Can We Revive the Skill?
fe atures CIV IL DISCOURSE
6 The Opinion Department Invites Yours Jason Spingarn-Koff’s (’92) challenge and thrill is helping the New York Times break new ground in creating a video analog of the traditional op-ed page.
by Cathleen D. Everett
11 The Listing Wars The Endangered Species List is a storied point of contention among political, business, environmental, and scientific groups. Attorney Ben Jesup ’82 happily deals with it every day. by Liz Matson
14 Can We Talk about Solutions? Be part of the conversation driving economic policy.
24 Pursuing a Dream All the Way to Brazil Adrian Melville ’02 chronicles his adventures and lessons as a professional soccer player in South America.
A Weaving of Cultures
For more than 60 years, Jacquetta Nisbet ’46 has been learning, practicing and teaching the ancient textile traditions of Native American and First Nation cultures.
Advanced Photography student Claire Robertson ’13 turns her lens on fellow students to promote a message of tolerance and inclusion.
by Erin E. Berg
When Adam Beckman ’12 and Cydney Grannan ’12 became editors-in-chief of The Milton Paper, they decided to define and meet a new level of quality, while print and online publications in the public domain were busy sorting out this issue for themselves.
18 The Public Meets Imagination’s Cutting Edge: What do today’s artists and viewers make of one another?
by Cathleen D. Everett
34 Student Journalism in 2012: Deﬁning the craft, and learning accountability
Heather McGhee ’97 argues from a national pulpit for an authentic conversation about shaping economic policy.
Molly Epstein ’00, a director for the Gladstone Gallery of New York and Brussels, is the fulcrum between ongoing artistic production and the public.
by Erin E. Berg
depar tment s 2
Across the Quad
41 Faculty Perspective A 14-Minute Talk
64 On Centre
by Lisa Baker
News and notes from the campus and beyond
Anatomy of a 1212 Performance by Liz Matson
48 Head of School
88 Post Script Resuscitating Compromise by Katie Leeson ’93
Dare to Be True, the Version with Love by Todd B. Bland
Editor Cathleen Everett
Associate Editors Erin Berg Liz Matson
Why respect your opponent? Teaching sportsmanship must be explicit, coaches find. by Erin E. Berg
Photography Erin Berg, Michael Dwyer, John Gillooly, Chester Higgins Jr., Michelle Horwitz, Mauricio Lima, Liz Matson, Dave Morgan, Richard Pasley, David Regen, Claire Robertson ’13, Richard Skidmore, Greg White Design Moore & Associates Front cover by Stoltze Design
Talking It Out in Grade 2
In Sachiyo Unger’s and Tasha Summers’s classrooms, students gather in an “open circle” once a month to learn skills that will help them deal with conflict. The goal is keeping the children’s conflict between the children.
56 Graduates’ Weekend 2012
by Liz Matson
Milton Magazine is published twice a year by Milton Academy. Editorial and business offices are located at Milton Academy where change-ofaddress notifications should be sent. As an institution committed to diversity, Milton Academy welcomes the oppor tunity to admit academically qualified students of any gender, race, color, handicapped status, sexual orientation, religion, national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally available to its students. It does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, handicapped status, sexual orientation, religion, national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship programs, and athletic or other school-administered activities. Printed on Recycled Paper
across the quad
trumor |trü·mәr| noun
NBD |n·b·d| acronym
a rumor that is true: I heard you are dating Chris. Trumor?
no big deal
YOLO |yo·lo| acronym you only live once: Write my English paper or go to this concert? YOLO! awkward |ôk·wәrd| adjective
iltonians love language, whether in the form of Shakespeare’s sonnets, Cheever’s short stories or Lady Gaga’s lyrics. The natural adoption of new words and the fading of old ones is evident in listening to today’s students. Their rapid repartee incorporates irony, humor and emotion as they chatter in the hallways or hang out in the Student Center. No surprise: Milton students have developed a few words and phrases to claim as their own.
Origin: Originally used to refer to Milton athletes who dressed in nice athletic clothes, expanded to apply to anyone and any item regarding appearance * Special thanks to Kasey Caine ’11 for keeping us current. #MiltonMagsickPA
used to break tension during moments that are embarrassing or uncomfortable: “My mother is driving me crazy!” “She is standing right behind you. Awkward!” Note: Gestures can be used to o convey the word, as well. Certain rtain physical moments of awkwardrdness have their own phrases.. An awkward starfish is when a pererson puts a hand on someone’s ’s shoulder and leaves it there for an uncomfortable amount of time. me.
LOL |l·o·l or lawl| acronym laugh out loud: “I heard you were dating Chris. Trumor?” “No! LOL!” hashtag |hash·tag| noun a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign # on social media sites such as Twitter, now also used as part of speech to emphasize a point, sometimes in jest: I was home alone this weekend watching Disney movies, hashtag, somanyfriends.
over • time
Milton Made miz |miz| adjective a shortened version of miserable, the worst possible: Mr. Smith assigned us a 10-page paper today. That’s the miz. jams |jams| adjective the opposite of miz, the absolute best: It’s Friday of a long weekend. That’s the jams. sick PA |sik p·a| adjective and noun PA stands for personal appearance, the phrase means looking great, excellent: I love your shoes. You have some sick PA. Can also be used to gently mock; object or phrase is sometimes inserted: Oh, nice argyle. Sick sweater PA.
2000 2 Milton Magazine
The boys of Forbes House had their diplomas, their ﬂag, and—obviously—their plan.
Why are our personal accounts important?
Voices from History
Record: A Documentary History of America; in it the vivid sights, sounds and smells of the early settlements in Virginia come to life. historymatters.gmu.edu/d/6475
daily pleasure of mine is listening as students react to the primary texts we read in class. Though the vocabulary of colonial English and the complex sentences of official texts present challenges, students engage. Why did Jefferson blame King George and not Parliament for the abuses listed in the Declaration? Why did the authors of the Constitution set up the electoral college and need urging for the Bill of Rights? Other readers connect with the humanity—sometimes cloaked, sometimes fully expressed—in the words left behind. We use primary documents in all our history classes. What do these reveal about the individuals and the world from which they came? What do they reveal about you and the world today? Ann Foster, History Department
efore warfare and disease led to Spanish victories against the Aztecs in 1519–20, Hernando Cortés and his men were astonished by the size and sophistication of the capital city. The Human Record: Sources of Global History includes a letter written by an ordinary Spanish soldier. In this collection, Cortés’s detailed account to Charles V of Spain provides a glimpse of the city Tenochtitlan and vivid descriptions of the food and customs of its people. Through it we learn not only about the Aztecs, but also about the way 16th-century Spain was like and unlike the royal culture of the Aztecs under Montezuma. www.fordham.edu/Halsall/ mod/1520cortes.html
What would your plan be, as an early settler?
In ancient Babylon, what rights would you have?
xcerpts from the Code of Hammurabi provide insight into the daily lives of the complex city-states of ancient Babylon. What should the penalty be for looting the burning house of a neighbor? (See Law 25.) Relations between men and women, husbands and wives, begin with Law 128. What rights would you have, under the reign of Hammurabi? Scanning the collected codes, what jobs and roles do you see recurring? What crimes? Read the haunting invocation that precedes Hammurabi’s code and translations of the laws that have survived from antiquity. avalon.law.yale.edu/ancient/ hamframe.asp
How ﬁxed is the past, anyway?
eter the Great’s plans for modernizing Russia engage students with what can seem like arbitrary and random edicts. Why was he concerned with the clothing people wore and men’s beards? Why would he change the calendar, or allow the buying of entire villages, including the people living there? What accounted for his interest in shipbuilding? With historians’ accounts providing necessary background (we learn that Peter penned 3,000 edicts over a 25-year period), other primary sources help loosen Peter the Great’s grip. Different authors provide overlapping and sometimes divergent accounts. How fi xed is the past? fordham.edu/Halsall/mod/ petergreat.html
he accounts of ordinary people help us understand the risks and miscalculations that clouded the hopes of early English settlers to North America. Students are sometimes uncomfortable with the quiet desperation in a poignant letter from Richard Frethorne to his parents. Richard was a young Englishman who sold his labor for passage to Virginia. What had he hoped for in this voyage? Do his requested provisions make it to Richard’s hungry hands in time? Our excerpt is from For the
scholars do you find helpful, if any? What world is made visible? What world is hoped for? What forces are at work in Ming China?
Are the rules at Milton Academy Confucian?
n studying Ming China, we read “Meritorious Deeds at No Cost,” a Confucian advice pamphlet for the peasants, scholars, gentry and merchants of the time. Students encountering these lists and categories bring their own questions and observations. Are elders responsible for the wrongdoing of their younger siblings or children? Are the rules at Milton Academy Confucian? What advice for Fall 2012 3
civil discourse The ability to listen to those who disagree; debating with vigor and respect; openness to multiple perspectives; working to understand what you donâ€™t know, or havenâ€™t considered; humility despite sure-footedness. The ability to exchange ideas and perspectives successfully, and thereby gain new ground.
Fall 2012 5
Jason Spingarn-Koff ’92
The Opinion Department Invites Yours
hen Jason Spingarn-Koff ’92 headed for Brown University after Milton, he thought he would get involved in storytelling somehow, and perhaps in medicine. “So maybe I’d become a doctor who writes plays,” Jason laughs in hindsight. “I wanted to integrate my creative side with caring about the world,” Jason says. “I wanted to make an impact.” He did pursue filmmaking, science and journalism. A video journalist and filmmaker, Jason directed the feature-length documentary Life 2.0, about people consumed by a virtual world, which premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and was acquired by OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network. Following a Knight Science Journalism fellowship at MIT, the New York Times hired him in 2011 as the first-ever video journalist for the Opinion section. Jason’s challenge and thrill is to help the Times writers and editors break new ground in creating a video analog of the traditional op-ed page. How can new media engage the Times’ nearly two million daily readers? The site’s unique video series, Op-Docs, is one venture that has sparked a potent response. Jason produces and curates Op-Docs, which was launched in November 2011. A “forum for short, opinionated documentaries,” the Times says, Op-Docs is “produced with wide creative latitude and a range of artistic styles, covering current affairs, contemporary life and historical subjects.”
6 Milton Magazine
“For many people who join in these online discussions, their politicians have failed them. Readers make it clear that simplification of the issue won’t work and doesn’t satisfy anyone.” Fall 2012 7
Can these powerful video opinions launch civil discussions among strangers? The series’ track record is as interesting as it is impressive.
Several new Op-Docs appear in the Opinion section each month. Often their creators are prize-winning documentary fi lmmakers. Emerging artists also appear, as does the work of video journalists on the scene of breaking news. Can these powerful video opinions launch civil discussions among strangers? The series’ track record is as interesting as it is impressive. The Op-Doc called “Dismantling Detroit” draws us—for five compelling minutes—into the desperate nighttime work of scavenging scrap metal from Detroit’s dismantled buildings. The young men who ferret out and sell the metal to eager global buyers are trying to survive Detroit’s destiny, to support themselves in an uncompromisingly bleak landscape. Readers’ reactions are stunningly thoughtful: They pose questions about the future of our cities; they argue about globalization; they show a historical context for making money from detritus. The online commenters explain their reasoning, follow up on one another’s remarks, and suggest different ways of looking at things. A person’s quick decision to click “view” can turn into a much fuller, shared consideration of difficult issues. In the same time window, we can witness the full, raw scope of “Waiting for Health Care” in the emergency room of Highland Hospital in Oakland, California. Sights, sounds and human situations are as relentless as the flow of people in this video. We feel something of the hours’ long wait that is routine for hundreds of uninsured or low-income people, whether or not their needs are acute and serious. Lost work time and mounting pain are almost palpable. We’re amazed by dedicated staff managing an overwhelming scene. Providers move from rescuing trauma victims to administering patients—the majority—with straightforward, non-acute care. Readers bring the fire and emotion of the health-care issue to their commentary on this piece. They share dire personal histories that drive them to certain conclusions. They explain and question; they compare, contrast and argue—about health care in Europe, the “real” cause of our national problem, or the roles that different stakeholders play. Providers offer insight drawn from their life labors. Some responders are short on patience; others urge compassion and responsibility.
8 Milton Magazine
If energy in the exchange is any measure, this discussion taps a need. Readers even seem to set the bar for what a national conversation should be—if we had one. They declare a range: this should be on the table; that should be off the table. For many people who join in these online discussions, their politicians have failed them. Readers make it clear that simplification of the issue won’t work and doesn’t satisfy anyone. For instance, one writes: “No matter the outcome of the Supreme Court’s decision on the individual mandate to buy health insurance, the Affordable Care Act remains flawed because it will leave at least 26 million people uninsured and does nothing to reduce healthcare costs.” Another writes: “It annoys me every time I hear or read that ‘Medicare for all can’t be done.’ This attitude persists although the great majority of Americans approve of Medicare, and many of those who are ‘against Obamacare’ are against it because it isn’t as good as Medicare.” Readers also seem upset with predictable ideology, from all points on the political spectrum. “Conservatives seem to believe that if you’re sick, you brought it on yourself,” one person writes. “If you’re poor, you don’t work hard enough; if you can’t afford to see a doctor or buy medicine, you should do what Grandma did and drink alfalfa tea until you’re well again. They don’t see any evidence that illness often strikes without any obvious reason (even nonsmokers get lung cancer), there aren’t enough jobs that can pull families out of poverty, and medical costs in the modern world are simply beyond the reach of anyone who isn’t a Wall Street CEO or a Powerball winner. And yet they think of themselves as ‘realists.’” These commenters read each other’s posts and respond point for point. The Op-Docs commentary lives and moves in different ways on multiple platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and New York Times blogs. According to Jason, the backand-forth generated by some pieces sustains itself for weeks. Traditional documentaries aren’t the only videos that stimulate conversation. Jason has been “working to create an outlet that’s diverse in subject matter but also style,” he said in an interview with Indiewire.com. “It has a distinct feel from most news. Here we’re working with indie filmmakers, animators, artists to create films that can spark dialogue around topical and historical subjects.” Readers are surprised, Jason thinks, to find snappy satire on the site. “Satire is a contemporary take on opinion,” he explains, “and one of the top forms for cultural commentary today. This is part of the language young people are speaking.” “Mitt Likes Music,” by the Gregory Brothers, is a musical video satire that threads together what Mitt Romney “likes” from video clips of many campaign stump speeches. The Gregory Brothers’ production became a favorite among visitors to nytimes.com. “The piece overlaps entertainment and newsworthiness” Jason says. Catching this kind of video on a newspaper opinion page is
“I think people were surprised and appreciative of the gesture that the New York Times carried out—inviting the public in for an extensive conversation on foreign policy with our U.N. ambassador and a renowned op-ed columnist.” Fall 2012 9
novel. Jason and his team made sure that every line in the mashup was authentic; an annotated lyrics list allows any viewer to find the source of each quote.
“I much enjoyed the session and encourage you and the NYT to do more! How do I find out when the next one will be?” says a viewer from Alberta, Canada.
Op-Docs’ content offers a fresh take on cultural commentary in general. Casey Neistat’s fi lms wryly remark on urban lives with “Texting While Walking,” “Bike Thief” and “Taxi Lost and Found.” Filmmaker Zina Saro-Wiwa explores the movement among black women toward “natural hair” in her film “Transition.” Her work triggered hundreds of posts from diverse women and discussions that span age, class, self-acceptance, history, emotions, and the political ramifications for women of their body shapes and hairstyles.
“The high school student had very good questions. She will go places. We need panels like this to clarify so many global situations we are facing in this day and age. Good job!” says another, from New Mexico.
Often, people speak directly about finally feeling that they are part of a conversation, like this viewer: “I’m glad this is showing up in the New York Times because I was just about to lose faith in your renegade promise. I hope you continue to be open and creative this way.” More recently, Jason’s work at the Times to promote public dialogue has expanded from documentaries to ambitious experiments in live “social video.” Last May, visitors to nytimes.com from around the world watched a live video chat between U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, columnist Nicholas Kristof, and five members of the public—unscripted and unedited. A soldier in Afghanistan was one participant asking the ambassador his own questions. Joining him on the Google+ Hangout was a high school junior from Miami, a young lawyer from New York, a physicist from Montreal and a graduate student from Ashland, Oregon.
A viewer from Pennsylvania sums up the effect: “Thanks, Nick, for continuing to bring this “constituency of the connected” to our door. Through these ongoing conversations and dialogues via social media, we all can remain a part of an open and free democracy—a superior forum. Cheers!” An ever-curious person, Jason has relished how video journalism and documentary filmmaking “gets you into situations most people don’t encounter. “This is a great setting,” he says about the New York Times. “Everyone brings different experience and skills, and we all feel passionately about what we’d like to achieve. Writing, filming, editing, publishing, provoking debate and discussion—that’s all part of the job. That’s what we spend our energy doing, and it’s a real privilege.” Cathleen D. Everett
These panelists had responded to an invitation posted on the Opinion site and throughout social media. The editors chose the five finalists from hundreds of responses. The viewer’s screen shows the panelists, moderator and ambassador on the Google+ Hangout together. The current speaker’s image appears larger than the others, and images shift as the speakers change. “The bold thing,” Jason says, “is that we put this on live, in a prime spot—the homepage—and it went off without glitches.” To execute this project, Jason collaborated with a Web editor, social media editor, and several Google specialists. “I think people were surprised and appreciative of the gesture that the New York Times carried out—inviting the public in for an extensive conversation on foreign policy with our U.N. ambassador and a renowned op-ed columnist,” Jason says. He and his colleagues produced a series of Google+ Hangouts with voters spanning the national party conventions this summer.
10 Milton Magazine
Jason directed the feature documentary Life 2.0, which premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and was acquired by OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network’s Documentary Club. Jason’s films and journalism have appeared on PBS, BBC, MSNBC, Time.com and Wired News. He was a 2010–2011 MIT Knight Science Journalism Fellow and is a graduate of Brown University and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.
Ben Jesup ’82
The Listing Wars
“I spend almost all of my time counseling the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) on questions related to listing a species or removing it,” says Ben, who specializes in Section 4 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). “This law provides for the conservation of species at risk of extinction, protecting biodiversity, which Congress in 1973 recognized as having ‘esthetic, ecological, educational, historical, recreational, and scientific value to the Nation and its people.’” “Listing is what starts you down that path,” says Ben. “Some people argue there’s too much work in protecting the species already listed. Why not spend resources protecting listed species rather
than listing more? One answer is that for some species, listing can make all the difference. It’s important that the FWS has the resources and staff to identify the species most at risk so that the protections of the Act can be brought to bear.” Listing a species is an involved process. The first step is making the “candidate list” before consideration for either the “threatened” or “endangered” species list. And an ESA provision gives the public the ability to sue the government for noncompliance with the law. The result is what Ben refers to as “The Listing Wars” in a recent paper he wrote. (“Endless War or End This War? The History of Deadline Litigation under Section 4 of the Endangered Species Act and the Multi-District Litigation Settlements”) In the Listing Wars, environmental groups and other stakeholders routinely sue Fish and Wildlife for falling behind on listing action deadlines. When FWS focuses on lawsuits instead of listing activity, it falls further behind and builds a huge backlog. Throw in limited resources and budgetary issues, and the result is that courts make listing decisions with little regard for the conservation priority of the different species—not what the law intended.
© “Mike” Michael L. Baird fl ickr.bairdphotos.com
he blue whale swimming in the waters off the California coast, the Houston toad hopping around the woodlands of Texas, and the piping plover skittering around the dunes of Cape Cod. Three species share one distinction: They are officially endangered. You’ll find them among more than 1,000 animal and plant species on the Endangered Species List. The list is a storied point of contention among political, business, environmental, and scientific groups, and Ben Jesup ’82, an attorney with the Solicitor’s Office of the Department of the Interior, happily deals with it every day.
Fall 2012 11
“Some environmental groups, not all, are inherently skeptical of what happens at a political level in Washington,” says Ben, who has worked for the Solicitor’s Office for 17 years. “They assume the people running the government won’t act because they’re worried about the political impact on their futures. On the other hand, many people in the industry think the FWS is a bunch of green, tree-hugging maniacs. Fish and Wildlife inevitably gets stuck in the middle. We are sued by all sides! This doesn’t mean that FWS is infallible, but the litigation keeps us on our toes. “Regardless of what decision we are making—to list a species, to delist a species, to designate critical habitat, or to exclude areas from critical habitat—we have to show that the science supports our decision, and that our decision is consistent with the legal requirements of the Endangered Species Act. My job is to help FWS navigate the pitfalls and hurdles to make legal decisions that are likely to be upheld in court, and to help the Department of Justice defend FWS if challenges materialize.”
“This case was successful if you accept the notion that protecting endangered species and biodiversity is important for any number of reasons—practical, ethical, even spiritual, if you want to go in that direction.” In 2010, the government took a new approach to breaking the cycle of litigation that kept the FWS from moving forward. The FWS filed a petition with the Multi-District Litigation Panel to centralize 20 deadline cases filed by two large environmental groups under one judge in one court. “One frustration is that a judge looks only at the particular case before him or her,” says Ben. “The FWS, however, is looking at the big picture: how to make the whole program work, not just what needs doing in this case. The judge only sees a missed deadline, and the natural reaction is issuing court orders with very short time frames. This doesn’t serve the highest conservation priorities from the FWS point of view. Centralizing the cases in front of one federal judge would allow us to present the big picture and require the judge to take a 40,000-foot view.” The petition was accepted and the judge referred the centralized case to a mediator. Mediators have no power to issue directives; they help parties reach some accommodation by channeling conversations and providing a sounding board. “When two parties are litigating, their tendency is to talk and not listen,” says Ben. “An effective mediator helps people listen and understand what they each have to win or lose. Mediation is a freewheeling process that helps the parties decide how to handle the problem and hammer out a compromise.” Nine months after the government and two environmental groups entered the mediation program, the parties fi led two settlement agreements with the court. The agreements focused on clearing the backlog of candidate species, which gave the FWS some breathing room to get its “real” job done, while also giving the environmental groups confidence that FWS would finally resolve the status of all of the candidate species.
Piping Plover, Charadrius melodus 12 Milton Magazine
How were the parties able to reach this agreement? “Both sides wanted to move species off the candidate list,” says Ben. “The FWS wants to comply with the law, get species off the candidate list, and make final listing determinations. Having a big candidate list is not good for the FWS in terms of doing its job.” All parties recognized that time spent on litigation meant delays in listing species. Both sides entered the mediation with some leverage. For the government, it was having succeeded in centralizing the cases; for the environmental groups, it was the law and the historical precedents. People working on the governmental side also had credability in the eyes of the environmental groups.
