Presenting superstition in Lublin

Posted on March 5, 2008

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Before going to Lublin I presented what I intended to work on in Vienna. Having come back to Lublin for the second semester I was asked by the head of my department to present the results. So, I quickly adapted one of the talks I gave in Trondheim and translated it into Polish and went through the whole thing. The biggest problem for me was finding the right words in Polish. I felt the whole time that I was using the same dozen words to express different ideas and that words I was using were not the right ones. Still, I seemed to have got most of my ideas across. What was a minor but interesting point was that a biologist who came questioned my example of sitting in a draft as a false cause of a cold. He argued that because of the ubiquity of viruses and bacteria environmental factors which lower the body’s ability to deal with the germs are often the significant element and that a lowered body temperature such as a draft can cause is one such factor. What was also useful is that one of the people in our department has sociological training while another has worked in psychiatry – together they were able to provide interesting new perspectives on what I have been working on. Certainly, these were perspectives that I missed at the KLI due to the lack of fellows with such training at the present moment.

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