On Tuesday, I returned to the office following two weeks of travels.  Along with my husband (Paul), son (Josh), and daughter (Kayla), we spent time with family in London, and a week (accompanied by Paul’s mum) in Italy.  We visited Pisa, Florence, and Venice at a pace that suited us, but might dismay true art lovers and Italophiles.  For us, we were happy so long as the day’s activities left time for a gelato stop.  Or two.  I tried just about every flavor combination that interested me:  Hazelnut and chocolate.  Coffee and chocolate.  Coconut and chocolate.  Berries and chocolate.  Berries and peach (no chocolate). Yummy, every one!

One phenomenon that interested me was the universal use of English.  The first time I went to Italy was about 20 years ago (to Rome) and we fumbled along with a combination of Italian nouns (easily learned, while verbs are so challenging), French, and occasional English.  Though many years have passed, and we were in a different region (one with more tourists relative to the resident population), it was still striking how much easier it was to get by without ever uttering a word of Italian.  Even the French were speaking English!  To be honest, I love the sound of Italian and enjoy being forced to try a new language, and I missed that opportunity.  There’s no denying, though, that it’s easier to get around when language is less of a challenge.

I wasn’t the only Admissions staffer on the road.  Earlier this month, Peter kicked off the wave of vacations with a week in Ontario.  Laurie followed when she went to Austria where she, her husband (John), and daughter (Emily) spent two weeks, joined there by a Fletcher alum and family.  And Roxana was off in Lebanon for a friend’s wedding.  But now, we’re back to full force, including Kristen, who has completed her maternity leave.  Must be time to start a new admissions cycle!

And if the return of our wayward staff members weren’t evidence enough, there are the new students to remind us that summer is coming to an end.  This is the second (and final) week of the MIB program’s “pre-session” class in Strategic Management.  This weekend, our new students will arrive, and Orientation starts on Monday.  The School is starting to hum again!


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