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PHILOLOGY An alumni compilation in honor of Philip E. Schwartz Friends Seminary 1966 – 2014 Presented May 16, 2014

Thanks to the following alumni for their outreach in collecting submissions: Blair Fensterstock ’68 Pamela Perkins ’72 Stephen Lowen ’80 Marc Rachman ’82 Rebecca Moore ’84 Nicole Davis ’90 Lee Rothchild ’98 Henoch Derbew ’03 Sarah Derbew ’05 Travis Bogosian ’09 Nina Sawyer ’10 Dani Bennett ’11 Maggie Beth Gibson ’12 Audrey Engelman ’13 Jordan Kasarjian ’13 Thanks to the following alumni for editing the compilation: Henoch Derbew ’03 Sarah Derbew ’05

Philip E. Schwartz at Friends Seminary, Spring 2013

Patricia Moser Jones Class of 1967 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Newburyport, MA

Message: Phil Schwartz was the best teacher I had at Friends Seminary. He made me the reader and writer that I am today. Sandy Baum Class of 1968 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Chicago, IL

Message: Phil Schwartz changed my sense of self as a student and as a writer. I remember our first assignment of comparing the Prologue of The Canterbury Tales to T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland. I was overwhelmed but I learned how to write that year. I am forever grateful to him. Penny Craven Class of 1968 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student and parent of Former student New York, NY

Message: I certainly have memories of Phil Schwartz as a teacher, sitting in the only classroom with the desks arranged around the perimeter of the room instead of in rows. But what I really think of are the days my son was at Friends. At Back-to-School night every fall, parents came to hear each of their children’s teachers talk a bit about what they’re going to be doing that year. Sitting in the same kind of desk as when I was in high school, in an identical classroom, with a group of my friends, with Mr. Schwartz in the front of the room talking to us, it was a real life flashback to when I was in high school. Yikes! By the time my son was at Friends, students called almost all their teachers by their first names, though never Phil Schwartz. Even as a parent I never did. He was always Mr. Schwartz to me. Betsy Fajans Class of 1968 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence: Message: 4

Former student Brooklyn, NY

I’ve been meaning to write to Phil for a long time, but waiting until I have enough time to be meaningfully thoughtful has proved to be the kiss of death. Phil has certainly been a part of my literary heritage. I’ll never forget his assignment to compare The Fairie Queene to a comic book. I learned more from that than I did from my semester course on medieval literature in graduate school (although admittedly that professor inclined to be tipsy). Equally memorable: his raucous laugh, the pool table that was his living room’s only furniture, his decision to get a M. Phil at Oxford, and, as I just read in the Friends newsletter, his determination to get a Ph.D. in Classics—ever the perennial student. Like Phil, I wound up having two teaching careers since I now run a writing center at a law school (though no one could ever talk me into taking, or bombing, the LSAT or getting a J.D.— that second education came on the job). But I’ve been fortunate to have had many special teachers in my life. It says something, however, that out of them all, my mother, my husband—even my kids—know who Phil Schwartz is. Blair Fensterstock Class of 1968 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student/athlete New York, NY

Message: My memories of Phil Schwartz overflow with his intellectual capacity, his athletic fervor, and his yen to instill knowledge in all of us at Friends. He was a welcome and calming breeze to the turmoil of the 1960s. From his curious nature, questioning the episodic adventures of Beowulf and the attack by Grendel, to his inspirational attraction to the sport of squash, Phil left his imprint on my life. To this day, I am confident that his letter of recommendation for me was instrumental in gaining my acceptance (Early Decision) to Bowdoin in 1968, my going on to study Latin for several more years at Bowdoin, my graduating Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude, and my becoming Captain of the Bowdoin Squash team and playing in the College Nationals. His impetus to question the environs around us propelled me to go to Columbia Law School. Now, nearly 48 years later, I thank you, Phil, for providing me with the foundation to not only succeed in the practice of law in an entrepreneurial way, but also to succeed in making the world an exciting and challenging place to live. There are not many people who one can say created the foundation for success - but you surely did! Thank you for everything you have done for me and all the others whom were blessed to have learned from you! Floyd Katske Class of 1968 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Los Angeles, CA

Message: It is hard to imagine Friends Seminary without Philip Schwartz. Perhaps more than any other faculty member in recent memory, Phil has been the personification, embodiment and soul of all that is so special about this school, our school. Simply writing this little blurb about my personal recollections takes me back to so many good times more than 46 years ago. Phil, you have done it all - an incredible English teacher, Latin teacher, the soccer coach, the drama coach and after graduation you were our bridge for continuity that allowed us to maintain a true sense of personal connection with Friends Seminary for these past many years. Even though I graduated in 1968, when going back to Friends, I still felt like a student when seeing you. I remember when you first came to Friends in the 1960’s; my guess is you could hardly have been very much older than some of the 5

students you were teaching. You were the modernist in the faculty, relating to your students on so many levels – as a teacher you were the affirming guiding friend rather than a glowering parent. You were fair but could be critical yet challenged us to think, take appropriate measured risks and then to believe with conviction in our work product and ultimately in ourselves – truly important life lessons to take with us. During your first year teaching at Friends you invited our entire 10th grade class to your home one weekend to have lunch and watch “The Maltese Falcon” which you projected on the wall in your apartment’s living room. For a sophomore in high school, that was a pretty astounding act. But it was clear afterwards that you felt appreciating the beauty of the spoken or written word was not necessarily limited to those sentences found in books. You introduced us to the art of language imagery and poetic techniques like the rhythms through TS Eliot’s “Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” and “The Waste Land.” Then we moved on to James Joyce by way of “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.” It was thrilling, a literal treasure hunt. Later, in college, those experiences would prove to be very valuable indeed – when confronted in Literature classes with Joyce’s “Ulysses” and “Finnegan’s Wake,” rather than being overwhelmed and intimidated by its enigmatic style and content, there was instead comfort – I had travelled down this road before with you as my guide. I was ready for the Joyce’s puns, his stream of conscious style, and bewildering slang that we had discussed in depth while in your class. I was not lost in a mapless sea. You taught us how to formulate thoughts and then carefully reconstruct them into our writings. You taught us of the importance of being articulate but not verbose and to think before speaking…a skill that would again prove critically important in our academic and personal lives to come. You prepared us well for the future, perhaps the most fundamental task for any teacher of high school students and you did it with wit, passion and style. But there was more…you started and coached Friends’ first soccer team, giving even the most awkward, and gawky of us a sense of athletic accomplishment and pride. In itself, no minor feat. I remember well, in that inaugural season, traveling to an away game against the Germantown Friends team in Philadelphia – I think we actually lost the game but it didn’t matter, what I clearly do remember is that you made sure that everybody got their time out on the field and felt good about being part of the team, wearing the schools colors and being cheered on by you and our teammates from the sidelines. I guess we all knew that for you, though winning was important, getting to play was more important. Phil, thank you for doing such an incredible job of educating and illuminating the lives of all of us, your appreciative students who were so deeply stirred by your personal ethos and motivated by your passion. I am sure that I echo all of those writing in this volume in expressing my own sincere heart felt gratitude and appreciation as to how fortunate I was to have been able to have had you as a teacher, mentor, coach and friend. Each of us, as we go through life recognizes that there are those individuals who fundamentally and permanently altered our core values, our visions of the future and ultimately our individual being. For me, Phil, you are one of those people. Thank you. I will forever hold you in very special place in my heart. Enjoy retirement. Larry Kustin Class of 1968 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Wellington, FL

Message: I have a vivid memory of 11th or 12th grade. He allowed me to do an English project on 1950's-1960's music. I'm still mad 47 years later that I only got a B+. There are so many memories of playing basketball with Phil. Please give him my best.


Jane O'Brien Class of 1969 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student (1966-1967) New York, NY

Message: Dear Mr. Schwartz, I am not sure if you will remember me, it was the 1960s! But I have never forgotten you. I was at Friends for one year, was a very wild child, and then was institutionalized after the school year. But I was a prolific reader, and you were wonderful.... you even had me teach your class once or twice, an amazing gift when everyone else just saw me as a problem. Luckily my life ended up quite full, and I just retired from years as the senior political adviser at the UN on the Middle East. I live a few blocks from Friends, and would love to hear from you some time (my family was very close to the Lowry's, which I now believe is why Friends accepted me for the year!). My best wishes, Janey O'Brien Naomi Rand Class of 1970 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Montclair, NJ

Message: Phil Schwartz shaped my life in many ways. I believe I had him for my entire four years of high school. If not, it certainly seemed like that. He was the best English teacher I've ever had and god knows I've had a lot. I have an MFA in Writing from Columbia and a Ph.D. in English from CUNY so there you go. He was funny, intense, riveting, loud. You couldn't doze off in that class, no matter how tired or stoned you were. He inspired me to teach, in fact I taught English for over twenty years. Of course, the oddest coincidence of all is that he lives above my husband's business and has for over ten years. I had no idea until last summer, so now maybe I'll get to have that drink with him. Reid Silvern Class of 1970 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student, athlete Tuscan, AZ

Message: I was on the soccer team and Mr. Schwartz was the coach. Clearly, I wasn't very good but he put me in for the last five minutes of every game that wasn't close. They brought in a Bulgarian coach that had been a professional soccer coach. He threw me off the team without a second thought. Thanks to Mr. Schwartz, I got a 'letter' which I remember cherishing. Congratulations to Phil on his retirement.


Susan Kastner Tree Class of 1970 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student PA

Message: I speak here for my brother, Tim Kastner '68, who was profoundly influenced by Phil Schwartz - perhaps more than by any other teacher in his lifetime. Tim disliked most of his teachers beginning in elementary school. He was a smart, cynical person who did not suffer fools gladly - or anyone for that matter. Phil recognized that Tim was a talented thinker and writer and challenged him to get over himself and take his gifts seriously. Tim went on to be an English major and write professionally - until mental illness took him down. Even then, reading and writing remained important to him. Thank you, Phil, for opening that door for him. Jack Arning Class of 1971 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student New York, NY

Message: My favorite memories of Phil Schwartz are the three-on-three basketball games involving Phil, Cliff Lauder, Bill Elliot and many others. Phil was a great competitor and the games we played were tremendous fun. Phil always played to win, but he played clean and he was always fair. If he fouled you while you were shooting, he would make the call and give you the ball out. I learned a lot about the meaning of sportsmanship playing basketball with Phil. Playing in those games after school is one of my fondest memories of my time at Friends. Susan Strauss Hurwitz Class of 1971 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student River Edge, NJ

Message: I became an English major/education minor because of Phil Schwartz. He was just mesmerizing in all the classes and mini-classes I took with him. Learning disabilities didn't exist for the most part in the late sixties--but Phil never treated me as "lazy and stupid" as many of my other teachers did. If anything, he spurred me on to not get discouraged and to strive to attain as much as I could. He was a mentor and an adored teacher. It always amazed me this brilliant man chose to stay in a high school setting and not teach in a university. I feel so lucky to have experienced all that he gave each and every one of us--a love of learning for the sake of learning (and not just for a grade). I wish him all the best and that he gets to do whatever he wants now that he will have more time to devote to other pursuits. Be well, be happy, and most of all, have fun! Thank you again ever so much.


