Monday, February 9, 2009

Classes begin

At last, classes begin. My course is called “Contemporary Global Issues: The Franciscan World View.” However, much to my distress the very first class meeting was a bit overshadowed by the inauguration of President Obama. As we all know now, the US Constitution begins the President's term at noon on January 20, which means 6 PM in Perugia, and my class (5:15 to 6:45 PM) straddled the most important parts: the Oath of Office and acceptance speech. Of course, we couldn't cancel the first class, but modern technology partially resolved the dilemma by switching from power point to streaming CNN video projected on the wall. Prose to poetry. ridiculous to sublime. I quietly included into the powerpoint an image I found in Google that sums up the spirit of the class. Take a look, but please Francis and Obama fans, don’t take offense!

The following week we hosted the distinguished
medieval scholar, Jacques Dalarun. Jacques graciously
agreed to come up from Rome to address our class.
Actually, he was quite enthusiastic to visit us and did a

fantastic presentation. He led the class through an
example of the sort of research he does: reading,
translating and interpreting Francis’s letter to Brother Leo.
The original is displayed in nearby Spoleto, (see above left) and I hope to get the students there eventually. (Above right is a picture of Jacques in Perugia with Assisi over his shoulder.)

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