Given that I may not have seen some of the readership since Bo, [or ever--SG] I'll fill in from my last academic year..... My ostensible reason for staying in Bologna a second year was completed more or less on time to the satisfaction of messers Nation and McCarthy. [He wrote a Master's Thesis] Yes, football violence - either English or Italian style - proved to be a wonderful excuse for watching as much serie A calcio as possible, whilst all the time purporting to be investigating quite why one ugly bunch of testosteronely-advantaged thugs were beating the shit out of another. Still, the main exercise succeeded and two years in Bologna only left me crying out for more. McCarthy seemed to be enjoying himself mightily at the two preliminary presentations; Quotes:
"This isn't work, this is fun"
"Yeeerrrrsss, it's so good, it's almost plausible"
With the end of BC 94/95, the plains of the Veneto and the Tuscan vines called once again. Again, groups of twenty middle-aged, highly Republican ("I think that we should vote in direct proportion to the amount of tax we pay") Americans waddled and wobbled over hill and dale with yours truly as guide.
I returned to the greying skies of Blighty about 5 weeks ago since when I've continued my frequent tussles with Eurocracy and the attempt to land a job of permanence or brevity. With Swedes, Austrians and Finns leap-frogging us Europeans with true historical pedigree, progress has been slow. But things are looking up, with all sorts of unconvincingly promising noises emanating from DG XXIII (Small and medium enterprises, if you were wondering): February or March look like possibilities.
For now, I potter round London embarking on journo tv experience with EBN [European Business News] (yes, the one that all ex-SAISers have turned to) and on a full round of festive parties. New year plans for Bologna sound too good to turn down.
Alternative international perspectives department:
If you think some Tories are skeptical vis-a-vis the European Union, meet Reverend Jack van Impe and his wife, Rexella. According to the Minister, the end of the world is upon us as soon as the evil European Union elects the antichrist as its leader. Literally. It's obvious once you see the signs: Here is just part of an article by Mr. van Impe:
"Newsweek reported recently that by 1997, we will have a computer that processes one trillion pieces of information per second. The European Union headquarters in Brussels [...] calls the impending system "the Beast," with obvious parallels to the Beast of Revelation. This stands for the:
What an up-to-date book the Bible is!"
Having visions of Nick Lasagna, Jon Sinclair or even Birgit Schwarz with horns? I'm not making this up. See the Van Impe's for yourself Sunday nights in DC, or visit their website for world viewing schedules.
Um, since I've recently been asking everybody to just once forgo the modesty so characteristic of SAIS graduates and write news (of themselves and/or people we know) to this page, I thought I might lead by example. Just realize that if you actually have a job this should be even less taxing a task:
I'm currently gainfully employed as part of a major international multi-media telecommunications project for Sighs Inc. whose product you are currently enjoying free of charge (Sighs is an increasingly non-profit organisation). In case you've never heard of Sighs, or are wondering as to its current state, let me fill you in: Sighs has been for the past two years serving the SAIS community not only through its flagship publication (aptly names Sighs) but with pantomimes, T-shirts, and Yearbooks. With the original editors safely graduated (after a close call involving J-curves) the Bologna Center has (apparently) managed to reconstitute a new editorial team. Whether or not they have actually managed to publish anything on the Sighs Macintosh bought with your DC Happy Hour money is not sure. Rumours are that they can't find the on/off switch.
Tricia Turner is currently gainfully employed in DC as part of a major international multi-media telecommunications project for the Discovery Channel. Her products are definitely not free of charge: She's into CD-ROM production, and I think she's responsible for new ground-breaking ideas... Suggestions? How about a SAIS CD-ROM containing:
How much to sell it for? $50,000?
- 800 alphabetically ordered term papers
- all previous exams, reading lists, and curricula
- Quicktime video clips:
- Wolfowitz having breakfast in the cafeteria, bringing his own food
- Professor XXXX mentally undressing women at Happy Hour
- Calleo sleeping through a European Studies guest lecture on "Rome Where You Want To: The B52's and the Myth of Southern Mediterranean Declinism"
- Students gorging themselves at the buffet which follows, asking the lecturer what the lecture was about and who gave it.
- Baker at 1995 DC graduation lecturing assorted Japanese, Norwegian and Mexican graduates on how to be good American patriots. (At least they'll know one when they see one)
I am currently living in Bologna, as you may have heard; I [...] managed to find a job at Nomisma, Prodi's research institute, which has an International Programmes department which specialises in begging the EU and any other international organisations in possession of a fat cheque-book for money. The stark version of my job description would say that I spend all my time dissipating economic rents; the serious version says that I work on the preparation of technical assistance proposals and on project management. [...] We're currently preparing a bid to provide SME support services in Lithuania.
Eurof [Uppington] and I are looking for places to live in swanky parts of London that we can't afford. At last glance, we are going to live in a "cottage" in Westminster - but somehow I think that it is less than likely. It is probably the size of a small box, and we have worked out that we have enough dining room furniture between us to erect a small shelter along the banks of the Thames somewhere. [...] The man in the rental agency asked if we were students.
"oh what do you do then?"
"banker and journalist"
"hm, I probably think that's all right," etc...