“When two parties are litigating, their tendency is to talk and not listen. An effective mediator helps people listen and understand what they each have to win or lose. Mediation is a freewheeling process that helps the parties decide how to handle the problem and hammer out a compromise.”
Ben’s father was an amateur herpetologist, and Ben grew up in a house filled with snakes and turtles. He developed a passion for bird watching, and during his years at Milton, Haverford College and New York University Law School, he became increasingly interested in environmental issues. Today he lives outside of Washington, D.C., with his wife and daughter, and he has recently added insect photography to his bird-watching adventures. He feels content and fulfilled working in a public-service role that draws on his strengths as a lawyer and his personal interests. “In general, I get to work on things that I would have spent my free time reading about,” says Ben. “I’ve always been interested in natural history and biodiversity. I am fascinated by evolution and natural selection, and the people I work with are smart and interesting. My day-to-day work is intellectually engaging, and it’s fun.” Liz Matson
Ben hopes the agreement sets a precedent for future disputes, leading to a decrease in litigation and a movement toward more informal resolutions. He says “the jury is still out,” however, on the long-term effect. “This case could significantly change the dynamic between parties, change the track we’ve been on, improve the efficiency of the listing process, and, ultimately, help protect biodiversity,” says Ben. “There are some good signs, and lots of challenges, still. But this case was successful if you accept the notion that protecting endangered species and biodiversity is important for any number of reasons—practical, ethical, even spiritual, if you want to go in that direction. Listing a species is the first step toward activating the regulatory mechanisms of the ESA, which in some circumstances, not all, can provide meaningful protection and reduce extinction risk.”
Ben Jesup ’82 Fall 2012 13
Heather McGhee ’97
Can We Talk about Solutions? Be part of the conversation driving economic policy.
eather McGhee ’97 argues from a national pulpit for an authentic conversation about shaping economic policy. She is talking about policy that will yield deep, comprehensive economic growth and strengthen every sector of the population. Heather urges everyone to move past ideological standoffs and to face the fact that underlying policy does affect who the winners and losers are, over time. Determination and hard work alone aren’t sufficient. She argues that the exponential expansion of lobbyists, and the dollars they contribute, means that most of us are not part of the crucial conversations, and that we need to be. Heather is vice president for policy and outreach of De¯mos. De¯mos defines itself as “a non-partisan public policy center,” that “combines research, policy and advocacy to influence public debate and to catalyze change.” De¯mos is the Greek word for the people of a nation and the root of the word “democracy”; the organization works on issues of political and economic equality. After Milton, Heather earned a B.A. in American studies from Yale University and a J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law. She began working on economic policy during summer internships while at Milton. She has worked her way up from an entry-level position at De¯mos in 2002 to vice president of the organization today. Heather’s writing on economic matters has appeared in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, among other media outlets. She co-authored a chapter on retirement insecurity in the book Inequality Matters: The Growing Economic Divide in America and Its Poisonous Consequences (New 14 Milton Magazine
“We are the children of Dr. King’s dream because we are the most diverse generation in American history. But fundamentally, we are the children of his dream because we are the generation that is left to fulfill that dream.”
Fall 2012 15
Press, 2005). She is a frequent guest on cable news shows across the political spectrum, from MSNBC’s Chris Hayes and PBS’ Bill Moyers to Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly. Heather called her visit to campus as the 2012 Martin Luther King Day Speaker “the highlight of [her] career.” She shared her vision with students, particularly the urgent need for their generation, the Millennials, to address economic inequality. “The full name of the march where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech was the ‘March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.’ Jobs, even before freedom,” she reminded students. “Today, Dr. King would be calling our generation to action because economic inequality and insecurity has risen sharply during our lifetimes to the point that we are the first in American history poised to be worse-off economically than the previous one.” Highlighted by the following excerpts, Heather frames her case with key perspectives, her analysis of the history of U.S. economic policy, and the impact of our growing diversity:
“The economy is not like the weather; it is not a natural force that people and governments can’t control.
“[It’s like] a massive, multiplayer game where the most powerful gamers, whether it’s business executives or government officials, are constantly tweaking the rules that make it easier or harder for some players and some teams to score points. And just like in a game, individual talent and determination matter in the economy—of course they do—but the rules of the game guide the outcome.… It often matters most what team you start out on.
Drafting volunteers, Heather set up a human graph that allowed the audience to watch how income growth was more evenly shared between 1947 and 1979, and became highly unequal after 1980.
“A low minimum wage and weak unions became a goal of organized business in the 1970s. The minimum wage has lost nearly half of its purchasing power since its peak in 1968, and fewer than 1 in 10 workers is now in a union. The rules of the economic game were also changed to make it easier for businesses to ship jobs to places with cheaper, more easily exploitable workers, to avoid paying their taxes, and to influence our elected leaders.
“In 1955, corporations contributed nearly 30 percent of the federal taxes collected; today it’s nine percent, and dozens of the most successful U.S. businesses pay their CEOs more every year than they contribute to their country in taxes.
“The rules didn’t change in ways that would have given more families a leg up—like responding to the premium on education with more college grants, not fewer; or responding to the necessity of both parents working, or the rise of single parents, with financial help for child care; or by providing universal health care, portable pensions, or a more generous unemployment insurance system in the era of easy layoffs and downsizing.
“How is it that life has gotten harder financially for the vast majority of Americans over the past 40 years, yet we have had so few public solutions?
“Big-money campaign contributions increased by over 600 percent just since I turned 18, to over $2 billion a year.
“How is it that life has gotten harder financially for the vast majority of Americans over the past 40 years, yet we have had so few public solutions?” “In Dr. King’s time, the goal of economic policy was full employment and higher wages. Consider Robert Kennedy in 1963: ‘It is the essence of responsibility to put the public good ahead of personal gain.’
“Fast-forward to 1982, when President Reagan boasted about wanting ‘to see an America in which people can still get rich.’ Leaders and economists in both parties began to believe that the best way for everyone to succeed was if the rules were written to ensure the greatest possible accumulation of wealth at the top and the biggest profits at the biggest corporations. And then money would trickle down to the rest of America.” 16 Milton Magazine
“Business cash and lobbying in Washington honestly drowns out the voices of regular families on a day-to-day basis. Princeton political scientist Larry Bartels found that ‘the preferences of people at the bottom third of the income distribution appear to have no apparent impact on the behavior of their elected officials.’ None.
“Something else happened in our culture. Why did it somehow become publicly acceptable to evade taxes as if companies and people owe nothing to their neighbors or to the country in which they live? Completely okay to assert that any kind of public help—from health care to unemployment insurance—is unfair redistribution from worthy job creators to undeserving freeloaders? To demonize the class of people who in different eras were known as ‘the little guy,’ the little guy you root for?
“Ironically, America became more diverse after the Civil Rights Movement subsided, taking with it the moral voice calling for solidarity and brotherhood across racial lines.
“Why does this new diversity affect Americans’ feelings about public solutions to common problems, about economic fairness and taxes and jobs?
“Business cash and lobbying in Washington honestly drowns out the voices of regular families on a dayto-day basis.” “This, I believe, is where the increasingly unexamined role of unconscious bias comes in to our public culture in ways that are eroding opportunity for all of us. Since Dr. King’s time, we have had a deep and growing anxiety in this country about who is American. It’s that anxiety that is allowing these more selfish values to take root—even among people who are suffering economically under the new economic rules.
“Harvard research on implicit bias helps explain how racial anxieties affect our brains. Our brain categorizes people by their physical characteristics—and it finds shortcuts to give attributes to those categories. Most of these shortcuts are happening subconsciously, without our conscious awareness.
“The problem is that our society has been so hierarchical along these lines—race, gender, age, sexuality—that the shortcuts we are constantly primed to make have unequal consequences.
“Prejudice and stereotyping [are] normal. That doesn’t make it acceptable, but it does make it understandable, and it certainly means we can’t keep pretending it’s not still with us.”
“Prejudice and stereotyping [are] normal. That doesn’t make it acceptable, but it does make it understandable and it certainly means we can’t keep pretending it’s not still with us. No other wealthy country tries to create a democracy from such diversity—to assert that we all are supposed to feel like a community. We must see that as part of our exceptionalism; acknowledge the challenges and take a bit of American pride in working at it every day. We must not wish it away under a myth that we can be colorblind.
“We are the children of Dr. King’s dream because we are the most diverse generation in American history. But fundamentally, we are the children of his dream because we are the generation that is left to fulfi ll that dream.
“Fortunately for the future, our generation, having grown up hearing that you’re on your own, has decided that in fact, no, we’re in this together. According to public polling, more than any other generation since the Depression-era generation, we believe in individuals sacrificing for the common good, not just seeking out private gain.
“That’s why I believe that it will be us, the children of the Dream, who finally achieve a sustainable, fair economy, where everyone, regardless of what zip code or school district they were born into, can meet their basic needs and have a shot at fulfilling their dreams.
“Although these questions are seldom at the forefront of your lives as Milton students, I don’t want you to forget that they are the great questions of our time. The relative privilege of all of us in this room, compared to the vast majority of Americans, is not a reason to avoid questions of economic inequality, not at all. Our relative privilege is an opportunity, for it gives us power. And what is power but the ability to make change?” Heather later published a version of her Milton speech in the Huffington Post: “Message to Millennials: We Are the Children of Dr. King’s Dream” and at http://www.demos.org.
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Molly Epstein ’00
The Public Meets Imagination’s Cutting Edge What do today’s artists and viewers make of one another?
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Photo credit: David Regen
Jim Hodges, November 5â€“December 23, 2011. Installation View: Gladstone Gallery, New York Fall 2012 19
y work is more diplomatic than transactional,” says Molly Epstein ’00 about her role as a director for the Gladstone Gallery of New York and Brussels. The Gladstone Gallery represents a host of contemporary, internationally celebrated artists. Five of those artists know Molly as the fulcrum between ongoing artistic production and the public. “Serving as a connector and translator,” Molly says, “is a way to characterize a lot of what I do.” Molly’s introduction to art history came during senior year at Milton in Larry Pollans’s AP Art History class. Sitting in his dark classroom with her peers looking at slides, Molly became hooked on this way of reading history through the lens of objects and visual culture. Inspired by the vast holdings of the Yale Center for British Art, her college research focused primarily on 18thand 19th-century British art. When she graduated from Yale in 2004, Molly knew that she would work in the art world, but an actual career track wasn’t evident. Molly’s first role, manning the front desk at Sperone Westwater, a gallery associated with European and American avant-garde artists, put her in touch “with every person and organization active in the art world,” as Molly says. “You’re at an intersection of artists, dealers, critics, journalists, curators and collectors,” she says, “and the action is always fast-paced.” That dynamic environment suited Molly. After three years with Sperone Westwater, and nearly four in
London, where she earned her master’s at the Courtauld Institute and worked at White Cube, the gallery that launched the careers of the Young British Artists (YBAs) such as Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin and Gary Hume, Molly returned to New York to join Gladstone Gallery. Art-world pioneer Barbara Gladstone opened her first gallery in 1980 and has been dedicated to helping artists grow and develop their careers for more than 30 years. Molly was excited to join the team at Gladstone Gallery, helping contemporary artists realize their most effective expressions and connecting them with a diverse and growing public. “With Barbara,” Molly says, “the artists always come first.” A self-described advocate for her artists, Molly intensely appreciates their individual journeys. “In some galleries, you work either with artists or with collectors—private or institutional,” Molly explains. “I work with both groups. This allows me to be much more effective both in supporting individual artists and in placing their work strategically. “Where an individual’s artistic creations are involved, the work becomes very personal. It’s about knowing where things are and where they are headed.” Looking at the whole picture, Molly’s insight is pinpointing what the artist needs next: “bringing the right attention to something at the right time.”
Photo credit: David Regen
Jim Hodges, Untitled, 2011. Granite, stainless steel and lacquer. 75 x 248 x 301 inches installed.
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“You’re at an intersection of artists, dealers, critics, journalists, curators and collectors, and the action is always fast-paced.” Her involvement with artists and their studios can be as routine as frequent phone calls to check in; or traveling to shows around the globe; or overseeing an installation—at a gallery, a museum, or for a public art project; or arranging for a lecture at a conference; or supporting a book project. The five gallery artists Molly works with operate in different media, with distinct personal traditions and abiding themes. Understanding what exposure or support would be instrumental at any point in an artist’s creative process means being intuitive, knowledgeable and, often, bold. Mounting shows that are substantive and that register on a national and international level is a key avenue for showcasing an artist’s professional evolution.
Molly works with sculptor and installation artist Jim Hodges, and one case in point is Hodges’s 2011 exhibition of new work, mounted across both Gladstone Gallery spaces in New York. Hodges was acting chair of Yale’s sculpture department last year, and his work is featured in the permanent collections of esteemed museums across the United States and in Europe. The two-part exhibition was Hodges’s first at the gallery’s New York locations. It showcased large-scale sculptural works that “investigate notions of time, movement, color, and reflection,” according to the gallery description. Hodges’s monumental boulders—natural surfaces facing outward and shimmering reflective surfaces facing inward—are room-size. The gallery’s interest in enabling artists to bring their ideas into being, regardless of scale or scope, figured to some degree, Molly explains, in Hodges’s execution of the work in this show. The gallery’s ability to present pieces of this size, and to welcome a broad public to experience them, allowed Hodges to take his practice in a new direction. Previously, Molly says, Hodges’s work was often characterized by an “ephemeral quality and intimate scale.”
Photo credit: David Regen
Anish Kapoor, Untitled, 2012. Weathering steel. 568 x 779 x 803 cm. Installation view: Gladstone Gallery, New York.
Fall 2012 21
“Where an individual’s artistic creations are involved, the work becomes very personal. It’s about knowing where things are and where they are headed.” The same gallery spaces provided the appropriate environment for a groundbreaking two-part exhibition by Anish Kapoor. This exhibit incorporated a single, monumental work in Corten steel at the gallery’s 21st Street location, and a collection of 22 smaller-scale, freestanding sculptures in concrete at its 24th Street location. Molly is Kapoor’s artist liaison at the gallery, and this May–June 2012 exhibit was Kapoor’s first in New York in four years. Born in Bombay, India, in 1954, Kapoor has lived and worked in London since 1973. Among his other works, Kapoor’s Cloud Gate captivates hundreds of daily viewers in Chicago’s Millennium Park. His daring, steel tower, Orbit, was commissioned to mark the 2012 Olympic stadia in London and is Britain’s largest public artwork.
On 21st Street, visitors to the gallery were able to fully circle and examine the massive anodized steel structure, its intricately balanced and detailed whole. A few blocks away they could consider the varied “heaping…densely structured” poured concrete sculptures. Texturally rich, these concrete pieces seem simultaneously new and ancient. Presenting two of Kapoor’s brilliantly contrasting approaches as a single exhibition gave the public access to Kapoor’s extraordinary sculptural fluency. A third artist Molly works with, Iranian-born Shirin Neshat, presented an exquisite photography and video installation in a show titled “The Book of Kings” last winter (January–February 2012). This exhibition took Neshat’s unflinching visual exploration of power and its ramifications to new heights. In past work, through film and photography, with her own heritage as a resource and lens, Neshat has examined power relative to women’s lives, social and political structures, and the impact of history and tradition. This new series was inspired by the ancient Persian book Shahnameh (“the Book of Kings”) juxtaposed with the recent events of the Arab Spring. Exquisite black-and-white portraits of Arab and Iranian youth are inscribed with fine, flowing calligraphic texts, bridging the past with today’s faces of revolution. These works form elegant and provocative visual metaphors that examine “themes of justice and the struggle of the artist against authoritarian constraints.” Neshat was awarded
Photo credit: David Regen
Anish Kapoor, Ga Gu Ma, 2011–2012. Concrete, 22 parts, dimensions variable. Gladstone Gallery, New York.
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Shirin Neshat, Roja, 2012. Ink on LE silver gelatin print, 60 x 45 inches.
7 inches. Shirin Neshat, Speechless, 1996. RC print and ink, 46 ¾ x 33 ⁄ 8
the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 2009 for her first feature-length film, Women Without Men, which follows four women from different classes and backgrounds during the 1952 anti-Mosaddeq coup in Iran.
Finding connections between artists and new publics deepens our cultural awareness, acuity and appetite, Molly believes. Galleries such as Gladstone “are not white box, elitist spaces,” she says, “despite the view by many that the art world is an exclusive zone reserved for a privileged few.” Open to the public five days a week and free of charge, galleries offer diverse and varied views of the world. They nourish the cultural currents across boundaries and expand the discourse we can share with one another. As Molly says, “The history of art is alive, well, and developing each day.”
“Shirin Neshat is not only a powerful force in the visual arts, she is a truly articulate and compelling voice,” Molly says. Neshat’s 2010 TED talk, “Artist in Exile,” poignantly explores the paradox of being a voice for her people while being unable to return home, as well as her challenges in tracking political and societal change through imagery. Explorers who find Neshat’s talk online tap into a powerful perspective that may cause them to rethink old opinions. Readers who sample the controversies surrounding some museum exhibit opening may ask questions they hadn’t in the past. The thousands who flock to see public art, like Kapoor’s Leviathan, presented at the Grand Palais in Paris in 2011, are likely to describe and share the unexpected experience they had. Tourists, collectors, and other artists who visit biennial celebrations like the upcoming La Biennale de Venezia 2013 spread the excitement that art can bring. The streams of curious people that thread through the streets, in and out of open gallery doors in Chelsea, expand their artistic sensitivity.
Cathleen D. Everett
All images copyright of the artists and courtesy of Gladstone Gallery. Molly Epstein ’00 Fall 2012 23
t was my first day of practice with Santo André and I sat quietly on the team bus, staring out the window as we rode to a practice center. I had no idea where we were going or what kind of soccer I was in store for. As the bus veered through the winding hills and favelas of São Paulo, one of Brazil’s largest cities, I wondered what was ahead of me. Having graduated from Princeton in 2006, I was now in the second year of my quest to become a professional soccer player. I spent most of 2007 in San Francisco, playing in the United Soccer League’s Premier Development League, a minor-league circuit equivalent to Class AA baseball, and then working out for some lower-division clubs in England.
“Being a foreigner from an inferior soccer country had already presented a hurdle for me in Brazil, and my age did not make things easier.” Now, I was in Brazil, in January 2008, thinking, realistically or not, that if I could stay focused and work hard and show some promise, I could have an entire soccer career in the hotbed of the sport. The worst case was that I would come home with some valuable credibility as a player and sign with an M.L.S. team for the 2008 season. I was ready for my adventure, even if I could barely speak a word of Portuguese. Santo André was a second-division team that was hoping to recapture some of its recent history. In 2004, the club won the Copa do Brasil, a 64-team tournament composed of the top teams from all 26 of the South American country’s states. But 24 Milton Magazine
Adrian Melville â€™02
Mauricio Lima / The New York Times / Redux
Pursuing a Dream All the Way to Brazil
Fall 2012 25
“I quickly realized that I could do many of the simple things that my teammates could, but that the ease and comfort that they expressed on the ball made my movements seem almost robotic. I fought the game while they embraced it.” now it was simply back to being stuck one tier down from the top, playing in a 15,000-seat stadium that consisted of concrete bleachers and had definitely seen better days. I found a place to live right next to the stadium. Since many of my teammates had families, I found myself spending a lot of time by myself in the neighborhood, a busy area about 40 minutes south of downtown. A two-lane highway ran two blocks east of the stadium, and you could hear the noise of its traffic while hanging around the stadium complex on a day when no game was scheduled. When there was a game, fans would sometimes park miles away and walk because there was not enough space nearby for parking. Nor was there any room for practice fields, which meant every day was a bus tour, as we traveled to different locations around the city looking for somewhere where we could kick some balls around. Sometimes we would practice twice a day, in two places. The best field we practiced on had a surface that was all dirt, a welcome contrast to the bumpy, uneven grass we often encountered. I was assigned to the reserve team, better known as the Profi B. At 24, I was one of the older players on a squad that had players as young as 18. Being a foreigner from an inferior soccer country had already presented a hurdle for me in Brazil, and my age did not make things easier. In a country where young players were often sold to create big paydays for their clubs, an older player was automatically less attractive. It would be one more obstacle to navigate. When I got off the team bus for that first practice, I met the coach. To me he was known only as Barone. He had played professionally in Brazil in the 1980s, but now he had a pot belly, a slight limp and a scowl that rarely left his face. I probably understood about half of what Barone said, as he would mumble instructions in Portuguese. To get by, I would usually follow what other players were doing and then wait for an extended break to get a more coherent explanation from the assistant coaches. What I also did to learn the language was buy a biography of the English guitar player Eric Clapton in Portuguese and then spend nights reading it with the help of a Portuguese-English dictionary.
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Victories and losses meant little to Barone—player development was the key issue—so he would jump on us for mistakes whether we were in a close game or winning 5–0. And the practices were always intense. Right away I knew I was in a different place when we broke into teams and Barone threw out what is known as a futsal ball. Futsal balls are smaller and have a restricted flight. With significantly less bounce, the ball stays on the ground and encourages more creativity. I soon learned that this ball was a staple in training and that its size and density made everyone’s individual footwork stand out. As we graduated to using a standard ball, I began to feel the rhythm and flow for the game that Brazilians are renowned for. I quickly realized that I could do many of the simple things that my teammates could, but that the ease and comfort that they expressed on the ball made my movements seem almost robotic. I fought the game while they embraced it. Still, from the first practice on, I was determined to have an impact. I walked to the local mall on my first day off and bought some inexpensive indoor shoes and an extra ball so I could put in extra work in the evenings. In the first month or so, I spent hours on mundane exercises like slamming a ball at a concrete wall and trying to comfortably trap the rebound. Occasionally, youth players affi liated with Santo André—some as young as 12 or 13—would pass by, see me training and join in. One night, one of the youngsters came by and we spontaneously started working on free kicks. He was insistent that he had a better method than the one used by Real Madrid’s Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo and was determined to convince me. We spent the next hour taking turns bending kicks at an imaginary target, and I was amazed by how enthusiastic he was about all the ways to strike the ball. The curiosity he had was startling. While I ran extra drills to sharpen certain movements, young Brazilians were always thinking of new moves that nobody had seen before. And because of that constant exploration, they never got tired of the game. Many of the youth players lived in dormitories built into the east side of the stadium, with as many as four sets of bunk beds in one room. I spent my first month in Brazil talking with a lot of them and listening as they described their dreams of playing for a major European team. It quickly became clear to me that their overall mentality was different from players their age in the
United States. They were not particularly interested in winning tournaments or trophies; they just wanted to find the quickest path to being a professional, preferably in Europe. As a result, they had no real loyalty to Santo André; it was just the team they were currently playing for. Next week, it could be somebody else. Indeed, it seemed as if every week there was a new player moving into one of the rooms, while another would disappear.
