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c o mme n ts

Shakespeare in London Fantastic! (“Day in the Life of a Short Term in London,” BatesNews, May 18, 2018). I took this Short Term in 1987 with David Nelson, before the Globe was rebuilt, so luckily all our seats were actual seats. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I still can’t believe I got to visit London (and Stratford and Oxford and Brighton) to see all those plays and just-beforethey-were-really-famous performances by Jonathan Pryce, Judi Dench, Jeremy Irons, and Anthony Hopkins — playing Lear and Antony at the same time. Anthony Grima ’89

Brookline, Mass.

I know that most schools offer study abroad, but speaking as a scholarship student who’d never even been on a plane before going to England for JYA in 1974, I think Bates is more committed to it than most. I’m forever grateful to the college for that life-changing experience — and to Dean Judith Isaacson for putting the idea in my head. Marge McCormick Davis ’76

Mount Juliet, Tenn.

James Hepburn Jim Hepburn — “JHep,” or “God” as we sometimes called him — arrived in my English literature survey class with a distracted air, as if he had just blown in on a zephyr straight from the British Isles. He spoke with a slight Anglo accent, a souvenir of his years in England spent researching the life and novels and letters of Arnold Bennett, and passed out a syllabus that was intimidating for a kid from suburban Connecticut. I was terrified of failing in college, and I feared that Hepburn’s impressive intellect might just sweep me out the door of Pettigrew, never to return. In practice, his effect was just the opposite. He fought for the right of each of his students to read by their own lights. So when we were discussing the Wordsworth poem “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” and my classmate Liz Strout pronounced it “nauseating,” I was shocked — this was William Wordsworth! But Jim (as I came to call him, choking on it a little each time) pronounced her “quite right,” and followed with “it is nauseating.” Another shock, and lesson, came when we were

English professor Sanford Freedman adjusts his trademark fedora as he waits for his luggage-lugging students, just before their departure for London to study “Shakespeare in the Theater” during Short Term.


Fall 2018

analyzing the William Blake poem “The Sick Rose,” and he asked us, “What’s that invisible worm in the poem?” Silence and nervous glances all around. “Why, it’s a penis, isn’t it?” he answered. That was a lightbulb moment: Literature, at its best, is about real life. Those were the kinds of discoveries Jim encouraged in all of us — personal reactions, funny takes, human assessments. With his encouragement, I wrote a novel for my senior honors thesis. He encouraged and nurtured what talent I had and stood up for my right to try. He was God, for in one sense he created me as an adult thinker. I never forgot the encouragement Jim gave me, his belief that I had a writing voice worth nurturing. Thanks for that, for everything, Jim. Peter Moore ’78

Fort Collins, Colo. Hepburn’s obituary is in this issue. Editor of Men’s Health magazine for 10 years, Moore taught journalism at Bates during Short Term 2016. — Editor

Just Silence As other university leaders have raised up their voices in protest, Bates has remained silent regarding the forced detention and separation of asylum-seeking migrant children and families at our southern border. I am a public school teacher who has taught the very immigrants who are detained daily at our borders: undocumented, terrified, traumatized youth who are escaping horrific violence in Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. This is our story, an American story of everyone with an immigrant ancestor who sought a better way of life, just as my grandfather and great-grandmother did. My students should be proud that they come from a long line of immigrants who built this country. Now, however, they are facing the

same persecution as those who came before them. My goal has always been to give as many skills as I can to my students so that they, too, can succeed in college or in the workplace, and I would not be able to teach them in the way that I do without the holistic and thoughtful education I received at Bates. I am proud of that education, and a Bates pennant hangs on my wall near the photographs of my immigrant family. Now, however, with its silence, the premise of Bates seems a bit hollow. Lindy Forrester ’00

Jamaica Plain, Mass.

Web Harrison ’63 I was a Marine Corps officer who served with Web Harrison at Camp Pendleton before we all went to Vietnam. I lost touch with Web after active service but reconnected with him in May 2017. We sat and talked about our lives, then and now, and all the wonderful (and tragic) things that happened since 1965. It was as if Web and I had never been out of touch. His soft and easy manner, refreshing candor, and the eloquent and articulate way he spoke — and the likelihood that what he said would be a perfect blend of sagacity and common sense — will be forever enduring. Reading that he was a prominent Bates figure brings home to me all that power. Immortality, a true union with God, is ultimately measured by how we touch people and by how much of our heart and soul is encoded in the human experience. As such, Web’s presence will remain in the consciousness for many generations to come. Robert Wagner Jr.

Houston, Texas

A Bates News feature on Harrison is at web-harrison, and his obituary is in this issue. — Editor

Profile for Bates College

Bates Magazine, Fall 2018  

The issue's cover story looks at Bates alumni and their cool Antarctic doings. The photo, by Billy Collins ’14, shows an equipment operator...

Bates Magazine, Fall 2018  

The issue's cover story looks at Bates alumni and their cool Antarctic doings. The photo, by Billy Collins ’14, shows an equipment operator...