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features Great Scott 2 Walter Dill Scott and the birth of adult education at Northwestern No more writer’s block 6 Creative writing springs to life at SCS 2

On the cover: Wieboldt Hall, c. 1927.

Un hombre de letras 10 SCS alumni Don Luis Leal has introduced generations of students to the richness of Mexican, Chicano, and Latin American literature


Continuum is published by the School


of Continuing Studies at Northwestern

Student profile: Jenn Williams 14

University for its students, alumni, faculty,

SCS news 15 Walter E. Smithe to the rescue; Student Advisory Board; the ILR Journal; and more

staff, and friends. Editors: Margaret Buhl, Tom Fredrickson Associate editor: Brad Farrar

SCS people 17 News from alumni, students, and faculty

Designer: Vickie Lata Photos: Kevin Weinstein, Courtesy of Northwestern University Archives, Andrew Campbell, Marc Hauser © 2005 Northwestern University. All rights reserved.


Produced by University Relations. 3-05/20M/TF-VL/10120

Views expressed in Continuum do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or the University.



To be continued… 20 Memories of the P. I. by Jim Kemper (ILR)

From the dean

Dear SCS Friends,

I am pleased to welcome you to the second issue of the new Continuum. In the following pages, you’ll find articles that look ahead to new programs and look back on our origins. As I read these stories one thing became clear: Innovation has been a longstanding tradition at the School of Continuing Studies, and we plan to continue that tradition. Adult education was a radical idea 100 years ago, as John Balz shows in his fine history of the early days of continuing studies at the Northwestern (“Great Scott,” pages 2–5). No less innovative is the entrepreneurial spirit of SCS today as we embrace new partnerships, as with the University’s Center for Public Safety (“SCS news,” page 15), and develop new degree offerings, such as the Master’s of Creative Writing (MCW) program (“No more writer’s block,” pages 6–9). The MCW program is a real SCS success story. It draws on a remarkable pool of writing talent from within the University and beyond — including recent MacArthur fellow Aleksandar Hemon (see “SCS people,” page 18) — and has already attracted an energetic and promising group of students. I am proud to support a program devoted to the transforming power of writing. The power of writing is echoed in several other stories in this issue of Continuum. It’s in the pioneering career of SCS alumnus Don Luis Leal (“Un hombre de letras,” pages 10–13), it’s in in the pages of the ILR Journal (“SCS news,” page 16), and it is vividly evident in Jim Kemper’s skill at capturing a particular time and place in words (“Memories of the P. I.,” page 20). One of our goals in Continuum is to shine a light on the people who make SCS a special place. In this issue you will read about our Student Advisory Board as well as a profile of student Jenn Williams — people whose generosity and commitment make the SCS community what it is. The response to our last issue of Continuum has been overwhelmingly positive. As we look forward to future issues of the magazine and future initiatives at the school, we ask you — alumni, current students, faculty, staff, and friends — to help us tell the SCS story. Let us know what is happening in your lives; suggest ideas for future profiles and articles; tell us about the people and experiences that have made SCS a special place for you.


Thomas F. Gibbons Dean April 2005

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Great Scott The birth of adult education at Northwestern Walter Dill Scott (1869–1955) was an Illinois farm boy who graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Northwestern in 1895 before entering the budding field of educational psychology. In 1900 he returned to Northwestern to help start the psychology department, where he developed a test for the U.S. Army to identify and promote officers based on merit and ability. Scott was a businessman as well as a scholar. After World War I, he ran his own industrial consulting firm, headed up a bureau of “salesmanship” in Pittsburgh, and wrote books on advertising, human resources, and “human efficiency.” Business and psychology were really not so far apart, he believed, for when a businessman asks what a customer wants, “he is talking about the minds of his customers,” Scott wrote in his Theory of Advertising (1903). This practical, worldly emphasis made Scott something of a rebel in the conservative fraternity of higher education. He considered the majority of American educators “seclusive, snobbish, and intolerant,” according to an article in the Daily Northwestern. With the University struggling academically and eating away at its endowment, he turned down the presidency twice before finally acquiescing in 1920. Scott brought his independent thinking to Evanston in the form of the “Scott Doctrine,” as it was known around campus. The strategy focused on figuring out how best to serve individual students. Scott’s idea was not to mold

