Saturday, September 29, 2007

A precautionary tale

I was a second year Dartmouth College undergraduate when I first learned of the Greek tragic cycle in my Comparative Literature class. “Ate” (the sin of pride), >>> “Hybriis – or Hubriis” (the tragic flaw) >>> “Nemisis” (the evil or tragic, consequences of pride.

I week ago Thursday, I was reminded of the insight to which I had first been exposed in Professor Donald Bartlett’s classroom. I had arrived early at Budapest’s Feregehy airport. My colleagues and I breezed through check in without difficulty. I had money to change and remembered from a previous trip that the exchange bank was in the adjoining terminal. How good it is to be an experienced traveler, I congratulated myself. The security line was long and there was a bit of confusion at the check in, but everyone was in good spirits and put up gracefully with the inconvenience.

When I got to the waiting area, there was a Balaton Group colleague waiting for the same flight. We had a good conversation about Land Grant Universities and their contributions to higher education before boarding. There was an empty seat next to me on the Budapest > Paris flight and I was able to doze without interruption. This is all good… I reflected.

… until I shouldered my back pack, preparing to disembark in Paris. My bag seemed a bit light. When I travel, I carry both a computer and a portable printer in my pack when I travel. When I opened my bag to check, a wave of panic engulfed me.. I had failed to pick up my computer after going through security in Budapest.



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