Might could well be an oversimplification, but there are worse things than oversimplifications, but what I took away from our readings this week is that burying your head in the sand won’t change the fact that there is a very messy online world seeking to reflect, and alter, the organization of the rest of the world, and the online world is populated by all manner of folk–human and not, benevolent and not, indifferent and not. So it’s worth the time and effort to establish a version of yourself and your professional life to place “out there.” And to nurture it. Like a garden. For as long as you can. And as more people choose to connect and more institutions entrust important parts of their operations to this bottleneck, the more important it is that clever people become invested in guiding “it.”
Rome. I studied in Rome in the fall of 1992 at the Centro Intercollegio dei Studi Classici (referred to lovingly as just the “centro”). It was my first trip to Europe, and I had decided to make an adventure of it: I’d fly into Paris and journey my way south with a Eurail pass. With stops in Lyon, then Nice, and Marseilles (twice), I eventually found an overnight train set to arrive in Rome in early September, just in time for the fall semester. This would have been manageable, EXCEPT that not only had I never been abroad before, but few or none in our circle had either. So there was no one to stop me, or my mother–with all the good intentions in the world–from packing every. Single. Item. Recommended. By the study abroad program. I mean, I brought an iron. Had to weigh 150 lbs, easily. So imagine, if you will, me burdened with a backpack, a carry-on bag, and wheeling the weight of a grown man along the medieval streets of Paris to a tricked out aubèrge reeking of marijauna, where the madâme awoke you each morning with café, croissants, and 120 decibels of Jimi Hendrix. Welcome to Europe.
(to be cont.)