Groton School Quarterly February 2008 | Vol. LXX, No. 1
METAMORPHOSES at Groton
ii | Quarterly February 2008
Groton School Quarterly February 2008 | Vol. LXX, No. 1
Circiter | Featured on Campus
Personae | People of Note
The theatre program’s fall production
Excerpts from All School Lecture October 22, 2007
Per Circulum Locuti Sunt | Voices on the Circle
Grotoniana | All Things Groton
30 New Faculty Profiles
33 Fall Sports
38 New Releases
40 School News
19 A Midsummer Read
A Chapel Talk by Sahin Naqvi ’08
26 The Burning Bush
A Chapel Talk by Henry P. Davis ’84, Trustee
In Memoriam | As We Remember
46 David C. Carmody ’59
48 Harry Cheever ’69
24 A Quantum Realization
A Chapel Talk by Aimeclaire Roche, Assistant Head
21 Making Connections in New York City
By Shepard Krech III ’62
28 William H. Crocker ’43, Ethnographer
October 27, 2007
11 A Night With Bill McKibben
A Chapel Talk by Christopher C. Gates, P’89
Notabilia | New & Noteworthy
50 Form Notes
Cover and front inside cover: Photos by Arthur Durity. Back cover: Photo by Andrew and Suzi Moore. Fall sports photos by Vaughn Winchell.
Quarterly February 2008
Groton School Quarterly February 2008 | Vol. LXX, No. 1
A new era for the Quarterly
ast summer two events happened almost simultaneously. I left a career spanning 32 years of admission work to become the first communications director at Groton, and 596 responses from the first online Peabody Press survey were submitted and reviewed by members of the Quarterly’s editorial staff. My new job placed me squarely in the editor’s chair of the Quarterly, and what you have in your hands today is the beginning of a transformation, responding in no small part to what we heard from you regarding what you might like to see in the magazine. This issue moves the Quarterly into a new era, co-existing with our online newsletter and developing more balance between campus-based material and content developed by our alumni. Budgetary constraints and editorial policy will make the changes to the magazine somewhat incremental as we move through the publication cycle—a bit of color, modest design changes, a new feature or two. But the future content changes that you see will be derived from your suggestions as well as your contributions. Hence, we provide on our masthead a designated email address for feedback, suggestions, corrections and the like. Quarterly@groton.com is a special address for the Groton family to communicate with the Quarterly, and I hope you will feel moved to use it. In Shakespeare’s last play, The Tempest, Antonio speaks with Sebastian in John M. Niles, Director of Communications Act 2 scene 1, wondering quietly (as the King sleeps nearby) why it is that they survived the storm and had been cast together onto the island shore. Although Antonio quickly moves to convince Sebastian of his plot to kill the sleeping king, his words have often been used out of context in a less diabolical way, describing the fact that we each stand in a timeline, a continuum of sorts and that our future is often a consequence of what has come before, our past informing the scale and scope of what is to come. In this sense, the long history of the Groton School Quarterly serves as a body of work Whereof what’s past is prologue what to come, in your and my discharge. I enter this new era of publication of the Quarterly with deep respect for those editors who have produced such good work in the years past, and I look forward to being with you a steward of that standard of excellence while managing the changes that will occur. –JMN
2 | Quarterly February 2008
Editor John M. Niles Graphic Designer Jeanne Abboud Contributing Editors Julia B. Alling Amybeth Babeu Elizabeth Wray Lawrence ’82 John MacEachern Melissa Ribaudo Rachel S. Silver William V. Webb ’93 Editorial Offices The Schoolhouse Groton School, Groton, MA 01450 Phone: 978-44-7506 E-mail: email@example.com
Other School Offices Alumni Office 978-448-7520 Admission Office 978- 448-7510
The views presented are not necessarily those of the editors or the official policies of the School. Groton School of Groton, MA 01450 publishes the Groton School Quarterly three times a year in late summer, winter, and spring, and the Annual Report once a year in the fall.
METAMORPHOSES AT GROTON
hen alumni, past parents, and other friends return to Groton after time away, at some point they almost always make one of the following observations: “It’s astonishing how much remains the same!” or “It’s incredible how much has changed!” The paradox is ever-present, as it surely must be if we intend to instill timeless values while remaining relevant in a rapidly changing world. Late this fall, shortly after the time-honored tradition of the St. Mark’s day bonfire, and just before the seventy-ninth annual Service of Lessons and Carols filled the Chapel with the spirit of Christmas, the School arrived at two historic decisions for change. First, after a year of research and discussion, the Groton faculty, led by its Curriculum Committee, made a strong majority recommendation to add Mandarin Chinese to our modern language offerings. Our vibrant programs in French and Spanish will continue, as will our belief in classical lan- Richard B. Commons, Headmaster guage study as an essential part of a complete Groton education. Beginning in the fall of 2008, however, they will be complemented by Groton’s first non-western language offering. Second, in a move that brought headlines in the local and national press, we announced in November that qualified students from families with incomes under $75,000 will attend Groton tuition-free beginning next fall. This bolsters a financial aid program that currently provides $3.5 million to 32% of the student body. Furthermore, the announcement makes public and vivid Groton’s commitment to making the transformative experience of living and learning on the Circle accessible to all. Befitting these historic changes, the Campbell Performing Arts Center was graced this fall by a stunning performance of Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses, from which the beautiful cover image for this issue of the Quarterly was taken. I should hasten to add that, while there is a thematic link to developments at Groton, the metamorphoses in the play often come as consequences of rather bad behavior. I can assure you that the changes at Groton have quite an opposite cause! The faculty approached openly, seriously, and without territorialism the critical question of adding a non-western language to an already full curriculum. And the Trustees combined strategic vision with deep commitment in their approval of our new financial aid initiative. These are exciting times on the Circle. And yet, as you turn these pages, along with the news and newness, I hope you will find the essential constancies that define Groton School.
Quarterly February 2008
Circiter | Featured on Campus
Parents WEEKEND Parents Weekend Address October 27, 2007 Richard B. Commons
4 | Quarterly February 2008
like the proverbial helicopter, wondering: how much freedom, how much risk? * * * Perhaps you saw the piece on “helicopter parenting” in The Wall Street Journal a month ago. The author names and explains various manifestations of this now familiar concept. The most extreme form of the helicopter parent is dubbed “The Blackhawk”—the parent who swoops in on every problem the child encounters with a ferocious attack or defense, all guns blazing regardless of the level of crisis. I have met this parent, though not at Groton of course, not in this room. The article gives other names for less aggressive, but still hovering parents, with the ultimate suggestion that some helicoptering can be good. The most appropriate form, according to the article, is “The Traffic and Rescue Helicopter”—the parent who provides information but does not insist on a particular direction, and who swoops in only occasionally with supplies and support. (WSJ, 9/27/07) This got me thinking about what kind of helicopter I hope to be. A few weeks ago, a colleague passed along a transcript of a talk given by a professor at Dartmouth College’s September convocation. The Arthur Durity
all. I’ve been thinking about fall. The colors in the trees, yes, and the dusky afternoons, and the Red Sox in The Fall Classic, and the first morning frost turning into the last Indian summer day. All of that. But this year fall means something more because of Matthew, our 8-month-old son, for whom the name of the season seems to be a command and a way of living—dangerously. For the last six weeks, he has spent all day every day pulling himself up on the furniture, and then, in keeping with the season, he falls. Hundreds of times a day, he finds a chair leg, a coffee table, a wall or a door, pulls himself up to his full height (28½ inches), looks around at the new vista with satisfaction, and then topples backward. And he falls not like an October leaf but like a ripe and heavy apple—hard, with a thump and a thwack. All I can do is scoop him up and soothe him and try to make him happy once again. If that doesn’t stop his tears, I have another method: I give him to Lindsay. Sometimes I’m quick enough or close enough to be there when he topples. And then he falls into my outstretched hands, and I swing him up and away from danger, and he giggles at the swift surprise with no earthly idea of the pain I’ve just prevented, and nothing, nothing I have ever done has felt so completely useful or so utterly good. On special occasions in Chapel we read The Graduate’s Prayer, written for Groton School, which includes the words “strengthen them when they stand…and raise them up if they should fall.” These words are my mantra as I follow Matthew around the house. Of course The Graduate’s Prayer is addressed to God, not a firsttime parent, but you all know this desire to provide divine intervention for your children. In fact, you all know not only how it is at eight months, but also how different and difficult it is to prevent the pain at 8 years, or 13. But indulge me. In each of my first four Octobers at Groton, I stood before this Parents Weekend assembly as the only person in the room who was not a parent. Eight months ago that changed, and I am newly one of you. A primary benefit of my new membership in the parent body is that I now join you in the daily, sometimes minute-to-minute dilemma of how much freedom to allow, how much room for discovery, when it’s a given that new opportunities will be accompanied by new risks. I love the look on Matthew’s face as he pulls himself up on a drawer and leans in to discover what’s inside—a whole new world of tupperware. But I know the drawer will slide closed at any moment on his tiny fingers or slide all the way open, toppling him backward. Thump. Thwack. And so I hover over him
Kenji Kikuchi, Director of the Jazz Ensemble, takes a bow.
Parents Weekend Arthur Durity
topic was teaching, not parenting, but the remarks included the following story, which I found to be instructive to both: A mother, hoping to advance her 5-year-old son’s interest in music, took him to a concert featuring the great Polish pianist, Ignace Paderewski. They were fortunate to have seats very close to the stage. After taking their seats, the mother saw a friend close by, and soon became so engrossed in discussion with the friend that she didn’t notice her son leaving his seat to go wandering back stage. As the lights dimmed and the curtains opened, the mother finally noticed that her son was not in his seat. Before she could get up to go search for him, her eyes turned to the grand Steinway piano on the stage and to… her son, sitting at the piano, picking away to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” … [At] just that moment, the grand master himself walked out onto the stage and stood right behind her son. Paderewski leaned over to the boy and whispered into his ear “…keep playing.” And then, from behind the young pianist, the master reached out his left hand and began filling the bass part, and with his right hand, he improvised a…harmony. The crowd was…mesmerized, and at the conclusion of this spontaneous duet, they broke out into thunderous applause. (N. Bruce Duthu 9/25/07) I hope this Parents Weekend has given you the sense that your children are being encouraged and inspired at Groton in this way, by this kind of teacher. As the professor described it in his convocation remarks, …the lines between teacher and student were blurred as each served as a source of inspiration, passion, and creativity for the other. Far from imposing his will upon the situation, the maestro reacted with humility, to reward the boy’s curiosity and grant him entrance… into the master’s world of inspired music making. It’s a story for every teacher to remember, as we must not forget to embrace the curiosity and creativity of every child we teach even though we may have intended a different lesson or a loftier region of whatever discipline is ours. But I think the story offers an important model for parents as well. To give our children the opportunity to discover new worlds for which they are made, we too must achieve a profound humility. Like the mother in the story, we must actively put our children in the presence of other adults who can grant them entrance into new worlds. And we must be willing, having created that kind of opportunity, to look away long enough that our children are free—free to fall into other hands than ours, free to “keep playing” without us. To continue a clumsy metaphor, we must be willing to put them under the oversight of other helicopters, ones we cannot ourselves control. Still the question remains for all of us: how much freedom? It’s a simpler question for an 8-month old climbing into drawers than it is for a second former or a sixth. And, even for your children, the piano, the classroom, and the playing field present easier freedoms
Mrs. McDaniel and daughter, Rachel ’10 enjoy the weather on Parents Weekend.
“ [W]e must be willing, having created that kind of opportunity, to look away long enough that our children are free—free to fall into other hands than ours, free to ‘keep playing’ without us.” to offer than the automobile, for instance, or the Internet. And so we hover over their college processes and their computer screens, wondering if we should be closer or farther away. * * * Lindsay and I have a little time before we will begin worrying about colleges or computers (very little, I know), but we have very recently been engaged in another complicated question of Matthew’s freedom. This past Sunday, we had him baptized, surrounded by students and colleagues in St. John’s Chapel and with our own parents joining us from California and Pennsylvania. In our preliminary discussions about the event, I worried that baptism represented too much intent to control his spiritual development, too little freedom for Matthew to choose (eventually) his own religious path. The language of the Baptismal Covenant Quarterly February 2008
Circiter | Featured on Campus “ It seems to me that we must be deeply involved in our children’s lives while acknowledging, humbly, regularly, and as a principal part of our involvement, that we are insufficient.” in the Episcopal Church is quite specific, and reading through it before the service, I felt like I was plotting the flight plan of my helicopter before Matthew was able to stand on his own physically, much less religiously. When I shared this concern with Lindsay, telling her that I want Matthew to grow up open to religious questions and free to discover his own answers, she responded, “We also want him to grow up open to new foods and free to discover what he likes to eat, but for now, and for a while, we have to feed him what we believe to be most nourishing.” For once, I listened, and her metaphor made sense. Nourishing our children with what we believe, with what values we have discovered to be most lasting and true, is very different from monitoring every move—be it physical, virtual, or spiritual. I realized upon reflection that I have understood this for some time as it pertains to your children, but I have to learn it anew with my own. Bringing up children with clarity about what we value and believe is not hovering; it’s empowering. Lindsay and I both spoke at the christening last Sunday. We had discussed the themes we would address, but we did not know what the other would say, so it was new to me, and very moving, when she concluded her remarks with this:
Mr. and Mrs. Lysohir, parents of Charlotte ‘08, confer with Andy Anderson.
nourishment….and sometimes I find myself assuming that Matthew is still a part of me—physically, like my arm or another head. The amount of control I have over him is dizzying. But now I give him away. From creator to Creator, now I give him back to God.
Baptizing Matthew is a way for me to formally recognize that my son does not belong to me, even though he exists because of me. Matthew has lived in my stomach longer than he has lived in this world. I grew him. My body continues to provide his primary source of
Mrs. Sarah Villa, mother of Emily ’09, speaks with Peter Frye during teacher conferences.
6 | Quarterly February 2008
Humbling. Not only because what she said seemed so much truer than what I had offered just before she spoke, but also because it made vivid how humble a good parent is supposed to be. Here was my epiphany: as parents we are necessary but insufficient. Lindsay’s carrying Matthew in her body for nine months and feeding him from herself for nine more so that he is as fat and happy as a baby could be—even that is insufficient. We must also give Matthew away, now and always, to something greater than ourselves. So, when I consider what kind of helicopter I hope to be, I end up with this: The Insufficient Helicopter. It’s not very catchy, is it? And who would volunteer to fly in an insufficient helicopter? But isn’t that what we must try to be? It seems to me that we must be deeply involved in our children’s lives while acknowledging, humbly, regularly, and as a principal part of our involvement, that we are insufficient. The assumption in the clichéd concept of helicopter parenting is that it’s too much. My epiphany last Sunday was that, whatever kind of helicopter we are, it’s never going to be enough. You all are good and patient to allow me to talk my way through a discovery that you have already made. Among the commitments to your children that you have made beyond yourselves is the trust you have placed in Groton School. I stand before you with new appreciation for how humble, difficult, and essential that trust is. We let them go first from our bodies, and then from our hands, and eventually from our homes, so that they can become fully who they are. Given what we wish for them, we have no choice but to nourish them with something greater than ourselves. What could be more freeing? What could more surely strengthen them when they stand and raise them up if they should fall? Now, let’s go and cheer them on! Thank you.
The Daum family after the games. Parents flank Alex ’05 and Bailey ’10.
Luncheon in the Dining Hall on Saturday of Parents Weekend.
Female half of the Grotones performing in the Hall Saturday evening of Parents Weekend. Ashley Diaz ’12 poses with mother and little sister. Adam Klein ’11 at the piano with the jazz ensemble, Soul Sauce.
The School Choir performing over Parents Weekend. Mr. Nagler ’03 conferences with Mrs. Zhang, mother of Belinda Liu ‘ 08. Photos by Arthur Durity
Quarterly February 2008
Circiter | Featured on Campus
Madeleine Bruce ’10 with mother, Dianne and friend.
Rodney Smith ’08 with parents.
Scott Giampretruzzi conferences with Mr. and Mrs. Charles Adeola.
Polly Reeve ’78, P ’07, ’09, ’11 and Parents Association Chair addresses parents.
Dr. Arch Perkins ’75 and daughter, Clarissa ’08.
Mr. and Mrs. James Small with Elizabeth ’10.
Parents converse between halves.
James Anderson ’08 and Perin Adams ’09 perform with the Grotones over the weekend.
Parents await teacher conferences upstairs in the Schoolhouse. Photos by Arthur Durity
8 | Quarterly February 2008
METAMORPHOSES Photos by Arthur Durity
he theatre program’s fall production of Metamorphoses was one of the most technically ambitious shows mounted in the Campbell Performing Arts Center. Written by Mary Zimmerman (winner of one of the MacArthur ‘genius’ awards), the play transposes Ovid’s stories of the gods and men into vivid contemporary terms: King Midas becomes a Wall Street tycoon, Phaeton an overprivileged prep school boy, and Orpheus and Eurydice enact their sorrowful tale over and over again, replicating the way our restless minds replay the mistakes we made during the day. Nearly all of the action of the play is set in a pool, filled with water, a transformative body that works its magic throughout the play as characters drown, melt into tears, travel to the underworld, or are changed by Poseidon from old woman to young maid. In order to accomplish this feat, Director Susan Clark, Technical Director Russ Swift, and Costume Designer Catherine Coursaget spent several months discussing the logistical problems that would be created by having eighteen teenagers rehearsing and performing in several thousand gallons of water nearly every day. The construction of the pool (which was done by Groton technical theatre students) took several weeks, as students first laid protective plastic sheeting over the stage and orchestra pit, then built the sturdy base, installed the pond liner, and created the decking that surrounded the entire body of water. Sixth Former
and Drama Prefect, L.A. Creech, gathered various projections of the sky which stunningly transformed the mood of each myth. Catherine Coursaget worked tirelessly with her student costume crew to create costumes and locate fabrics that could be repeatedly soaked and dried in time for the next performance without falling apart. And the water-----truly “water, water, everywhere…..” was the mantra for the four weeks that the pool resided in the theatre. Soaking wet actors, who had splashed, thrashed and thrown each other into the pool during the course of rehearsal, left slippery trails through the hallways and scene shop as they traversed from stage to costume shop to dressing rooms.
Orpheus (Ames Lyman ’09) descends to the underworld.
Quarterly February 2008
Circiter | Featured on Campus
Top left: Midas’ daughter (Inan Barret ’09) plays while her father (Alex Klein ’08) muses about his wealth. Top right: Eros (Will Castelli ’08). Bottom right: Myrrha’s (Caitlin Holmes ’08) dream of seduction by King Cinyras (Nathaniel Lovel-Smith ’09). Bottom left: Aphrodite (Haley Willis ’09 seizes Myrrna (Caitlin Holmes ’08) who confronts her passion for Cinyras.
10 | Quarterly February 2008
Top left: Midas (Alex Klein ’08) enjoys a confidential chat with the audience. Top right: Hermes (Theo Frelinghuysen ’08) leads Eurydice (Josephine Ho ’08) from the underworld, narrated by Haley Willis ’09. Bottom right: Psyche (Haley Willis ’09) tries to peek at Eros while he sleeps. Bottom left: Vertumnus (Will Castelli ’08) woos Pomona (Likhitha Palaypu ’11).
