Putney Post Spring 2015
Reunion 2015 June 12-14, 2015
Registration is Open putneyschool.org/reunion
Classes of 1949-51, 1955, 1965, 1969-71, 1995, 1999-2001, 2009-10 For more info: email@example.com
Contents 2 Message from the Head of School A question of balance
4 Cover Artist: Abby Rieser ’74 The personal nature of found
6 News “Madam Secretary” back for more,
Tim Rieser ’70 brokers Cuba deal, MLK Day musical tribute, People’s Climate March, Roland ’15 featured on VPR, and more
11 Making a Difference: Student Organizes Dinner to Raise $2,000 for Morningside Shelter By Howard Weiss-Tisman, reprinted with permission from the Brattleboro Reformer
13 Twenty Five Years of International Programs A Chat With Libby Holmes, Director International Student Programs and ESOL Teacher By Prudence Baird P’11
18 Unplugging, Balance, and Peril: Thoughts on a 24/7 World B y Putney Parent and 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep author Jonathan Crary ’68
21 Alumni Survey Report Facts and figures from you 23 Alumni News Alumni authors, events, and other news
27 Alumni Notes 48 In Memoriam
The Putney School Network
<top> “THE BLUE CITY,” BY ABBY RIESER ’ 74 , WOOD, METAL, 33 1/2
ON THE COVER: <front> “WAY OF THE GODS,” (DETAIL), BY ABBY RIESER ’ 74 , WOOD, METAL, BAKELITE, 30 <back> “CHEMISTRY,” BY ABBY RIESER ’ 74 , WOOD, METAL, 8
17 1/2 INCHES
FARM MANAGER AND HISTORY TEACHER PETE STICKNEY EXPLAINS THE REAL-WORLD ECONOMIC REALITY OF MAPLE SYRUP PRODUCTION TO SENIORS WILL (LEFT) AND ALEX AS IT RELATES TO SLAB WOOD, A BYPRODUCT OF BOARD MILLING THAT IS NO LONGER THE FREE SCRAP FUEL IT USED TO BE THANKS TO NEWER INDUSTRIES SUCH AS WOOD PELLET PRODUCTION FOR HOME AND BUSINESS HEATING.
A Message from the Head of School Dear Putney alumni, parents, and friends, As I finish my eighth year at Putney, I continue to feel enormously lucky to be here, in a place which allows me the opportunity to think broadly about education.
Emily Jones Head of School
One central question for all schools, and Putney in particular, is how much to mirror or explicitly prepare students for the “real world.” Paul Buttenwieser ’56 wrote of this very question in describing Putney in the Harvard Crimson of June 1958*. The question has not changed very much since then, although what is considered to be “real” is different, and perhaps more complex. It touches on cell phones, grades, privilege, curriculum, and almost every other topic we debate here. Although Putney is idyllic in many ways, it is also a place where students have limited resources and limited time, where they have to look after themselves and others, produce food, figure out how to live closely together with people different from them, and make choices about how they will spend their energy. It turns out that all these things are very real, in contrast to a high school in which time is rigidly scripted, where food
appears, dishes disappear, you never see the manure, and most of your classmates come from your own community. We are not as complex as the outside world; but, as John Dewey noted, the role of teachers is to limit complexity so that the need for students to make good decisions, either as individuals or as a community, does not create paralysis as they learn to get things done. Students here juggle many responsibilities, and we have many topics on the table at one time, to be sure; but we are still simpler than the worlds most of them will live in as adults. Ha, a current sophomore, whose social justice project you can read about on page 11, said that she has learned at Putney that it is possible to actually change one’s world—she had seen the problems at home in Ho Chi Minh City but had no idea that it was possible to make change. Jonathan Crary ’68 (p. 18) writes about technology and time, and how few of the natural cycles persist in the 24/7 world. We get praise among progressive schools for our educational use of
technology, but limit the complexity by creating rules about both time and place. As were the students of Paul Buttenwieser’s generation, Putney students are sometimes disappointed by the lack of idealism and agency in their college classmates. He wrote, “Putney’s standards of a complete life are higher than those of most communities . . . [Disappointment] is the necessary price to be paid for having been shown the possibilities of one ‘better world.’” We try to explicitly prepare students for the ethical chaos that is the modern American college, and hope that their idealism survives intact, as well as their understanding of how to get things done in a more complex environment than Putney. Our alumni survey (p. 21) shows clearly that whatever alumni think about the Putney of their era, many have gone on to lead lives shaped by their experiences here. —Emily * Search online for “Putney: Search for the Complete Education” to find Paul’s article.
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN LEARNING ABOUT INTEGRATED CURRICULA AND LEADING PRACTICES IN EDUCATION, LOVING LEARNING IS A WONDERFUL NEW BOOK BY TOM LITTLE AND KATHERINE ELLISON, WHICH RESULTED FROM A TOUR OF 43 PROGRESSIVE SCHOOLS ACROSS THE COUNTRY. THE BOOK COVERS TOPICS IN PROGRESSIVE EDUCATION AND CITES THE PUTNEY SCHOOL IN MANY OF ITS ARGUMENTS IN FAVOR OF REAL-WORLD LEARNING.
“I HAD THIS IDEA THAT THE WORLD WAS A PRETTY UNPLEASANT PLACE. I THOUGHT EDUCATION COULD HELP MAKE CHILDREN LESS GREEDY, LESS SELF-CENTERED. MANY OF THE YOUNG PEOPLE THAT CAME TO THE SCHOOL MIGHT BECOME GOVERNMENT LEADERS WHEN THEY WERE OF AGE. AND THEY MIGHT HAVE A DIFFERENT, MORE ETHICAL SLANT ON OUR PROBLEMS AS A RESULT OF THIS EDUCATION.” —CARMELITA HINTON QUOTED IN “FROM PUTNEY TO PEKING: CARMELITA HINTON AT 82,” BY CHRIS WALLACE, BOSTON GLOBE SUNDAY MAGAZINE, NOVEMBER 26, 1972
Putney Post The Putney School Elm Lea Farm 418 Houghton Brook Road Putney, VT 05346 802-387-5566 www.putneyschool.org Emily H. Jones, Head of School
2014–2015 Trustees Tonia Wheeler P’99, Chair Ira T. Wender P’77, ’89, Vice Chair Randall Smith, Treasurer Katharina Wolfe, Clerk Maeve ’16, Student Trustee Molly ’15, Student Trustee Mike Keim, Faculty Trustee Libby Holmes P’15, ’17, Faculty Trustee Lakshman Achuthan ’84 Wilfredo Benitez ’81 Dinah Buechner-Vischer P’14 Lee Combrinck-Graham ’59 Tim Daly ’74, P’07 Freddy Friedman P’12 Joshua Rabb Goldberg ’75 Stephen Heyneman ’61 Dana Hokin ’84 Emily H. Jones Bill Kellett G’02, ’15 Joshua Laughlin ’82 Christopher Lehmann-Haupt ’52 William New, Jr. Franz Paasche ’79 Peter Pereira ’52 Robert G. Raynolds ’69 Marni Rosner ’69, P’04, ’07 Anne Stephens S’54 James Thompson ’74 Iris Wang P’16
Trustees Emeriti Barbara Barnes ’41 Kate Ganz Belin ’62 Joan Williams Farr ’49 Sarah Gray Gund ’60 Kendall Landis ’42, P’73, ’79 Bici Binger Pettit-Barron ’48, P’77, ’79, G’07
founder: carmelita hinton
The Putney Post is published twice yearly for the alumni, parents, and friends of The Putney School. We welcome your comments and ideas. Please direct your correspondence to: The Editor, Putney Post, Elm Lea Farm, 418 Houghton Brook Road, Putney, VT 05346; 802-387-6238; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Editorial Board: John Barrengos, Don Cuerdon, Alison Frye, Emily Jones, Hugh Montgomery Publisher: Don Cuerdon Director of Communications Editor: Alison Frye Alumni Relations Manager Alumni Relations Manager: Alison Frye Photographs: Don Cuerdon, Aubin ’16, Justin Altman, Tim Dwight ’74, The Putney School archives Design: New Ground Creative Please send address corrections and new phone numbers to: Alumni Office, The Putney School, Elm Lea Farm, 418 Houghton Brook Road, Putney, VT 05346; phone: 802-387-6213; fax: 802-387-5931; email: email@example.com
Abby Rieser ’74 Cover Artist
www.abbyrieser.com By Don Cuerdon and Hope Farley ’04
Few people would find beauty in a metal lathe, and fewer still would find it in the curled metal shavings the tool leaves
behind. Abby Rieser ’74 is one of those rare people. A love of simple machinery and old tools, a curiosity
about how things work, and a determination to make things by hand has made her selfsufficient while building the foundation of her artwork. Found-object assemblage might be the most personal form of sculpture there is. Abby has been collecting items for her work since she was quite young. Unlike stone or wood carving—or even welding metal into art—assemblage requires more than buying raw material that will be shaped by the artist’s hands and tools. Unlike stone, blocks of wood, or chunks of metal, found objects feel more like possessions—more personal, somehow. Abby has spent years working at the Northampton, Massachusetts landfill for several reasons, but largely to stock what she calls her “library” of found objects. Pulled from the trash, these objects take on a new life, which is incorporated into work displayed in galleries across the East Coast. We spent part of a snowy March day with Abby here on campus to chat about her work, and the history and processes that have produced that work. Here’s some of what she had to say: I grew up in Vermont. When I was a young girl, my brothers and I stayed on a farm
<above> “CANARY GOLD,” WOOD, METAL, 21
when our parents went away. My favorite places to play were in the outbuildings that stored retired farm machinery. The first thing I built on my own was a rabbit cage. I wouldn’t stop building it until my mother was saying, “Abby, come upstairs and eat supper.” I must have been eight or something. I brought a lot of stray or hurt animals home when I was a kid, so most of my projects involved building houses for them. My father, who was a physicist, would help me. It was a connection we had. He showed me how to use tools, and he could explain basic engineering. At the time, some people might have found it odd that a girl was interested in these types of activities, but no one close to me ever questioned it. I had a good friend in grade school whose mother was a potter. I would watch her throw pots. I was fascinated by the mechanism—the spinning wheel, the centrifugal force— and the fact that it could yield something so beautiful and useful. She would let me use it, and later on, my parents bought a kit for my own potter’s kick wheel. Denis Devlin ’65 built it for me.The first time I ever stayed up all night and watched the night turn into day was throwing pots on my new wheel.
metalwork. It wasn’t until I applied to the Rhode Island School of Design, with the help of [renowned assemblage artist and sculptor] Varujan Boghosian—who was my mentor and who pushed me to apply—that I took myself seriously as an artist. It was there that I allowed myself to create art with no function besides being beautiful to look at. By making assemblage my art form, it enables me to work in all the mediums I have experience with: hard metals, soft metals, wood, paint, textiles . . . and I find that very fulfilling. I can also indulge my fondness of things that others may not have seen the beauty in and discarded.
