Around the World, Thirty Years Ago

Around the World, Thirty Years Ago

Thirty years ago today, I embarked a trip around the world. My parents had given me the plane ticket as a present after my college graduation, and I had saved money for expenses out of prize money awarded to my senior thesis on Finnegans Wake and from six months of...
The Sultan and Me

The Sultan and Me

Among some of my faculty colleagues in New York, NYU Abu Dhabi and the recreation of NYU as a Global Network University remain controversial, if not downright undesirable, projects. Some of my colleagues have gone so far as to engage in e-mail diatribes against those...
Quixotic

Quixotic

Definition: foolishly impractical especially in the pursuit of ideals; especially : marked by rash lofty romantic ideas or extravagantly chivalrous action (from Merriam-Webster). Example: trying to recycle in Abu Dhabi. Recycling in Abu Dhabi involves taking this...
Petra, Day 1

Petra, Day 1

I first encountered “Petra” as a college student, when I read Melville’s short story, “Bartleby, the Scrivener.” The story’s narrator makes reference to it when he goes to his law offices one weekend and discovers that his inscrutable scrivener Bartleby has been...
Africa Journal (II) – Amboseli

Africa Journal (II) – Amboseli

On our second day in Africa, we went to Wilson Airport in Nairobi to catch a Safarilink propeller plane to Amboseli National Park, where we stayed at the Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge. Amboseli is 2 degrees 40 ‘ south of the equator, so we were visiting during...
Wildlife Near Where We Slept

Wildlife Near Where We Slept

At the Serena Lodge in Amboseli, Kenya, there were monkeys with bright turquoise balls roaming around … At the Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp in the Masai Mara, Kenya, there were warthogs nosing around outside our tent … … and Harry the Hyrax in the woods...