Quarterly February 2008
Circiter | Featured on Campus
A night with Bill McKibben Excerpts from an All School Lecture October 22, 2007
his most recent book of mine is, I’ll warn you in advance of these remarks, a somewhat subversive book because it asks the question about whether or not the default assumption of American life is correct. The assumption that growth is good and that bigger is better, more is better. If you don’t think that is the default assumption of our life here, just open the newspaper tomorrow. Some place in the economics section or the business section there will be a headline—something like, “Good news on the economic front today. Gross domestic product has grown 4%.” And you’d never turn on the evening news and have the newscaster say something like, “Troubling news on the economic front today. Housing starts are up 6%.” It’s easy to understand why we have bought into that idea of growth and more all the time. It’s because it wasn’t that long ago, historically speaking, that we lived lives of relative deprivation. Now my favorite thing for many years in the evenings has been to read to my daughter. She is now 14 so she let’s me do it much less often, but the books that we enjoyed the most when we were reading were the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, The Little House on the Prairie books. They are kind of an early American story. The frontier family growing up. How life was very rich in family, very rich in community and very poor in stuff. Christmas comes and maybe there’s a stick of candy or penny or an orange or perhaps a
Nick Frischetti ’12 catches a quiet moment in the Schoolroom.
12 | Quarterly February 2008
rag doll. It was a 110 years ago, and that’s how people around here may have lived, and it’s easy to understand why there was a drive to escape that kind of privation. We don’t live in the world of the Little House on the Prairie. Increasingly, we live in way oversized houses on the cul-de-sac. And since we do, it makes sense to start thinking a little differently about just what do I want, especially since that commitment to growth is now getting us in all kinds of trouble. I’m going to talk about trouble of two kinds tonight. The first, the one where I’ve spent most of my life working, is this ecological dilemma we now find ourselves in, the biggest thing that human beings have ever done, the thing that is going to dominate your lives on this planet. It’s going to dominate the economic life, the political life, and pretty much life in general. That’s this incredibly rapid warming of the planet that we have now begun by burning coal and gas and oil. As I say, I wrote my first book on this topic 20 years ago, and at the time it was a hypothesis. The idea that we were burning enough of this coal and gas and oil, and therefore releasing enough carbon dioxide into the atmosphere to materially alter the climate, seemed on the one hand scientifically valid and on the other hand emotionally unlikely. How could one species have grown large enough to really alter the climate that was a basic force on the face of the planet? Well, science went to work on that question with more resources and more people than it’s ever thrown at any similar problem in any similar period of time. They put up satellites and weather balloons. They cored glaciers and ponds sediments. Mostly they refined the very powerful computer models that form our understanding of how climate works. And by 1995 the world’s climatologists, gathered together by the U.N. in this thing called the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change, were willing to say, yes, human beings were heating the planet, and yes, it’s going to be a serious problem. It was kind of a coming of age moment for us as a species. Suddenly, we’ve grown large enough to cast a long shadow across the earth in a way that no humans have ever even contemplated before. Since 1995 it’s been as if the planet itself has been reviewing that research just to make sure the scientists got it correct. We have had all 10 of the warmest years on record in the last 12, and we are beginning to see truly enormous effects attached to this warming.
A Night With Bill McKibben So far humans are keeping the planet about one degree Fahrenheit warmer, from about 59 degrees globally averaged to about 60. It doesn’t sound like much. If it was 59 degrees when we walked in here tonight and it’s 60 when we walk out, none of us would be able to tell the difference. Twenty years ago we would have thought the planet would hardly know the difference either, that one degree would be just the beginning of this global warming, that we would have to wait another few decades to really see the result. But the early models underestimated just how finely balanced the planet’s physical systems were. That one degree has been enough to throw all of the major systems of this planet, physical systems that we can measure, severely out of kilter. Perhaps the most dramatic and vivid pictures of this arrived about three weeks ago. Arctic sea ice has been melting pretty steadily for the last quarter century because we’ve raised the temperature. Each year it melts over the summer and each year more and more of it melts. And it is about 25% below what would have been considered normal 30 years ago, before this great warming began. That’s a large change. Easy to see with the naked eye from a satellite picture. In a New York Times story about this about 10 days ago, on the front page of the paper, was this headline: “Scientists Shaken By Rapid Melt Of Ice,” because it was off the top end of what the computer models had been projecting, and it seemed to be true. It should then give us great cause for worry to contemplate the fact that this Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that without very dramatic and very quick action, we will raise the temperature of the planet five degrees further in the course of this century. If we do that, if the temperature goes to 65 degrees globally averaged, it will not be warmer than it’s been in human history. It will not be warmer than it’s been in human previous history. It will be warmer than it’s been since before the beginning of primate evolution. Everything that we can tell about what the globe will look like is exceedingly grim. The U.N. estimates that this might put 450 million people on the move as environmental refugees by mid century. People fleeing rising waters. People fleeing increasingly powerful oceanic storms. People fleeing the spread of malaria and dengay-bearing mosquitos that are expanding their range with great rapidity as the temperature allows them to move into areas where they hadn’t been before. Our most important climatologist, James Hansen, a Federal Government employee at NASA, who has run the largest computer model for the longest time, said in a speech two years ago at the American Geophysical Union that his computer modeling now made it clear that because this change was happening much faster than we had earlier reckoned, we no longer had the luxury of much time. That we had to work in about the next 10 years, now about the next eight years, to achieve the point at which we reverse the flow of carbon in the atmosphere. The point at which the world began burning less coal, gas and oil instead of more each year. And if a warning wouldn’t do that, then the CO2 would pass certain thresholds, certain red lines, at which the stability of the most important systems on earth, the great ice sheets above Greenland and the West Antarctic, could no longer be guaranteed. The melt of those would be a disaster of almost science fiction pro-
Groton School Energy Conservation
roton School’s interest and activity in energy is not new, but in today’s environment, it is more important than ever. What follows is a representative listing of both action items taken related to conservation efforts and future action plans for improving energy use.
American Energy Management (installed early 90’s)
This computer software and equipment tool allows B&G to remotely turn on/off HVAC equipment around the campus as well as set specific hours of operation. This allows B&G to monitor, control and detect problems with equipment. The system also monitors room temperatures. Over the years the system has evolved, and each year additional upgrades are made for equipment and controls to allow additional energy savings on campus. Central Heating Plant Gas Boiler (2005)
In 2005 Groton replaced a 1974 inefficient oil burner with a gas fired high efficiency boiler. This upgrade provided not only higher energy efficiencies but also made the plant a dual fuel facility giving more flexibility for seasonal fuel use. Groton Electric Light Department (GELD)
Groton School has worked closely with GELD in a program that in its first year (2005) provided a payback of savings through reduction in total campus energy use. This program has now evolved into ArKion Systems: ISO-New England Demand Response Events. This program, run through GELD, notifies high energy users such as Groton and other organizations and businesses throughout New England to load shed during periods of high peak demand. When notified, Groton shuts down as much HVAC equipment (using the American Energy Management System) as possible to achieve the desired reduction as set by GELD. Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (2004-2007)
Groton began a working relationship with Vermont Energy in 2004. In 2006, they conducted an energy assessment on all residential and non-residential buildings. This report is being used currently to address energy investments and upgrades where favorable returns on investment can be realized. Vermont Energy’s Report focused on 1) non-residential buildings (campus) and, 2) residential buildings (faculty housing).
Quarterly February 2008
Circiter | Featured on Campus
1) Residential Buildings (Faculty Housing)
Many of Groton’s faculty houses are old and inefficient. In 2006-2007, seven houses were listed as part of Vermont Energy’s major recommendations. Items such as insulation, air sealing, and updating heating systems with modern, zoned, specifically sized, indirect hot water systems were targeted. Five of these identified buildings have had work performed on them or are being worked on currently and an additional three houses were retrofitted over this past summer as part of a separate larger renovation project. Funding for these projects is planned for as capital projects under a line item titled Energy Management and Conservation Program. Last year, Groton extended to faculty an opportunity to sign up for a conversion to compact florescent lights (CFL’s) in their faculty homes. This was done on a volunteer basis and B&G has thus far converted 22 houses and eight apartments. This year, B&G will again promote this plan in residential buildings on a voluntary basis. 2) Non-Residential Buildings (Campus)
During dorm and dorm apartment renovations over the last nine years, lighting fixtures in residential and nonresidential campus buildings were converted wherever possible to compact florescent lights (CFL’s) or other high efficiency lighting. New projects review the applicability of upgrades to high efficiency lighting. Several major recommendations listed by Vermont Energy are being worked on. Some of the items are large cost such as the upgrading of the Pratt Rink mechanicals to O’Brien Rink standards. The Pratt Rink original equipment from 1975 is inefficient and aged. Replacement would provide energy savings through new technology motors and design. Early cost assessment is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Another recommendation was for installation of thermal sub metering to determine heat use/loss at each building. This is currently being analyzed for applicability. Installation of an indoor pool cover would conserve heat and water loss. Enhancements to the energy management system to add load shedding capability and reduce peak demand. Over this summer, additional steam line insulation was added across the basement mechanical rooms in Brooks House and Hundred House. This will reduce system heat loss and create added efficiency to the central plant.
“ [It’s] a somewhat subversive book because it asks the question about whether or not the default assumption of American life any more is correct. The assumption that growth is good and that bigger is better, more is better.” portions. Our inability to confront this problem of global warming is deeply tied to our intuitive commitment to more economic growth at all times. If you don’t believe me ask President Bush who has explained on numerous occasions that the reason that we’re not doing anything about this problem in this country is the fear that it would harm our economic performance. So that’s a real problem. But there’s another problem. Less concrete. Less scary in a sense. But just as interesting, and just as real by new data we’ve only had access to in the last five or 10 years, and that problem goes like this. We’re beginning to suspect that all the economic growth and prosperity that we’ve achieved has, in fact, not made us particularly happy as a society. Now, for a long time academics didn’t study this question. When you get to college and meet with lots of people and do lots of research, you’ll discover that what we really like to do is break problems down into very small, very fine areas and study those. We tend to ignore things that are very large, especially when they seem kind of soft and ephemeral. People didn’t believe that if I asked you, “Are you happy with your life?” that the answer you gave me would really mean anything. It wouldn’t signify anything. And so they adopted as a proxy the economists’ idea that you can tell pretty much what made somebody happy by what they bought. And that’s what we used for a very long time, and that’s why we always assumed that more was better. About 10 years ago a number of people began trying to study this from a lot of different angles, most notably Daniel Kahneman, who won the Nobel in economics five years ago. A wide variety of studies attacked this notion of whether or not humans can give meaningful answers Arthur Durity
Energy Projects (cont.)
Brass section of Soul Sauce performs on Parents Weekend. Front: Matt Midon ’08, Chris Pitsiokos ’08; back: Alex Southmayd ’12, Andrew Ryu ’11.
14 | Quarterly February 2008
A Night With Bill McKibben Energy Projects (cont.)
A Bio-Mass Boiler assessment is currently being conducted for Groton’s central plant. This system would use woodchips as a fuel source and replace the #6 oil currently being used. This would result in both savings over current fuels and allow for a carbon neutral footprint when in use. This woodchip feasibility study is due in the fall 2007. The Hundred House Final Phase Project planning started approximately one year ago. This renovation will bring to conclusion the past several years of dorm and dorm apartment renovations by completing a renovation to the Headmaster’s public entertaining space and private residence. The new HVAC system installed in this renovation project will use a geothermal well for heating and cooling. Other actions: Green Cup Challenge
Groton is currently investigating joining this inter school competition. Started at Phillips Exeter in 2003 the competition is designed to raise awareness about energy use. Many schools participate in this challenge each year. One month (usually February) is monitored and the school that has the highest reduction in energy use wins the cup. HVAC failures
As HVAC equipment fails and is replaced, Groton is updating the equipment to high efficiency units. For example, last year the Dome heat boiler failed and was replaced with a high efficiency gas boiler. Recycling
A long standing activity at Groton School is the recycling effort. Paper, cardboard, plastics and cans are collected and recycled. This community effort involves students, faculty and staff. Ian Maclellan ’08
about their mental state. Within five or six years people had reached a rough but robust consensus that, in fact, subjective well being was a real phenomenon. A robust one. If I asked you if you were happy with your life, the answer that you gave me corresponded with things that we could measure in your brain chemistry, or correlated with how other people perceived you. Once people had made that intellectual leap, then they could go and look at a lot of data that was sitting around and find out a lot of interesting things. For instance, one of the big polling firms has been asking Americans every year since the end of World War II, are you happy with your life? The number of Americans who answered, “Yes, I’m very happy with my life,” peaked in the year 1956 and has gone slowly but steadily downward since. Only about a quarter of Americans will make that claim now. That downward curve is strange because it coincides with the trebling of the American acquisition of material wealth. Since the 1950s, we live in much larger houses. We have access to food that we could never have gotten. There are appliances that people never even imagined. We take far more vacations to more distant places. We can download any vaguely musical sound the minute we hear it anywhere on earth, in seconds. On and on and on. But somehow it isn’t working the way that intuitively people believe it should. If our sense of the economy were accurate, those two curves for happiness and for amount of stuff would track with each other somehow or another, not perfectly, but in the same general direction. Not diverge. And from what we can tell from the data, that divergence is not merely coincidental. It’s deeply related. It suggests that past a certain point, affluence begins to do things to us that aren’t conducive to human satisfaction. What are those things? Well those people who are students of American history should reflect about what it was that really started happening in this country in the 1950s. What we started spending our money on as we, for the first time really, had gotten rich on a mass basis. The answer to that question, far more than anything else, is we began building much bigger houses, much further apart from each other. We suburbanized America. That’s what most of our resources have gone to, and we consider it part of the American dream to live in a bigger house farther apart from other people. And this in the last few years has reached a kind of, zenith. I mean we see more and more houses that look like starter castles for entry level monarchs. Willy nilly across the land. What could be wrong about that besides the fact that it takes an almost unbelievable amount of energy to heat and cool those houses and drive around between them? What is wrong is it has become much less likely that we will run into other people in the course of the day. Just the chances of interacting with each other have decreased. It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that Americans eat meals with friends or family or neighbors less than half as often as they did 50 years ago. Average Americans have half as many close friends as they did 50 years ago. That’s a very big change for socially evolved primates to undergo in rapid fashion like that. And it turns out that it’s such a big change that it more than wipes out whatever gain and satisfaction we get from having all this stuff that we didn’t have before. We’ve become kind of lonely,
Quarterly February 2008
Circiter | Featured on Campus
Ian Maclellan ’08
and we’ve gotten very used to this, so that it’s very hard to break out of it. In fact, there was an interesting story in the New York Times not long ago. It attempted to answer the question about what’s actually in these enormous houses that people keep going to. The houses the size of junior high schools that were springing up on the ridge. And the answer turns out to be, and apparently this is true not just of the biggest houses but much upscale housing in America, that they’re often now equipping new houses with dual master bedrooms. Okay? The husband snores. The wife pulls off the blankets. The American answer to this dilemma is to add 900 square feet to the house. This is sad environmentally because it takes a lot of energy to heat and light that next master bedroom, but it’s also kind of sad in other ways. It’s sad if you’ve spent any time in the developing world and the poor world where, if people are lucky enough to have a bed in their house, there’s probably three or four people that share it, and nobody is going on and on about who snores. It’s sad that in the richest country in the world some of the richest people in that country are now kind of hunkered down in their own little cave peering out across the hall at their mate, feeling ever more isolated and individualized and remote. In a sense, one of the things that cheap fossil fuel did, besides making us rich and besides screwing up the climate, was allow us to become the first people in the world who have no particular need of our neighbors. We’ve got a credit card. We’ve got a phone connection or hearing connection; we don’t need anybody around us for anything. Which is a very new position for human beings to find themselves in, and it turns out not such a healthy thing.
Step it up Day.
Just a few days after Mr. McKibben gave his remarks, the national Step It Up Day demonstrations went off around the country and at Groton. The picture above made it onto the front page of the Step It Up web site. Although a scooter rally had been planned, bad weather forced students to change plans. Instead, they staged a photo shoot of their forming the national symbol for Step It Up Day on the Circle.
16 | Quarterly February 2008
“ Our inability to confront this problem of global warming is deeply tied to our intuitive commitment to more economic growth at all times.” Which is why it’s good news, very good news, I think, that certain things are beginning to emerge that look like they might start to help solve some of both of these problems, the practical, physical, environmental one and then the social one. We’re continuing to see the development of economic institutions, that help point us in the right direction. What do I mean? Take the most obvious commodity in the world, food. It’s very good news that the fastest growing part of the food economy in this country is local farmer’s markets. Sales up 10% or 12% a year. The number of them doubling and then doubling again each year. I know that you have a good one here in Groton. That’s important for a couple of reasons. One, it’s important because it makes a lot more ecological sense to try to eat close to home. We think the way that we eat at the moment is natural and normal, but in fact it’s quite odd. The average bite of food that you eat has traveled 2,000 miles before it reaches your lips. In essence, you’re in effect picking up the phone at four every afternoon and dialing Albuquerque, New Mexico, to get take-out. That’s pretty much how it works. Food travels an enormous distance. That food arrives at your plate marinating in crude oil, you know. If you want to eat lettuce this time of year in the east, you’re ordering from the central valley in California. One calorie of that lettuce takes about 36 calories of fossil energy to grow and then transport back out here. That’s not a very good ratio. It’s not very good lettuce, either. It’s good news that people are going to farmer’s markets, but it’s good news for another reason, too. And that’s because the farmer’s market is a different experience than going to the supermarket. I trust everybody here has been to the supermarket at one time or another. You know how this works. You walk in. You fall into a certain light fluorescent trance. You visit the stations of the cross around the supermarket. You emerge with the same basket of items somehow that you had the week before. Maybe you have an interesting discussion about paper bag or plastic bag. Really, the excitement is low. At the farmer’s market, when sociologists followed shoppers, they found that they have had 10 times more conversations per visit than they did at the supermarket. It’s a whole different experience. Not so surprising really, because farmers’ markets are (though we think of them as new and novel and creative) basically how people shopped for food for 10,000 years, since we began having agriculture. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that it fits more naturally into our psyche than visiting supermarkets. We can do the same kind of argument for almost any commodity you name. Think about energy itself. Just like with food, we tend to think of it as coming from a few centralized places. With food there are a few big companies like Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland that are sort of brokers for cows. They handle most of the
A Night With Bill McKibben grain and the corn syrup and everything that we eat. With energy, it’s Exxon Mobil or it’s Peabody Coal, whatever. They are kind of brokers for BTUs. We consume them like we consume TV. Someone does it from a central location and sends it to us. We consume. It doesn’t need to be that way. It’s very easy to imagine an energy system (and people who are imaginative are beginning to build it) that works much more the way the Internet or the farmer’s market works, where people both put in and take out. I have solar panels on my roof in Vermont. They’re tied into the electric grid. The sun comes out on a day like today, it’s great. My neighbor cools the beer in his refrigerator with the sunlight that falls on my shingles. Now a system that works like that or a grid that works like that is good because it allows you to employ more benign technologies like solar panels easily. It’s also good because in the long run it’s likely to be far more durable than the kind of jerry rigged system that we’ve put together so far. I mean, it would be very optimistic to think that the energy system that we have now will survive very long into our future because it depends on all kinds of things that aren’t likely to continue happening. It depends, for example, on convincing the people in Kentucky and West Virginia who are blowing the tops off their mountains to continue doing so, so we can get at cheap coal underneath. It depends on a large supply of young Americans to go defend the 5,000 mile-long straw from which we suck hydrocarbons out of the Persian Gulf. Vermont, where I live, has seen more people die in the war in Iraq, than any state in the Union, percentage wise. People are getting very tired of funerals. There are many reasons for the war in Iraq but one of them, of course, is its strategic importance of its oil resource. And until we figure out how to get off of this resource, those funerals will likely continue for a very long time. It’s the same with soft commodities—energy and food are very hard commodities—but think about something like music. You might have heard that at some places young people have begun to download illegally songs off the Internet. I’m sure that this doesn’t happen here. Very poor idea. The people who run the music system, however, are sort of brokers for music. Sony, Warner and others would like to keep producing music and shipping it from centralized locations and shipping it to us in difficult to open plastic boxes. They sometimes, along with their anger about illegal downloading of music, go on to say, if you keep doing this
there will be no incentive for musicians to keep producing music. Hence, music will disappear. That seems very unlikely. Anthropologists among you, I think, support the notion that almost every human culture we’ve ever had produces music. What changes is how it’s paid for over time. What the economics of it are. It won’t surprise you, given what I’ve said about farmers’ markets, to learn that the fastest growing part of the music industry is live local performance, big festivals, and traveling jam bands. They’re growing best, partly because people very much want the experience of consuming in the company of others. It’s good news, these changes, I think. They point to the direction that we need to travel as we try to unravel this problem of growth tied to environmental despoliation tied to social malaise. They point a way out. A way that won’t be easy to follow but
“ In a sense, one of the things that cheap fossil fuel did, besides making us rich and besides screwing up the climate, was allow us to become the first people in the world who have no particular need of our neighbors.”
