Well, we had a full house. Really full. The auditorium at Annenberg has a seat capacity of 220, and all of those were in use, with people standing at the sides and sitting on the floor. In view of the fact that I was prepared to live with the fact that only ten or fifteen people might show up, this was a pleasant bonus. I think it helped that we were the first of the events of the Visions and Voices program (not counting the big gala opening last week), a fact that I did not take note of until I began to notice several of USC’s big cheeses milling around. This is a manifestation of the (relatively new) Provost’s vision, and so why would they not be there?
The audience was exactly what I’d dreamed of -or more appropriately, what the Provost had conjured up when he pitched the Arts and Humanities Initiative to all of us (see my earlier posts for extracts of his speech, here and here)- there were students and faculty from from an astonishing cross-section of the numerous schools, departments and programs that one can encounter by tracing a random 20 minute path through the campus on foot. I’m lucky enough to know a lot of these people, so it was a pleasure to look into the audience and see faculty, students and other friends from from Physics and Astronomy sitting next to faculty, students and other friends I know from the music school; and behind friends from the English department; right across from friends from political science who in turn were near students and faculty from the school of theatre, of cinema-television, etc. It was rather like happens when you invite friends from lots of different cicles to all come together to meet each other at a dinner party at your house. You’re excited since you’ve always wondered what it would be like to bring these people together, but you don’t know how it is going to turn out….but you’re sure it will be interesting. And maybe that’s enough to make it worthwhile.
It was worthwhile. We started off much closer to the appointed time than one can reasonably expect for any such large event. We had the Executive Vice Provost Barry Glassner deliver some introductory remarks, and then he handed over to Michael Parks, the Director of the Annenberg School of Journalism, who welcomed everyone to the Annenberg School and who in turn introduced KC Cole. He introduced her by recalling what he called a “typical KC Cole moment” back when he was her employer Continue reading ‘The Uncertainty Event’