Page 1

Fall 2009

The Magazine of Gordon College

STILLPOINT

Till We Have Faces: Who Are We in Cyberspace? 12 Pulling Off the Mask, Facebook in a Monastery, Hyperspace and more

Also in This Issue 4 Ten Years for the Provost’s Film Series 26 Living in the Enclosed Garden 28 Alumni News


Photo Cyndi McMahon

A different kind of lab experience Gordon’s “philosophical psychology” lab provides a venue for research in human thought and perception. Assistant professor of philosophy Brian Glenney (right) and students David Botticello ’11 (left) and Zach Capalbo ’12 (far left) tested how well hearing can substitute for sight.

Features 12 Till We Have Faces

On the Cover

by Mark Sargent

How do we seize the promises of cyberspace without being engulfed by it?

14 Pulling Off the Mask Professors Sybil Coleman and Bryan Auday discuss social networking media.

16 Facebook in a Monastery

by John Skillen

Does Facebook reduce students’ engagement in off-campus programs?

18 Cyberworlds, Cyberethics, Cybermissionaries?

by Brian Glenney

A philosopher wrestles with the challenge of virtual worlds and virtual selves.

20 Hyperspace

by Michael Monroe

This musician has a mind that is constantly hyperlinking.

22 Postcards on My Wall

by Jo Kadlecek

Young journalists discover the “anachronism” of picture postcards.

24 Too Much Light

by Mark Sargent

Sometimes what we need is a little restorative darkness.

“The virtual reality of the digital world seems to provide a unique space for human activity,” writes Brian Glenney (page 18). This issue of STILLPOINT explores some implications of our collective immersion in cyberworlds. Pictured: Bill Rosser ’11 in the Ken Olsen Science Center computer lab. Cover Photo Gabe Davis ’02


Photo Essay #29 San Antonio—Summer 2009 | Jerusalem and Athens Forum View this and other photo journals online at: www.gordon.edu/photojournals

IN EACH ISSUE 2 Inspiration 3

Up Front with President Carlberg

6 In Focus Faculty 8 In Focus Students 10 Encounters 25 SPORKS informative fauxlosophy 28 Alumni News

Articles

Alumni

28 Alumni News

4 Ten Years for the Provost’s Film Series by Mark Sargent Since the beginning of the Provost’s Film Series, faculty and students have explored nearly 100 films from more than 25 nations.

5 The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind—15 Years Later by Steve Alter

A stimulating conference took stock of how Evangelicals are doing in the area of intellectual endeavor.

26 Living in the Enclosed Garden: The Convent Life of Gordon in Orvieto by Agnes R. Howard Having an academic program in a convent setting is a salutary reminder that study and prayer go together.

41 Thirty-Eight Years of Giving Creatively—Barry and Donna Loy Why working at Gordon has inspired this dynamic couple to become Partners.

News and notes about the lives of Gordon alumni.

30 God Knows Best by Brent Fryling ’92 Four years in Afghanistan brought this eternal truth front and center for these alumni.

32 When the World Was Young by Jim Rotholz ’77

Sometimes dealing with chronic illness means you have to learn to succeed at failure.

36 A Plate for All by Amelia Reese Masterson ’07 This alumna is program director for an NGO in Syria that she and some colleagues founded a year ago to address gaps in food aid to Iraqi refugees.


Inspiration I have been part of the Gordon College community for four months, and what a joy it has been! I would like to thank the faculty, staff and students for their gracious welcome. Since arriving in June I have had the pleasure of meeting a variety of people who contribute to Gordon’s distinctiveness as a Christian institution. The devotion to providing an excellent education—and also to nurturing character and soul—has been refreshing. As believers we’re called to serve God wherever he places us, and our Lord often surprises us with His plans for our lives. As someone who until recently worked in the secular marketplace for many years, I am looking forward to doing what I can to aid the College’s mission in developing the hearts and minds of young men and women who exhibit the character of Christ. I place great value on a liberal arts education; after all, to worship God with your mind implies learning in a broad spectrum of areas. While we each have our own interests and aptitudes, we glorify God in seeking a wide knowledge and understanding of His creation. Though people sometimes assume I must have been an economics or business major, as an undergraduate I majored in history. Now, as a financial manager, I am very grateful for both the formal education I received and for how God uses our life experiences to teach us. For Christians, growing in understanding is meant to never end. Michael Ahearn Vice President for Finance and Administration michael.ahearn@gordon.edu

Volume 25 Number 1

“At the still point of the turning world.” T. S. Eliot, referring to God in his poem Four Quartets Editorial

ALUMNI NEWS

Patricia C. Hanlon Editor

Nancy Mering Director of Alumni and Parent Relations

Kristin Schwabauer Rydbeck ’04 Assistant Editor

CREATIVE Tim Ferguson Sauder Creative Director Rebecca Powell Amy Harrell ’07 Publication Design

ADMINISTRATION R. Judson Carlberg President Brook Berry Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing

Address changes Development Office jamie.hokanson@gordon.edu

other correspondence Editor, STILLPOINT | Gordon College 255 Grapevine Road, Wenham MA 01984 stillpoint@gordon.edu

PRINTING NOVA Partners | Gorham, Maine

AWARDS

Family My wife, Joy, and I celebrated our 19th anniversary December 1. We have lived in Arlington, Massachusetts, for

Award of Excellence Winner, 13th Annual Communicator Awards 2007 Print Competition Gold Award for External Organizational Publication, 22nd Annual Admissions Advertising Awards (2007)

most of our marriage. I grew up in Philadelphia and moved to the Boston area for a job out of graduate school in early 1989. Joy is from California, came to Boston after college and worked for Au Bon Pain, the French bakery café, for a number of years. Church Joy and I met more than 20 years ago in a Bible study group at Park Street Church in Boston, where we are still active members. At Park Street, Joy is involved in a variety of caring ministries, and I have been serving as church treasurer for the past six years. Our son, Joshua,

STILLPOINT, the magazine for alumni and friends of the United College of Gordon and Barrington, is published three times a year and has a circulation of over 22,000. Opinions expressed in STILLPOINT are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Gordon College administration. Gordon College is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, sex, or national or ethnic origin. Reproduction of STILLPOINT in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited.

is an eighth-grader at Covenant School in Arlington. Who knows? Someday he may find Gordon as enthralling as I have.

2 STILLPOINT | Fall 2009

www.gordon.edu/stillpoint


UP FRONT

with president Carlberg

“About the only places I can’t be reached instantly are remote corners of an Indian reservation in Arizona and on a plane at 37,000 feet.”

Facing Up to the Internet A few months after the Internet broke into popular culture, Ken Olsen took me aside. This Gordon trustee emeritus, a giant in technology, and a man some have called “the ultimate entrepreneur,” said this: “Uncontrolled, the Internet will make virtually everything accessible to Gordon students. At the very least, it will be a huge time-waster and distraction.” Ken had as much to do with the invention of the personal computer as anyone, but he was deeply skeptical about its applications. Today I’m still asking myself, “Was he right?” When email first came to campus, yellow notepads quickly became obsolete. Interoffice mail dropped off dramatically. Now that the Internet and email are part of every waking hour, it’s hard to remember when they were novelties. About the only places I can’t be reached instantly are remote corners of an Indian reservation in Arizona and on a plane at 37,000 feet. And even that will change soon! On balance I feel I’m a more effective president because of the technologies at my fingertips. But what used to be a trickle of email has exploded to several hundred messages hitting my inbox each day—40–60 of them requiring a response if I’m not to fall behind. Little wonder I’ve not been eager to adopt Facebook, text messaging or YouTube!

I find it ironic that with all the emphasis in our culture on transparency, intimacy and honesty, technology allows us to hide. We literally don’t have to show our faces to communicate—creating the potential for distortion, deception and manipulation. But communication researchers tell us that up to 90 percent of all communication in face-to-face settings happens nonverbally, through cues that would be missed entirely in electronic communication. That’s why I insist those on my leadership team have frequent face-to-face interaction with me, both formally and informally. That’s why I urge my trustees to attend every meeting and be in touch with each other on a personal basis between meetings. Cyberspace is no substitute for being together in the same room. I have another worry, and it is a pragmatic one. I love to read historical biographies, and an important source for biographers is the handwritten letter. Right now the Jane Austen exhibit at the Morgan Library in New York City is displaying some of the 3,000 personal letters the author is believed to have written during her 41 years. They provide glimpses not only into her life but into the details of everyday life in early 19th-century England. In today’s technology-driven world, Jane Austen’s

President’s Page www.gordon.edu/presidentspage

treasured letters might simply have disappeared into the ether. Is all of this technology good for us, or is it mainly a distraction? The faculty and staff reflecting on such questions in this edition of STILLPOINT conclude it’s up to us to decide. But we must be disciplined in our use of socialnetworking media if we are to honor God and others. Perhaps the best advice we have for this struggle was written by hand by the Apostle Paul (or by his amanuensis), probably with a reed pen on parchment, to the Church at Philippi almost 2,000 years ago: “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy— think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 (NIV) Though President Carlberg has yet to take up Facebook, he and Jan are now blogging at The Carlberg Connection: Musings and Moments from Jud and Jan Carlberg. carlbergconnection.blogspot.com President R. Judson Carlberg, Ph.D.

Fall 2009 | STILLPOINT 3


Story Mark Sargent Photo Rebecca Powell

Wings of Desire. Or the young man who described what it was like, as the child of a Vietnam veteran, to watch Morris’ documentary The Fog of War. Without the post-film discourse, I might never have realized that the fierce undercurrent of grace in Babette’s Feast is that the magnificent chef, unbeknownst to all, serves the Eucharist to a man who may well have had a hand in her husband’s slaughter.

Ten Years for the Provost’s Film Series Shortly after receiving the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami remarked, “I used to think they turned the lights out in the theatre so we could see the screen better. I now realize there is another purpose: to isolate ourselves from one another.” New technologies keep making that isolation easier: we watch DVDs on our laptops or pull films off satellites onto iPhones. I’ll admit it: I like being alone with my thoughts when watching a film. When a movie really gets me, I want to enter the screen, like Jeff Daniels in The Purple Rose of Cairo. Yet I seldom emerge from a film without a strong urge to talk about it. There’s the pleasure of being a good detective, trying to fit the jigsaw of symbols and themes into a meaningful design. Most of all I want to tell someone why the film moved or provoked me. How it resurfaced memories or reshaped my view of the world. Ten years ago we opened the Barrington Center for the Arts at Gordon with its 80-seat cinema classroom. That small cinema helped spark the idea of the Provost’s Film Series, an occasion to get together for

4 STILLPOINT | Fall 2009

watching and talking about films—avant garde films, pop films, the classics, the eccentrics, the visual poems. I love that we have been able to sample a bold fare at Gordon. When I was younger, talking about movies at church was like discussing the best cigarettes or bars. Films were often dismissed as a danger or, at best, a diversion. Today, though, few people question that film has become one of the most—if not the most—influential of the art forms, a mirror and a molder of our culture, our values, our spiritual longings. We have travelled a long way during these 10 years, exploring nearly 100 films from more than 25 nations. I can’t come close here to savoring all my favorite moments in the series. There was that fierce January nor’easter during the very first film, when a crammed house delivered a split verdict on the integrity of Duvall’s Apostle. And the bus ride to Logan Airport when I ran into a Gordon alum still eager to talk about Before the Rain with its interlocking riddles about religious violence in Macedonia. Or the long email exchange with a student curious why I was so moved by the Berlin Wall and the weed-filled lots in

As we launch a new decade, Lawrence Holcomb, assistant professor of sociology, is helping coordinate the 2009–2010 Provost’s Film Series—or PFS 2.0, as we are calling it this fall. He’s worked with other faculty to select films about “forgiveness and redemption,” from Eastwood’s Gran Torino to Lynch’s Elephant Man and Gabriel’s South African tale Forgiveness. Forgiveness is always one theme on Maundy Thursday when my church holds a Tenebrae service. “Tenebrae,” a Latin word, means “darkness” or “shadows.” As the story of Christ’s passion is read from the Gospels, candles are extinguished until we linger in full darkness. It is the solemn preface to Good Friday. We leave in silence, not sure where to find the next word. Once, as the lights in the cinema dropped, I thought of Tenebrae. The words we must find when we leave the darkness of a theatre can help us discern more fully how to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God.