Chester Higgins Jr. / The New York Times / Redux
As I became more comfortable with the language, I found that the best way to bond with people was to try to fill in their gaps about American culture. I talked with our trainer, Jon, about our mutual love for the Boston Celtics, and how K.G., Kevin Garnett, was making a big impact on the franchise in his first year. At night, I had dance battles with one of our midfielders. I talked about hiphop music with our assistant coach, Neir, who turned me on to Brazilian rap. In the end, I played in five games for the Santo André reserve team, but never scored. Still, I was surprised by how comfortable I felt on the field. It helped, too, that our coach knew explaining the tactics of our defense to me in any detail was probably a lost cause. As a result, I was free to go out and just do my best. More than anything, I was seduced by the Brazilian mentality, which somehow allows players to take their soccer seriously while at the same time not taking it seriously at all. Win or lose, it was inevitable that halfway through the bus ride home somebody would turn his water bottles into drums and there would be singing all the way back to the stadium.
“As I became more comfortable with the language, I found that the best way to bond with people was to try to fill in their gaps about American culture.”
Adrian Melville ’02
To me, the Brazilians approached the game with both curiosity and confidence. When I flew home in the summer of 2008, I felt I had graduated from a crash course. It led to a tryout with Major League Soccer, a stint with the reserve team of the San Jose Earthquakes, and then a chance to play in Trinidad until a hamstring injury intervened. My professional soccer career was pretty much over. But my appreciation of Brazilian soccer is intact. Its compelling style was on display when Brazil’s men’s team played the United States and then Argentina in exhibition games. It was in the spotlight this summer, too, when Brazil competed in both men’s and women’s soccer in the London Olympics. Some of you likely caught it on television or in person. I am thankful I got to see it up close. Adrian Melville ’02 Printed in the New York Times on May 17, 2012.
Fall 2012 27
Jacquetta Nisbet ’46
A Weaving of Cultures
or more than 60 years, Jacquetta Nisbet ’46 has been learning, practicing and teaching the ancient textile traditions of Native American and First Nation cultures. One of North America’s premier weaving artists, she has created works represented in collections around the world, from a 15-foot double-woven light form for Pasadena’s California Design X show, to a ten-footwide wall hanging for Nordstrom. Born in Malaysia and raised in Edinburgh, she emigrated to the United States and now lives in British Columbia. Jacquetta embodies cultural exchange. Her interest in weaving began on an unlikely corner of New York City’s Madison Avenue. She and husband Nory spotted a classic, woven weft-brocade belt from Guatemala
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“I love strangers. I like meeting someone and discovering—with words or without—that I’m intrinsically, deeply related to that person.” in a store window. Jacquetta took one look and thought, “That’s me!” She bought it and began her studies. Jacquetta immersed herself in the weaving practices of Navajo, Hopi, Central and South American, Persian and Asian traditions. A “class” on Peruvian pebble weaving does not exist, however. It’s a tradition more than 4,000 years old, and the only way to learn it, Jacquetta explains, is to “start reading, and then get busy.”
These traditional techniques are methodical, detailed and exacting—best learned through work on the loom while studying with indigenous masters. Jacquetta spent time in New Mexico under the tutelage of Navajo weaver Sarah Natani, whose advice to the gringa was simple, but difficult: Don’t worry about the end result. Have fun—it’s an adventure! Shed the goal-oriented standards of Western culture, and don’t be concerned with mistakes.
“This idea—less competition, more cooperation—makes life far more interesting, and it takes the heat off,” says Jacquetta. “In Navajo tapestry weaving, you work with no drawn plan, no cartoon. You go from the terra firma you’re standing on into the chaotic unknown. The most extraordinary things happen while working this way. The integration of your conscious and subconscious intellect, your heart, mind and hands—the whole gig— is very exciting.” Tribal traditions value balance, humility and ritual, values that Jacquetta shares but fears have been eroded in the electronic buzz of modern life. In ancient weaving traditions, this hands-on, spiritual artwork becomes significant on a universal level. Each object is created as an offering. In Peru, for instance, before beginning a piece of weaving, you offer coca leaves and chicha, corn beer, to Pachamama, Mother Earth. The Incans regarded textiles to be the most important
commodity after food production. They still do. In Guatemala, symbols woven into the colorful, weft-brocade huipiles were a vital means of sustaining the universe through their images. One of the challenges Jacquetta welcomes is sitting down with people of another culture and learning their way. “I purposefully go outside my comfort zone. In these situations I feel out of place, and I’m aware of my cultural corners. I say very little. I just listen. I experienced this with a Coast Salish wood carving group, and while taking sumi-e brush painting lessons from a Japanese master. I don’t know of a more powerful teaching moment than simply listening, being very quiet in your own spirit and drinking in what others have to share with you. Don’t worry about your own discomfort. Shelve your opinions for the moment. Be as noncritical, sensitive, and respectful as you can. My goodness, that’s difficult, and so rewarding.
“Concentrating completely on someone else’s process, finding the blockages of their mind and helping to ease those, is enormously rewarding.”
Fall 2012 29
“I purposefully go outside my comfort zone. In these situations I feel out of place, and I’m aware of my cultural corners. I say very little. I just listen.”
Jacquetta has demonstrated this elementary toe loom while waiting at the doctor’s ofﬁce or at the airport. “I usually gather a few curious bystanders who wonder what the hell I’m doing! It’s another way of teaching.”
“I sat next to a Tibetan rinpoche not long ago. He knew about ten words in English and I knew not a single Tibetan word. According to tradition, sitting near an illumined being allows your mind to calm down and absorb some of that person’s extraordinary quality. If your heart and mind are open, this exchange takes place, language or no language.”
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Jacquetta has shared her knowledge of these enduring practices through a long and varied tenure as a “gypsy teacher,” offering lectures and workshops at guilds, museums and university anthropology departments. “Teaching demands high-energy and intense focus,” she says. “Concentrating completely on someone else’s process, finding the blockages of their mind and helping to ease those, is enormously rewarding. Seeing people flower under your hands is miraculous.
“Milton grasped a long time ago that exposure to the arts is essential in developing healthy, balanced, creative human beings. During my lectures and classes, people are dazzled by the sophistication of these ancient techniques. They gain an interest and a respect. I’ve found honorable work in helping to preserve these beautiful and important traditions.” Erin E. Berg
dvanced Photography student Claire Robertson ’13 turned her lens on fellow students to promote a message of tolerance and inclusion. Claire, a board member of the student group GASP! (Gay and Straight People), says the independent project was inspired by the NOH8 Campaign, a photographic silent protest created by celebrity photographer Adam Bouska in response to the passage of Proposition 8 in California.
NOH8 In the official campaign, various celebrities appear posed with duct tape covering their mouths and “NOH8” written on their cheeks. Claire and other GASP! members decided to give the project a Milton spin. Claire put out a call for student volunteers via email and word of mouth. She was amazed when 26 students showed up in the Art and Media Center for the photo shoot. “People I did not expect to be interested came by for the shoot. The experience reminded me that, at Milton, people will help you and support your work,” says Claire.
Fall 2012 31
32 Milton Magazine
Photographs by Claire Robertson â€™13
Fall 2012 33
Student Journalism in 2012: Deﬁning the craft, and learning accountability
ilton graduates beginning in the late 1980s remember looking forward to Friday mornings, when The Milton Paper, Milton’s independent student newspaper, was hot off the press. With a dedicated following and a proud staff, the Paper has always been a strong publication. When Adam Beckman ’12 and Cydney Grannan ’12 became editors-in-chief, they decided to define and meet a new level of quality, while print and online publications in the public domain were busy sorting out this issue for themselves. What should “their public,” Cydney and Adam effectively asked, be able to expect from reporters, writers and editors? Cydney and Adam’s top priority was upgrading their peers’ writing. Reaching their goal, the pair thought, would demand bold steps, as editors and leaders. They began by asking former writers to reapply for their positions; committing to reject any articles that didn’t make the grade; appointing at least three editors to every article; and providing constant feedback. Once their student staff was in place, they connected student journalists with professional journalists, on campus, who would talk with them about the field today. Adam, Cydney and their editorial board independently contacted professionals in Greater Boston. Three career journalists
34 Milton Magazine
accepted the students’ invitation. The result was a powerful series of intimate workshops and seminars for the staffs of the Paper, and the School’s official student newspaper, the Milton Measure. Helen Smith—an award-winning journalist who has worked with high school writers for decades—held the first workshop. In a highly interactive class on sports writing, she advised students on topics, writing style, and section layout. Cynthia Needham ’95, metro political editor for the Boston Globe, spoke with students about the daily schedule and pace of a newspaper. She focused on writing strong ledes, handling difficult interviewees, and keeping personal views out of articles. She answered the student writers’ questions: How do you angle a news article without coming across as biased? What do you do when your sources don’t want you to print the piece? How do you edit without removing the writer’s voice? Martin Baron, editor of the Boston Globe, concluded the series. In a packed room he spoke about his career experience and the responsibilities of “watchdog journalism.” Mr. Baron focused on the purpose of journalism: to inform on the facts, and to keep people—individuals, organizations, corporations—honest.
Fall 2012 35
A Facelift Adam and Cydney purposefully shifted the look of The Milton Paper this year. For the first time in its 33-year history, the publication would include photography, and layout would become the responsibility of a dedicated staff member. With the
help of savvy classmates, they developed and launched The Milton Paper Web site, making room for extended content and broadening their audience. Check out the online version of The Milton Paper at: www.themiltonpaper.org.
faculty and administration. We have to take our whole audience into consideration— that includes parents, grandparents and alumni, too.” The Paper’s broad audience was one reason the editors didn’t publish the traditional “sin poll” this year. In theory, this feature showed statistics drawn from anonymous polling of Milton students’ supposed transgressions. Adam and Cydney acknowledge that the information had typically been inaccurate and fabricated for shock value. “Even though that was a popular issue with students, we had to ask what purpose it served,” Cydney says. “We wanted to provide a full and accurate picture of Milton to people outside of the community. Blowing something out of proportion isn’t reporting on the facts.” The two relied on each other and on their editorial team—Hannah and Christine, Keyon Vafa ’12 and Henry Green ’12— in making decisions and initiating difficult conversations. By the middle of the year, their staff understood clearly what the standard was each week. They realized that, in print, their words were powerful and lasting.
The challenges Adam and Cydney had to help reporters distinguish between strong English essays and good news articles—especially considering the limited space for news columns, and readers who skim. The Paper’s solution was mini-paragraphs, purposeful layout, and constant feedback. “Good news writers approach a piece thinking, ‘I didn’t know about this before, and I want to learn about it,’ rather than, ‘How do I feel about this?’” Cydney says. “This is a shift for Milton students, who are used to being asked, ‘How do you feel about Moby Dick?’ and not, ‘What literary tools did Melville use?’” The team assigned articles that would provoke conversation—on topics like Milton’s sanctuary policy, racial diversity, college
36 Milton Magazine
counseling, and gender gaps. They achieved unbiased points of view by addressing compelling issues that inherently had two sides. “It sounds counterintuitive, but we love our School so much that we feel the need to think critically about how it works, and to make it better,” says Adam. News editors Christine Cahill ’12 and Hannah Grace ’12 demanded that writers include multiple sources. “If you’re writing an article about a School policy that isn’t popular with students and the whole article is quotes from students, that’s probably not a balanced approach,” says Adam. Cydney says that getting students to read The Paper, instead of flipping immediately to the humor page, was a major goal. “It sounds like a humble goal, but it’s a big one,” she says. “At the same time, our largest and most thoughtful readership is the
Another challenge for Cydney and Adam was finding balance. They wanted to create the best product possible each week, but at what cost? For instance, Adam asked, at what point does it stop making sense for Cydney to rewrite an editorial for the fourth time? “Sometimes I felt the value of my work, which had taken hours, was diminished when it ran beside a piece that someone spent 30 minutes writing and didn’t research well,” says Cydney. “The truth is that people have different priorities. The Paper was a part-time job for me, but it was just one of many activities for some of our writers. They were all, in the end, high school volunteers. I learned not to put a value judgment on that commitment.” Another balancing act was tending relationships with interviewees and sources. Finding the truth while maintaining trust was key. “Being dogmatic with the administration might work one time, but probably not twice,” says Cydney. Some faculty members would only allow writers to quote them if they could review the article before it went to print. After discussing
Accolades Cydney and Adam entered The Milton Paper into the American Scholastic Press Association (ASPA) Annual Review and Contest Awards this spring, hoping to gain useful feedback as they shaped and changed the publication. They won first place in their classification.
The ASPA awards points and provides detailed advice on page design, story layout, graphics, headlining, cover design, advertising placement, photography and a variety of other elements. The Milton Paper received a total of 870 points out of 1,000. Some of the highest-ranked areas included content coverage and page design, two areas the editors focused on this year.
People publish their opinions, or make mistakes, and readers comment immediately. Missteps go viral, and writers learn how accountable they are.
The takeaways “This job might have been one of the trickiest working situations I’ll ever be in,” says Adam. “I’m managing my six best friends from high school, who are working for free! I’m critiquing their work and making decisions they’re not happy with, all while meeting deadlines. “That said, I’ve learned how to work with very smart and talented people, and I know the importance of hearing different perspectives. You have to let go of your opinion being the most important. I’ve been surprised and impressed by how well we’ve learned to disagree with one another. We had honest conversations and then moved on. It was a bizarrely mature experience.” “At the beginning I reacted emotionally to people disagreeing with me, or disliking my editorial,” says Cydney. “I had to break it down: What does it mean that I disagree with this person? What does it mean that we didn’t go with my editorial this week? Approaching issues logically, keeping them in a rational perspective, made them easier to process. I’ve become better at that. I’ve developed a thicker skin, and I’m more confident in handling myself that way.” “Sometimes we struggled with our editorials,” adds Adam. “Writing a 500-word piece, every week, about something significant at Milton was hard. The upside is that every week six students were thinking critically for five hours about a single facet of the School. That was one of our main contributions: reflecting on what we like about this place and what we’re proud of; what displeased us this week, how we would change it, and moving others to think about it, too.
the matter with the Paper’s faculty advisor, Paul Archer (Classics), Adam and Cydney decided that submitting quotes for review would detract from the integrity of the Paper and from their learning process. “If a source or a reader approached us with a strong reaction—especially a negative reaction—to something we printed, that would resonate,” says Adam. “It would make us
think and defend what we wrote, or perhaps concede that we could have done things differently. Giving others access to the writing before it made it to print would have been too much of a safety net.” Taking a risk, publishing something, and then dealing with the reverberations is a real, live process in the blogosphere.
“There’s nothing better than overhearing someone say, ‘Did you read that article?’ or ‘I really disagree with that.’ We loved talking with people who had a problem with something we’d written, because it meant they were reading! For those nine months, if I had something to say, I could write about it, or talk about it with someone else who would write it. We had a venue to be heard. What a privilege.” Erin E. Berg
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Talking It Out in Grade 2
t can start with a simple misunderstanding over whose turn is next. A child whispers to another and someone feels left out. A ball is grabbed playfully, or not so playfully, and there is foot-stamping outrage. Every day in classrooms, hallways and playgrounds, conflicts big and small play out between children of all ages. Equipping them with the tools to manage these conflicts is an important part of early childhood education, particularly in second grade. “Second grade is a big year, socially,” says Sachiyo Unger, Grade 2 teacher in Milton’s K–8. “The academic piece goes hand in hand with the social element, which is a major part of growth for these 7- and 8-yearolds, as they figure out where they stand. The students have many more words and ways to express themselves, but they don’t know how to deliver their feelings.”
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In Sachiyo’s and Tasha Summers’s classrooms, students gather in an “open circle” once a month to learn skills that will help them deal with conflict. The curriculum is based on the book Talk It Out: Conflict Resolution in the Elementary Classroom. The goal is keeping the children’s conflict between the children. Using the Talk It Out method, a teacher stays emotionally neutral and helps the students figure out, on their own, how to solve conflict. During open circle the two classes meet together, and the children physically sit in a circle facing one another and their teachers. “In the open circles we create an environment that involves cooperation,” says Sachiyo. “The children want to learn about this material, and they are so engaged. We provide a lot of examples and scenarios. To keep the environment safe, students aren’t allowed to use specific names when describing real situations.”
One teacher writes down the children’s thoughts as the other teacher leads the discussion. In a previous session students worked on using “I” statements, and a poster on the wall reminds students what an “I” statement is: I (feeling) when you (specific behavior) because it affects me).
In today’s session, Sachiyo asks the students how many of them have used “I” statements since they last talked. A few hands shoot up and she calls on one boy to share his example. “I felt bad when you stole my ball because I was playing with it.” “Great, you told the person how you felt and why,” says Sachiyo. “Now what would an example of a ‘You’ statement be in that situation?”
“You stole my ball!” “Yes, and this is what people say when they don’t have self-control and just blurt out their feelings. The other person will probably get defensive. But sometimes you are so angry that controlling yourself is difficult. What can you do then?” asks Sachiyo. “You can step back,” says one girl. Another says, “You should think, ‘I’m not going to do this’ and have positive energy.” At this point, Sachiyo stresses that a child should not just walk away to avoid the conflict. “If you are so mad you are about to cry or say mean things, you can step away, collect yourself, and cool down. However, you need to come back and let the person know how you feel. You can wait one recess time, but not days and days.”
In open circle, Sachiyo says the “students always have great examples. They take the lesson to a new level, and they want to figure out how to make the situations better, especially because they are going to be together for many years. They want to be in a cooperative environment.” As the book stresses, conflict is natural. Everyday conflicts such as teasing, not sharing, taking toys, cutting in line, and telling secrets are normal interactions between children. It takes time, maturity, and help from adults for children to learn effective conflict resolution—a skill that even adults have trouble mastering. “Second graders are still very young to completely resolve their problems on their own,” says Tasha. “Resolving conflict is hard work, and they need help. When we talk about this as a class, the students have
all the right answers and they’re sharing. When it comes to being in the midst of an actual conflict, however, they still get stuck. Though we give them these tools and the language to work through things, they still need us to remind them: ‘Did you use your “I” statement’? They always feel better when they return to the situation and use some of the tools we’ve taught them.” One of the important tools the teachers impart is the act of listening. Sachiyo moves the discussion in that direction after one student says, “Sometimes, the ‘I’ statement doesn’t work.” Sachiyo affirms the student’s concern and points out that this is usually because the other person is not listening.
Taking turns is an important lesson in Tasha Summers’s Grade 2 classroom. Fall 2012 39
“If you listen, the other person might listen to you, rather than both of you talking and yelling over one another,” says Sachiyo. “If you listen, you might solve the problem more quickly.” She then has students discuss what good and bad listening looks like and how you know when someone is not listening to you. They move on to finding a fair solution—a topic they spend time on during each open circle. By focusing on each child’s need during a disagreement, they can work toward finding a compromise. For example: If one student wants to read during recess and another wants to build with blocks, the reader wants silence and the block builder
wants to make noise. In the end, the students come up with the solution of splitting recess into reading time and block time. “It may take a while to get there, but walking through the steps of compromising helps the students realize that problems have more than one solution,” says Sachiyo. “It takes patience and listening to each other to figure out how both needs can be met.” Sachiyo concludes the open circle by reminding students that “conflict resolution does not mean one of us has to be right. Both perspectives are valid. Everyone has feelings, and sometimes no one is right or wrong—that is just how they feel.”
Sachiyo Unger helps her second graders ﬁnd the language to express themselves clearly and effectively.
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“Does someone have to be right?” Sachiyo asks the students. “No!” they shout. “Can you both be wrong?” “Yes!” they answer enthusiastically. The students untangle their crossed legs, stand, and stretch before getting back to their school day, with a larger set of skills for handling the everyday trials of second grade. Liz Matson
facult y perspec tive A 14-Minute Talk For Seniors: A Reflection on Spending Time
ome of the very best moments of my year have been running with Malia. She’s my daughter, 10 years old and coltish, limby and awkward, ankles poking out of her pants, her foot already a women’s size nine. But she’s all-girl, too—breathless and silly, amused by her sister’s potty humor and still willing to snuggle. “Wanna go for a run, honey?” I say to her after school, and she says, “Sure,” every time. Running had become a tedious routine, the washed-up athlete in me needing to hold on to the daily run, an efficient way to keep in shape, to claim a little for me at the end of a day spent on others. Mr. Chung had always said, “But just wait, you’ll turn 40 and your knees will start hurting,” and by the time they did in December, I had already contemplated giving up running altogether in favor of the midlife fast-walk so popular with suburban women. But then Malia says, “Sure,” and we tie on our running shoes, head out, and as soon as we leave the driveway, she starts talking: “Today at school Danny said that bad word and Cody laughed, and Mom, I think my body’s changing the way you said it would, and why won’t you please let me read The Hunger Games?” I could take the time now to reprimand her about this morning’s bad behavior, when she flipped out about her knotted hair, when she harangued her baby sister for crayoning on her homework, but I don’t, because I am intoxicated with her. With each step, my head sings, “She’s all mine, she’s all mine, she’s all mine,” knowing that down the road, around the corner, she won’t be mine. She’ll be someone’s employee, someone’s lover, someone’s mother, no longer mine—not like this. I could take the time now to warn her, “You know, someday you’ll have bigger than knotted-hair problems. Someday your heart will break. Someday you might feel like
you’ve got to wear this and behave like that to be the kind of girl other people want,” but I don’t, because I’m intoxicated with her, her spastic stride, her once-in-a-while need to walk, to smell that low-hanging flower, to kick the stone in our path. Now, my knees don’t hurt. Now, I don’t even know I’m running, and I have to swallow down the catch in my throat that says, “But there’s not enough time.” We never have enough time. How many times a day do we say, “I’d love to, but I just don’t have the time”? Worse, how many times do we commit to something, knowing that we’ll never give it the time we’d like, the time it deserves?