Tim Scudder Class of 1971 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Stratford, CT

Message: My memories of Phil Schwartz are of a man of energy (such as playing basketball with Cliff Lauder and riding his bike to school from the Upper West Side) and of a presence inside and outside the classroom (his voice could be heard down the hallway). But the one quality that stands out above all was his passion for teaching and his students. I remember this most vividly in Phil’s Old and Middle English literature classes. We listened to records (speaking of old) of poems like the Seafarer and the Wanderer, then recited those strange sounds to our classmates. Phil coached and encouraged as he teased my imagination with Beowulf’s heroics (not so good for Grendel) and added Chaucer’s spice (especially hende Nicholas!!) to the Middle Ages through the Canterbury Tales. I graduated from Friends Seminary in 1971 (speaking of old) and entered college as a Biology major. But the seeds that Phil sowed had already developed deep roots. Much to the chagrin of my college advisor, I interspersed science classes with Old English and English etymology courses. I even had the nerve to spend 6 months in London studying the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and Shakespeare. I thought of Phil fondly in the British Museum where I got to see excavations of Anglo-Saxon boats and preserved manuscripts. Phil, although my career path has remained in the sciences, your influence endures. Long after I forgot the myriad Organic Chemistry reaction sequences and Cell Biology energy exchanges I studiously memorized, I could still recite the opening stanzas of the Seafarer – “Mæg ic be me sylfum soðgied wrecan ...” The interest you nurtured in understanding the development of the English language has transcended to other languages, especially biblical Greek. I have been blessed to have you as part of the foundation of my life. God bless you and your richly deserved retirement! William Bloomstein Class of 1972 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student MA

Message: "Whan that the Knight had thus his tale y-told, In al the route nas ther yong ne old That he ne seyde it was a noble storie, And worthy for to drawen to memorie; And namely the gentils everichoon. Our Hoste lough and swoor, ‘so moot I goon, This gooth aright; unbokeled is the male; Lat see now who shal telle another tale: For trewely, the game is wel bigonne." Jay Goldman Class of 1972


Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student New York, NY

Message: WHAN that Aprille with his shoures soote The droghte of Marche hath perced to the roote, And bathed every veyne in swich licour, Of which vertu engendred is the flour; Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth Inspired hath in every holt and heeth The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne Hath in the Ram his halfe cours y-ronne, And smale fowles maken melodye, That slepen al the night with open ye, (So priketh hem nature in hir corages: Than longen folk to goon on pilgrimages, And palmers for to seken straunge strondes, To ferne halwes, couthe in sondry londes; And specially, from every shires ende Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende, The holy blisful martir for to seke, That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seke. Vicki Leonard Class of 1972 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Canton, CT

Message: Phil was an incredible influence on my life: thanks to his teaching I have gone on to a career as a writer and my love of literature has never wavered. Phil taught me to challenge myself and always ask questions (however, I visited him while he was at Oxford and he introduced me to Shandys and punting but failed to get me to understand cricket!). My favorite Phil quote- which I have recorded in my 10th grade journal: "I am 34 years old and I can't spend my Wednesday afternoons hanging out with 17-year-olds." How glad we all are that you did Phil! Love and gratitude, Vicki Leonard '72 Laura Levine Class of 1972 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student and colleague New York, NY

Message: At the end of the first half of Hero and Leander, Marlowe explains how scholars became poor. Mercury stole 10

the nectar of immortality from the gods in order to seduce a shepherdess who was extorting a high price for her sexual favors. Plunged into hell, he then appealed to Cupid for help. Cupid responded by distracting the fates, making them fall for him. Mercury was released from hell but a price tag went with it “that he and Poverty should always kiss.” The story is a kind of how- the- monkey-got-its-tail story. It explains why scholars are always broke: “And to this day is every scholar poor/ Gross gold from them runs headlong to the boor.” My version of the story is a little different. In 10th grade at Friends Seminary I met Phil Schwartz. He was vaguely reminiscent of God in the "Ben Hur" movie and aware of this fact and he spoiled me for ordinary educators for the rest of my life. It was partly that I had never met anyone so smart, partly that puzzlingly he seemed to imagine that we had the same capacity he did. But it was also that he had a tendency to surprise us by taking us seriously. One of my friends wrote in her journal that what we really needed was a course in the Arthurian legends and the next semester one materialized. We had our final at the Cloisters, deepened our knowledge of the hunt of the unicorn and learned that Phil Schwartz had a pool table where his dining room table was supposed to be. Another semester I said that what we really needed was a Dante course so we could understand the allusions in The Wasteland and the next year a Dante class appeared. The class met at 7 a.m. on Wednesday mornings and in January of that year in the dark, we sleep-walked to Friends where Phil taught the Inferno to a packed house. The course changed me in a number of ways. For one thing, when I saw Rodin’s The Kiss three years later, I could no longer look at it as erotic art (even though a couple was photographing their engagement in front of it) because I knew the adulterous figures it represented, Paolo and Francesca, had fallen in love over a volume about Lancelot and were going to be damned to hell eternally. For those of us who had really deeply tried to understand Phil Schwartz, the world around us would never be inert. It was something that was (only potentially) legible and it was our mission to somehow try to read it. But Phil Schwartz’ lessons often came in mysterious forms. None of us remember what we did to prompt one of his most memorable lessons but most of us remember it even 40 years later because even back then we knew (without having the faintest idea of what he meant, that something serious had taken place). Phil was scourging us for something we had or had not done and his final invective was “you have 35 year old minds in 15 year old bodies and I have a 15 year old mind in a 35 year old body.” As someone whose life was changed forever by him, someone from whom gross gold now runs as far as possible, I want to say, may his 15 year old mind live on endlessly. Pamela Perkins Class of 1972 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student New York, NY

Message: Philip – Philologist – Teacher – Scholar – Mentor – Friend -I cannot imagine who I would be without him – nor can I think of any other teacher who has had such a profound influence on me – (and I was privileged to have inspiring and brilliant professors in many years of Grad School in Comparative Literature…) There was a wonderful confluence in what was a cherished given at home, and what was studied in Phil’s classroom – Poetry; the Middle Ages. I remember asking Phil S. if lines from The Waste Land were from nursery rhymes – a rather odd question, because I would hear T.S. Eliot, with what I call his post-Romantic whine, read the poem on 78 records – speaking of Romanticism, Blake, Wordsworth – Keats, were recited at home… Coleridge, Kubla Khan, first and best class on Romanticism, 11th grade, and though English and Russian ‘Romanticism’ figured in a chapter in my dissertation, there was no


better class on this murky topic than Mr. Schwartz’s, for that was what we called him then, some of us almost reverently. My English father would take my friends from nursery school and Friends up to the Cloisters; our final Phil-exam was a detective quiz at the Cloisters…which I still remember but forget the answers… Then we got to go to Hell with Phil via Dante! How many seniors in High School ask a teacher to teach a course for no credit starting at 8am, three times a week?! How many teachers would be willing to do this…? There was also Phil the Invisible, but Ever-Watchful of the students — his booming voice from above, commanding us to go to class – or his calling Julian’s, the pool hall, to round up the older cool guys. While I realize that every class has had a special rapport or dynamic with Phil, he “graduated” with our class of 1972; he went off to England (Oxford) and I went off to Indiana (Earlham). Earlham was a great place in many ways -- foremost, I got to go riding three times a week – in fact a friend from Chicago and I would go directly from the stable to Ancient Greek class in the library. At Earlham, I also took a senior-seminar on Joyce’s Ulysses, with Phil’s friend Paul Lacey. As it turned out, Earlham was not for me. However, Phil’s influence did not end in Indiana. I studied Anglo-Saxon, Middle English and Latin, and wrote a rather pathetic thesis on Malory and the Grail…in fact, the two ‘modern’ classes I took were on American poetry and Shakespeare (yes, the English of the Bard is considered modern). Phil also left his signature on my years in grad school – I continued to do some medieval literature, this time Old French, as I proudly told Madame Lehu… When I first began to teach, I found myself sometimes shifting into what I called Phil’s ‘down-to-earthing…’ i.e. the ‘screw-in-the-peartree motif.’ To this day, I recite to my college students Caedmon’s hymn, which we had to memorize in 11th grade…the opening of the Canterbury Tales, some Beowulf…Sir Gawain… I wish I could say that the following quotation from Cicero came easily to mind, but I confess that I did a search for two gentlemen-classmates using spero – Thank You, Phil, immeasurably. Amicitiae nostrae memoriam spero sempiternam fore. Caleb Carr Class of 1973 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former troublemaker NY

Message: Although I loved my years at Friends, the feeling was not, at least in the case of the administration, mutual. I was a good but unorthodox student, and, above all, a troublemaker. Mischief-maker would perhaps be a better term, since these were the late 60s and early 70s, and we had true troublemakers about. But for inspiring others to raising Hell in the hallways, I seem to have had no equal. The reaction of the school was severe: I was more than once told by the administration that, if they could manage it, they'd be happy to get rid of me. But no one ever took the time to ask me why I might be so devoted to mischief; no one, that is, except Phil Schwartz, who I never took a class with, but with whom I played basketball during and after school almost every day. And he would, on occasion, sit me down in a quiet stairway and ask me just what drove me to such extremes of behavior. I think he actually knew, all along; whatever the case, he was the most important sympathetic ear that I had among the powers that were. And for that, I have always been enormously and affectionately grateful. No one imprinted the school as he did, over the years; he deserves every bit of praise he may get, and all good wishes for the future. Faith Hagenhofer Class of 1973 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: 12

Former student

Current Residence:

Tenino, WA

Message: When I transferred to Friends from NYC public schools in 11th grade I encountered subject-specific English classes and blue book essay testing for the first time. I did miserably on the final for Mr. Schwartz’s “Romantic Poetry” class, receiving my first ever failing grade. With trepidation I made an appointment to speak with Mr. Schwartz, probably over burbling about my grade and about each of my answers, in what I can only imagine was an incoherent rush. He stopped me, handed me another blue book and pointed to a seat. ”Write everything you’ve just told me. You have one hour.” I did just that, and was relieved when I got my grade. I’d gotten a C-. This was one of my most memorable moments in my two years at Friends, being both given a second chance, and being held to a high standard. Though I am not a teacher, I have given my work life in the world of literature, books, information, and making these accessible to people, as a librarian for over 30 years. Thanks Mr. Schwartz, my hands are raised to you and I wish you all the very best! Dan Schoonover Class of 1973 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Valatie, NY

Message: Mr. Schwartz, you are a great man! I took 3 of your classes my junior year, the 18th Century (Paradise Lost! Pope! The Metaphysics!), Romantic Poetry (I still have the thick blue anthology, well thumbed), and the Arthurian cycle (C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy, Le Morte D'Arthur in all its variations). I now teach a Special Education class in the local public Middle School, and I hope to inspire in my students a love of learning -- and to expand their lives -- as you did for me. Thank you. Jean Ball Scheinert Class of 1975 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Phoenix, AZ

Message: Dear Mr. Schwartz, (Phil), You traded English classes with Paul Supton in 8th grade and were kind enough to have us read "The Once and Future King". The fact that the story remains with me for over 40 years is a small reminder of the impact you had. Small, but memorable recollection. I always will remember your warmth and kindness to all of us in the Ball family! Gratefully, Jean Ball Scheinert '75 Marshall Heinberg Class of 1975 Relationship to Philip Schwartz:

Former athlete


Current Residence:

New York, NY

Message: Last year I was lucky enough to return to Friends as the boys assistant JV basketball coach. During one of my early visits, I saw Mr. Schwartz looking down at the gym from the bay window. I introduced myself to Mr. Schwartz and asked him if he was still playing basketball. He stared right at me and said "I am 73 years old and need (had) double knee replacements, no I am not playing basketball.” I happened to notice that Adam Cash, the head coach, was watching us from the gym. When I got downstairs, Adam stopped to ask if I knew Mr. Schwartz. "Adam," I said, “when I was here I played a lot of basketball with Mr. Schwartz and he was very good." Adam replied "that is very hard to imagine." “Adam,” I said, "when I was here, he was your age." I will never tell who the better hoopster was from the different eras but I do know that no one was more respected than Mr. Schwartz. Suzanne Telsey Class of 1976 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student and parent of Former students New York, NY

Message: Phil - In 20 years of schooling, you were one of my very favorite teachers. You challenged us, but still made learning fun. I will never forget studying Chaucer with you during our senior year - it was what inspired me to major in Comp Literature and Classics at Brown. Then, decades later, I had the pleasure of watching both Dani and Nicki experience Latin through a Phil Schwartz lens, and loving every minute of it. You are an incredible gift to the teaching profession, and I am so thankful for having had the opportunity to have been your student. Janis Dubno Class of 1977 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Salt Lake City, UT

Message: Hey Schwartz, you were a big influence on me. You taught me Shakespeare, the Arthurian Legend, how to write a 5 page essay and guided my college choice. I remember you said at our graduation that "the purpose of Friends Seminary is to make its students fit for the world." I understand the wisdom of that statement now. I think fondly of the experience of being your student, and grateful for the friendship you shared. You influenced me in many ways, and I am grateful and better for it. Best of luck in your retirement. Thank you for your years of dedication. Jeffrey Sawyer Class of 1977 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:


Former student Louis Park, MN

Message: He has impacted decades of students including me, my cousins and their children. The difference he has made in the lives of young people has had immeasurable impact on the world based on what I see my peers doing in the world none the less those who have followed us. He would probably lament my ongoing use of the run on sentence. He should know that his voice still rings true in my head. Thanks Phil! I thank Friends for supporting him and the work he has done. Robert Webb Class of 1977 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Boulder, CO

Message: I remember being in awe of Mr. Schwartz working tirelessly on his Ph. D. thesis as he taught English throughout my many years at Friends Seminary. Mr. Schwartz taught a course on myths and epics during my senior year. We read both The Iliad and his beloved Beowulf. Not sure if it was heresy, but I ended up liking The Iliad more. Veronica Lindemann Class of 1978 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student New York

Message: Mr. Schwartz worked with me and Kate Kinstler on our final senior project at school. I studied Medieval Literature with him. I remember well his reading of Beowulf in Old and Middle English. He left a vast and profound influence on me. I have the greatest respect for him. I am now a teacher and often remember how his out of the box, yet traditional, ways inspired me to further educate myself. Thank you for your contribution to life's rich education. Rupert Huse Class of 1979 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Springfield, OR

Message: Mr. Schwartz - My first introduction to you was in Friends’ lunchroom. Peas and biscuits were being thrown at my table and you turned and said very sternly "gentlemen, I believe the cages in the monkey house are clean now, you may return home to them". With that, I knew I had to take a class with you. The first day of poetry class, you acknowledged another student in the room, the late Elio Shneeman, as a published poet. I was enthralled. It communicated to me that not only did poetry have value, but writing in general had value. It got the attention of the scary monkey cage guys; it must have been important. I will never forget the manner in which you taught that class and read the various poems which communicated to me the value of writing in a


fashion that no other teacher had done. I was sorry I had not taken a class with you sooner as it was my senior year. When the internet became widespread, I checked back in with Friends from afar. I smiled when I saw you were still teaching, for if there was one person I felt could not only impart his knowledge of the written word, but truly inspire its importance, it was you. I hope your retirement comes with a sense of that accomplishment as I am sure my experience was in no way a singular one. You will always be Mr. Schwartz to me, the scary ascetic in the black suit who I just had to learn more about and I will forever be glad for the experience. Natasha Korda Class of 1979 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student New York, NY

Message: Thirty-five years ago, I took a class with Philip Schwartz during my senior year at Friends (which in my case was 11th grade as I graduated early). It was a very memorable class and inspired me to pursue Literary Studies in college. I went on to take a Ph.D., and have been teaching English at the university level for twenty years now. We don't often get a chance to thank those who, perhaps unbeknownst to them, have played such an important role in shaping our lives and passions—so thank you, Dr. Schwartz! Deborah Krohn Class of 1979 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student New York, NY

Message: Phil Schwartz was a great teacher, as everyone will no doubt attest on this occasion. In my day, he taught English, Old Norse, Old English, Latin, Greek...and squash (the sport). Though I have become an academic and like to think of myself as a lifetime learner, I have not been as successful with sports. My tenure on the Friends Squash Team was pretty much the high point of my sporting life and for this, as for so much else, I have Phil Schwartz to thank. And while my skills on the court have declined steadily since the pinnacle achieved in those basement courts on Park Place where we used to go after school, my interest in language and history has been a constant, inspired by Phil Schwartz. It is probably not an exaggeration to say that his deep knowledge and enthusiasm were among the strongest influences that led me to become a teacher myself. As my husband and children will attest, I have often spoken of him, and of the arcane subjects we studied under his tutelage, with great affection and reverence. Nina Wolff Feld Class of 1980 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence: Message:


Former student NY

Mr. Schwartz instilled in me, a passion for the study of words in his Philological Studies class. I believe that it has played an important role in my becoming a writer, which is something that I never even dreamed possible. Time and again over the past several years, I have thought back to his class and what an extraordinary teacher he was and continues to be, and how lucky I was to have learned from him. To this day he was one of the most difficult teachers I ever had, and I know that I had no idea what to do with what I was learning then, except to say that I walked away with tools to hone my new craft and a book to show for it! Very often during my writing and up until my final edits only two weeks ago, I found myself deep into the etymology of words to insure that I was making the right choice; even arguing with my editor to leave in specific descriptive words. He must have been surprised when I wrote back to him in my comments why I chose certain words and argued my point. Thank you so very much for being such an important mentor, Nina Wolff Feld '80 Steven Lowen Class of 1980 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student and athlete Boston, MA

Message: "THIS IS A NOUN PHRASE." The first class of my first day of high school began with a teacher resembling a linebacker and wearing a threepiece suit bellowing at us. I was terrified. After explaining noun phrases thoroughly, he assigned an incredible amount of homework; I spent something like four hours on it that afternoon and evening. The next day, some classmates claimed ten hours. He then reasonably slashed the remaining assignments, but by then he had our full attention and respect. Although a couple of years later he said of himself, "Schwartz is a pussycat," I didn't believe him, and it was well after college that I figured out his methodology. Most of us stayed for all three trimesters of Descriptive Grammar, an impressive achievement given that we had other choices. I started to learn how to write. My first essay was returned festooned with red ink, and graced with a C+, but this improved over the years. His lectures were captivating, and he inspired me to try my best. A couple of years ago I went to hear him give a talk, and expected that the sophomoric admiration that I felt years ago would be replaced with a more sophisticated response, and perhaps cynicism. Man, was I wrong. If anything, I appreciated new depths to his rhetoric and imagery. I'm sure Phil hates all this fuss on his behalf, but too bad. I'm not going to let his retirement go by without honoring this inimitable man. Terri Bender Greenwald Class of 1981 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Student and Athlete North Canton, OH

Message: I took every class I could that you offered. Shakepseare, Iliad, Odyssey, anything. I loved being on your squash team, when you would stand in the middle of the court and, with a broken toe, beat each of us, one after the other saying at the end of each match: “Age and skill will beat youth and speed every time.� You proved it. I agreed to look at some tiny college in god-forsaken Richmond, Indiana because you went there. Oh, and I loved it. Phil Schwartz, you were the best. Hands down. Much love and respect always for the rest of your days. 17

Rachel Dorin Jones Class of 1981 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Los Angeles, CA

Message: "Never let your emotions get in the way of your education." I will never forget those words from this great man. I have tried to live up to them ever since high school. Mr. Schwartz was always a gentle yet stern teacher with a kind heart. He saw everyone's special potential and found a way to bring it out of each and every one of us in a way that got results. He pushed us to our limits to see what more we could give after we thought we had no more. I will always remember my days that were so blessed to be touched by this man. To this day I still have my report cards/summaries from him. Elizabeth Baer Class of 1982 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

ProtĂŠgĂŠe Lenox

Message: magnis cum gratiis, sum Philippi aemula humilis, exemplar esse umquam conans, sed numquam aequans. Sarah Halley Finn Class of 1982 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Los Angeles, CA

Message: Dear Phil, You challenged and validated me intellectually, which gave me the confidence to always strive for more. You inspired me daily in the classroom and opened my mind to new ways of thinking. Maybe most crucially, you were there at one of the most difficult junctures in my life. I can't predict how things may have turned out differently if I hadn't known you, but I consider myself supremely fortunate to have a beautiful marriage of 20 years, three incredible children, a career I love and that challenges me daily, and a pretty optimistic view of things overall. I think of you often, although it was thirty years ago, and how your wisdom and kindness saw me through. I'm so grateful to have a chance to say thank you, because you guided me and helped me grow, influencing and empowering me to live my life fully. I hope you're able to see, through my note and others, how wide and truly amazing your impact is in the world. Thank you, Phil. Love, Sarah Marc Rachman Class of 1982 18

Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student and athlete New York, NY

Message: Dear Mr. Schwartz, Congratulations on your retirement from Friends! You have been a true source of inspiration for me, in both my academic and professional pursuits. All that you have done for Friends and the students that you touched during your tenure is a true Magnum Opus! I am forever grateful for all that you did for me as a teacher, coach and mentor. I wish you the best in this next phase of your journey. Bonam Fortunam! With Sincere Gratitude, Marc Rachman Hannah Serota Class of 1982 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former Latin and English student Leesburg, VA

Message: Mr. Schwartz I have so many memories from English and Latin classes with you. Somehow you managed to be demanding, inspiring, fun and intimidating all at the same time. At the time I knew you were a good teacher; but with the perspective of time, years of additional education, and now a child of my own in school, I understand and appreciate more fully just how special you are and how fortunate I was to have a seat in your classes. All the best to you as you transition to the next phase of your life. With gratitude, Hannah Serota '82 Michael Levine Class of 1983 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student and athlete Chappaqua, NY

Message: The fading of memories, of people and places you have met over the years, is one of those unfortunate facts of life few of us escape. I graduated from Friends over thirty years ago, and I still have vivid and fond recollections of being a student of Mr. Schwartz's and on his Squash team. Why is that? Because if you were fortunate enough to have fallen into his circle, Mr. Schwartz was one of those people you just don't forget. For me, Mr. Schwartz signifies everything a teacher of young people should represent. He has a passion for his material and the ability to communicate it which makes one look forward to his class. I truly don't remember a dull moment in his classroom (but truth be told, I didn't take Latin with him). His command of the material, his enthusiasm for the classroom, makes learning from him easy and pleasurable. To this day, I credit my writing ability and interest in literature, however limited, to Mr. Schwartz. I took an English literature class with him my junior year. He was not satisfied with my first essay submission and met with me in the cafeteria to help work on the next cut. I 19

remember re-doing a paper I did about Camus' Plague two or three times. Not only did that process teach me how to write, but helped me appreciate the subtleties and themes of our reading material. No question his teaching helped get me through college and to this day, when I write something, I often think WWMSD. I am sure I am not alone when I say Mr. Schwartz was not only one of the best teachers I had during my school years, but also in life as well. Nor am I alone in saying, that I am better off today from having known him. Thank you Phil...I wish you the happiest of retirements. Brett Miller Class of 1983 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student & fan New York, NY