<above> “WAY OF THE GODS” (FULL), WOOD, METAL, 33 1/2 X 17 INCHES
I was obsessed with making pottery, and I would sell pots, like kids would sell lemonade, at the end of my driveway. As for collecting things, I suppose it started when my family went on an ocean liner to Europe when I was six. I remember that my brother Tim ’70 collected stones from places we visited and brought them home to display in a little museum he had. I was jealous of his forethought to do such a thing, so I started doing it, as well.
I acquired a love of rusted things, and old things, when I befriended the auto mechanic at the end of my street. When I was 16, I bought a ’49 Ford truck, which I still have, and he helped me fix it up. If we didn’t have a part, we would just make it ourselves. He was the one with the metal lathe. I ended up going to Putney. Bill Hunt, my art teacher, taught me how to silkscreen on fabric, and Robin Campbell, my sculpture teacher, opened up a whole new world of sculpture and
I have built a vast library of materials over many years. Most of the objects I have acquired from the landfill, where I worked for a dozen years. I salvaged some real gems. It was pretty fun—pretty magical—to find these special things. I found a four-hundredyear-old book, an antique Navajo ring, and even a couch covered in ornate Fortuny silk, just to name a few favorite finds. Eighty-five percent of my assemblage materials have been salvaged from the landfill. That would be my guess. But everything in my work is reused, with the exception of some fasteners. Some things I bought at antique stores or flea markets, and a lot has been given to me: a light bulb distressed by the sea that a friend picked up on a beach . . . decorative porch pieces I found in an abandoned barn when I was searching for a lost dog . . . a blue piece of wood, worn down by the
Mojave desert, that my eldest daughter sent from California. Every assemblage I make is a balancing act: color, texture, size, shape, etc. I usually begin with a background that I’m drawn to, and then I start playing—putting things next to, or on top of, each other. I actually spend more time taking things away. This is the most important step in my process: removing objects until balance is achieved and nothing unnecessary remains. There is a sense of time in my work. I like that softness. Nature has changed the objects I use, and I change them further. In order to have a consistent tone in my pieces, I have had to study the effects of time so that I can imitate it, mimicking decay in wood and metal by using patinas and distressing techniques. Each component in my assemblages can stand alone, but together they do something . . . together, they become more complex. When viewing many of my pieces, there’s a sense— even if they don’t actually work as a machine— when you look at them, they look like they might be able to. I’m more attracted to old, worn things than what’s shiny and new, and I personally believe in reuse. In my home, if asked to point out things that I bought brandnew, in most rooms I could only find a handful of items. A friend of my youngest daughter nicknamed our house “the museum.” That said, I am not trying to make a statement about reuse with my artwork. It’s just what I’m attracted to. If others are, too, then I’d like to think it proves something about reuse. PUTNEY POST
Tim Daly ’74 and Téa Leoni ’84 Back for a Second Season of “Madam Secretary” on CBS
Although the numbers vary from year to year, network television programs, on average, have about a 35 percent chance of being renewed for a second season. According to CBS.com, “‘Madam Secretary’ is the number-two new series of the season, averaging 14.9 million viewers and ranking as Sunday’s most-watched scripted broadcast. It has improved the year-ago time period by +49 percent in viewers.” A big congratulations to Téa Leoni and Putney board member Tim Daly for helping to create such a success. For those of you who haven’t tuned in, Téa plays the secretary of state, and Tim is her screen husband. Both actors are acquainted with fan and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright—Tim befriended her at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner some time back, and Téa met her over coffee while researching the part. One of the interesting twists the show offers is a lack of polarization. CBS News quotes Téa, who explains, “We set out in the beginning—I think it was sort of a kicky idea—‘Let’s see how long we can go without ever using the words Democrat or Republican.’” As of the 1 show, 21st episode, they’re sticking with it. If you haven’t seen the give it a look. There’s some real truth in the fiction.
Unseen Force Behind Normalized Relations with Cuba You’ve probably heard the phrase “brokered a deal” and never thought much about who the broker might be. That’s the behind-the-scenes, policy-making life of Tim Rieser ’70, Majority Clerk, Senate State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee. Tim works for Senator Patrick Leahy, D-VT, and rides his bicycle to work when the weather permits. It was on one of those bike rides a few seasons back that Tim thought we should do something about normalizing relations with Cuba. His boss thought it was a good idea, too, as did the president and others; but it takes more than good ideas to move political mountains. Many in Washington—a town that seems more prone to assigning blame than giving credit—are giving Tim credit for the tireless and sometimes secret negotiations that led to the U.S.-Cuba diplomatic relationship changes you read about last fall. The New York Times reported that Senator Leahy told President Obama, “I could not have done it without Tim Rieser.” The deal included trading prisoners convicted of spying and helping a Cuban woman conceive through artificial insemination with her incarcerated husband. The humanitarian narrative is what drove the agenda, thanks to Tim’s efforts in helping each side see the benefits of normalized relations. We’re kind of hoping he gets a notion about world peace, or maybe ending hunger, on his next ride.
MLK Day Concert Every year, rather than taking the day off, The Putney School honors the work and memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with an observance of the national holiday that’s full of workshops, community events, and presentations for students. The day opened with guest speaker Lavinia Currier ’74 recounting her own life experiences in the civil rights movement, from meeting Dr. King when she was young, to her family’s creation of the Taconic Foundation, and their success in raising funds to support many aspects of the civil rights movement. The culmination of day’s events was a choral-orchestral concert presented by the music department. The concert was made possible by a weekend-long artistic residency with the Germantown Concert Chorus, a symphonic choir from Philadelphia, PA. The selected repertoire celebrated the African-American historical narrative—from strife and tragedy to righteous struggle to hope for the future—through the lens of music by African-American composers, including spirituals, anthems, and art songs. The centerpiece of the concert was the deeply affecting “And They Lynched Him on a Tree,” composed in 1941 by William Grant Still to the poetry of Katherine Garrison Chapin. The piece decries the horror of lynching in the south by directly evoking the violence involved, and
expressing the immense grief and pain born from hatred unchecked. The Germantown Concert Chorus was founded in 2011 by Cailin Marcel Manson, who is in the second year of his tenure as director of music at The Putney School. In just four seasons, the Germantown Concert Chorus has become one of the most respected community-based performing ensembles in the greater Philadelphia area, performing with major professional ensembles at premier classical concert venues in Philadelphia: the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the Mann Center, and its own successful two-week choral festival, held each July. Most notably, the choir participated in the 2012 premiere of Hannibal Lokumbe’s Can You Hear God Crying? The Germantown Concert Chorus is also one of the few predominantly African-American community-based choruses in the nation whose repertoire and mission focuses specifically upon the performance of classical music. For Monday’s performance, the Germantown Concert Chorus joined forces with the Putney School Madrigals and the Putney Community Orchestra as well as members of the Bennington County Choral Society. All of these ensembles are directed by Cailin throughout the year, and he conducted the concert. PUTNEY POST
People’s Climate March A Among the tens of thousands of people reported by the Associated Press to be taking part in the People’s Climate March last September 20 in New York City was a group of 52 members of The Putney School community— mostly students, but also faculty, staff members, alumni, and a few parents. The event organizers said, “By end-of-day estimates, the flagship march in New York City drew approximately 400,000 people—more than quadrupling the pre-march estimates of 100,000—just two days before world leaders converge here for an emergency U.N. Climate Summit.” As for outcomes, the organizers said, “Now, on Tuesday, when 125 heads of state gather to talk about the climate crisis, they’ll be doing it with our voices ringing in their ears. They’ll be gathering with the knowledge that more people than ever are taking to the streets, demanding action—not just words—to protect the future of our planet.” Jillian Brelsford ’03, who traveled from Boston for the event, said in an email afterward, “We shared the streets with various luminaries ranging from Leonardo DiCaprio to the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, and were inspired to see evidence all around us that a mass movement for the climate is growing among ordinary people. We marched with mothers’ groups, domestic workers, churches, synagogues, scientists, housing coalitions, district attorneys, nurses, teachers, techies, youth organizations, retirees, and, of course, the required number of vegans in giant banana suits.” As for next steps, Tova ’15 sent this note to the school community: “We are bringing a trip of students to the Brooks Memorial Library [in Brattleboro] to join a climate change meeting centered around the question, ‘After the march, where do we go next?’ This is not only for people who went to the march.” Though it’s unlikely that Putney students will solve the climate change situation, that’s not nearly enough to keep them from trying.
Student Poet Featured on Vermont Public Radio Momentum By Roland ’15 It’s about what you say when your poem is over. But before you can finish the poem, you have to begin it. And beginning a poem is the same as beginning a movement: difficult. It’s an adrenaline-rushing, heart-stopping clamber over the summit of your brain’s mountain of fear and denial that lets you stutter out your beginning few words. The rest of the poem is easy, it’s just gaining the momentum that’s hard. But if the momentum has been building for more than a century, why are we not free yet? Should we not be pushing harder to reach a dream once dreamed? Should we not be taking this movement towards freedom more than one step at a time? Should we not be rushing towards equality with the same speed at which we go down the highway? Way too damn fast? Speaking of Martin Luther King Day, Roland ’15 wrote a poem during a poetry workshop held the morning of MLK Day this year, and posted it on the Young Writers Project website (youngwritersproject.org) where he has been contributing for five years. Vermont Public Radio took note and published a copy entitled “Momentum” on their website. There’s also a recording of him reading it (digital.vpr.net/post/young-writers-projectmomentum), and we’ve printed it for you here:
Or are we scared of the recoil, are we scared that our rocket of peace will blow up right here in our faces? Are we scared of admitting that we don’t know where to go from here? NO? Then where is the movement? Where is our momentum? Where is the freedom? Before we can reach the end of the poem, we have to begin it.