Now, I don’t even know I’m running, and I have to swallow down the catch in my throat that says, “But there’s not enough time.” Within my own discipline, across centuries of literature, our struggle with time is alive and well: It drives character conflict; it determines structure; it writes theme. Maybe you remember the visiting writer Rick Moody and his repeated line, “Boys enter the house. Boys enter the house,” from his story “Boys,” which collapses a family’s lifetime into a few pages, exposing
the elasticity of time: how a life lived feels instant and interminable at once. I hope you’ve read Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved, which reveals, through the ghost Beloved’s graphic haunting, our psychological experience of time—how vigorously the past can penetrate and occupy the present. And just last week for the first time, I read Tomas Tranströmer, the 2011 Nobel Prize winner in poetry. His translated prose poem “The Nightingale in Badelunda” reminds us of how time, if we are lucky, might but for a moment disappear altogether. The final lines read, “Time streams down from the sun and the moon and into all the tick-tockthankful clocks. But right here there is no time. Only the nightingale’s voice, the raw resonant notes that whet the night sky’s gleaming scythe.” But time doesn’t really disappear, our growing up irrefutable proof of its forward march, and our individual maturation marked by a deepening sense of how ultimately temporary our physical lives are. When we individuals assemble into cultures, a dominant view of time emerges; how a culture views and spends time profoundly impacts how we live. Let me try to detail this. Child psychologist Michael Thompson, author of many books, including the New York Times best seller Raising Cain, spoke to Lower School parents last fall. Twenty years ago, he noted, American children had, on average, twenty more hours of free time per week. My own childhood, probably much like the childhoods of most of the adults in this room, was indeed filled with free, open-ended, unscripted time. My mother would kick us out of the house at the beginning of a summer day, and we would stumble back when the streetlights came on. With our neighborhood gang, we raced bikes, built Fall 2012 41
tree houses, wrote and performed plays, constructed massive snow forts—all of the activity decided by us, and left totally unmonitored by adults. Thompson’s research has found that most of the free time that so many of us once enjoyed is now consumed by organized town sports, run by adults and largely for adults. Likely, there are a host of good reasons why we adults fill your time these days with sports, with lessons and camps, with structured play dates, with opportunities you might not discover or have access to if left to your own devices, but in doing so, we take away something else: the chance for you to choose how to fill your own time. As a coach of my daughter’s soccer team, I’m totally implicated. But in the very moment I race my children out the door to make a practice time, I’m aware that I’m robbing them of something critical to their development as fully autonomous people: free time in which to screw up or to discover a passion, free time to sit and watch a day pass, free time to practice spending free time. In other words, how our culture teaches its children to spend time—how we teach you—has changed in very recent history. So, too, has our life pace. Increasingly, no news to you, we Americans, adults and children, run ourselves ragged with busyness—and for most of us, this raggedness is precisely the mark of a day well lived, a measure of significant productivity. We log the hours. We punch the clock. Counterintuitively, technology, for all its immense value, hasn’t helped Americans work less or slow down. In fact, its perversion of our natural “real-time” speed of human contact has resulted in American workers racing to get more done, more quickly, in order to stay competitive in a global marketplace. In 1965, a U.S. Senate subcommittee predicted that, due to technology, “Americans would be working only about 20 hours a week by the year 2000, while taking seven weeks or more of vacation a year.” Just across the ocean, the situation looks different. Europeans work, by choice and government support, 85 percent as many hours as Americans, and vacation more—a mandatory four weeks of vacation a year to our one—and are happier, statistically, than Americans in their workplaces. While our own productivity fuels a consumer culture, Europeans have translated productivity into leisure: a philosophical difference that shapes both work and home environments. 42 Milton Magazine
Here’s the point: The way a culture views time is merely expressed social behavior, one cultural convention, sustained by reigning philosophical and spiritual traditions, and in place, likely, to serve established systems of power. In other words, we spend time in a particular way, because to do so serves the priorities of those in power.
How our culture teaches its children to spend time has changed in very recent history. We Americans, adults and children, run ourselves ragged with busyness—and for most of us, this raggedness is precisely the mark of a day well lived, a measure of significant productivity. Travel the globe, and you will see proof of this. The writer John Edgar Wideman, an old teacher and mentor of mine, explains that linear time, time that progresses from point A to point B, is a Western convention, one that arose with a Judeo-Christian tradition, where our existence begins with the act of creation by God and ends with an apocalypse—a convention still dominant, in large part, because of Christianity’s dominance in Western culture. With the Industrial Revolution during the mid-19th century and the spread of railways, linear time became an organizing principle for our increasingly complex society. With the new need for coordinated schedules to move people smoothly from point A to B,
clock-time spread, the clock now a major symbol of Western society. Not surprising, the language of business and commodity coopted time: for us, “time is money,” to be “spent,” “wasted,” or “saved.” But linear time is opposed to the concept of circular time, embraced by ancient and indigenous cultures and philosophical and spiritual traditions, such as Buddhism and Hinduism. Anthropologists note that many Latin American, Asian, African and Arabic cultures live by this more fluid, organic sense of time, where life is often viewed as an endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth, repeating and continuous, and mimicking the rhythms of the natural world. Chronemics, the study of the use of time in nonverbal communication, argues that how cultures view time fundamentally affects all aspects of daily behavior, from how long we spend at the dinner table, to what images we find beautiful, to what our governments fund, to how we structure a school day. Cultures that perceive time circularly prize human relationships and community over a precise accounting of time. They look to the past for insight, honoring traditions and the wisdom of elders, in contrast with a linear culture’s focus on the future, on rugged individualism and aggressive problem solving, on “closing the deal,” and on a youth culture virile enough to drive progress. This might help explain why we propose Medicare cuts at the same time we spend billions of dollars to stay young; elective plastic surgeries are on the rise even in our economic downturn. Or why, during the school or workweek, we consider each passing day as just one day closer to the weekend. Referring to the challenges of U.S.-Japanese diplomacy, our former ambassador in Tokyo noted, “We’re too fast, they’re too slow.” Travel unveils the truth that there is no single way to live. Our family traveled to Costa Rica for spring break, where we met many expats who had left jobs and lives in this country to reinvent the way they spend time: a Wall Street banker transformed into a sustainable living advocate; a lawyer now a surf instructor. But maybe more importantly, travel permits us new perspective on our own lives; only when we move outside of our lives’ habits are we able to view them more critically. I can’t help but remember the comments of the students that we chaperoned on the first community-service trip to Belize, now five
years ago. We had been forced to leave technology behind: no Internet and no phone service. Unexpectedly, students discovered this tech-free living profoundly freed them. They marveled, “There is so much more time in the day!” Voyages inward also allow us such insight. You remember the poet Li-Young Lee’s visit here in February, a visit that affected many of you. Practicing Eastern spirituality, he spoke of the creation of art as “yogic,” a form of meditation that allows us to access our more true selves. Broadly defined, meditation asks us to pay attention, to be mindful of immediate sensation through focused, concentrated looking. All of you in this room have experienced the creative process, the eerie thrill of doing something you love—writing a poem, performing a dance, playing a game—and losing yourself completely in the experience; suddenly hours have passed in an instant. When we reemerge from these creative meditations, we feel clearer, truer—more aware of who we are amidst the world we live in, more fully and uniquely present, for the very reason that we have, for even a brief stretch, taken back time. I urge you to watch the moving TEDtalk (at TED.org) by brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor. In the midst of a stroke in the left hemisphere of her brain, she watched her own brain functions shut down, one by one: motion, speech, memory, and ultimately self-awareness. The left side of the brain is the side that thinks linearly and methodically, that categorizes information, that assigns us names and jobs and histories to distinguish us each from anyone else on this planet. With the stroke leaving her left brain dysfunctional, Taylor experienced life with only the right side of her brain, the side that exists profoundly within the present moment, the right here, right now, through pictures and sensations, the side that feels connected to the collective of our human species. And though severely disabled, Taylor articulates experiencing nirvana— her sensations akin to a “genie released from a bottle,” her spirit “a giant whale gliding through the sea of euphoria.” Though it took radical surgery to remove a golf ball–size blood clot from the left side of her brain and eight years to recover, she views the stroke as an enormous gift of illumination. Suddenly, she realized that she could choose to leave behind the left
hemisphere and live, even momentarily, in this more fluid, beautiful, connective space of the present.
We had been forced to leave technology behind: no Internet and no phone service. Unexpectedly, students discovered this tech-free living profoundly freed them. They marveled, “There is so much more time in the day!” Seniors, it is nearly your time to leave Milton. You are on the eve of much more independence, free from your parents’ and Milton’s rules, and about to experience more free time than you have had here. But I believe that you will discover full autonomy only if you are willing to thoughtfully choose how to spend time. To choose might be a revolutionary act: one that throws out, or at the very least questions, the time structure prescribed to you from childhood. To choose thoughtfully requires that you ask radical questions of yourselves, like, “But how do I pass a meaningful day?” and questions of institutions, like, “How might we at Milton Academy best express our educational priorities in how we structure a day?” and questions of reigning cultural norms, like, “What impact, on health, on family, on social justice, has the fact that 29 percent of Americans receive no paid time off?” To choose might be a political statement: one that urges others to examine critically the cultural behaviors that we too quickly assume bind us.
Seniors, next year make a point of meeting people, adults and peers, who consider and teach time differently; learn from them. Travel as much and as widely as you can, so you might discover new possibilities for your own life. Next year, resist, at least at first, the urge to fill the free time you have. And, because you can, choose to take back time, for sustained stretches or for even brief moments, by inhabiting the present world around you with intense focus and attention. The longer we spend with something, the more compassion we feel for it, I believe. You know this from spending time with people; the longer you spend talking to someone, without interruption, really talking, really hoping to understand that other person, the more you uncover meaningful connection. When I run with Malia, nothing stands between us: her stories are mine to protect, her heart is mine, her air mine. When we choose to slow, to be truly mindful, we discover the real richness and joy of being here in our bodies, on this planet. I am certain of this. Choose, even once in a while, to leave the structure of these busy days of ours and notice, say, in this very room on this very evening, the quality of the room’s light, the movement of the air through the glass of these big windows, the energy transmitted from the person next to you, the breath that passes religiously in and out of your body. There is so much to feel. Suddenly you and I do have time—suddenly, in fact, we have all the time in the world. And if you look hard enough, you’ll notice that, in this very room, you are amidst staggering beauty. Lisa Baker, English Department
Editor’s note: Class I students have launched a new tradition. In recent years, they have invited members of the faculty to address the class on a spring evening in Straus Library: to give a 14-minute talk. Faculty, honored to be chosen, think carefully about the words they wish to share with students who want to carry memories with them as they go. Along with Lisa Baker, four faculty gave “14-minute talks.” They included Lamar Reddicks (athletics), Joshua Emmott (history), Miles Bailey (admission), Susan Marianelli (performing arts) and Elizabeth Lillis (science).
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cl a ssroom Anatomy of a 1212 Performance
s the audience filters out of each 1212 performance, the final scene has yet to unfold. Peter Parisi, performing arts department chair and director, gathers the small cast and crew around him. Together, they absorb the evening’s performance before scattering to collect the congratulations. This moment culminates months of work—planning, auditioning, reading, memorizing, staging and rehearsing.
The play that Peter and company staged in February 2012 was Love and Intrigue by Friedrich Von Schiller, a German dramatist and major figure in German literature in the late 1700s. Peter came across an opera version and decided the dramatic, powerful story was just right. In the play, with overtones of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Prince Ferdinand wants to marry Luise Miller, the bourgeois daughter of a fiddler teacher. Ferdinand’s powerful, sinister father and a beautiful and shrewd mistress stand in his way.
Auditions and Alchemy In an intimate space in Kellner Performing Arts Center, just before Thanksgiving break, students audition for one of nine roles. At the table sits Peter’s student directorial team: Emilie Trehu ’12 and Adele Huughe (I). This is Emilie’s fifth 1212 play. “I respect their opinions and trust them,” says Peter. A whirlwind of coordination, Peter makes quick decisions, pairs students up, hands out scenes, and sends them into the hallway to practice: “Feel free to take some risks,” he says. “Go practice and have fun!” In twos and threes the students return and read through scenes. He switches some 44 Milton Magazine
students’ roles or partners. Action is fastpaced and a few students stand out, such as Sage Warner (I), who will ultimately play Lady Milford, the prince’s mistress, and Caleb Warren (I), who will play the Chancellor, Ferdinand’s father. “Auditions help give us a clear picture,” says Emilie. “Along with what you expect to see, there are surprises. We give people direction to see how they take it. If they bristle, we know they won’t take direction well during production.” “It’s a complicated alchemy,” says Peter, deciding with his team who should be called back for the second round. “Does the student understand the words in front of him? Is she able to connect with her scene partners? Where do they fall in the big picture? Sometimes you’re comparing two strong actors. In the end, you have to go with your gut.”
Milton’s 1212 plays started in Room 1212 Warren Hall nearly 40 years ago. They evolved from play readings to staged productions under the direction of Nina Seidenman, who, in 1998, passed the torch to Peter Parisi. When Warren Hall was renovated in 2002, Room 1212 made way for new English department classrooms, and the 1212 productions relocated to Wigg Hall. The philosophy remains: intimate productions with minimal technical demands and challenging material for actors and audience.
Of the 18 students posted on the callback list, 16 appear for the second round. During another long afternoon of scene readings, Peter gives a bit more direction: “I want to see what you are thinking. Control your physicals. Use the space and walk around.” The hardest part for Peter and his team is assigning the nine roles. Once the final cast list is posted on the door, it’s time to get on with the show.
Practice and Progress After Thanksgiving break, rehearsals begin. With no set yet, standing on the raised floor that curves along the outside wall of Wigg, actors clutch scripts and read scenes, their interactions stilted and tentative. “This text is challenging and dense,” Peter says. “Be kind to yourselves; getting through this will take time.” The “dense” text moves through passion, anger, betrayal and death. Scenes can call for physical ardor and violence—heavy
material for teenagers, but Peter treats his students like professional actors. They will be together every day until performances in late February. He pushes them to work hard, but he also keeps the atmosphere fun. “We laugh a lot. We use humor,” says Peter. “I try to be respectful of their time. Some days I sense they are tired and I’m tired, so I just let them go for the day.” Peter is a ball of energy, often surpassing his students’ pace. As they work, he elicits their feedback on the lines—sometimes changing or deleting words and paragraphs because they sound awkward, repetitive or overwrought. During this phase, Peter sometimes interrupts after every line. Getting through one page of script can take an hour. “What are you thinking at that moment that line comes out?” he asks constantly, prodding the actors to probe their characters’ motives and thoughts.
Progress means moving from reading lines to working on entering scenes and blocking movements around the stage. In the first scene, the young Ferdinand (Sam Audette, Class I) enters the house of the pious and pure Luise Miller (Cary Williams ’12). In this scene, Luise rushes over to Ferdinand and they embrace. Their first attempt is so awkward that everyone bursts into laughter. They will redo this entrance over and over in the weeks to come until the embrace is natural and conveys the love between these characters. “Feeling a scene work is great,” says Cary. “When we first did it well, we both felt it, and we knew why and how it worked. Those are really rewarding moments.” Eric Bohn ’12, playing the flamboyant palace aide and gossip Hoffmarschall Von Kalb, relishes the role. Eric is comfortable onstage, but Peter wants to tamp down some of the excess.
“You’re still figuring out how he moves and sounds,” says Peter. “I appreciate the experimentation. I would take him down a notch or two, but I like how you are taking a risk.” Eric listens and redoes the scene. “I like the more subtle choices. This is more honest,” Peter tells Eric. Peter does not hold back the critiques, which are both funny and dead-on. He moves around the room, tossing out bon mots with exaggerated flair. “No, you are giving me crazy Muppet.” “Why do you sound like Maya Angelou reading a poem?” “Boring!” he yells after emitting a loud snore. “Mr. Parisi shows you how you are doing it wrong, in a fun way. Then you get to choose the right way to do it. It’s more effective than his just saying ‘I think you should do it this way,’” says Caleb.
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Peter is also generous and detailed with his praise. Natalie Solomon ’12, a seasoned Milton actor and production team member, plays Frau Miller, Luise’s mother. “I like what you are doing here,” Peter tells her. “You are really listening to her, which is good because you are her mother. You were fantastic. That was a touching moment.” Peter works hard to help the actors understand the subtext of their lines and how gestures can communicate what isn’t spoken. “The audience only gets one shot. They don’t have the text in front of them,” says Peter. “You have to understand what you are saying and convey that.” The play contains many long monologues, and rehearsals focus attention on these. “My role is manipulative, assuming and arrogant,” says Caleb, who has a few intense monologues. “For me, memorizing the lines are a major hurdle, but as I’m getting over that, the lines are coming out more naturally.” 46 Milton Magazine
Peter gets the actors into their characters’ heads. “He’s an awful, awful person,” Peter tells Rick Dionne (III) of his character. “He has such rage. Just think of his name: Wurm. The way people look at him and treat him. He’s a sociopath if there ever was one.” A scene between the Chancellor and his son Ferdinand gets physical, calling for Caleb to grab Sam by the neck and push him down. They redo the scene over and over under Peter’s watchful eye. “Think about how you move, the intensity, the pace. Right now I’m watching Sam and Caleb, not the characters, and that is boring.” Peter treats all the roles as important. Conrad Tyler (III), a new actor, plays the Chancellor’s page, a minor role. His character announces visitors and takes capes and hats. Peter shows Conrad how his tone in announcing a character, or his reaction to holding Hoffmarschall’s scarf, can add subtext.
After winter break, the cast confronts the biggest challenge yet: going “off book.” At first, holding their scripts is permitted, but only for a necessary look. The next week, without scripts, many actors aren’t sure what to do with their hands. They call for lines when they forget; Adele reads them for the actor to repeat. While working on remembering their lines, many speak softly and their characters’ emotions are missing. Confidence does grow, and actors start to project. Props begin to appear on the set. 1212 is known for the sparse sets: a table, a few chairs, pens and paper on a desk. The simple props add to the action without overwhelming it. “I love that the 1212 is less about staging and more about the character’s roots and the acting itself,” says Eric. “This gives way to truer emotions and moments that feel very real to us and to our characters.” The bar is raised another notch in rehearsals, and the actors can no longer call for lines.
notes and the actors write down his pointers in their notebooks. He notes lines that worked and that didn’t. He reenacts scenes to show them how they need to play. By 10 p.m., it’s a wrap, and the actors need to finish any schoolwork and get some sleep before the next day’s classes.
At the end of Act Four, emotion leadens the air as the Chancellor weeps over two bodies: his son Ferdinand has poisoned Luise and then himself. At the close, the audience bursts into applause. The cast, drained from the rigor of the performance, but glowing and proud, lines up for their bow.
When everyone but the cast has dispersed, Peter gathers them to review the night’s performance. “What moments were positive, effective?” he asks.
Friday night, the second of three consecutive performance nights, brings heavy rain. More than 100 people—faculty, students and parents—wait in the hallway for the doors to open. The room fills with chatty and excited energy. Lights dim, the music is cued and Act One unfolds. Ferdinand’s love for Luise is written on his face. Frau Miller and Miller (Oliver Bok, Class I) banter and bicker like an old married couple. Lady Miller, regal and confident in her black lace dress, also conveys her vulnerability and sadness. The Chancellor towers physically over everyone, a looming, menacing presence. The Hoffmarschall is all color and wit while Wurm oozes around the stage, a terrifying character. All the actors have nailed down how to communicate with their eyes and gestures. As Act One concludes, the story’s intensity sits heavy on the silent audience.
The actors, in turn, graciously praise their peers for particular scenes and chemistry. The actors will take these thoughts into their final performance the following night. “I was so pleased with the casting and how the play turned out,” says Peter. “I was pleased by how the students understood and embraced the words and language, how they understood the literature and then made choices to bring it to life. One moment in rehearsals, I asked Caleb how he was tapping into his feelings toward his son Ferdinand and he answered, ‘Because I see his mother.’ Well, the script never refers to the mother! That’s the kind of leap you want an actor to make. Ah, yes!” Liz Matson
“If you are struggling for a line, think about what you want to say in this moment with this person, and it will come to you,” says Peter. “Make sure you are listening to each other.” During the week of the performances, “run week,” major and minor decisions must be made regarding costumes, music and lighting. Flyers are designed, printed and hung around campus by the actors. Tickets are “sold” during lunches at Forbes. “This is the most stressful time,” says Emilie. “We still want to get so much done. But it will come together. It always comes together.” At the dress rehearsal, they first run through the beginning and ending of each scene to check scene queues, shifts and prop placement. Then Peter gives the command: run the play from beginning to end. “This is a rehearsal. We might stop, but I hope we don’t have to.” Peter perches in different audience seats, taking notes. At the end he goes over the Fall 2012 47
he ad of school Dare to Be True, the Version with Love
don’t naturally fall into reflective rhythms during the year, and I relish the opportunity summer brings to slow down and reflect. Marlborough, New Hampshire, where my wife Nancy and I have been going since we were 18 years old, is one of those places that actually feels lost in time. Recently, I had the opportunity to hear some particularly apt reflections from the Right Reverend Mark Beckwith, Bishop of Newark, New Jersey. Bishop Beckwith talked about the fundamental balance between truth and love. Love and truth cannot separately fulfill their potential, he said. They reach full expression working together. Truth without love is coarse and even dangerous. Love without truth is the worst version of a bad greeting card—sappy and vacuous. Their impact on our lives and environments is most effective when they are working dynamically as a pair; together, truth and love help create a world that is just and realistic, and at the same time caring and harmonious. People in every community need to trust one another, to have faith in one another. We have all felt the effect of a motivated group’s believing intensely in its own truth, but lacking appropriate respect, trust, faith, and in fact, love. Milton has always stood for excellent discourse. Today, some of the most powerful models for civil discourse are our own students. Bishop Beckwith made me think about Sam Schleifer ’11, a student speaker at his own graduation. Sam has an impressive intellect and a discernible edge. Adept at finding the “truth,” Sam earned the role of Milton Measure editor. Sam’s tendency was to be pugnacious; his attraction to “gotcha” journalism made certain administrators
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a little uneasy, as he took up the editorial reins. Like many other Milton students, Sam learned to balance his irrepressible desire to impart the truth with a compassionate filter. One of the trickiest balancing acts for school editors and writers is generating humor that isn’t mean-spirited. Good humor has an edge, especially in high schools. Editorial staffs must balance the intense pressure to be outrageous—pushing past boundaries sometimes—and the need for appropriate care and empathy for the students, faculty and staff that surround them. Erring on the outrageous side can do real damage, creating laughs at others’ expense. On a notable occasion, the Milton Measure printed a simple, highly inappropriate tagline about a senior faculty member. Sam blew a gasket and engaged his peers about it on the spot. “How could we be so insensitive?” he wanted to know.
