I’ve met some of the most interesting people I know here. It’s just unlike anything I’ve ever done in my life. This summer I ‘m finishing up a year-long fellowship at the American Academy in Rome. The Rome Prize is a fellowship awarded to 30 or 40 artists and scholars every year. I was awarded it on the basis of the dissertation that I’m working on, to come here and carry out the research that I need to do for the dissertation and finish writing it. In my dissertation I’m looking at the ways in which humanists of the Italian Renaissance went about translating Homer into Latin. And I’ve identified three different stages in the progress of Latin translations that were made of the Iliad and Odyssey from a more literal, through an oratorical, and then finally to a poetic or a fully-fledged verse translation of Homer which was the goal from the outset, to translate Homer into convincing Latin hexameters. The translations that I’m studying have not been edited in critical editions, so you have to be here on-site. We’re right next door to the Vatican Library, right down the road from many of the best libraries in Italy, which I visited and couldn’t really do the project without. I’ve certainly grown as a scholar, my skills in paleography have improved a lot, my facility with Latin has really improved, and then obviously meeting, you know, really important professional contacts, people in the field. I’m the second graduate student in the history department to be awarded the Rome prize in a row. I think Notre Dame is doing a great job of preparing its students for prizes like this. They’re making a concerted effort to develop the graduate students professionally, offering courses on how to publish something or coaching people on how to write a good essay and there’s no question that both of those things, in addition to others, have helped me personally and others get their first publication out and win awards like this. I don’t go a day of my life without being so thankful that I picked the topic I picked. I get to read Homer in Greek everyday. I mean, that’s, that’s pretty incredible.