Mark Sargent has been the provost at Gordon since 1996. mark.sargent@gordon.edu


Story Steve Alter Photo Rebekah Frangipane ’11

The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind— 15 Years Later On Friday, October 2, Gordon hosted a day-long conference on the theme “The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind: 15 Years Later.” The keynote speaker was Mark Noll, a leading historian of American Evangelicalism and longtime professor at Wheaton College; more recently he has taught at the University of Notre Dame. Speakers from the Boston area joined Noll in taking stock, 15 years on, of his book The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind (1994), a carefully reasoned case for why intellectual endeavor is a necessary component of our service to God. The conference sessions amounted to a report card on how Evangelicals are doing in this area, with results both sobering and inspiring. The impression made on this observer was simple: Noll’s book is as important and relevant as ever. Highlights from the conference suggest why this is so. The morning session examined American Evangelicals’ longstanding faith in popular authority figures as opposed to scholars trained in elite centers of learning. Speakers presented examples of self-proclaimed experts who command outsized influence in today’s evangelical churches on

subjects ranging from American history to the earth and biological sciences. Unfortunately, through books, lectures, and Internet websites, these Christian pundits often point their audiences away from the best available scholarship. Although amusing at times, these presentations were ultimately disturbing. A related point was made by David Hempton, an historian of British Methodism who teaches and maintains an evangelical presence at Harvard Divinity School. A native of Northern Ireland, Hempton noted the historic tendency on the part of American Christians to be activists, to turn compassion into practical ministry—a tendency that has earned respect even from extreme liberals. Yet Hempton also noted a discrepancy: Evangelicals have thus far had little influence on the theoretical analysis of major social problems. Are there role models that illustrate what a Christian intellectual should look like? Several conference speakers pointed to the 18th-century American pastor Jonathan Edwards. Not only was Edwards the premier theologian

of the Great Awakening—the revival that swept the American colonies in the 1740s—but he also grappled with the most advanced scientific and philosophical ideas of his day. Surely Edwards would be dismayed to see how his spiritual descendents have largely failed to engage with and contribute to learning in our own time. On a more hopeful note, the Canadian scholar James C. Wallace of Boston University’s Institute of Culture, Religion and World Affairs, spoke on the topic “American Evangelicals: Smarter than People Realize? The Growth of an Evangelical Intelligentsia.” Mark Noll challenged the Gordon community as a whole at Friday convocation. Intellectual endeavor is necessary, he argued, if Christians as a body are to glorify God. Talented young people should be encouraged to consider dedicating themselves to this high calling. Surely Gordon College should continue its own dedication to helping prepare a new cohort of Christians to become cutting-edge scientists, scholars and social thinkers in addition to training activist “doers” in all walks of life and ministry. Thus we fulfill a key part of our vocation as a Christian liberal arts institution.

Stephen Alter, Ph.D., is associate professor of history at Gordon, where he has taught for nine years. His courses focus on modern America and Britain, including the history of science and scholarship. His latest book is William Dwight Whitney and the Science of Language (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005).

Fall 2009 | STILLPOINT 5


IN FOCUS

Faculty

Filmmaking as Servanthood Alysa Obert ’11

EJECTED DROPLET

She leaned back in her chair, then stepped out to grab a drink of water. The office was sparse, with a large teapot that hinted espresso wasn’t her preference. Meet Gordon’s new assistant

FOCUSED ACOUSTIC BEAM

professor of communication arts, Virginia

FLUID

TPULSE

LENS

(Toddy) Burton. Burton, a Brown University graduate, has

1/f

studied film production in New York City and completed her M.F.A. at the University of Texas,

PIEZO TRANSDUCER

Austin. She’s written and directed two short films, including The Aviatrix, which played at

RF INPUT

over 30 international film festivals and won several awards. Burton plans to continue making films while teaching at Gordon and is at present working on two scripts. The role of film, she says, is to show how “faith infuses everything.” Rather than focusing on self-expression, she thinks of her work as servanthood.

U. S. Patent #7481511 David S. Lee, associate professor of physics, has recently logged his ninth U.S. patent, #7481511: “Droplet dispensation from a reservoir with reduction in uncontrolled electrostatic charge.” Dr. Lee’s explanation follows: “In the pharmaceutical industry the ‘drug discovery’ process involves hundreds of thousands or even millions of miniature experiments. At the last company I worked for, LabCyte, we developed a technology that allowed precise dispensing of very tiny volumes of liquids—as tiny as one picoliter (10^-12 liters)—and placing them, without ever touching the fluid, at precise locations for mixing with other fluids. This kind of precision fluid handling, ‘noncontact acoustic drop ejection,’ allows companies to do more experiments more quickly with less material and is intended to accelerate the pace of discovery of new drugs.

Mass Music Educator of the Year The Massachusetts Music Education Association (MMEA) awarded Sandra (Morrison) Doneski ’93, associate professor of music, the 2009 Excellence in General Music Award for being a “leader . . . [who] demonstrated outstanding dedication in the general music field.” She also received the Lowell Mason Award, given to a member who demonstrates “outstanding leadership and contributions in music education.” “I’m honored and humbled to be recognized for doing something I love,” Doneski said. “But it’s only one part of a program with many talented, dedicated people; the Music Education Department at Gordon is top-notch.”

“These tiny droplets are dispensed from within a plastic ‘wellplate,’ which looks like a stack of index cards and has 1,536 individual wells in it. Droplets are ejected upward out of particular wells and into the wells of an inverted receiving plate that is moving rapidly overhead (the relative speeds can be more than 50 m.p.h.). The wind shear between plates causes them to become charged. Think of Saran Wrap and how it becomes charged as you tear it from the roll. This too is caused by shear forces, which strip an electron from one surface of the plastic as the layers are unrolled. The charged plastic wrap then gets attracted to your shirt or hand—or itself. “A similar thing happens with the plastic wellplates as they pass by each other at high speeds. An ejected droplet is then subjected to electrostatic forces as it passes by the charged wellplates. This can cause droplets to be delivered to the wrong well, resulting in contamination or misinterpreted experiments. So that’s what the patent is for: a method to control the charging of the plates and droplets that were ejected.” To learn more about focused acoustics or any of the other fascinating projects going on in physics and engineering at Gordon, contact Dr. Lee at david.lee@gordon.edu.

Physics www.gordon.edu/academics/physics 6 STILLPOINT | Fall 2009

Master of Music Education www.gordon.edu/mmed


IN FOCUS

Faculty

Faculty books Graeme Bird, linguistics and classics, contributed a chapter to Recapturing a Homeric Legacy: Images and Insights from the Venetus A Manuscript of the Iliad (Center for Hellenic Studies, August 2009), edited by Casey Dué. The book deals with the oldest complete manuscript of Homer’s Iliad in existence, Venetus A, which resides in the Marciana Library in Venice, Italy, and dates from the 10th century A.D. How to be a World-Class Christian: Becoming Part of God’s Global Kingdom (Authentic, October 2009), written by Paul Borthwick,

This Church Has AIDS

biblical studies, explores

Paul Brink, associate professor of political studies

global Christianity for any believer who wants to be a part of God’s work in the world. Refusing Christian withdrawal from culture and rejecting its confrontational approaches to culture, Mutual Treasure: Seeking Better Ways for Christians and Culture to Converse (Cascadia Publishing House, June 2009), was coedited by Harold Heie (founding director of the Center for Christian Studies) and Michael A. King. Jo Kadlecek, communication arts, wrote Woman Overboard: How Passion Saved My Life (Upper Room, July 2009), a memoir that explores through storytelling the different perspectives of the word “passion.” She uses quotations from artists, thinkers and theologians to link the layers and stories of passion to ask what it means to be alive. Contact the Authors Graeme | graeme.bird@gordon.edu Paul | paul.borthwick@gordon.edu Harold | hheie@orangecitycomm.net Jo | jo.kadlecek@gordon.edu Order Your Copy All books are available online or through local bookstores.

Photo Isaac Sobe

Paul Brink visited South Africa this past summer as a member of the Seminar in Public Theology, cosponsored by the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, and Calvin College. By our second week in South Africa we expected the unexpected, but none of us professors from more than half a dozen countries were prepared for J. L. Zwane Memorial Presbyterian Church in Guguletu, a poor township outside Cape Town. J. L. Zwane has AIDS. A big sign says so. Even in a country where nearly 20 percent of the adult population is HIV-positive, the stigma remains pervasive. J. L. Zwane confronts the prejudices head-on, and proclaims to Guguletu and all visitors that the church shares in this suffering. No one remains unaffected—family members fall to the disease or new orphans arrive. Pastor Xapile has lost five family members, and his words stop us short: “We are dying”; his weekend activities are Sundays for worship, Saturdays for funerals. This church really does have AIDS. But he also makes clear that the church suffers in hope, sustaining the HIV/AIDS programs: support groups, counseling services, hospice care, education programs, medical care (in the lobby after Sunday services!), and care for orphans. We met Priscilla, an elderly grandmother who has accepted 12 AIDS orphans into her small home. J. L. Zwane has become a crucial lifeline to Priscilla and other de facto social service organizations. But perhaps the greatest sign of the solidarity of the church has been integrating HIV/AIDS into the liturgy of the Sunday morning service. As the choir and congregation sing “Bambelela (Never Give Up),” someone who is HIV-positive rises to tell their story. The good news of the gospel is brought against the bad news of disease. Our group reboards the bus more quietly than before. If J. L. Zwane has AIDS, then surely the Body of Christ—of which I am also a member—has AIDS. Does my own church reflect this reality? Does yours? Above: Isaac Sobe, an AIDS orphan, photographed Neo Makoena, whose mother is HIV positive.

J. L. Zwane www.jlzwane.sun.ac.za


IN FOCUS

Students

Green Chemistry Opens a Door High school senior Ben Stewart visited a Science Experience Day as a prospective student and made biodiesel soap in chemistry professor Irv Levy’s green chemistry lab. Levy invited him to Green Chemistry Day at Simmons College, where he connected with the Beyond Benign Foundation—a green chemistry research facility—which offered him an internship. Ben became their first high-school-aged green chemistry fellow, synthesizing and researching different types of biodiesel oil. “I also joined the team on outreach sessions at high schools,” says Ben, “and worked with kids running hands-on activities and labs on green chemistry.”

