With the last class of the semester out of the way, I’m off for two weeks in Europe. I’ll be in Germany at some conferences and events this coming week, and then it’s off to St. Petersburg to give a talk at a conference at the Smolny Institute.With any luck there will be time to slip out of the conferences to get a little art time; this is my first trip to St. Petersburg, and there is a lot there I haven’t seen.I’ll do as much blogging as I can while on the road, and will be checking in frequently to see what the interns are doing to the blog while I’m gone. In both Germany and Russia I’ll have the chance to meet with some of the most interesting people thinking and writing about Europe today and hopefully I’ll hear some things that readers find useful.We’ve been developing the Via Meadia team for several months now, and the next two weeks will test our ability to keep up our standards even when I’m heavily committed to other work. As always, feedback from readers is important; without you Via Meadia wouldn’t exist, and we — and I — genuinely want to know what you think.During this stress test of the Via Meadia system, weekends will be the toughest time; on the advice of counsel we are letting the interns out of the holding pens to spend weekends with their families, so we will be a little shorthanded.Even so, we’ll do our best to continue covering the big stories we see taking place in the US and the world, and, where we think it adds value, sharing our opinions about what we think it all means. I’ll be back in the USA on June 1, God willing; in the meantime, I hope all Via Meadia readers enjoy this lovely spring.