To be or not to be an immigrant in the US
What brought you to the USA?
I went to the US in 1975, after finishing high school in Ponta Delgada. At the time the options were to go to Lisbon, to a higher education system in high post revolution turmoil, or to go to the US where I could stay with a brother. I opted to go to the US to do all my university work. I was at the same time running away from a confusing setting and looking for the benefits of one of the best higher education systems in the world. Name the three most valuable lessons you have learned in this country (at work or not).
1. Serious work is the only way to progress. 2. Do not prevent others from accomplishing their projects. 3. Work makes excellence.
I can best express the feeling with the following phrase I heard recently from a former director of Disney World in Florida Its not magic that makes this place work, it's work that makes this place magic. Basically, if you dont sew you cannot harvest.
In 1983 you went back to the Azores. Why?
Being in Portugal, the salary is not that fabulous but the system provides a lot of flexibility. This is good in the sense that you can do various things but is bad in that you end-up dispersing more than would be desirable in many instances. Aside from salary considerations and the work set-up, Portugal is a good place to be in Europe. The quality of life in the Azores is good, I have to admit. The weather is good, the food is good and the work environment is generally relaxed. There are many opportunities for those that are patient enough. Many frustrating moments for those that want to move fast. For someone who wants more time for himself this has been the right place to be.
What would you like to see changed in the Portuguese educational system?
Merit is frequently not the criteria to determine who gets what. Productivity is, as such, low for students, for teachers, for researchers and for administrators. The system should be changed to reward achievement and avoid all redundancies in the use of scarce resources.
The daily life in the US