Message: As you set out for Ithaka Hope your road is a long one, Full of adventure, full of discovery. Laestrygonians, Cyclops, Angry Poseidon - don't be afraid of them: You'll never find things like that on your way As long as you keep your thoughts raised high, As long as a rare excitement Stirs your spirit and your body. Phil, I am sure you know the rest of the poem. I was fortunate to have been taught by you. I am fortunate to know you. Very glad my son had a brief encounter with you and I look forward to seeing you again soon. -Brett Keith Smith Class of 1983 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Cambridge, Massachusetts

Message: Some of my fondest memories of Friends are the classes I took with Phil---Latin, Literature and Philology. I once told a friend---only half joking---that everything I know about writing I learned from Phil Schwartz during my senior year at Friends. And 30+ years after graduating I still pick up my Latin books on occasion. Thanks Phil for everything you taught me, and especially for teaching this Math and Science nerd to enjoy Language and Literature! Jill Delacey Galligani Class of 1984 Relationship to Philip Schwartz:


Former student

Current Residence:

Gardanne, France

Message: My favorite class at Friends was Mr. Schwartz's Philology class. I loved putting the pieces of sentences together and pulling them apart. He taught it with such gusto. I have talked to my children about what a fantastic teacher he is. Also, quite intimidating, it only took a firm gaze in the meeting house during meeting for worship to get the giggles to stop. He often enlightened those meetings with his words of endless wisdom. I was happy to see you again last year Mr. Schwartz, as I was passing through the city. Best wishes to you always! Amanda Southon Miller Class of 1984 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student New York, NY

Message: I took Latin with you for 4 years through high school as well as English and a semester of Greek. You were tough but fair and taught me to be not only a better student academically but also to have confidence and conviction in what I believed. I consider myself very lucky to have had you as a teacher! You will be missed more than you can ever imagine! All the best- Amanda Southon Miller Lucas Miller Class of 1984 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student New York, NY

Message: How very lucky we were to have had you as a teacher. Rebecca Moore Class of 1984 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

all of the above AL

Message: I first got to know Phil in my 9th grade philology class--Philology would make a good title for this compilation-his booming voice, the large sigma on the chalkboard, his angular handwriting, like bird tracks, lots of dust, his mind racing ahead, urging us to keep up and hang on. He made language something fun and intricate, like a little Chinese puzzle, as he might have said, and worthy of respect. He was my English teacher, peeling the layers off Peer Gynt's onion, exposing us to Virginia Woolf, and I took two years of Latin with him as well, as he drilled us on grammar and translated ancient lines of text, part Oxford don, part Maury Amsterdam, "suture yourself." But it was in the cavernous cellar of the Park Place Squash Club, which echoed with the sounds of the


OTB and a shooting club upstairs, where I got to know him best. Squash and Phil (and Arthur Moore!) brought me back into Friends after college, where I coached the team for five years, among other things. Legendary, intellectually inspiring, I will leave the description of his hunting caps and tweed coats to others. Hard to imagine Friends without him -- ave atque vale! Carolyn McKee Class of 1985 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Connecticut

Message: Phil Schwartz, When I look back on my High School days, there were two bright lights for me. You and Ann Sullivan. Thank you for being a source of comfort for so many students. You made such a difference in my life, and I'm sure in many others. Enjoy your retirement!! Anthony Shore Class of 1985 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Oakland, CA

Message: Phil, your tutelage will always be a significant and enduring force in my life. Thank you for your lessons and wisdom. - Anth Schuyler Allen-Kalb Class of 1986 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Brooklyn, NY

Message: Dear Mr. Schwartz, If there is one teacher in my life who gave me the tools to better understand how the English language works, it was you. You pushed me to go past what I thought I was capable of as a student, and I still carry these lessons with me today in my career in international affairs. You were my Mr. Chips, my Sir from "To Sir with Love," my John Keating from "Dead Poets Society" - all mixed together with a healthy dash of Brooklynese for good measure. You may be retiring from Friends, but we will never stop declining because of you. The walls of Friends will continue resonate with your lessons for years to come (and your bellowing requests for all "maggots" to be quiet and get out of the hallway). Know that your incredible legacy lives on in all of your students. We wish you a fantastic retirement and will miss you.


With warmest regards, Schuyler Allen-Kalb "What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from." -- T.S. Eliot Kate Fliegel Finnick Class of 1986 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Babylon, NY

Message: I will NEVER forget taking Literary Criticism with you in tenth grade my first year at Friends Seminary! It is 30 years later and I STILL remember the lessons I learned from you during class and our tutorial sessions. To this day your class is absolutely the one that has had a lifelong impact for me. It was my first year at Friends and I was the only student from Long Island and very unfamiliar with the city. I felt so overwhelmed those first few weeks. When I first attended Literary Criticism class I wanted to run. I had NO idea how I would possibly be able to handle that type of work. I had no confidence. It didn't take long before I began to view our tutorial sessions as one of my favorite times of the week. You helped me to gain confidence in my own abilities and discover a love and passion for writing that continues to this day! Even my 9 year old son knows all about the amazing Mr. Schwartz!!!! Thank you for all you taught me! As a guidance counselor in today's very troubled public school system I truly appreciate how incredibly fortunate I was to have been able to have been in the classroom of a true "master" teacher!!! Sending light and love to you as you start the next adventure in your life!!!! Sarah Getz Class of 1986 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Sharon, CT

Message: Dear Mr. Schwartz, You - more than any other teacher - woke me up to the beauty of language. To the power of words, whether spoken or written. This was, of course, an unspeakably precious gift. Thank you. May you relish your freedom from the classroom! With great respect, Sarah Getz Laurel Reiman Henneman Class of 1986


Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student and athlete Charlottesville, VA

Message: During the 8 semesters from Fall 1982 – Spring 1986 I enjoyed 8 semesters of Latin taught by and 8 semesters of squash coached by Mr. Schwartz; also two (three?) semesters of literary criticism, one semester of The Iliad and one quarter of “Philology” (which might have been named after him – who knows?). In those days, our daily Latin quizzes came purpled from the mimeograph machine, cut in off-kilter half sheets to save paper. On Halloween 1985, I came to school dressed as Mr. Schwartz, and there are photos from that day in the 1986 yearbook. As a lifelong Friends student, of course, one needs to include the several years of *anticipating* being taught by this towering figure in khakis and blazer, school tie, and squash sneakers who bellowed around the school buildings. His reputation preceded him, yes, but also there is a good chance you’d been admonished at least once or twice for making too much noise in the hallway outside a classroom he was trying to teach in (I have heard that, from a friend). As a senior, I remember the day that Mr. Schwartz told us that he didn’t remember individual students, just classes, which makes perfect sense when you consider the teeming hordes of (in his parlance) “ping-ping-ping” adolescents he’s instructed over 48 years. Sadly (?), the same can’t be said for us: We simply can’t forget you! Thank you for all you have done for us and for the Friends community. You (individually) will be (collectively) greatly missed. Molly Hoagland Class of 1986 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Brooklyn, NY

Message: Mr. Schwartz, you taught me how to read and analyze fiction and even more, how to write a rigorous essay. I don't know how I would've been able to tackle Humanities courses in college--not to mention my efforts to write as an adult--without your training in vigorous, rigorous, productively merciless (!) editing. Thank you for the hours you gave to meet each of us individually so we could learn the essential art of revision. Also, I adored Latin I and Latin II, where we learned that mastery comes with daily practice and drills (those crucial flash cards that you required us to make!). I will never forget your booming, good-natured threat to quiet students too loud in the halls: "YOUR ASS IS GRASS AND I'M GONNA MOW IT!!" Do you remember that fellow '86er Eric Slater used to have breakfast delivered to our whole Latin class each week from Joe Jr.'s? Thank you too for allowing that, which was wonderfully irreverent on your part. Nina Mairs Class of 1986 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Stevens Point, WI

Message: Decades later I am still using my Latin (no joke! I teach reading) and am still drawing on lessons learned from the Iliad. Thank you for all you have given to countless students over the years. This is a well-earned retirement.


Bruce Smith Class of 1986 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Menlo Park, CA

Message: Dear Mr. Schwartz, Thanks. Thanks for everything you have given of yourself to help educate, guide, nurture and develop the youth. Over 48 years, you have touched so many lives in so many ways. I had no plans on taking Latin. Foreign languages and I did not have a great relationship. But my older brother Keith, always talked about what a great teacher of both academia and life you were and how my experience at Friends would not be complete without taking a class from you. So, I decided to take Latin my junior year. My brother was so right. You taught with such passion regarding the subject matter, held the students to a higher standard than they necessarily saw in themselves and showed such care for the students that it really inspired me. You ended up writing my teacher recommendations for college and the rest is history. One thing I always remember was how you started that Latin 1 class. You told us, we are all starting the semester as A+ students in your book and we had the ability to stay there or fall. It was up to us. The idea of starting at the top, instead of having to climb to the top is a teaching tool I use to this day in coaching swimming and triathlons. The number of teachers who have taught at Friends Seminary for over 30 years, let alone 40 years, is astounding. It speaks volumes to the community that Friends Seminary creates. Who you are, Phil, and what you embody has been a big influence on that community and to all those who have come in contact with that community, including myself. Thanks for caring and giving, Bruce Smith KJ Whitfield Class of 1986 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former Student Gaston, NC

Message: Brother Phil Schwartz, Thank you for the nurturing that you provided during my teenage years. You accepted me as I was and brought me to where you intended for me to be. It has made me have a clearer understanding of our purpose as a people. Thank You and I Love You. Your forever student... KJ Whitfield Bart Acocella Class of 1987 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Chevy Chase, MD



One day in junior or senior year, after he gave us a tough assignment, I (a little disrespectfully) implored Mr. Schwartz to be reasonable. He replied simply: "When, sir, in all the years of our glorious association, have you known me to be reasonable?" Robin Weiswasser Markus Class of 1987 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student New York, NY

Message: The Friends Seminary experience is not complete without some interaction with Phil Schwartz. Mr. Schwartz, I feel fortunate to have been a student in your Latin class. Your encouragement and belief in all students was certainly inspiring. Remembering your humor and wit still makes me smile. I wish you health, happiness, and all good things in your retirement. Alex Kriney Class of 1988 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student San Francisco, CA

Message: I still refer to my Iliad final paper entitled: "Women and the Code of Honor." That's because Phil helped me aspire to become the sensitive ladies’ man I am today. All the best, Phil. Jordan Barowitz Class of 1989 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student, squash opponent and colleague Brooklyn, NY

Message: In my 20 years of school, Phil is the best teacher I ever had. Derek Fried Class of 1989 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student MN

Message: I took The Iliad with Phil Schwartz in 10th Grade. He was a big, intimidating guy so even when he ran over the allotted time neither we nor the students waiting outside for the next class would point it out to him. 26

