Monday, February 25, 2008

An Invite to an Imposing Colloquium

I was graced with an impromptu visit from my brother this weekend. We had some high-end Japanese cuisine (so good) and an extended talk for the first time in a while. He was down for an upper brass award function for the Air Force due to his accumulating commendations and his acceptance into the war college by 2010. He's already made his Major board and he will soon be one of the youngest most highly decorated Major's in the Air Force (he should be cleared to Colonel or higher by the time he's ready to retire after 20 years). He is very much what our military should be composed of and remains very much outside of the ideological box the political polarization and media stereotyping try to project. Apparently, all hell had broken loose among the generals at the function due to the B-2 fiasco and F-15 collision this week. Heads will apparently have to roll, as it should be.
On a different note, I received an invite to an imposing colloquium at the Getty Villa on March 14th hosted by this years Villa Professor Erich Gruen. The full day of presentations will be on the identity formation and the image of the barbarian in Roman society and literature. I'm looking forward to it, but the presenters will be of the highest quality and I've got to try to engage in the discussion at the highest level possible. Prof Gruen is one of the absolute top scholars in my field in the world. He chaired the majority of PhD's at Berkeley in Roman History over the past 40 years. I'm still waiting on the reading material to be sent to me to critique. This is my first real chance to 'make my bones' in the field. Hopefully, I won't come off as out of my depth and a complete dumbass. I usually don't stress on much, but this one will be a bit more significant than most. I was very fortunate to get one of these invites and I need to try to make the most of it. I've been up for more than 24 hours on a draft deadline for a big paper and I'm wired on energy drinks and coffee. I think I'll go workout and burn some of the energy off before the impending crash. Hopefully, my heart won't explode. Farewell!