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students to the University, but to mold the University to them. “Training should be determined primarily by the needs of the youth to be educated,” he wrote in 1922, “not by the needs of … society or the available courses.” For someone interested in understanding the human condition and devoted to the practice of social science, there could be no finer subject than the college student. Each student — no matter his or her age — was an unfinished collection of interests and attitudes. It was the job of educators to help students determine their strengths and nudge their personalities toward maturity. Scott relished that position. He looked at Northwestern with the same empirical tenacity with which he analyzed the U.S. military. In charts and tables he asked: Who was coming and going? Why? What was their background? What were their future plans? Which classes were popular? Soon he had firm grasp of whom he was looking for. Not “mere bookworms,” he said. He wanted men and women with intellect, emotion, and will — or as he put it, “the power to think, to feel, to do.” In adults Scott found such traits — as well as a lot of untapped potential. An oxymoron?

Scott’s thinking about educating adults was developing at the same time other educators and social scientists were pondering the subject. Someone near the top of

It is probably too much to say that without Walter Dill Scott, Northwestern would not have educated adults. But it is true

Far left: Walter Dill Scott. Above: Wieboldt Hall, today and in the 1930s.

that without Scott, adult education at Northwestern would have taken a very different form.

the University has believed in the promise of and the responsibility for teaching adults since the last decade of the 19th century. For example, the University was an original partner in a six-school adult education consortium called the Chicago Society, the College of Liberal Arts offered evening classes prior to World War I, and the School of Commerce offered its own evening curriculum throughout the early 20th century. But to many adult education seemed like an oxymoron. In the eyes of most universities and businesses, adults were not students — they were exhausted parents; they were busy employees; they were slow learners. Early ideas about how and why to teach adults were connected with industrialization, urbanization, immigration, and changing philosophies of American education. New towns rose as fast as factories could be erected, mechanization meant more leisure time for employees, and employers demanded more workers

with better training. In the last quarter of the 19th century, the federal government expanded its role in higher education, directing money and land to colleges that would offer liberal, agricultural, and vocational training. A college education remained a rare privilege in 1890 when schools like the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins — borrowing from England’s university extension model of learning for the sake of learning — carried the university to the community through school-sponsored lectures and public forums. More than 30,000 enrolled in correspondence courses at the University of Chicago in the early 20th century, and public libraries and YMCAs offered adult programs called “continuation schools.” In the 1920s the phrase “adult education” came into national vogue, used as an undefined catch-all term by educators, propagandists, and profiteers. As late as 1956, critics were still deriding evening schools

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for their medley of courses. Wrote one historian: “[I]t appears … that about all these fragmented segments of the evening colleges have in common is that they are all passionately interested in teaching something to adults of all ages.” Amidst this mish-mash of educational missions, however, was the search for a unifying principle. The period from 1918 to 1944 was the most crucial to the development of adult education. Thinkers committed to learning not as a privilege of the few, but as an intellectual opportunity for all, began to brainstorm. Suggestions for a principle came from writers and teachers such as Eduard Lindeman, who helped adult education find nationwide social and institutional support. In The Meaning of Adult Education (1926), cited today among the field’s seminal works, Lindeman noted that the term “adult education” was apt “not because it is confined to adults but because adulthood, maturity, defines its limits.” The unifying principle was to help adults respond intelligently to their own situation. Learning came from personal experience, not external authority. Rather than instill in adults the meanings of life, Lindeman believed adult education was the process by which men and women discovered those meanings for themselves.