Sports Update team lost by a point in a cliffhanger home game with The Academy at Charlemont on January 29. In true Putney fashion, our girls celebrated at the buzzer as much as if they had won. Our opponents were a little confused, but it was a wonderful moment nonetheless.
The boys’ and girls’ soccer teams played their first home games in two years on our refurbished fields last fall. The 2013-2014 soccer and lacrosse seasons were played entirely on the road, as the root beds of the new playing surfaces were left to grow after the fields had their drainage systems upgraded, grades leveled, and sprinkler systems installed. Perhaps coincidentally, the boys’ soccer team went from last place to first, losing only one game in regular-season play and winning the River Valley Athletic League (RVAL) championship cup. More likely is the fact that last season, the team had great passing, but just couldn’t score enough to win. Coach Abelardo AlmazánVázquez’s patience paid off this year in a team that played selflessly—and, therefore, successfully. Perhaps also coincidentally, the boys’ varsity basketball team won the RVAL championship at home on February 12 against a hard-charging Eagle Hill squad
that held the lead only for a few moments at the start of the first half, though the score was close for the entire game. There has been talk that perhaps our Putney boys have outgrown the league, but that’s what gets said about every RVAL team that has a stellar season, and is more a function of school size (RVAL schools are all on the small side) than successful programs. This year, we had the combination of Coach Lou Canelli (who has been working with the team for several seasons now), a highly motivated and skilled starting line, a deep bench, and the right plays to stay on top in a season that had no losses. Next year, we’ll be a different team. The girls had great soccer and basketball seasons, as did the boys’ and girls’ crosscountry running and ski teams. No championship cups were won, but the spirit of playing for an increased joy in living was evident everywhere. The best example may have been when the Putney girls’ basketball
Putney School Student Helps Raise $2,000 for Morningside Huynh continued with project even though assignment was over
Last spring, Huynh, 15, was enrolled in Humans in the Natural World, and as part of the class, the students were expected to take on a project to address a social justice issue. Huynh looked around at some of the issues her classmates were covering, and while she believed global warming should be addressed, she wanted to do something that could make a difference right away, in her own community. Huynh is from Ho Chi Minh City, where homelessness is a challenge; and when she heard
WITH TEACHER, DAWN ZWEIG (LEFT FROM HA), EXECUTIVE CHEF MARTY BRENNANSAWYER, AND VOLUNTEERS
BY HOWARD WEISS-TISMAN Ha Huynh knew early on in her class at The Putney School that she wanted to do something special for her social activism project.
HA ’17 (CENTER, WITH BRAID)
FROM THE PUTNEY SCHOOL AND THE LOCAL COMMUNITY
about Brattleboro’s homeless population, she decided to develop a project that would help raise money for Morningside Shelter. She wanted to organize a fundraising dinner in Putney, and sell tickets for a traditional Vietnamese meal. All of the money would go to Morningside.
WHO RALLIED TO HELP WITH THE DINNER
Her ambitions, however, were larger than the project for the ninth grade course. School ended in May, but when she returned to Putney in the fall, she began organizing the meal—even though her grade had already been recorded. On Monday, January 26, Huynh sold out the dinner at The Gleanery restaurant, and raised $2,000 for Brattleboro’s full-time homeless shelter.
“There was a moment when I looked around, and the restaurant was full, and I thought, Everyone is here because of my project,” said Huynh. “Everyone is here working super hard for my something that used to be an idea. All of these people paid for tickets for something that used to be just sketches on paper. It feels really amazing.” When Huynh started working on the project last year, she thought she would be able to get the work done during the class; but contacting donors, developing a menu, and working on the advertising took longer than she anticipated with all of her other year-end responsibilities. She did hold a food drive in Putney for the Putney Foodshelf in order to meet the requirements of the class, but she said she never gave up on the idea of organizing a meal and trying to raise a significant donation for Morningside Shelter. “Ha’s project was definitely too big to fit into the timeline last spring,” her teacher Dawn Zweig said. “She finished the project not because she needed to complete an old assignment, but because she wanted to do good in the world, and she did it in addition to all of her other classes and responsibilities here at school this fall.”
“I feel like homelessness is something I can do something about . . .When all of that money goes to the shelter, I feel like I am contributing to something. I can feel like I am helping.”
Huynh chose homelessness as the issue she wanted to focus on last year, before she realized there was a year-round shelter in Brattleboro. She originally thought she would organize a single meal for the people in the shelter, but then decided to plan the meal and sell tickets to raise money. “I read on their website that they were the only year-round shelter in southern Vermont, and that they were always in need,” Huynh said. “And so I thought, Hey, I can support that.”
She planned a traditional Vietnamese meal, one which she said she wanted to taste like the food her family would serve for dinner. The Gleanery donated its kitchen and dining room for the event, Harlow Farm gave 30 chickens, and the Putney General Store donated food. Putney School Chef Marty Brennan-Sawyer tracked down some hardto-find items, slaughtered the chickens, and found time for his staff to help out, too. Huynh and the students started preparing food the Friday before the Monday meal, ducking into the Putney School kitchen in between classes and activities to cut vegetables and prepare sauces. On Monday, all of the food was trucked down to The Gleanery, and even with overblown reports of a massive snowstorm, all of the $40 tickets were sold and the dining room was filled. “I feel like homelessness is something I can do something about,” said Huynh. “When all of that money goes to the shelter, I feel like I am contributing to something. I can feel like I am helping.” Huynh said she learned a lot about organizing and advertising as well as cooking. At the end of the 2014 school year, she realized she would have to put off the event, probably until after the holidays, but she said she never considered giving up. “I came so far, and I wasn’t going to drop it. I really wanted to do it. I’m glad I didn’t drop it,” Huynh said. “I really enjoyed doing this. If I could do it again, I would. I feel like I did a good thing, which is nice.” This story originally ran on the front page of the February 5, 2015 edition of the Brattleboro Reformer. It is reprinted here with permission.
Around the World with Libby Holmes: the Director of Putney’s International Student Program Talks about 25 Years of Living at the Center of Putney’s Global Village
by Prudence Baird P’11 PUTNEY POST
AN INTERNATIONAL AMBASSADORS MEETING IN THE REYNOLDS BUILDING <previous page> STUDENTS WAVE SPARKLERS BEFORE THE FINAL FIREWORKS DISPLAY IN HONOR OF LUNAR NEW YEAR LAST FEBRUARY—AN EVENT COORDINATED BY THE INTERNATIONAL AMBASSADORS
Reflected light from the snow outside streams through the windows, illuminating a scene that could be from almost any classroom in the U.S.: students unpacking backpacks and removing their parkas, hats, and gloves. Wooden desks, pushed together to form one large table, are quickly scattered with laptops, iPhones, and notebooks. There is, however, one exception to this allAmerican scene: the nine students chatting away in near-perfect, teenage-jargon-inflected English are all from Asia. Eight are from China, and one hails from South Korea. While The Putney School has had international students in attendance since its founding in 1935, the school formally organized an international student program shortly after the arrival of Libby Holmes, who this year celebrates 25 years at Putney. A few years after her arrival, she was named director of the International Student Program. Over the years, and together with other teachers, Libby has shaped and expanded the program that directly serves about ten percent of the student body, but through its efforts, benefits all. Today, the International Student Program is a three-pronged tour de force offering English language training and academic support, oversight of the international admissions process, and supervision of the international ambassadors, eight hand-selected students who work almost
The chatter of cheerful students greets Libby Holmes when she joins her Monday afternoon class, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL): Structure and Use, in a cozy corner room in the Huseby dorm’s rabbit warren of a basement. year-round to build bridges among the many cultures represented at Putney. To find out more about the International Student Program’s nuts and bolts, the Putney Post spoke with Libby shortly after the international ambassadors organized and put on the Lunar New Year-themed 2015 Snow Ball.
PP: You began your career at Putney as an ESL instructor. Today, the English language class that freshman and sophomore English learners take is called ESOL. What is the difference? LH: ESL, or English as a Second Language, presumes that English is the only other language our students speak. In reality, many of our international students speak several languages. This is why a more accurate term is “English for Speakers of Other Languages,” or ESOL. PP: How did you prepare for your role as director of the International Student Program? LH: After receiving my Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Miami University in Ohio, I taught ESOL in Boston at a number of private language schools. I loved the work and my students, but I wanted to learn more about how to explain English language structure to my students. To learn how to teach English as a language, I pursued a master’s degree from the School for International Training (SIT) here in Brattleboro. After I completed my master’s coursework at SIT,
I heard that The Putney School had a job opening for an ESL teacher. I applied, and was assigned to work with students from Japan and Mexico.
they learn about Putney’s progressive educational philosophy, it articulates something that they were seeking without knowing it had a name.
I have learned more about teaching, over the years, from my students than from any academic program. I often tell my students, “You are my greatest teachers.”
Most interviews are done on Skype, but increasing numbers are done in person. It is wonderful to see the positive response prospective students and their families have to Putney, our school community, our classes, our campus, and our overall setting.
More than Just a Second Language
PP: Do students from other countries usually attend Putney for all four years?
PP: What is the range of nationalities represented by Putney’s international students over the years, since you came to Putney?
LH: International students come for one, two, three, or four years. New students who are still learning English take part in our ESOL program, which includes a language-credit course called ESOL: Structure and Usage. We also offer a sheltered American history course as well as a sheltered literature and writing course.
