What I am doing, of course, is writing a blog post. If I weren’t writing, I could be accomplishing any of a number of admissions tasks, especially reading Early Notification applications. But what’s more interesting is what I’m not doing elsewhere in the School. Right now, I’m missing a luncheon with a talk on “Designing Homeland Security Systems,” sponsored by Fletcher’s International Security Studies Program. Since I brought my lunch with me, I could also be attending a brown-bag lunch talk with former Congressman Jim Leach on “The Role of Congress in Foreign Policy.” The lunch is one in a series organized by Ambassador John Shattuck, who, this year, is a Senior Fellow at the Tisch College. And if I were up for a talk over pizza, the Feinstein International Center is sponsoring “Livelihoods, Power and Choice: The Vulnerability of the Northern Rizaygat, Darfur Sudan.”
Tonight I’m going to a meeting of a community group with which I’m involved, but if I weren’t, here’s what I could be doing at Fletcher instead: I could attend a Charles Francis Adams Lecture (Fletcher’s “premier” School-wide lecture series) by Richard Schmierer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, speaking on “U.S. Policy on Iraq: The Challenges Ahead.” I’ll also miss a talk that’s part of the Fares Lecture Series — “Islamism in the Shadow of al-Qaeda.” And, finally, I’ll be missing a screening and discussion of “Collateral Damage,” one of the episodes from the series Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? (I feel especially sorry to miss the screening, because the producer is Christine Sommers, wife of Fletcher Professor Marc Sommers. Christine, Marc, and I have known each other since our sons were wee tots in elementary school.)
If I tried to attend every lecture, film screening, luncheon, meeting, reception, or party on the Fletcher calendar, I would never get anything done, either at home or at work. But it’s nice to know what I’m missing, and what Fletcher students are doing.
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