The Gift of Adversity: Freshman Baseball Player Overcomes the Odds Annie Cameron ’09 Gordon College baseball player Dillon Coleman ’13 was born with only one hand, and to him that’s a gift. In fact, ask him about the challenges that he’s needed to overcome and he never mentions how difficult it is to switch from glove to bare hand fast enough to throw someone out.

Ben is a freshman chemistry major now and plans to work with Beyond Benign again doing lab work and helping with their web page. “I’m really excited to be part of the innovation of green chemistry—working hard to play my part in making a difference.”

He also won’t talk about the disadvantage of swinging the bat with only one hand. Instead he says, “The biggest challenge I’ve had to overcome was convincing my coaches over the years that I was good enough to play at the team’s level.” Dillon’s love for the game—and his ability to confront adversity—came from his father, who began pitching to him when he was 3 years old. “My dad has been my greatest inspiration, encouraging me to try my hardest and convincing me that I could do anything I set my mind to.”

Photo Kristin Schwabauer Rydbeck ’04

Podcasting from an Orphanage

Senior baseball captain Chris Mills ’10 says Dillon has amazed him since the first day he walked onto the field. “He shows up early to practice every day, and he is one of the hardest working players we have,” says Chris. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard him say a negative word. He’s simply a phenomenal individual.”

For nine years Gordon students have been

Dillon grew up in Cromwell, Connecticut, and learned about Gordon through his church, Wethersfield Evangelical Free Church in Wethersfield, Connecticut, from some of his friends who are also Gordon students. “I was looking for a Christian college with an art program and a baseball team, so Gordon was perfect,” Dillon says. With a knack for stealing bases and an eagerness to hit the ball into the gap, Dillon approaches baseball with the same passion and determination he does with everything else. one that exceeds all expectations. And with Gordon’s first season game approaching, he is excited about what he will contribute to the team. “I want to step up my game,” he says, “and show even more people the gifts God has given me.”

when they cry, have meals with them, laugh with

Green Chemistry www.gordon.edu/greenchemistry

spending their spring breaks at La Casa de la Esperanza (House of Hope) in Tijuana, Mexico, doing various projects to improve the orphanage grounds. But their first purpose is to spend time with the kids, help with homework, hold them them and share the love of Jesus. Recently a small group of students podcasted from La Casa, talking about how they spend their time there and interviewing orphans who are like family to the students. To listen to Gordon’s first international podcast, visit www.gordon.edu/itunes.


IN FOCUS

Students

IN THEIR WORDS

“Working in Lynn has been both humbling and empowering; humbling because it’s awakened me to the reality that I am just one of many individuals working to effect positive change in the world; and empowering because Mayelin’s smile lets me know that guiding a friend through her geometry assignment lifts her heart.” —Joanna Gallagher ’12

Photo Bob Whittet

SALTeam member who served with La Vida Y.E.S., an after-school tutoring program

Dreaming Her Way from Bolivia to the U.S. Heather Smith

Nine years ago, some Gordon students, along with Bob Whittet, associate professor of Christian ministries, began to build a school in Tarija, Bolivia. That group spent nine days digging holes in empty cornfields and pouring cement for support columns. Construction continued over the years, and the Zuriel School is now a campus with a student body of several hundred in one of the most impoverished countries in South America. Naara Arnold ’13 (pictured, right, with Bob’s daughter, Amanda ’10) graduated from Zuriel School and wanted to study art. She and Whittet prayed about her dreams, and two years ago he hand-delivered a Gordon acceptance letter to her. After a year of making arrangements for Naara’s financial support, she arrived in August as the first Bolivian student to attend Gordon. The College is providing Naara with a grant, and Whittet’s home church—Bethany Church in New Hampshire—supports the remainder of her costs through its missions budget.

Seeking Passion through Music Meg Lynch ’10 Passion requires risk-taking—which is what led me to leap from the mainland of Massachusetts to the Contemporary Music Center on Martha’s Vineyard. The Center is an invitation-only music program that offers 30 up-and-coming musicians from Christian colleges the opportunity to

Being in the United States has been a huge change for Naara. “Naara’s been in wonderment at the scope of everything,” Whittet says. “Coming from the narrow streets of open markets to the wide aisles of Super Walmart.”

learn what it takes to make it in today’s music

“Tarija is a small, quiet town,” Naara adds. “It’s very traditional; for example, everybody takes naps at 2:00 in the afternoon.” Family and church are also important. “Since we are all involved in church, we’ve always hung out together, having lunch together every Sunday after church and gathering to pray on Mondays.” Naara’s uncle and father are pastors at her church in Tarija; she has always been very involved there and has taught Sunday School.

We had a regimented schedule of classes,

“I’m studying art and elementary education here,” Naara says, “because I love working with kids. I’m learning more about the Bible and growing in my faith too. I want to go back to Bolivia and teach art or English. I know God will show me where and how he wants me to serve.”

industry. A relatively new songwriter, I felt crazy to even consider the program; but I met 30 other students who were all crazy too. band practices, recording sessions and weekly concerts. We critically listened to music, learned about the industry, and left with a portfolio of newly written, professionally recorded songs. Of more impact, though, was the way God turned 30 strangers into brothers and sisters. When our inner sanctuaries of fear, passion, frustration and love rise to the surface through song, we cultivate and care for one another. Passion is etched into every person by that unseen pen, our Father. Sometimes we need to take risks to set it into action.

Contemporary Music Center www.gordon.edu/bestsemester/musiccenter

Fall 2009 | STILLPOINT 9


Encounters

Birthdays around Campus . . . hh Gordon College turns 120. hh Barrington Center for the Arts turns 10. hh The annual Gordon-sponsored theatre trip to England turns 15. hh The Athletic Association turns 87. hh Gordon’s move from Boston to the Wenham campus happened 54 years ago.

Photo Kristin Schwabauer Rydbeck ’04

New Positions, New Responsibilities Dan Russ, Interim Dean (Left) Photo Rebekah Frangipane ’11

First Visiting Fulbright Scholar Brings Unique Perspective on Islam to Gordon Maggie Roth ’10 In continuing its tradition of interfaith dialogue and engagement with diverse perspectives, Gordon College hosted its first Fulbright scholar this fall. Dr. Is-haq Akintola, whose studies focus on the peaceful teachings of Islam, is associate professor of Islamic studies at Lagos State University in Nigeria. “Dr. Akintola’s work—from his scholarship and lectures to his books and articles—reflects his vision for learning from and with others,” said Pamela Thuswaldner, adjunct professor of foreign language and Gordon’s Fulbright scholarship coordinator. “He is very interested in working toward common ground, and his strong commitment to hearing from people in the West in order to achieve that will be a great benefit for us.” “The Fulbright’s unique specialists program, Direct Access to the Muslim World, provided the Gordon community a rare opportunity to engage with a leading scholar in essential dialogue of mutual understanding,” said Dr. Cliff Hersey, director of global education and chair of Gordon’s Fulbright Scholars Committee.

10 STILLPOINT | Fall 2009

Russ, author and director of the Center for Christian Studies, is no stranger to the College. Because of his vast experience in higher education and his leadership in programs on and off campus, he has been named interim academic dean for the 2009–10 school year. He will oversee faculty, developing program coordination and academic support. Jon Tymann ’83, Interim Athletic Director (Second from Left) Tymann has been appointed interim athletic director for 2009–10. A former Gordon athlete and baseball coach, he has been closely involved with the Athletic Department in recent years, directing the Highlander Club, overseeing the Hall of Honor banquet and assisting in searches for new coaches. He previously served as Gordon’s senior director of development. Michael Ahearn, Vice President for Finance and Administration (Second from Right) Ahearn served with the Massachusetts Port Authority as financial program manager overseeing bond financing, budget plans, investment portfolios and capital requirements for various programs from 1995 to 2009. Prior to that he was senior associate at the Analysis Group/Integral Inc. in Cambridge, where he helped define business strategies and product development. Brook Berry, Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing (Right) Berry comes to Gordon from Northwestern College in Minnesota, where he served as vice president of marketing and enrollment. He also spent several years as a writer, producer, executive and marketer in the film and television industry in Los Angeles, for clients including NBC Universal, Columbia Pictures and Disney, and doing promotional work for television shows including Law and Order, The West Wing and Dateline NBC, and films Jumanji, Sense and Sensibility, Little Women and Legends of the Fall.


Encounters

Exploring the Psalms with Jewish Scholars This fall four Jewish scholars were invited to lecture on the Psalms. Dr. Marvin Wilson, professor of biblical and theological studies, worked with Gordon’s Center for Christian Studies to coordinate the series. “The Psalms, or ‘hymnbook’ of ancient Israel, has had profound influence in shaping the thought and worship of Judaism and Christianity,” says Wilson. “The earliest church sang Psalms; Christianity began as a movement within Judaism. . . . Personal, candid, and often intense, the Psalms have universal appeal—the classic biblical expression of the human quest to know God amidst a troubling world.”

Photo Kristin Bollier ’12

255 Grapevine Packs the Pews Alysa Obert ’11 and Amanda C. Thompson ’11

Shelves in the lobby of A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel were crammed with canned food, and the pews inside were packed with Gordon students, alumni, friends and family whose donated cans had purchased admission to the new Homecoming variety show, 255 Grapevine.

Three New Coaches From NBA to Fighting Scots

Tod Murphy, former NBA player, came from the University of California (UCI) at Irvine. Murphy says, “After six years as assistant coach I’m ready to be head coach, and Gordon has amazing talent and quality discipleship.” A Lifelong Goal on the Lax Field

Warren Shumate ’05 loved playing lacrosse as a student—All-Conference, All-New England, captain and male Athlete of the Year. He coached lacrosse in Virginia while teaching but says, “Returning to Gordon and coaching Christian young men is a lifetime career goal.” Digging and Diving on the Court

Ruth Rosentrater, new women’s volleyball coach, coached at the State University of New York at Oswego, interned with the NCAA and was assistant athletic director for marketing and promotion at Oswego. “I’m looking forward to challenging the team to grow as athletes and women of God,” says Rosentrater.

255 Grapevine claimed the time slot formerly filled by faculty talent show nodroG, which will now take place in spring. The new event was the brainchild of theatre professor Norm Jones and theatre/English major Amy Laing ’11, who was also stage manager of the show. Laing said she hoped the show would have “audience involvement and form . . . a stronger sense of community between departments.” 255 Grapevine’s 14 acts and 100 performers pulled the audience in like no Gordon show had before. Talents ranged from country music to Broadway farce to a four-person piano face-off modeled after the popular Guitar Hero video games, with props provided for audience participation in each. Noni Mason ’93 and her husband, Jared, choreographed one of the main attractions, “Stomp,” which invited the crowd to click their pens in time with the beat. Assistant professor of music Michael Monroe’s four Piano Heroes played the 1812 Overture on two grand pianos. “We asked you to bring cans,” said Monroe. “But we forgot to ask you to bring cannons.” Instead, the audience was given brown paper lunch bags and cued to inflate and pop them when the theme sounded. The beloved Dr. Marv Wilson told everyone about his wild goose chase after a Gordon van was stolen in New York City. “How good it was to come home to 255 Grapevine,” he said. Jennifer Hevelone-Harper ’92, history professor at Gordon, shared her experiences as a student and as a faculty member at 255 Grapevine. Two days after the show Laing was still beaming. “I am so happy with the way it went,” she said. “It was fun and created the sort of community experience we were looking for.”