Male half of the Grotones performing in the Hall over Parents Weekend.
perhaps will be sweet. And with that I want to return to describing these protests that we did earlier this year. Partly, I want to return to it because we’re doing another rally on November 3rd and people I’ve talked with today say we may do one of them here at Groton. Let me describe “Step it Up”. When we started this plan, I and these six college kids, the people who knew what they were doing, said what we needed to do is march on Washington. We said no, no we don’t want a march on Washington. In the first place, we don’t have the money. We looked on the web site and the first thing you have to do is rent 2,000 portable toilets. It wasn’t going to happen. It also seemed to us, sort of “off “ to have people cross the country spewing carbon behind them in order to protest global warming. And we also thought that people would be able to put the genius of their own places to work. They’d be able to figure out what it was about where they live that would exemplify for their neighbors what this was all about. And that’s just what happened. We were all, the seven of us, gathered in Washington, and we’re putting on this big do for all these dignitaries who were coming to show the pictures of us. We had people uploading pictures to the web site from these rallies. And we were supposed to be doing all these interviews, but we could barely tear ourselves away from the computer because the pictures that were coming over were so magnificent. I mean it was fantastic. Key West, Florida. Anybody here from Key West? Key West. All the coral reefs in the continental US. They’re already bleaching and disappearing by the hundreds of square miles a year because the small animal that builds coral reefs can’t survive outside of a narrow temperature range. If we’re not able to get this problem under control, no more coral reefs. So the folks in Key West, didn’t do a demonstration or rally Quarterly February 2008
Circiter | Featured on Campus “ We need lots of new technology, and we can talk about that all along, but what we really need more than anything else is the kind of human technology that you guys are developing here.” on land. They got all kinds of people in scuba gear, went down and did this demonstration under water. Big signs. “Step it up Congress, cut carbon 80% by 2050.” Gorgeous. They sent video, this huge fish swimming in and around them in the middle of this demonstration. A little further up the coast in Jacksonville, Florida. I’ve never been to Jacksonville. The place that they chose as their kind of sacred site was the parking lot of the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL Football Stadium. Because that’s where in the fall everybody gets together for huge tailgate parties; tens of thousands of people sort of means community to them. So they took it over in the spring for this day. They rented a crane and they winched a yacht 20 feet up in the air. And they said, if Greenland slides into the ocean, that’s where the ocean is going to be. And you just sort of hear from a thousand miles away, you could hear people from Jacksonville going, yeah, I get it now. Out west, people did multi-day ascents of these glaciated peaks, which aren’t going to be glaciated much longer because that snow cap is melting very fast, and they would ski down them in formation, web casting as they went. All very gorgeous. All over the country people were doing this. Really getting the idea across. And we were talking this afternoon about what you can do here at Groton to get the idea across and be heard. And what people hit on right away, is a very good idea that I immediately relayed back to all my colleagues that oh, this is very cool. The plan is for a lazer scooter rally out in front there. Now there’s alternative transportation that makes a lot of sense. There are a lot of places in this country where it could make a lot more sense too, instead of driving on college campuses. You’ve hit a very elegant and very discreet method of transporting yourselves around. It would be a very cool idea to have a hundred Groton students holding their scooters aloft, an excellent picture that we could take and splash all over the place. I’ll very much look forward to seeing it come up on the computer that afternoon. I think I’d like to end by saying that I’m so impressed since I’ve been here, and I want to repeat what I was thinking out loud about with many of you today in a couple of your classes. This is obviously a tight place where people take good care of each other, care for each other, like each other and enjoy each other. That’s an important thing to take note of. You’ve seen at reunion time that old grads probably return here, yes? And totter across campus. Oh, these were the best years of my life. As I was saying gently to the teachers we were with this morning, when people say that, my sense is they don’t mean that Algebra I was
18 | Quarterly February 2008
so engaging that they wish they could take it over and over and over again. What they mean is that the years at Groton (or college) were a very strange period in the average American life. Back then they lived the way human beings have always lived. That is, in close physical and emotional proximity to each other. Lots of people around. Lots of community. Lots of connection. And that life works on a number of levels. It works because you’re using resources better than people living scattered out one by one. Your dorms could probably be more energy efficient than they are, but just the fact it’s a dorm makes it a pretty good beginning. You know, sort of shared space. But it’s also important because of how that life feels, which is good, for the most part, to be in connection with other people. I see this when I’m in colleges, that people love it, and when the time comes to leave it’s incredibly sad. Not only to say good-bye to their friends but to say good-bye to a kind of way of being in the world. Because of course the irony is that prep school and your college are busy about the business of preparing you to earn enough money so that you will never have to live this way again. At least you’ll be able to go off and live by yourself in some great big house some place. My point is if you don’t want to do that, you don’t have to do that. You can figure out what it is to keep that community going. Many of your faculty have figured out ways to keep that community going by coming back and being faculty, you know. It’s not because of the enormous salaries that they’re paid for the most part. It’s because that kind of proximity, that kind of connection is extraordinarily appealing. It’s what we were built for. And it’s, more than anything else I think, the way out of the situation in which we find ourselves. We need lots of new technology, and we can talk about that all along, but what we really need more than anything else is the kind of human technology that you guys are developing here. The ability to work with each other. The ability to be with each other. The ability, most of all, to take your pleasure from each other and not from the accumulation of yet another round of stuff. It’s exciting. Think about it while you’re here. Think about it when you leave. It’s extraordinary to be with you because community is usually a hard topic to talk about with adults. They’ve reached the point where they’re so used to their lives with great independence that it’s hard for them to imagine that there’s an alternative. But you guys know there’s an alternative. And it’s that alternative we very much need to develop very quickly in the time ahead of us, if we’re going to get out of the fix we find ourselves in. Thank you very much.
Mr. McKibben is a scholar in residence at Middlebury College and lives in Vermont with his wife and daughter. He is the author of ten books, including The End of Nature, The Age of the Missing Information, and Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age. A former staff writer for The New Yorker, he writes regularly for Harper’s, The Atlantic Monthly, and The New York Review of Books, among other publications.
Per Circulum Locuti Sunt | Voices on the Circle
A MIDSUMMER READ A Chapel Talk by Aimeclaire Roche, Assistant Head of School September 28, 2007
out, indeed, for generations in small, shingled homes along the southern Jersey Shore—a place that since the 1930s and ’40s has afforded a comfortable and well-earned few weeks of vacation to the country’s venerable Mid-Atlantic middle class. I revel that in southern Jersey beaches are still public and, in many cases, free. The rental rates are still reasonable and evening activities usually involve a couple rounds of mini putt golf and a decent soft serve ice cream. Environmentalist Bill McKibben, who will speak with us in late October at our next All-School Lecture, admits that even he from time to time comes out of the woods to enjoy what some might dismiss as the kitsch of timeless middle-Americana. In an essay on summertime McKibben, after quoting naturalist Henry David Thoreau, writes, “One must admit that nature has a few drawbacks; there’s little opportunity to spend money, and wildlife, despite the name, are deeply distrustful of loudly amplified rock-and-roll. Every once in a while I want a dose of the bad old days before I convinced myself that it was more satisfying to sit really still and wait for porcupine to show up. Those days, maybe once a summer, my wife and I pile in the car and head an hour south to [the lake].” McKibben goes on then to describe this lake’s ’50s mom-and-pop amusement parks, bumper car arcades, and family style restaurants that feature a lot of chicken a la king—all unchanged from his youth. Although the natural world is his passion now, McKibben readily admits about his past, “Every year when my family would go to some pretty spot and hike up mountains, I would hurry us through lunch, pick a few obligatory berries, and march everyone Vaughn Winchell
his week as the temperature rose towards an unseasonable 90 degrees and as we questioned the treat of September summer days, I feel confident that many among us, myself included, were secretly plotting. We walked the Circle or watched the teams battle Brooks and Andover on Wednesday and wondered how we could not just savor but save even an ounce of that magnificent warmth for some undisclosed but inevitable day in mid-December, a day when chilling wind will hurl itself from the top of Mount Watatic to the west and gust directly toward the Circle with a fierce and seemingly deliberate vengeance. The real secret is that on winter days like that, after bracing my way from the Chapel to the Schoolhouse, I sneak to my office and behind closed doors go into a bottom desk drawer and pull out a small, illicit bottle of Coppertone Sun Screen. With one furtive sniff of that magic, distinctively scented elixir I am once again warm, convinced that nature is no longer my enemy, and am transported in time to a summer-like day. Indeed, most who live their lives in academia treasure the summer for its leisurely pace. For me a great pleasure of summer is being an amiable companion to my 76-year-old mother, who wiles away sunny days—as we say—“down the shore” in New Jersey. Our daily routine always involves some degree of housework: my repairing the winter’s damage to our modest home (re-screening the porch windows, or cleaning the sump pump) and some degree of socializing: backyard visits with neighbors and consultation over avoiding the capricious weather, taming the threatening insects, or outsmarting the infernal tourists who seem—to the locals at least—to crowd the otherwise sleepy town with their heedless city ways and headstrong traffic. On many days my mother’s bridge group gathers for afternoon-long sessions of the card game I do not understand but my mother is convinced my knowledge of would make me a better educated, more socially acceptable, and ultimately happier person. “I can’t understand why people of your generation do not play bridge…” she sighs and then trying to enlist the help of her cohort she begins, “When we were your age….” “Why don’t I get you all another round of iced tea?” I offer instead. “And sandwiches, would anyone like another sandwich?” “Oh, she is such a nice girl,” the kindly company murmurs as they bend to investigate methodically their cards and trade cryptic signals about bids and trumps and suits. As I dutifully shuffle to the kitchen, I imagine that it is a scene that has played itself
Aimeclaire Roche, Assistant Head of School.
Quarterly February 2008
Per Circulum Locuti Sunt | Voices on the Circle “ The ethical value sustained by close examination of its biology is that the life forms around us are too old, too complex, and potentially too useful to be carelessly discarded.”
back down the trail so that we could get to the nearest tourist town and spend some money. Hotdogs! Pinball! Action!” Upon visiting these same attractions with his wife some decades later, McKibben continues, “[The lake] is suffused with the sense of inevitability, as if the various revolutions of the two decades between my birth and my majority hadn’t happened and the world was the same reliable place where Dad drove and Mom read off the attractions from the AAA guide and I kicked [my brother] in the back seat.” While I am nascent in my understanding of complex environmental issues, I sense that McKibben and I may have similar sensibilities about place and about how time can seem to stand still. “Do you ladies need anything else?” I ask the bridge-playing foursome back in Jersey. “No,” calls my mother, “Just make sure you take the chicken for supper out of the freezer.” With a few hours reprieve, I head either to the hammock or lawn chair, excited to sink into the lowslung seat and open a book for a few hours of uninterrupted reading. Only months ago I toted with me our All School Read for the summer, The Future of Life. I was eager to read E. O. Wilson’s work and I was charmed by his prologue, his conversation with Thoreau and the palpable connection Wilson feels to the longgone naturalist while visiting his cabin on Walden Pond. “I can picture you clearly…” Wilson writes. “In my imagination I have settled beside you. We gaze idly across this spring-fed lake…Today in this place we speak a common idiom, breathe the same clean air, listen to the whisper of the pines…A thousand years will pass and Walden Woods will stay the same, I think, a flickering equilibrium that works its magic on human emotion in variations with each experience.” Yes, I think. Time standing still. Unfortunately I am a touch more perplexed as I read on. Not five pages into chapter one I found myself—how shall I say this?— bogged down in the bog of Wilson’s biosphere. Ahem: “The ultimate extremeophiles are certain specialized microbes, including bacteria and their superficially similar but genetically very different relative the archaeans. (To make a necessary digression….
20 | Quarterly February 2008
Bacteria and archaeans are more primitive than other organisms in cell structure: they lack membranes around their nuclei as well as organelles such as chlo-oplasts and mitochondria.) Some specialized species of bacteria and archaeans live in the walls of volcanic hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor, where they multiply in water close to or above the boiling point. A bacterium found there, pyrolobus funarii, is the reigning world champion among hyperthermophiles, or lovers of extreme heat [which] can reproduce at 235 degrees F, [do] best at 221 degrees F and [stop] growing when the temperature drops to a chilly194 degrees F…..” Yikes! I shift in my once comfy lawn chair. This is a “summer read”? Wait, wasn’t there a fiction option???? Again in the prologue Wilson describes himself to his posthumus interlocutor: “I am…a lover of little things, hunter also, but more the snuffling opossum than the questing panther. I also think in millimeters and minutes….Let me enter a tract of rich forest and I seldom walk more than a few hundred feet. I halt before the first promising rotten log I encounter. Kneeling, I roll it over, and always there is instant gratification from the little world hidden beneath.” Wilson is a lover of little things….and clearly a lover of lists. The Sumatran Rhino, the poisondart frogs of Central and South America, rosy wolfsnails, African big headed ants, nematode worms, leaf warblers and crossbills; from the giant podocarpus yellow wood conifer to the neviusia cliftonii snow wreathe, Wilson’s detailing of predators and prey, of the newly discovered and the soon-to-be extinct forms of biodiversity is, simply, stunning to me. More than simple lists, though, Wilsons’ intricate, detailed descriptions are what make his book both most challenging and most salient. At one point I know that I asked if it was important, after all, for Wilson’s reader to know that “The global number of amphibian species, including frogs, toads, salamanders, and the less familiar tropical caecilian, grew between 1985 and 2001 by one third, from 4,003 to 5,282.” Isn’t he just trying to impress us with his knowledge and an overwrought attentiveness to detail? Wouldn’t it be easier to forgo the catalogue of creatures and present more general, sweeping arguments about why the environmental resources are at peril? Now I say that—no—it would not. Wilson’s argument, I believe, is that time, in fact, does not stand still; with every industrial development, with every increase in population, in every developing nation where forests are cleared to generate even scant income for the local residents, the resources of the earth become exponentially stretched, and the million year old biosphere is placed
A Midsummer Read in sudden, dramatic dis-equilibrium. He convinces and he proves that with details and numbers—a book full of them. Also, I believe, Wilson argues that man’s continued exploitation of the natural world for our own commercial gain lies in our inability to do two things: first, we do not comprehend the true and remarkable diversity of life on the planet that we share. Second we do not take responsibility for our active, and frequently destructive, role in altering the nature of available ecosystems. On the one hand, Wilson’s detailed explication makes clear that human kind really is only one of millions of forms of life supported by the planet; and on the other, he emphasizes the upper hand we have over all the other creatures by virtue of the fact that we, by evolution, are intelligent beings, with moral and ethical choices to make. His central thesis is a two-fold imperative: seeing ourselves in a far broader context than we are accustomed to and using our sentient upper hand both knowledgably and responsibly to shape a sustainable, lasting legacy. “The creature at your feet dismissed as a bug or a weed is a creation in and of itself. It has a name, a million-year history, and a place in the world. Its genome adapts it to a special niche in an ecosystem. The ethical value sustained by close examination of its biology is that the life forms around us are too old, too complex, and potentially too useful to be carelessly discarded.”
By telling the stories of countless plants and creatures, by naming their names and counting their numbers in clear and specific details, Wilson forces us, first, to know them and then to care about them; to gain, as he says, “a proprietary attachment” to the natural world. As a result, we are better able to foster in ourselves a “conservation ethic” by which we choose—actively through legislation and through re-directed capitalism— “to pass on to future generations the best part of the non-human world” by, according to Wilson’s solution, private and public monies to preserve, regenerate, and connect as much natural habitat as possible. That is a lofty goal. Our and your generation may well accomplish it, if we eschew environmentalism as a special interest lobby, a sometimes hobby, or something we do when it is convenient and to our economic advantage and instead adopt a moral imperative of sustainability. Why? Because, although it may seem to on the surface or from our comfortable, reliable suburban haunts, time is not standing still.
Aimeclaire Roche joined the Groton faculty in 2004 as Assistant Head of School and classics teacher.
MAKING CONNECTIONS IN NEW YORK CITY A Chapel Talk by Henry P. Davis ’84 November 9, 2007
Betsy Wray Lawrence ’82
ood morning. I recently changed banks for the first time since I was a kid growing up in New York City. I lived on East 74th Street and had a childhood savings account at the Bank of New York. Bank of New York’s retail division was recently bought by Chase, itself having merged a few years ago with JP Morgan. Chase is a patchwork of other banks melded together over many years: Chemical Bank, Manufacturers Hanover, and other faded names, all the way back to the Bank of Manhattan, established in 1799 by Aaron Burr. Burr was a revolutionary war hero and American politician. The Bank of New York was founded in 1784 by Alexander Hamilton. He was born to unwed parents in the West Indies on the island of Nevis, perhaps better known today for its Four Seasons Hotel than its Hamilton connection. Hamilton had a remarkably messy life, but also a very successful career. Hamilton was a founding father and the first U.S. Treasury Secretary, but resigned over an affair with a married woman. He wrote the Fed-
Henry Davis flanked by his mother Eleanor and Hugh Sackett.