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Social scientists were hard at work as well ruminating on adult education’s meaning. The most influential research of the decade was coming out of New York, where psychologist Edward Thorndike was gathering statistical proof that people did not lose their intelligence or their ability to learn as they aged. The findings — which, when published in 1928, challenged the theories of every previous educational researcher — meant that education need no longer be confined to children. Thorndike thought educators needed only to focus on the motives of adult learners and respond accordingly. Schools ought to determine what adults want to learn, not what they should be taught. Such ideas echoed in the “Scott Doctrine” at Northwestern. (In fact, Scott had met Thorndike while teaching summer classes at Columbia University in New York, and Thorndike wrote Scott a letter of recommendation to a defense employer praising his talent for “dealing with men” and “devising personnel schemes.”) Scott criticized the “old attitude” that education was an isolated endeavor, separate from practical lives and work. The “new attitude,” he said, was an education that benefited from experience and continued throughout a person’s entire life. Scott demanded that such attitudes and philosophies serve practical purposes. Above all else, he was

a pragmatist with a keen sense of the marketplace. In 1924 he noted that the demand for evening courses “seems to be growing.” Eventually, he predicted, that growth would demand a “change (in) all the present conceptions of the educational process.” It would also demand new facilities. “John Doe Hall”

Walter Dill Scott did not shrink from challenges. As president of Northwestern, he was revered as a builder as well as a thinker. During his tenure Northwestern opened schools of journalism, education, and engineering, a Scientific Crime Detention Lab, and the Traffic Safety Institute. New buildings for law, medicine, and dentistry climbed the downtown skyline. And he was a master fundraiser, growing the University’s endowment from $5 million in 1920 to more than $28 million by the time he left office in 1939. He was quick to seize an opportunity when presented with one. By 1925 William Wieboldt had already made a fortune selling other people’s products. The once-poor German immigrant was now a wealthy department store tycoon and had turned to philanthropy. He had established a foundation with $4.5 million and set aside $1 million of it for a gift to the University of Chicago. His son Raymond, however, urged him to wait. Perhaps sensing a business opportunity of his own, the son tipped off his friend Walter Dill Scott. (Raymond Wieboldt just happened to be the lead contractor on a number of building projects at Northwestern.) He suggested Scott call his father. “You must prepare a prospectus for a project that will appeal to Father,” he said. “You must do it immediately.” If Scott did, he might convince William to split the million between two schools. Scott hastily organized a meeting. He and Raymond stayed up late into the night working on an eight-page document describing how William Wieboldt’s donation could be used. They outlined plans for a giant center — temporarily called the “John Doe Building” — devoted entirely, in Scott’s words, “to adult education in the fields of Commerce, Arts and Sciences.” He set aside space for classrooms, laboratories, libraries, auditoriums, even a museum. When he was finished with his pitch, Northwestern got the $500,000 — worth more than $5.1 million today — as a down payment for construction of an eight-story building bearing the Wieboldt surname. Raymond got the construction contract, and adult education got a new home. Wieboldt Hall opened in 1928, and adult education officially

“We should begin work early and go to school always. There is no gulf between … school and office.” —WALTER DILL SCOTT began in the fall of 1933, when University College (the forerunner of SCS) opened its doors. Today Wieboldt Hall is the academic and administrative headquarters of the School of Continuing Studies in Chicago. Adult education would have its boom — after World War II, when veterans flooded day and night schools; and its bust — in the early 1970s, when rising tuition rates and increased competition pushed enrollment levels to record lows. By the end of the 20th century, however, no one could doubt the value and potential of adult learners. Today, adult education is no longer an afterthought, but an essential component of Northwestern’s mission, says SCS Dean Thomas F. Gibbons. “As the pace of change in society increases, as people start second and third careers, as new technologies reshape the workplace, SCS is one of the few places innovative, flexible, and academically strong enough to meet the needs of adults at every stage of their lives. No one questions the value of lifelong learning today,” he says. “Adult education used to mean finishing something left undone,” adds Gibbons. “Today the students I know see SCS as a new beginning. Maybe that’s a subtle shift, but I think it’s a critical one.”

A new campus for new programs. In the 1920s Walter Dill Scott’s plans for a campus on Chicago’s north side made its mark on Northwestern — and on the city. With the completion of Levy Mayer Hall (1926), the Ward Memorial Building (1926), and Wieboldt Hall (1927), Scott raised the University’s urban profile. The 1925 groundbreaking for the Chicago campus (opposite) brought together major donors for the project (above, from left): Elbert H. Gary, Mrs. Walter Hirsch, Walter Dill Scott, Mrs. Levy Mayer, William Wieboldt, Mrs. George A. McKinlock, and George A. McKinlock.