255 Grapevine www.gordon.edu/255grapevine


Till We Have Faces: Who Are We in Cyberspace? Mark Sargent

12 STILLPOINT | Fall 2009


Chances are, you are not on Twitter or Facebook right now. But I can’t be sure. As much as I might like to imagine these short paragraphs will command your attention, you may have good reason to text your friends or check voice messages along the way. But I do hope the essays in this STILLPOINT will spark your own reflections about the potential and risks in the new interactive media and social networking. If this edition ignites any thoughts, do us an oldfashioned favor: Send a letter to the editor. We may publish it for others to read several months from now. I know that sounds like forever, but perhaps we should be grateful Gutenberg did not invent a reply key for the printed page. Sometimes it is wisest to take the time to craft our words before rushing headlong into the next blog or email. My colleagues who contributed essays for this issue of STILLPOINT have certainly taken time to choose their words for the topic. It’s a thorny question: How do we seize the promises of cyberspace without our lives and spirits being engulfed by it? We’ve tried to keep these essays brisk and varied; your time is valuable. “If I had more time,” a famous writer once admitted to a friend, “I would have written you a shorter letter.”

I thought it was Mark Twain who first said this, but a quick Google search just now offers several other candidates, from Blaise Pascal to Benjamin Franklin to T. S. Eliot. While I was online I double-checked another Eliot quote I need for a later paragraph, acknowledged a colleague’s good news from the doctor, and responded to a student’s question about financial aid. And—as I have been doing about every two minutes—I checked Live Stats for an update of my son Daniel’s soccer game in California. It’s the 73rd minute and they are still trailing 1–0, but they have just been awarded a corner kick. I wish I could see Daniel’s face as he jostles for position in the goal box, but until I can next watch him play, I am at least grateful for the video clips another parent will post tonight on YouTube. That narrows our distance—as do the photos my brother posted yesterday on Shutterfly and the prayer request my cousin sent me on Linked In. Of course, my iPhone and laptop overwhelm me: So many emails await a response; so many new articles merit reading; and so many people I care about are worthy of my time. I suspect you know the story. So I hope this edition of STILLPOINT proves to be exactly what its name implies: a chance for all of us to linger

at “the still point of the turning world” and to think about how we can hold our footing in the whirlwind of new information, gossip and perpetual marketing. It’s a deeply spiritual challenge: How can we be good stewards of lives and energy? How do we use innovations in media to enrich the spirit and to serve our Lord and others rather than lose our time and imaginations in diversions and minutiae? That quote about the “still point,” by the way, comes from T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets. It’s a poem that requires attention: You need time to catch the terse rhythms, rich ironies and spiritual echoes, as well as to envision the Mississippi River and the rocky shoals of Cape Ann as Eliot describes them. Perhaps you have favorite poems that you linger over. Or you have taken walks along the shoals to escape the constant glow of your computer screen. If so, mention all that in your letter to the editor, and we will try to print some of those thoughts in the next STILLPOINT. You can pass that edition among your friends—or simply text them the URL. Mark Sargent is the Provost at Gordon.

Fall 2009 | STILLPOINT 13


Pulling Off the Mask Today’s Christian college students are spending large amounts of time on Facebook. That’s in addition to other forms of social media such as video games, blogs, email and Internet browsing. A new and unprecedented study by Bryan Auday, professor of psychology, and Sybil Coleman, professor of social work, explores these trends and their implications. The study “Pulling Off the Mask: The Impact of Social Networking Activities on Evangelical Christian College Students” has received significant media attention. STILLPOINT interviewed Professors Auday and Coleman about their work. STILLPOINT: How did you become involved in this project? Sybil Coleman: You hear a male student speak with some concern in his voice of the hours he and his friends spend playing computer games each day; a female student responds that she can’t seem to step away from Facebook, and soon three or four hours have passed between Facebook and YouTube. Another student says her biggest problem is feeling the need to reply to all her text messages immediately, and then she feels the need to share some of the information she gets with other friends; and it’s “just so hard to stop!” Hearing such comments sounded an alarm to the possibility that the amount of time students devote to electronic activities—for example, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter, texting, video games, etc.—might significantly impact their

Average hours spent each week networking

academic performance, personal relationships, self-esteem, emotional well-being and spiritual health. This question led to a sabbatical proposal for both of us, which included a research survey to determine the extent of electronic usage on campuses and to identify what might be helpful for students as they try to bring a balance to excessive time spent on electronic devices. Bryan Auday: Since I am a trained experimental psychologist with little clinical training, I jumped at the opportunity to work with Professor Coleman, who is a skilled clinical practitioner. We used an online confidential questionnaire given to 1,342 students from four evangelical Christian colleges in the U.S. STILLPOINT: What did the study reveal about the students’ use of electronic social networking media? Auday: The most frequently visited site by far was Facebook, with approximately 93 percent having used it. Over one-third of the students reported using it between one and two hours during an average day. Added to this was another 12 percent who use Facebook between two and four hours daily. An additional group of just over 3 percent could be viewed as compulsive users, reporting between four and seven or more hours of use daily. An estimate of the time students spend weekly in social networking activities was an average of 18.6 hours—the equivalent of a part-time job. We identified one group—16 percent—who spend approximately 31.5–49 hours or more each week networking. Coleman: Young men in particular use online gaming as an outlet for the relief of stress while women are more likely to use social networking sites.

Number of students active on each of these popular social networking sites: Facebook, Myspace, Blogs and Twitter

14 STILLPOINT | Fall 2009

STILLPOINT: Is the overuse of social networking media an actual addiction? Coleman: The nature of addiction is complex. The Social Work Dictionary defines addiction as “physiological and psychological dependence on a behavior or substance.” The literature suggests that an addiction generally starts with a good feeling experienced, or an escape from a reality that is unsatisfying or uncomfortable. For example, a student feels shy when she is out in public, but she finds communicating with people on Facebook quite comfortable—even exhilarating. In an addiction such as gambling the person feels such an adrenalin rush from winning that he finds it hard to stop. In both cases the individuals keep “using” so they can replicate that euphoric feeling. They are simultaneously relieving stress and feeling an emotional high.


Hours Spent on Facebook each day

years. When excessive time is spent on social networking sites, gaming and other electronic devices, will there be fewer Christian students who eventually go to at-risk populations to bring peace and hope, to address issues of injustice, to share God’s love and salvation through Christ? Paul’s letters are foundational to biblical theology—have inspired Christians for over 2,000 years—and are a fine example of an effective alternative to physical presence. However, even Paul speaks of his strong desire for personal contact with his Christian friends.

One in five of the students surveyed reported they find it so rewarding it is difficult to stop. And after they read a definition for addiction as “any behavior you cannot stop, regardless of the consequences,” over 12 percent reported they believed they were addicted to some kind of electronic activity; another 9 percent said they were “unsure” if they were addicted.

STILLPOINT: Did the students talk about how they try to curb the amount of time they spend using electronic products? Auday: Some common themes that emerged from their responses entailed limiting the number of times they check their email or cell phone, or even turn their computer on. A strategy that has worked for many appears to be finding a spot to study—like in the library—to avoid being in front of their computer and being tempted to check their Facebook

As Christians we have the freedom to discuss cyberspace as not just bad or good, but rather as an opportunity. STILLPOINT: How can a Christian worldview help us in thinking rightly about—and behaving rightly in—cyberspace? Coleman: As Christians we have the freedom to discuss cyberspace as not just bad or good, but rather as an opportunity. As Douglas Groothius, in his 1997 book The Soul in Cyberspace states, we need to “understand the nature and function of cyberspace interactions in order to appraise rightly their significant worth and potential for the Christian cause and the culture at large.” We have seen the dangers of cyberspace in how individuals can be drawn into its clutches in negative ways, but we have also recognized such positive opportunities as communicating with family far away; transmitting prayer concerns rapidly; of ready access to academic, medical, current world and local church information. Yet Gregory Rawlins, computer science professor at Indiana University, cautions that “embodied fellowship is sometimes threatened by cyberspace technologies that obscure the realities of otherness” (Moths to the Flame: The Seduction of Computer Technology, 1997). The human spirit, like the body, will wither without tangible love, care and nurturance. As Groothius says, “When the flesh becomes data, it fails to dwell among us.” How then are we to live? Matthew 25 speaks of the responsibility to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and to visit the sick and imprisoned. The passion for serving others often develops and grows during late teen and young adult

account. A number of students responded that they implement regular “fasts” from Facebook for a week or more at a time. STILLPOINT: Where will your research go from here? Auday: We’re recruiting more Christian colleges to participate in our study, as well as a sample of college students from other institutions. Since this is the first generation that has grown up with these electronic products, it’s important to track long-term impacts within the psychological, sociological and spiritual domains.

Bryan Auday, Ph.D., has been teaching psychology at Gordon since 1986. His primary research and teaching interests are in neuroscience and cognitive psychology. In 2001 he established a neuroscience minor. He received the Distinguished Junior Faculty Award in 1994 and the Distinguished Senior Faculty Award in 2003. bryan.auday@gordon.edu

Sybil W. Coleman, M.S.W., joined the Gordon faculty in 1989, bringing with her 24 years of direct practice social work experience. Her primary teaching interests focus on the foundations of social work and social welfare as well as social work theories and practice with individuals, families and groups. She received the Distinguished Junior Faculty Award in 1995. sybil.coleman@gordon.edu

Fall 2009 | STILLPOINT 15


Facebook in a Monastery John Skillen I know the subtle compelling pull of the Internet. Yesterday, preparing for a class on Dante, I noted how the belatedly penitent souls described in the Canto 8 of the Purgatorio sang together the Te lucis ante terminum (To thee before the close of day), the ancient hymn included in the evening service of Compline. I wondered if I could find the full text in Latin and English on the Internet, and a recording of the hymn on YouTube. So I Googled it. Yes, I hit the jackpot. But somehow, a half hour later, still glued to YouTube, I was watching clip after clip of my favorite characters from the Muppet Show: the Swedish Chef and Sam the Eagle. All this may sound wholesome enough; we’re not talking pornography here. But how in the world did I get from Dante’s chorus of penitents to the Swedish Chef making turtle soup? I don’t remember. One thing led to another. I can recognize the weakening of the will in the early morning when, descending to a quiet corner of the living room with my Bible or my Italian Franciscan prayer book in hand with every good intention of praying matins, I allow myself to fire up the laptop just for the merest quick check of email (after all, it’s already noon in Orvieto). And suddenly it’s 45 minutes later, the prayer book is unopened, and I’ve got time only for a quick shower and a bowl of cereal. Yes, I have a Facebook account. It sits mainly unopened except when I accept invitations from the far-flung Gordon in Orvieto alumni to be “Facebook friends.” Reluctantly I have decided that Facebook provides the best medium now available to keep track of these several hundred alumni. Now I’m “social networking” often enough to experience the temptation to a sort of voyeurism in moving from one photo in which I have been tagged, to the source album, to the albums and then profiles of others tagged in the same photo, to the photos of friends of friends, to . . . Where and when does it stop? Is this harmless curiosity?

