Today was about visiting. I visited with two former students over lunch. While I chowed down on Antonio's avocado quesadilla pizza (yum) they told me about their visit last week to DePauw University for the Undergraduate Honors Communication Conference. They simply loved being around other students who also love to learn; I could see it in their eyes.
After lunch I visited my colleague Barbara's Philosophy of Art class, where she lectured about Hegel and aesthetics. It's been quite awhile since my own philosophy of art days and it was great fun to be a student again. Makes me think we faculty should all "visit" more often. There are formal ways to do this -- "study in a second field" is what they call it here -- but why not just wander into a colleague's class to see what's on deck for the day, or sneak into the back of a lecture hall just to absorb a little extra bit of knowledge?
Then, late this afternoon I visited with a graduate student who is thinking about coming here. This place is right up his alley and I hope he chooses us. I did my best to sell him on this place, of course, but not insincerely. As typically happens, when I rattled off all the great things about being here, I realized yet again that there are a lot of great things about being here. Call it Illinois talk therapy: "Illinois. We're good enough, we're smart enough, and goshdarnit, people like us."