—John Balz

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After a long gestation, creative writing program springs to life.

About 30 years ago, when S. L. Wisenberg was in her first year at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, she received a questionnaire asking whether Northwestern should offer a graduate program in creative writing. Wisenberg gave the idea an enthusiastic thumbs-up, only to see nothing come of it. Today Wisenberg — winner of a Pushcart Prize for her fiction and author of a collection of essays Booklist 6 Continuum Spring 2005 Continuum Spring 2004

dubbed “gems not to be missed” — codirects the program she endorsed back in her undergraduate years: the Master of Arts in Creative Writing (MCW) program at SCS. Within only a year of its birth, the MCW program has attracted an impressive roster of authors to its faculty and talented developing writers to its workshops. “I always hoped Northwestern would have this program,” says Wisenberg.

What we learned: Developing writers discuss their craft Much of the credit for the program’s found a terrific administrator in Cary Nathenson,” assistant dean of graduate genesis and success goes to awardprograms at SCS. Gibbons further winning poet and novelist Reginald credits his codirector last year, Brian Gibbons, professor and chair of English Bouldrey, the author of three novels and at Northwestern and codirector of the a collection of personal MCW program since it beessays, for his role in gan in fall 2003. Gibbons, launching the program. author of seven poetry When shaping collections and the novel the MCW program, Sweetbitter, had taught many Nathenson and others at undergraduate poetry workSCS looked at existing shops at Northwestern but programs in the Chicago believed that teaching crearea and identified a gap. ative writing at the graduate Although several area level would yield even biguniversities offer creative ger rewards. Since 1989 writing programs, none Gibbons has been a memsupported a part-time ber of the core faculty Reginald Gibbons graduate program that of the MFA Program for would allow students to complete their Writers at Warren Wilson College, a degrees in two to three years — while low-residency graduate program that draws students to its campus in the Blue earning a living. At SCS, Nathenson says, “we already had a very successful Ridge Mountains for a series of intenadult student model, and we have the sive 10-day workshops and classes. flexibility to create new programs.” “Anyone who has ever taught creative writing likes the stimulus of teaching graduate students,” says Gibbons, Catching big writing fish adding that “older students bring a Northwestern had another powerful larger fund of life experience to their advantage: the ability to attract top writing.” writers as adjunct faculty. Wisenberg The first place Gibbons explains it this way: looked to house such a pro“Northwestern already gram at Northwestern was has nationally known the Graduate School, which writers on its faculty, already offered MFA prolike Reg Gibbons, grams in theater and paintMary Kinzie, and Brian ing. But their curricular Bouldrey. The University structure was too restrictive has great resources for the creative writing prothat support writing — gram Gibbons envisioned. Northwestern University Looking for flexibility Press, TriQuarterly [a litand a way to cut through erary journal], the literary academic red tape, he journalism program at S. L. Wisenberg discovered the ideal tapeMedill, and the Center cutter in Thomas F. Gibbons (no relafor Writing Arts. When we cast our net tion), who became dean of SCS in we are able to attract some very big fish, May 2002. “Tom was eager to support writers who are also good teachers.” the program,” says Gibbons, “and he Last year those included MacArthur

L. C. Fiore When Chicago Public Radio announced three winners from the 715 short stories entered in its “Now Hear This” competition in October, “Bluster and Balderdash,” by MCW student L. C. (Charles) Fiore, was among them. Winning the contest, says Fiore, and hearing his work read aloud by a professional actor for broadcast, “was a huge thrill.” Fiore’s relative youth — he was 25 when he entered the program in fall 2003 — did not prevent him from creating a nuanced main character of retirement age. Perhaps that is because Fiore, who holds a demanding day job as an executive assistant at the Chicago Board of Options while devoting his evenings to writing and MCW classes, says he feels “like two different people all the time.” The program’s part-time schedule worked perfectly for Fiore, who says the program provides a firm foundation for writers “and then lets you take risks.” He calls the MCW faculty “an incredible pool of writing talent,” citing classes with Hemon, Thompson, novelist Alexander Shakar, and academic superstar Stanley Fish. At the top of Fiore’s list is Bouldrey: “Brian’s class was the first time I thought about rhythm and reading my work aloud,” says Fiore. “After I graduate next fall, I’ll miss the feedback.”

