Yes, I am alive and well. I was quite pleased to have finished my exams in Rome and two days later boarded a direct flight from the Eternal City to the Windy City. Notre Dame is beautiful - the campus filled with high school retreatants, athletes, undergraduates whose focus is a bit more primed, and graduate students who find little rest even in this solstice.
Last Tuesday, the 23rd, I began a six week course in French for reading. This will be the third of eventually four modern languages I need for the doctorate in liturgy. The other two so far are Italian and English (American?). Fr. Greg Haake, CSC, himself fluent in Italian and French assured me that these two languages share 98% of grammatical rules and I am pleased to find this to be true thus far.
The class only meets for an hour each morning but then I put in a few hours afterward into review and vocabulary memorization. The afternoons have been a blessed time for catching up on spiritual and liturgical reading. I'm also working on a "pet project" that might turn into something more substantial. At the very least it will help me practice my writing.