LH: Since its founding, The Putney School has had students from almost every continent. I’ve taught many students from Asia; a number of students from both South and Central America; as well as students from Europe, including Russia. When I first arrived, the Pacific Rim enrollment came mostly from Japan. As economies in the region changed, we saw more Korean students in the mid- and late-1990s through the early 2000s. The Chinese student enrollment has increased in recent years due to a couple of factors. Whenever a country’s economic outlook is bright, as is China’s, the U.S. State Department issues more student visas for study in America. Secondly, the more Chinese families are learning about the benefits of progressive education, the more they are exploring schools that offer creative, collaborative, and flexible learning environments. There are not a lot of these schools currently in China—and The Putney School is becoming more widely known there now.
PP: How does a student in another country discover The Putney School? LH: While the Internet has allowed The Putney School message to reach the world, our most qualified referrals often come from Putney graduates and their families. Other referrals come through educational consultants overseas who have, through their enrolled students, come to appreciate the Putney ethos and our program. Those familiar with Putney guide the right students our way.
PP: And “sheltered” means? LH: Sheltered means that the coursework is taught in an accessible way, using many modalities to help the student master the material. These are content-based classes in literature and history with gradually-more-complex reading and writing assignments. Our international students may need support learning the necessary academic tools for an American classroom—how to participate in a discussion, how to take notes, how to take essay tests, as well as support in research and using the library. We also teach them how to pace themselves for Putney’s project-based assignments. The goal of this transitional environment is not only to help our students learn content in the humanities, but also to help them develop the academic skills they will need in mainstream Putney classes in the years ahead.
PP: Do international students continue with the
While The Putney School has had international students in attendance since its founding in 1935, the school formally organized an international student program shortly after the arrival of Libby Holmes, who this year celebrates 25 years at Putney.
INTERNATIONAL CAFÉ, HARVEST FESTIVAL
ESOL class in grammar and usage after their first year?
LH: This course presently is offered for one year—sometimes two, when needed. Students enrolled in this ESOL course receive foreign language credit.
Only recently have Asian families sought out Putney for progressive education per se. Although it’s not a familiar concept to most families, when
International Ambassador Program
The International Ambassador Program is one of the school’s student leadership programs, and it offers students the chance to be creative, to be mentors, to learn organizational skills, and to plan fun events for the campus.
PP: Can you talk a bit about the International Ambassador Program that you oversee?
American Studies class put on a demonstration and explained the rules of American football. I think a lot of us—not just the international kids—benefited from that!
LH: This is one of the school’s student leadership programs, and it offers students the chance to be creative, to be mentors, to learn organizational skills, and to plan fun events for the campus.
By the way, this assembly generated enough interest in badminton for several of the student players/presenters to organize a new badminton club on campus.
The objective of the international ambassadors is to bring people together to create events that build bridges between the different cultures at our school. Besides the obvious goal of building bridges between international and domestic students, they create events that bring together international students from different countries, as well as day students and boarders, athletes and artists, and so forth.
The ambassadors also organize the menu for the International Café at the annual Harvest Festival. On weekends, the ambassadors might host a dance or karaoke party.
The international ambassadors’ work begins in the summer before the start of the school year. They reach out to new international students, answering any questions they might have about student life at Putney. They then help organize the international students’ orientation, which happens a few days before the campus opens for new domestic students. The ambassadors create events throughout the school year. They have a booth every Friday at the KDU to teach Putney students about other countries. One recent booth featured an exhibit of hats from around the world, and Putney students had to guess to which country each hat belonged. Another time, the ambassadors hosted a tea-tasting event where Putney students tasted teas from many countries. The ambassadors’ Friday booth is different every week. The ambassadors also put on larger events, such as assemblies and presentations. On Valentine’s Day, the ambassadors hosted an international fashion show in the Currier Center in which students wore their country’s traditional dress. [Editor’s note: Search “Putney School international fashion show” on YouTube to see a video.] Another recent international ambassador assembly took place in the Field House, where the ambassadors recruited students to demonstrate sports that are not commonly played competitively in the States: badminton, table tennis, and Taekwondo. At this same assembly, members of Pete Stickney’s
PP: What about their contributions to traditional Putney events, like the Snow Ball? LH: This year’s Snow Ball was a major project because the Lunar New Year fell just a few days before Snow Ball. The ambassadors planned the dinner menu with foods from around the Pacific Rim, and decorated the KDU with Chinese lanterns, candles, red tablecloths, and other decorations. As a prelude to the weekend’s festivities, the ambassadors organized the now-annual Lunar New Year fireworks show. This occurred at the actual start of the New Year, which fell on the Thursday before the Snow Ball. The dinner was followed by a contra dance in the Currier Center, a nice blend of New England culture with the cultures celebrating the Lunar New Year.
PP: Can Putney students from the U.S. serve as ambassadors, as well? How are ambassadors chosen? LH: Any Putney student can apply to be an ambassador. International ambassadors are selected the same way student dorm heads or work committee heads are chosen. First, students write and submit an essay telling us why they would like to be an international ambassador, including telling us what ideas, experiences, and skills they would bring to the position. Next, my colleague Marie and I interview the student candidates. Finally, we take our recommendations to the group of Putney administrators and teachers who make the final decision regarding all selected student leadership positions, including student dorm heads, work committee members, and student admissions committee members.
International Experiences off the Hill PP: Do international students go off-campus for activities in the surrounding communities of Southern Vermont? Do they travel around New England, or even further? LH: There are some opportunities for busy Putney students to be involved beyond campus. Some may be related to class projects. Here is an example. Every other year, some of our international students prepare cultural lessons for third- and fourth-graders at The Grammar School in Putney. This year, nine of my ESOL students prepared activity booths, a lesson, and a “passport” stamp for these children who are just beginning a much broader cultural study. Among other things, the elementary students learned to write their names in Korean, use chopsticks, identify and try on clothing from different Chinese ethnic groups, and write some simple Chinese characters with a calligraphy brush. It’s a rewarding event for our English-learner students, because they become the teachers and the experts. The younger students enjoy having personalized attention from teenagers.
LH: The Putney School education teaches our students to be self-reliant, to trust their creativity, and to recognize the value of community and cooperation. As one of my students says, “At Putney, it’s about the process, not about the prizes.” Putney teaches all of our students to depend on each other, to respect hard work, and to learn to live with people who come from different backgrounds. The Putney School gives students the opportunity to find and trust their own voice. Because of this, many of our international students have gone on to leadership roles at their universities, and in professions that rely on their language and cross-cultural skills. To volunteer to host an international student over one of Putney’s shorter breaks, contact Libby at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Putney School education teaches our students to be self-reliant, to trust their creativity, and to recognize the value of community and cooperation. As one of my students says, “At Putney, it’s about the process, not about the prizes.”
Another important aspect of getting to know our American culture is home placement with Putney families during school holidays that are too short for the students to go home to their native countries. We are always looking for families who are eager and willing to host a guest from another country for mid-term breaks and American holidays like Thanksgiving. Alumni in the northeast who are interested in being a host family should contact me at the International Student Program office.
PP: What happens after graduation? Do Putney’s international students stay in the United States for post-secondary education? Does the International Student Program help them apply to universities? LH: Many of our students go on to American universities and even graduate schools to continue their education in the States. PP: How does The Putney School prepare international students to go out into the world after graduation? THE ANNUAL “CHOPSTICK CHALLENGE” IS ONE OF THE FUN WAYS THAT THE INTERNATIONAL AMBASSADORS INTEGRATE THE CULTURES REPRESENTED BY THE STUDENT BODY AND FACULTY.
Unplugging, Balance, and Peril:
Thoughts on a 24/7 World
by Jonathan Crary ’68
JONATHAN CRARY ’ 68 DURING HIS DAYS AS A PUTNEY STUDENT
Jonathan Crary ’68 is a professor of modern art and theory at Columbia University, and the author of 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep, which examines the effects of the constant flow of information in today’s culture on individuals, and how that endless attentiveness shapes our perceptions and routines. He’s also the parent of two current Putney sophomores.
Probably like many other families with Putney connections, my wife and I made the choice to raise our children in a home without television, video games, or other screen distractions. Whether or not this decision had any long lasting consequences, we’ll likely never know, and our decade-long experiment ended abruptly when our boys hit middle school. As parents, we had few options other than to acquiesce to the world of Google Docs and Internet “research.” Doing homework on a laptop suddenly meant a dizzying proximity, with a flick of the finger, to the infinity of diversions online. Digital content of all kinds flooded into more and more areas of their lives, and limits became difficult, if not impossible, to establish. When considering and comparing high schools, we understood clearly that computers and other Internet-based tools were part of a 21stcentury Putney School, but we nonetheless felt that Putney offered a rich set of counterbalancing
experiences not available together at other schools: the farm and the land, the work program, a focus on sustainability, extensive studio arts, music, and a de-emphasis on competition, to name just a few (and school Wi-Fi is turned off at 11 p.m.). Reconnecting with Putney as a parent came around the same time as a shift in the direction of my own research and writing. Coming out of my historical studies on perception and visual technologies, I began developing ideas for a book about some of the many ways in which the texture of daily life (including that of my children) has been transformed over the past two decades, and continues to be transformed in the present. In a book-length essay, I wanted to take a broad look at the breaking down of boundaries between public and private worlds, the blurring of work and nonwork time, the making of shopping into a new form of labor, and most of all, the ways in which the experience of time is becoming unhinged from the shared patterns of social spaces and the natural world. I started to focus on the phenomena in our contemporary world that now occur as endless, uninterrupted activity, whether it’s production, extraction of natural resources, accumulation of money or things, messaging, shopping, gaming, or responding to stimuli of all kinds. We are all adapting, in various ways, to a world without downtime—one that is always switched on. I chose the catchphrase “24/7” for the title of my book [see Alumni Authors, p. 24]. It refers both to the nonstop functioning of global markets and networks and to the encroaching demands they make on our lives at all hours. In fundamental ways, we are being pressured into redefining who we are in order to become compatible with their unending operations. 24/7 is an unbroken, indifferent time with no intervals of stillness or silence, no pauses for rest or withdrawal. It’s about a condition of permanent exposure, of being plugged in, of always being available, in which little can remain truly intimate or private. The one important experience that is exempt from 24/7 is, of course, sleep, and I explore the notion that human beings (or any living things) will always be in conflict with the demands of a 24/7 world. Sleep is a crucial reminder of the ways we are tied, physically and spiritually, to the rotations of the earth and the oscillations of daylight and night, activity and rest, work and recuperation.