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Michael Moreci Michael Moreci was about to leave Chicago, headed for an MFA program in creative writing at Northern Michigan University, when a friend told him about Northwestern’s MCW program. With an undergraduate degree in creative writing from the University of Illinois at Chicago and several publications in campus and literary journals under his belt, Moreci entered the program in fall 2004 at age 24 with valuable writing experience and life experience spiced by work as a bartender. Moreci is pleased that he was able to stay in Chicago and says the small class size in the program strengthens his connection to his classmates, who bring a wide spectrum of perspectives to their writing and discussions. Moreci will take advantage of the program’s independent study option by working with novelist and poet John Keene. “Anyone who wants to write has to realize that it takes time,” says Moreci. “Probably the most important thing is finding your voice.” Moreci believes that Northwestern’s MCW program offers students the freedom to discover that voice.

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new careers, writers in midcareer who “genius” grant winner Aleksander see this as a stepping stone to greater Hemon, the Sarajevo-born author of success; some who enroll for personal The Question of Bruno. Jean Thompson, enrichment. The mix is part of what a faculty member at the University makes our writing community exciting.” of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the author of four novels — her latest is City Boy — and three story collecDistinctive features tions, taught nonfiction last spring. Building a program like the MCW from This ever-changing scratch was challenging, pool of adjunct faculty says Gibbons, but it “We’ve had students gave organizers the complements the talents of Northwestern’s opportunity to incorpofrom every area full-time faculty and rate several distinctive … people in their expands the variety features. Northwestern’s of class offerings. MCW differs from 60s and people Top writers attract an MFA in that it is a straight out of top students. SCS hybrid of an academic administrators were program and a profescollege; lifelong encouraged by the sional degree program. writers pursuing strong response to “We expect our writing the program from the students to be students new careers, very beginning and of literature,” says writers in midthe high quality of Nathenson. Designed the applicants. “This career who see this to be flexible and affordis turning into our able, the MCW proas a stepping stone gram appeals to writing most difficult program to get into,” says to greater success.” students and faculty Nathenson. “Their by fitting a full-scale work must pass muster writing program into a for them to be admitted, which helps part-time structure of evening classes. insure the quality of the classroom Students take at least one course per experience. In a rigorous, term but may take up to four workshop-based program courses per term. Classes like this you can’t just sit are small, with workshops back. It’s incredibly hard capped at 15 students. work.” The program is In addition to the condesigned for people centrations in fiction and who have mastered the poetry traditionally offered fundamentals of creative by creative writing programs, writing; SCS encourages Northwestern’s program those who need more offers a concentration in background to first take creative nonfiction — essays, undergraduate writing memoirs, cultural criticism, courses or register for literary journalism, and the program’s special nonrelated writings. “We’re credit course, What Graduate Schools really strong in creative nonfiction,” Want: Applying to Creative Writing notes Wisenberg, “and we’ve attracted Programs. great faculty to teach it.” Miles Harvey, Administrators have also been author of The Island of Lost Maps: pleased with the variety of backgrounds A True Story of Cartographic Crime, of the applicants. “We’ve had students will teach the core course in creative from every area,” says Nathenson, nonfiction this spring. “people in their 60s and people straight Students take three workshops out of college; lifelong writers pursuing in their areas of concentration and

