I will now be teaching in the Fortress of Solitude and I started a new blog

Great news! I was offered a Visiting Assistant Professorship in the MFA program at the University of Pittsburgh for the spring semester. I’ll also be teaching there this fall as a composition instructor. I’m looking forward to getting to know about the students, having a schedule, trying out some new methods/ideas.

I finally had the chance to check out the building where I’ll be teaching…

This building has its own wikipedia page. The Cathedral of Learning is “the tallest educational building in the western hemisphere.” It is immense. This picture PERHAPS does some justice to the sheer size of the building…note the various strata of cloud cover it seemingly penetrates.

However, rather than feeling awestruck, I was initially anxious when I realized that I’d be teaching somewhere inside it. I had problems before with “sick building syndrome”-like symptoms when teaching in the high rise at Temple University. BUT, the good news is that this building was constructed BEFORE such toxic materials came into play–during the 20s and 30s. ¬†Inside, it’s a true cathedral with vaulted windows, and pew-like seating in the main atrium area.

I appreciate the intentions that went into this building. It announces to us that learning is sacred, helps us commune with the larger, vaster possibilities of the world. It’s rather mysterious. Things unfold, turn in on themselves, offer holy insights. A ray.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been blogging about superheroes over at my new blog project SPECULASIANS (a collaborative study of representations of Asian-ness in the future), but this building reminded me of the Fortress of Solitude.

Will I commune with ancestral spirits in these halls? Will I learn to make peace with my inner demons, doubts, and impossible abilities? What massive forces of creation and destruction will be unleashed? More importantly, will I see MARLON BRANDO’S GIGANTIC FLOATING HEAD?

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