Having struggled intensely with himself, with his peers and with his conscience, Sam grew. Watching Sam grow, mature and ultimately express his profound gratitude for Milton was one of my proudest moments here. Many alumni ask, “Are you happy at Milton?” Our motto is central to my respect and affection for this School. When Milton is at its best, Dare to Be True not only proclaims the truth, it is enriched by love for justice, for integrity, for ideals, and for our fellow man. “Dare to be true,” our watchword, as well as one of our most revered School values, is more relevant than ever. Todd B. Bland Editor’s note: Mr. Bland shared these words with students and faculty at Convocation on September 7, 2012.
sp or t s Why respect your opponent? Teaching sportsmanship must be explicit, coaches find.
ports idols perform touchdown dances, update Twitter feeds constantly, and are often caught behaving badly off the field. Young athletes connected with social media are engulfed by an athletics culture where civility, respect and general sportsmanship are hard to find.
Neither athletes nor coaches can ignore the prevailing tides. In this environment, how do coaches impress student-athletes with the value of fair conduct; respect for opponents, teammates and officials; winning and losing graciously? How do you make sure athletes practice the skills that are bound to help them succeed in life? “Respecting your opponent is an important part of the game,” Milton’s Director of Athletics Lamar Reddicks tells his basketball players. “It’s the only time you’re going to face someone who is going through
exactly what you’re going through.” If you respect your game, Lamar points out, then it only makes sense to respect the player with the skill to oppose you.
level,” says head football coach and program veteran Kevin MacDonald. “The expectation that a coach communicates sets up the team dynamic.”
Varsity softball coach Amy Hickey agrees: “When you compete, you’re expressing a lot of passion and emotion—some positive, some negative. Practicing good sportsmanship is a reminder that you’re all civil people. Great athletes, and great coaches, weave those elements together.”
After tryouts, and before practices begin, coaches explicitly go over team rules and expectations—some passed along from the athletic director, others they develop based on their own experiences. Many of these points deal in concrete terms with sportsmanship and how players are expected to represent the program and their School.
Milton coaches view their roles broadly. They’re not just developing plays and driving winning seasons; they’re working to make sure team experiences help shape students’ approaches to challenges of all kinds, over time. “When the coach is a mercenary and not an educator, when his sole priority is to win and not to teach, that’s a problem at this
“My players physically sign the list of expectations so that they feel ownership,” says Anne Sheridan Quigley, head coach of girls’ lacrosse. “The students know right from wrong, but it often helps them when we’re specific and provide examples.” In turn, the expectation of the coach is that he or she will hold the line. “Once you lose credibility with your players, it’s very difficult to gain it back,” says Lamar. “If you don’t address something right away, you’re enabling the behavior. Even when your players act out of frustration, you have to hold them accountable.” Kevin shares a story of one lacrosse game when coach Derek Stolp’s team realized after their victory that they had had an extra player on the field—a detail the official had missed. Derek called the opposing team’s coach and the referee to report the news. “A victory is tainted when you know it wasn’t a fair win,” says Kevin. “Derek called for the same reason you call a ball out when the official wasn’t close enough to see. It’s the right thing to do. You can’t tell your players to do the right thing if you don’t do it yourself.” “The team represents Milton off the field as well,” adds Britney Carr, assistant athletic director and head field hockey coach. Fall 2012 49
“I make sure my team cleans up our bench area when the game is over. We thank the bus drivers when they drop us off. We leave a locker room the way we found it. Sportsmanship extends across a whole season.” Coaches may drive team expectations, but players implement them. Student leaders set the tone; captains and seniors influence the dynamic quite a bit. A teammate telling a player he or she has stepped out of line resonates more clearly than the same advice coming from an adult. The responsibility falls on the coach, however, to empower players and give them the confidence to speak up—to know that it’s not only allowed, but also the right thing to do. “We let our players know that it’s okay to hold one another accountable,” says Amy. “The whole ship can move forward if we’re all working positively in the same direction.”
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Most of the coaches agree that the level of sportsmanship has decreased over the years. Some credit bad habits picked up in youth sports programs; parents who overinvest time and money, skewing a fragile balance; precedents set by for-profit AAU programs and club teams. Things go quickly from participation trophies for all to cutthroat competition vying for a few top spots. “Children don’t have unstructured play anymore,” adds Kevin. “The decline of the multiple-sport athlete is a result of that, and a shame, I think. Today, young people train year-round for a single sport, which doesn’t allow for their working with different teammates, having different experiences and exposure.” “As a high school coach, you have to foster your players’ getting to know each other,” says Lamar. Every Saturday morning, before their afternoon home games, Lamar takes his basketball team to eat breakfast together in the dining hall. “I want my players to be around each other, to know each other and get a sense of the people they are off the field.”
“Many college athletes are good examples for our players,” adds Anne. “I take my team to college games to see positive examples of talented, hard-working, respectful athletes—role models for my players.” “Teaching what it means to be a teammate is also important,” says Britney. “I explain that they have to respect each other and work hard for one another, but that they don’t have to be best friends.” “At the end of the day, I want my girls to go as hard as possible,” adds Anne. “That doesn’t mean stopping play when someone falls to help them up and see if they’re okay. Of course I want them to be compassionate, but I also want them to be competitors. There’s a fine line between the two.” “In a really great season, you can have both,” adds Britney. “Nothing is better than being at the top of the league and winning the ISL sportsmanship award, too.” Erin E. Berg
Commencement 2012 G
raduation is rich with traditions and rituals— formal and informal. For instance, the longstanding practice of electing the student speakers assures seniors that at their last Milton gathering, they will hear messages from classmates they chose. More recently, Class I students have been inviting accomplished Milton alumni to be commencement keynote speakers. This year, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Class of 1974, talked with graduates in Straus Library, prior to the formal commencement ceremony. Brad Bloom, president of Milton’s board of trustees, introduced Governor Patrick, citing the governor’s “sense of reason, respect for everyone, and the civility that he brings to political discourse at a time when that is very rare.” After congratulating the graduates, the governor immediately welcomed their questions. His responses wove together his own stories, memories of years on the south side of Chicago as well as his time at Milton. He shared life lessons with Milton students headed off with many aspirations.
The challenge that we share is how to be great citizens. How do we show the sense of common cause, and reach for that sense of common destiny, which is going to be necessary for us to confront the big issues facing us as a country, as a globe? You’ve been well prepared for that at Milton, as I was, as were generations before me.
When I was here there were few black students on campus, and few poor students. I had this experience of having a foot in two worlds. The price of admis-
sion to the one was rejecting the other. When I talked with my pals at home about Milton, their eyes glazed over. My new friends were friendly and some quite marvelous, but they couldn’t process my descriptions of life at home. I felt forced to make a choice, but ultimately I realized that was a false choice. I realized I had to actually decide who I was, and then be that all the time. My real friends would accept that, no matter what. One of the reasons it feels easy for me to move among different settings is that I know who I am. I have a compass of my own, and I’m not worried about fitting in. Milton had a lot to do with that.
What I loved about Milton was that it was corny. We talked about daring to be true and what that meant. Today we are losing the ability to have a public discourse about values. At Milton we talked about values—it was part of English class, science class, dinner table conversations. To me that was transcendent. That talk made me feel bigger and made the community feel bigger. I’m grateful for that, and I hope it’s still the case here.
You have a surface appreciation, as I did at 18-years-old, about how many times the decisions in front of you will call into question your values. Hundreds of thousands of little decisions accumulate to who you are inside. It takes courage to make a decision you know to be right when you’re surrounded by people who think otherwise. Having the courage to make the decision and the stamina to stand up to those others voices is a big job.
In business, I was struck by the incredible pressure to achieve short-term results: to manage for the next quarter and sometimes
Governor Deval Patrick ’74
sacrifice the long-term success of the enterprise. I realized that was the way we were beginning to govern ourselves—for the next election cycle or the next news cycle, not making the hard decisions right now that will make things better for you and your children. I thought I had something to contribute around the idea of generational responsibility.
Sooner or later, you will have to help us start doing the things we need to do to make sure we leave this place better for those who come behind us. There’s a discipline in serving the greater good that we have to think about over and over again. Are we going to practice making compromises that we know are in our longterm best interest even though they are uncomfortable right now?
Don’t count out Milton as part of the real world. The world you’re about to inhabit is full of variety. It has beautiful green lawns, and abject poverty right next to it. It has limitless opportunity and
people who cannot pay the rent and the heat in the same month. That’s the world. It’s not that the people dealing with hardship are in the real world and others are not. There are people dealing with private crises and silent anxiety in all those worlds.
I remember as a student going home on vacation, going to meet someone in another part of town and I was late. I ran to jump on the bus and realized I didn’t have enough money for the fare. This grizzled bus driver looked at me with this withering expression and he said, “Sit down son.” I explained that I’d been away at school and hadn’t realized the fare had gone up. I thought he was going to kick me off at the next stop, but his expression softened, and he said, “Pass it on, son.” A simple act of grace that made me want to be a better man. You have that in your power—simple acts of grace. Use that power, especially when people don’t expect them, especially when it’s a stranger. You have that power. I hope you remember that. Fall 2012 51
Milton Academy 2012 Awards and Prizes Cum Laude Class I Nicole Elizabeth Baker-Greene Katherine Margaret Ballinger Adam Lawrence Beckman Maxwell Burgess Bennett Natasha Ankita Bhasin Kathryn Margaret Broderick Christine Young Cahill Hsuan-Wei Matthew Chen Anna Emily Childress Haeyeon Cho John Christopher Fay Jonathan Ralph Franco Hannah Elizabeth Grace Henry Streit Green Christine Marie Kalpin Vincent Churchward Kennedy Jeong A. Kim Juwon Kim Louis John McWilliams II Caroline Everett Moot Stephanie Tsz Yan Ng Jesse Davis Pagliuca Catharine Passavant Parker Elisabeth Baron Perold Penelope Maxim Reichenhall Travis Cody Sheldon Elizabeth Salee Stanfield *Gina Micaela Starfield Lily Ryan Steig Brian Loeber Trippe Keyon Vafa Cary Allain Williams Skyler Zee Williams Andy Shenghao Zhang
Class II Nelson Landers Barrette *elected to Cum Laude in 2011
The Head of School Award The Head of School Award is presented each year to honor and celebrate certain members of Class I for their demonstrated spirit of self-sacrifice, community concern, leadership, integrity, fairness, kindliness, and respect for others. Adam Lawrence Beckman Elizabeth Jane Bennett Merilin Castillo Jesse Daniel Francese Cydney Rose Grannan Sophie Elizabeth Janeway Martin David Kelley Page Travis Cody Sheldon
The James S. Willis Memorial Award To the Headmonitors Molly Beth Gilmore Thomas John Schnoor
William Bacon Lovering Award To a boy and a girl, chosen by their classmates, who have helped most by their sense of duty to perpetuate the memory of a gallant gentleman and officer. Jessica Blackwell Carlson Bright Osazemhen Osajie
The Louis Andrews Memorial Scholarship Award To a student in Class II who has best fulfilled his or her potential in the areas of intelligence, selfdiscipline, physical ability, concern for others and integrity. Jordan Fay Quintin
The Frank D. Millet Scholarship Award To a student who demonstrates moral integrity, supports classmates, and has established meaningful relationships with peers and faculty. The Millet scholar, by virtue of character and deeds, is an integral member of his or her class and shows great promise as a leader. Abigail Sterling Higgins
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Martin Page, Class of 2012 speaker
Cydney Grannan, Class of 2012 speaker
The Leo Maza Award
Harrison Otis Apthorp Music Prize
Awarded to a student or students in Classes Iâ€“IV, who, in working within one of the culture or identity groups at the School, has made an outstanding contribution to the community by promoting the appreciation of that group throughout the rest of the school.
Awarded in recognition of helpful activity in furthering in the School an interest and joy in music. Jesse Daniel Francese Vincent Churchward Kennedy Tiffany Thanh Nguyen
Adam Lawrence Beckman Kamyra Simone Edokpolor
The George Sloan Oldberg Memorial Prize
The H. Adams Carter Prize
Awarded in memory of George Oldberg â€™54 to members of the School who have been a unique influence in the field of music.
Awarded to the student or students who, in their years at Milton, have shown a dedication to the pursuit of outdoor skills, demonstrated strong leadership, and reached high levels of personal achievement in one or more outdoor activities. Joshua Daniel Ruder
The A. Howard Abell Prize Established by Dr. and Mrs. Eric Oldberg for students deemed exceptionally proficient or talented in instrumental or vocal music or in composition. Katherine Margaret Ballinger Nicholas Hoge Deveau Juwon Kim
James Delaney McHugh Elizabeth Salee Stanfield Keyon Vafa
The Science Prize Awarded to students who have demonstrated genuine enthusiasm, as well as outstanding scientific ability in physics, chemistry and biology. Ashley Young-Mi Bae Nicole Elizabeth Baker-Greene Victorine Patricia Muse Penelope Maxim Reichenhall Brian Loeber Trippe Skyler Zee Williams
Fall 2012 53
The Wales Prize Awarded in honor of Donald Wales who taught Class IV science for more than 36 years. It recognizes students in Class IV who have consistently demonstrated interest and excitement in science. Ellen Leanne Askey Shaheen Abdullah Bharwani Alexander Minh-Anh Day Nicholas Channing DiGiovanni William Emmanuel Hawkins Daniel Charles Moon Zaria Donique Smalls Caroline Bright Wall
The Robert Saltonstall Medal For preeminence in physical efficiency and observance of the code of the true sportsman. Robert Dominick O’Gara
The A.O. Smith Prize Awarded by the English department to students who display unusual talent in nonfiction writing. Robin Chakrabarti Penelope Maxim Reichenhall
The Critical Essay Prize Awarded by the English department for the best essay about a work or works of literature. Stephanie Tsz Yan Ng
The Markham and Pierpont Stackpole Prize Awarded in honor of two English teachers, father and son, to authors of unusual talent in creative writing. Mallika Tara Iyer Juwon Kim
The Dorothy J. Sullivan Award To senior girls who have demonstrated good sportsmanship, leadership, dedication and commitment to athletics at Milton. Through their spirit, selfl essness and concern for the team, they served as an incentive and a model for others. Meghan Eleanor Kelleher
The Donald Cameron Duncan Prize for Mathematics Awarded to students in Class I who have achieved excellence in the study of mathematics while demonstrating the kind of love of the subject and joy in promoting its understanding that will be the lasting legacy of Donald Duncan’s extraordinary contributions to the teaching of mathematics at Milton. Nathaniel Ghebre Daniel Vincent Churchward Kennedy Skyler Zee Williams
The Performing Arts Award Presented by the performing arts department for outstanding contributions in production work, acting, speech, audiovisuals, and dance throughout his or her Milton career. Arthur David Berman Jessica Blackwell Carlson Danielle Bousquet Frederick Chloe Rose Gianatasio Louis John McWilliams II Martin David Kelley Page Natalie Jane Solomon Elizabeth Salee Stanfield
The Kiki Rice-Gray Prize Awarded for outstanding contributions to Milton performing arts throughout his or her career in both performance and production. Natalie Jane Solomon Emilie Caroline Tréhu
The Priscilla Bailey Award To a senior girl who has been a most valuable asset to Milton Academy athletics and to the Milton Academy community—an athlete who has demonstrated exceptional individual skills and teamwork, as well as true sportsmanship. Erin Catherine Martin
The Henry Warder Carey Prize To members of Class I, who, in public speaking and oral interpretation, have shown consistent effort, thoroughness of preparation, and concern for others. Louis John McWilliams II
54 Milton Magazine
The Robert L. Daley Prize Created by his students of 1984 in his memory and honor, this prize in classics is awarded to the student from Latin 4 or beyond who best exemplifies Mr. Daleyâ€™s love of languages. James Delaney McHugh
The Richard Lawrence Derby Memorial Award To an outstanding student of Class II in mathematics, astronomy or physics. Haejun Cho Anne Anlan Deng Charles Vincent Wang
The Alfred Elliott Memorial Trophy For self-sacrifice and devotion to the best interests of his teams, regardless of skill. Thomas John Schnoor
The Gorham Palfrey Faucon Prize Established in 1911 and awarded to members of Class I for demonstrated interest and outstanding achievement in history and social science. Katherine Margaret Ballinger Matthew Benjamin Lebovitz Catharine Passavant Parker Gina Micaela Starfield Lily Ryan Steig
The Benjamin Fosdick Harding Latin Prizes Awarded on the basis of a separate test at each prize level. Level 5: Javon Micah Ryan Level 4: Samuel Ward Procter Level 3: Alexander Yu
The Modern Languages Prizes Awarded to those students who, in the opinion of the department, most exhibit the qualities of academic excellence, enthusiastic participation, and support of fellow students, both in and out of class. Gordon de Monseignat Batchelder Kathryn Margaret Broderick Amelia Kristen Chappel Henry Streit Green Christine Marie Kalpin
The Milton Academy Art Prizes Awarded for imagination and technical excellence in his or her art and for independent and creative spirit of endeavor. Haeyeon Cho Senka Joti Hyun Joon Kim Joshua Daniel Ruder Katherine Sophia Wasynczuk Andy Shenghao Zhang
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Graduates’ Weekend 2012 56 Milton Magazine
1. Head of School Todd Bland 2. Erica Bibby ’07 and Eskor Johnson ’07
3. Gotta have the gear. 4. Welcome back, friends. 5. Meg Robertson ’87 and her (fierce-faced!) son 6. Will Hutchinson ’97
1. Bill and Bo Thorne Niles ’62 2. Neha Wadekar ’07, faculty member Bryan Cheney and Sarah Paige ’07
3. Tita Hayes Gratwick, Penny Hull, Helen Wilmerding, Lisa Graves Wardlaw, Martha Damon Marshall—all Class of 1957 4. Catching up 5. Nina Monfredo ’07 and Elizabeth Whitman ’07 6. Ludlow Keeney ’57, Sandy Cochran ’57 and John Reidy ’56 7. Hugh Campbell ’47 8. Reminiscing
Fall 2012 57
1. Trustee Bob Cunha ’83 2. Amanda Warren ’07 and Laura Appell-Warren ’78
3. Yeng Felipe Butler ’92 4. The “lifers” from the Class of 2002 5. Keeping warm on the breezy Quad 6. Big hugs at reunion 7. Trustee Chris McKown leads Milton’s Strategic Planning
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1. Emilia Rinaldini ’07 2. Tara Venkatraman ’07, Sophie Kortchmar ’07, Marie-Claude Tanny and Director of Multiculturalism and Community Development Heather Flewelling
3. Kate Zilla-Ba ’87, Stewart McDowell ’87, faculty member Mark Hilgendorf, Nancy Joyce ’87 4. Director of College Counseling Rod Skinner ’72, Frank Millet and friends 5. The home team
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1. Trevor Prophet, Nina Monfredo, Veronika Sykorova, Chandler Sherman and Elizabeth Whitmanâ€” all Class of 2007
2. Frozen treats are the best. 3. Michael Lou of the history department leads the discussion 4. Rose Kernochan â€™77 and friends 5. Resurrecting old favorites at the Glee Club sing-along with Jean McCawley 6. Sun, grass, conversation
60 Milton Magazine
1. The Class of 2007, psyched to be here
2. Hanging around 3. Class of 1977 in the head of schoolâ€™s office
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62 Milton Magazine
in â€˘ sight At the Harkness table today, David Smith and students in Studies in English and American Literature
Fall 2012 63
on centre José Ruiz Is Milton’s New Dean of Students
Merilin Castillo ’12 Earns the 2012 Princeton Prize in Race Relations
his year, Milton welcomes José Luis Ruiz as our new dean of students. José was most recently the associate dean of students and director of residential life at St. Mark’s School in Southborough, Massachusetts. He has been active in independent school life for many years in numerous, valuable roles. He graduated from the Westminster School in Simsbury, Connecticut, and has worked in independent schools for 13 years. He is looking forward to learning Milton’s culture, and to getting to know the students—in the Student Center at recess, while sitting in on classes and visiting practices, by joining club discussions during the activities period. “I want my office to be a comfortable place for students,” José says of his reenergized space in the deans’ suite. “I want them to feel like they can come to me about School-wide issues, about enhancing life at Milton, and I hope that they will use me as a resource. I want to generate conversation with them about anything, School-related or not.” As director of the residential life program at St. Mark’s, José supported a staff of 11 dorm heads and oversaw all aspects of dormitory life. He helped implement initiatives in student life, advising, discipline and health services. As associate dean, José worked most closely with the school’s student leaders, supporting them and overseeing their work.
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José has extensive classroom experience; he taught Spanish both at St. Mark’s and at Westminster. José majored in Spanish at Middlebury College and has completed work toward his master’s in education at Teachers College of Columbia University. As director of diversity at Westminster, José helped recruit faculty and students of color and worked closely with students of color and their families. He has several times led sessions at the National Association of Independent Schools People of Color Conference and has attended many widely known diversity and leadership institutes. During his years in education, José has served as an admission officer; football, basketball and track coach; advisor to various student groups; and member of many school committees. In his free time, José enjoys golfing, spending time with his family, and walking his Siberian Husky, Diamond. He lives on campus with his wife, Carol, and their two daughters, Adriana and Alyssa.
fter each day of classes at Milton, Merilin Castillo ’12 would travel to the Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center in Boston, where she worked until 7 p.m. on the Racial Healing and Reconciliation (R&R) project. Merilin is a founding member of the project, and her work earned her the 2012 Princeton Prize in Race Relations from Boston. The R&R project offers to youth groups and community leaders training and workshops on racism awareness and the effects of racism on health. In recognition of her hard work and dedication, she received her award in May, when she attended the Princeton Prize Symposium on Race held on the university’s campus. With a strong interest in public health and community organizing, Merilin started working at the health center the summer after her Class IV year at Milton. The health center’s program manager used a grant to launch the R&R project and asked Merilin to help develop the curriculum and launch the project. Today, the project runs numerous programs, and Merilin enthusiastically embraces the challenges. In the fall, the focus is on training volunteers who then work with local schools and community groups in the spring.
