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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

How Did the Lecture Go?

IMG_2831Actually, surprisingly well. Not one glitch. There was a close call with the projector and how to link my laptop into their projection system, the old Microsoft-on-their-side, Apple-on-my-side negotiations. Other than that, the biggest deal was no podium: where to put my typewritten pages?

Thankfully, this was a scholarly crowd, used to presenters reading their works. They no more wanted extemporaneous speakers than I wished to wing it. I recalled the words heard during a recent meeting with one of my son’s academic mentors: when presenting a paper, resist the urge to go off script and “just talk”. Disaster would inevitably IMG_0361result.

She and I came to the same conclusion as to why: our personalities were such that we would probably feel the urge to “explain” some points more than others and thus, depart from the straight-and-narrow path. We would lapse into overtime and a moderator would need to step in.

So, after chopping, revising, editing, and chopping some more, I came to the hilarious conclusion that my only option was speedreading. In this manner, it would be ppossible to zip through history faster than a speeding satellite or a wayward Iranian missile.

Let’s just put it this way: I had 104 slides queued up and 30-40 minutes to do my thing. You do the math.

Speech on steroids.

My team and I arrived early. Nobody there. Empty. Traffic had been quite challenging on such a warm spring day. Oh well.

At least I had fit in chocolate chip cookies for the kids earlier that morning. Unlike Hillary, I believed a woman could multi-task in as many areas as she wanted. After all, it had just been International Women’s Day….

And then they began to arrive. Ph.D. after Ph.D. Like shooting fish in a barrel. They turned out to hearp moi.

It was a lively, fast-paced night.  I even added a slide or two for humor.  Very complimentary comments followed. Everyone too shocked at the thoroughness to ask many questions. A crowd surrounded me and the rest of my team. Many suggested high government agencies that I should be lecturing on the topic which touched on ancient versus modern counter-terrorism and security issues.

I shook hands. I breathed a sigh of relief. I said a thanksgiving prayer.

Moonlit Road

By 9:00 pm, I had collected the family and dogs and Benedetto was driving us seven hours toward the dacha. A few hours into it, I noticed him fading, while I worked on my laptop. This was unusual. Maybe my lack of nerves had taken its toll on him! Offering to drive, he refused the offer.

Then about 2:30 am, he said, “Since you’re already awake….”

He pulled over to the side of the highway and everyone woke up, groggy and wondering if we were home.

“It’s okay, everyone, it’s okay,” I reassured as I stepped into the driver’s seat. “I’m just bringing us home.”

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