Rarely, if ever, have I given a paper (to be precise, this was actually a workshopping of the first shaky draft of the first chapter of my book on Flash! Photography, Writing, and Surprising Illumination) that produced such a dramatic effect. This was a great, wonderful, helpful discussion - and we'd just gotten to the point of talking about whether I should be thinking about surprising Noise, too, and what the difference might be between visual assault and aural assault when BARP BARP BARP BARP BARP (and flashes too), and the Murray Hall fire alarm system was going off. And many fire engines arrived, and hunky firepeople in helmets scurried up the stairs, and there was no smell of smoke, and nothing was found.
I did, of course, spend lunchtime anxiously re-reading my own prose, and reading Kenneth Baker's short book/long essay on The Lightning Field, and generally trying to convince myself that I could recollect material other than the content of admin memos. I was also very, very grateful that I am not an anonymous blogger, for otherwise, Lauren might not have told me that yes, there is sushi here on College Ave, in the Student Center Foodcourt. It was not the best sushi I have ever had, and I am probably contributing to the demise of the world's shrinking tuna stock, and probably it isn't nearly as good as the sushi in the sushi place on Somerset, but it seemed the right thing to try it out, and I was deeply grateful for knowing of its existence.