“We held a forum and conducted an inequity game, breaking up the room into four groups, and each group had a different set of life circumstances,” says Merilin. “Watching people adapt to their roles, and seeing how racism and inequity can come easily to people, even to those who normally would be the target of such attitudes in their regular life, is amazing. It’s a real learning experience.” The R&R project’s other programs include “SPEAK OUT!”—a forum designed to enable young people to speak honestly in a supportive environment about their feelings on race. In addition, the R&R programs advise city youth campaigns on issues such as sex education and jobs, and provide input to local health organizations working to improve the quality of health care.
messages Li-Young Lee
Li-Young Lee is the author of four critically acclaimed books of poetry, his most recent being Behind My Eyes (2008). His earlier collections include Book of My Nights (2001), which won the 2002 William Carlos Williams Award; The City in Which I Love You (1991), which was the 1990 Lamont Poetry Selection; and Rose (1986), which won the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Poetry Award. Mr. Lee’s honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Lannan Foundation, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Mr. Lee was this spring’s Bingham Visiting Reader.
Founder of the Zabuli Education Center in Kabul, Afghanistan, Razia Jan spoke to students about her improbable achievement: under difficult political, economic and cultural conditions, opening a school for young girls. Mrs. Jan was this spring’s Margaret A. Johnson Speaker, a series that brings noted female leaders to campus each year. Mrs. Jan is a member of the Interfaith Council and No Place for Hate, as well as a member of the board of directors at Jordan Hospital. She has received awards for her humanitarian work, including the 2007 Woman of Excellence award from Germaine Lawrence, Inc.
“Despite the bad news about our climate, the good news is we have the power and knowledge to shape the future in a way our predecessors did not. We have the ability to know who we are, where we’ve been and where we are going.”
Dr. Sylvia Earle “Everyone has four voices inside of him or her—the social, the private, the secret and the unknown. In my poems, I’m trying to hear and align the voices of all those selves. When I do, I think that is when the poem is right.”
World-renowned marine biologist and ocean explorer Dr. Sylvia Earle shared her passion and wonder of discovery with students this spring. An advocate for the research and protection of the ocean, Dr. Earle is co-founder and director of Deep Ocean Engineering, Inc. Formerly chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, she is an explorer-in-residence at National Geographic. Recognized by the Library of Congress as a “Living Legend” and inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, she is the author of more than 100 publications concerning marine science and technology. Most recently, Dr. Earle became the face of Google Oceans, Google’s downloadable, interactive guide to the deepest depths of the sea.
“Once you learn something, no one can take that knowledge away from you. They can put you in prison, but you can write on the walls, recite things, think about good stories, and you can survive.”
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Marshall Schwarz ’54 and Fritz Hobbs ’65 Receive the Milton Medal
rustees do not confer awards, typically, at Milton. The Milton Medal is the exception. Established by the board in December 1982, the medal considers candidates from the ranks of trustees, faculty and administration, alumni and parents. On Reunion Weekend in June, trustees made this prestigious award to H. Marshall Schwarz ’54 and Franklin W. Hobbs IV ’65. Both men hold trustee emeritus positions today. Marshall Schwarz began his tenure as a trustee in 1985, and he led the board as president from 1997 through 2002. Fritz Hobbs was elected to the board of trustees in 1990, and he served as president from 2002 through 2009. The medal recognizes extraordinary volunteerism on Milton’s behalf. These two graduates’ service as trustees and board leaders spans five heads of school. They significantly strengthened Milton’s financial position and addressed, with energy and generosity, the emerging and diverse needs of a historic School and a tradition of academic excellence.
H. Marshall Schwarz ’54
Franklin W. Hobbs IV ’65
Marshall Schwarz began his tenure as a trustee in 1985, and he led the board as president from 1997 through 2002. As a trustee emeritus, Marshall leads us still—with joy, skill, magnanimity, and unfailing insight. During Marshall’s presidency, Milton achieved new levels of philanthropic support; restored the Academy’s historic identity as a boarding and day school; and transformed campus facilities. At the center of student life today, the Schwarz Student Center helps students discover and build relationships, with peers and with adults, that will endure and transform over time, a mark of the Milton experience particularly meaningful to Marshall. During his board tenure, Marshall thoughtfully advised four heads of school and he serves as a wise counselor for Head of School Todd Bland today. With grace, humility, and gentle humor, Marshall models core ideals: responsibility and commitment. Marshall’s greatest hope is that members of every generation understand their important role in shaping Milton’s history, and through their generosity and service, they continually strengthen Milton’s leadership in education.
Fritz Hobbs was elected to the board of trustees in 1990, and he served as president from 2002 through 2009. A trustee emeritus and a member of the trustee Investment Committee, Fritz still stewards Milton’s strength and identity. Intellectually incisive and relentlessly curious, Fritz is a master of great questions, committed to excellence, compassionate and generous. As a leader, Fritz consistently focused on the strength of academic, extracurricular and advising programs, and the diversity and academic talent of our students. During his tenure, Fritz and his fellow trustees achieved unprecedented growth in the endowment; prioritized expanding faculty salaries and financial aid; and addressed diverse and pressing facilities needs. His service spanned five heads of school. As president, Fritz worked closely with Robin Robertson, mentored interim head of school Rick Hardy, and guided Milton’s leadership transition to Todd Bland. On all matters, Milton will continue to expect Fritz’s clarion query: “What does excellence look like? What will it take to make that happen?”
2008 George A. Kellner
2001 John Zilliax 2000 Katherine B. Herzog James M. Fitzgibbons ’52 1999 Priscilla Winn Barlow Harold W. Janeway ’54 1997 Jean M. McCawley 1996 Arthur S. Hall John C. Robinson ’49 June N. Robinson ’49 1995 Richard Bassett Edward Lintz Louise C. Lintz 1994 Priscilla Bailey Barclay Feather 1993 Jane Cheever Carr ’53 H. Adams Carter ’32 1992 Ruth Yaeger Johnston Torney ’37 1990 Elizabeth Greenleaf Buck 1989 Frances Weld Gardiner McDermott ’40 Malcolm D. Perkins ’32 1988 Henry Bigelow Jackson ’23 1987 Lucie Archer Withington Herbert G. Stokinger ’24 Albert Oliver Smith
Trustees have honored 31 individuals in the 29 years since they established and described the award. The most recent recipient was trustee and Milton parent George A. Kellner, who received the award in 2008.
1986 Emilie Stuart Perry 1985 Ellen Rice Hallowell Pratt ’24 1983 Margaret A. Johnson Laurence M. Lombard ’13 Head of School Todd Bland, Marshall Schwarz ’54, Fritz Hobbs ’65 and President of the Board Brad Bloom
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2002 Francis D. Millet
Tina Cho ’12 Is among the Country’s Elite Young Writers
n the tradition of T. S. Eliot, Class of 1906, and scores of Milton graduates since, Milton students show special promise as writers of creative fiction and creators of inspired visual art. This spring, 10 students earned recognition for their work in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, the nation’s largest, longest-running, and most prestigious visual and literary arts program identifying the creative accomplishments of high school students. This year Tina Cho ’12 was one of just 15 high-school students in the country to earn a Gold Portfolio Award for her submission in the writing portfolio category. Graduating seniors are invited to compete for top honors as Portfolio gold and silver medalists in the broad categories of art, photography and writing. Tina submitted eight original pieces, a combination of fiction and poetry that she wrote and revised in creative writing classes from her Class III through Class I year. Her favorite piece is a
story called Domain Eukarya, with its themes of fertility and relationships. She was home in Korea over spring break when she received the phone call telling her that she had won. Tina earned a $10,000 scholarship for her work. To celebrate her achievement, she was invited to New York City to receive recognition at Carnegie Hall as part of the national awards ceremony. When winners arrived in the city that Thursday, the Empire State Building was lit in gold in their honor. Top winners then personally met event speaker and Academy Award– winning actress Meryl Streep, who congratulated them on their success. Several other Milton students earned national recognition for their writing from the organization. Karintha Lowe ’12 won a Silver Medal with Distinction, and Hannah Grace ’12 won a Silver Medal. Shannon Reilly ’12 and Cary Williams ’12 both won
Tina Cho ’12, far left, was one of 15 graduating seniors in the country to earn a Gold Portfolio Award and a personal meeting with Academy Award–winning actress Meryl Streep.
Gold Medals in the short story category, and Victoria White (II) earned a Gold Medal in poetry. In the Massachusetts Regional Visual Arts Awards, Isabel Chun (II) won Gold, Silver and an Honorable Mention. Lucie Hajian (I) won Gold and Silver Medals, and Bum Jim Kim ’12 and Kirby Feagan (I) both earned Honorable Mentions.
Lisa Baker—member of the English faculty and creative writing teacher—was also recognized by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, in the 2012 Teacher Awards. As the award states, “Teachers are often the gateway to the Awards, inspiring creativity and exploration, guiding their students’ talents, and helping with the submission process.”
UPenn and Milton Join in Developing New Faculty
ilton is collaborating with the University of Pennsylvania and a consortium of six other leading boarding schools to implement a new program that brings to Milton young scholars interested in teaching careers. Set on “preparing the next generation of outstanding teachers,” the Penn
Residency Master’s in Teaching program involves prospective teachers in an innovative and comprehensive curriculum designed explicitly for boarding schools’ particular environment. This school year, Milton is hosting two Penn program participants: Matthew Cullen and alumnus Kevin Moy ’05. Matt Cullen joins Milton’s English department this year. Matt earned bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and English from Boston College, where he served as a resident assistant for two years and assisted in the residential living and learning program. Matt has also taught in the Advanced Studies Program at St. Paul’s School and the summer session at Phillips Andover Academy.
Kevin Moy ’05 returns to Milton as a fellow in the science department. After 13 years as a student at Milton, Kevin earned a bachelor of arts in biology and a bachelor of music in jazz from Oberlin College and Conservatory. He spent last year as a teaching intern at the Park School in Brookline, where he taught in both the science and music programs, and this past summer he served as science co-director for the Summer at Park program. Over two years, Penn Residency fellows will immerse themselves in the daily life of a boarding school, as well as in coursework. The coursework includes sessions at Penn’s Graduate School of Education and on boarding school campuses. At Milton, designated faculty mentors will work
with the prospective teachers, and help them assume responsibility gradually, in teaching, advising, coaching—in helping young people discover and develop diverse talents. The Penn Residency program was developed for energetic young people excited about the opportunity to teach at a top boarding school while earning a master’s degree. The faculty at Milton are excited by this opportunity to share both teaching skills and a commitment to students’ lives. For more information, explore the program Web site at www.gse.upenn.edu/ boarding.
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Seminar Day Connects Students with Experts and Activists
parking new ideas and lively conversation, 25 experts and activists on a wide range of publicly debated United States and international issues visited campus on May 2 for the student-organized Seminar Day. Many Milton Academy graduates were among the guest speakers, stimulating great questions and discussions. Called the Keyes Seminar Day, this lively event has been one of Milton’s most important traditions since 1977. It is named in honor of its founder, former faculty member Peter Keyes, a legendary promoter of student interest in the political process as well as public and governmental affairs and service. In the Milton spirit of developing students’ confidence and competence to live by our motto, “Dare to be true,” Seminar Day brings to campus individuals who have made compelling choices. They are scholars, business people, scientists, educators, writers, political leaders and artists making a difference in the world. Speakers this year included health-care-policy experts; social entrepreneurs working on issues such as educational reform, sustainable fishing, global food security, and firearms policy; environmental activists; political humorists; journalists; political
activists and shapers of public policy; and a graduate committed to educating young women about finance and investment. Delivering this year’s keynote address was Dr. Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He began teaching at M.I.T. in 1955 and has lectured at many universities throughout the country and abroad. He has written and taught widely on linguistics, philosophy, intellectual history, contemporary issues, international affairs and U.S. foreign policy. He spoke to students and faculty at Milton about pressing issues in the Middle East and related United States policy, addressing Iran, the Arab Spring and the Israel-Palestine conflict. Surrounding the keynote speaker, students chose from among many presenters during three time blocks in the day. Exchanges that occur on Seminar Day stimulate ideas and conversations over weeks to come. Held every other year, Seminar Day alternates with Community Service Day—another occasion that encourages students to think beyond their immediate community and concern themselves with the complexity and opportunity afforded by the world.
Joining the Board of Trustees Dune Thorne ’94 Dune Thorne ’94 is a partner at Brown Advisory in Boston. Dune founded the nonprofit venture Invest In Girls (IIG). With Chelsea Mehra ’11, Dune established the Milton pilot of this nonprofit that helps girls achieve financial literacy. Dune participates on several boards, including the Harvard Business School Women’s Association, and Boston Women and Finance. Dune graduated from Dartmouth College and earned her M.B.A. at Harvard.
Retiring Trustees Julie Bennett ’79 During her two terms, Julie Bennett ’79 helped Milton gain ground in a number of important ways, including working with Warren McFarlan ’55 on defining the Faculty Council Liaison Committee, a crucial conduit and authentic communication link between the board and faculty. Julie also helped deepen girls’ experiences in athletics, and she was an early supporter of Milton’s drive to take a leadership role in science. We turned to Julie as our spokesperson for science on several occasions. The active Pritzker Science Center will always be a hallmark of Julie’s service on the board.
Antonia Grumbach ’61 Antonia Grumbach ’61 served Milton as a trustee and officer of the board for 21 years. During that time, Antonia was our resident expert on nonprofit and education direction and management. She supported Milton through several transitions, and
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took on every role a Milton trustee possibly could, serving on 10 committees—both standing and project-based. Antonia responded to every Milton request for counsel: legal, managerial and intellectual. She was a crucial resource for three heads of school and five board presidents. Antonia will continue to counsel us on matters of direction and long-term planning.
Lisa Jones ’84 Lisa Jones ’84 kept Milton in her sights, even as she moved to another coast, then a new city, and new professional roles. Like the outstanding scholar she was at Milton, Lisa paid attention to the board’s external relations and academic affairs, through its transition to the committee that now includes student life and enrollment. Lisa was also diligent and insightful in earlier trustee studies of long-term financial planning. With her intellect and her heart, Lisa has supported the School during her tenure, through the years of change and growth.
Carolyn Damp Member of the faculty, 1978–2012
fter teaching in the Concord Public Schools for seven years, Carolyn Damp assumed her destined role teaching Grade 4 in Greenleaf Hall more than 30 years ago. Carolyn was the consummate professional, ably instructing her charges in math, social studies, literature and reading. Many years ago she narrowed her focus, pursuing her passion for the culture of the Middle East. She worked tirelessly to develop a comprehensive and rich curriculum embracing the Mesopotamian and ancient Egyptian civilizations, as well as the modern Middle East. Her focus on experiential learning has introduced bright-eyed 9and 10-year-olds to the mummies of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the carpets of Gregorian Rugs, students from the Islamic Academy, Egyptian parades, and, one year, an incredible production of Aida. She has enthralled students with readings from such works as The Arabian Nights and The Breadwinner. Every May, to the dismay of the Milton Fire Department, Carolyn’s room transforms magically into a Middle Eastern bazaar where students practice their haggling skills and share their extensive knowledge of Mid-east countries. Carolyn’s contributions go far beyond her success with the social studies curriculum. She has dutifully served on many School-wide committees; coordinated an Appreciating Differences program in Grade 4; enthusiastically encouraged budding performers at one of the favorite assemblies of the year, the Lower School Talent Show; and always emphasized the interdisciplinary nature of teaching with her beloved colleagues, exemplified most recently by the artists study unit for the Grade 4 summer reading book.
Lida Famili Member of the faculty, 1987–2012
Although Carolyn’s carbon footprint is small (she commutes to school on her bicycle and replenishes her stylish wardrobe at Swap-It every fall), she leaves an indelible imprint on admiring faculty who have collaborated with her, and grateful parents who have delighted in planning Mid-east luncheons, sharing their expertise as guest speakers, and accompanying their children on rewarding field trips. The long-lasting connections Carolyn has formed with students, in particular, are phenomenal. She has changed their lives forever and they often return to her classroom as Upper School volunteers.
or 25 years at Milton, Lida Famili has embodied John Dewey’s idea: “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” Lida views her role primarily as helping students develop into young adults, and teaching chemistry only secondarily. Lida deeply respects and cares for students; her focus, in combination with her excellent background in chemistry, has made Lida the heart and soul of the science department. As one Class II student said, “Ms. Famili brightened my day every time I saw her. I will miss her daily hugs. I’m blessed to know Ms. Famili.” Lida’s compassion seems boundless. She goes out of her way to help students and adults. Lida would often ask my advice about a student situation. Regardless of what I said, I knew well that ultimately she would do what she thought was in the student’s best interest. Lida has taken many under her wing; for her, that’s part of leading a meaningful and thoughtful life. “Ms. Famili makes me feel as if I were her own child,” one student said. Kindness is Lida’s hallmark, but she also strongly holds certain ideals and is will-
ing to fight for them tenaciously. Lida is unafraid to put a stake in the ground, even if her views are not commonly held. I respect the well-developed sense of right and wrong that guides her life. Lida’s excellence as a teacher has also been an important part of her role at Milton. While she pushes her students to learn chemistry, she also strives to make sure the material is relevant to their lives. Lida wants to make sure that the chemistry students learn will affect their lives in concrete and meaningful ways—including food chemistry, for example, in her curriculum. With great sadness we say goodbye to Lida. We know firsthand, however, that she will shower her love and compassion upon all her family members. If I know Lida, she will teach them some chemistry along the way. Lida, we love you, and we will miss you. We lament the decrease in hugs that will follow your retirement. We have been blessed to be your friends, students and colleagues. Michael Edgar, Science Department Chair
Carolyn, we know that you will return to campus on the tennis and squash courts, where you routinely trounce younger and more athletic foes. As you warmly wish your students well when they leave your classroom after a rewarding and enriching day, we say “ma’a salama” to you, “goodbye” and may peace be with you. Scott Ford, Grade 5 Faculty
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Lenna Dower Member of the faculty, 1973–2012
Anne Foley Member of the faculty, 1987–2012
assing by Lenna Dower’s seventh-grade classroom, you might hear her say “Confucius said, ‘I want you to be everything that’s you, deep at the center of your being.’” This statement epitomizes Lenna’s values. She has served as a supreme mentor and teacher to many students and faculty during her 39 years at Milton. In her 22 years as head of Hathaway House, Lenna gave selflessly of her own life and that of her family members—Rick, Lara and Graham. As Middle School head and revered history teacher, she changed the curriculum to include more of world cultures. Most of all, Lenna valued listening to students. This was her way of showing them how to find their center. Day or night, she had time for the girls to talk to her, even instituting what she termed “good nights” at Hathaway House, when students could vent the day’s highlights or lowlights as they chatted after check-in. During vacations, she often shared her home with boarding students. To this day, Lenna receives numerous Mother’s Day cards from former students. Captivator of students’ minds and hearts for thousands of hours, it is only fitting that one senior spoke of her ability to magically “turn middle schoolers into high schoolers.” Lenna’s magic is well crafted. Current and former students often lurk around her doorway waiting for classes to end so they can hang out in the safety of her classroom for comfort and good conversation. Lenna never believed that talking with a student was time wasted; in fact, she believed it was the ultimate way for a student to learn to “Dare to be true.”
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Modeling the concept of being true to oneself, Lenna journeyed by herself across the United States at age 60. She drove her van down Route 66, stopping as the mood struck her. When she spoke about this trip to middle schoolers, she spoke from experience: “to find true happiness, you have to find yourself.” The kids absorbed her wisdom and marveled at how this “older woman” could have done this trip on her own. Lenna made it seem simple. Lenna, you have always shown us who you are at the “center of your being.” You have changed Milton by deepening our center. Your wisdom and deeds will always be with us. We thank you. Laurel Starks, Middle School Faculty
ust like the North Star, Anne Foley is trusted, steady and constant. A number of constellations circle around her: students, faculty and library colleagues, and family members. We have all been the beneficiaries of the tireless and conscientious manner in which Anne performs her duties. We have seen her retrieving a wayward piece of trash to beautify the campus. We have noticed her at sporting events and performances, supporting her advisees or former students. Slouching or goofing off when Anne is around is difficult; instead, trying a little harder is easier, because of her example. Former public school teachers Anne and Ed Foley arrived at Milton with two young sons in 1969. From faculty wife, Anne has gone on to serve in many capacities. Between 1983 and 1987, the Foley family (grown to six children) lived in Forbes House. Anne took over as house head for the School’s summer programs. In 1986, Anne returned to teaching. An inveterate reader and bibliophile, Anne has worked in Cox Library since 1987. She became a full-time librarian in 1992. Anne has been responsible for cataloging the incoming Upper School books; creating our book lists; and running the book fair each May. Anne developed our Middle School program with its dedicated young-adult collection and class library visits. She completes each task in her careful and unflappable way. Anne will give an honest opinion in a way that exudes both competence and caring.
Anne has nurtured four groups of advisees through the Upper School and sponsored senior projects. She has consistently participated in SEED discussion groups, chauffeured for the Community Service Program, and served on committees for the independent school librarians’ organization. The amazing thing is that Anne retains knowledge of who served with her. She can explain exactly how things were done at various stages, and remember precisely when and why they were modified. Luckily, Anne leaves some descendants among us, which surely means that she will be back on campus to see daughter Meg in admission, grandson Sam moving up to Class IV, and grandson Andrew at Milton Academy Children’s Center. Meanwhile, Anne will shine like the North Star, guiding us to become our best selves. Diane Pierce-Williams, Cox Librarian and Archivist
Pam McArdle Member of the faculty, 1989–2012
verything has its season. Everything has its time. Show me a reason and I’ll show you a rhyme.”
high-school home economics projects gone awry; of inconceivable loss and courageous strength.
