In February 1999 when I learned that I was being offered a Berkeley Graduate Fellowship, I had been a part-time English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor at a small community college in Washington state for 10 years. In 1997 I had been awarded a Part-time Faculty Award of Excellence at my college, based on both my teaching and program development work, and then in 1998, I was turned down for a full-time position. I was ready for something new, and excited about the idea of doing research on the social contexts of second language learning in immigrant communities. I also had a house, a husband, two children, and a large extended family in my town in Washington, and it was difficult to consider uprooting. Berkeley’s offer of a prestigious fellowship helped to reassure me that I wasn’t completely out of my mind.