Last Friday I went to the morning sessions of the SAIS Asia Conference. One of the organizers is a friend, and I thought I'd support her and see what's going on at the ol' alma mater. I was reminded of how much I enjoy being around smart people. At work we are constantly exhorted to be "thought leaders" but it's hard when one's caught up in meetings and writing memos and responding to taskers (random urgent requests from higher-ups). I'm around smart people but we don't have a lot of time or energy to be intellectuals. And so I enjoyed my little visit to the world of ideas last Friday. The liveliest discussion was around the paper on legalizing the opium trade in Afghanistan.
I'm really suffering with my stupid, stuffed-up/runny nose. People have recommended neti pots but quite frankly I'm not convinced. The mail carrier in our neighborhood suggested Allegra so I bought a couple of boxes of the generic version this evening. I really hope it works. I return to the office on Monday and I'm sure my cube mates would appreciate a lot less sneezing.
ahh good old SAIS.
I felt the same way when I went to a SAIS alumni breakfast here in Seattle a few weeks ago. It motivated me to look for a copy of Foreign Affairs at Barnes & Noble- and they were sold out. Bummer. I need to start reading some more academicy policy wonk stuff again. I miss that about my job at CRS- it really was like being in grad school (except that the congressional staff occasionally wanted stuff that was un-intellectual, how dare they). Now I'm in the world of memos and deliverables, stupid meetings, and about half of my office is full of not-very-bright people. The other half are pretty intelligent though.