For many a season, Pam McArdle, versatile performer that she is, found the reason and rhyme to play countless roles in various venues such as admission, the Upper School principal’s office, the studio theater, Thacher, and, most recently, the costume shop. Pam and I shared a summer up in the dusty southeast corner of Kellner, cleaning— folding yard after yard of wool; playing animal detectives trying to identify bedraggled fur pieces; sorting through a decade’s worth of donations, disorganization, and debris; sweating and cursing and laughing—mostly laughing. On those sweltering August mornings, Pam sang her life. A troubadour with colorful tales, she told of a time before Milton when she was not Pam McArdle but Pamela Brewster, a competitive equestrian; of living on Newbury Street, as one of only a few women among Boston’s “Mad Men” writing advertising copy for a casket company; of the Marimekko bridesmaids’ dresses made by her mother when Pam married her love, Jack; of her boys: Matt and Sam; of family gatherings on Dudley Lane and on the Cape; of dreadful novelty sweaters, hand-knit hats, and
Pam eludes the spotlight. She does not crave attention. Yet, she is a beacon on her own for students, colleagues, family and friends, radiating kindness, unflappable patience, and acceptance of all that life has in store. Above all else—more than the generations of Grade 6 and Class IV plays, the drama classes, the endless laundry —her warmth, greater than any solo spot on a lonely stage, will be Pam’s enduring legacy. As the curtain draws to a close on this act, Pam is already looking forward to her next. To further paraphrase lyrics from Pippin: So many seem destined to settle for something small. Not Pammy, she won’t rest until she knows she’s had it all. So don’t ask where she’s going. Just listen when she’s gone. And not so far away you’ll hear her singing and laughing softly, dusk ’til dawn. Rivers belong where they can ramble. Eagles belong where they can fly. You’ve got to be where your spirit can run free. Go and find your corner of the sky. Peter Parisi, Performing Arts Department Chair
Anne Neely Member of the faculty, 1974–2012
nne Neely has given 38 years to persuading her Milton Academy students that beauty and truth, as embodied in artistic expression, is a powerful way to find and to declare oneself. As she has grown—as a teacher, artist, mother, colleague and free spirit—so have her students. The evidence is the extraordinary work of her students. This includes the many Class IV students who never suspected they would fall in love with art until they did their first interpretive self-portrait with Ms. Neely; the Studio Art students who were proud to see their work on display for the first time; and her advanced painting students who learned that their teacher truly practices what she preaches. Anne has said, “Art is a place for movement, discovery and travel. My intention is to give my students a way to access their creative minds, to develop an idea, and to see it evolve.” She has been as devoted to her students as any teacher could be. Anne affirms the time-honored Milton value that an artist practices her art. This has led her to one-person shows in Boston and New York; to art colonies on both sides of the Atlantic; and to personal heights, as American museums added work by Anne to their collections and national publications reviewed it. In recent years, she has acted on her desire to make her art count, as she explored a theme of preserving vast aquifers and the water on which all life depends. We may well ask, “Where will her artistic passion take her next?”
Anne has served as director of the Nesto Gallery twice, and the professional shows that she developed have motivated Milton students, secured a loyal following in the extended School community, and garnered media attention and impressive reviews. Anne has ensured that the gallery be a “teaching instrument,” provoking thought and joy in students, and generating good questions as much as answers. In her words, “To approach a problem with a creative mind is the highest form of intellectual pursuit.” Anne Neely has acted with care, passion and creativity. She is a great teacher, an artistic explorer, and a bright, energetic spirit. We will miss her creative force at Milton Academy. Gordon Chase, Visual Arts Department Chair
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John Charles Smith Member of the faculty, 1974–2012
Carlotta Zilliax Member of the faculty, 1992–2012
hen John Charles and I arrived at Milton in September 1974, Richard Nixon was president, and Jerry Pieh was headmaster, his office in the basement of Straus. Deval Patrick had just graduated; Elaine Apthorp was a senior; and Andre Heard wouldn’t be born until the following summer. There were about 175 boy boarding students and 60+ girl boarding students. Milton was three largely separate schools, each with different histories, standards and practices. John Charles has been an important part of several of the changes that have made us the School that we are today. He became director of admissions, merging the separate boys’ and girls’ schools, as well as putting a greater emphasis on recruiting and travel, broadening our boarding base and raising its quality and diversity. For two years, he served on the co-ed committee that laid the groundwork for the merging of the boys’ and girls’ schools. That the much larger, and generally dominant, boys’ school not simply overrun the traditions and practices of the girls’ school was imperative; and the committee’s careful thinking and planning made that transition as comfortable as it could have been for
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people who were changing habits that had been firmly set for many years. Always, his real love has been his classroom. His students marvel at his enduring passion for literature and at his ability to make it come alive for them: they learn to read and to write. The depth of his comments on their papers is as legendary as the speed with which those papers are returned. His students and advisees receive the great gift of vast amounts of his time, attention, and most of all, his caring. These relationships do not end when his students graduate, for he is still in close touch with many of them years and even decades later. His memory for the lives and families of his students and advisees is even greater than his encyclopedic command of the fi lms and plays of the last 80 or 100 years. We shall miss his humor, his still clearly discernible accent, and his deep loyalty to Milton Academy; but even more than that, we shall continue to be inspired by his love of the craft of teaching and by the depth of his dedication to those students who were lucky enough to have had him as a teacher or advisor. John Banderob, Math Department
champion of literature and literary history in Milton’s Upper School English department since 1992, Carlotta Zilliax began her career with 17 years as a primary and elementary teacher. Not many could successfully cover the scale from The Runaway Bunny to King Lear, but Carlotta has done so with brio and with a wise appreciation of the Möbius-like continuum that connects the very young with the not quite so young—the let’s-play-grownup first graders with the how-sillycan-we-be-today high-school seniors. At either end of the spectrum, Carlotta knew how to have fun with a class and how to make that fun pay off in learning that would still be there when lessons more rigidly laid out and more soberly arrived at had faded. A visitor to her Warren Hall classroom in recent years might feel at times that he had stumbled into the Junior Building by mistake, such was the raw energy with which her students piled in and the enthusiasm with which they took up a text, as if it were a pet hamster or a box of finger paints. Often everyone talked at once, but everyone was talking about the hamster. The air crackled with questions and ideas, and out of the cacophony would emerge, magically, insight and understanding. Carlotta’s philosophy prompted her to lean back and let discussion proceed willy-nilly, but her knowledge was so deep and extensive that she often could not resist leaning forward again and inserting herself opportunistically into the
conversation, to the enjoyment and benefit of everyone in the room. A class wrestling with the conundrum of Macbeth’s family history would be treated to an anecdote about how two leads, preparing for a production at Stratford, pasted photos of a dead baby in their lockers; readers of Paradise Lost would learn, succinctly and pointedly, about John Milton’s place in the politics of his time. Carlotta fed the intellect, encouraged emotional response, and always made room for the comic and the spontaneous, joining the fray herself in dry sallies from behind the schoolmarm façade. Her ways of getting students to enter a text personally and imaginatively were such that she could make middle schoolers like Jane Eyre. Her special love of drama played out not only in Shakespeare and Performing classes but also in the theatricals she occasionally organized for the department. We will dearly miss her pert, businesslike, and incisive presence. David Smith, English Department
Alumni Authors: Recently Published Works
Charles Dickens’s Networks: Public Transport and the Novel
Race France to France: Leave Antarctica to Starboard
by Jonathan H. Grossman ’85 Oxford University Press, March 2012
by Rich Wilson ’68 sitesALIVE!, August 2012
The same week in February 1836 that Charles Dickens was hired to write his first novel, The Pickwick Papers, the first railway line in London opened. Charles Dickens’s Networks explores the rise of the global, high-speed passenger transport network in the 19th century and the indelible impact it made on Dickens’s work. The advent first of stagecoaches, then of railways and transoceanic steamships made round-trip journeys across once seemingly far distances seem ordinary and systematic. Time itself was changed. The Victorians overran the separate, local times kept in each town, establishing instead the synchronized, “standard” time that now ticks on our clocks.
intimate geographies: poems by Bo Thorne Niles ’62 Finishing Line Press, 2012 “Although its title may call to mind Elizabeth Bishop, the poems in intimate geographies conjure the alert, lucid spirit of May Swenson as they shape their way toward emotional heights and depths. In this collection, which is also recollection, the poet’s formal and verbal inventiveness is deftly balanced with a tender attention to sensory details. The resulting poems map, and honor really, lives that are dear, vivid, all-too-swiftly passing, and therefore, in the truest sense, sacred.” —Jeanne Marie Beaumont Bo Niles is a former magazine editor and writer who specialized in home design and decoration; she has written a number of books on these subjects, as well as a travel memoir. Her poems have been published in Ekphrasis, Avocet, Mobius, The Lyric and Podium, among other journals.
Jonathan H. Grossman examines the history of public transport’s systematic networking of people and how this revolutionized perceptions of time, space and community, and how the art form of the novel played a special role in synthesizing and understanding it. Focusing on the trio of road novels by Dickens, he looks first at key historical moments in the networked community’s coming together, then at subsequent recognition of its tragic limits, and, finally, at the construction of a revised view that expressed the precarious, limited omniscient perspective by which passengers came to imagine their journeying in the network.
In 2008–2009, Rich Wilson became only the second American to finish the Vendée Globe, deemed the “most grueling and dangerous prolonged competition on the planet.” (Garry Emmons, HBS Bulletin, 2009) The senior skipper at age 58, and a severe asthmatic, Rich finished ninth of 11 finishers, out of 30 starters, racing 29,000 miles over 121 days in his 60' boat, Great American III.
The Pocket Guide to Woodstock: An Insider’s Guide by Michael Perkins and Will Nixon ’75 Bushwhack Books, 2012 Join Michael Perkins and Will Nixon, authors of the best-selling Walking Woodstock, for a personal tour of places they’ve explored on foot for years. Learn about the early Dutch settlers and witches; the bluestone quarries and tanneries; the bohemian arts colony; the historic hotels on Overlook Mountain; the concert that didn’t happen here; the sixties rock ’n’ rollers, including Bob Dylan and Levon Helm; the promoters and the eccentrics; the legends and the history that have made Woodstock world famous. Will Nixon grew up in the Connecticut suburbs, spent his young adulthood in Hoboken and Manhattan, then moved to a Catskills log cabin in 1996— complete with a wood stove and mice. For years he wrote environmental journalism, then turned to poetry and personal essays. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and listed in Best American Essays 2004. He now lives in Woodstock, New York, with a wall thermostat for heat, but he still can’t get rid of the mice.
Rich Wilson’s book brings you onto his boat in the heat and doldrums of the tropics, in the gales and cold of the south, to see the beauty of the albatross and southern stars, and to feel his fear, fatigue and emotions in the unending stress of a global ocean race. A lifelong educator, Rich fulfi lled a primary goal of his race: to excite and engage students about science, geography and math in the real world, by a program produced by sitesALIVE!—an online educational series that links remote field sites with classrooms around the world. Reaching seven million readers weekly, and 200,000 students, Wilson and a team of experts—doctors, professors, merchant mariners, artists and authors—answer students’ questions, connecting them with real-world situations and exciting new discoveries.
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Ann Farnham Deming ’63 Charles Farnham Kessler ’90
Three generations look to the future
e represent the second and third generation of Milton graduates in the Farnham family. So many of our shared experiences transcend generations—classes around the Harkness table, challenging coursework, inspiring classmates, and games on Milton fields. We try to live our lives according to the motto: “Dare to be true.” Along with other Milton family members—William Hathaway Farnham ’54, Elizabeth Farnham Blair ’58, Polly Farnham Meadows ’67—we created the Farnham Family Scholarship Fund to honor our mother and grandmother, Mary Ilsley Farnham ’29. Thrilled when my son, Chad, began in the fall of 1987, she enjoyed his company often during his Milton years. I reconnected with the School and was so impressed, especially with Milton’s second-tonone academics and caring faculty. We enjoyed establishing this fund to honor Milton’s tradition of excellence and help the Academy reach toward the future. Milton Academy changed our lives. Through our giving, we all can help develop excellent faculty, encourage student diversity, and enable our School to lead, as the top preparatory school in the country.
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For information on gift planning, contact: Suzie Hurd Greenup ’75 firstname.lastname@example.org 617-898-2376
cl a ss notes
Nelson Rulison Knox Jr. died on July 17, 2012. Ruly earned a degree in economics from Harvard and enlisted in the Army shortly after. He was awarded many medals and ribbons for his courageous work and good conduct, including the Victory Medal and three Bronze Battle stars.
Emery Bradley Goff and her husband, Bill Carhart, are still enjoying antiques shows, crosscountry skiing and gardening. They ardently support sustainable agriculture, organic gardening, and political petitions for socially responsible causes.
Ruly worked in sales, living in Spain, Peru and Venezuela. He developed a lifelong interest in Spanish language and culture and later became a math teacher. He enjoyed sailing, building model trains, classical music and reading. Ruly is survived by many family members, including his wife, Ruth. He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery this fall.
Though Jon Beecher has formally retired, he continues to teach European history part-time at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He loves teaching and claims that it keeps him young. His wife, Merike, who was born in Estonia, is completing a translation of Between Three Plagues by Jaan Kross. Older son, David, is working on a Ph.D. in Eastern European history at U.C. Berkeley, and his younger son, Lembit—composer in residence with the Opera Company of Philadelphia—recently composed a trio for piano, violin and cello. This piece, first performed at the 100th celebration of the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C., was commissioned by David Ehrlich for the anniversary of his Southwest Chamber Players.
1942 Susan Byers Plant reports that her husband, Graeme, died in November 2011. “It was sad to have him go, but he had Alzheimer’s, so in a way it was a relief. I was able to care for him at home, and he died here peacefully.” John F. Bassett is three years into retirement and enjoying every minute. “Being here for the 70th Reunion is a major achievement. I have fond memories of Milton and of my classmates. I find great joy from them, and from my three children and seven grandchildren. Here is looking at you, Class of ’42.”
1951 Elsa Williams reports that her husband, Howard H. (Terry) Williams, died suddenly of a heart attack on July 21, 2012. Friends can contact her at email@example.com.
1955 Paul Robinson has returned home after 103 days in rehab following surgery. His wife, Lee, and two cats, Tashtago and Squantum, missed him. Paul spent the summer at home in Dorchester by the Sea. He thanks all of those who sent cards and visited, including Parky Damon, Tedo Francis, Ray Crocker, John Arnold and John Noble, and sends a special thanks to Lee Stout Dane, who sent a get-well message and card every one of the 103 days. He also thanks
Bob Hubby ’57—with classmates Ludlow Keeney and Steve Anderson—reunited their student band, The Three Pigs, over reunion weekend. Bob even resurrected his washtub bass.
Gordon Sewall, Ted Ahrens and Marie-Claude Tanny of the Milton staff for visiting. “To those I have missed, forgive me,” he says.
1957 Kenneth Gregg is close to full retirement from work as a physician. His wife, Judy, is active in the animal rescue league, plays tennis, ushers at the Rockport Music Theater, and helps with their four grandchildren. The couple has traveled in Europe with Ken’s choral group. Their
son, James, had a bike crash leaving him partially paralyzed, “but still just about everything works,” Ken says.
1958 Ella Clark is retiring after 20 years at the Chore Service as founder and executive director. The Chore Service is an organization that helps elderly and disabled residents of Canaan, Cornwall, Falls Village, Kent, Norfolk, Salisbury and Sharon in Connecticut stay safely and independently at home in the community. Fall 2012 75
Creating Space for Preserving Land: A Nod to Milton’s Leading Thinkers in the Land Use Movement
ith his family, Henry Moulton, Class of 1942, recently placed 75 acres of forestland in northern Massachusetts under the protection of a “conservation easement,” preventing that land from ever being developed. Henry’s research disclosed the facts that his Milton contemporaries Kingsbury Browne ’40 and James C. Dudley ’39 were leaders in the modern land conservation movement. Both men created opportunities for people uninterested in selling land to developers. They developed spaces for different ideas and actions to flourish. Kingsbury, a tax lawyer in a Boston firm, honed an expertise in using conservation easements
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and land trusts to protect property from overdevelopment. In 1982 he was instrumental in forming the Land Trust Alliance, and served as its general counsel for ten years. The organization, which “promotes voluntary private land conservation to benefit communities and natural systems,” now represents over 1,700 local and state land trusts that have conserved over 47 million acres. The Alliance presents an annual award known as the Kingsbury Browne Conservation Leadership Award to honor “outstanding leadership, innovation and creativity in land conservation.” (landtrustalliance.org) In the forefront of today’s advocacy for increased protection of forestland is the Harvard
Forest, a department of Harvard University that comprises 3,500 acres of land, research facilities and the Fisher Museum. The Highstead Arboretum, founded by Jim Dudley ’39 in 1982, is a partner of Harvard Forest.
on building upon the organization’s success, initiated a new effort to engage in meaningful ways in the conservation of woodlands and natural landscapes at local, regional and national scales.
Jim, an investment advisor, and his wife, Elisabeth, created the Highstead Arboretum in Redding, Connecticut, 30 years ago. It is a “sanctuary for the study and appreciation of woodland plants and habitats;” its mission, “to inspire curiosity and build knowledge about plants and wooded landscapes in order to enhance life, preserve nature and advance sound stewardship practices.” (highsteadarboretum. org) In 2005 the Highstead board, intent
“In a book published by the Massachusetts Audubon Society in 1965, there was reference to the ‘young, energetic bird men associated with the Massachusetts Audubon Society… from Milton Academy,’” Henry says. “Forest preservation is apparently another cause that drew to it Milton graduates of a bygone era.” Diane Pierce-Williams
1959 Fred Butler continues his volunteer work as a docent at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City, giving highlight tours of Hindu/Buddhist and Ancient Near Eastern art—a career he began in 2007. In 2011 he became captain of the Hindu/ Buddhist art group of docents, and last winter he presided over the group’s triannual peer review. He and his wife, Marie-Claude, have recently traveled to Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Rajasthan, India.
1967 John M. Sussewell married Cheryl Elaine on June 8, 2012, and moved to Denver, Colorado, from Atlanta, Georgia. Cheryl is an accomplished keyboardist and composer. John reports that their musical tastes—jazz and R&B—and “spiritual walks” are perfectly in sync.
1969 Lee Pierce graduated from Andover Newton Theological School in May, with a master’s degree in theological studies and a certificate in pastoral care.
1972 Betsy Pugh lives in Belmont, Massachusetts, with her husband and twin sons, who are juniors at Belmont High School. Since graduating from Milton, Betsy spent a few years in Palo Alto and in Taiwan; a few more in Cambridge, Massachusetts, teaching, waitressing and typing; and then moved on to Wellesley, UPenn Medical School, Beth Israel Psychiatry residency, Tewksbury State Hospital, and, ultimately, a private practice in Harvard Square. In the meantime, she enjoyed sports and reading the Harry Potter books to two wonderful boys when they were just the right age.
1977 Richard Alan Wotiz—talented electronics engineer, inventor, and author—passed away unexpectedly on May 30, 2012, while
hiking with a group of friends in Santa Cruz County, California. Richard enjoyed combining his passion for engineering with his love of the outdoors. The results were memorable designs: a backpack water-level monitor, an earth field magnetometer, an ABS brake system for a mountain bike. Richard won first prize in both the Texas Instruments 2010 DesignStellaris Challenge and the 2010 WIZnet iMCU Challenge.
1980 Debra Spark published her fourth book of fiction, titled The Pretty Girl. The book is a novella and six stories, all of which include the themes of art and deception.
Front row (L to R): Anne Willis Hetlage ’52, Emery Bradley Goff ’52, Nan Bradley Bourne ’51, Dorothy Newbegin Davis ’52; back row (L to R): Sherry Houston ’47, Fred Eustis ’47, Ned Handy ’47, Hugh Campbell ’47, Tim Gates ’52, John Bassett ’42, Henry Moulton ’42, Roger Cortesi ’52.
Rebecca Williams has published a book titled Mindfulness Workbook for Addiction. The Web site is mindfulnessworkbook.com.
1988 Former Boston Bruin Marty McInnis was inducted into Boston College’s Eagles’ Hall of Fame this fall.
1990 James Lin is announcing the birth of his son 10 years late, and his daughter two years late: “They are doing very well, considering they’ve gone cumulatively 12 years unannounced to the Milton community.” James and family recently moved to a small farm town in Northern California; he commutes into San Francisco for work at Ketchum PR. He has a laptop and a blog to occupy his time on the train. He writes about his misadventures as a dad on the Busy Dad Blog (www.busydadblog.com) hailed by babble.com as 2012’s funniest dad blog and hailed by the rest of the Internet as “Who?”
1994 Gabe Heafitz married Karen Rando in May at Haven’s Kitchen in Manhattan. Attending were Sean Burns and Dan Bauer. Gabe and Karen live on the Upper West Side. At work, Gabe is developing an iPad point-of-sale system at ShopKeep, a Wall Street start-up.
Judy Stephenson and Scott Harshbarger celebrated a milestone anniversary on July 3, 2012, and a number of Milton friends celebrated with them: Chad Kessler ’90, Cameron Stephenson ’92, Janie Cheever Talbot ’63, Ann Farnham Deming ’63, Peter Talbot ’61, Tenley Stephenson ’87 and Emily Armstrong (wife of faculty member Corey Simonson).
1996 Elanor Starmer married Kumar Chandran on September 5, 2010, in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Milton friends Julia Turner, Rebecca Onion, Sarah Bennett, Cristie Ellis, Scout Tufankjian and faculty members Bryan and Marilyn Cheney showed impressive stamina during the back-to-back Hindu and Quaker ceremonies. Former Milton faculty members Nancy and Jack Starmer were also in attendance, of course! Elanor is a political appointee at the U.S. Department
of Agriculture, where she coordinates an inter-agency initiative on small and midsize farms and writes for the Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. Kumar is a policy advisor to state anti-hunger campaigns for the nonprofit Share Our Strength. They are very slowly renovating their fi xerupper house in D.C.’s Park View neighborhood.
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Class of 1957: front row (L to R): Mag Cooley, Nick Estabrook, Avis Bohlen, Penelope Hull, Anne Marbury WyattBrown, Patty Potter Anderson; back row (L to R): Judy Fisher Robbins, Barbara Tenney Carter, Nile Albright, Bill Driver, Peter Moore, Steve Anderson, Sandy Cochran, Ludlow Keeney, Helen Wilmerding, Bob Hubby, Tita Hayes Gratwick, Frank Yeomans, Lisa Graves Wardlaw, Toni Stacpole Russin.