For thousands of years, human societies have been organized around the cycles of sun, moon, and the seasons of the year, but in our 24/7 present, with the irrelevance of those cycles, there is no time for the recovery and regeneration of living systems. We see the consequences of this excess everywhere now: the overfishing and acidification of oceans, the degradation of the soil, the destruction of biodiversity, the pollution of lakes and rivers, the leveling of rainforests, and the ceaseless burning of fossil fuels. An especially saddening example is today’s factory farms, in which animals are confined in cramped, squalid spaces with artificial lighting kept on 24 hours a day as a means of boosting productivity. The effects of a 24/7 world are not only damaging to the environment, but also to the fabric of social and communal life. The more one is immersed in cyberspace, the more one succumbs to the illusion of individual self-sufficiency and control, insulated from the presence and needs of others. Just as the high speed of digital devices supports the fantasy of a time without waiting and accustoms us to an instant response to our mechanical commands, it simultaneously undermines the patience and deference crucial to the possibility of community cooperation, sharing, or consensus-building. It erodes the patience and care to listen to others and wait one’s turn to speak, both of which are essential but now-threatened forms of civility and sociability. Looking back, one of the important features of my Putney experience was Town Meeting Day in early March, when the entire school divided up into groups, each attending a town meeting somewhere in southern Vermont. As a teenager, I wasn’t able to fully appreciate their significance, but I’ve retrospectively thought about those days in relation to the present time, when participation in political life, if it still exists at all, is often reduced to a quick click in response to prepackaged solicitations or candidates. The town meeting, as quaint and outmoded as it may seem to some, is perhaps the most radical expression of direct democracy. Its essence is face-to-face decision making, in which people openly present who they are without the masks of screen names. It is a vision of community governance based upon participation rather than passivity, where choices affecting the group are not left to “experts” or
JONATHAN’S SONS, NOW SOPHOMORES AT PUTNEY
representatives. The philosopher Hannah Arendt lamented that the format of the New England town meeting failed to take hold as America grew and expanded westward; she called it the “lost treasure of the revolution.” She also noted that small-scale forms of self-governance tended to appear spontaneously in moments of crisis. Certainly, this is happening today among economically-disenfranchised peoples in southern Europe, Latin America, and other regions where informal neighborhood and workplace assemblies are organizing for social and political change outside of established frameworks. Social media platforms may have the potential to mobilize large numbers around a single issue or one-off event, but they are clearly incapable of nurturing a lived understanding of human interdependence or strengthening a sense of responsibility for seeking the common good. To voice these arguments, as I do in my book, sometimes brings on the reprimand of being a technophobe or Luddite. Of course, these labels are absurd, because there are, for better or worse, no Luddites anywhere; and all human beings use technologies of one sort or another. What’s notable is the particular target of this name-calling. It is rarely directed at someone who chooses to ride a bicycle rather than drive a car, or someone who opposes nuclear power plants. Rather, it’s a disparagement most often put into play when one resists the role of obedient consumer, when one questions the ever-expanding array of devices and Internet applications that make enormous claims on our time, attention, and integrity of interpersonal experience. The digital products and services relentlessly promoted by huge corporations are fraudulently posed as synonymous with the all-inclusive category of “technology,” and even a partial refusal of them is distorted into opposition
WONDERFUL THINGS HAPPEN WHEN WE UNPLUG
to any technology at all. The cynical rebuke of technophobia works to intimidate and close off any ethical or social questions about the tools we are told to buy and use. It also aims to prevent the imagination of alternate communication networks that wouldn’t be shaped by a global economy based upon unlimited growth and profits—that wouldn’t force us to become consumers of an endless sequence of glossy products that quickly become obsolete and disposable, and that wouldn’t foster a hollow culture of self-absorption and self-promotion. In 1966, during my sophomore year at Putney, students under the direction of drama teacher Phil Gushee staged a memorable production of Bertolt Brecht’s The Measures Taken, a play set during the Chinese Revolution. In this uncompromising and rarely performed work, Brecht exhorts his audience to weigh the relative importance of individual autonomy and desires, on the one hand, and the overriding interests of the group or collective on the other. These challenging issues held a heightened importance in the 1960s, but clearly, they continue to be debated within the Putney community of today, as I’ve learned from conversations with faculty and staff over the past two years. However, in the current political climate in North America, any suggestion that there might be limits on an individual’s freedom in the pursuit of material self-interest is excluded from mainstream consideration. The only possibility of confronting the two most urgent problems of our time—unsparing economic inequality and looming environmental catastrophe—requires speaking and acting on behalf of a finite and fragile world shared in common, restoring sustainable patterns of living to both individuals and communities.
Alumni Survey Results We were delighted by the broad participation in the survey we conducted earlier this year. We heard from more than 800 alumni, meaning more than 20% responded, far exceeding our hopes. But now that we have your thoughts, how can we use this information? What can we learn? On this page, we share some information and a “wordle,” a compilation of the most frequently used words in your responses to the question “What has Putney meant to you?” The bigger the word, the more frequently it appeared in your long and short essays about the school. As you can probably imagine, your responses showed strong opinions, great enthusiasm, and many recurring themes. There were many endorsements and some difficult insights. More than one person noted, “Since I left Putney, I’ve never been bored.”
We were impressed with the time many took either to celebrate the short and long-term impact of the Putney experience and/or to identify—candidly and constructively—specific issues that proved problematic. Even those who had a much-less-than-ideal time at Putney often noted the many unusual sides of a Putney education that they continue to value and even cherish. It’s a powerful testament to Putney that alumni from nine different decades absorb the good that this place offers, and carry it with them. Thank you all for your time and thoughtfulness. We’ll continue to update you on what we learn, but wanted to give you a quick snapshot in this issue. In the meantime, here’s to Putney, in all of its idealism and imperfection. Alison Frye, April 2015
What did alumni like about Putney? The school’s founding principles have strongly influenced many of the life choices nearly all of you have made. Many feel the school has had a lifelong positive impact on them and their families. Some noted that the historical language of Putney’s fundamental beliefs (Carmelita Hinton, 1954) do not reflect the gender equity we continually strive for. The vast majority—but certainly not all—of those who responded are quite passionate about their Putney experience. A number of alumni from the school’s “middle years” (1965-1990) expressed special concerns about a lack of adult leadership and sensitivity, pointing out a variety of challenges they and their friends had faced here. We are reaching out to people who told us they had a particularly difficult time.
The largest words represent those occurring most often in response to “What has Putney meant to you?”
4 Work Program � Very enthusiastic 5 Project Week � Somewhat enthusiastic 6 Visual Arts � Neutral Very � Somewhat unenthusiastic Somewhat enthusiastic 7 Long Fall/Long Spring � Very unenthusiastic enthusiastic � Blank How would you describe 8yourDorm Life Ranking Of Top Ten Aspects current feeling for Putney? 9 Outdoor Program That Most Influenced Alumni 10 Performing Arts Overall Enthusiasm 1 Academics note, numbers don’t add up to 100% be VeryPlease unenthusiastic Somewhat 2 Sing we asked everyone to choose the two most influent Blank unenthusiastic 3 Farm Overall Enthusiasm Compiled by Class Decades 4 Work Program 80 % Neutral 570% Project Week 60% � Very enth � Female 650% Visual Arts � Somewha 40 % � Male 30 % � Neutral � Very N/A 720 %Long Fall/Long Spring � Somewha Somewhat % enthusiastic 810 Dorm Life � Very unen 0% enthusiastic � Blank 9 Outdoor Program 10 Performing Arts k
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Please note, numbers don’t add up to 100% because we asked everyone to choose the two most influential programs.
For Putney complied by Class Decades.
by Class Decades Overall Enthusiasm Compiled by Class Decades
Overall Enthusiasm Co
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Very enthusiastic Somewhat enthusiastic Neutral Somewhat unenthusiastic Very unenthusiastic Blank
— — — — — —
80 % 70% 60% 50% 40 % 30 % 20 % 10 % 0%
100 % � Female � Male 80% � N/A 60%
— Very enthusiastic — Somewhat enthusiastic — Neutral
Overall Enthusiasm Compiled
ecause tial programs.
Please let us know when you have (or plan to have) your work published. Please consider donating a copy to our school library. Contact Alison Frye at 802-387-6273 or email@example.com. We wish these and other present and future alumni authors and musicians well in their endeavors.
from the pre-1939 cultural trends that preceded it, nor did it stand apart from the postwar world after 1945. In this extraordinary book, many of the major writers of the time—Samuel Beckett, Richard Hillary, Norman Mailer, Pearl S. Buck, James Jones, Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, and others—are framed in an entirely new context.