University, Louisiana Power & Light; complete the remainder of the 10course curriculum with a mix of core Barry Silesky, Art Institute of Chicago, courses and electives. Core courses, John Gardner: Literary Outlaw; and such as Writing Across Genres, take Sharon Solwitz, Purdue University, place on the Chicago Lakefront campus. Blood and Milk. Students take some electives on the Evanston campus, choosing from gradu- A lifetime of writing opportunities ate offerings in SCS literature and libAs committed as the MCW program is eral studies degree programs. Students to nurturing developing writers, it has a also participate in four noncredit semipractical side, too, equipping graduates nars designed to expose them to profesfor careers in related fields. Not all stusional opportunities. Topics for these dents entering the program are banking two-day workshops are on writing the Great Writing for Fame and “Northwestern already American Novel. Fortune; Grammar Some seek careers in has nationally known publishing and editfor Creative Writers; The Art and Science writers on its faculty. ing; others hope to of Revision; and teach creative writWhen we cast our Research for Writers. ing. The program One of the hallsupports those opnet, we are able to marks of the program tions by requiring attract some very big students to take a is the breadth of opportunity it offers fish, writers who are course in either for independent study, teaching creative also good teachers.” writing or the pubculminating with the master’s final project lishing industry. The required of all students. For this capMCW program also offers opportunistone project students write an original ties to gain teaching and internship creative work — one long piece or a experience, placing students at workseries of shorter pieces — under the places like Chicago’s arts webzine, supervision of a faculty member. Stuthe Bridge. Students looking for work dents also have the option throughout after graduation may take advantage the program to work independently of Northwestern’s University Career with full-time and adjunct faculty. Services office or attend one of SCS’s For even more variety, students career workshops. In addition to their may expand their independent study development as writers, MCW students beyond campus by working via e-mail can add a master’s degree from Northwith instructors from the western to their résumés. program’s Faculty Mentor MCW student Michael List, an ever-changing Moreci (see sidebar) says group of writing instructors he is excited to be part with diverse writing styles of this new endeavor. and teaching methods. This “Northwestern is a great year’s list of 10 faculty place to learn,” he says. mentors includes several “I think this program will Wisenberg knows from her open doors to a lot of work at the literary journal opportunities.” For more information on Another Chicago Magazine. the Master of Arts in CreA few of the mentors on ative Writing program, go the list, along with their teaching bases and a sampling of to their publications, are Anne Calcagno, DePaul University, Pray for Yourself; —Leanne Star John Dufresne, Florida International

Lesley Lathrop Lesley Lathrop already had one master’s degree from Northwestern — in history — when she started the MCW program in fall 2003 at age 38. She used her academic research and writing skills in her work for the Illinois Humanities Council. Lathrop found writing so satisfying that she was about to move to Boston to attend an MFA program in creative writing at Boston College when she heard a radio ad for Northwestern’s new program. “I really didn’t want to move,” Lathrop says, “so I jumped right into the program at Northwestern.” In the MCW program Lathrop concentrated on creative nonfiction. “I like to learn about people,” says Lathrop, who enjoys writing profiles and biographical sketches, including ones on Virginia Woolf and Abraham Lincoln that make up part of her master’s project. Because Lathrop entered the MCW program with credits from SCS’s master’s in literature program, she became MCW’s first graduate in December. As a result of the program, Lathrop says her writing has become more focused: “I pay more attention to syntax, diction, rhythm, and punctuation to create the effects I want.” Lathrop cited classes she took with Hemon, Wisenberg, and Elizabeth Crane, author of When the Messenger Is Hot, and is especially grateful for the support she received from her adviser, Bouldrey. “I used to write in what Brian called ‘word packages,’” says Lathrop, explaining that a “word package” is a predictable string of words — “You know how it’s going to end.” Now, she says, “I find more original ways to say what I want.”

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Alumni profile

Un hombre de letras SCS alumnus Don Luis Leal has introduced generations of students to the richness of Mexican, Chicano, and Latin American literature.

He has written 20 books and edited another 29. He has been a respected teacher and mentor at several major universities. He’s known and studied a who’s who of Latin American authors: Carlos Fuentes, Juan Rulfo, Jorge Luis Borges, Octavio Paz, and Gabriel García Márquez. He received the National Humanities Medal from President Bill Clinton and the Aguila Azteca (Aztec Eagle) Award from Mexican president Carlos Salinas. But at 97 Don Luis Leal is still not ready to retire from his life’s mission — to bring attention to Mexican, Chicano, and Latin American literatures. Leal (40) promoted the study of these literatures and authors at U.S. universities at a time when literature from Spain was the gold standard. Early in his career he focused on the work of Mexican writers, and later he brought attention to Mexican American (Chicano) authors. Leal’s support for such authors and training of more than 44 doctoral graduates who study them has raised their profile in American universities. He also is the premier scholar of the Mexican short story and continues work in that field even today. For Luis Leal, retirement is an option never entertained. There are still too many ideas in the world yet to be conquered by the professor emeritus, who still teaches Chicano studies courses at the University of California, Santa Barbara. And through all he’s seen, what is appealing about him is that he’s as passionate as a young person discovering something for the first time.

