1. New friends: mosaic artist Julie Richey not only does some amazing work, but is even blogging about the Collegium Rome trip I’m still on. Cherie Peacock’s (who’s on the trip) Catholic Answers site explains the piety of many on the trip, even though she’s not blogging about this publicly (or at least, not that I know).
2. The University’s Rome campus needs more books and computers. The former are necessary because teaching here, if I were so privileged, would be a nightmare without them: I would constantly say “hey, you should look at such and such a secondary source” and it wouldn’t be there. Specifically, they need books by UD professors and by teachers of UD professors.
Also – there are a grand total of 2 computer terminals on campus. Think about that for a second, if you don’t quite see a problem.
3. We were in Siena, Florence and Assisi recently – more on all of that later, but for now, I want to take note of the monument to Machiavelli in Santa Croce in Florence. The woman depicted holds his portrait atop books in her right hand. Her left grips scales lying slack (h/t Sean Lewis), with a sword in one scale (the blade is hidden) and a scroll in the other. She has not weighed both or either yet, and one wonders how that judgment resolved in writings unambivalent about unleashing power for peace.