By this time next week I should be somewhere on the road to Seattle for this year’s ARCE (American Research Center in Egypt) Conference. As I mentioned before, we’re road tripping it up there instead of flying. Considering the recent chaos at the airports, this might not be a bad option. The key will be for us to make it there on time, since the drive is 17.5 hours. We’ll be leaving next Wednesday afternoon as soon as I get off work in the hope that we can get about half of the drive in before stopping to rest for the night. Eric, being a man of great vision but little practicality, has the idea that we’re going to be able to see the redwoods on the trip up there. Not if we’re going to make it there on time, we won’t, but I’m sure he’ll figure that out soon enough. He doesn’t like to be contradicted (not many people do), so I’ll just wait for reality to do that for me. So, aside from being a little nervous about arriving in Seattle by our hotel check-in time, I’m really looking forward to the trip. Any time I have the chance to get out of L.A. is a relief for me. Unlike New York, L.A. isn’t built up, it’s built out, so it doesn’t have the same cramped feeling. But after a certain amount of time I start to wish for a chance to get back to some wide open spaces again.
Next week will be my first opportunity for some time away from work since I started at the Villa last September. A break about now sounds like a good idea. I just learned earlier this week that one of our four teachers here is leaving, and since we’re already at a skeleton teaching staff there’s a lot of question about how our work schedule will be impacted. The schedule we have (Mondays and Tuesdays off and one six-day week a month) is the hardest thing about this job, but every once in awhile there’s a reminder that our efforts are appreciated. I received the email below this morning:
“I must thank you for the exciting experiences my students had at the Getty. They showed enthusiasm and appreciation for the beauty and visual displays of art and architecture. The tours were informative and caused many to comment that they wanted to bring their families sometime to enjoy the sights, sounds and richness of ancient Greece and Rome. Well done. I am just waiting for next year to open up so I can expose the new incoming sixth graders to the museum. All of you must just love your work, informing and inspiring young people to appreciate the richness of these cultures. Thank you so much.”
--Sandy Brady, South Gate Middle School
Here’s hoping for a little good news and some refreshing and fun time off next week!
The picture above is of the Villa Education department was taken last week, when we said goodbye to our Egyptian guest scholar, Nagwan. She's second from the right on the bottom row.