Day after summer day, it’s easy for us to run only into other members of the staff (and not many of them). We might see the occasional student or alum who’s in the building to get something done, or maybe a professor (though I don’t think I’ve seen any member of the faculty in about three weeks). But, mostly, we feel like we’re alone in the building, just getting our work done.
In fact, though, there has been quite a bit going on here — if not always in full view. Summer School ran from May 24 to July 2, but with most of the classes starting late in the day, there wasn’t much opportunity to bump into the Summer School students.
Also in June, for a week Fletcher was the site of the Summer Institute for the Advanced Study of Nonviolent Conflict. The participants were so busy that we didn’t see them, either — except as they crossed the building en route from classroom to lunch or back.
For the past few weeks, there was a group from Mexico attending the Comparative Program on Adversarial Criminal Justice Systems, a specially organized executive education program in comparative law. I asked around before writing this, and found out that it’s quite the cool program. Prof. Basáñez and Prof. Aucoin are the resident faculty, but the group has heard from local judges and court personnel, as well as law faculty from Fletcher and other local law schools. A big part of the program involved site visits to local courtrooms. There were a total of 113 participants, primarily judges with a few other employees of the Mexican Supreme Court. The goal was to help them prepare for impending reforms to Mexico’s judicial system, by exposing them to the workings of adversarial criminal justice systems in other parts of the world. Interesting! I saw members of the group chatting happily during lunch a couple of times, but we didn’t have any professional contact.
Finally, this week, there’s a group of GMAPers attending their final residency. They’ll be here for a couple of weeks, but the program keeps them pretty busy during my working day. I’ve been catching some early-bird studiers in the Hall of Flags as I come into work in the morning.
None of these groups or programs has brought a crowd into the building, but knowing they’re around keeps us from feeling too lonely. Personally, I’m nearly at the point when I feel ready for students to return. I still have a lot on my to-do list and I’ll need more time to get it done. But I know that, come September, it will be nice to have a more populated building.
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