Mike,This is, of course, the best of all possible news. Peter works now in some kind of international trade tax something, all beyond my understanding, as England is glutted with medieval historians. (His Ph.D. is in late medieval history, particularly around the War of the Roses and such.) He now, whatever he said in the note, gets more writing and publishing done now that he's officially working elsewhere and history can be his "hobby." I imagine this will take a hit under the weight of diapers and such, but that's all to the good. Lia is a human rights lawyer from Athens, and was finishing up a doctorate in human rights law, but that too, I imagine, might be on the backburner for a time.
It being some time since we talked, you will not know of Mini-Me. He was born on 17 September so is still a Wee Man, but both Lia and I are besotted with him. Official name is Panayiotis Neil Lewis Norleigh Booth – a mouthful, but it gets everyone’s family in. Meaning of ‘Panayiotis’ = male version of ‘Panaghia’, the Greek name for the Virgin Mary which roughly translates as ‘saint of all saints’.
I checked out your new website – have you put on weight? You’re looking well in the pictures. I hope your health is holding up and it’s not a trick of the light. Where do you find the time to write so much stuff? It takes me forever to get anything down in words. Anyway, I hope you’re well and still enjoying Wisconsin. Let me know what you’re up to!
Anyway, I'm a bit jazzed on the good news, and looking forward to a long phone conversation sometime soon. Eek. Which reminds me of other calls I need to make. My first class took their Final Exam at the evil hour of 8am yesterday, which left me in a zombie-like state. I'm devouring general works on medieval history at the moment, half with an eye toward next semester's class. I've been reading the Thomas Cahill volume from his Hinges of History series (I'm curious to see if these would be useful for students or in my class structure) with some interest, Mysteries of the Middle Ages: The Rise of Feminism, Science, and Art from the Cults of Catholic Europe, curious to see how he's presenting the period to our society which still is stuck in the anti-medieval perspectives of Victorian historians. I've grit my teeth a few times at generalizations he could and ought to have easily overthrown, but there's enough other pluses that I'm still favourable at this point.... I'll follow that up with a new survey put out by one of our greatest: Gillian Evans' The Church in the Early Middle Ages, on whom I think I"m developing a scholar-crush. She totally rules. Her Academics and the Real World is incredibly engaging and is as clear and reasoned an assessment on the impact of the universities being brought under the umbrella of business as I've seen.