Class of 1962: front row (L to R): Charlie Wyzanski, Julie Cheever, Mary Shepard, Kin Howland, Dina Roberts, Emily Norris, Susan Sherk, Bet Ladd, Scilla Blackwell Hastings, Arthur Nash; second row: Rob Freeman, Harley Laing, Bruce Hallet, Caroline Brown Constant, Nate Bowditch, Katty Davisson Chace, Nanno Rust Rose, Peter Rabinowitz, Wilson Pile, Polly Abell Jimenez, Amy Bright Unfried, Cherry Forbes Wunderlich; third row: Art Perry, Charlie Deknatel, Jim Kaplan, Barbara Welch Orlovsky, Natalie Mittendorf Gallagher, Alice Williams Enge, Graciela Arroyo de Begino, Pam Watson Sebastian, Phil Chor, Dave Fuller, Diana Pappas Hamilton, Bill Ames; back row: Terry Gallagher, Tack Chace, Bill Rogerson, Dudley Ladd, Lee Dennison Roussel, Bob Rugo.
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Class of 1967: front row (L to R): Carolyn Stetson, Holly Cheever, Sally Walker Helwig, Gretchen Wagner Feero, Jean MacDonald, Dot Pierpont Cooper; second row: Franny Allen Yerkes, Mimi Keith Drummond, Reva Seybolt, Meredith Davis, Laura Tosi; back row: Henry Ohrenberger, Tim Carden, Kip Acheson, Lindsay Williams Murphy, Tucker Drummond, Stuart Johnson, John Ballantine.
Class of 1972: front row (L to R): Averill Cook, Lois Brown, Jane Dennison, Peach Kraft; back row: Robert Baldwin, Rod Skinner, Elizabeth Pugh, Jeff Barnes, David Evans, Oliver Spaulding.
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Class of 1977: ďŹ rst row (L to R): John Cuming, Sue T. Engelmann, Lisa S. Pires-Fernandes, Jennifer E. Lussier, Ben Procter, Charlie Truslow, Grace Hornor Evans, Sam Perry, Nina Bramhall; back row: Ed Miller, David Giandomenico, Mimi E. Storey, Sally Yozell, Peter Gregory, Lina Waingortin Blumberg, John Young, Ellen Sibley, Heather C. Faris, Chris Trakas, Rick Smith, Charles Hays, Danny Evans, Mike Ryan, Dan Steinberg, Susan Rogers Moehlmann, Sara Greer Dent, Morris Tyler.
Class of 1982: front row (L to R): Laura Ruhe, Diana Manchester Barrett, Elizabeth Wright, Margaret Talcott, Meave Oâ€™Marah, Joan R. Brewster, Bonnie MacDonald, Ted Sears, Richard Stetson, Paul Lualdi, Wally Kemp; second row: Katy Robbins, Antonie Chute, Ted Stikeleather, Philip Milot, Eric Chase, Tom Payne, Althea Latady, Jim Ward, Tom Kenney, David Walker; third row: Isabel Wells, Isabelle Stafford, Nick Gray, Mike Richmond, J.B. Pritzker, Ryutaro Hirose, Tom Farrell, Ian Torney, Steven Georgaklis, John Ohlson; back row: Chris Papageorge, Mark Robinson, Rick Wise, Tony Jenkens, Martha Coolidge, Dan Norton.
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Class of 1987: front row (L to R): Rob Young, Teddy Ladd, Peggy Rousseau, Rupa Mitra, Elliott Perkins, Marin Street, Lex Mathews, Bryant Urstadt, Ben Ames; second row: Tom Kane, Peter Kaﬁn and son behind him, Ali Fitzgerald, Melissa Coleman, Kate McNay Koch, Cynthia Young, Stewart McDowell, Christine Turner White, Sarah DiTroia, Alex Neville; third row: Tina Cervieri, Catharine Maclaren, Nancy Joyce, Nick Bacon, Jay Eigerman, Tom Lee, Caroline Dorsen, Meg Robertson, Kate Sullivan Henry, Sam Devore; fourth row: Katie Zilla-Ba, Sarah Wolman, Alethia Jones, Brian Quinn, Lamont Gordon, Tony Torres, Chris Dusseault, Austan Goolsbee, Tom Lowenstein, John Higgins, Ricky Theobald, Courtnay Brower, Nick Schmid, Peter Morningstar, Tim Donahue, Angus Walker; back row: Abby Smith Davis, Sarah Crittenden, Jason Peckam, Jeff Breen, Hardy Blanchard, Darrell Kirton, Mike D’Esopo, Tim Batchelder, Ben Shupp, Billy O’Flanagan, Sam Robinson, Alex Powers.
Class of 1992: beginning (L to R): Caleb Miller, Andy Weiner, Timothy Pappas, Jep Madara, Matthew Timms, Yeng Felipe Butler, Jhoanna Aberia Belfer, Phil Belfer, Jon Rein, Tim Wiedman, Antonio Rodriguez, Thomas Unfried, Merrick Axel, Heidi Baer, Tanya Earls Milner, Michael Breyer, Peter Scoblic, Nadia Boulos Campbell, Paul Ghosh-Roy, Adam Hudson, Lee DuBose, Tina Courey Duggan, Laura Tatelbaum Wood, Reed Johnstone, Phoebe Knowles, Molly Walsh Smith, Amy Crafts, Grace Ruben, Enrique Colbert, Derek Frederickson, Kathleen Lintz Rein, Jake Freifeld, Marc Kirschner, Tiffany McDonald Powell, Christine Nuzum, Liz O’Shea Speed, Kimberly Steimle, Claire McNamee Poole, Laura Chauncey Westmoreland, Kendra Motley Demopoulos, Jenna Bertocchi Stapleton, Tim Pieh, Tom Giordano, Shanon Kearney, Jeff Kirkman, Kara D’Esopo Mollano, Erika Mikkelsen Halford, Antony Levine.
Fall 2012 81
Caitlin O’Neil Amaral ’89 and her husband, Christian, welcomed Maeve Elizabeth on February 9, 2012.
1999 Alexander Lee and his wife, Maggie, joyfully welcomed Oliver Christian Lee, born July 8, 2012, at the Hong Kong Adventist Hospital.
2001 Taylor Oatis and Sprague Brodie ’05 began studies at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College this fall.
2002 Nicholas Morton and his wife, Ashley, welcomed Everett Connor Morton on March 12, 2012. Kit Hickey has started a business, Ministry of Supply, with fellow business school friends from M.I.T. The firm develops men’s dress shirts that adapt to the body, providing more comfort and style. Learn more: shop.ministryofsupply.com.
2005 On August 12, Laura Will joined more than 100 members of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute team in running the Falmouth Road Race, to support adult and pediatric cancer care and research. Laura ran in honor of her 12-year-old cousin. Randi Spoon has started a clothing line. Spoon Fashion is a New York City–based women’s contemporary clothing label. Learn more at www.spoonfashion.com.
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Tina Aspiala ’93 and “the one who was visiting as a fetus at the last reunion.”
Peter Vassilev ’96 proudly announces the birth of Michael Phineas Ingber Vassilev, Milton Academy Class of 2029, sporting the Mustang colors.
Alexander Lee ’99 and his wife, Maggie, joyfully welcomed Oliver Christian Lee, born July 8, 2012, at the Hong Kong Adventist Hospital.
Matt Miller is one of four young entrepreneurs to found Toy Motorsports, a multi-brand business based in Marlborough, Massachusetts. The company has recently expanded to include Driven Limousine Service, which offers luxury transportation services throughout New England.
2006 Annie Jean-Baptiste was a recent contestant in the Miss Massachusetts pageant, a highlight of which, she notes, is public service and acting as a role model for young girls. Annie volunteers with the Boys & Girls Club, the Boston Rescue Mission, ABCD Head Start and Citizen Schools. She also leads the diversity employee resource group at Google.
Jenna Bertocchi Stapleton ’92 and Isabel Ames McDevitt ’93 caught up for brunch with their families in Cherry Hills Village, Colorado, in March. Jenna lives in Greenwood Village and Isabel lives in Boulder. The two have been in touch since they both moved to Colorado six years ago. Children, from left to right, are Coco Stapleton (7 months), Sophie McDevitt (6), Craigie Stapleton (4) and Charlton McDevitt (4).
Ivy Martinez was one of five educators to receive the 2012 Sue Lehmann Excellence in Teaching Award from Teach For America. The award is granted to secondyear teachers who are developing into inspired, transformative leaders; and whose students are on an enduring trajectory in education, are working passionately toward their goals, and are engaging with and mastering content and skills necessary for a path toward college.
2007 Alice Bator and Olivia Green are Fulbright Scholars in South Africa.
Kristin Ostrem ’99 married Jamie Donelan on May 5, 2012, in Boston. Many Milton friends helped them celebrate: Kelly Sullivan ’99, faculty member Mark Hilgendorf, Kara Sweeney ’99, Beth Pierson ’99, Duke Gray ’99, Joanna Ostrem ’99, Jamie Donelan, Kristin Ostrem Donelan, Caroline Churchill Page ’99, Brittany Beale ’02, Otis Berkin ’99, Sarah White ’99, Leanne McManama ’99, Ben McGuinness ’99, Kiran Singh ’99, and former faculty member Dottie Pitt.
Milton has a new app for alumni. Reconnect with classmates. ates. Read news and class notes. otes. Join Miltonâ€™s online groups. ups.
Use the QR code above or go to www.milton.edu/app to install the application to your mobile device.
ALUMNI Fall 2012 83
Class of 1997: front row (L to R): Sara Case, Annie Moyer Martinez, Heather McGhee, Elizabeth Ward, Soraya Freed Rudofsky, Will Gardner, Catherine Debassio, Jill Brewer; second row: Scott Golding, Emily Brooks, Patty Murphy, Laura Ford, Jamie Haverty, Will Hutchinson, Sarah Kenney; third row: Kyle Quinn, Andrew Pappas, Jay Haverty, John Camera, Katie Wade; back row: Jonas Akins, Jack Donahue, Tony Panza, Nima Safabakhsh, Josh Olken.
Class of 2002: front row (L to R): Molly McGuinness Gistis, Claire Cheney, Alex Hannibal, Lizzie Pope, Kit Hickey, Tze Chun, Caitlin Walsh, Emily Driscoll, Nora Delay, Ellie Berens, Momoko Hirose, Eben Miller, Anne Duggan, Adrian Rossello-Cornier, Emilie Stark-Menneg; second row: class deans Gabrielle Brunner and Bob Tyler, Victoria Bendetson, Kate Walker, Jennifer Doorly Magaziner, Jennifer Ragus, Caroline Donovan, Dave Forbes, Collin Davis, Mona Safabakhsh, Sam Perkins, Caroline Sterne Falzone, Laura Gill, Lauren Maynard, Wen Chuan-Dai; third row: Seth Magaziner, Christopher Dalton, Fazal Yameen, Alison Quandt, Sam Burke, Sarah Ceglarski, Libby Hadzima, Alexandra Kuper, WhitďŹ eld Harrison, Chloe Dugger; fourth row: Mike Carthas, Jay Deshpande, Jennie Dougherty, Russel Daiber, Morgan Blum, Maile Carter, Sara Perkins, Caroline Carlson, Andrew Rozas, James Hayes-Wehle; back row: Jonathan Klinkoff, Oliver Sheldon, Li San Mo, Kelly Frey, Li San, Miguel Williams, Tyler Gilchrest, Naomi Siegel, Kyle Kennedy, Katherine Ramsey, Emily Russell-Roy.
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Elanor Starmer ’96 and Kumar Chandran were married on September 5, 2010, in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Otis Berkin ’99 and his wife, Nicole, celebrated their wedding with friends.
Mike Daley ’01 and Jamie Christensen were married on May 26, 2012, at the Wang Theater in Boston. The couple honeymooned in Greece and Egypt before returning to their home in the North End. Bart Devon ’01 ofﬁciated the ceremony, and many Milton friends helped them celebrate: Sam Cohan ’01, Brendan Heater ’01, Sam McArdle ’01, Alex Cochran ’01, Macky Wendell ’01, Caroline Davis ’01, Rob Donovan ’01, Dan Stone ’01, Maggie Kerr ’01, Colin Garstka ’00, and former faculty member Peter Moll.
Members of the Class of 2002 who took the favorite Three Writers in Depth English class with Mr. Doug Fricke, returned to their teacher’s home while he made good on his promise of having a Guinness waiting for them at their 10th Reunion. All but three class members made the trek. Standing: Anne Neely, Doug Fricke, Jeff Hughes, Collin Davis, Jay Deshpande, Chris Dalton. Seated: Laura Gill, Sarah Ceglarski, Lizzie Pope, Caroline Sterne Falzone, Chloe Dugger.
Milton friends helped Michael Brown ’03 celebrate his wedding this summer: Eliza Skinner ’03, Nick Keefe ’03, Patrick Petitti ’03, Zach Henderson ’03, Mary Brown ’13, Joe Cruise ’03, Teresa Brown, Mike Brown ’03 and Andrew Fink ’03.
Milton friends helped Alex Weiss ’01 and his wife, Rachel Bender, celebrate their wedding: Emily Weiss ’98, Ray Hainer ’98, Rachel Bender, Tim Churchill ’01, Alex Weiss ’01, Jim Bisbee ’01, Audrey Tse ’01, Nate Bliss ’01, Hannah Flint ’01 and Sam Taylor ’01. Fall 2012 85
Deceased 1931 Richard Prouty
1934 Harriet Welling Richards
1936 Elizabeth Gaddis Hitchcock
1937 Louise Ireland Humphrey
1939 Peter Dunham Nelson Rulison Knox Jr.
1940 Stephen Gifford
1941 Benjamin M. Burr
1942 Peter Fuller
1943 Henry Ashton Crosby Forbes Ashley Morton, wife of Nick Morton ’02, with their son Everett Connor Morton.
1945 Philip S. Dickson Mary Delong Baubie
1948 Joanna Pennypacker Brad Richardson
1949 Whiting Willauer
1952 Joshua Brackett
1956 Henry M. Robinson III
1972 Ann Corkery
1977 Richard Alan Wotiz
Olivia Green ’07 and Alice Bator ’07, both Fulbright Scholars, at a Fulbright conference in South Africa, held outside of Johannesburg.
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Memorial Tribute to Henry Robinson ’56 Henry Robinson ’56 died on March 26, 2012, less than a year after he was a rock star at our 55th Reunion. He was such a star because we loved him so—for his warm heart and great companionship, and because he was so very, very funny. As classmate Josh Lane wrote me recently, “You knew if you were going to spend a day with Henry, it would be a good day, and it would be fun.” With great compassion for his students, Henry taught for 17 years in the Arlington school system. For 25 years, he ran science kit and educational teacher sabbatical programs at the Museum of Science. Henry is survived by his brothers Tony ’54 and Paul ’55, and his sister, Carol. In the class poll in our yearbook, the favorite “Haunt” was voted to be “Hank’s.” This speaks to the great warmth and hospitality of Henry and his family. Hank’s was indeed the place to be. Henry may be gone, but he is still bringing laughter and warmth to the hearts of his many friends. Robby Hallowell ’56
Class of 2007: front row (L to R): Orhan Gazelle, Cam Salem, Ben Stone, Michael Gianonne, John Nylen, Samantha Yu; second row: Alex Alves, Ashley Caines, Jessica Kingsdale, Kate Lovely, Hannah Lauber, Alex Bean, Jacquie MacDonald, Amanda Warren, Meredith Ruhl, Hannah Pulit, Nina Monfredo, Elsie Kenyon, Tina Nguyen, Hanna Tonegawa, Lauren-Elizabeth Palmer; third row: Zack George, Liz Davidson, Jacob Hentoff, Marcos Sastre, Mike Cohen, Jess Seaver, Alene Rhea, Julia Nissi, Jane Suh, Neha Wadekar, Sarah Paige, Chandler Sherman, Elizabeth Whitman, Brooke Kingsland, Matt Boyle; fourth row: Aiyana Ryan, Rob St. Lawrence, Korei Klein, Charlie Johnson, Will Driscoll, Eskor Johnson, Emeka Kanu, Brandon Nunn, Greg Verini, Emilia Rinaldini, Trevor Prophet, Brian Wu, Nick Dougherty, Jono Forbes, Billy Donahue, Frank Smith; ďŹ fth row: Alex Place, Tim Corkum, Amanda Estevez, Kelsey Hudson, Chris Lamont, Andrew Koris, Mike Matczak, John Shepard, John Ghublikian, Corbin Brown, Phil Keefe, Sarah Ebert, Tim Walsh, Natalie Chapman, Teresa Curtis, Kim Kaufman.
Fall 2012 87
p os t scrip t Resuscitating Compromise by Katie Leeson ’93
ashington is obsessive.” That was the opening line of a recent NPR story about the capital city’s laser-like focus on the 2010 health-care-reform law. I laughed as I drove up Pennsylvania Avenue, wondering if the reporter could have picked three better words to sum up the city where I’ve lived and worked for the past 12 years.
As a health-care lobbyist, I can tell you with absolute certainty that D.C. is flush with obsessive, passionate people seeking to influence policy and shape history. In fact, advocates and politicians are often selected for their jobs because of their passion. And in an era of social media and 24/7 news, it takes a lot of tenacity, verging on obsession, to break through the constant chatter. But lately, the question I’ve come to ask is, “Has Washington stopped listening in order to be heard?” In other words, to attract attention, have advocates and politicians become so vehement about their views that they’ve forgotten how to listen for the nuances in each other’s positions? Consequently, is the art of compromise on life support? During the health-reform debate, opponents of the law attempted to whip up a frenzy of misinformation. The summer of 2009 was fi lled with news reports of angry town hall meetings where Democratic members of Congress were vilified for their support of the law. “Socialized medicine” became the catch-
88 Milton Magazine
all phrase for everything the Republicans hated about reform. Protesters were disruptive at some gatherings, and violent at others. However, if you picked apart the so-called Democratic policies, many of the concepts, like insurance exchanges, individual mandates and accountable care organizations, were actually originated by Republican administrations and think tanks. Suddenly, just because a Democrat was espousing the same concepts, the proposals were demonized and deemed unworkable. At the same time, the Democratic responses to the protests did nothing to diffuse the situation. The Democratic National Committee called the outbursts “manufactured outrage” and one Democratic leader called the disruptions “un-American.” Talk about adding lighter fluid to a smoldering firestorm. By the time the final votes were cast in 2010, many politicians and pundits had become myopically obsessed about everything except the overarching goal of health reform. Partisan politics was at its worst, the apex of a trend that has been growing for three decades. According to the National Journal, which tracks individual voting records, 30 years ago most members of Congress’s vote ratings placed them between their chambers’ most liberal Republicans and most conservative Democrats. Today, few members occupy that sacred space that signifies the middle ground that compromise seeks.
Fast-forward to 2012: While a significant portion of the healthreform law has been upheld by the Supreme Court, major fiscal debates loom on the horizon, and their financial ramifications could dwarf the Affordable Care Act in size and significance. Given Americans’ sharp displeasure with the way the debate over the Budget Control Act went down last summer, one can’t help but hope that our elected officials will take a less polarized approach this time around. Thankfully, Capitol Hill rests on a solid foundation of smart and committed staffers, many of whom are open to hearing the merits of an issue. For example, during recent legislative efforts to address the drug shortage issue, my colleagues and I worked to convince Senate negotiators to expand the FDA shortage list to include drugs used in emergency medical services or surgery. We had to push hard from many angles and use all the resources at our disposal, but to their credit, negotiators listened to the crisis we described and changed the bill. We didn’t get every word we wanted, but they were able to find agreement on a bipartisan basis on certain wording and amended the legislation. While decidedly less sexy than a “fiscal cliff” or a “tax hike,” at the end of the day the right policy won. But here’s the catch. If I’ve learned anything in D.C., it’s that very little changes unless it boils up from the bottom. Voters have to demand a higher level
of discourse. If we value compromise, then we must vote it. If our members of Congress speak in sound bytes short enough for their Twitter feeds, then they also owe us longer explanations on the issues. And if they can’t produce sound policy arguments, then we hold the power to decide their future employment. At the same time, if the public fuels the partisan rhetoric with protests based on factual inaccuracies, then we can expect little more from Washington. The issues on Washington’s plate in the coming months involve complicated questions that require complex solutions. Perhaps if we turn down the volume on our own conversations and tune in to the details of what others are saying, our political leaders will also reach more toward the middle, and in the process, breathe some new life into the art of compromise.
Post Script is a department that opens windows into the lives and experiences of your fellow Milton alumni. Graduates may author the pieces, or they may react to our interview questions. Opinions, memories, explorations, reactions to political or educational issues are all fair game. We believe you will find your Milton peers informative, provocative and entertaining. Please email us with your reactions and your ideas at cathy_everett@ milton.edu.
Milton Academy Board of Trustees. 2012–2013 George Alex Cohasset, Massachusetts Robert Azeke ’87 New York, New York Bradley Bloom President Wellesley, Massachusetts Bob Cunha ’83 Milton, Massachusetts Mark Denneen ’84 Boston, Massachusetts Elisabeth Donohue ’83 New York, New York James M. Fitzgibbons ’52 Emeritus Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
Harold W. Janeway ’54 H Emeritus E Webster, New Hampshire W Claire Hughes Johnson ’90 C Menlo Park, California M Stephen D. Lebovitz S Weston, Massachusetts W F. F Warren McFarlan ’55 Vice V President Belmont, Massachusetts B Chris McKown C Milton, Massachusetts M Erika Mobley ’86 E Brisbane, California B Wendy Nicholson ’86 W New N York, New York
John B. Fitzgibbons ’87 Bronxville, New York
John P. Reardon ’56 J Cohasset, Massachusetts C
Catherine Gordan New York, New York
H. H Marshall Schwarz ’54 Emeritus E New N York, New York
Victoria Hall Graham ’81 Vice President New York, New York Margaret Jewett Greer ’47 Emerita Chevy Chase, Maryland Franklin W. Hobbs IV ’65 Emeritus New York, New York Ogden M. Hunnewell ’70 Vice President Brookline, Massachusetts Caroline Hyman New York, New York
Frederick G. Sykes ’65 F Secretary S Rye, R New York Dune Thorne ’94 D Boston, Massachusetts B Eric E Tseng ’97 San S Francisco, California V-Nee Yeh ’77 V Hong Kong H Jide Ji J. Zeitlin ’81 Treasurer T New N York, New York
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