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March 27th, 2013

Rome again, Rome again...

I am finally back home after an eventful two months away from Rome. When I left we had a different Pope and uncertainty as to who would be running the government in Italy. Now we have a new Pope, and uncertainty as to who will be running the government in Italy. Rome is eternal.

The big problem with this trip was that I enjoyed it so much, I liked the people I was speaking with so much, that I gave 110% to every presentation and thus ran myself ragged. (Leading a retreat group from 10 am to 4 pm is especially exhilarating… and exhausting.) You'd think after 20 years of doing this I'd have learned by now.

I also put on ten pounds in the process.

And so, it was actually with relief (tempering my obvious disappointment) that I learned my plans for a sabbatical in Australia in 2014 have fallen through, as the folks there who were paying for the Jesuit chair have discovered their benefactor can't afford it anymore. Must have been the diamond-encrusted memory sticks that I insisted upon having...

My immediate tasks are to finish the figures for a paper that was otherwise ready to submit two months ago; and to prepare the TEDx talk I'll be giving in Rome next month. They said they wanted a copy of that talk on March 15, but they're Italians so I didn't sweat it... Also, one of these days I need to go into Rome and pick up my permesso (the Italian equivalent of a Green Card).

The figures are an interesting case, one of the many things I have learned by being on Twitter. All the figures were nicely done in multi-colored format. My twitter friends, speaking on papers they've seen at conferences, pointed out to each other how frustrating such figures are when seen by someone who is colorblind. D'oh! At the very least I need to redraft them so that essential information is not transmitted only by color. In the process I will make them publishable at no cost in black and white, which is not a bad thing.

Now, on to work. And looking forward to the Triduum approaching.

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