Quarterly February 2008
Per Circulum Locuti Sunt | Voices on the Circle
The patriot of incorruptible integrity . . . The soldier of approved valor . . . The statesman of consummate wisdom . . . Whose talents and virtues will be admired . . . Long after this marble shall have mouldered into dust. On the spot, I contacted a Groton formmate from the Form of ’84 for some commentary on Hamilton, and he shared with me the following not so helpful (and heavily edited) remarks. “What is this, a Halloween theme… Or a meditation on the passage of time… They opened that coffin, and by God that great man was ‘naught but ashes and a shade.’ It’s hard for me to be offended by anyone who went to Groton, especially if quoting Robert Browning while making fun of me. I enjoyed the moment and the unseasonably warm weather, and then I left, walking back up Broadway to our apartment a few blocks North. I live in a converted 28-story office building across from City Hall. It was turned into condos five years ago. The façade is dreary whitish brick and has the dubious distinction of being the only building on our municipal corner that the Landmarks Commission chose not to adorn with a plaque. It also has
22 | Quarterly February 2008
“ His advice was revolutionary at the time, and I’ll leave you with its simple message: “You know more than you think you do.” the dubious distinction of having one of the best views of Ground Zero from its upper floors. But it does have an interesting secret, and one that I only learned last week. In the early 1940s, the U.S. government launched an urgent top secret project initially called the Laboratory for the Development of Substitute Materials. It was a massive undertaking employing over 130,000 people for several years in locations around the country. It needed a headquarters with proximity to scientists and engineers. So the project decided to hide in the plain site of an utterly low-key office building whose tenants included the North Atlantic Division of the Army Corps of Engineers and also Stone & Webster, a famous Boston-based construction and engineering firm that only relatively recently bit the dust in the Enron era. That building 60-years later would be home to a fleet of babystrollers, their passengers, parents, and to me. It was also the first home of the Manhattan Project, which developed the atomic bomb under the direction of a brilliant but troubled physicist by the name of J. Robert Oppenheimer. Oppenheimer was a rail-thin 38-year-old in 1942 who earned his Ph.D. at 22 after graduating from Harvard in three years. Among other things, he read Sanskrit and would passionately smoke any tobacco product handed to him. He was stripped of his security clearance in the 1950s during the McCarthy era and later succumbed to throat cancer in his early 60s. When they tested the first nuke in Alomogordo, New Mexico, in 1945 at the original Ground Zero—the Trinity Site—Oppenheimer’s Sanskrit was a bit rusty. He is reported to have recalled the following passage from the Bhagavad Gita: “If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be Vaughn Winchell
eralist Papers and is credited with founding the Coast Guard, the U.S. Mint, Hamilton College, the New York Post and the Bank of New York. His portrait is on the 10 dollar bill. Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton were not friends. In 1804, the guy who founded the Bank of Manhattan, now Chase Bank, killed the guy who founded Bank of New York in a duel on the cliffs of Weehawken, New Jersey, across the Hudson River from 42nd Street. Hamilton was in his late 40s at the time. His opponent was the sitting Vice President of the United States, who was charged with murder (although the charges were later dropped). Kind of hard to picture today. I mean, this would be like Dick Cheney shooting someone! But times have changed. Fast forward 200+ years, and Hamilton’s bank along with my kiddie savings gets taken over by Burr’s bank. In a touch of irony, prior to the Chase acquisition Hamilton, from his place of rest, had enjoyed a nice view of the Bank of New York’s grandest location at 80 Broadway. The stunning art deco limestone 50-story office tower, better known to the 50+ crowd as the Irving Trust building, had been property of the Bank of New York since 1988. Hamilton is buried in the yard across the street at Trinity Church. The grave is located on the edge of Rector Street, a short walk from my apartment in lower Manhattan. A few Sundays ago in T-shirt weather, I stepped from a bustling Broadway into the nearempty graveyard and took a look. If the gloriously silly movie National Treasure starring Nicholas Cage was true, I would have been standing directly above the secret underground temple and treasure vault of the Masons. Having done no advance work, I did not know where to look, so my strategy was simple: find any stone that was actually legible. It took me less than five minutes to find the grave site. Hundreds of years of weather and noxious 9/11 dust hadn’t obscured Hamilton’s inscription, which I jotted down:
West facing window in St. John’s Chapel.
like the splendor of the mighty one. Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” The correct translation for this last sentence was “I am Time grown old to destroy the world.” In any event, you get the point. He felt bad. When the Enola Gay dropped its payload over Hiroshima later that summer, pilot Paul Tibbets saw a whole city disappear as the plane executed a 160-degree diving turn around the stalk of a boiling purple mushroom cloud. Co-pilot Robert Lewis was more modest in his commentary than Oppenheimer. He simply wrote in his log, “My God, what have we done?” The pilot, Paul Tibbets, died last Thursday, November 1, at the age of 92. When I learned about my admittedly abstract and attenuated Manhattan Project connection, I had a less quotable reaction, at least not in a church. I immediately contacted our building’s developer, who was in India, and told him he had bigger problems than lead paint abatement. He laughed and told me he had no idea. It was top secret. We marveled at the peculiar surprises of time and place. Now, to get back to my pedestrian complaints about bank mergers and the admittedly abstract and attenuated Hamilton and Burr connection, I didn’t like the ownership change. So I switched banks. Somebody recommended Citibank and I scratched out some paperwork, and that was that. A few weeks later my checkbooks arrived. I probably had a choice and could have opted for a different look, Hello Kitty or something like that. But I went for standard regular checks. What I did not know was that on each blank draft I would also be receiving the following printed exhortation: Citibank Everything Counts (complete with registered trademark). I didn’t get it. Was it just an ad, or a pep talk, or a warning? I was even flummoxed by the nonsensical grammar —suggesting that I really did go to Groton. Citibank Everything Counts. Seeing what happened to the Citibank CEO last weekend, I guess it’s not an empty promise. I had a memory flashback to my first adult job as an associate at a big New York law firm. As part of my orientation, first-year lawyers were given a talk by the managing partner. He was over 50, well-dressed and well-spoken, and at some point in his remarks he cut to the chase. With clarity and a sense of purpose, he said: “If there’s anything I can leave you with, it’s the following: as an associate, everything counts. Everything you do matters. What you say. How you say it. How you answer the phone. How you dress. How you look. Everything counts.” I remember thinking, “Uh oh.” It was probably good advice under the circumstances. And I might be still working at that firm if I had followed it. Don’t get me wrong, I mostly did what I was supposed to do for years, but I’ve come to believe that his advice was not true. It may have helped the firm. But I don’t think it helped me. Everything doesn’t count. I might even go so far as to say a healthy plurality of things doesn’t count. And I might add, who’s doing the counting anyway? What if they didn’t count. It gets a bit circular. I’m pretty sure I’ve spent too much time in recent decades fretting about all things counting, although for better or worse I was spared this affliction during my Groton years.
Making Connections in New York City
* * * I’ve come to be a believer in the advice of Dr. Benjamin Spock, a Yale oarsman who won a gold medal in the 1924 Olympics in Paris, who later wrote a book about parenting and babies that outsold anything published in the nonfiction category except the Bible. His advice was revolutionary at the time, and I’ll leave you with its simple message: “You know more than you think you do.”
Henry Davis is a 1984 graduate of Groton who went on to Cornell where he graduated summa cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in 1988. He earned his law degree from Yale Law School in 1993. Mr. Davis’ affiliation with our school goes back three generations; as his brother Townsend graduated in 1982, his uncle Edward Childs, Jr. in 1967, and his grandfather Edward Childs, graduated in the form of 1922. Although Mr. Davis has many ties to Groton, perhaps the closest one is that 10 years after his graduation, Mr. Davis’ mother, the former Eleanor Davis, married Hugh Sackett, who was Henry’s faculty advisor when he was here as a student. Henry has lived for many years in New York with his wife, Belle, and their three daughters. He currently is Managing Director of Arden Asset Management and brings his financial expertise to his Trustee work as chairman of the Investment Committee and a member of the Finance and Budget Committee. Quarterly February 2008
Per Circulum Locuti Sunt | Voices on the Circle
A QUANTUM REALIZATION A Chapel Talk by Sahin Naqvi October 19, 2007
’m going to start with a question that may not seem relevant, but please, just keep it in your minds for a while: If a tree falls in the woods and no one can see or hear it fall, does the tree really fall? Now I’ll start the rest of my talk. As I collect my baggage, put it through the final screening machines, and walk towards the terminal building’s exit, I get that feeling again. It’s not just anticipation, or just excitement, or just nervousness, but it makes me quicken my pace and lift my head up despite having not slept in the past 30 hours. The automatic doors open before me and… This is probably where you are expecting me to go off about “the cool breeze refreshing me and ruffling my hair” and the “idyllic perfection of this place that I love.” Well, I think I’ll save that for an Expo paper and be a bit more realistic here. The automatic doors open before me and I am smacked with a stiflingly hot blast of air. My jacket feels like it weighs a ton, and the sunlight shines through the polluted sky, leaving a hazy, sickly-looking glow on all the surfaces it touches. The air is humid, and the odor of sweaty, impatient bodies lingers painfully in the air. It gets stronger as I make my way through the throng of people waiting for loved ones into the more open area on the other side. It is six a.m., yet the place is so crowded that I have to gently nudge some people with my baggage trolley to clear a path. Finally, I see them. Their tired, drawn faces light up immediately when we make eye contact, and they rush over to me. My mother gets me in a surprisingly strong hug while my father slaps my back, a broad grin on his face. We make our way over to the car, this time a 1998 Toyota pickup, and toss the suitcases in the back. The drive back is always eventful. Every time there is a different road blocked off due to construction work or flooding, so our route home is constantly changing. Regardless of the specific path, the roads are always pockmarked with potholes. My father, empowered by his powerful mode of transport, pays no heed to the various ditches and holes in the road and speeds over them, making my ride in the back less than comfortable. The streets are quiet and empty; there isn’t a throng of beggars and street vendors at every stop light. The scenery changes from hastily constructed shanties lining the main road, to large billboards with bright neon lights, to the quieter and greener district of Clifton. It is in this area that we turn down a small side street and arrive at our house. I’m home; this is Karachi, the city I know and love. Although my family only recently moved from London to Karachi, my affiliation with it goes back to my beginnings. After I was born there and lived there for five years, my father’s job took
24 | Quarterly February 2008
Sahin Naqvi performs in Jazz Ensemble over Parent’s Weekend.
the family to Singapore, and I didn’t come back to Karachi for another five years. Soon after returning, we moved away to Dubai and then to London. So I guess that I’ve always had another city to compare Karachi to, and these comparisons haven’t always been the best. Karachi has a population of over 15 million people, and the majority of these people live in extreme poverty, without electricity or running water. The city’s infrastructure is falling apart as a result of a corrupt local administration, and political rivalries between groups make it unsafe in many areas. In addition, human rights are barely observed, as it is usually possible to bribe the underpaid and understaffed authorities to turn a blind eye. Compare all this to the first-world environments of London, Dubai, or Singapore, and you see the differences that I have experienced throughout my life. You would think that seeing such drastic changes between my native city and my expatriated residence would negatively affect me, but although I was fully aware of these differences, somehow I was never overly concerned. Perhaps this was because I had been seeing them since I was very young and grew used to straddling two very different worlds. Also, I think my mother and father had something to do with it, as they, like most caring parents, didn’t want me to be troubled by such issues. When I was visiting Karachi, I developed a sort of “bubble” around me, deflecting concerns about the gross inequalities that I saw everywhere. I spent most of my time at my cousin’s house, playing video games or cricket, protected from the chaotic happenings in the rest of the city. I continued like this for years, my youthful sense of morality satisfied by my parents’ gentle assurances. And so, I came to Groton without any real opinions on current events or politics in the world. Exposed to various world views and political ideas, I began to form my own. I don’t want to go into specifics, but my take on things was [and is] essentially a liberal-minded one. When my parents moved back to Karachi in the summer after my third form year, I saw the city with some of these new concepts in mind. Also, at 15 years old I was given a lot more freedom by my parents than before, making my experience in Karachi completely different. It was my home, in every sense of the word, and I wasn’t satisfied with what little I knew about it from previously treating it as a vacation spot. I realized that I didn’t know how much our maid at home got paid. (Don’t be surprised at this; labor is so cheap in Pakistan that most middle to upper class families have at least one hired servant around the house.) I was told that her salary was about 8,000 rupees, or $110 monthly. The cost to my family of simply traveling to Groton
A Quantum Realization
“ I had been learning about and discussing tolerance and equality at Groton as lofty ideals, but had turned a blind eye to injustices occurring in the place I thought I knew the best.” from Karachi eclipses her yearly earnings. All of you may have differing opinions on this, but at the time it struck me as inherently unfair. I was amazed at how I had never really thought about this inequality, and indeed the many other ones that were amazingly obvious around the city. My friends and family ignored the beggars that roamed among the cars stopped at traffic lights, some of their bodies horribly mutated and disabled. Anyone who wasn’t Muslim was given an almost second-class citizen status. Among the ever-growing list of grievances, I couldn’t help but ask myself this question: What had that beggar tapping on the car window done so that he had to live his life this way? I struggled to come up with an answer. I had been learning about and discussing tolerance and equality at Groton as lofty ideals, but had turned a blind eye to injustices occurring in the place I thought I knew the best. It was with these contradictions in mind that I returned to the Circle for Fourth Form. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was troubled by the move back to Karachi. Groton seemed different. I couldn’t pin it down, and I refused to think that I should feel differently, but it was true. During Third Form, I had managed to convince myself that Groton was a sort of second home, one that should give me comfort and take care of me away from my parents. But how could it be “home” if it was so different from my original home of Karachi? Once again, I had no response. Feeling like a hypocrite and frustrated at my state, I began to break down. It wasn’t anything dramatic at first, just a subtle change in perspective, a different way of looking at things. A little squabble with a friend became a full-blown fight; an average grade became a terrible one. But I didn’t confront my problems. I kept quiet about them, containing them within myself and letting them grow. Those “little things,” the small fluctuations that are ever present in a Groton student’s life, became anvils, weighing me down, not letting me escape, constant reminders of my failures. Depression, sleeplessness, and anxiety followed quickly. I blamed these problems on my parents’ expectations, but now I realize that the pressure was my own: I was self-destructing and I couldn’t stop. By the end of the year, I wanted to leave Groton. No, I didn’t just want to leave. I wanted to erase all memory of Groton’s existence and go back home. I don’t remember exactly when, but at some point over the summer after Fourth Form, when I was itching for something to do (as is the case with most Groton students over breaks), I realized that I had to go back and give Groton one more try. To tell you the truth, I’m not sure how or why I changed my mind, but at some point I realized that I didn’t need to have only Groton or Karachi as my home; I could have both. Why? Well let me take you back to the question I asked at the beginning of my talk. Most
of you may think that the unheard and unseen tree in the woods either falls or doesn’t fall, that the situation is black and white. But the theory of quantum mechanics (and I) would disagree. You see, according to the quantum model, a particle (let’s extend that to any object) can only be defined by its interactions with its environment; if an object didn’t interact, we wouldn’t perceive it as existing. So, the tree in the woods doesn’t explicitly fall or stand, as there isn’t an observed interaction upon which to base its position or movement. You could say that it does neither; or alternatively, that it does both. And it is this last option that is the most relevant to my current situation. Now I realize that I don’t need to belong specifically to one place or another, just like the tree doesn’t specifically stand or fall. When I go to Karachi, I leave a part of me behind at Groton, and vice versa; they can both be homes to me. So now you’re probably thinking “All right, Sahin, we know that you sound really intellectual with your cute little falling tree, but what about all those contradictions you said you saw between Groton and Karachi? Don’t they matter?” And I would say that they still do. I’m not pretending that everything is right all of a sudden; there are still huge differences between my two homes, maybe even larger ones than before. Perhaps it is hypocritical of me to love Groton and spend so much of my time here when Karachi has such pressing problems. But I think that, in this world of imperfection, we all need to live with a little hypocrisy, because we can’t always have things exactly the way we want them. And if such hypocrisy is necessary for me to stay at Groton and enjoy my time here, then I’m all for it. But just because we can accept this temporary contradiction doesn’t mean that we can’t work to improve the situation, and it is in this objective that I harbor some of my hopes for the future. At some point in my life I want to return to Karachi, but not simply to enjoy the comforts of home and family as I have been doing these past few years. I want to go back with the purpose of improving the city, and for that matter, the whole of Pakistan. I do not know exactly by what means I can try to achieve this, but I hope to use some part of my education and expertise resulting from opportunities such as coming to Groton and continuing to college. I’ve used the word “home” a lot in this Chapel Talk, and you all may take it for granted, but what does it really mean? Does your home have to be your birthplace, or where your ancestors came from? Is it the place where you spend the most time, where you live, where you have a house? Well, it could be all these things, but for me, a home is first and foremost a place you love. And I love Groton, so it is my home. And I love Karachi too, so that must also be my home. And if I find another place I love as much, maybe even more, then it too will be my home. But until then, I can tell you that, meh durukht ki turah hoo; khurey hota hoo or ghirta hoo. I am like the tree; I both stand and fall.
Sahin Naqvi is a member of the Sixth Form and is an officer in the Alliance for Student Harmony, a communicatons prefect and a prefect in the lower school. He came to Groton in the Third Form while living in London, England. He is a citizen of Pakistan. Quarterly February 2008
Per Circulum Locuti Sunt | Voices on the Circle
The BURNING BUSH A Chapel Talk by Christopher C. Gates, P’89 February 26, 1989
Editor’s note: We thank Mr. Gates for thinking to send on to us the text of a chapel talk he delivered at Groton in 1989, his son’s sixth form year. The ideas of the talk were so timeless, we are happy to publish them here.
he Dean addresses his entering medical school class. “Medicine,” he said, “is not only a science, it’s an art. While we will expect you to learn a good deal of science, we also expect you to use your five senses and also the important sixth one as well, your common sense. The art of medicine is using your head, not just your knowledge.” “One of the important developments in the history of medicine,” the Dean continued, “was the observation that flies gathered around some urine specimens and not others. Only after many unsuccessful attempts to understand the difference did someone taste the urines and note that the ones attracting the flies were sweet. Thus it was discovered that the disease of diabetes involved having sugar in one’s urine. Until modern times, the diagnosis was made as I demonstrate here. I place my finger in this bottle of urine and lick the finger to see if it is sweet. I hope that some of you were not too distracted by possible feelings of disgust” the Dean went on, “to notice that I put my forefinger into the urine and licked my second finger. It’s important to notice things like that.” The Dean was playing a trick on this entering class, as well as getting their attention. I think God was doing something like that
Dillon Art Center in the evening.