16 STILLPOINT | Fall 2009

The English word comes from the Latin curiositas, which the medieval moral theologians considered distinctly a vice. It was often described as the besetting temptation of the pilgrim, losing his focus on the goal of the journey by gawking at all the novelties along the way, lapsing into the titillated but uninvolved gaze of the tourist. Curiositas is a desire for the sort of aimless knowledge that comes with no moral strings attached, no responsibility for caring for the person seen. Such idle curiosity, in the medieval view, was related to acedia or will-less sloth, to which one is more vulnerable precisely during those periods of the day when zeal and fortitude are weakened by lethargy. I began with personal illustrations, but they get at some of the reasons why Facebook isn’t invited to become much of a friend at monastery San Paolo, where the Gordon in Orvieto program is situated. It is, after all, not a “trip” that surfs over the surface of famous Italian cities; rather, it’s a full semester of cross-cultural immersion that urges students to let the local culture of a small and intimate town and its people get under their skin in deep and lasting ways. As Sybil Coleman and Bryan Auday’s study indicates, a third of our students spend one to two hours a day on Facebook. Such a habit can translate into 200 hours of a semester supposedly spent “in Italy”; 200 hours: 20 daytimes’ worth—one-fifth of the semester’s opportunities—lost for learning another language, for making real friends in Orvieto, for touching real tufa, for praying with real nuns. The many American university programs in Italy are all reporting their students are measurably less engaged in their local settings than they were 10 years ago. The three main factors of such disengagement are significant amounts of time on the Internet and on the cell phone—now with


the distractions of texting, Facebooking, photographing, and iPodding all contained in the same seductive device; and touristy weekends in Paris or London or Barcelona, taking advantage of cheap flights on Ryanair and EasyJet. Second, the Orvieto semester is intended to counter the disembodied, multitasking quality of so much of

long stretches of uninterrupted time, the filling up of which is decided by no one but one’s self. Fourth, in contrast to a Facebook culture in which cybercommuning with one’s untouchable cyber friends by definition takes one out of the community where one actually IS, the Orvieto semester is a pretty forceful experience of

Curiositas is a desire for the sort of aimless knowledge that comes with no moral strings attached, no responsibility for caring for the person seen. our contemporary life: earbuds plugged in, viewing our surroundings mediated through a camera lens with an eye not on the thing itself but on how it will appear packaged when we put up our Facebook albums within minutes of having the experience. All of these distract us from focused bodily attention to the people, the smells, textures and sounds directly in front of us. Hence the “new monastic” flavor of our program’s stated intention: “To give students an experience of rhythms of life slower and simpler than the forms of contemporary American life (with its speed and size, its barrage of visual images, and its pervading sense of impermanence). We do this by dining together, encouraging sustained conversation, experiencing the traditional liturgies of religious life and civic celebrations, living more closely to the earth in the midst of vineyards and olive groves, and by trading the automobile for the foot.” Third, we wish our students’ experience in Orvieto to counter the weakening of the will that the addictive clicking of a Facebook culture can aggravate. Life in the monastery and in Orvieto is, on one side, more structured, with the Internet signal limited to an hour in the late afternoon, with leisurely meals taken together at precise times, and so forth. On the other side, without hour-by-hour campus obligations, and without the ever-present likelihood of unplanned interruption by the ring of the cell phone or new email message, one faces

intentional community living. Twenty or so people are obliged to look one another in the face with little relief over four months, developing patience (or not) with one another’s quirks and mannerisms, knowing with the body who has done their chores and who has not, inescapably encountering someone’s need for a shoulder to cry on or a joy to share. When the kid across the dinner table is rambling, one must deal with him. And such training in courtesy and patience is, of course, training in love. Facebook—face it—allows the slippery evasions of hitting “Reply” with an ersatz “That’s so cool!” or “I wish I could be there!!!” or “I LOVE your photos!!!!!!” The medium itself requires trite responses and sabotages any substantive conversation. How revealing is the Facebook function of “poking” someone—supposedly a tender signal that you are thinking of the friend at that very moment; but really just a watered-down imitation of a real hug and an hour of patient conversation. John Skillen, Ph.D., is a professor of English and director of the Gordon in Orvieto program. He is also the editor of Palimpsest, the journal of the Studio for Art, Faith and History. safhpalimpsest.blogspot.com john.skillen@gordon.edu

Fall 2009 | STILLPOINT 17


A

C

D B

Cyberworlds, Cyberethics, Cybermissionaries? Brian Glenney “Why, if we can get back to our own world by jumping into this pool, mightn’t we get somewhere else by jumping into one of the others?” —Digory in C. S. Lewis’ The Magician’s Nephew I wish I could get my hands on the magic rings used by Digory and Polly in C. S. Lewis’ The Magician’s Nephew. I’d have the power, like them, to jump from one fantastic world to the next. I’d find a world that suited my philosophical tastes, one where I could layer on a neo-cortex with special sensory capabilities. Echo-locating my car in the parking lot like a bat has always been a dream of mine. A similar universe, a virtual universe, has opened up worlds akin to those envisioned by C. S. Lewis. One called Second Life allows me to create my own virtual “self” in a land as real as any on a computer screen. I meet virtual “others”—other people who are living their virtual lives simultaneously with me—and visit virtual communities: listen to a preacher’s sermon in a virtual church, or hear a lecture on a virtual college campus. Another, the World of Warcraft, is quite similar yet constrains my actions: I must complete missions of vital importance— save maidens and vanquish dragons.

18 STILLPOINT | Fall 2009

(All in a day’s work, so to speak.) Both present themselves as an extension of our own actual world, a digital mirror-image of our own analogue world, populated with digital people but controlled by their “real world” counterparts. Ah! But does my digital self have bat senses? Well, yes and no: Yes, because I program my digital self as I please; no, because it isn’t quite me who is echo-locating. But this is where things get confusing (and intriguing). For in another sense it is me echo-locating. Let me explain. “Avatars”—a form or incarnation of the self—is the name given to these digital alter egos. The name suits since the creation and use of these “beings” is so lifelike that a recursive effect called the “proteus effect” is known to occur in the users. Avatars change the behavior of their users, not just in terms of more snacking and soda-drinking in front of the computer screen, but in terms of how the users view themselves. For instance, if an avatar is tall, the user of that avatar is more likely to behave with the confidence of a tall person in his real “analogue” world. How else might avatars affect selfunderstanding? Might there be, for instance, something more than a morale booster in having tall, good-

looking avatars? Might there be moral implications to certain ways in which an avatar is used? In other words, is there a moral component to my avatar—a digital soul, so to speak? No. Or so I would say when the question is posed directly. But this is my rational self speaking, a self that is often out of touch with my moral self—a self wrapped up in a confused array of intuitions and sentiments. If I consult my intuition, my answer regarding the moral status of an avatar is different. For instance, when I ask whether a married man, whose avatar has had a sexual encounter with another avatar, has himself committed adultery, I intuit that some kind of affair has occurred—something more than a mere imaginative encounter but something less than a real encounter; something to be met with disapprobation nonetheless. Oddly enough, I am also inclined to consider the avatar itself as having behaved inappropriately; and hence, I saddle the avatar with some kind of moral status. I’m not the only one with pear-shaped intuitions. Many of my students— students who use the low-grade avatars of chat rooms and Facebook—hold similarly conflicting intuitions. Out of a survey I conducted on 105 unsuspecting


Gordon College students, 94 denied that avatars are moral beings (85 percent), but more than half of them (55 percent) felt that they enabled real affairs of their users. Even more surprising, a third (38 percent) felt that the avatar itself (or him/herself) was morally culpable in such situations. This clash of intuitions suggests that the realism of digital technology presents a special challenge to our understanding of what constitutes a moral being. What I think makes the ethical status of avatars so unclear is that their very category of being is tied to their existence as an extension of a user—a moral user. In other words, the virtual reality of the digital world seems to provide a unique space for human activity; a space that many philosophical psychologists, like myself, have manipulated in other ways for other purposes. For instance, one of the central projects of my philosophical psychology lab is the engineering and facilitation of sensory substitution devices— computing devices that translate colors from a head camera into sounds heard through headphones. Subjects wearing these devices are able to blindly navigate in their environment by “hearing” its colors. Like avatars, these “sound-colors” are not quite real colors, nor are they purely imaginative. What they are is, like the moral status of avatars, still under investigation.

I want to suggest that it is our unfamiliarity with avatars and soundcolors that generates our confused intuitions about them. Those who have significant familiarity with avatars, for instance, view them as no more problematic than fictional characters. They do, however, blink an eye when I mention the proteus effect—the changes in self-understanding that occur in avatar users. But it’s a blink of excitement. They see the digital world as an area of outreach—a cyber mission field exploding with opportunities to share Christ’s love and to thereby positively affect the self-understanding of other avatar users. These digital missionaries deserve our consideration. After all, if cyberspace is the new mission field, you may be financially and prayerfully supporting one in the near future.

Brian Glenney, Ph.D., works primarily on the philosophy of perception, in particular with how we perceive shape by sight and touch. He and his wife, Lisa, have four children. cipherlab.blogspot.com | ppl.gordon.edu brian.glenney@gordon.edu

Fall 2009 | STILLPOINT 19


Hyperspace Michael Monroe

In one of the most memorable speeches from Peter Shaffer’s play Amadeus, Mozart declares, “That’s why opera is important, Baron. Because it’s realer than any play! A dramatic poet would have to put all those thoughts down one after another to represent this second of time. The composer can put them all down at once—and still make us hear each one of them. . . . I bet you that’s how God hears the world! Millions of sounds ascending at once and mixing in His ear to become an unending music, unimaginable to us!” In addition to beautifully summarizing what it is that can make the apparently unrealistic world of opera so compelling, Shaffer’s Mozart suggests something about why the Internet appeals to me so much: At its best, it can seem to bring together an infinite number of ideas and conversations into a sort of music. Of course, playing God has its downsides, and in the case of the Internet we don’t even have a Mozart to help make sense of it all; but I still find much that is inspiring about this brave new world I like to call hyperspace. When I started blogging almost three years ago, I quickly learned that one of my favorite features of keeping this kind of journal is the capacity for hyperlinking (It’s killing me that I can’t use hyperlinks in this article!).

20 STILLPOINT | Fall 2009

I don’t just mean the regular sort of blogroll links that connect blog to blog or link to the latest YouTube video; I love having the ability to connect thoughts so easily from one post to another, which effectively can weave a bunch of seemingly disconnected essays into a greater whole.

