If you seek thorough notes on today’s Fall Teaching Conference, you might be
disappointed.  The four-hour conference covered several interesting and
important projects: Syracuse community-based writing courses, upcoming
service-learning initiatives, and the annual address from the chair of the
department.  The featured speaker–a professor from Vermont–gave a talk on
"Assessing Diversity," a topic which, you might agree, is both vast and
complicated–tangled politically and theoretically.  The talk worked
through asking the right questions, devising alternative models, mixing methods
and identifying subtle (if isolable) variables.  All of the presentations
were held in Hall of Languages 500, the top floor of the building I wrote about
earlier this
.  Here’s a photo I snapped about fifteen minutes before the
sessions started this morning; it’s a north-ward look from the place we


Ironically, the featured talk included a clip from the movie
Addams Family
: the part where young Wednesday breaks from the script in the
Thanksgiving play-performance at summer camp. I’d never watched the movie
before, and its involvement in the talk made sense, was appropriate and smart. 
Of course, I couldn’t help being mildly distracted by a second Hall of
Languages/1313 Cemetery Lane coincidence in three weeks. I kept it to myself;
nobody else appeared to be chilled by the unlikely loop: watching a clip from a
1993 movie based on a television program, the house-set for which has been
rumored to be influenced by the architecture of the building (Hall
of Languages
) in which we sat, watching a clip….  Uncanny.