26 | Quarterly February 2008
with Moses. We are here today to talk about the Burning Bush. This is not a talk about the incineration of our new President. It is a talk about one of the great stories of the Old Testament. The lesson tells us that it was Moses noticing that the bush was not consumed that seemed more important than noticing that it was on fire. To our knowledge Moses didn’t have any big future goals. He didn’t have to worry about his SATs and college placement and graduate school and peer pressure. He was just doing his job keeping his sheep. But God set him to an awesome task after he had passed the test. The result of this experience was that Moses, we would say today, decided to “go for it.” He changed his lifestyle. Curiously, he became consumed with the task. You all know the story. He led his people out of Egypt and oppression. It started with his saying to himself, “Something funny is going on here. This isn’t right. This isn’t normal.” In the year 1589, an Italian mathematician at the University of Padua had improved on an instrument with a long tube and lenses inside. Looking through this provided magnification of the object observed. The first thing he used this for was to get a raise from the people in Venice who were in control of the University of Padua, by showing them that with it they could see ships returning to port about two hours before they could be seen by the naked eye. That got him a raise, but he never got paid. He also used this device, later to be called a telescope, to observe the planet Jupiter. He noted several moons revolving around it. Just as Moses noted with that burning bush when he saw that it was not being consumed, he said, “That’s not right, that’s not the way it’s supposed to be.” All heavenly bodies according to Aristotle, the Church, and the academic establishment, were supposed to revolve around the Earth. The evidence of Jupiter and its moons was to the contrary. In pursuing this study, writing about the observations, and making further observations the mathematician turned astronomer set an example that has earned him the title of the Father of Modern Science. He helped change man’s view of the universe and his way of pursuing truth. For Galileo, Jupiter and its moons were a Burning Bush. In 1841, a young lawyer was riding up the Ohio River on a steamboat. Also on board were 10 to 12 slaves shackled together with irons. He commented that the sight was “a continual torment to me.” Something was wrong here. This wasn’t right. Human
The Burning Bush
beings should not be treated this way. Twenty-two years later, as President, Mr. Lincoln emancipated the slaves. That riverboat experience was his Burning Bush. In 1928 a researcher studying bacteria staphylococci discovered that his preparation was ruined. A moldy contaminant had spoiled some of the cultures. He threw them in the trash. Starting to repeat his work he wondered, “What was that stuff that spoiled my cultures? Something must be active against the growth of the organisms.” He retrieved his thrown out culture dishes and began to study the contaminant that turned out to be mold spores called Penicillium Notatum. Discovering the active anti-growth agent in the mold led to a breakthrough of modern science, the drug penicillin to fight infection. In 1939 they were ready to manufacture. Mold grows through fermentation. The people in the fermentation business, of course, were the brewers. One additional privation the British suffered during the Second World War was to have to give up some of their beer brewing capacity to produce penicillin. Penicillin was discovered when it was because Sir Alexander Fleming had second thoughts about those Petri dishes with the spoiled cultures that he had thrown away. Something in him said, “That’s not right. It’s not supposed to be that way.” Once he was on the trail he couldn’t stop. Those spoiled cultures were his Burning Bush. A wise medical school teacher in the last lecture of his course said that he hoped more than anything not that we would remember what he had taught us but that each of us would find an unanswered or wrongly answered question, become captivated by it, and pursue it wherever it took us. Doing so would lead to a rewarding career in medicine. He was hoping each of us would identify that burning bush. He was sure each of us would be exposed many times. I expect that many of your teachers feel the same way and tell you the same thing. The Rev. Spencer Rice, of Trinity Church Boston, told the story of a Nobel Prize winning physicist being interviewed. “Is there any teacher,” he was asked, “who was particularly important to you in becoming a Nobel Laureate?” He thought for a minute and replied, “When I would come home from school as a boy, my mother would not ask me how it went today, or what we
“ When I would come home from school as a boy, my mother would not ask me how it went today, or what we learned, or what I got on the test, or who I played with, or who won the game. She would ask ‘What interesting questions did you ask today?’ She knew that to ask interesting questions you have to make interesting observations.”
learned, or what I got on the test, or who I played with, or who won the game. She would ask ‘What interesting questions did you ask today?’ She knew that to ask interesting questions you have to make interesting observations. She wanted her son to be a careful observer and to have the confidence to ask questions.” I hope you all know the story of the little boy who watched the parade where the emperor was to display his new clothes. As he passed and the crowd cheered, what the boy saw was a man without clothes. “Mommy,” he asked, “why doesn’t that man have any clothes on?” I would like to think that Moses and Galileo and Lincoln and Sir Alexander Fleming and the Nobel Laureate physicist and each of you would ask the same question. Each of you will see one or several burning bushes in your life. You probably won’t be tending sheep or looking through a telescope or riding a riverboat or fussing with the Petri dishes, but you will see something or hear something or smell something or taste something or touch something that isn’t right. It won’t be the way you expected, the way it ought to be. You will become captivated by the question your observation raises. And like Moses, Galileo, Lincoln, Fleming, our Nobel Laureate, and many, many others, you will become consumed by the idea and you will “go for it.” While you’re going, you will be really living!
Quarterly February 2008
Personae | People of Note
WILLIAM H. CROCKER ’43, ETHNOGRAPHER
by Shepard Krech III ’62
ew Grotonians have become anthropologists, but we compensate for our small number with breadth and, I like to think, distinction. For example, in my generation Tony Barclay ’63 parlayed a doctoral degree in anthropology from Columbia into a start-up of which he is CEO: Development Alternatives Inc. (now DAI), a firm with a global reach promoting sustainable growth and development. His formmate, Ted Green, is a medical anthropologist and senior research scientist at Harvard School of Public Health, and very much in the news lately for his work supporting the so-called ABC (abstain, be faithful, and use condom) approach to HIV and AIDS prevention. In a more recent class is Peter Ellison ’79, who remained at Harvard after graduate school and is now professor of anthropology and head of a lab conducting research on human reproductive ecology. From an earlier generation are two Grotonians, Ward Goodenough ’37 and Bill Crocker ’43, who became prominent anthropologists but for quite different reasons. Both were hooked on languages at Groton, especially Latin, Greek, and French—an interest that was one key to their path into anthropology. Ward headed for Cornell after Groton because he could study Old Norse as a freshman, and when he was unsure what to do in graduate school, his father, a professor of history at Yale, told him to look into anthropology because, “You can be interested in almost anything, and it’s all right.” After the War, Ward expanded his interest in language to linguistic theory, did fieldwork on the island of Truk (now Chuuk) in Micronesia, and became the most influential theoretician of his day in the field of culture and cognition (as students in the 1960s-70s, we all knew his name and read what he wrote). Then, there is Bill Crocker, the subject of this profile. Bill’s path from Groton into anthropology wound through the Philippines just after the War, then Mexico, and Yale as a member of a big post-war class. By the time he got to Yale, Bill was not only taken by the challenge of Spanish in addition to the languages he read at Groton but nurtured an intense curiosity about the native people of Luzon, Latin America, and other parts of the Hispanic world. Exposure to psychoanalysis led to the social sciences, including anthropology, which Bill considered a natural fit for him. Graduate school at Stanford (he had grown up in the Bay Area) and Wisconsin followed, and from there it was a short step to ethnography of the Ramkókamekra, or, as they are commonly known, the Canela
28 | Quarterly February 2008
Young Crocker (1958) in field attire— sneakers, trunks, and paint—holding ceremonial lance for singing.
(“cinnamon” or “shin bone” in Portuguese), a fairly isolated group of Indians who lived in northeastern central Brazil. Bill decided to live among the Canela because he was interested in social and cultural change and a German-Brazilian ethnographer had provided a baseline for Bill’s work with his own research a generation before. He did not know when he first visited them that he would become a specialist in long-term ethnography—the hallmark method of social or cultural anthropology. Ethnography is the art of hanging around people long enough to become knowledgeable of their language, adept in their customs, and sensitive and empathetic to their ways of bringing meaning to, and living out, their lives. Thousands of anthropologists do it, but only a handful have spent the amount of time that Bill has on visits to the same people; his repeated, long-term ethnography is truly exceptional. Since his first visit in 1957, he has made over 20 trips to the field, spending more than 74 months with these people. I caught up with him in early November 2007 after his return from yet another trip to Brazil, some 50 years after his first encounter with the Canela. Not surprisingly, it has gotten easier for Bill to travel to northeastern Brazil and to Canela villages since the 1950s. Yet, during the entire time he has known them, the Canela have lived in villages that resemble bicycle wheels from the air. Each is circular, and has a “rim” formed by a dirt boulevard, “studs” of houses (today, of mud-brick construction) facing inward from the outside of the boulevard, “spokes” made by paths from houses on the rim to a central “hub,” a sacred plaza. Apart from equipment to record their ways, Bill never weighed himself down with possessions when he lived with them: a hammock, nylon bathing suit, and tennis shoes or flip flops were pretty much all he needed. Like most Canela, he went shirtless in an equatorial climate in which sand scorched feet when the sun was overhead.
William Crocker ’43, Ethnographer
“ Ethnography is the art of hanging around people long enough to become knowledgeable of their language, adept in their customs, and sensitive and empathetic to their ways of bringing meaning to, and living out, their lives.”
Adopted immediately into a family and grafted onto the kinship system of the community, Bill gradually built relationships within the community that have lasted generations. He worked closely with knowledgeable Canela and, much later, hired Canela research assistants—indeed, a research team—and convinced people to record their lives in diaries or on tapes, writing or speaking in the Canela dialect of Gê or interior Brazilian Portuguese, in which Canela were versed. (By 1979, they had recorded nearly 80,000 pages!) Despite change, Canela social and ritual organization remain complex. Their lives have altered as a result of the influence of soldiers, missionaries, ranchers, governmental agents and programs, relocation, loss of lands, and disease. Bill recorded changes in Canela lives, both before and after his arrival, from hunting, gathering, and horticulture to slash-andburn agriculture and dependence on government subsidies; from generosity and sharing to hoarding; from extensive extramarital sexual relations to virtually none; from spare clothing to increasing covering that reflected changes in modesty; from strong to weak control over adolescents; from animists who believed in widespread existence of ghosts and in worlds above and below theirs peopled, respectively, by great birds and fish and alligators, to a reliance on the supernaturalism of folk Catholicism—and recently, Protestantism. In 1990, the Smithsonian Institution, where he has been a curator since 1962, published Bill’s major contribution to Canela ethnography: The Canela (Eastern Timbira), I: An Ethnographic Introduction (Washington, D.C., 1990), which he dedicated to the younger of two men named Kaapêltùk who worked with him as research assistants. This imposing monograph offers a detailed account of social and ceremonial organization and the structure of Canela culture. An amazingly rich description of Canela culture and behavior, and attentive to individual Canela perspectives, this work is unclouded by contemporary theoretical trends and has made the Canela, in the words of a noted anthropologist, one of the best known people of lowland South America. This is the rare work in anthropology that will provide grist for theory for a long time to come. Bill also recently published (with his wife Jean as co-author) the second edition of The Canela: Kinship, Ritual, and Sex in an Amazonian Tribe
(Belmont, CA, 2004). Together with the film, Mending Ways: The Canela Indians of Brazil, which played on the Discovery Channel over two dozen times and is available as a DVD from Films for the Humanities and Sciences, and the website, www.mnh.si.edu/ anthro/canela, these resources provide comprehensive (and easy) access to the Canela and Bill Crocker. Bill clearly likes the Canela. In his hands, they possess noble qualities: a generosity of spirit, an ability to suppress jealousy, an openness to sharing not just food and possessions but themselves, formerly through multiple partners before and after marriage. The Canela, Bill remarks, spend part of every day “engaged in what seems like plain everyday fun.” They wake up long before dawn to bathe and sing. They end the day harmonizing after dark. They fill spare time with log races: men on two teams vie with each other to carry 250-pound logs on their shoulders a certain distance, each man carrying his team’s log until exhausted, swiveling to pass the log to the next, and so on. They live, in his view, “a joyous life of festival, ceremony, and ritual that is inconceivable from the perspective of a work- and time-oriented Westerner.” It is all too clear that many of these values and customs are in flux; that the Canela are changing rapidly as the outside imposes increasingly on them, and they on it. Whatever they become, we are fortunate indeed that Bill Crocker has left a comprehensive account of their lives, and their culture, as both were during the second half of the 20th century.
Bill, notebook in hand, amongst the Canela in 2001.
Shepard Krech III ’62 is professor of anthropology and environmental studies at Brown University, director of Brown’s Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, and author of The Ecological Indian: Myth and History. His Spirits of the Air: Birds and American Indians in the South will be published in 2008. In 1973, Junie O’Brien asked him to write his reflections on ethnography in the arctic among Northwest Territories Gwich’in for the Quarterly. Quarterly February 2008
Grotoniana | All Things Groton
New Faculty Profiles
aria Bechis joins Groton as a one-year replacement for Bobbie Lamont, a member of the Chemistry Department. Born in New York City after her parents left Cyprus, Maria is fluent in Greek and celebrates many Greek traditions. She attended the Bronx High School of Science. With a B.S. in chemistry from City College of New York, and a M.S. in analytical chemistry from Fordham University, Maria enjoyed working as a research scientist in the healthcare, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries for companies including Estee Lauder, Squibb, and Rorer. She met her husband, Dennis Bechis, a physicist, in New Hampshire on a cross-country ski trip. Together, they raised two sons and a daughter in Yardley, Pennsylvania. Concerned about protecting wetlands and forests, she was also elected to leadership positions in local and national environmental organizations. For many years, she shared her passion for protecting the earth’s environment with students from ages 3 to 103 as an environmental educator at her county’s nature center. She also directed a county-wide high school science competition. Before coming to Groton, Maria taught chemistry and earth science at an all boys middle school, chemistry and mathematics at an all girls high school, and chemistry at a community college. Maria is thrilled to have the opportunity to share her passion for chemistry and learning with her Groton students.
ames Covi joins the school community this fall, bringing strong teaching, athletic, and world travel experience. As a new faculty member in the History Department, James teaches both World History and Sacred Texts and Ancient Peoples. Although born and raised in Buffalo, New York, he began his teaching in the Denver
30 | Quarterly February 2008
public schools, and transitioned this year from Seattle’s Lakeside School, where he taught both world history and U.S. history. He holds both B.A. and M.A. degrees in World History, emphasizing a larger global view of history and particularly focusing on colonial education of the 19th and 20th centuries. A lifelong athlete, James brings valued experience as assistant coach to the girls varsity ice hockey team and boys junior varsity soccer program. His coaching and teaching are both, likewise, influenced by his international travel experience and broad worldview. He has lived and studied in both Europe and Asia and given academic talks at international conferences in Africa and North America. Most recently, James led a small group of Lakeside students on a two-week historical and cultural tour of Italy.
arbara Eghan is new to Groton’s Office of Admission this year, although she is no stranger to the appeal of quintessential Circle-oriented campuses. As a student at Lawrenceville School, Barbara was an avid ambassador of the boarding school experience to trustees and prospective families. It was at Lawrenceville that she discovered deep interests in fiction writing—it was also in the Lawrenceville admission office that she met her future boss, Ian Gracey, whose frequent recruitment of her enthusiasm for the school turned a shy girl into someone with quite a lot to talk about. At Harvard University, Barbara pursued the interdisciplinary History and Literature concentration, allowing her to combine interests in literary discourse, media studies, and autobiographical fiction. After a year in advertising, Barbara came to realize that good PR is possible only with a truly good product. She is delighted to be returning to boarding school life at
a place like Groton. Barbara affiliates in a lower school dorm and is a key traveler and interviewer for the admission office.
or the past 10 years, Ian Gracey, our new admission director, has been urging bright and promising young people to resist the siren calls from New England and instead join him in New Jersey at The Lawrenceville School. But the naiads have apparently overcome Ian, and he has found his way safely to Farmers Row. His course is a familiar one. Many fine teachers have moved between Lawrenceville and Groton including such figures as Mather Abbott, Bill Polk ’58, Tom DeGray P’81, ’84, ’88, Jim Waugh, and Mike Schell. Jim and Mike have perhaps the most in common with Ian as they have spent time on the baseball diamonds at both schools. Ian will succeed Mike, his former player, as head baseball coach at Groton this spring. Ian is a graduate of Tufts University where he studied history and English. During three years at Avon Old Farms he taught English, coached football and baseball, directed the theater program, worked in admissions, and found a little time to court his future bride, Martha Rice. Ian Vaughn Winchell
Maria Bechis, James Covi, and Barbara Eghan
fter living and working for 18 years at The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey, Martha Gracey wondered if she would ever have the chance to return to her native Massachusetts. The opportunity presented itself when her husband, Ian, was named as Groton School’s director of admissions, giving Martha the chance to teach English and coach varsity field hockey and lacrosse here. “While all that I’m doing in the classroom, on the fields, and in the dorms is second nature to me after my years at L’ville, learning the culture of another school is intriguing and challenging. We have found the Groton community incredibly warm, outgoing, and helpful, as we begin our new careers and as our daughters adjust to new schools, new friends, and a new home.” During her tenure at Lawrenceville, Gracey was housemaster of both a boys house and a girls house, coached Varsity Field Hockey and all levels of Girls Lacrosse (winning numerous state and county titles in both sports), and served as the dean of students for 820 students during her final three years. What tells her that Groton School is a good fit for their family? “Just watching my eldest daughter, Katherine (a second former), make the transition to this place in a seamless manner, after having spent her whole life imagining herself at Lawrenceville, well, that speaks volumes about the community and the work of the School. The faculty has been wonderful to her; I am impressed with all that she’s
Martha and Ian Gracey
learning and able to do here. Likewise, my colleagues have helped me feel that I, too, belong.” Martha, Ian, and their daughters Katherine, Becca, and Lizzy, live in Nash Cottage along with Martha’s mother, Priscilla.
n June 4, 2005, Suzy Joseph thought she had retired from teaching. She left Phillips Academy in Andover after 25 years of service and moved to Biarritz, France, with her husband. For two years, she enjoyed her beautiful home country and its very special quality of life. Last spring, however, she surprised herself when she gladly accepted Groton’s invitation to come back to the States to replace Ms. Rebecca Stanton in the French Department for two terms. (Ms. Stanton is enjoying a sabbatical in Paris during the 2007-2008 academic year.)
Suzy is a Fullbright Scholar and a recipient of the French Palmes Academiques. She holds a licence d’anglais from La Sorbonne, Paris, and a M.A. in French from Indiana University. She taught at Oberlin College, Indiana University, DePauw University, Choate Rosemary Hall, and Milton Academy before Andover, where she was also a dorm head, a tennis coach, and especially involved in the community service program. Suzy is very grateful and excited at the prospect of getting back to teaching motivated and talented young men and women. She intends to inspire her students and to keep them excited about the French language, culture and literature.
arah graduated from Bates College in 1999 with a degree in history. She began her teaching career in outdoor education, working first with middle school students at Boston University’s Sargent Center in Hancock, New Hampshire. She then moved to Leadville, Colorado, where she taught at the High Mountain Institute’s Rocky Mountain Semester, a program for high school students that combines a college-prep curriculum with a NOLS-based expedition curriculum. Eager to continue in the education field but growing weary of the physical demands and instability of outdoor education, Sarah took a position at Dublin School in Dublin, New Hampshire, where she worked for five years as a teacher, coach, and dorm parent. Sarah spent last year in New York City pursuing a master’s degree in educational leadership at Teachers College. She joins Groton to Vaughn Winchell
then fled to Manhattan, enrolled at New York University’s Graduate School of Film and Television, and married Martha. He taught at NYU briefly and made a living as an independent producer for a number of years before returning to education. At Lawrenceville, Ian worked hard to increase the school’s presence in the South, served as the liasion to the arts and athletic departments, and put his visual sensibilities to the test in videos, publications, and websites for the Admission Office. Ian and his wife, Martha, his three daughters, Katherine ’12, Becca, and Lizzy, his mother-inlaw, Priscilla Furgal, all fit in Nash Cottage when they are not at their summer home on Orr’s Island in Maine.