The class after us was history with Paul Poet and one time Mr. Schwartz was running REALLY late and Mr. Poet himself had arrived outside the room. It was obvious that he asked the students waiting why they weren’t going in to the room and they must have explained that they didn’t want to mess with Mr. Schwartz. So Mr. Poet just threw open the door and said in a very loud voice, “If Mr. Schwartz is running late then you just need to open the door and walk right in.” Mr. Schwartz then used one arm to sweep all of the papers and books off the desk and said, “Here you go sir!” It wasn’t completely obvious to us (at first) that they were pals so there was a brief moment where we did not really know what was going to come next. But then they both laughed and it was all good. Kareem Lawrence Class of 1989 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Non-Former student admirer Brooklyn, NY

Message: "It is with the jawbone of an ass that I slay ignorance." Or was it, "With this jawbone I slay the ass of ignorance." I can't honestly remember the quote too well and time has colored the memory such that I think Phil Schwartz stood in the Meetinghouse to say it but may in fact have uttered it in the hallway or in a classroom. I just remember being shocked and awed. And chuckling... Funny thing is I never had the good fortune of taking a class with Mr. Schwartz because I was so intimidated by his stature and erudition and occasional eloquence born of his deep love of dead languages and mythic stories from antiquity. Despite my personal interest in related material such as Ancient Greek and Roman myths, I never thought myself to be a serious enough student to join his class. Even today I look back on that as an extraordinary loss to my education. I've gone on to read The Iliad on my own but I wonder how much more I would have gained with his guidance and knowledge of the historical context of these stories that have helped shape Western civilization. Jan Lethen Class of 1989 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Newbury Park, CA

Message: I clearly remember Phil Schwartz and his disruption-quashing (and mostly joking) scowl! His style of teaching using mock dark humor left a great impression. I am glad to hear that so many generations of Friends students got to experience his classes. Congratulations Mr. Schwartz! Nicole Davis Class of 1990


Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Brooklyn, NY

Message: Mr. Schwartz, I never thought I'd say thank you to someone who tortured me several days a week, but truly and sincerely, thank you. I will never forget Wednesdays my spring semester senior year when I had you for three periods (Latin, Iliad, and independent study) which meant I could never slack off, but also meant I would never be bored. Your passion for teaching and dedication to your students was unmatched in my entire academic career, and I am forever grateful for that. I'm not sure I ever told you, but I wrote my college admissions essay on you as someone who inspired me. Best wishes for your retirement and all this next phase will bring you. With love and respect, Nicole Davis '90 Daphne Dufresne Class of 1990 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Potomac, MD

Message: Phil, Your teaching of the Iliad is one of the most memorable learning experiences for me at Friends. It was an honor to have you as a teacher. Congratulations on 48 years of service to young minds. Love, Daphne Dufresne ’90 LuAnna Lemon Class of 1990 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student New Jersey

Message: How do you begin to comment on the retirement of a man who has influenced the lives of so many? Phil Schwartz made me enjoy English class! As a scientist I tended to focus on Math and Science and never really developed an interest in Literature, but when I entered his classroom that all changed. Ask anyone what my favorite book is and they will the you it's The Iliad. Phil's passion in teaching and his love for his students is truly inspiring. There are very few teachers that can truly say that in their 48 years of teaching that they have touched thousands of children and changed their views on learning. Thanks to Phil I also discovered the first book I would ever read over and over and there were more to follow. I just want to take a moment to thank you, Phil Schwartz, for introducing me to Greek Mythology in a way that has never left me, for the of fun transliterating words into Greek (never even knew transliterating was a word), and for being one of the most caring teachers I have ever had. Phil you are the best and I truly hope that you know you have touched the hearts of thousands.


Fabian Ruiz Class of 1990 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student New York

Message: Really 48? You couldn't hold out for 50? For all your years of tireless dedication a very heartfelt Thanks! Jeff Mandelbaum Class of 1991 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Co-star of Guys and Dolls Brooklyn, NY

Message: This is Nicely-Nicely Johnson shoutin' out to my old pal Big Julie. You were there at the beginning for me, and I ain't never gonna forget that. Your commitment in being such a "character" was truly inspiring, and your voice! Well, that was just intimidating‌ but in a good way! Have a blast! Let me know if you hear about a fast new horse! Joy Rivera-Hampton Class of 1991 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former athlete and co-coach New York, NY

Message: Dearest Phil, I did not have the pleasure of your knowledge in the classroom, but I experienced your amazing being on and off the squash courts. You were a critical and influential volunteer with StreetSquash's first graduating class! You are a wonderful person, full of generosity and a loving spirit. May you enter retirement filled with memories of how positively you impacted so many lives. I wish you happiness, good health and good fortune in your next phase of life. Loving wishes, Joy Michael Bachrach Class of 1992 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student New York


Message: One of the most valuable lessons I learned growing up was taught to me one day in Latin class. To quote exactly the sage words of Phil Schwartz trying to calm down two fidgety teenagers, "There's a time and a place for everything, and that time, and that place, is college!" Thank you Phil! So very true, and words I've repeated an infinite number of times since. Cara Cibener Class of 1992 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Brooklyn, NY

Message: Mr. Schwartz lifted the desk over his head when no one knew how to conjugate a particular verb—we were afraid and we loved it. That always stays with me when I think of humor and character of Friends and what it meant to grow up going to school there. Mr. Schwartz could push you to learn and capture your full attention. Also, once he praised an essay I wrote on Oedipus for English class. He saw me in the cafeteria and shared his thoughts. I still remember feeling an intense pride, an acute academic rush because such a distinguished teacher had seen something worthwhile in what I had written. Arthur Dobelis Class of 1992 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student New York, NY

Message: Mr. Schwartz – This is something like a sight-translation: I'm forcing myself to do it immediately. No prep, except for the wealth of feeling and many times I've thought of you and your class. Here goes. Some of my fondest memories of being a student anywhere (Friends, Collegiate, Harvard, NYU Law) involve studying Latin under your tutelage. You were my most exacting, most irascible and probably funniest teacher. Sight translations in eighth grade -with attractive female 10th graders present! Scary hellish. But you brought out the best in me. With all respect to Dr. Russell, and she's a great teacher, her class was a piece of cake after three years of studying with you. Gruff insults and the occasional hoisting of a desk. In retrospect, I see you knew how full of shit we kids were, with all our excuses for not knowing this or that. And we also knew that you recognized what we were about, appreciated our dedication and success, when it happened (and I think it often did). You saw through us, to us: saw the good, the bad, the brilliant and the stupid. And we all loved it. Your way of relating to us was a model for a teacher, and also for a human being. It was a great time, and has been a great influence on my life. ... in vento et rapida scribere oportet aqua.... Semper ubi sub ubi. Daisy Ho Class of 1992


Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Paris, France

Message: Mr. Schwartz, I don't know where to start in the profound affect and influence you've had on my life. Listing the number of times I can remember your words would surpass this 1000 word limit, so I'll go with the most important 12th grade one. As you probably don't remember I was a lousy student. I had an endless enthusiasm for European history, Art History, Int'l Relations, reading Henry James on my own and you and Mr. Poet and Phil (Allen) and a few academic glimmers, but overall I was a totally lousy student. By senior year there was a good chance I wasn't going to graduate - not only had I skipped gym for the entire year I got a 34 on a physics midterm and probably equal marks on Math and other subjects. After meeting one morning, when the Meetinghouse was empty, you took me aside and in a very gentle way (so I knew it was serious, because your usual demeanor was to hold chairs above our heads and demand your green beret drills as we conjugated Onus Onera, 3N (the ONLY conjugation I remember). You pointed out that I loved reading Henry James and Paul Bowles and Joseph Conrad, etc. but that that required 'leisure time'. And that you understood this. The point of life was leisure time, but that we had to work to get to our leisure time. And that in order for me to reach my "Leisure Time" I needed to get through school and university and life, etc. I'm not doing your talk justice, but please know how many times I've returned to that Meetinghouse bench and heard your voice and accent pounding the point and importance of Leisure Time. I hope you're planning on travelling the world for your retirement and that you stop off in Paris so that I can see you again. But you probably won't, so for now I will send you my love, all of my love. And of course my very best wishes for you to enjoy your very well earned leisure time. Perhaps reading Pascal's discourse on passion et l'amour (which I THINK you once said was one of your fave things to read). Love, HO Lila Margulies Class of 1992 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student, colleague Brooklyn, NY

Message: I was terrified of Mr. Schwartz when I was forced to take Latin in 7th grade. He sat at a big metal table in the center of a tiny classroom on the 3rd floor. Our desks were all lined up, facing him. His table was covered in books and papers and easily weighed 150 lbs. We had our regular vocabulary quizzes that everyone complained about and one day Mr. Schwartz had enough. Class started and a bunch of 12 year olds whined, "Whyyyy do we have to take Latin?", "I'm not prepared", "I hate quizzes", etc... So, Mr. Schwartz grabbed his big metal table and flipped it upside down, papers and books pouring down on his head and on to the floor. He screamed and yelled and the tiny window in the door filled with shocked faces. We sat there stunned, more terrified than we had ever been before. And from that moment on we were prepared for our quizzes with no complaints. Now, I 31

work at Friends and Mr. Schwartz is Phil (although after 10 years of working together I still call him Mr. Schwartz; he's just a last name kind of guy). I have had the opportunity to get to know a very different side to Mr. Schwartz. He is a genius who has enriched the intelligence and vocabulary of every student who has sat in his class. In my job, when students talk to me about feeling scared of Mr. Schwartz, I tell them that I totally understand how they feel. And then I tell them that Phil Schwartz is one of the most dedicated, brilliant, gentle, caring, fascinating, seasoned, loyal teachers they will ever have and they are LUCKY to have him. This school will not be the same without the institution that is Phil Schwartz. Keep flipping tables and changing lives Phil! Jennifer Waine Class of 1992 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Charlottesville, VA

Message: You inspire. Thank you. Enjoy a much deserved retirement. Lexy Zissu Class of 1992 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student New Paltz, NY

Message: Phil! Oh I might not have been the best Latin student but I was endlessly enthusiastic about your teaching style and your overall take on things. And I do still run into roots in words and think of you. Also when "unpacking" various texts--usually just editing poorly written English. Something about the methodical process of taking it apart and piecing it back together reminds me of those big thin-papered books from your classes and how we did that all together. Over the years, after graduation, I was happy to return "home" and see your style and take very much intact. And then in the past few years, when I returned as a parent with my daughter in the school, I was as appreciative of your take on things as ever. Years pass, places--including Friends!--change. But in our most recent conversations, it didn't appear to me that you changed much at the core. Your devotion and interests are what I remember about my own time at Friends and it was a delight to see them humming along in present day, not just in my memories. Here's to whatever comes next. (And I hope it continues to include fighting fracking!). With gratitude, Lexy Nora Olsen Class of 1993


Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Beacon, NY

Message: Once, in Greek class Katti Wachs brought up Hecuba, and I said that Hecuba had turned into a dog. Everyone laughed at me, including Mr. Schwartz. This kind of thing happened to me continually. But the next day, Mr. Schwartz called me over to his computer and showed me a reference to how according to legend, Hecuba had cursed Odysseus for enslaving her, so the gods turned her into a dog. “You were right,” he said and apologized for laughing at me. This was the only time I ever heard a teacher admit he was wrong or apologize for laughing at me, and it just made me think that Mr. Schwartz was one in a million as a teacher and as a human being. His jokes were memorable. (“The camel of Latin is standing on your foot.”) He sometimes made up florid nicknames for us. My friend Claire Devine was called “Boom Boom Claire and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre” for no reason that we ever discerned. There were a few remarks that he made over and over (“Standing tall and looking good, oughtta be in Hollywood”; “Wilfred Beauty Academy, that’s where you’ll end up going.”) but it was oddly comforting. When he made a mistake he would say, “I’ve been drinking too many beers from aluminum cans.” A lot of his jokes were about employment, especially: “Get a job.” He always said that he taught Latin because he had no marketable skills. I liked the way he interacted with the other teachers. “Hey, John [Byrne], found a real job yet?” “Hey, Larry [Carter], I saw your job application on the floor at Burger King with a footprint on it.” The dignified science teacher Mr. Moore was called “Artie,” and Mr. Moore called him “The Great One” after Jackie Gleason. Mr. Schwartz admitted to things that other adults wouldn’t. During one silent meeting, Mr. Schwartz shared that even though he’d been working at the school since before we were born, at the start of every school year he was afraid of change and he had to work very hard to overcome that fear. Hearing an adult admit that he got scared too made me feel so much better. Mr. Schwartz was just kind of fun. When I brought a yo-yo to class, he did some tricks. He was an early adopter of computers and email, and he had a really weird computer game called “Escape from Pompeii.” Sometimes he was in the school play; I think he was Big Julie in Guys and Dolls and he was part of the Watch in Much Ado About Nothing. He came to all the plays and laughed loudly at anything remotely funny; it was a real morale booster when I was in plays to hear his distinctive laugh floating out of the audience. He played basketball with the boys in the courtyard a few times. We all knew that Mr. Schwartz loved horseracing. He once told me excitedly about what a wonderful bargain he’d gotten on some books, so it didn’t matter how much money he had lost on the Belmont Stakes. He always had a good understanding of what it was like to be a teenager, even though he seemed impossibly ancient to me. I could flip him the bird and he would laugh. Also, he said that he was a feminist and he actually behaved in a demonstrably non-sexist fashion, one of very few men I have known who did both these things. When I was in 8th grade, my mom was worried about me because I kept telling her I wanted to drop out of school, so she asked Mr. Schwartz to give me a pep talk. He did, and it was an incredibly positive experience for me that I thought about all the time for years afterward. Basically he told me that I was smart so I should tough it out. He also spun out a counter-scenario where I joined the army. His message, that I was a smart person whom someone other than my mother might be concerned about, came to me at exactly the right moment in my life when my self-esteem was lowest and I needed to hear it the most. Mr. Schwartz was such a great father figure for me that it was blindingly obvious to me even at the time. It was also clear that I was not the only kid who felt


that way. I’ve never forgotten how a caring adult can make an impact on a teen’s life that is way out of proportion to their actual connection. Mr. Schwartz would always ask me how I was, and tell me that I could talk to him if I had any problems. This was enormously comforting, and after about five years of this, I actually did bring him a problem once. He gave lots of compliments, but always in a backhanded way. “Despite your best efforts, you’ve actually learned something.” If a kid had something on her mind (whether it was the Gulf War or something personal) he would take time out of class to talk about it. He had this idea that a class began when it gathered, so if he was late we could start without him. He didn’t see himself as essential to the class. I’ve been so busy describing what I was really learning from Mr. Schwartz that I haven’t even mentioned what I was officially learning, Latin. Over twenty years later I don’t remember that much of what we did, except that I really liked the Horace and Catullus poems, especially one about a savage he-goat in an armpit. I was also in his first ever Greek class along with Josh Silver, Katti Wachs, Aundrea Fares and Tami Wisniewski. I loved Greek, and I did end up going to college and majoring in Classics, and today I am indeed unemployable. My senior year there were only two people in Greek II, me and Josh Silver, because the others had all graduated. The first day back at school that year Mr. Schwartz made us T-shirts with our Greek homework printed on them. When Josh and Jane Lui (the only student in Geek I that year) were on the Mexico Trip, Senor Montaturo let it slip that Mr. Schwartz was getting married that summer. So Josh wrote Mr. Schwartz a letter, which Josh signed “The Members of the Greek Class” (although I had never even read the letter,) expressing his displeasure that we hadn’t been informed about this happy event. Mr. Schwartz told us his fiancée Val thought he was an asshole, and brought in a letter for us from her, saying that he had no knowledge of it, and had only been instructed to hand it over. It was a really funny, beautifully-written letter with lots of classical quotations (the only one I remember clearly is “Rumor sings of both fact and fiction” from the Aeneid.) The letter said that Mr. Schwartz was a hermit who didn’t like to share personal information, so we shouldn’t be offended that he didn’t tell us he was getting married. We responded by inviting her to our annual water gun fight, but she graciously declined, saying that she had to be fitted for her wedding dress that day. And that is why Josh, Jane, and Jane’s boyfriend Jason Lango crashed the wedding ceremony that summer. I thought at the time that what made Mr. Schwartz so great was that he was really smart, but now I don’t think that was it. I’m not saying he wasn’t smart, of course he was smart. But the main thing was that he was a really fine and upstanding human being. He was very big into people accepting the consequences of their actions and not whining all the time. That idea I was able to really embrace. Another pillar of his philosophy that I unsuccessfully tried to take into my heart was “Responsibility is the real freedom.” As an adult, I just don’t believe that is true. But I have extraordinary respect for a person who thought about what was right and wrong, came up with a code, and then actually lived by it. Natasha Norman Encarnacion Class of 1994 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Cherry Hill, NJ

Message: Mr. Schwartz! King of all languages that are dead!!! You were one of my favorite teachers during my 6 yrs at Friends. Your humor and love for teaching made your classes so enjoyable. It's an honor to know you. I wish you a wonderful, relaxing, and enjoyable retirement.


BONUM EST TIBI! Dorothy Sandler Meyer Class of 1994 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student and colleague New York, NY

Message: 1988. It was the first day of 7th grade. We all sat fidgeting at our desks. There was no teacher in the classroom; just a chalk-smudged blackboard and a room full of antsy middle schoolers. A hush fell over the room when Mr. Schwartz walked - no, lumbered - through the door and to the front of the class. He wore a wool red and black checked hunting cap, his long salt-and-pepper hair tied back in a small pony-tail, and an over-sized hunting coat that accentuated the breadth of his shoulders and the stoop of his back. Once in the front of the room, he turned, looked once over the now still and silent 7th graders, and boomed "Captain Latin: Defender of Dead Languages!" And so began my love affair with Latin. Though many teachers influenced who I was as a student and helped shape who I became as an adult; few had as great a role as Phil Schwartz. As a 7th grader, he taught me to be a good student and to love the order of grammar. As a high school student, he taught me to love and appreciate Latin literature. And as a colleague, teaching Latin together a decade later, he taught me how to slow down and teach the students more by doing less. Thank you, Phil, for all you have given me. verus magister es. Dorothy Sandler Meyer Sharonda Callender Ware Class of 1994 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Camp Springs, MD

Message: Laudo, Laudas, Laudat, Laudamus, Laudatus, Laudant--I praise, you praise, we all praise Phil Schwartz! What an amazing teacher! Such enthusiasm and such a BOOMING voice. How else could this kid from Bed Stuy learn so much about a "dead language" that helped her on the SAT and in English literature classes at UVA? Recently, I argued with my husband, vehemently, for my son to take Latin in 6th grade at his new independent school--all thanks to Mr. Schwartz!!! Thanks so much! Sarah Greenbaum Menaul Class of 1995 Relationship to Philip Schwartz:

Former student


Current Residence:

Seattle, WA

Message: I'll never forget taking Greek II my senior year -- there were just 2 students, me & Barrie Koegel, and of course, the unforgettable Mr. Schwartz! I am an English teacher now, and I don't think I quite appreciated how amazing that opportunity was. Every day was a group quiz! We loved it. Thank you! Emily Kelton Owens Class of 1995 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student New York

Message: Mr. Schwartz was one of the best teachers I have ever had, the kind I remember vividly 20+ years later. He was dynamic, funny, and made learning Latin truly fun. I consider myself very lucky to have had the privilege to learn from Mr. Schwartz. I wish him all the best for a happy retirement. David Sullivan Class of 1995 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Zillah, WA

Message: Phil Schwartz is one of the most important teachers I ever had. I knew him as a faculty child before being his student and feel privileged to have known him in several different settings [dinner parties at my house, student, on the squash court, etc.]. When I am feeling incurious or sloth I need only think of my time in Mr. Schwartz's class or simply in his company and am inspired to get back to work! Congratulations on such a successful and influential career, and I look forward to our next meeting. Thank you again and warm regards from central WA and soon Malawi, David (and Adi, Anna & Felix) Amanda Green Hull Class of 1997 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Philadelphia, PA

Message: Salve, Magister, When I found out your Emeritus ceremony would fall on my birthday, I changed my plans so that I could attend the ceremony. My Latin classmates graduated in 1996, and so in 1996-7 you and I met and continued the class. That gesture meant the world to me, because I really loved taking Latin. It was hard work, and some of those texts drove me insane! But the insanity was worth it, I learned that from being your student since the 8th grade.


Struggling with those texts, finding the best word in that context, persisting until I could look at the original, and read the translation written in my own handwriting was a joy unlike any other. My love of the written language did not come from studying English, but from translating Latin. It is an honor to be your student, Mr. Schwartz. Multas gratias vobis ago, Magister! Amanda Green Hull '97 Alex Kwartler Class of 1997 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student New York

Message: The Schwartz, The most memorable, exciting and demanding teacher I had at Friends with a true passion for teaching and the material he was passing on. Many thanks - and best wishes for a rewarding retirement. Alex Kwartler Dana Bliss Class of 1998 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student New York, NY

Message: I honestly never thought this day would come... it is hard to imagine Friends without you, but it is ever harder to imagine someone more deserving of retirement. Outside of my family there might be a handful of people who have had a bigger impact on me, but there's no contest when narrowing down to educators. The experience of taking an intensive Greek course with you and five other students lead directly to my decision to major in Classical Studies at Colgate. It was during my junior year in college that I noticed that many of the books appearing on my syllabi bore the same publisher's name on the spine, which got me thinking about a career in publishing. A dozen years later and I am doing exactly what I had first imagined I would be doing, and at Oxford University Press no less, the name on the spine of all of those books. So, that alone would qualify you as a pretty important influence in my life, but when I dig back into my memories of you, conjugating verbs is not what comes to mind. Your passion for the material and ability to push us to dig deeper, work harder, and make connections instilled in me a thirst for knowledge in the purest sense, which has stuck with me to this day. And of course, our several dinners with my dad and Drew Keller were special evenings that will remain with me always. But what I remember most clearly and fondly (in hindsight) was what happened our senior year, when we had asked you to be our class speaker. You agreed, but only on the condition that we - as a class - decide to skip the questionable tradition known as "Cut Day". This triggered class meetings where passions and tempers ran high as we were forced to face a rather adult decision, to choose between indulging in something that we had come to expect as a rite, which we had earned by virtue of being in the 12th grade OR to honor your request. This was a character-building moment not only for all of us individually, but also a bonding moment as a class, as we came together and discussed what really mattered to us and how we wanted to be remembered by you and the rest of the faculty and staff, and what message we would send to other classes. You asked us to 37

start a new tradition and a new rite, based on honor, respect and commitment instead of selfishness and pranks. We rose to your challenge as a class and as individuals because you asked us to hold ourselves to a higher standard. It is hard to say for sure, but I think the outcome would have been different if ANY other teacher had put forward that task. Thank you, Phil. Thank you for teaching me Latin and Greek, for being a mentor and friend, for instilling within me a passion for learning, and for showing me what an honorable man looks like. Love, Dana Andrew Janko Class of 1998 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Los Angeles, CA

