Monday, September 6, 2010

Son et Lumiere

 For anyone who didn't already know, I am participating in a two-week long scientific summer school in Corsica titled "Son et Lumiere" (sound and light), which very accurately describes what we are learning here (photo-acoustics). The school is being held at a small scientific institute about a 5 minute drive (or 25 minute walk) from the village of Cargese, a small tourist town located on the coast of the Mediterranean sea.

The view from my balcony at dusk
On my walk to the institute each morning.

Each day we have 3 and a half hours of lectures in the morning, a long lunch provided by the institute, a two hour break in the afternoon (for going to the beach, of course!), a coffee break following the beach break (because laying in the sun can be very tiring indeed!), and then another 3 hours of lectures. After the last talk a group of students usually walks up the village for dinner, which in the french style is often 2 + hours long, and then we sometimes head to the local bar for a couple of beers. Go to bed, wake up, repeat. To quote my dad: "That counts as work?". I repeat: yeah, it's pretty awesome.

Our welcome to the institute included detailed directions for how to get to the beach, as well as the locations of the showers and where it was acceptable to hang towels and suits to dry.
Au Bon Accueil: where all the hip kids hang.

There are approximately 45 graduate students, post-docs, and professors attending the conference (5 of which are women). Of these, Keith, Jeremy, and I are the only Americans (not including David, our labmate, who is originally from France). Besides us there are only a few other native English speakers from Great Britain and Canada, and everyone else is from various countries scattered throughout the world. Luckily, everyone speaks English and is very friendly (I had a long discussion with a German, and Irishman, a Frenchman, and an Argentinian about the standards for friendliness around the world - turns out Minnesota is, relatively speaking, not that friendly, a fact I will have to work to change.)

One more photo to make everyone jealous -

 - and I am off to the beach! Cheers.


  1. Beautiful! I am completely jealous! Enjoy the rest of your time there!