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His life’s mission, through literature, has been to erase ignorance and to bridge the gap between two neighbors inexorably tied together in history and culture: the United States and Mexico. “If you know Chicano literature, then you will have a better attitude toward the Chicano people,” he says. “Mexico and the United States are very close neighbors — but they don’t know each other. I think it’s very important for American people to know how rich the Mexican mythology is. In the United States everything is science, but there is another perspective, which is the mythical, which complements the science.” The fact that Leal may not have many years left to work is what bothers him. So he doesn’t stop, as he puts together yet another book on the Mexican short story. In 2003 he published Mitos y Leyendas de Mexico: Myths and Legends of Mexico, in which he retells 21 stories from Mexico’s indigenous and colonial past. Hundreds of students have gleaned Leal’s knowledge, enjoying walks or a morning coffee session with him, listening as he empties the contents of his mind. Students call him “Don Luis,” a title of honor, rather than professor. “He’s a walking bibliography,” says Rolando Romero, professor and former director of the Latina/ Latino Studies Program at the University of Illinois, where Leal taught.

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Growing up norteño Leal lived a privileged childhood. He was born into an influential northern, or norteño, Mexican ranching family on September 17, 1907, in Linares, Nuevo León, an agricultural town rich with orange groves. The Leals owned a Spanish-style home an entire block long next to the marketplace. He lived there with his parents, four brothers and sisters, and an extended family of aunts, uncles, and cousins. The oldest child, he was always “reading, reading, reading.” He recalls reading excerpts from Don Quixote aloud to the younger children. When he was about eight years old, in 1915, the violence of the Mexican Revolution reached his town. His father aided the revolutionary Lucio Blanco, one of the first to give land to the peasants. While many Mexican families fled to the United States, Leal’s father decided to move the family to Mexico City. With the unrest, Leal did not attend school for about two years. He recalls witnessing fusilamientos, or executions, in the streets of Mexico City. He remembers soldiers pushing around peasants and the poverty of the Mexican people. “That’s what affects you,” he recalls, “the suffering of the people.” In the end Leal believes the revolution was good, because it tied the richer north and the poorer south together, creating a national identity.

“Que delicia How delicious

que satisfacción what satisfaction

que euphoria Arriving at Northwestern The day he stepped off the train at Union Station in Chicago, the young man knew he was far from Mexico. He couldn’t speak English, but he could read it. It was cold that day in May 1927, the same day Charles Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic Ocean. Leal was wearing a light summer coat and a straw hat much like the one usually worn by Maurice Chevalier, the French singer and actor. “Everybody was looking at me!” Leal remembers with a laugh. Friends from his hometown were attending Northwestern University and had encouraged him to apply. He arrived speaking only limited English, which led him to Northwestern’s School of Continuing Studies (then called University College) and its innovative and flexible admission policies. “I was provisionally accepted until I learned sufficient English to become a regular student,” he recalls in Mario T. García’s book Luis Leal: An Auto/Biography (2000). “Little by little my English improved, until after a few years I began to take classes in math, science, English, and other undergraduate courses. But it took me seven years to master English, which is why I didn’t complete my BA until 1940.”

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how euphoric

que algería what happiness

ser parte del sarape to be part of the serape

de la existencia.” of existence. — “El Sarape de la Existencia,” Don Luis Leal, 1979

