It seems that I got my wish much sooner than I'd expected. Today, just after lunchtime I received another "invitation" to watch a prestigious speaker at the Abu Dhabi Men's College. Lord Norman Foster gave a lecture on sustainable cities for growing populations with a focus on Masdar City, the completely self-sustaining city that is being built in Abu Dhabi. Once again I was one of the fortunate ones to have an open space in my schedule. Once I got the invitation to attend the 5:00pm lecture, I immediately called my wife to let her know that I would be late and that she shouldn't hold dinner for me. I explained that I simply couldn't miss this lecture.
All kidding aside, the lecture was pretty interesting and from looking at his credentials, Lord Foster has been involved in some pretty prestigious projects. It was good to hear him speak, but there has been increasing resentment from the staff about the mandatory attendance to these vanity lectures meant to promote the Higher Colleges with only several hours notice. The truly annoying thing about this particular lecture is that they really didn't need to require people to be there. The auditorium was standing-room only by people from outside the college who genuinely wanted to hear him speak.