THE NAMIBIAN WAR OF INDEPENDENCE,
WALL, WATCHTOWER, AND PENCIL STUB
DIPLOMATIC, ECONOMIC AND MILITARY CAMPAIGNS
John R. Carpenter ’54
Richard Dale ’50 McFarland, 2014 The decolonization of Namibia was delayed from 1966 to 1989—the period of the war of independence— pitting Namibian nationalists against the South African minority-ruled regime. This book describes the diplomatic, economic and military campaigns of the Namibian and South African belligerents, and draws a comparison with several other wars of decolonization. Using data from parliamentary debates, the aftermath of the Namibian war is examined in the context of the newly independent nation. The book provides a basis for further investigation of the decolonization process.
urban gardener. It’s as if he has taken the microcosm of his own backyard, with the exotic, piebald nomenclature of its myriad insects and flora, and expanded it into the macrocosm of a poet who has read deep and studied hard from the many schools available to him. Think Neruda with a John Muir accent. —Ivan Argüelles, author of Ars Poetica
Yucca Publishing, 2014 Even as World War II raged on, contemporary writers were riveted by its every twist and turn. One of the war’s most fascinating features was its tendency to constant change, surprises, and reversals of fate. It ensured that wartime writers, who did not yet know its outcome, would adopt entirely spontaneous points of view free of historical hindsight. This remarkable book presents the war in its entirety, with all of its force, suspense, and drama. With exceptional clarity, it shows how the extreme events of war challenged writers, inspired their art, and produced a modern legacy of literature. Wall, Watchtower, and Pencil Stub makes a convincing case for the permanent centrality of World War II in our present-day culture, literature, and history. The war was not separate
GRANDPA’S SYLLABLES John Oliver Simon ’60 White Violet Press, 2014 John Oliver Simon, the mythical Berkeley bard of California Street (where he has lived for a lifetime, since the fabled ’60s) offers us a new collection of poems—nearly all sonnets. It stands as a formalistic feat in this day of radical experimentalism and banal workshop lookalikes. The sonnets are playful, indulging in scientific neologisms and lyrical musings about Simon’s own mortality, his granddaughter, and the lush, rampant observations of an
THE TORCH SINGER, PART TWO: AN ALMOST PERFECT ENDING Robert Westbrook ’63 Swan’s Nest Canada, 2014 Book Two of The Torch Singer trilogy, An Almost Perfect Ending, is a suspense novel that continues the story of the rise and fall of Sonya Saint-Amant, a B-Singer in Hollywood in the 1940s and ’50s. An Almost Perfect Ending opens with sultry heroine Sonya Saint-Amant
at the height of her career: a glittering, triumphant appearance at Ciro’s, clubhouse of the stars in 1950s Hollywood, where everyone wants to claim her as their friend. In 1954, popular music is undergoing a revolution in which all but the biggest stars will be cast aside. With her looks and popularity fading, Sonya believes she has come up with the perfect plan to save her career, if only she can maneuver a tricky path through the dangers that beset her: a vortex of politics, sex, blackmail, and murder. The Daily Mail calls it “A masterpiece of storytelling. A book of constant intrigue which creates that delicious paradox of it being immediately clear that nothing is ever quite as it seems. . . . An Almost Perfect Ending ranks alongside the best Hollywood noir. It takes the reader on a journey which leads relentlessly towards a final, fatal conclusion.”
Jonathan Crary examines how this interminable non-time blurs any separation between an intensified, ubiquitous consumerism and emerging strategies of control and surveillance. He describes the ongoing management of individual attentiveness and the impairment of perception within the compulsory routines of contemporary technological culture. At the same time, he shows that human sleep, as a restorative withdrawal that is intrinsically incompatible with 24/7 capitalism, points to other, more formidable and collective refusals of world-destroying patterns of growth and accumulation.
Verso, 2014 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep explores some of the ruinous consequences of the expansive, non-stop processes of twenty-first-century capitalism. The marketplace now operates through every hour of the clock, pushing us into constant activity, eroding forms of community and political expression, and damaging the fabric of everyday life.
THE SOCIAL PROFIT HANDBOOK
Julia Richardson ’07
This book is for nature poets, burgeoning natural scientists, backyard adventurers, creative artists, young contemplators, and kids who just love animals and nature.
Lillian Harris ’00
Jonathan Crary ’68
ANIMAL OBSERVATION SKETCHBOOK FOR CALIFORNIA NATIVE WILDLIFE Joyful Confident Flow Press, 2014
MONHEGAN NATURE GUIDE: NATURAL HISTORY AND GUIDED HIKES ON ONE OF MAINE’S WILDEST OFFSHORE ISLANDS 24/7: LATE CAPITALISM AND THE ENDS OF SLEEP
Monhegan Associates, Inc. 2015 A full-color nature guide perfect for toting on trails, the Monhegan Nature Guide is an essential resource for anyone exploring the Monhegan wild lands: day-trippers, annual summer visitors, and island residents alike. Whether it’s your first or 500th time on the island, this guide will enhance your experience by illuminating the great diversity and abundance of wildlife to which the island is home. Inside, you will find five guided hikes; animal and plant identification; human, ecological, and geological histories; recommendations on where to go birdwatching; an appendix that includes suggested readings; a complete list of island wildflowers; a bird checklist; an illustrated glossary; and more than 200 drawings and photographs. To purchase, visit monheganassociates.org/the-calendar/.
Kids need time in nature to grow and cultivate wisdom. There are mysteries and an understanding of life that come only through simply being in nature and following its rhythms over time. Sketching and observation are excellent ways to cultivate a relationship with nature and knowledge of oneself. The Animal Observation Sketchbook for California Native Wildlife invites children to explore the wonderful landscape of animal wildlife around them and in their own backyards through observation and sketching. Fun, easy-to-access tips on the art of observation and creative technique, colorfully imaginative illustrations, entertaining sketches, and observational notes fill the pages, as well as plenty of empty pages for children to follow their inspirations and experiment. Search for the trail of the cottontail rabbit, barn owl, California tiger salamander, acorn woodpecker, and western pond turtle—and most of all, have fun! This book has a welcoming, accessible feel for children, and the knowledge that someone made it with their hands while in the act of exploration is wonderful, too.
Chelsea Green Publishing, 2015 The Social Profit Handbook offers those who lead, govern, and support mission-driven organizations and businesses new ways to assess their impact in order to improve future work rather than merely judge past performance. For-profit institutions measure their success primarily by monetary gains. Nonprofit institutions are different; they aim for social profit. How do you measure the success of these social-profit institutions, where missions focus upon the well-being of people, place, and planet? Drawing upon decades of leadership in schools as well as the foundation and nonprofit worlds, author David Grant offers strategies—from creating mission time to planning backwards to constructing qualitative assessment rubrics—that help organizations take assessment back into their own hands, and improve their work as a result. His insights, illustrated by numerous case studies, make this book a unique organizational development tool for a wide range of nonprofit organizations and emerging, mission-based social venture businesses such as lowprofit corporations and B Corps. The Social Profit Handbook presents assessment and evaluation not as ends in themselves, but as the path toward achieving what matters most in the social sector. The result: more benefits to society and stronger, more unified, more effective organizations prepared to make the world a better place.
Alumni Events As of this writing, we’re still floating from the March Putney Sing events in Philadelphia and New York City. Philadelphia was intimate and packed with energy, and New York City was boisterous and beautiful. Our music director, Cailin Manson, delivered two special evenings, but none of that magic would have happened without the alumni, parents, friends, and current students who attended. Thank you all for singing
with us. To quote Liz Pardue ’01, “If your high school alumni events don’t involve a hundred people turning out to sing a song about a 15thcentury battle in four-part harmony at the top of their lungs (not to mention the sea chanteys, shape-note songs, medieval rounds, and protest songs), I kinda feel sorry for you.” Check out YouTube (search “Putney Sing 2015 NYC”) for a wonderful series of 11 short videos taken at the New York Sing by Tim Dwight ’74
YOUNG ALUMNI LEAD THE GROUP IN A STIRRING SINGING OF “NKOSI SIKELEL’ iAFRIKA”
WHAT’S BETTER TO DO IN NEW YORK ON A SATURDAY NIGHT THAN SING?
The Putney School Network
ALUMNI AND FRIENDS GATHERED TO SING IN PHILADELPHIA AND MADE A LOT OF JOYOUS NOISE
HARVEST FESTIVAL IS STILL GOING STRONG AFTER 80 YEARS. A LOT OF ALUMNI SHOW UP FOR THE EVENT, AND SOME EVEN SHOW UP FOR THE ALUMNI PHOTO! HARVEST FESTIVAL 2015 IS SUNDAY, OCTOBER 11.
Pittsburgh, and they married in 1962. Two years later, Addison was offered the opportunity to teach geology at the University of Libya in Tripoli. He and Jean stayed in Libya for five years, and adopted two boys from Germany. Upon returning to the United States, the family lived in Ann Arbor, then in Northampton, where Addison worked as an environmental consultant.
Addison Smith Cate ’39 Addison Cate, 92, passed away in October 2014. Addison had many friends who loved him dearly. When asked a few days before he died what he was most proud of in his varied and exciting life, he said without hesitation, “The friends I’ve made.” Addison was thoughtful, generous, kindhearted, gregarious, well-read, well-informed, a great conversationalist and raconteur, and a pleasure to spend time with. Addison was a lifelong progressive, anxious to right wrongs and balance the scale of justice. Addison was born in 1922 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, to Sheldon and Lucia Cate. Addison entered Putney at age 14, and credited Putney with opening his eyes to injustice. He attended Harvard, but his education was interrupted by World War II. He was drafted in 1942 to serve in the U.S. Army infantry, but along the way was sent to New York University and then Princeton University to train as an engineer. After the war, he returned to Harvard, and graduated in 1947 with a degree in geology. He met his future wife, Jean Greiner, in
Throughout his life, Addison was an avid sportsman. He rode horseback as a child and became an accomplished bicyclist as a teen, cycling across eastern Canada with school chums in 1939. Later, he developed interests in skiing, squash, tennis, and fly fishing. For many years, he enjoyed camping on family land in Alton, New Hampshire. He was an attentive steward of that land, and was named New England Tree Farmer of the Year in 1985. Addison was predeceased by his wife, Jean; sister Bernardine ’43; and son Jason. He is survived by his sister Lucia ’46; son David of Ludlow; and grandson Dylan, whom he especially cherished.
Marion King Schlefer ’41
Marion Schlefer died on January 17, a month short of her 92nd birthday. She was a woman who taught us to see the beauty in the things humans create. She was a woman of great kindness and elegance who treasured her family, friends, and the beauty of the world around her. Marion enjoyed Christmas at home in Putney with Mark, her husband of 70 years, and all of her children and grandchildren, as well as a great-granddaughter and two sons-in-law. Soon, her strength declined, at first gradually and then sharply, until she died peacefully with her family around her. Marion was born in Brooklyn Heights, New York, but her family soon moved to Long Island, where she grew up. She graduated from The Putney School in 1941, and from Swarthmore College, with honors, in 1945. Later, she attended the Harvard Graduate School of Design and received a master’s degree from American University. She and Mark moved to Washington, D.C. in 1951. Marion conceived all of her work—in housing and planning, art, and architecture—first of all as good design. She chaired the Committee of 100 on the Federal City, the oldest planning organization in the District of Columbia. She was a member of the D.C. Board of Commissioners’ Planning and Urban Renewal Advisory Council and the Mayor’s Committee on the Downtown, and received a special tribute at the 50th-year celebration of the Metropolitan Washington Planning and Housing Association for distinguished service to the Washington, D.C. community. She worked as an analyst, specializing in planning for the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress. She published studies on industrialized housing, national housing needs, central-city policies, and Meridian Hill Park in the District of Columbia.