My psychiatrist wife has always thought I had a touch of attention deficit disorder, but I like to think of mine as a mind that is constantly hyperlinking. Of course, on some level, making connections from one idea to another is the way intelligence works. Douglas Hofstadter, a remarkable polymath with particular interest in the field of artificial intelligence, often writes about “analogy making” as a higher-level sign of intelligent life. A computer can easily be taught millions of verbal definitions, but it’s another thing to perceive that hearing an opera can be like seeing the world from God’s vantage point. In his books Gödel, Escher, Bach and Le ton beau de Marot, Hofstadter uses a wide variety of analogies from the worlds of art, literature and music to illustrate how much our minds rely on analogical thinking. The examples work well because the creative process is so often about making connections. The farther out I get from the very focused musical training I had in school, the more I seem to find myself interested in all sorts of different creative pursuits. In addition to my primary training in musical performance, this has included composing music, writing poetry, translating libretti, making movies, working in graphic design, and blogging. I don’t make any great claims when it comes to my creative abilities, but I’m always struck by how often the crucial “creative moment” comes when the mind makes


At their best, hyperlinks can let a reader make some of the same sorts of connections that the writer has made. an unexpected or previously unnoticed connection between two “somethings.” It’s kind of like an accident you’ve been designed to make. I once would have assumed I needed much more specific training to try some of these things (and more training wouldn’t hurt), but I’ve been surprised to discover that finding successful connections is often more intuitive than I would have expected. It’s not much different than finding that perfect analogy. One of the most satisfying projects I’ve undertaken was to translate the rhyming and metered text of a French comic opera (Gounod’s The Doctor in Spite of Himself) into rhymed and metered English. The moments when just the perfect rhyme would “appear to me” always felt like little miracles in which I suddenly married the right word or phrase with the right moment.

In the case of translation, as Hofstadter beautifully illustrates in Le ton beau de Marot, there’s a sense in which one is always looking for the perfect analogy—how to express in English what Gounod’s librettist expressed in French, for example.

But whether it’s writing a symphony or choosing colors for a quilt pattern, I think the heart of the creative process is generally the same. One’s accumulated knowledge is used to help inspire the most interesting connections. It stands to reason the creative mind is conditioned to be looking for connections—whether that’s the task at hand or not—and I like to flatter myself by thinking this is the reason my attention sometimes wanders from its appointed task.

thread of thought—but I struggle more than I should with keeping my topmost focus in the right place. On a fairly trivial level, it used to drive me crazy to be watching a movie or TV show in which a familiar face I couldn’t place showed up; I might spend days trying to figure out where I’d seen that actor before. I used to dream about something like the Internet that would allow me to simply look up actors and learn where else I might have seen them. Now that I know the answer to such questions is just a few clicks away, I find it easier not to get distracted by such things. So this brings me back to my love for links and hyperlinks. They can actually put my hyper mind at ease. There’s a sense in which a hyperlink functions like a more transparent and infinitely more flexible footnote. The reader is invited to dig deeper into an idea, find a definition, or follow a citation as part of the natural flow of the prose. At their best, hyperlinks can let a reader make some of the same sorts of connections that the writer has made. And, at its best, the Internet allows for a rich web of connections that could scarcely have been imagined a few decades ago. I waited more than half my life for the Internet, and I’m so glad it’s here; it fits my way of thinking “to a T.” Perhaps a betterordered mind could keep an old-fashioned notebook journal and also keep track of all the internal connections from entry to entry, but the blogging medium has made it natural to write in a way that communicates both with my previous posts and with those of others. It’s quite satisfying to be able to make those connections more explicit—and, yes, to send readers off to other interesting hyperspaces.

(See, if this were a blog post, that last sentence would have offered the hyperpromise of some unexpected but rewarding destination.)

One of the ways I have always experienced attention deficit has been with reading fiction. Attention-distraction is probably a better way of putting it.

Michael Monroe, D.M.A., assistant professor of music, oversees Gordon’s opera productions, teaches music history and

When I’m reading a long narrative (especially novels), I find it hard not to keep thinking about details I’ve already read when my enjoyment would be better served by focusing on what I’m reading. I’m always worried I’ve missed something, some important connection. That doesn’t mean people who read fluently aren’t thinking about what they’ve read; it makes no sense to think of “reading” a long work if there’s not a running

coaches singers and instrumentalists. His blog, MMmusing.blogspot.com, features essays and multimedia creations. This past spring he inaugurated a noontime series of “Piano Hero” events, joining alum Nathan Skinner in duo-piano arrangements of the great symphonies. michael.monroe@gordon.edu

Fall 2009 | STILLPOINT 21


Postcards on My Wall Jo Kadlecek Three arrived this summer. A handful came last spring. The rest from semesters past. There are the cows of Vermont. Elvis with his Spanish omelette recipe. The standing, waving bears from California. Wegman’s Grocery store and parking lot. A western jackalope; a cigar-smoking chimp from Mexico; even a giant ‘lobstah’ from Cape Cod. Academic treasures? Hardly. Tacky? You bet. Still, I consider the postcards pinned to my office wall valuable educational tools for one simple reason: they came from students. My students. Journalism students who have grown up in virtual worlds, navigating online satellite maps and watching cultures bump into each other more on screens than on sidewalks. The cows and creatures represent another encounter altogether, another way of communicating (void

of electricity); another way of observing a place they might otherwise ignore. And for writing students there’s no better advice than, as Flannery O’Connor put it, to stare. Here’s how it happened. Two months into my first semester as a new faculty member on campus I began asking students to send me a “tacky postcard” whenever they’d leave for a break or a trip. No research incentives here or grand hypothesis; I’d just always liked tacky postcards. Truthfully I wasn’t sure if I’d captured enough of my students’ imagination yet for them to respond. What right, after all, did I have to impose on their break from academia? Then again, I reasoned, if I asked them to send me tacky postcards, it might also send a non-tacky message that I was interested in their lives. And they might pay attention to more than their virtual worlds.

$

22 STILLPOINT | Fall 2009


Photo Kristin Schwabauer Rydbeck ’04

Then my students pulled out pens (instead of keyboards or cameras) and wrote in cursive with their own hands. They’d venture bravely into an actual post office to purchase a stamp. Happily—and surprisingly—they obliged. Whether it was Christmas break in Florida—from which I got the sunglasses postcard with one eye at the beach (“me”) and the other in a snowstorm (“you”)—or a semester abroad (the monastery and vineyards in Italy), these young high-tech reporters did something they hadn’t done much of before. They held in their hands the anachronism of a picture postcard—some yellowed from years on the rack—representing a history and a slice of culture worth a million story possibilities. Then my students pulled out pens (instead of keyboards or cameras) and wrote in cursive with their own hands. They’d venture bravely into actual post offices to purchase stamps—sometimes with foreign coins—from real humans. After which they licked the stamps, stuck them in the corner of the postcards, and dropped them in mail slots. Which brings me back to this summer when a couple landed in my mailbox. There was the Louisiana “See you later, Alligator” postcard and the truly tacky lights of Las Vegas.

Followed by the Ocean City boardwalk and the night-clubbing Scottish couple in skirts, each reminding me of the wonderful reality that my students are paying attention outside of the classroom—and to more than their electronic screens. They are looking at curious parts of new places, scouring details for clues, listening carefully to unfamiliar voices and experiencing the best kind of training possible for a journalist: Life. Their physical senses captured in ways no website could reel them in; their emotions pricked in places no Facebook wall could touch. My postcard collection reminds me that real travel will always be more exciting than the Internet; that its people, stories and adventures are richer sources for understanding the issues of today’s world. I’m hoping they ignite a pirate’s thirst for treasure, a little like the postcard of Captain Jack, who hangs not far from the Parthenon. Of Nashville, that is. And I’m hoping I’m going to need a bigger wall. Jo Kadlecek is senior writer at Gordon College and teaches journalism courses in the Communication Arts Department. Fall 2009 | STILLPOINT 23


Too Much Light Mark Sargent

Light is often a metaphor for beauty— for wisdom, insight, truth. But all of us have times when we have too much light. To be honest, it is hard to sort out the constant flood of light from my computer screen from the metaphorical sense of “too much light” in our lives. In many ways, with the Internet and satellite television—along with the explosion of knowledge in a global society—we can be engulfed by data, by images, by words. All that information— and the technologies that carry it—will only expand exponentially. Much of this is wonderful: greater access to information, greater light on injustice, quicker connections with the people we love. But I’m not sure we are prepared, physically and spiritually, to find a balance between the constant radiation of information and the restorative darkness of rest and renewal. When doing a little research for the Provost’s Film Series, I can easily get lured into the rabbit hole of blogs people write in response to film reviews—some perhaps written in the middle of a sleepless night. Blogging (on films, politics, etc.) can be an expression of democracy but also an endless diet of intellectual fast food. We can neglect the richness of wellcrafted, prudent, well-researched, elegant writing and settle instead for information that is simply accessible, convenient and provocative. We do need the spiritual discipline not to lose ourselves simply in what is convenient and neglect that which is substantial. I wonder what Jesus would have done if he had come to live among us in the time of Facebook. How would he have managed all the people who would

have asked Him to be their friend? But even though there was no Internet in first-century Palestine, there were constant pressures on Jesus: people who pressed around Him to touch Him, to brush against His robes, to hear Him speak. Yet the Gospels tell us Jesus would, on occasion, go away to be alone, to pray, to renew His spirit. As you may recall, he was even asleep when His boat was tossed by the storm. I take heart in this: that the Savior of our world often sought out some silence, sleep and restorative darkness. That he promised comfort and rest, not just labor. My hope and prayer is that we would learn to be careful about overindulging in that which is diverting, spontaneous and simply convenient, and spare more of our minds for what is carefully, beautifully well-crafted and wise. That we would give each other greater gifts of time and space, being careful about the ways we fill one another’s lives with obligations and demands for attention and response. That we would find times of restoration—sleep, of course, but also the early morning walks, times for prayer, reflection, silence and solitude. And perhaps most of all, I pray we will discover how to find balance between compassion and care. Between patience and purpose. That we will learn the difference between hasty rushing into every cause that may diffuse our effectiveness, and the need to prepare ourselves for the times when God will provide opportunities to be busy but to make a profound difference. From chapel address September 16

24 STILLPOINT | Fall 2009


Story bryan parys ’04 Illustration Grant Hanna ’06

Installation 9: Essaying The Moment, or, Till We Have Facebook I am writing in the middle of a blackout thinking about why my mother has Facebook and I still don’t. Well, the sun is still shining through my office window here at UNH, and I’ll be catching a bus back to my electrified apartment momentarily, but right now, in this moment, technology is dead. I think the debate around the information age in general is garrulous, perilous, multiplicitous and marvelous. I could craft this scribble to offer an argument that says free-flowing info and electronic social networking is the best thing to have happened since Gutenberg. I could just as easily condemn it and call for a lot more dark nights of the soul as well as the living room. But I don’t want to do either. Nor do I even feel equipped to make such a grand analysis—I can’t even decide if I want to join Facebook. It seems to me that FB is a collection of moments—an effluvial list of things that shout, “This is me, unedited; don’t you get it? Do you know me yet?” And it is the nature of moments to resist analysis beyond a split-second decision. This is why people de-friend you when you start posting rants on FB about why your political party is so much better than everyone else’s. FB is an outlet where details are allowed to stand alone and timestamp the moment. It is a place for the specific, not the abstract. So you just made tea and the baby puked on your shoe. Update your status! It is your moment, and when I look over my wife’s shoulder and scan the litany of current wall posts, we confirm your moment, your existence in the world. We are inexorably, unrelentingly, blissfully in the moment. So we do what God did when He came down to our earthly moment: gather disciples; or, to put it quite simply, collect things. I love to collect objects of little worth. Many readers may recall my admission in Installation 5 that I obsessively save junk email. Well, time hasn’t slowed that disposition. In fact, time has never changed; it is we who decide what pauses and speeds by. I crave moments that most of us forget, or never recognize at all. I own the Ben-Hur soundtrack on vinyl; I still have a notebook from my time at Gordon where I wrote down this quote from Dr. Aiken: “Where the Chickens of Love come home to roost”; and I can cite this cryptic email that appeared in my spam box: Gale, for your efforts will be an equivocal one: you will feel as suffocated

I don’t know who Gale is, and I don’t really know what the sender is talking about, but it feels like a warning: Don’t just collect; share, or you’ll stop breathing. So does this mean I’ll be signing up for FB in the near future? I have no idea. But that’s not the point I’m circling here. I’m simply trying to essay this moment. And by essay, I speak of the definition from the middle-French essai, meaning “to try” or “to explore.” I use it, as Montaigne implied and Emerson did, as a verb, turning mere moments into moments of action, of eternity.

