.

And my first thoughts were "Oh crap."

I should be excited about the possibility of going to New Zealand. I should be looking forward to all the cool stuff I'd see and do down there. But I'm not. Maybe it's that I had been thinking so long about grad school that I'm just disoriented by everything changing.

But I think it's also doubts about my project. I came up with it as a Fulbright project, assuming that much of my time would be spent taking archaeology and Maori language classes at the University of Otago. But the Watson forbids you from taking formal classes. So I altered my plan for the Watson application, assuming that if I got the Watson (which as far as I could tell looked less favorably on the type of project I was planning) I would also get the Fulbright.

I can make a convincing argument to myself that, upon further consideration, my project wouldn't do justice to the Watson fellowship and that my time would be more productively spent at Clark or Wisconsin, and that the first runner-up would make better use of the money. But is this just rationalization of my fears?

People are going to be congratulating me. What do I say to them?


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