Today seems like the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year as we have our first freshman orientation today. Welcome to any new students and families that might stumble on this blog. The faculty year begins on Tuesday, so I’ll begin to see more of my colleagues on campus, which is nice–it does get a little lonely on campus, although with all the NYSED and other activity on campus this summer, I didn’t notice as much as in years past.
As part of orientation, I give a talk to the parents about the academic experience at Hilbert. I needed to change it up some this year and in doing so, I decided to show a painting I like, the Death of Socrates:
I was originally using it just in passing, but then realized I can do a nice little liberal arts-style riff on not just the subject of the painting, but the politics behind its painting (in the run-up to the French Revolution) and even a very tenuous tie to Buffalo.
And for me, that kind of thing is one of the most fun parts of being a teacher. Although I miss teaching regularly, in some ways, I have the best of both worlds–I get to do one time teaching-type things like this and convocation next month, but don’t have to do the undeniable drudge work of grading, and so forth. (All of which is not to say that I’m not looking forward to my class this semester!)
Anyway, welcome and welcome back as we start again.