It seems to me that FB is a collection of moments—an effluvial list of things that shout, “This is me, unedited; don’t you get it? Do you know me yet?” Posting details on FB, then, is just the start of the essay. The rest of it is what you do with that information in the real world. Maybe that’s why I’m not on there yet: The weight of details feels to me like stacks of would-be books. I want to follow each detail until I know each and every one of you, answering your constant questions of existence. I may not have a FB account, but I already spend way too much time spying on others through my wife’s account. And even then I feel overcome by the flexed armfuls of humanity. I haven’t learned not to suffocate myself, basically. When things get messy and crowded, I try to hold all the moments at once, arranging them like shards of stained glass until they move from a pile of colors to the shape of a saint. I guess I’m just going to need some more time to breathe.

bryan parys doesn’t like to capitalize his name and is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction at the University of New Hampshire. If he had FB, here’s what his status update would be from the moment he wrote this bio: “Has heartburn from the many buckwheatwalnut pancakes he ate at Polly’s Pancakes in Sugar Hill, New Hampshire. Oh, but Polly, it was worth it.” bryan.parys@gordon.edu Fall 2009 | STILLPOINT 25


Living in the Enclosed Garden: The Convent Life of Gordon in Orvieto Permanence is an important aspect of community, and it is impossible to develop it without the commitment to stay—in the case of students, for the semester; and for San Paolo’s nuns, for a lifetime. San Paolo has been part of Orvieto, Italy, for over 800 years.

Art, rich history, beautiful country, fascinating cities, good food . . . and nuns? Students in the Gordon in Orvieto program anticipate some of the cultural riches offered through our outpost in Italy, but others might be grasped more gradually. Currently housed in the Monastero San Paolo, previously in San Lodovico on the other side of town, the Gordon in Orvieto program is closely tied to the institution of the convent. Our program has found convents suitable for reasons linked to the ancient and more recent history of such places. Women’s religious orders in Europe have fallen on lean times. Reduced ranks have left vacant space in great old buildings, now given to education, celebration, charity, hospitality. But it would be foolish, boorish, not to take stock of their original purposes; 26 STILLPOINT | Fall 2009

especially as some of the hallmarks of these institutions—consecrated space and time, faithfulness conceived as meditation and prayer, community life—not only shape the walls we reside in but also encourage deliberate observance of these habits in fresh and appropriate ways. We give thanks to God, rendiamo grazie a Dio, for the chance to learn in this setting. Entering the convent invites questions about its past. Walls, gates and heavy doors separate it from the busy street outside. From the Middle Ages until only the last few hundred years, most women in religious life were cloistered. That is, after taking formal vows they would neither leave the building nor permit many outsiders to enter. But convents were often constructed around outdoor spaces within the doors, enclosed gardens and courtyards

for refreshment and reflection. A courtyard is visible immediately after San Paolo’s main entrance, and a lovely cortile overlooking the cliffside lies at the end of the hallway. The hall in between reaches spaces given to common use: a refectory for meals; a vestibule for preparing to enter the adjacent chapel, where sisters would gather repeatedly each day for prayer. The building nudges us into community. Religious houses offered women the opportunity to dedicate their time to God, following a rule of discipline and prayer together, removed from secular life. The fifth-century “patron saint of Europe,” Saint Benedict, wrote a Rule for monks that was adapted for women and adopted by the first residents of San Paolo. San Paolo’s records are scarce, but their reputation for devotion and holiness persisted over centuries


Story Agnes R. Howard Photo John Skillen

and attracted praise from visitors, including the famous female poet Vittoria Colonna. In centuries when women’s opportunities for literacy and work outside the domestic sphere were sharply limited, convents allowed them to study, make music and art, or copy books. For us that affords a salutary reminder that study and prayer go together, and that having a stretch of time to do both is a high privilege. That stretch of time is divided into segments, disciplined. For those in

fruits. But they require discipline, both within and from above. Our version of this process repeats itself each semester as if for the first time, or as if in centuries past. Students share rooms, a coffee pot, schedules (with all together in one or two courses), pasta served family-style at dinners with classmates not of their election. Another aspect of community, of course, is shared labor. Weekly chores fall to all. Disputes arise when one fails to wash dishes or mop the floor as expected. These may appear petty,

Much of San Paolo’s history is beyond our reach. But the snapshots we have—of a 1527 visit from Pope Clement VII; of 16th- century commissions sisters received to restore distant convents; of the acquisition of a miracle-working painting of Jesus; of the building and decoration of the 17th- century Church of San Paolo—along with the house’s reputation for piety, help us to see it as one of Orvieto’s estimable institutions. San Paolo is on the edge: of Orvieto; of the cliff. Placing monasteries on Orvieto’s rim was the design of

Shared lives, mutual burdens, and unity for the sake of God are sweet fruits. But they require discipline, both from within and from above. monastic life, the year is given shape by the liturgical calendar, church seasons overlaying natural ones. Within each day the Liturgy of the Hours sets aside periods for prayer at dawn, noon, night, through to Compline to close the day. The belltower, campanile, tolls times for each. Time is different at Gordon in Orvieto. Lest this sound merely fanciful, note that the change in time zones, curfew hours, and assigned slots for activities set apart this semester from students’ lives at home. Meals are taken not whenever hunger nags but at fixed hours at table together. Internet access is limited, so Facebook gets bumped from the center of the social universe. Students themselves often remark on the pleasant (slow) pace of life, which my inner voice answers with the judgment that I must not have assigned enough reading. But community doesn’t come cheap. Nuns who entered convents chose their way of life but not necessarily each other. They had to learn how to pursue holiness while sleeping and waking among difficult personalities and old habits. Shared lives, mutual burdens, and unity for the sake of God are sweet

but such disputes hold out a link to the monastic tradition whose quarters we occupy. Monks and nuns recognized that these minor tasks were of major significance; service to one’s brothers and sisters in small ways bred love, humility, faithfulness. Permanence is another aspect of community, for it is impossible to develop it without the commitment to stay—in the case of students, for the semester; and for San Paolo’s nuns, for a lifetime. San Paolo has been part of Orvieto for almost 800 years. Founded in 1221, the convent switched from Benedictine to Dominican rule in 1309. San Paolo weathered the changes of Medieval and Early Modern periods: plague, Guelph-Ghibelline warfare, Renaissance, Reformations Protestant and Catholic, right up to the French Revolution. When war swept across Europe after the French Revolution, San Paolo suffered as Napoleon and his troops closed, destroyed or pillaged church institutions throughout Italy. The sisters had to find shelter in private homes in what must have been a fearful and dismaying end to the enclosed life they had chosen. San Paolo remained empty for several decades.

medieval city fathers in a time of frequent fighting and factions. It suits monasteries still, not only because their guests get to enjoy wonderful vistas (and, as with most Italian hill towns, the view is half the point) but also because religious institutions are both part of the urban landscape—omnipresently, inextricably part of, in the eyes of newcomers discovering church after duomo after convent after oratory in a walk through the medieval streets—and committed to a different purpose.

Agnes R. Howard, Ph.D., is an adjunct professor of history who has taught in the Gordon in Orvieto program. She has published essays in First Things, Commonweal, Books & Culture and The Cresset. Agnes and her husband, Tal, live in Georgetown, Massachusetts, and have three children. agnes.howard@gordon.edu

Fall 2009 | STILLPOINT 27


Philip ’82 and Kathleen Beattie David Belman, P ’91

followed by year of graduation.

Founder’s Circle Lloyd G. Balfour Trust Donald and Barbara Chase, Trustee, P ’84 Charles and Nola Falcone, Former Trustee, P ’95 Frederick and Nancy Gale Dennis and Lisa Hardiman, P ’06 David Jodice ’75 Raymond and Priscilla Lee, Trustee, P ’11 Sara ’94 and Joshua ’95 Martinelli Donald Jr. ’90 and Theresa Nelson Stephen Oliver Ellen ’90 and Charles Pepin Tom and Gert Phillips, Trustee Craig and Salome Prickett, P ’06 Schrafft Charitable Trust David and Esther Schultz, Trustee David and Mary Shahian, Trustee Sherry Tupper, P ’95 Bradford and Pamela Warner, Trustee Mark ’89 and Mina Whitmore David and Suannah Young, Trustee

President’s Circle Peter and Diana Bennett, Former Trustee Dennis and Wendy Dixon, P ’07 David ’45B, ’61 and Muriel Franz, P ’72, ’78 Dale and Ann Fowler John ’78 and Leslie Gurley, Trustee Peter and Jo Dee Herschend, Trustee, P ’98, ’00 Jack Kallis, Trustee Kurt Keilhacker, Trustee Daniel ’74 and Darlene ’74 Kuzmak, P ’01, ’03 David and Sheila Larson, P ’89, ’89, ’90, ’93 R. Preston ’85 and Pamela Mason, Trustee Thomas and Lyn Shields Stephen and Claire Tavilla, Trustee Emeritus, P ’82, ’71 Jodie and Dottie Thompson Christian and Eva Trefz, P ’09 John and Laurie Truschel, P ’12 Clyde ’58 and Nancy Wynia

Sponsor’s Circle Marlan and Katharine Allen, P ’09 Joyce ’58 and Harold Anderson, P ’85, ’89 Abigail Baird ’03 Marion Bean ’50B John ’53 and Beverly Beauregard, P ’83, ’78

40 STILLPOINT | Fall 2009

P ’10, ’12

John and Janice Weir

Ron and Donna Hilton, P ’99, ’03

Joan Welsh

Frances ’56 and Robert ’56

Ruth Bennett ’65B

Steve and Robin MacLeod

Robert ’73 and Shirley Werth

Paul and Joan Bergmann, P ’76

Kenneth and Susan Martin, P ’08

Pauline ’57 and Marvin Wilson

Dwayne Huebner, P ’91

Phillip ’64 and Linda ’65 Bonard

Karen McHugh ’83

Richard and Gail Wilson, P ’92

Gordon and Jane Anne

Robert and Nancy Bradley,

R. Bancroft ’68B and

Theodore and Susan Wood

Former Trustee, P ’01 P= Parent(s) of graduate(s)

Jim and Joyce MacDonald,

Pablo Bressan ’95 Tom and Carol Breuer, P ’01 Robert ’89 and Tatum ’96 Brooks Cedric ’87 and Lisa ’87 Buettner Nancy ’85 and Gregory Cannon Linda ’70 and David Carlson Roy Carlson Jr., P ’78 Priscilla ’60 and William Carter

