Being that I'm in Boston for the first time, I figured I should do some of the typical tourist stuff. I ate dinner in the North End at a great Italian place, Lucia Ristorante, a funky space where I was seated at a table, sort of, with another couple. There was plenty of room, but while they weren't going to give me a table to myself, the service was great and so was the food. The conciege at the hotel sent me to another place, Ristorante Seraceno, but being a single diner, the asshole maitre 'de said "He can wait." And wait I did. While others without reservations were seated, I stood there, but not for long before walking out.
After dinner, I continued walking around downtown and came across the New England Holocaust Memorial. Since I don't know if I can do it justice, I snagged the above photo from their website. I hope they don't mind. Each of the glass towers is etched with prisoner numbers. Again, taken from the site: "The Memorial design features six luminous glass towers, each reaching fifty-four feet high, and each lit internally from top to bottom. Six million numbers are etched in the glass. These numbers represent the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust and are suggestive of the infamous tattoos the Nazis inflicted on many of the victims." Another interesting number is that six million Poles were killed, not all of them Jews as you might imagine. They were just inferior and in the way I guess. I also learned that on April 19 (my birthday), 1943 (15 years before my birthyear), there was a ghetto up-rising. I don't think it was Warsaw, but it was nice to have something beside Paul Revere's ride, or the day before Hitler's birthday, attached to my own birthday.
The memorial is powerful: you walk through the base of teach tower, reading the inscriptions on the walls. I viewed it at night, much like the picture. Not only are the towers lighted, but steam rises from grates at the base of each tower. Below the grates appear to be rocks and lights from which the steam rises. The lights sparkle as if stars in the sky. At the two entrances are walls with rocks at the top. I don't know the significance, but I picked a rock off the ground and placed it atop the wall with the others.
I attended a preconference workshop titled "Values in Democracy: A Crucial Conversation" and came away pleased even though it didn't meet my preconceived notions of what it should cover. Not that it mattered, but the four listed presenters didn't make it, so two of their colleagues took over for them. The presentation was based on a conversation held among faculty at Nassau CC in NY. The two women, whose names I didn't get, did a great job in providing an active session. I wanted time to talk more, but just as I was wishing certain folks would talk less, I'm sure others thought the same of me (but I didn't talk that much). So, I guess it was good they kept us busy.
There were about two-dozen cyclists who gathered for the ride in front of the Riverfront Park carousel. After hanging about for a bit, watching several police officers deal with an staggeringly drunk woman (at 4:30 in the afernoon).
I scribbled a lot of notes, but in no way can I capture the whole of what she had to say. If there is an over-arching theme, I would say it was the notion of ciruclation, which means we have to not just make student writing available to a wider audience, but we have to promote it, much as some folks promote their blogs (not me, not much anyway).