First the good news: I received formal confirmation of my staff position at the San Martino Field School in Torano, Italy next summer. Hopefully, I can build some Italian linguistic skills over the next few months. In any case, it feels good to get moving in the right direction. My ability to secure future employment as a historian will be much improved with practical field work on my CV as many historians simply don't have it. I think I should be able to pick up a couple extra weeks in Rome at the conclusion of the excavation by linking up with a different tour conducted by a couple of my other professors. My decision to enter this program is proving very fortuitous due to the available opportunities. The benefits of my new program have surpassed the negative aspects thus far.
Now on to the bad news: the limited social interaction, high cost of living, and difficulty of living in LA. Case in point, I get involved with traffic jams within parking lots just going to the most affordable grocery store, one that is still almost twice as expensive as I am accustomed to. The crowding in stores and parking areas is so annoying that I find myself reverting back to my default disposition of despising all humanity. I tried to spend the last few years nurturing and developing the tolerant warm and fuzzy aspect of my personality. Believe it or not, my time in Eugene was about as warm and fuzzy as I get. LA is slowly starting to bring back some of the edge to my mollified spirit. I feel the need to resurrect some of my anger and intensity to recultivate a more severe demeanor to gain some personal space in public. From my perspective, one of the biggest problems in the world is crowding and overpopulation that creates considerable tension among people that do not have enough personal space and freedom of action. As people are crowded together in urban areas trying to get around within the constraints of busy schedules (enforced by deadlines, cell phones, internet connectivity, etc..), extreme tension tends to boil to the surface. Individual incidents of stupidity are magnified because of how they interfere with everyone's schedule - a person blocking traffic , holding up a line, or engaging in any other acts of stupidity raises the level of volatility and frustration of the moving masses. I am gradually being reminded of how much I have traditionally despised the inherent stupidity of the majority of humanity. My experiment in patience and tolerance is rapidly coming to an end. It is probably best I am not traveling for Thanksgiving this week due to the reports of this likely being the most frustrating travel week in the history of the world. I will miss my family on Thankgiving, as I sit imprisoned by academic requirements in my lonely room, but it is only a few weeks until I can have a month break back in the relaxing confines of my valley homestead for Xmas. I must endure till then! Be well!