The new year is having its usual quiet beginning at our house. I fixed a little brunch a couple of hours ago and now I’m watching a pretty entertaining Outback Bowl between my Florida Gators and Penn State. (Sorry, Joe Pa, I know the rest of the country loves you, but I hope you lose today.)
And I’m not sure why I’m doing a New Year’s post, as it’s a holiday that I’ve never been that enthusiastic about — my wife Jayne would call that an understatement. Ask her about how we rang in the Milennium on Dec. 31, 1999 — sitting in front of the TV watching Meredith Baxter Birney chew the scenery in a Lifetime Channel movie playing convicted killer Betty Broderick, who in 1989 murdered her lawyer ex-husband and his new wife as they slept.
Fortunately life did not imitate art, and I’ve always felt like we had one of our best New Year’s Eves exactly one year later, joining a throng of thousands in Trafalgar Square in London to bring in the New Year in the U.K.’s version of our Times Square ritual.
Anyway, this year we had a pleasant New Year’s Eve getting together with friends and trying to see just exactly how long it takes an energetic three-year-old to get tired enough to nap. In keeping with the times, it was a little amusing that a bunch of fifty-somethings would spend part of the evening on Facebook, Anyway, we enjoyed the good food, good company and good music.
I’m not much of one for making New Year’s resolutions, but one can’t help reflecting a little bit today on what the new year might hold. I’m pretty sure it will be a year in which we (meaning Jayne and me) re-connect a little with the broader world.
It’s been two years since we returned from our semester in London, a time which we valued for a lot of reasons, including the opportunity to live as people in another nation do and to see America as the rest of the world sees us — opportunities I think every American would do well to have. We haven’t been out of the country since, but that will change this year.
The Good Lord willing, we will be back in London next New Year’s Eve — whose traditions also include a rollicking Viennese concert at the Barbican Centre — as we return to Great Britain to lead a 10-day course after the Fall Semester 2011.
I’m applying for another European study opportunity over the summer which I hope works out. I’m also working with a colleague on a paper exploring ways to internationalize a public relations curriculum and kicking around another idea for a paper on WikiLeaks, goverment secrecy and journalism ethics for a conference on faith and communications.
It should be a fun year. I hope every reader of this blog has a good one, too.