The new year is upon us, starting with a new cohort of incoming students. I met my Lang advisees one on one yesterday, and I spent the afternoon today with a group of first years from across the University's divisions in a joint academic exercise called Experience+Meaning, tapping the vitality of nearby parks to spark discussion and new ideas about public space. We had great exchanges, and came up with some nifty ideas for conveying our appreciation of the performative and interactive nature of private enjoyment of public spaces. It was fun to model the interdisciplinary conversation and the movement from theory to practice, from experience to product, which define this place.
Then I got some r&r at an orientation jam of the Jazz program. A faculty trumpeter was soaring as I came in, but I took this picture during the pause when he took a breather, and asked if anyone else in the room wanted to play. "Joe, Joe, Joe!" chanted some students, and a nerdy-looking white guy in the blue t-shirt of the orientation leaders picked up his guitar. They still needed a drummer, and found one, too, another orientation guide. Joe started haltingly playing solo and then, before one quite knew it, drums and base had joined, then the piano, and it was a combo, an ensemble, one riffing off the next, the music getting groovier and lovelier by the minute! I love this place, I thought.