Drawing on her esthetic interests and knowledge, she taught a survey of architecture from Mesopotamia to the Renaissance at Northern Virginia College. She later wrote histories of buildings significant for their architecture for the Historic American Building Survey for deposit in the Library of Congress. Marion had close ties to Putney. Her mother bought a farmhouse on the Putney-Dummerston Road in 1941, where Marion and Mark lived for a year after World War II while he taught at The Putney School. It was in part because of close friends from that special year that they retired to Putney in 2005. Marion served on the boards of Morningside Shelter and Putney Family Services. She is survived by her husband; a son, Jonathan ’67; a daughter, Ellen ’73; her husband Michael Bicks; a daughter, Kate Dodge; and her husband Charles. In addition, Marion leaves three grandchildren, Maggie Dodge and Lucy and Molly Bicks; two step-grandchildren, Samantha and Baird Dodge; and great-granddaughter, Baird’s daughter, Lida.
John Black ’42 Written by Ken Landis ’42 John Black ’42 died on October 28, 2014, at the age of ninety and after a short illness, in Mansfield, Ohio. He grew up in Mansfield, where his grandfather founded the Ohio Brass Company. He always maintained a home there. In recent decades, he also maintained an apartment in Kensington, London and divided his time between the two cities with extensive visits to Boston, New York City, and Cooperstown, New York. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army for three years in Northern Ireland, England, France, and Belgium. After the war, he graduated from Harvard and worked for his master’s and doctoral degrees in modern English history at Columbia University, finishing his thesis in 1960. He taught in technical colleges in England, and at Babson in Boston. In 1962, he published a novel in England, and continued to pursue a career in writing. Subsequently, he researched and wrote a two-volume history of his own Black family, which he shared with me.
I remember being impressed by his scholarship and research, and particularly by the quality of his writing. When Barbara Barnes ’41 returned to lead Putney in the mid-1980s, John took an increasingly active interest in the school, particularly in the quality of teaching. Through generous gifts totaling the best part of a million dollars, he endowed the Barnes Fellowships, which supported a variety of summer professional development programs for teachers and played a key role in improving teachers’ salaries. Most recently, he had urged that the optional study of Latin be included in the curriculum, to improve students’ writing of English and study of Romance languages. John made the school a steady philanthropic priority. His commitment to Putney’s academic programs has made a substantial and lasting difference. John kept in touch with many of his classmates, and wrote well-crafted and interesting letters. He will be sorely missed.
Fred Dean ’45 Fred Dean, of Fairbanks, Alaska, died on November 28, 2014. He had been ill for about two months, and had managed to be at home most of that time, in the close company and care of his wife Sue and their family. Fred spent his last weeks surrounded by their warmth and presence as living, loving examples of a life well-lived and well-appreciated. Fred was a respected expert on the grizzly bears of Denali National Park, and a valued professor and mentor to several generations of field biologists schooled at the University of Alaska. Fred was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. He was an excellent builder and woodworker, and an avid photographer. He was wise in the ways of the world and the woods. Fred was born in Brookline, Massachusetts on May 22, 1927. After graduating from Putney in 1945, he served a year in the U.S. Navy, and then spent six years at the University of Maine, Orono, earning a BS and MS, and later a PhD in forest zoology from SUNY Syracuse in 1957. He met his wife, Sue, at the University
of Michigan Biological Station. They married in 1950, and eventually moved to Fairbanks, Alaska in 1954, where Fred launched teaching and research in biology and wildlife management at the University of Alaska. Fred’s chief research focus throughout his career was the grizzly bears of Denali National Park. In retirement, Fred worked as the founding president of the Alaska Boreal Forest Council and served 15 years, until he became ill, and as the chair of the bear research and conservation grants committee of the International Bear Association. He implemented such a transparent and fair system for distributing research funds that the IBA credits Fred for contributing advances in bear conservation worldwide that would not otherwise have occurred. Fred was married to Sue for 64 years, and is deeply missed by his family, including his sons, Jeffrey and Stephen. Fred was predeceased by his son, Douglas, and by his brother, Robert ’48. Donations in his name may be made to the Bear Conservation Fund (bearbiology.com).
Ann McDougal Carey ’47 Ann McDougal Carey, 85, of Roxborough, Pennsylvania, died on December 17 from the consequences of Alzheimer’s disease. Ann was born in Geneva, Illinois, to Edward D. McDougal, Jr. and Katharine Blayney McDougal. She was educated in music at Radcliffe College and at Mills College, where she was valedictorian of her class. She became a teacher at the Shady Hill School in Cambridge, and developed an interest in children with reading difficulties. She married pediatrician William B. Carey on July 21, 1956. The couple lived in Philadelphia and Wallingford, Pennsylvania before moving to Swarthmore, where they resided for 49 years. While in Swarthmore, Ann was instrumental in the opening of the Trinity Cooperative Day Nursery and the local A Better Chance (ABC) house. She enjoyed chamber music, opera, birdwatching, and vacationing in Maine. She is survived by her husband, her brother Edward ’42, her daughters Katharine, Laura, and Elizabeth, and three grandchildren.
technical and the organic, the symbolic and the literal, mythology and reality.
Pamela Malone ’50 Pamela Malone died on November 30, 2014. A graduate of Putney and Smith College with a master of arts in teaching from Radcliffe, she spent 34 years of her professional career at St. Anne’s/St. Anne’s-Belfield School, where she served as a member of the history department and administration of the upper school, and a lifetime of summers at her family residence in West Falmouth, Massachusetts. She is survived by her brother, Gifford, his wife, Margaret, and her niece, Elizabeth. She very much hopes that her former students will continue to honor the cranberry and that her Cape Cod friends will remember her well with her favorite drink of all seasons.
After twenty years running a successful graphic design business, Maria turned full-time to sculpture. However, she decided early on that becoming a “big-time” sculptor was inimical to her need to live a full life, one devoted equally to family, politics, and gardening as well as art. In 1996, she became the longest-serving Washington Sculptors Group president, bringing to that position her energy, insight, broad knowledge of the art community, and a nudge toward the techno-savvy organization it has become. That year also began the long tradition of holding board meetings in her spacious, art-filled, welcoming family room, which ended only with her last illness. She is survived by her two children, Anya ’80 and Phil ’82, and four grandchildren, Walter, Ezra, Bailey, and Eli. The family has created the Maria Josephy Fund for the Promotion of Art and Sculpture at WSG to commemorate her work and commitment to the Washington arts scene. To contribute to the fund, please make out checks to Washington Sculptors Group (memo line: The Maria Josephy Schoolman Fund), P.O. Box 42534, Washington, D.C. 20015 (www.washingtonsculptors.org).
dozens of seemingly-indistinguishable islands. Sandy radioed to him to look down at the water and describe exactly what he saw. Sandy then gave him coordinates and directions to get to a nearby island where he could land on the beach before running out of fuel. He probably saved the life of that pilot—as well as those of his passengers. Sandy was married to Shirley Jantzen and leaves two sons, Skye and Rob, and four grandsons, Alex, Skye, Brennan, and Quentin. He is survived by his sister, Mary ’63 and her two children, Jonathan and Emily, as well as his extended network of cousins and adopted families in Florida and the Bahamas. In October of 2014, Sandy had extensive brain cancer surgery, during which he had a stroke. His nephew Jonathan and niece Emily visited him often in the hospital, and, following that, at a hospice nursing home. The day before his passing, when told that he did not have much longer, they paid him a special visit with lots of singing, praying, laughing, crying, and handholding. He was as honored at the end as a person can be. Donations in his name may be made to The Putney School or to the Randolph Mountain Club.
Sandy Malcolm ’61 Sandy died in the wee hours of the night, February 13-14, 2015. He was born in New Haven, Connecticut, to Herbert and Patricia Malcolm. After Putney, he attended the University of Colorado Boulder.
Maria Josephy Schoolman ’50 After a shockingly brief, ten-day illness, Maria’s death left the art world—and, indeed, the larger world—bereft of a passionate, eloquent, and skilled spokesperson for the good, the true, and the challenging. Raised in a politically progressive family, she became an early political activist, both as a participant in progressive causes and, ultimately, as their champion in her art. Trained as an artist at Putney and Sarah Lawrence, Maria entered the creative world through painting and printmaking, and, as she began adding found objects to her twodimensional work, collage—a natural gateway to sculpture. Her learned and acquired skills— painting, etching, drawing, furniture-making, wood and stone carving—allowed her to create anything her fertile imagination could conceive. Never solely about the visual, her work was always integrative: the eye and the mind, the
Sandy loved running in the mountains. He was known in the hiking community of Randolph, New Hampshire as too fast for most people to hike with. He loved speed and machines of all descriptions: boats, cars, motorcycles, and planes. In high school in Ft. Lauderdale, Sandy tested at college-sophomore level in engineering. He built a sturdy 16-foot boat, not from a written plan, but from his head—a feat of genius. The boat had a seven-foot cockpit and nine-foot deck, and was powered by a 35-horsepower Johnson outboard motor; he had many happy adventures in it, including a week in the Everglades with his cousin. He also spent many years in Utah, Arizona, and California. He cherished his independence always, and did not want to depend upon or be beholden to anyone. While living in the Bahamas, Sandy flew his own single-engine plane, a Maule. He related that while flying, he once heard a distress call come over the radio. Another pilot had become disoriented and panicked because he was running low on fuel, and gotten lost while trying to identify
Peter Watson ’62 Peter Norman Dingman Watson departed peacefully from this life in his beloved Vermont sugar woods on March 6, 2015, at age 70. The son of artist Aldren A. Watson and writer Nancy Dingman, he was born in Paterson, New Jersey, on September 7, 1944. Peter graduated from Putney and the University of Vermont. He and his first wife, Tina Cunningham, bought land in Fairfield, Vermont, and raised two sons there. Peter had resided for the past 32 years in Avon, New York, returning to Vermont for maple sugaring each spring. Peter inspired many during his rich life with his array of talents, including turning stoneware pottery, creating metalwork and sculpture on his homemade forge, haying, logging, and sugaring with draft horses, fine woodworking and carpentry, boatbuilding and sailing, playing the banjo and bagpipes, and identifying trees. He loved skiing and hiking in the Adirondack and Green Mountains. He once raced a train riding his favorite pony, built
a sailing dory, drove from Vermont to Tierra del Fuego, worked on Nelson Rockefeller’s cattle ranch in Venezuela, shaved off his beard, and played the bagpipes on the shores of Loch Ness in Scotland. Peter’s large extended family was a source of strength and joy to him. His enthusiasm, patience, humor, and compassion for everyone he met, his curiosity and spirituality, and the distinct twinkle in his eye will remain with the multitude who loved him. Peter leaves his wife, Clara Mulligan; his children, Alexander, Peter, Holly, and Forrest; his siblings, Wendy ’60, Clyde ’64, Linda ’66, and Ann ’69; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and dear friends.