Kathleen McKittrick Jerrold McNatt and

Bert Hodges Harold and Jeanette Myra, Trustee, P ’92, ’98

John ’69 and Jean Chang

Cathy ’80 and Frank Nackel

Mary ’49 and Wendell Chestnut

Nathaniel and Caroline Nash

Randall ’67 and

Bill and Chelle Nickerson,

Patricia ’68 Collins, P ’93 Casey Cooper ’03 Mary Cowperthwaite ’69 William and Patricia Crawley, P ’88 Linda ’71 and Douglas Crowell

Shelley and Mary Ellen Ivey, P ’82

Kenneth Zuber

William ’78 and Ann Johnson Jack and Deborah Lawrence, P ’11

Associate’s Circle

P ’00 Doreen Morris ’74 and

P ’84, ’87 Doris ’52B and Raymond ’54B Nickerson James ’84 and Linda ’86 Nooney W. Terry and Janice Overton, P ’83

Byron ’90 and Kristin ’92 List Barry and Donna Loy, P ’07, ’09

Elizabeth ’85 and Ralph Aarons

Douglas and Maria MacDonald,

Peter Allen ’69 Thomas and Jean Askew, P ’77, ’86 Robb and Jane Allison Austin, Trustee

J.R. ’91 and Sandi Miller Steven and Janet Miller

Andrea ’89 Bergstrom

Charles and Sarah Pickell

Dawn ’01 and Jonathan Bosland

Dan and Tracy Pierce Sarah Prescott ’82 and Andrew

Thomas and Barbara Denmark,

Seppo and Judith Rapo, Trustee,

Ronald and Barbara Burwell,

Kenneth Durgin Earl ’74 and Linda Farmer, P ’99 Barbara Faulkner ’54B Stan and Judy Gaede

P ’98

William and Evie Reed, P ’78

Sandy ’93 and Dave Butters

Colyn ’72 and Janet Roberts,

Ernest and Eileen Cecilia, P ’05

James ’66B and Joanne Roberts, P ’92, ’95 David ’74B and Joyce ’75B Ruppell, P ’02

William and Christine Clark, P ’01, ’09

Walter ’49B and Audrey ’53B Rice Douglas ’75 and Karen Rieck Jenny ’93 and Chad ’94 Robinson Kari ’91 and Jeffrey ’92 Rourke Dorothy ’50 and

Joseph Davies ’06 Augustus and Becky Dibble, P ’11

Thomas and Patricia Gawlak,

Andrew ’04 and Emily ’04 Ryan

Donald ’53 and Elaine Dickinson

Bradford ’91 and

Edward and Janet Dietz,

Sharon ’92 Salmon

Richard Reed

Lisa Coderre ’84

Dan and Kathleen Russ

Paige Gibbs ’69

Beauregard ’83, P ’09 Ronald and Mimi Pruett

Catherine Cobbey ’96

Dorothy Galbraith P ’10, ’12

Ronald Perry ’65

Robert ’50B and Sally Blancke

Charles ’61 and Carole Brutto

P ’06

Frank McPherson

Eric ’89 and

Gordon Pierce ’60, P ’84, ’87, ’90

Kristine Dunne ’89

Margaret ’85 and

Ruth Bennett ’65B

Edna Della Barba ’51

Brenda ’85 DeVos

Marjorie McClintock ’90

Jen ’04 and A.J. Migonis

Thales and Sally Bowen

P ’92, ’91

P ’05 Bruce MacKilligan ’58B, P ’89, ’91

Charlotte Baker ’64

Leonard and Judy Peterson

P ’96

Pam ’81 and Charlie Lazarakis

A.P. Vending & Amusement Co.

Judith Dean ’78

Stephen ’84 and

Hugenberger, Former Trustee

Thomas ’68 and Linda ’69 Zieger

Jolene Nakagura David ’71 and Nancy Mering,

Hinckley, P ’85, ’89, ’95

P ’89, ’96

Richard ’53 Rung Grosvenor and Marjorie Rust, P ’78 Ruth Schmidt Scott ’90 and Karyn Schneider

Verne and Nadine Gingerich

Mark and Arlyne Sargent

Jean ’96 and Brian ’98 Donaldson

Barbara Skinner, P ’83

Robert Greene ’51B

Warren ’57 and Joan Sawyer

Alice ’50B and

Loren and Colleen Sloat, P ’03

Jeremy ’98 and Lindsay ’98 Grim

Mark ’03 and

Bob ’81 and Barb ’81 Grinnell

Shannon ’06 Schreiber

Deighton ’50 Douglin Debbie and Roger Drost,

John and Brenda Soucy

Thomas ’77 and Carol ’78 Gruen

Donald ’59 and Shelby ’61 Scott

Steven ’74 and Debra Harding

Olli ’68 and Denise Silander, P ’10

Mary ’60 and Arnold ’61 Ellsworth

Stephen and Vera Sypko

Charles ’86 and Lisa ’89 Harvey

Bradley ’88 and Claudia ’90 Small

Timothy ’00 and Kiera Erickson

Lorie ’90 and Brian Thomas

Carol Herrick

Herman Jr. ’70 and Denise Smith,

Robert ’60 and Joyce Ferguson

Nancy ’65 and John Tobey

Sherwood ’59 and Julie Frost

Harold and Diane Toothman Jon ’83 and Carlene Tymann,

Herbert Hess, P ’87

Trustee

P ’04, ’07

Derk Smid ’81

Robin Higle ’85

Warren ’98 and Tressa ’98 Smith

Tom and Jutta Gerendas

Diane ’86 and Ken Hodge

G. Alan and Jane Steuber

Michael and Ann Givens,

Pearl Homme ’47

Mark ’78 and Judy Stockwell,

Arlene ’04 and Gordon Hood David ’65 and Irmgard Howard, P ’95 Lynn ’82 and Michael Huber Roger ’80 and Barbara Huseland, P ’07, ’09 Skip Hussey ’63 Randi ’85 and Tim Hutchinson Frederick ’59B and Alma ’75B Ivor-Campbell

P ’12

Lois Goyer ’56B

Meirwyn and Nina Walters

Frederick and Juliet Griffin, P ’73

Bruce and Susan Webb

Marla ’75 and

James ’01 and

Thomas Weis ’83

Bradford ’76 Stringer, P ’06 Andrew ’01 and Rebecca ’02 Stuart David and Marcia Swenson, P ’92, ’96

Gary ’76 and Patricia ’76 Russell and Jean Tupper, P ’88

Kirsten ’90 and Andrew Keith

Dan and Andrea Tymann, P ’08

Rob and Connie Lawrence

William ’52 and Nancy ’55B Udall

Edward and Judy Ann

Raymond and Norma Unsworth,

Trustee, P ’95 Gordon and Gail MacDonald, P ’89

David ’84 and Elaine Hayes

Barbara ’64 and Roger Winn Richard ’55 and Lois Witham, P ’88 Timothy ’73 and Georgette Woodruff Alfred ’65B and Lynn ’66B Young

P ’85

WHO ARE PARTNERS?

Thorburn, P ’04, ’07

Howard ’52 and Hazel Keeley

Bronwyn ’87 and Caleb Loring,

Eldon and Grace Hall, P ’81

Robert and Betty Herrmann,

Robert and Meredith Joss, P ’03

P ’96, ’97

Steve and Jane Hager

Virginia Tavilla ’55, P ’89 Janice ’96 and Stanley Tedford

Richard and Carolyn Lippmann,

Samantha ’95 and Joshua Hager

Laura Headley

Ruth Jones

Eric ’91 and Catherine ’91 Lindsay

Emily ’02 Grumbine

Ann Tappan Mark and Carol Taylor, P ’02, ’06

LeNormand, P ’94

P ’12 Joanne Waldner ’74

Richard and Martha Stout

Ross and Emily Jones

Robert and M’Liss Kane, P ’12

P ’88, ’96

Brock ’84 and Gina Swetland

P ’76 Jim and Barbara Vander Mey, Trustee Silvio Vazquez ’87 Richard and Jayne Waddell, P ’98 Harrison and Alice Walker Kirk and Linda Ware, Trustee Dwayne and Cindy Webber, P ’11

bb Nearly 30 percent are parents of Gordon grads or of current students. bb A growing number are Gordon faculty and staff. bb Younger alumni who received support from Partners are giving back to a program that helped them. bb New Partners—like you—are joining every day to help address the financial needs of our students. Partners recipients are students who often work a summer job and a full-time job during the school year, but still fall short of the finances they need to attend Gordon.


Photo Rebekah Frangipane ’11

We’ve given of ourselves through our jobs, but we’ve also given financially through Partners, and we have certainly received many blessings in return because of it. Barry Loy

Thirty-Eight Years of Giving Creatively Between them they’ve worked 38 years on Gordon’s campus in various roles—Barry as dean of students for 25 years and Donna at Winn Library’s circulation desk for four years and in the Admissions Office for nine.

The Partners Program

In addition to giving leadership to the Center for Student Development, Barry can often be found advising student groups, playing racquetball with students or teaching golf. Donna annually leads Homecoming nature tours and has been a teaching assistant for the Field Ornithology class. They have both been A. J. Gordon Scholar mentors and have participated in Companions for the Journey, a mentoring program that matches students with faculty or staff members.

awarding every dollar directly to students who

Donna and Barry thrive on helping students realize the mission of Gordon College—“intellectual growth, Christian maturity, leadership skills and servant hearts.” They give monetarily to Gordon for the same reason they work at Gordon. Three of the four Loy children studied at Gordon, giving Barry and Donna a close-up look at the impact Gordon has on students and realizing firsthand what a valuable investment it was for their own kids. “We’ve given of ourselves through our jobs, but we’ve also given financially through Partners,” says Barry, “and we have certainly received many blessings in return because of it.”

John Willis, development gifts officer.

The Partners Program provides scholarship support to financially deserving students, are studying to serve and lead in every career field, including the sciences, the arts, education, ministry, health care, social services, computer technology and others. Giving If you’d like to make a gift to Gordon, contact

Contact John Willis 978 867 4574 john.willis@gordon.edu www.gordon.edu/partners


255 Grapevine Road, Wenham MA 01984-1899 www.gordon.edu

CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED

dress on fishing dock acrylic on board, 18 x 24 inches Š 2009

Jean Sbarra Jones painter

This painting is one in a series of a dress at a fishing dock. The image of the dress

Jean Sbarra Jones, M.F.A. (Boston

has been present in my work for over a decade. Uninhabited, it is fragile and

University), is an adjunct professor of art

evocative. My interest in the abstracted shapes of fishing boats and the water and docks they occupy came about when I married a lover of such things. Placing them

at Gordon and an award-winning artist who has exhibited extensively. Her work is included in many collections, including

together resulted in unexpected contrasts. I was drawn to the challenge of depicting

that of color-field painter Kenneth

with paint the disparity among surfaces that are transparent and opaque, delicate

Noland. She lives and works at her home

and coarse. Strong, unifying light heightens the theatrical nature of their shared

and studio in Salem, Massachusetts, with

existence, offering an untold story to be imagined.

her husband, Norman Jones, associate professor of theatre at Gordon.

Stillpoint Fall 2009  
Stillpoint Fall 2009  

Till We Have Faces: Who Are We in Cyberspace?