New Faculty Profiles
Suzy Joseph, John Nagler ’03, and Sarah Mongan
Quarterly February 2008
Grotoniana | All Things Groton Vaughn Winchell
support the athletic enterprise as assistant athletic director and coach of lower teams in girls soccer and lacrosse.
John Nagler ’03
our years after graduating from Groton, John Nagler ’03 is back as a history intern. “It’s a great one-year gig to have right out of college,” he explains. “I’ve got a partial teaching load, which allows me to focus on my work and sit in on other classes all over the School including,” he adds with a smile, “the shop.” John found teaching at Groton attractive for a number of reasons. In addition to the chance to work with his old teachers, few places could be more ideal to teach American History, the focus of John’s studies at Brown University. “I’ve got energetic students and unbelievable autonomy. I’m afraid Groton is spoiling me rotten.” What’s more, John wrote his senior honors thesis on Endicott Peabody. After acquiring an historical intimacy with the Rector, the opportunity to return back to the womb proved to be irresistible. But it’s teaching young minds, not just tracing Peabody’s steps in the Schoolhouse, that John finds most thrilling. After discovering on the first day that several of his students weren’t sure who was president during the Civil War, John knew he had his work cut out. “Believe it or not, it just made me more excited to know that I’d be the first to expose my students to our remarkable history in great depth.” In addition to teaching two sections in American History, John plans to lead a tutorial this winter on Groton’s founding and teach a spring elective on the Cold War. Though John is fresh out of college, it’s not the first time he has been charged with introducing students to new ideas and experiences. He spent several summers teaching woodworking and leading canoeing trips at Pine Island Camp in Maine, and recently spent a summer in Istanbul teaching English. Given his passion for history, the School, and working with kids, it’s hard not to conclude that teaching at Groton is a natural fit.
32 | Quarterly February 2008
Henry Walter, Liza Williams, Cynthia Tripp
native of Lincoln, Massachusetts, Cynthia Tripp comes to Groton as a one-year sabbatical replacement for Ann Emerson, who is enjoying a year away during 2007-2008. A current resident of San Manuel, Arizona, and Epping, New Hampshire, Cynthia will teach Drawing, Printmaking, and other studio arts courses. Before her retirement, she spent 24 years teaching fine arts courses at Lawrence Academy and had also taught at The Cambridge School of Weston, Salem High School, New Hampshire, and Maynard High School, Massachusetts. Cynthia received her BFA from Massachusetts College of Art, her M.F.A. from Ohio University and her M. Ed. from Fitchburg State. She enjoys traveling, especially in central and South America where she has spent time sketching, painting, and photographing local inhabitants and sites of interest. While at Groton, Cynthia resides in Emerson House. She enjoys working with the students at Groton and creating more interaction between Groton students and those at Lawrence Academy.
orn under a benign but wandering star, Henry Walters has moved through his 24 years always with the intention of heading someplace else. As an infant, a case of jaundice turned him sallow from top to toe, a condition the doctor prescribed out of him with a constant dose of sunlight. Sitting in front of the window, absorbing it, he became absorbed by all things pedestrian, the back and forth of
feet, the hops and flits of sparrows, the now ebbing, now lengthening shadows. When he could walk, he got lost in a wood humming with strange languages. In time, he studied Latin and Greek at Harvard University, taking time off to teach and be taught in Ghana and in Rome. After graduation, he lived in western Ireland as an apprentice at a school of falconry, training birds, training people, and being trained by both. He arrives at Groton as an intern in the Classics department, teaching first- and second-year Latin and an English tutorial about different ways of seeing. What excites him most about the School is the unlooked-for, the chance to speak with faculty and students whose wanderings, whether in thought or in body, exhaust the mapmaker’s colors.
iza Williams comes to Groton from Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire, where she taught courses in American and European History, including seminars in African-American history and gender studies. She studied political theory and history at Dartmouth College, where she earned an A.B. in 2005. While at Dartmouth, she acted as a senior editor for the Dartmouth Law Journal, worked in a number of election campaigns, and first became interested in teaching while serving as a peer tutor. In 2006, Liza spent several months researching competition law in the antitrust practice group at White & Case LLP in Washington, D.C. Liza is attracted to the vibrant community at Groton and hopes to help her students realize the great and varied resources that daily surround them. She is excited to be working with students who think for themselves, contest preconceived notions, and feel the pride that comes with the challenge of discovery. As a surfer who has grown up appreciating the thrill of catching the perfect swell, she thinks teaching is analogous to hanging 10: “It places you right on the edge of your seat with your students as you navigate an unfamiliar text.” At Groton, Liza instructs courses in both world and American history, helps coach the JV Girls Soccer Team, and serves as the head of a girls dormitory.
FALL SPORTS Boys Cross Country | 15-3 ISL 2nd place, div. iii new england champions
he Groton Boys Cross Country team enjoyed another successful campaign, finishing with a 15-3 dual meet record, a 2nd place finish at the ISL Championships, and winning its 11th New England Division III championship on the final Saturday of the season. At the New Englands, the team finished with an all time low of 23 points, placing its scoring runners in 1st, 2nd, 5th, 7th, and 8th places. Led by senior co-captains Alex Karwoski and Django BroerHellermann, the team improved steadily throughout the season, emerging from a strong group of ISL teams to finish the dual meet season in second place. It’s only dual meet losses were to Belmont Hill in week one, St. Paul’s in week three, and a non-ISL loss to Cushing Academy. St. Paul’s and Cushing would go on to win the New England Division I and II championships respectively. At the ISL’s the team was again second to a strong St. Paul’s team, but were able to avenge the early season loss to Belmont Hill. Other highlights of the dual meet season were: first place in a quad meet at Roxbury Latin vs. St. Sebastian’s and perennial league powers Roxbury Latin and Milton Academy, and another quad sweep at home on Parents Weekend vs. Governors Academy, Rivers School, and an excellent St. Mark’s squad. Alex Karwoski was among the elite runners in the league this season; he finished first in three league races, seventh at the ISL’s, and first at the New Englands, capturing the medal for boys individual Division III Champion. Django Broer-Hellermann finished his career with ninth and second place finishes at the ISL’s and New Englands. Moreover, Django and Alex provided outstanding leadership as team co-captains. Senior John Goodlander, in his second season of running, showed considerable improvement this season and finished seventh at the New Englands. The remaining seniors on the team: Ian McLellan, Gardner Smith, Chris Pitsiokos, and Eric Valchuis also ran well, and will be missed next year. New team members Ted Leonhardt ’11 and Jamie Norton ’10 made significant contributions to the team’s success. Each improved steadily throughout the season, culminating in top 15 finishes at the ISL’s and New Englands. Earning All ISL recognition were Django Broer-Hellermann, Alex Karwoski, and Ted Leonhardt. Jamie Norton was recognized with honorable mention. By virtue of their top 10 finishes at the New England Championships, Django Broer-Hellermann, John Goodlander, Alex Karwoski, and Ted Leonhardt. Jamie Norton were all named to the All New England team.
Alex Karwoski ’08 and Ted Leonhardt ’11 flank SPS runner at start of the ISL Championships.
At the end of season banquet the awards for Most Valuable, Most Improved, and the Coaches Award were given to: Alex Karwoski, John Goodlander, and Django Broer-Hellermann. Arjun Aggarwal ’09 earned the award for outstanding JV runner. Co-captains for 2008 are: Arjun Aggarwal and Jack Carter ’09.
Girls’ Cross Country | 10-5 div. iii new england champions
here surely have been years when crafting an end of season description required dusting off an old end-ofseason description and changing the names and places and highlights, reinforcing the same old punch line: Groton’s team was filled with lots of talent, and the team acquitted itself well against ISL competition. From the start of this season, however, it seemed clear that this was going to be what many would describe as a “building year” because more running talent graduated than matriculated, and this team was to be entering into competition with a number of excellent running programs in the ISL. The sea of pre-season data suggested that this team would be doing well to have a .500 season and a top five finish at the New England Championships. In projections, however, the peculiar and wonderful qualities of this group of athletes could not be figured in; this team defied all expectations, improved dramatically, and defined themselves (again) as the best small school team in New England at the close of a wonderful season. Now that most of the leaves are off of the trees and winter snows threaten, Head Coach Craig Gemmell notes that he looks back at Quarterly February 2008
Grotoniana | All Things Groton Vaughn Winchell
this season as “the singularly most enjoyable of my 20 years of coaching because this particular group of girls is emblematic of all that is good about this school.” After six thousand some-odd collective miles run, dozens of hours spent on busses, grosses of post-race cookies, three defining qualities emerge for him as he tries to encapsulate the season into a few generalizations. First, to the person, this group loved the simple act of what they were doing, and the enthusiasm they generated around the act of running was palpable. Oddly, they Kerri McKee ’09 competing at the liked to do intervals—a sign of ISL championships. moderate insanity—and Gemmell notes that “Watching a challenging interval workout or accompanying this group on a crisp six mile loop through the Town Forest surely made for some great afternoons because they all were happy to be doing what they were doing together.” Second, this group also knew how to compete regardless of the competition they faced. They were never paralyzed by the unexpected, hamstrung by the unfair, or overwhelmed by particularly severe competition: they raced well at every outing—from their first meet on a hot September Friday at St. Georges’ to the last, at the November New England Championships at Lawrence. Their skill was due in large part to the excellent leadership of seasoned captains Christine Choi ’08 and Hannah Jeton ’08, and they were supported duly by standouts Kerri McKie ’09 and Allie Maykranz ’09 at the front of the Groton pack and Elise Kang ’08 and Katie Nichols ’09, who raced consistently on the varsity squad. As a result of their collective leadership, a number of talented newcomers emerged: Sommer Carroll ’09 progressed toward the end of the season to race alongside Choi at #4 on the roster; Julia Nestler ’10, Julia May ’10, Elizabeth Small ’10, and Molly Belsky ’12 all demonstrated great progress and collectively they give us hope for future success in this sport. Finally, this group improved perhaps more than any group Gemmell has ever coached. They did so because they were inclined to take care of themselves and each other—working hard when appropriate, resting when fatigued, and managing their multivariate Groton lives with effectiveness. They did so because they were comfortable with being uncomfortable, managing as they did the travails of a sport based in part on pain management. They did so because they were not inclined to keep score among themselves or against their opponents, focusing instead on improving. As evidence of their progress through the course of this season, one need look no further than the final race at Lawrence Academy. Though this team had won the Class “C” New England Championships a number of times in the past, other coaches assumed that this team would finish well back in the field, but they ran
34 | Quarterly February 2008
their best races of the fall because all vectors were pointing toward that outcome: each member of the varsity and JV squads improved greatly—some stunningly—through the course of the fall, and both varsity and JV unseated the undefeated Portsmouth Abbey team to win the team title. Coacbes’ Award: Christine Choi, Hannah Jeton MVP Award: Ali Maykranz MIP Award: Sommer Carroll All-ISL, All-New England: Ali Maykranz ISL Honorable Mention, All New England: Keri McKie All New England: Christine Choi
Boys’ Soccer | 8-6-1
iven that last season was a banner year for Groton Boys Varsity Soccer—the best ISL finish since 1991, a third consecutive bid to the post-season tournament, players receiving All-ISL, All-State, and AllNew England, and All-Boston Globe awards—the returning players for 2007 knew that this season would be one to test their collective ability, cohesion and mettle. They also knew that new varsity players (some new to the squad, some new to the program) would need to contribute significantly in order for this season to be a successful one. Graduating 10 seniors is an anxiety-producing proposition for any coaching staff and any program, but in the case of this year’s varsity squad, youth rarely translated into inexperience. Since a solid core of freshman and sophomores complemented our senior foundation of last season, we embarked upon the 2007 campaign with a seasoned and ready core of returning players, many of whom would be asked to log near-maximum minutes over the course of the 15 game season. Admirably, Groton Boys Varsity Soccer had achieved a record of 8-6-1 by season’s end and narrowly missed a return to the New England Prep School Soccer Association (NEPSSA) tournament. Led by junior co-captains Alistair Cummings and Adam Reeve, the team gave each opponent a competitive match and was able to raise its game to the level of even the strongest teams in the league. In fact, some of the most impressive and memorable matches of the season were those in which the squad was significantly outmanned, but came together not only to compete, but also to excel. After a long bus trip to Newport, RI, Groton opened its campaign against St. George’s. After a somewhat patchy performance in the first half, Groton began to find its rhythm and soon, sophomore Will Stankeiwicz found classmate Scott Fronsdahl for the first goal (and victory) of the Zebra’s season. The team learned a valuable lesson from this first match, acquiring an indispensable faith in its ability to compete that would prove vital throughout the season. In the next match against perennial powerhouse Brooks, Groton was unfortunate to give up a goal early in the match, but the squad remained undaunted and focused, playing with tremen-
Girls’ Soccer | ISL 4-5-2, Overall 6-6-4 2007 nepsac class c quarterfinalist
T Alistair Cummings ’09 makes save against Belmont Hill.
dous energy, diligence and determination; Groton was rewarded for its efforts when Dan McCarthy’s powerfully struck free kick found the upper corner of the Brooks net in the final stages of the match. Against rivals St. Paul’s, Groton again recovered from an early 1-0 deficit to take a 2-1 lead on a quick double by Tom Raymen and held firm in the defensive third (the backline of Nick Hennrikus, Chris Ahn, Adam Reeve and Jordan Washam) to preserve the victory. The Zebras continued to hang tough against the league’s best, and perhaps the most complete performances of the season were those against eventual ISL champions BB&N and (in the Parents Weekend rain) against runners-up Nobles. Though both games ended in defeat, most observers would agree not only that these were evenly and attractively played matches, but also the Groton side displayed an admirable level of determination and ability that bodes well for the future of the program. In their final fixture of the season, the players seemed well-equipped to employ the various lessons of the season in the 10th match for the Fritz Wiedergott Cup against the Lions of St. Mark’s School. Groton went on to win the game convincingly 4-0, with goals from Fronsdahl, Raymen and seniors Piers MacNaughton and Tucker Fross. As he was throughout the season, team MVP Alistair Cummings was fantastic in goal, earning his fifth shutout of the season. In light of our success, we were also honored by the ISL coaches, who placed four players from our program on the AllISL squad: Piers MacNaughton, Danny McCarthy and Jordan Washam received Second Team honors and Alistair Cummings was named to the First Team. Coaches’ Award: Piers MacNaughon ’08 Most Improved Player Award: Chris Ahn ’08 Most Valuable Player: Alistair Cummings ’09
his year’s Girls Varsity Soccer team made history by earning its first ever bid to the NEPSAC Class C Championship playoffs, only to bow to eventual champion Brewster Academy, in a thrilling 1-0 double-overtime loss. With a 6-5-4 regular season slate, the Lady Zebras fought through a demanding schedule that included six ISL teams that earned post-season invitations, all of which were in classes A and B (classes are determined by female enrollment size)--Nobles, Brooks, Thayer, Middlesex, Lawrence, and Rivers. Competing against quality programs like these provides constant challenge for our girls, forcing them to play up week in and week out. Tri-Captains Emma Curtis, Kaitlin Mitchell, and Kyla Sherwood and fellow VI Formers Dee Ezzio, Kim Herring, and Caroline Boes offered much needed veteran experience, balancing out a fairly youthful club that started seven underformers each game. While Curtis emerged as a tough defender down the stretch, Mitchell and Sherwood provided steady play in the heat of battle, anchoring a stingy back line that yielded only one goal in its last five matches. Though Herring and Boes were hampered by injuries the majority of the season, Ezzio’s energy and aggressive play proved instrumental. Highlights of the season included hosting our first annual fourteam pre-season Jamboree, which helped prepare us for an important inter-league victory against traditional Lakes Region League power, Holderness. Early wins over St. George’s and St Paul’s, and two intense 1-1 draws with Class A Northfield-Mt. Hermon and Lawrence Academy gave us confidence heading into a tough stretch of the ISL iron--Middlesex, Thayer, Rivers, Governors, and Nobles. Unfortunately, injuries and inconsistency against such tough opponents proved detrimental, forcing us to re-group against defending Class A Finalist, Milton. This game became a pivotal moment in our season, as the girls came together as a team, and marched through the remaining games with strong team performances versus Concord, BBN, and our rival, St. Mark’s. Earning the school’s first girls’ soccer bid to post-season was the proverbial icing on the cake, and a focused, determined group of Lady Zebras loaded the bus headed to Lake Winnipasaukee with something to prove. Athletic, strong, skilled, and physical, Brewster came out strong, controlling looseballs, dictating possession, and changing points of attack. Groton’s backline and goalkeeper stepped up to the challenge, thwarting Brewster advances and opportunities. After 15 minutes, Groton gained confidence, and began to play shorter passes up the middle, sending balls to the edges that generated some offense as well. After 40 minutes, though Brewster owned more of the real estate, Groton successfully held the Bobcats at bay. This confidence spilled over into the second half, as Groton refused to yield, improving its possession and offensive chances, while remaining stubborn defensively. After another 40 minutes of scoreless soccer, the two exhausted clubs engaged in two ten-minute Quarterly February 2008
Grotoniana | All Things Groton
ISL All-League First Team: Alex Morss ISL All-League Honorable Mention: Gabriella Flibotte, Ameilia
Barnett Most Improved Player: Margo White Most Valuable Player: Alex Morss Coaches’ Award: Kaitlin Mitchell Captains-Elect: Alex Morss, Gabriella Flibotte, Danielle Rainer
fight, with several near-goals, on turf against a team with a serious home field advantage. Our 0-1 loss to St. Mark’s hides the fact that the first ball into the cage was a Groton goal that was called back when the ref said it was shot from outside the circle and deflected in off a defensive stick (shots from outside the circle must go off an attacking player to count as a goal); the St. Mark’s coach was very clear at game’s end that the game was never secure until the final whistle. The Groton side concurred. This year’s team was made up of a group of girls who worked hard day in and day out and who seemed to thoroughly enjoy their time together. Captain Renee Brown did a fantastic job keeping her teammates happy, organized and focused, as well as playing a very strong right wing. She was ably assisted by Ali Gray, another valuable forward, and their fellow VI Formers, Shanna Hsu, who leaves a deep hole at sweeper, forward Natalie Youkel, versatile Haruka Aoki, back Sol Ah Han, and invaluable manager, Manasa Reddy. The improvement the girls showed from the beginning of the season to the end was impressive and bodes well for next year’s team, whose core returns. While the girls can take much credit for the progress they made, much of the responsibility goes directly to new coach Martha Gracey, who joined veteran Kathy Leggat. Gracey comes with loads of experience, including most recently eighteen years at Lawrenceville, where she coached several state championship squads. She knows the game extremely well and is able to convey her knowledge and passion for the sport in only the most positive and constructive ways; she is going to steer this group to real success in the coming years. Field hockey is one of the few programs that has been able to maintain the traditional three team approach: II and III Formers who do not make the varsity play on the Thirds, a team determined by age not ability, where there are significant leadership opportunities for the younger girls. The varsity relies immediately on both the Junior Varsity and the Thirds to fill its ranks; up from sub varsity teams this year were Hilary Evans, Lily Hoch, Haruka Aoki, and Sol Ah Han from the JV, Annie Badman and Coco Minot from the IIIrds, and new student Jenne Battaini. Vaughn Winchell
overtime play through periods, both of which were seesaw affairs, with the Zebras and the Bobcats creating threatening opportunities. Just as it seemed the contest would move towards a penalty kick shootout, Brewster sent a killer-pass in transition up to its front-runner, who slotted home the gamewinner with 23 seconds left in double-overtime. Gabriella Flibotte ’09 controls ball versus Brewster Academy. The eventual NE Class C Champion, Brewster went on to win its remaining games far more convincingly (2-0 and 4-0), suggesting that the best game may have been versus Groton. Nonetheless, this game proved how far our club has grown—as individuals and as a team--and Coach Hall and I could not be more proud of the togetherness, spirit, work ethic, and toughness these girls exhibited on this journey. If the post-game emotions were any indication as to how these girls felt about each other and their season-long experience together, then this team should feel victorious. Thank you to all the coaches in our girls’ soccer program--Sarah Mongan, Liza Williams, and Cathy Lincoln--for their support, as we unify our overall program. Many thanks to all the parents, teachers, friends, and alumnae who supported us all season long, whether by providing post-game edible goodies or enthusiastic sideline cheering.
