Alison Herman, CC’15, was dutifully in attendance yesterday afternoon. She keeps it short and sweet below. N.B. Christia Mercer is a Bright Eyes fan.
At 2:30 sharp on Tuesday, over a thousand Columbia College freshpeople and one intrepid reporter packed themselves into Roone Arledge Auditorium for their first-ever college lecture. With the help of a nifty slideshow, Christia Mercer spent the next hour and a half holding forth on the Iliad—the book we spent our summers SparkNoting, avoiding, and occasionally reading. Proving that she knew her audience, Mercer began by steering students towards the Internet, specifically the Lit Hum website, which promises to augment the Lit Hum experience with shiny pictures and “luscious” quotes. There’s even a section for students to submit pieces of art inspired by the Lit Hum syllabus. Soon, however, it was time for the students to take out their books. Touching on glory, honor, and other lofty principles, Mercer nonetheless kept the mood light, casually dropping references to Lady Gaga, Havana Central, and even a nearly naked Orlando Bloom.
At the lecture’s conclusion, Mercer called upon the audience to literally answer the big questions, including “What does it mean to live a good life?” and “What is a good life good for?” Praising the answers of the brave souls who volunteered to represent their discussion groups, Mercer at last pronounced the freshmen free and ready to begin their first year of college.
Unfortunately clothed via the Orlando Bloom Files message board