Message: πόλλ' οἶδ' ἀλώπηξ, ἀλλ' ἐχῖνος ἓν µέγα. Thank you Mr. Schwartz for teaching us both many and great things. Becky Faerstein Morrison Class of 1998 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

He is my idol Brooklyn

Message: Dear Mr. Schwartz, You are the #1 most influential person in my 20 years of education. (Which in my book is way cooler than being People magazine's "Sexiest Man of the Year", since that only lasts a year). You have shaped me on such a deep level it feels like it's been coded into my DNA. How to think. How to challenge ideas. How to have respect. How to confidently & unapologetically stand as an authentic expression of who I am. You are the patron saint of big personalities, and as the carrier of one myself, you are my greatest role model. I think about you ALL OF THE TIME. All the time. I'm not kidding. (Please call me - 917.385.8114. I would LOVE to see you. I will come anywhere). I know you are a humble soul and shun the hype. But I ask that you let it in. Let the love pour in. Because you have touched SO many souls with your Light. It is a gift to have the chance to express that to you & have you hear it. Words are sorry vehicles to carry the magnitude of my gratitude, but I truly love you. Beyond the conversations about Ovid and the conjugations, you are forever etched into my memory as the giant old man with the lumberjack hat yelling in the halls while we fled for safety, terrified and smiling. And that's just the way I like it. xoxo ~ Becky ~ Sarah Sommerfield Poitras Class of 1998 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:


Former student Brooklyn, NY

Message: You were a great teacher, mentor, and inspirator (I swear it's a word... from the Latin īnspīrāre). Thanks for everything and best of luck! Morgan Solomon Kimmel Class of 1999 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Celebration, Florida

Message: Some of my best memories from high school are from classes I had with Mr. Schwartz. I will always remember my Ancient Greek classes with him and my senior English class where we read The Odyssey. I can only hope that my sons will find a teacher like Mr. Schwartz, who inspires them and teaches them to love to learn. Claudia Abbott-Barish Class of 2002 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Milan, NY

Message: Oh my, what a treat. When I received an email inviting me to contribute to your tribute, my heart almost fell out of my chest because I thought you had died. It wouldn't have been surprising, given you are in fact about a million years old, but I am still ever so relieved to find that you are merely retiring from the noblest profession, and not the world at large. My dear Mr. Schwartz, funnily enough I was talking about you just yesterday as I met my partner's father for the first time and he revealed to me that he was a Friends alumnus and had had you as an English teacher forty-odd years ago. I took the opportunity to regale him with the antics we shared, or rather I, inflicted at your expense. You were always as good a sport as you were a sensitive communicator when I got out of hand, and it is a quality I have tried to emulate in my own lived experience since. I am ever so grateful for having had your guidance at such a formative time in my life and I am just as thankful to have this opportunity to communicate that sentiment to you now. I wish you all the best in your retirement and send you an unfathomable amount of love and thanks to get you on your way. Bye! Golriz Amid Class of 2002 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student New York, NY

Message: My favorite Mr. Schwartz memory - which always leaves a smile on my face - is the time in 8th grade Latin where we were discussing Pompeii - he stopped class and called me out incredibly loudly - for "playing grab ass


with a fellow student" - I was indeed playing "grab ass" with a fellow student. But it did stop me. (temporarily) Joanna Hunter August Class of 2002 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student New York, NY

Message: Mr. Schwartz - You made a dead language come to life and taught us how to make a venetian blind (by sticking fingers in his eyes, of course). With students who were inclined to dream of the future (weekends, spring break, summer, college), for those 44 minutes you kept us hooked on the present, while teaching us to love the past. You would laugh if we called you a perfect teacher (or past perfect, pluperfect or future perfect), but you always embraced the imperfect parts of your students and inspired us to be great. Every class and every year was a memorable Odyssey, and that goes beyond the pages of the Aeneid. You are the greatest philosopher many of us know and we are better for your years of service to your students and to Friends Seminary. Congratulations. And thank you. Jennifer Conta Class of 2002 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student New York

Message: Dear Mr. Schwartz, I'm saddened to hear of your retirement but I understand all things, even great ones, must come to an end. While I may not remember Latin as well as I would like to, I will never forget the life lessons you taught us - that the greatest tragedies in life happen when people cannot be loved the way they want or need to be, as in Dido and Aeneas, that people haven't changed much in the past 2000 years, and that our quizzes were not like golf games - low scores were NOT the goal. You will certainly be missed, but definitely not forgotten. Thank you for everything you have taught us.

Julia Howe Class of 2002 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Washington, DC

Message: O quam tristis, I mourn for the future Latin students at Friends that will not have the privilege of learning of the complicated melodrama of Caecilius and Metella from the beloved Mr. Schwartz – a true loss for the generations of classics enthusiasts to come. I suppose you have done your time tolerating us awkward adolescents, and I can't thank you enough for the positive, and usually hilarious, experience you provided us all.


First, Mr. Schwartz, I want to congratulate you on a remarkable tenure at Friends Seminary. 48 years is no small feat! I don’t know how you plan on spending your time post-Friends -- hopefully doing TV voiceovers of ‘God’ and heckling friends and family about their lacking cognates knowledge and what a mama’s boy Aeneid actually was -- but more importantly, I hope it makes you happy and gives you the sense of reward that you truly deserve for what you have given to Friends and its students. Although my career did not lead me into a life of classics (I know, we were all surprised), you feature prominently in my recollection of a Friends education and my formative years there. As our teacher, you had a remarkable talent for both treating us like adults and commanding our respect. Dropping the occasional “fbomb” in class would make any teacher popular, but you didn’t do it for laughs or because you just slipped up, you did it to get us to pay attention and to emphasize a point (e.g. Cicero really &$#%ed over Chrysogonus). And your colorful language in no way reduced the expectations of manners or civility in class. After all, you are one of two (based on my last count) teachers that we were forbidden to call by their first names. For a nonmandatory high school class, you had quite the dedicated following of teenagers trying to master the dictation of Latin prose. Outside of the classroom, you served as a role model to many of us on how to grow up and still be cool. To be fair, we were bunch of kids voluntarily taking Latin, so we probably weren’t that cool to start. Aside from your accessibility and ability to connect with us, your ‘coolness’ also extended to your seeming contentedness with your life path. I had the opportunity to interview you for one of my English class projects. And I remember listening to you talk about the decisions you made and the experiences you had, and I thought, this essay will write itself! But more seriously, I hoped that I could one day become a person of such depth and accomplishment. Mr. Schwartz, thank you, congratulations, wishing you all the best, and stay cool! Mira Rapp-Hooper & Matthew Brest Class of 2002 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former students/advisees New York, NY

Message: We were both proud members of the 1997-98 Schwartz advisory group and partners in his eighth grade Latin class. Although we did not start dating until thirteen years after we left his tutelage, and Friends Seminary, we recall his class often and with the utmost fondness. Perhaps our most frequent disagreement remains whether or not Matt should have actually studied for our 8th grade final, rather than counting (correctly) on the fact that Mr. Schwartz would opt to re-pair us on that last exam. Hundreds of Friends Seminary students are lucky enough to remember Mr. Schwartz as an incomparable teacher; few are aware that his match-making skills may be just as good. Mr. Schwartz, congratulations on your retirement and thank you for the mark you left on so many of us. Your wit and wisdom will long be remembered in our house. Mira Rapp-Hooper and Matthew Brest, 8th Grade 1998

Vanja Varenika 41

Class of 2002 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student San Francisco, CA

Message: The further I am removed from my days in Mr. Schwartz's Latin class, the more I come to see his brilliance as an educator. While he is certainly great at teaching the fundamentals of Latin vocabulary and grammar, that is not what makes him exceptional. Instead, his ability to instill in his pupils a thirst for knowledge and an appreciation of the human experience makes him unique. Those are the lessons that have proved to be the most rewarding to me as a lifelong student. I also happen to utilize the more practical skills that I gained from Mr. Schwartz in my medical career when I am forced to decline the occasional neuter anatomic structure. I wish him the best in retirement and I am certain that his days of learning and teaching are far from over. Micah Blaichman Class of 2003 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Berlin, Germany

Message: Henoch's email knocked the copy of Aeschylus right out of my hands. Ok, that is not literally true but I do still peruse the literature of the Ancients. I studied it at Friends and I continued in college. Mr. Schwartz conferred upon me the joy in un-packing a Latin sentence: the militaristic efficiency of its grammar; the architecture of its syntax; the relationship between prose and logic, or the interrelation between how one speaks and what one speaks. And reading the Aenied was a beautiful experience. Sometimes, in retrospect, I worry that Mr. Schwartz's wit and wisdom were wasted on the 17-year old version of me; that I did not have the focus/maturity to fully appreciate the depth or aesthetic power of what I was being taught. On the other hand, I recognize the value in exposing confused adolescents to rhetoric and poetry that has survived thousands of years of criticism. Ancient ideas matter. Sometimes I think that one cannot really understand an article in the New York Times without having first read The Iliad. Thank you, Mr. Schwartz. Henoch Derbew Class of 2003 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student New York

Message: Dear Mr. Schwartz, with everyone else who you have encountered during your time at Friends, I can't thank you enough for the impact you have had on me. You instilled a love of learning in general for me and for classics specifically. I continue to brag about the privilege of working with you on Greek during my senior year for independent study and I knew that when I picked a college, it had to have a great classics program which I found at Colgate. Translating Homer or Horace in the Classics Seminar Room there, I never felt unprepared because you pushed me to achieve. I decided to return to the classroom eventually as a teacher and hope that in my almost three years teaching, I can begin to approach your dedication, mentorship, humor, high expectations,


and kindness over the past 48. Thank you for everything, I'm truly blessed and honored to have known you. Luca Fiore Class of 2003 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student and former colleague New York

Message: Dearest Phil, It was a privilege to work with you as both a student and a colleague. I know I've told you this before, but that Lattimore copy of The Iliad with all of it's notes from senior year still sits on my shelf. From time to time, I pick it up and read the comical nuances you shared with us. It was my only class with you, but it was one of my favorite and most memorable. I hope you have the best retirement! Andrew Schechtman-Rook Class of 2003 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Madison, WI

Message: Congratulations on your sudden increase in free time! I can't imagine how Friends will cope without your teaching and guidance. I know that my experience there would certainly have been far poorer without your presence. I still remember reading through the Aeneid, and how cool it was when you could explained the subtleties of the Latin text that couldn't be succinctly translated into English. It was an absolute honor to introduce you at our graduation, although your reputation is so strong that you really didn't need one. Thank you so much, for everything. CJ Perretta Class of 2004 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Hoboken, NJ

Message: Mr. Schwartz's classes were full of instructions, memorizations, recitations, conjugations, and declensions, all for a dead language. And yet, there wasn't a class I was more happy to go to, or a teacher I more enjoyed listening to, than Latin 1 and 2. Here's to Mr. Schwartz; may your retirement have a good beat (and you can dance to it). Kaitlin Pomerantz Class of 2004 Relationship to Philip Schwartz:

Former student and former colleague 43

Current Residence:

Philadelphia, PA

Message: After returning to Friends as a teacher, I remember passing Mr. Schwartz in the hallway for the first time after many years. Eager to impress him with my continued knowledge of Latin, I stopped him in his tracks (while he was wheeling his wheely backpack...) and yelped, "Mr. Schwartz! Remember me? I'm back at Friends as a teacher. Latin served me so well these past years! I remember so much!" "Oh yeah?" he grumbled. "What do you remember?" Flummoxed, a few words shot into my mind, and I blurted, "'Unguentum' means 'ointment', 'meretrix, meretricus' means 'prostitute', and, well... 'Caecilius est in horto'!" ('Caecilius is in the garden...'). We both froze for a moment, puzzling over this particular combination of word-phrase-memories. "I could not be more proud," belted Mr. Schwartz. Thanks for the ointment, prostitutes, Caecilius, the wooly big one, and all the other lurid and exciting things that made Latin such a fun language to learn. Though my memory has proven spotty and exotically selective, your teaching helped not only to open up an entire dead language to me, but to enhance my understanding of the words that I use and see every day. Your teaching is an inspiration. Sarah Derbew Class of 2005 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student New Haven, CT

Message: In my 8th grade Latin class, Mr. Schwartz gave us daily quizzes. It wasn't until I started teaching that I realized that he increased his workload in order to encourage us to study every night. Only then did I marvel at what a great teacher he was; he willingly created more work for himself for our benefit. I also fondly remember when one student asked if we could have extra credit on an exam. Mr. Schwartz refused to offer any but the student kept persisting. Finally, Mr. Schwartz dryly replied, "I'll give you extra credit if you sign your name in blood." We began laughing as the student bit his finger, gave up, and took the exam. Josh Kuckley Class of 2006 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Brooklyn, NY

Message: I will never forget Mr. Schwartz walking into 7th grade Latin and his booming voice filling up the entire room and scaring the hell out of all his students. I had heard the legends of him from fellow students and alumni who were second generation Mr. Schwartz students, but no tale or story could properly convey the greatness of his teaching style and the impact he has had on his student’s lives. The fear eventually subsided for all of us as we got to know Mr. Schwartz as the incredible man and educator who cared deeply for his students and our growth as scholars. From teaching me my foundation in Latin in the seventh grade, all the way to being the only teacher to find amusement in my admittedly slacking attitude during second semester senior year (sorry Maria Fahey), 44

Mr. Schwartz’s classes truly helped shape me as a student and a person. I cannot begin to imagine Friends Seminary without Mr. Schwartz and the school owes him the deepest amount of gratitude for his decades of service. Tomas Rua Class of 2006 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student/advisee New Haven, CT

Message: I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your incredible contributions to the Friends community. As both a teacher and advisor, you were always an inspiration to me personally, and the enthusiasm you displayed day after day made it a pleasure to come to school and learn. Best wishes for your retirement! Matt Flegenheimer Class of 2007 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student New York

Message: A disclaimer first: There's a 25% chance this is apocryphal, in which case I ascribe my faulty memory only to my deep respect and admiration for Mr. Schwartz and a resulting desire to attribute cool stories to him... But I think it happened. We were taking a quiz in 8th grade Latin -- something about the ablative case or the like. The answers were on the board from earlier in the day, beneath a roll-down screen. Everyone knew this, including Mr. Schwartz. He handed out the papers and left the room. He closed the door. No one was watching. A classmate wondered aloud if Mr. Schwartz knew what he had done, gifting everyone 100% scores, if only one of us would rush up to the board to pull the screen up for a moment. Of course he knew. It was the test that superseded the quiz. Integrity was a choice. No one would catch us, scold us, send us to the office. What we did was up to us. No one went to the board. Here's an entirely unrelated memory: A classmate once began telling some long story, perhaps about why she was late, and Mr. Schwartz was sick of hearing it. "That's great, let's get lunch," he said. "I'll have my people call your people and I probably won't be able to come." The room lost it. Keir Kramlich Class of 2007 Relationship to Philip Schwartz:

Former student


Current Residence:

New York, NY

Message: Verbum super Mr. Schwartz! Andrew Tharler Class of 2007 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Bryn Mawr, PA

Message: Graduate students in archaeology are often asked how they ended up pursuing such an obscure field of study. For many the answer is a childhood viewing of Indiana Jones, but for me it was really the languages. I remember my eighth grade Latin class more vividly than any other class I took at Friends. Middle school students don’t usually find the Latin comedies of Plautus very funny, but our class was constantly laughing, admittedly more because of our teacher than the Latin. As much as I love the language, I think at the time my studying was mostly motivated by the fear of becoming a target of your comic insults during class. This anxiety provided more than enough incentive for me to learn irregular third-declension nouns, which I can still recite today. The humor with which you presented the material and conducted our class, not only made that course particularly memorable, but also brought the ancient world to life for me. The characters and stories of the past were more relatable when you helped us understand them in their original language. I had taken Latin before at Friends, but it wasn’t until your class that I began to realize that we weren’t just studying a language, but a world. I wanted to learn more, and from there I continued to take Latin, later Greek, and finally archaeology. Now, as I prepare to serve as a teaching assistant for undergraduate classes in Classics and Archaeology, I think back to your class and remember what initially got me excited about languages and learning about the past. I can only hope to someday inspire some of my students the way you inspired me. I want to sincerely thank you for setting me down the path I continue to follow, from Latin comedy in your classroom to Greek tragedy in the theater of Dionysus in Athens. Tess Antrim-Cashin Class of 2008 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Brooklyn, NY

Message: It was such a privilege to take your class, Phil! Neither The Odyssey nor Friends will be the same without you. Congratulations on your retirement, I'm sure you'll use the time well! Francesca Acocella Class of 2009 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:


Former student New York, NY

Message: Mr. Schwartz taught me more about English grammar by teaching me Latin than anyone else. In college Latin classes at Wellesley College, I could still hear him saying "fwiobo" to describe the ablative. I also was thrilled to study The Odyssey in the English class he co-taught with Maria Fahey when I was a senior. Mr. Schwartz, your humor (I recall you once literally ate a vocabulary quiz on which a student had done particularly poorly) and your wisdom will live on in your students' minds forever. Thank you for teaching us how to learn a language. Because of you, I think everyone should learn Latin. I'm sure I'm not alone that you were the first person to call on me by my last name, which made my 9th grade self feel very professional and distinguished. My class always switched the furniture in our classroom when you left while we took our daily quiz, and you handled my peers' pranks in good spirits (and with some of your own). My mother Laura Eliasoph Acocella (former Friends Drama teacher) and my brother Bart Acocella (class of 1987) join me in thanking you for your extraordinary service to Friends and for enhancing the lives of generations of students. Thank you! Neo Sora Class of 2009 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student New York, NY

Message: Thanks for everything Mr. Schwartz. You did us good. Alison Weiss Class of 2011 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student London, UK

Message: Now that I have been a graduate of Friends for nearly 3 years and outside of Mr. Schwartz' classroom for far more, I feel it is finally safe to admit that I never paid much attention in Latin lessons throughout my middle school years. Despite my grandparents' continuous insistence that a knowledge of Latin throws open the doors to a richer understanding of the universe - or something like that - at ages 12 and 13 I was much more concerned with the gossip that was going to take place at lunch as soon as we were to be dismissed. I remember often dazedly looking over at the desk to the right of mine and seeing Harry Pellicoro '11 drawing elaborate boats and trucks on his worksheets - albeit of rather low quality, and in the spaces where conjugations were supposed to be going. Apparently, the pubescent distaste for Latin did not only belong to me. What can I say? We all know youth is wasted on the young. I believed, of course, that I was pulling one over on Mr. Schwartz; that having my head down projected the image of intense note-taking, and I was going to successfully avoid the humiliation of being called on and answer-less, as so many of my peers has suffered through before. Well, "as sure as bears shit in the woods," as our dear old Phil used to say, one afternoon I was abruptly called on to do a very simple conjugation. At the time fully invested in the coloring-in of the genitals that appeared on ancient drawings in our textbook and was caught off guard, only making it through the first person singular. In a trademark fit of half-rage, Mr. Schwartz proceeded to scream out the remaining conjugations while flipping his large, wooden desk on to the floor with a 47

BANG. Papers flew everywhere, jaws dropped, a few kids recoiled in fear...but Mr. Schwartz stayed seated in perfect posture when it was all over. Marinating in his victory, his grey beard swayed softly in the breeze from the open window while his chair became surrounded by an angelic flurry of blank white worksheets and attendance lists. If there was ever a moment when I believed I saw God, this was it. Congratulations, Mr. Schwartz - you turned me into a believer, in so many ways. You will be dearly missed. Joseph Foti Class of 2012 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Ohio

Message: Thank you Mr. Schwartz, for teaching me, and for being the kind of man I hope to one day be. Talia Hulkower Class of 2012 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student New York

Message: I remember sitting in Mr. Byrne's classroom one morning in the 8th grade. Suddenly Amy ran in with a ripped out article from Timeout magazine featuring Mr. Schwartz as a regular at the Old Town Bar on 18th Street. Nobody could believe that our very own Latin teacher was a real life "regular" at what was literally a New York City old town bar. After that I began looking into the bar every time I walk by, which was often since it's downstairs from where I lived, to see if Mr. Schwartz was there, and every time he was I'd knock on the window and wave like a maniac until he noticed. He always waved back and it would make my day. I haven't seen him there recently but I still look in hoping to see him ever time I pass by. Sakile Taylor Class of 2012 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Brooklyn, New York

Message: Thank you so much for being an amazing teacher! Sarah Tisch Class of 2012 48

Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student New York

Message: I never had you as a teacher, but I knew you through stories that my classmates fondly told and the occasional interactions we would have in the library. Thank you for all you've done for Friends. Best of luck on your next endeavor. James Richardson Class of 2013 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Brooklyn, NY

Message: Mr. Schwartz is one of my favorite teachers to date, and I wish him well in whatever comes after his retirement! Stefanos Tai Class of 2013 Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former student Savannah, GA

Message: Thank you, Mr. Schwartz, for your service! You always brought a huge smile to my face, in and out of the classroom. Legends like you come about only once in a blue moon. -Stef (the "punk" who you "held back so he could be a good example to the grade below") Ed Randolph Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former colleague New York, NY

Message: Knowing Phil was a highlight of my 18 years at Friends, we laughed together a lot and I admire/admired him. One memory that comes to mind is one day when the entire school administration left for a conference and Phil was charged with overseeing the school. As Principal Joyce McCray left she stopped and said to me as I sat behind the Reception Desk, "Take good care of my school". As soon as I could find Mr. Schwartz I told him he had to let me know his whereabouts every minute of the school day... ...just in case. It worked and we ran the school successfully for a day. Recently I met another colleague and asked her if she remembered a guy named Phil Schwartz and she gave me a look that said, "Ummm how could I not remember Phil, duh"! That's how a big a figure you are in Friends history my old buddy. Good luck and God Bless!


Lou Rowan Relationship to Philip Schwartz: Current Residence:

Former colleague Washington State

Message: It was Phil's liveliness and intelligence that attracted me to Friends in the late '60's. Sometime during my first year of work there, in a time of intense discussion of reading lists, teaching methods, etc, Phil said, "It's what is in your heart that counts." Over these many decades we've been blessed to know the wonders in his.


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An alumni compilation in honor of Philip E. Schwartz