Field Hockey | 0-13-2
arsity field hockey had a far stronger season than the record indicates. Nine games ended in a tie or with a one-goal loss; four were overtime games. Against Nobles, the undefeated ISL champs who were runners up in the New England Class A tournament, the girls scored two goals in the first four minutes; only six other teams were able to score against Nobles during the regular season, with one goal apiece. The game against Governor’s Academy, ending with a 2-3 score, was particularly memorable as the girls put up an intense
36 | Quarterly February 2008
Mariana Walsh ’11 breaks away against Phillips Andover.
Football | 3-5
t was an outstanding season for the Groton football team, led by senior Co Captains Brendan Fogarty and Colby Mattheson. The Boys had high hopes with a new Head Coach Jeff Moore and new offensive and defensive systems plus brand new personality, approach and philosophies. For the first time in many years Groton’s young team won three games and more importantly were competitive in every game including such powerhouses as Belmont Hill, Lawrence Academy, and Nobles. Senior leadership was coupled with a great group of sophomore and junior talent, especially the offensive skill positions. The new high flying Zebras embraced the No-Huddle Offense and challenged all opponents they faced in the ISL. Groton turned many heads this season with its new approach to football. Among many highlights of the season was the home shootout with LA which featured many big plays by Luke Deary and third former Ross Julian and was a one score game going into the fourth quarter. Next was the shutout win over St. Paul’s when Brett Frongillo ( USAtoday.com Player of the week) passed for 401 yards and two TDs while running for 85 yards to help Groton tally over 600 yards of offense from scrimmage. Next up was a thrilling fourth quarter comeback win at Rivers when the Zebras drove down the field with four minutes remaining and successfully went for two on an acrobatic catch in the corner of the endzone by fourth former Tanner Keefe. Groton managed to hold off Rivers defensively and kill the clock. Finally, at St. Mark’s, after a brutal Brendan Fogarty sack on fourth down, Brett Frongillo, Sander Scott and Tanner Keefe put on a show of option runs and highlight reel throws and catches which secured a fourth quarter comeback win on the road and gave Groton their third win of the season. The win put them ninth out of 16 teams in the ISL. This year’s team was led by sixth former and Senior Prefect, Brendan Fogarty, who played offensive guard and defensive nose guard and earned the Charlie Alexander Award for his contributions; also MVP fourth form running back and linebacker Sander Scott, and most improved players, fourth form quarterback Brett Frongillo and sixth form wide receiver and kick return specialist, Hunter Treacy. Third Form quarterback Alex Machikas received the JV coaches award. Fogarty did a great job at left guard and nose tackle. Sander Scott finished with 151 rushes for 851 yards and six touchdowns plus 32 receptions for 423 yards and five touchdowns to total 11 scores and finish sixth in league scoring; Scott also had 39 tackles and 2 Interceptions defensively. As quarterback
Brett Frongillo had remarkable numbers with 132 completions on 210 attempts for 2045 yards and 11 touchdowns for a .629 passing percentage. Frongillo also rushed 95 times for 588 yards and six touchdowns. Hunter Treacy had 40 receptions for 582 yards and one touchdown. These numbers were among the leagues best and surpassed 4000 yards of team offense in eight games. Fogarty, Frongillo, Scott and newcomer Tanner Keefe (46 catches for 687 yards 6 touchdowns) all earned first team ISL accolades. Honorable mention honors went to Hunter Treacy, Kyle Goodwin and Peter Taylor. Next season, Groton will be led by tri captains Billy Larkin, Kyle Goodwin, both sixth formers, and a rare fifth form selection, Sander Scott. These boys provide excellent leadership on and off the field and bring excitement and enthusiasm to the squad. The returning under-classmen who played so well offensively this year coupled with several returners on defense make Groton a team to watch next year. Be on the look out for additional returning starters Luke Deary, Andrew Daigneault, Ross Julian, Hugh Harwood, Evans Grenier and upcoming lineman Robert Black, Dale Adams, Charles Boutet, Mike Shin and Jonathan Rodriguez. Groton Football is back on track and hopes to compete for an ISL league title next season. MVP: Sander Scott Charlie Alexander Award: Brendan Fogarty Most Improved: Hunter Treacy / Brett Frongillo Tri Captains elect: Billy Larkin / Kyle Goodwin / Sander Scott ISL All Stars: Brendan Fogarty, Brett Frongillo, Tanner Keefe,
Sander Scott, Hunter Treacy, Kyle Goodwin, Peter Taylor. Vaughn Winchell
Most Improved Player: Mariana Walsh Coaches’ Award: Grace Bukawyn MVP: Ripley Hartmeyer ISL All-League: Mariana Walsh ISL Dolly Howard Sportsmanship Award: the team 2008 Captains: Ashleigh Corvi and Ripley Hartmeyer
Matthew Midon ’08 returns punt against Middlesex.
Quarterly February 2008
Grotoniana | All Things Groton
New releases Key To Rome Frederick Vreeland ’45 Authors Frederick Vreeland ’45, a former U.S. senior diplomat in Rome, and his wife, Vanessa Somers Vreeland, a British artist, make their home in Rome and provide in this guide an insider’s eye and knowledge that enlighten the visitor and armchair traveler alike. Covering the eternal city’s 2,800-year history, and organized into four sections—“Ancient,” Christian,” Renaissance and Baroque,” and “Shopping and the Grand Tour”—the book provides pithy travel tips and site descriptions framed by historical timelines, punctuated by “must see” highlights throughout. The book also offers a comprehensive reference section that details day trips of interest, Italian food, the newest specialty shops and boutiques. “Easily the handsomest and most useful guide to the city that likes to call itself eternal.” – Gore Vidal
Are the Rich Necessary? Great Economic Arguments and How They Reflect our Personal Values Hunter Lewis ’65 Are the Rich Necessary? provides an ideal introduction to economics. It is written in a style that is both lively and clear. Lewis also proposes a new approach to managing the economy that would involve a massive expansion of the charitable or nonprofit sector. The New York Times describes the book as “highly provocative” and “highly pleasurable.”
From Agit-Prop to Free Space: The Architecture of Cedric Price Stanley Matthews ’70 Black Dog Publishing, London, England Release Date: May 2007 The late British architect Cedric Price was one of the most visionary architects of the late twentieth century, taking a playful, interactive approach to his projects that was wholly lateral and completely unconventional. From Agit-Prop to Free Space is the first and only authoritative text on the early work of this influential architect and thinker.
38 | Quarterly February 2008
Beyond Berlin: Twelve German Cities Confront the Nazi Past Paul Jaskot, ’81, co-editor (with Gabriel Rosenfeld) University of Michigan Press Release Date: December 28, 2007 Beyond Berlin: Twelve German Cities Confront the Nazi Past breaks new ground in the ongoing effort to understand how memorials, buildings, and other spaces have figured in the larger German struggle to come to terms with the legacy of Nazism. While recent scholars have focused predominantly on the national capital of Berlin, this volume analyzes a broader range of cities that, until now, has escaped scholarly attention. Focusing on western as well as eastern cities—whether prominent metropolises like Hamburg, dynamic regional centers like Dresden, gritty industrial cities like Wolfsburg, or idyllic rural towns like Quedlinburg—the urban centers in question provide readers with a more complex sense of the manifold ways in which the confrontation with the Nazi past has directly shaped the evolving form of the German urban landscape since the end of the Second World War. In the process, the volume aims to deepen our understanding of the diverse ways in which the memory of National Socialism has profoundly influenced postwar German culture and society.
The Inner World of a Suicidal Youth: What Every Parent and Health Professional Should Know Millie Bynoe Osborne, M.D. ’81 Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences Greenwood Publishing Group Release Date: November 30, 2007 From 2003 to 2004 there was an eight percent increase in suicides among 10 to 24 year olds. This trend continues to increase today. This book is an unprecedented unveiling of the private thoughts of a suicidal teenager as she grows from adolescence into young adulthood. The book provides unique insight into the evolution of self-esteem and suicidal thought process. The purpose is to help families and professionals improve upon existing treatment approaches and help youth who identify with these thoughts to seek help in time to thrive.
Quarterly February 2008
Grotoniana | All Things Groton
t was a busy start to the year for the GSAA with events and gatherings throughout the Northeast and into the west. Summer was celebrated in Northeast Harbor, ME with a reception on a gorgeous August evening graciously hosted by Bill and Diana Wister P’95, ’97. On September 26 Groton volunteers gathered at the Harvard Club of New York City for a fundraising workshop and a discussion with Headmaster Commons and Chairman of the Board Jamie Higgins P’02, ’06. The evening gathered over 50 alumni and parent volunteers who work to support Groton in a host of manners. Following closely on the heels of New York, Groton hosted its annual parent and alumni volunteer meeting on campus. The weekend began on Friday night, September 29, with a reception and dinner hosted by Rick and Lindsay Commons at the Campbell Performing Arts Center. On Saturday, participants gathered in the Gammons Recital Hall for a similar workshop and discussions with Mr. Commons and Jamie Higgins P’02, ’06. After the meeting the volunteers enjoyed a classic fall day watching the athletic teams compete against Lawrence Academy. More than 60 volunteers were in attendance throughout the course of the weekend enjoying the splendor of the campus and sharing stories, thoughts, and insights about the incredibly important work they carry out as volunteers for Groton. With the arrival of October came the Boston reception at the Gamble Mansion for the second year in a row. This event welcomed a terrific turnout of over 250 alumni, current and past parents, faculty, trustees, and other friends of the School. Shortly after Boston, Groton returned after a long absence to London for a wonderful reception hosted by Tom and Karen Kalaris P’05, ’07 at the Royal Automobile Club. More than 75 members of the
40 | Quarterly February 2008
Groton Women’s Network
Groton family gathered from throughout Europe, with folks flying in from as far away as Italy, Switzerland, and Germany to join in the fun. Following on the success of London was the New York reception at the Colony Club with a turnout of over 350 people. The Alumni team then traveled westward to start the New Year in California on January 7 at the Four Seasons in Los Angeles and at the University Club in San Francisco on January 8. Both events garnered a strong showing of support from more than 200 members of the Groton family. In total, more than 1,000 people have supported Groton at the aforementioned events over the course of the fall and into the winter, a great start to the year and a wonderful testament to the strength and commitment of the Groton family. We hope to see you throughout 2008 in Palm Beach on February 8, Washington D.C. on April 1, or here around the Circle in between! And don’t forget to mark your calendars for Reunion Weekend ’08, May 16-18.
iving back to local area communities was focus of several GWN events this past fall and early winter. The City Chairs in Boston, New York, and Washington D.C. all organized community service projects where Groton alumnae, parents of graduates and grandparents gathered to help good causes while enjoying Groton fellowship. Merrill Stubbs ’95 and Emily Colby McLellan ’94 coordinated an outing to the Yorkville Common Pantry right before Thanksgiving. Participants helped out with the packing and distributing of holiday food items so that local New York families could enjoy a feast on Thanksgiving Day. Merrill, who also spearheaded this event last year, was thrilled with the turnout, which included alumnae and parents of current students. “Given the hectic time of the holidays, it is heartwarming to have such loyal Groton support for the Yorkville Common Pantry.” Founded in 1981, the YCP is New York’s largest nonsectarian neighborhood-based emergency food provider with the city’s only 24-hour emergency food pantry, which serves over 1,250,000 meals annually. In Boston, another GWN tradition is visiting On The Rise, a non-profit organization that helps women who are homeless or in crisis to find safety and discover new possibilities. This year, rather than conflict with the early December holiday shopping season and family time, City Chairs Hannah Wood Wick ’93 and Tiverton Smith McClintock ’92 decided to hold the annual GWN community service day in early January. “While we had terrific participation for the past four years, we know that many eager alumna and parents could not fit in another commitment during this hectic time of year. It worked out nicely that On The Rise could use our help in 2008,” noted Hannah. Once again, Groton support was fabulous with alumnae
Grotonians Compete at Head of the Charles
n a perfect weekend for rowing, an impressive list of Grotonians competed at the Head of the Charles in Boston this past October. Our thanks to Andy Anderson, faculty member and crew coach, for compiling the list.
SATURDAY OUTCOME EVENT
from 1978 to 2007 helping out along with parents and grandparents of both past and current students. Bread for the City, a Washington, D.C. non-profit organization that provides area residents with comprehensive services including food, clothing, medical care, and legal and social services, was the site for a community service project for the D.C. GWN group. City Chairs Erin Kelly ’01 and Abbie Stubbs Burke ’97 coordinated a mid-November holiday food “stuffing” event where attendees put together Thanksgiving packages. With the help of over 1,300 volunteers, Bread for the City serves more than 10,000 people each month. This GWN event brought a few new volunteers to the organization. “We hope to make this event a GWN tradition for the D.C. Groton community. Both Abbie and I are very grateful at the outpouring of enthusiasm that both alumnae, including several 2007 graduates, and parents brought to this afternoon of creating holiday food packages,” shared Erin. 2008 event planning is well underway with wine-tastings, culinary tours and educational themed gatherings. The Groton Women’s Network is always looking for volunteers to join our team of dedicated and enthusiastic alumnae and parents. To learn more or to assist with events in your area, please contact Betsy Wray Lawrence ’82 in the Alumni Office at blawrence@ groton.org or Sarah Casey Forbes ’86, Chair of GWN, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Liane Malcos ’96
Championship Women’s single sculls
Jim Bayley ’05
Club 8’s with the Harvard junior class
Ben Bayley ’07
Club 8’s Harvard freshman lightweights
Billy Hennrikus ’07 15/68
Club 8’s Harvard freshman lightweights
Colin Farmer ’92
Club 8’s Cat Rowing Club—Princeton Alumni Boat.
Anna Sjogren ’02
Women’s Club 8 Dartmouth Alumni Club Boat
Ted Patton ’84
Master’s 8—’88 Olympic Boat 20 years later
Ruth Kennedy ’79
Women’s Master’s 8
Chris Johnson ’03
Matt Russell ’04
Rowed for Cornell lightweights
Alex Howard ’05
Rowed for Columbia JV Heavies
SUNDAY Wynne Evans ’07
Lightweight Women’s 8—Radcliffe/Harvard frosh 8
Janice He ’07
Lightweight Women’s 8—Radcliffe/Harvard frosh 8
Carmel Zahran ’04
Collegiate Women’s 8—Trinity College Varsity 8
Amory Minot ’05
Collegiate Women’s 8—Trinity College Varsity 8
Kayley Maykranz ’07 14/44
Collegiate Women’s 8—Stroked Tufts Varsity 8
Sam Anderson ’04
Collegiate 8—5 seat Lehigh Varsity 8
Charlie Anderson ’06 14/42
Collegiate 8—6 seat Lehigh Varsity 8
George Bennum ’05 2/42
Collegiate 8—coxswain Wesleyan Varsity 8
Nate Reeve ’07
Championship 8—3 seat Yale freshman Heavies
On a side note, The USA men’s National team, training for the 2008 Olympics, won the Championship 8 event on Sunday in a new shell named for Grotonian Charlie Grimes ’53, Olympic gold medalist in 1956.
e apologize to Blay Bradley ’07 (left) whom we incorrectly omitted as a co-winner of the 2007 Choir Challenge Cup along with Evan Cole ’07 (right) who was incorrectly identified as a member of the form of ’08 in the School News section of the September issue of the Quarterly. Choirmaster Michael Smith awarded the cup to the form mates at pre-Prize Day ceremonies last spring. We include a picture commemorating the event.
Quarterly February 2008
Grotoniana | All Things Groton
Book review Just Published in the Yale University Press, Pelican History of Art Series: The Architecture of Alexandria and Egypt, 300 BC—AD 700 By Judith McKenzie, with contributions by Andres Reyes ’80
his is a remarkable volume of extraordinary scholarship, very creative in its use of archaeological and architectural reconstruction; lavishly illustrated; printed in China. It is the latest in a series of volumes on the history of architecture, initiated in Britain by Nikolaos Pevsner as far back as 1945. We all know that Alexandria was a great ancient city and center of learning, now mostly lost and gone [I myself walked nervously through the city in Jan. 1954, physically bothered by beggars, among people dying in the streets]. Alexandria can now take its rightful place in that early pagan-to-Christian millennium, both historically and visually, with the great cities (architectural gems) of Rome, Constantinople, Ravenna and Jerusalem. The change in Alexandria from paganism to Christianity was virtually complete by the 5th century AD. It became a prosperous Christian city with many churches (including some re-used temples), of which few survive. But a close reading of ancient sources (both papyri and inscriptions), along with the analysis of personal names, fresco painting (mostly on tombs), combined with the study of architectural elements and their contemporary parallels in other parts of Egypt where preservation was much better, has made possible the substantial reconstruction of the cityscape. The names of twenty newly built churches are known for the 5th century AD, and thirty are named for the 7th century AD. Andy Reyes played a significant role as researcher and co-author—even though he modestly claims a part only in Chapter 10 [with its 191 footnotes!]. I noted acknowledgements of his work in three different contexts (pp. xi, xiii and xv), with one to the Dillon Fund of Groton School (p.459); attention is called to his work on the ancient texts, and to his production of the maps and tables on pp. xiv-xx.
42 | Quarterly February 2008
He himself (naturally) likes the photo on page 257, where he is seen chatting up the mosque elders in Arabic, while his colleague gets on with the photography. We can now understand the importance of those colorful architectural drawings of Roman temples in Andy’s classroom, and indeed in his own Latin textbook; they are useful pieces in the puzzle of reconstructing a major center of Ancient and of Christian culture. Hugh Sackett
Gallery News The de Menil Gallery
he winter show in the de Menil Gallery will feature a sculptural installation by Barbara Andrus. “The core of my work,” writes Andrus, “is to celebrate the life of a tree.....I keep thinking about trees, their structures, and their sculptural interpretations.” Andrus works in wood, emphasizing its natural qualities: the textures, colors, and feel of trees. By spending countless hours observing the natural environment, she has honed her sensitivity to the shapes of limbs and branches, the way roots embrace the ground, and the different skeletal programs of various species of trees. The intricate world of the natural environment, as expressed in her work, contrasts sharply with the man-made, high-tech materials that are now so much a part of contemporary life. For this installation, specially created for The de Menil gallery, Andrus will use raw materials from the woods of Maine and the Catskills, to be assembled into sculptures on site. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Andrus has had solo exhibitions at the University of Texas at Arlington, the Fine Arts Works Center in Provincetown, Milton Academy, and several commercial galleries in New York and Boston. All shows at the de Menil Gallery are free and open to the public. Tree Weave—A Quiet Corner will be on exhibition at the de Menil Gallery from January 7 to March 2. The gallery is open from 9 to 3 on weekdays (except Wednesdays) and 11 to 4 on weekends (except holiday weekends.)