his skill as a master boat builder. He designed and built the Dirigo 17 kayak at Weber’s Cove in Blue Hill, and then went to work at Brooklin Boat Yard for twenty years. Finally, he got to work in his back yard building his own small craft designs, the Cape Rosier Wherry, the Cape Rosier Guide Boat, the Cape Rosier Cradleboat, and the yawl boat tender, Voluntary II. Building his own designs he was the happiest. Peter was taken by a rare neuro-degenerative disease known as frontotemporal degeneration. He packed a lot into those last years as he faced the known unknown, and built half-models and small craft as if his life depended on it, and indeed it did. Peter was a peacemaker; he will always be remembered for his generosity of spirit, his quiet, mischievous sense of humor, his way with few words, and the simplicity of his joy in life. Peter was a teacher who wanted to share traditional boat building with anyone who would listen. He is survived by his life mate, Sophie Spurr ’69, his six siblings, Carl Chase, Arria Bilodeau, Eric Chase, Lisa Chase ’69, Johanna Chase ’71, and Andy Chase ’74, his daughters, Karina and Rosie, his four beloved grandchildren, and his mother. Donations may be made to www.theaftd.org (The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration).
Peter Augustus Chase ’69 Peter Augustus Chase was born March 20, 1950, in the middle of a family of seven, and the first of that brood to depart this life. He died March 16, 2015, four days short of his 65th birthday. Peter was a boat builder. He came by it naturally; salt water was in his veins as it had been in his father’s and his forefather’s for countless generations. He was fortunate to have attended North Country School, where he was liberated from a traditional curriculum to a school life that included the great outdoors and the arts. He went on from there to Putney, where his particular learning style continued to find nourishment. There, he also found a high school sweetheart, Sophie Spurr, in the 11th grade, and in due time married her. From Putney, Peter went on to the Philadelphia School of Art, to Ireland, to the Washington County Vocational Technical Institute to study boat building, to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, and finally back home for good to Cape Rosier, Maine. He and Sophie built their home on Horseshoe Cove in 1979, raised two daughters, and made their way as boat builder and lawyer. They were a team, no strangers to hard work, exuberant parents and the souls of hospitality. Peter’s year in Ireland fired his love for traditional working vessels, and his designs and workmanship never wavered from a loyalty to the honesty and elegance of the useful. Design was his life’s passion and he became known for
listening to his stories and laughing. There would always be laughter if Elzie was around. He was academically gifted, and a very good athlete. When Elzie graduated from Putney, everyone thought he would attend one of the colleges that had accepted him: Dartmouth, Brown, and Bucknell, among others. Instead, Elzie chose a different path, bypassing college altogether and pursuing a decades-long career in the retail automotive business. As he described it, “I did everything from being in the showroom to selling automotive parts and service.” He lived and worked his entire life, other than the years at Putney, in his hometown of Baltimore. The years Elzie spent at Putney were important to him, and he held those memories and experiences close to his heart. It brought a smile to his face when I shared with him that I was serving on the board of trustees. He would always ask questions about the school and the people we knew in common. Elzie passed from this life on January 22, 2015. It was my honor to speak at his funeral. I wanted everyone there to know how Elzie had made a difference in my life and in the lives of others, and to share stories of how very special he was with the people who knew him at Putney. While I was there, I learned that apparently, Elzie had often shared Putney stories with his family. They were able to recall some of the names of Elzie’s circle of friends, like Damaris South, Ken Olin, Nina Maxwell, Kathy Lee, Marc St. Louis, Kinzie Bird, and Tim Daly. We will never forget him.
Elzie Evans ’72 Written by James Thompson ’74 I was a young, under-experienced black boy from Mississippi by way of Memphis, Tennessee, when I first met Elzie. I came to Putney as a sophomore, and was totally overwhelmed by a completely alien environment. Luckily for me, Putney had assigned Elzie as my “big brother.” Thanks to Elzie, what would have been a very difficult (if not impossible) first year became bearable and meaningfully challenging. When others made fun of my differences—speech, clothing, experience or lack thereof—Elzie was my defender, supporter, and shoulder to lean on. I’m convinced that my relationships with others were made smoother because I was seen as Elzie’s friend. He was an icon to me during the year I shared with him at Putney. I remember him holding court in the bathroom of Old Girls, or in his dorm room with a roomful of people
John Kinder ’75 John Kinder died on December 3, 2014 at the age of 57. John was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio and moved to California after a year or so at Cornell in Ithaca, New York. He developed brain cancer six years ago, and a recent recurrence proved untreatable. John was a graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz farm program, and spent the last 30 years growing fruits and vegetables on his organic farm in Monterey County, California. His time at Putney confirmed his commitment to a vigorous outdoor life and to living with, not against, the forces of nature.
Amy Berkowitz ’86 Amy passed away on January 25, 2014, after a courageous battle with cancer. She was 46 years old. Born in Orange, New Jersey, and raised in South Orange and West Orange, she was the daughter of Bernard Berkowitz and the late Edith Collins Berkowitz, and the stepdaughter of the late Rita Berkowitz. She is survived by her father, Bernard, her siblings, Laura and Philip, her stepbrothers, Robert and Richard, and her eight nieces and nephews. An unmistakably unique and genuine person, Amy was a skilled artist who was also passionate about philosophy, people, and especially her Bostonbased business, Artifaktori, a vintage clothing boutique she founded and ran with imaginative vision, humor, and grace. Her knowledge of fashion history and textiles and their generational influence was remarkable, and Amy delighted in sharing her enthusiasm with those she encountered. Amy invented her own brand and style with Artifaktori, and in doing so, built a haven for creative collaboration, philosophical conversation, and self-expression. As with the old items and art she took the time to find value in, she examined every person who came across her path in life, and without hesitation created room in her heart for each new acquaintance— no matter what their individual struggles or imperfections. She built a community of friends around her who truly cherished and admired her life philosophies and creative ambitions. Amy loved animals and nature, and relished her time spent hiking, swimming, and meditating at Walden Woods in Concord, Massachusetts. Those who were fortunate to know Amy were treated to her kind and generous spirit, her quirky yet authentic point of view, and most of all, her unfailing kindness and loyalty. Amy was a graduate of Putney and the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. Amy’s kind spirit and brilliant creativity will forever be with all who knew and loved her. Donations in Amy’s memory can be made to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute or Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Mark Green Mark Richard Green, born August 18, 1967, passed away in Walpole, New Hampshire, on February 27, 2015—peacefully, smiling, and with his joy and passion for life intact. Mark’s enthusiasm for life was equaled by the vigor and intensity with which he confronted his illness. He described his fateful journey through his blog: moosevt.wordpress.com. Contributions in his honor may be made to support his daughters’ education fund (Mark Green Insurance Trust, P.O. Box 597, Putney, VT 05346) or to Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (1717 Rhode Island Ave., Suite 700 NW, Washington, D.C. 20036), where they will be much appreciated. A native of Philadelphia, Mark was a proud graduate of Abington Friends School. There, he developed a strong sense of justice, equality and human rights, and a deep passion for the outdoors. He graduated from Hamilton College with a BA in English and a minor in studio art, and earned his MEd at Antioch University New England. His love for friends and family —in particular, his daughters Hannah and Libby, his sister Kerry, former wife and dear friend Laura Gaudette, Aunt Carolyn, beloved friend Barb Silbey, and parents Beverly and Stephen—was limitless. Mark loved nature, outdoor sports, music, photography, food, travel, and adventure. He visited Costa Rica, India, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Egypt, France, and Puerto Rico, and pursued studies in British drama and writing at the University of East Anglia, England. He spent several summers working in Durango, Colorado, and was an administrator at Verde Valley School in Sedona, Arizona. Some of his most formative times were spent at Twin Lakes in Shohola, Pennsylvania, fishing, sailing, swimming, skiing, skating, biking, and carousing.
Mark served on the Boards of Friends of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center at DartmouthHitchcock and the Saxtons River Main Street Arts Center, and as a Village Trustee in his beloved Saxtons River. He was also a DJ for the local community radio station WOOL FM on a show he aptly named “No Depression,” featuring old time and honky-tonk, and he was proud to be a part of the Bread and Puppet Theater in Glover, Vermont. Mark taught and worked in financial aid and admissions before devoting his talents to fundraising at The Grammar School and The Putney School, Dartmouth College and Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, and finally, for Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC2), based in Washington, D.C., where he literally dedicated his life to the cause of funding research and new treatments (and hopefully a cure) for the incurable disease which ultimately ended his adventure. Mark lived every minute of his life. It was an adventure he shared with his girls and an uncountable number of friends. He was an authentic, special, good man—kind, generous, funny, adventurous, and beloved by all who knew him.
Editor’s Note: We receive news of deceased alumni through many channels; however, we do not always find an accompanying obituary, or the issue is in production when we learn of a death. Five alumni fell into this category during the production of this issue, and we wanted to share their names.
Leila Bose Powar ’54 [Leila is remembered in the Alumni Notes, p. 33, by her dear friend Roxana Laughlin ’54.]
Jolie Anne Mulvany ’58 Sarah Dennis ’76 Alex Goldin-Krause ’97 Erika Goodman ’14
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