HOW NOW, BROWN? So I think I need a fancy semiotics degree to figure this one out. Brown University’s Hillel Group dictated that the event at the Brown Bookstore be scheduled for 4 in the afternoon. It would be better for student attendance, we were told. And also for members of the large Jewish Community who would attend, we were told. We waited until 4:10 to give stragglers a chance to get there. In the end, not a single Hillel or Jewish Community member showed. Is it a stretch to assume that they were at their offices, working 9 to 5? Even the Hillel organizer was a no-show. And students who did attend complained that it was an impossible time, that afternoon classes tend to go until 4:20, after which it would take at least ten minutes to get to the store. So we all walked away wondering why the Hillel Group was allowed to dictate the time. Call it Stupidity 101.
The students who did attend were wonderfully curious, questioning, and sophisticated, asking questions about authority, gender and the use of the body, and more. We had a lively q&a, and then two students who were working on a global media project for a class video-interviewed me about the media, the internet, and its effects on terrorism.