A Place for Everything: The Art of Peter Madden
he spring exhibition in the de Menil Gallery will be on view from April 7 to June 2. Madden is perhaps best known for his one-of-a-kind artist’s books. Using hand-made papers and specially crafted bindings he incorporates text and imagery that explore particular moments in his life. In addition to displaying a selection of books, this show will also include prints and photographs. Some of these are included in projects where the artist has sewn together sheets of vellum imprinted with pictures and text into paper “quilts,” revealing personal narratives. An inveterate collector of found objects, Madden has assembled a studio full of discarded treasures, which he assembles into patterns and then photographs and prints into cyanotypes, like the one shown above. A special aspect of the spring show illustrates the artistic process, following the creative steps by which the ordinary detritus of daily life is transformed into art. Born and raised in Greenwich Village, Peter Madden lives in Provincetown and Boston, where he teaches book arts and alternative photography at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. He leads workshops throughout the United States and around Europe, including the Guild of Bookworkers, Massachusetts College of Art, Bennington College, the Center for Book Arts in New York City, the San Francisco Center for the Book, the Greek Island of Skoopelos, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Madden studied at Pratt Institute, Parson’s School of Design, and Massachusetts College of Art. His work is exhibited in the collections of some of America’s leading museums and educational institiutions, including Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Harvard’s Houghton Library, and the Center for Book Arts in New York City. In addition, he shows at galleries throughout the United States. Peter is the recipient of an Artists’ Foundation Fellowship, a Saint Botolph Foundation Grant, and, most recently, a Massachusetts Cultural Council Award. Quarterly February 2008
Grotoniana | All Things Groton
Gallery News Christopher Carey Brodigan Gallery
hyllis Ewen is a Boston artist and a member of Brickbottom Artist Studios in Somerville, Massachusetts. In her wall installations, Phyllis Ewen combines laboratory equipment, three-dimensional drawing, and scientific texts to explore natural phenomena. Cast in latex, laboratory beakers, funnels, and tubes explore notions of containment: filling, emptying, pouring, and holding. She has been interested for many years in the ways in which science and art intersect. The pieces in the series, Pipeline Dreams, are funnel-shaped, whimsical, and playful. At the same time, Ewen comments on environmental issues through the inclusion of wall text. The excerpts reference the flow of oil through Alaskan pipeline and its effect on wildlife, and to the political controversies over water resources. In installations, such as (e)motion, FLUID DYNAMICS, and TURBULENT e/MOTION, Ewen layers ‘found’ text and illustrations from scientific textbooks with sculptural elements to create a three-fold visual language: object, written word, and mathematics. Ewen’s texts are fragmentary, each chosen for its emotional resonance and reference to the human body. Their meanings remain elusive and suggestive. Attempting to capture ephemeral moments, steel wires become linear elements to suggest, delineate, and define space between the vessel-like pieces. The Ewen Show ran in the Christopher Carey Brodigan Gallery from January 7 to February 6, 2008. The spring exhibition will feature a mixed media collaboration by Cathy McCluarin and Gayle Caruso. The show will run from April 2 to May 18, 2008.
44 | Quarterly February 2008
Lost Alumni & Widows
n preparation for Reunion Weekend 2008, the Alumni and Development Office would appreciate any information that would assist us in our attempts to locate the following “lost” alumni and widows. Please call 1-800-396-6866, email quarterly@groton. org, or visit our website at www.groton.org to provide any information on the following individuals. Thank you.
Mr. James E. Brassert
Mr. Arnoldo A. Beadle Mr. Gerritt D. Duxbury Mr. Peter A. Kane Mr. Martin L. O’Neil Ms. Johanna Reif Mr. Bruce R.C. Sessler Mr. Samuel A. Southworth Mrs. Armistead Covington Stratton LCDR Mark C. Vaillancourt Mr. Sidney C. Wilkins Mr. James E. Young
Mr. Samuel L. Brown Mr. James E. Cabot Ms. Sarah N. Fitch Mr. Benjamin I. Gahagan Ms. Elisa E. Kim Ms. Gina Kim Mr. Jonathan C. S. Robinson Ms. Zena S. Sanders Ms. Katharine R. Wolf
1948 Mr. Richard H. Skamser
1963 Mr. Neil W. Rice Mr. Thomas B. Shelton
1968 Mrs. Etwyn Gadsden Mr. Jeffrey G. Miars Mr. Mario Roffe
1973 Mr. Mark J. Fortunato Mr. Edward S. Moore Mr. Alexander D. Nelson III Mr. William L. Osborn
1983 Ms. Moira Cameron Burnham Mr. Darryl Hood Mr. Keith A. Hrasky Mrs. Jennifer Robinson-Caroline
2003 Ms. Kristen Wei-Yunn Chin Mr. Inho Kim Ms. Nadia C. Prinz Ms. Jonay T. Santoro Mr. Peter M. Spencer
1988 Mr. Daniel C. Go II Ms. Mireille E. Jean-Baptiste Mr. Kevin M. Kiley
Groton School Annual Fund 2007 – 2008
cui servire est regnare
Groton School offers students outstanding academics, exposure to ethical and spiritual education, and diverse athletic and artistic opportunities all in an intimate environment where faculty and students live and work together like family. To ensure that Groton can continue to impact the lives of every student in its care, please donate to the Annual Fund. Contributions to the Annual Fund support all aspects of Groton’s operations and help make possible such key elements as the incredible faculty, small class size, and financial aid. Please consider a gift today.
To make a gift or complete a pledge, please go to www.groton.org and click on Online Giving; send a check to Annual Fund, Groton School, P.O. Box 991, Groton, MA 01450; or call the Development Office at 800-396-6866 to make a gift of securities.
Quarterly February 2008
In Memoriam | As We Remember
DAVID C. CARMODY ’59
1 May 25, 1941 – June 29, 2007
Editor’s Note: Following is the text of a letter written to the Form of 1959. It is being published in the Groton School Quarterly because of its interest to the broader School community.
To the Form of 1959: When I wrote my letter resigning as Form Agent six years ago, little did I realize that a future event would again place me in a correspondent role. Sadly, Dave Carmody’s death on June 29, three months ago, has done just that for several reasons. First, he and I remained in regular contact after our Groton days, and I visited him in his home during his final two months. Second, besides Groton, we shared both Yale and Camp Monadnock, a boys’ summer camp in Jaffrey, New Hampshire, which he and I had attended as campers in the early 1950s and later served as counselors in the 1960s. So, the two of us were connected by three different but very strong overlapping institutional ties. I guess the combination of these circumstances made me the logical choice to attempt a summary of his life since our collective time together on the Circle 50 years ago. It is a very great honor to do this for him. After Groton, Dave matriculated at Yale with the Class of 1963 but took a leave of absence following sophomore year, mainly because he realized that he was not applying himself as he knew was expected of him to the abundant academic opportunities that Yale offered. He needed a break and a change, so he enlisted for four years in the Navy, where his service quickly became nothing short of distinguished. He was selected for advanced training in communications, using the most sophisticated equipment then available, and spent the remainder of his Navy time doing work which was so highly classified that he was allowed to say little about it, even in later years. However, we do know that it was mainly electronic surveillance from both ships and land-based facilities, much of it in the Eastern Mediterranean and Alaska, and that the object of this attention was not only the Soviet Union and its allies but also our own allies. Years later, he was able to talk about how he had been involved in “listening in” on various well-known international incidents where the true “story” was quite different from what was reported in the newspapers and especially from what our
46 | Quarterly February 2008
government had to say officially. In present times, intelligence gathering and other clandestine activity are viewed with disfavor, but it must be remembered that during the Cold War years they were considered absolutely vital to our national security, and the armed forces personnel entrusted with this difficult and sensitive work were among our very best. At the conclusion of his agreed service time, the Navy went to great lengths to persuade Dave to stay in for a career, with offers of fully paid college tuition and the like. He gave this opportunity careful consideration because the financial incentives were meaningful and because he knew that a certain measure of externally-applied discipline had always been good for him, but he ultimately declined because he also knew that the Navy was not the place where he would be able to do what he hoped to do with his life. The significance of this will become clearer in a moment. He therefore returned to Yale, graduating with a B.A. degree in history with George Bush’s class in 1968. From there, he went on to obtain an M.A. in American history from Southern Connecticut State University, and then a law degree from Suffolk University in 1976. While at Southern Connecticut, he met Julie. They were married in the Groton School Chapel in 1970 and had three children, Karen, Julie, and Dan. After law school, Dave and Julie returned to live in her hometown of West Haven, not far from Yale, and Dave opened a solo law practice that he continued until a short time before his death. The nature of this law practice helps explain his decision not to make a career of the Navy. It also reveals a lot about Dave, the person, and about the influence which Groton had on him. In his law practice, Dave eschewed commercial and other profitable work, although there was plenty of that to be had if he wanted it, and instead focused on the needs of the people who lived around him in West Haven. Many of these people were of limited education, skill, and means. Their needs ran the gamut of family difficulties, mental health issues, access to government services, compliance with immigration regulations, disputes with landlords, and the full spectrum of daily problems that you would expect to find in a highly urban environment with a diverse population and declining indus-
In Memoriam I N
M E M O R I A M
trial job base. A sizable portion of his caseload was handled pro bono. Such was the constituency with which Dave chose to work professionally for over 30 years, seeing his work not just as work, although work it surely was, but also as service—service to those in need and those less fortunate. As he himself expressed it in a conversation with another lawyer at a Camp Monadnock reunion in August 2006, before he had any inkling of the cancer which already was well along in its rampage through his body, he practiced law in order to help people. This was a conscious choice, actually made much earlier in life but requiring constant reaffirmation as he went through life and, with Julie, brought up their children, because it meant obvious sacrifices. He didn’t broadcast this choice but simply let it quietly reflect the presence within him of core values and beliefs, which in his own view were heavily influenced by his Groton years. When asked once what he would say in a Chapel Talk at Groton, should he ever be invited to give one, his response included the following words: You will forget everything that I say here today. However, you will always remember that you were here and, hopefully, you will retain a small, flickering glimmer of the truth that life involves more than mere service to your own personal appetites and instead should lead to a meaningful adult life of service to those less fortunate. I attended his memorial service. The many other people there were from all walks of life. It was all very moving. I especially recall the remarks of those who spoke, including the priest in charge and Julie’s and his children. None of their testimonial words was in Latin, but the presence in what they said about Dave of the meaning of these four Latin words that we all know well was unmistakable: cui servire est regnare. During the Groton years when he was exposed to those words daily, Dave would have testily informed us that they were just platitudes, if not pieces of something more commonplace. But, despite such protestations, deep down their lasting impact on him had already begun to take root. I will always believe that he was aware even then that this was occurring. Certainly there was no doubt about it later in life. By now, it will be clear to you that Groton held an extremely important place in Dave’s life, second only to that of his family. So did his association with our Form. This was evidenced in many ways, including during my last visit on June 20 when he
told me that no one in his immediate family wanted his Groton memorabilia—mainly yearbooks and School histories— because none of them had attended the School. However, he didn’t want these items to be randomly disposed of, so we agreed that I would find new homes for them among members of our Form or in the School archives. If any of you has lost a yearbook or one of the School histories and would like a replacement, just let me know. Whatever is not claimed by you will be offered to the School archives. Of course, Dave did a lot more than graduate from Groton, Yale, and Suffolk University Law School, serve in the Navy, and practice law. He was also active in many civic and charitable organizations. These are too numerous to list here, but a few examples stand out. Continuing a passion first acquired at Groton, he participated actively in both the game of soccer and in the work of soccer associations at all three of the local, state, and national levels, playing as well as coaching. Indeed, it was on a flight back from a meeting in California this past February of the United States Soccer Federation, to which he was a National Delegate, when he first experienced the leg pain symptoms that led to his cancer diagnosis. He was also active at the Saint Lawrence Parish School, which Julie’s and his children attended, where he was both a member of its board and a part-time teacher of ethics to seventh and eighth graders. Other memberships included the West Haven Chamber of Commerce and West Haven Knights of Columbus. As his legal career came to a close, he was also counsel for the West Haven Railroad Station Committee, which was working toward the establishment of an Amtrak station in West Haven. When completed, this facility will provide a huge boost to the community in terms of jobs and economic activity. And through everything, he was most of all a loving husband and father to Julie, Karen, Julie, and Dan. Well, there you are. David wanted you to know of his feelings for the School and for you, as well as what was happening to him, but he wasn’t sure how to communicate these things himself. Of course, there was also the pain that he was experiencing—intense, unrelenting, and incapacitating. He hoped and expected to have more time than was given him in which to do the things which remain unfinished after the final months. Besides, how do you say goodbye and otherwise complete a life? He knew you would understand why this narrative had to be brought to you by someone else.
Quarterly February 2008
In Memoriam | As We Remember I N
M E M O R I A M
HENRY J.S. CHEEVER ’69
1 1951 – 2007 Eulogy given by David A. Cheever ’05
y mother, my sister, and I used to come to this Last Wednesday we went to pay our last respects at a private church and sit in these pews every Sunday. We viewing of his mortal remains. Once again my Mom, my sister, would come for all of the normal reasons such and I were sitting in a pew as my father was up on the altar. It as going to Sunday school, reading scripture, and learning was a painful and sad experience for all of us as the finality of hymns. Yet for me, what was most important was to watch his death was made incredibly obvious. But for me, I finally my father as he would perform his duties up on the altar. Clad came to some sort of understanding about my father’s life. in the black and white robes of a chalicist, he always seemed My father was the most selfless and giving man that I have superhuman as he led the church in song and prayer. As a boy ever met. He went throughout his life giving of himself for the it was clear to me that everyone in the church was feeding betterment of his family and his friends. He was always willing off his presence and his energy. Every Sunday people brought to do whatever was needed of him without complaining and their problems and their worries into the church and every without reminding everyone about what a “great guy” he was week my father would, in his small for doing it. I think in many ways way, comfort them. When people my father’s greatest accomplishleft, they would feel better and ments were ones that went without were better for having been in notice: things like making dinner his presence. Yet despite his work for my mom every night, coming in this communal environment, to every one of Hannah and my every Sunday during the peace he sports games, moving me into my would sneak down from the altar college dorm room, helping Uncle to give his family a hug and let us Tom with his new company, setknow that we were what was most ting up a neighborhood activist important to him. group to protect the marshlands It’s funny how you never think behind our house, caring for our about what a person means to you animals, running a capital camThe Cheevers, Hannah ’08, Harry ’69, David ’05, and Mitzi. when you can see them everyday. paign for this church and countYou never think about how your less others that were done because life would be different without them. When my father died he loved his friends and he loved our family. last Saturday I was shocked and saddened, but mostly conI don’t think I appreciated my father enough for the things fused. How could I possibly grieve for my father when I didn’t that he did for me: for the support he gave me when times were have a true understanding of our relationship? tough, or for praise he gave me when things were going well. My father loved his church, his schools, he loved his work, In some way that was how he wanted it, he knew what needed his friends, and his extended family. He faced his lifelong health to be done, he did it and there was no need for thanks. Yet still, issues with fortitude, and found solace in the remarkable supin this past week I have come to understand how much his love port he received from my mother—he adored my mother and and support has helped me throughout the years. I now realize she him. He took great joy in boating and swimming, going the unimaginable impact our relationship has had on my life to Wareham every summer, drinking good wine and reading a and am beginning to understand the enormity of his absence. good book. While all of these things are important and help to Despite the sadness that I felt last Wednesday at the viewdefine his life, they provide little insight into my own personal ing, there was some comfort in the familiarity of the situation. relationship with my father. My father was once again larger than life, but instead of him
48 | Quarterly February 2008
In Memoriam I N
M E M O R I A M
letting us know how important we were to him, it was time for us to let him know how important he was to us. Dad, you’re an incredible person and I thank God for every moment I had with you. I don’t know if it’s possible to live up to your example but I’m going to try. Not because it will make me a better person, or because it’s the right thing to do, but because it is what needs to be done. Thanks for everything Dad, I will miss you every day of my life.
Sometime at Eve Sometime at eve when the tide is low, I shall slip my mooring and sail away With no response to the friendly hail Of kindred craft in the busy bay. In the silent hush of the twilight pale When the night stoops down to embrace the day
Harry Cheever – Briefly
And the voices call in the water’s flow….
Sometime at eve when the tide is low
t our 35th reunion in 2004, Harry and I were talking about an absent 69-er who had run into some trouble during the college years. I don’t recall the specifics of our mutual friend’s problems, whether they were academic, social, or personal, or an assortment of things, but I certainly remember how Harry put it to me that evening: “What do you do when a formmate needs help? You go to his aid.” He spoke plainly, and few things will ever express more clearly for me Groton’s wonderful motto, cui servire est regnare. He helped out again in late 2006, shortly after Al Solbert’s death. Al was a great environmentalist and his wishes directed all gifts in lieu of flowers to The Nature Conservancy. In one of our group emails, Harry proposed pooling the Class of ’69’s gifts to the Conservancy, which was a great idea, and I asked him to send the Form his address for mailing checks. “I knew you’d do that,” replied Harry quietly, as we came to the end of the phone call, and then he calmly and efficiently coordinated a contribution of over $1,000 to the Conservancy. When finding things out about Harry, one soon comes across a variety of admiring adverbs describing the ways Harry got things done for people. Included in the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church’s (Harry’s church in Riverside, CT) 2004 Annual Report is the following line: “We must care for our wonderful place of worship. Harry Cheever has graciously agreed to chair the campaign.” Harry must have worked quickly—note another quote in the same report: “Expertly led by former Senior Warden Harry Cheever, the 2004 Capital was a huge success…” Harry played football and rowed enthusiastically. He jogged the Triangle relentlessly. He laughed wholeheartedly. He died too suddenly and the 69-ers miss him terribly.
Henry R. Irving ‘69
I shall slip my mooring and sail away. Through the purpling shadows that darkly trail O’er the ebbing tide of the Unknown Sea, I shall fare me away, with a dip of sail And ripple of waters to tell the tale Of a lonely voyager, sailing away To the Mystic Isles where at anchor lay The crafts of those who have sailed before O’er the Unknown Sea to the Unseen Shore. A few who have watched me sail away Will miss my craft from the busy bay; Some friendly barks that were anchored near, Some loving souls that my heart held dear, In silent sorrow will drop a tear— But I shall have peacefully furled my sail In moorings sheltered from storm or gale And greeted the friends who have sailed before O’er the Unknown Sea to the Unseen Shore.
Elizabeth Clark Hardy
Quarterly February 2008
R Form Notes are now password-protected. Members of the Groton community may read them online by signing in at www.groton.org/myGroton.
Published on Aug 12, 2011