Thursday, April 26, 2007
I have returned from a very enjoyable 4 day trip to UCLA. The weather (75, cloudless blue skies, surprisingly no smog) was a considerable improvement from what I had been experiencing for days prior to my journey. I was treated to a high end Italian restaurant by four of my future Professors and two students (one I actually knew from years past). Much food was consumed, the numerous bottles of wine were first rate. I strolled up onto Sunset Blvd, Bel Air, and down into the village. Housing will be a significant upgrade from the present situation I live in, pretty close to the beach and a good night life. As I was driving down for food on unfamiliar streets, I passed by a theater just in time to be blinded by a wall of flashes from the paparazzi at a movie premiere. They were all herded like sheep behind a velvet rope while bodyguards cleared space for a star I couldn't recognize from the rear at driving speed. The wall of flashes was ridiculous, and I think I would charge into them like a raging beast if I was a star. No worries about that ever happening. I tried to visit my best friend from my undergrad days in one of the investment banking towers near campus. The minute I entered I was confronted by the goon-squad that restricts access until I could legitimate my business to them. All in all, the campus was far superior aesthetically and in many other respects to what I am used to. It is a bonus the research library is right next to my future class area and office. Everyone I dealt with in my field seemed very personable. I should have a good chance to succeed. The only potential tripping point will be the Greek field of my studies as the speed expectation of the Ancient Greek translation in required history seminars looks to be as much as 8 times my present grad level. I have two to three years to achieve that skill level, but it will be very daunting. If I should fall short, this would be what would prevent my from getting my PhD. Everything else looks very favorable. Have a nice day!