Leal began as a mathematics major, but after he met Spanish professor Roberto Brenes Mesén, a poet and the former Costa Rican ambassador to the United States, he switched to Spanish. Brenes Mesén taught him to critique Latin American literature from a Latin American perspective, not a European one. Feeling out of place at the University, he moved in with his friends from Linares, staying at a boarding house in Chicago managed by a Mexican family. He became active with the transplanted Mexican community, serving in the Mexican American Council, an organization with an office at Hull House in Chicago. He tried to find scholarships for Mexican students, hosted speakers at the Mexican consulate, and aided migrant workers. During the 1930s the Spanish department at Northwestern became split between supporters of the dictatorship of Francisco Franco in Spain and supporters of a democracy. Some students joined brigades against Franco, but Leal was careful about revealing his politics. “There was a big problem for the students, you see,” says Leal, who opposed Franco. “Because you didn’t know whom your professor was in favor of.” While at Northwestern he met his wife, Gladys Clemens, at a dance. They married in 1936 and would later have two sons. After graduating from SCS in 1940, Leal began writing for small bilingual and Spanish newspapers in Chicago. In 1942 he published his first article, called “La leyenda guadalupana,” about Mexico’s patron saint, the Virgin of Guadalupe, in the Spanish newspaper ABC. Leal was planning to go back to Mexico. “But I was studying, studying, studying. Then I got married. Then I became a citizen in 1939. Then I went to the war. Then I became a teacher. But I was always remembering Mexico.” Leal was teaching Spanish and working toward his PhD at the the University of Chicago when he was drafted in 1943. Up until the night before he left, he worked on a bibliography for an anthology on Mexican literature, recalls friend Rolando HinojosaSmith, an author and professor at the University of Texas at Austin. “He left for the army on a Monday, but he was still working that Sunday night,” says Hinojosa-Smith. “That’s Luis Leal. He said, ‘I have to finish it.’” Leal became a member of an amphibious unit responsible for escorting men to shore during the invasion of the Philippines. After U.S. forces took control of the Philippines he waited for the go-ahead to invade Japan. Leal believes the dropping of the atomic bomb saved his life. “I would never have come back,” he says.

Entering the academic world Following the war he completed his dissertation at the University of Chicago on the chronicles, or crónicas, written by the Spanish between the 16th and 18th centuries following the conquest of the Aztec empire. He viewed the fictional elements of the stories as the forerunner of the Mexican short story. Facts had been melded with stories about Aztec deities and other fiction. Leal’s fascination with this topic continues today and forms the basis of his most recent book. In 1952 Leal packed up his family and his books and moved to a place even more foreign than Chicago had been: Mississippi. There he taught Spanish at the University of Mississippi in Oxford. He was the only Latino teaching in the department. It was while he was there, in 1955, that Leal published his first major work, Mexico, civilizaciones y culturas, about Mexican culture. During his time at Ole Miss, Leal caught glimpses of William Faulkner shopping at the local drugstore and fishing. He remembers having coffee with several black students from Cuba and Puerto Rico. “Nobody said anything” about them, he recalls, although he thinks the university assumed they were white when they were accepted. (Officially, the University of Mississippi did not admit black students until James Meredith in 1961.) It was his first tenured job, but he would not stay long. In 1956 he left to teach at Emory University in Atlanta. Leal didn’t like the segregation of the South, and he balked at the Emory University president’s request not to discuss the “racial problem.” “That was bad,” he recalls. “How could you teach Latin American literature without talking about race?” Professor, mentor From 1959 until 1976 Leal taught at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. There he mentored dozens of doctoral students in the study of Latin American and Mexican literature. Many of the students remember “Don Luis” discussions. “He’s probably the only person that I still speak to with the usted,” says Romero, referring to the formal use of “you” in Spanish. “I don’t do it with anyone else. It’s just a sign of respect.” Sandra Messinger Cypess, a student of Leal’s who is now director of the Spanish department at the University of Maryland, says Leal had a gentle approach in the classroom and taught her how to read literature.

Opposite page from top: Luis Leal with his father, Luis Leal Ardines, about 1912; Leal in Chicago in the early 1930s. This page from top: Leal, standing at left, in New Guinea during World War II; Leal, with his wife, Gladys, receiving his PhD from the University of Chicago; Leal, right, with novelist and literary historian Carlos Fuentes in 1986; Leal, left, with poet, essayist and Nobel Prize winner Octavio Paz.

While mentoring the next generation of scholars, Leal embarked on the next stage of his own career with the 1973 publication of “Mexican American Literature: A Historical Perspective,” an article in the Revista Chicano-Riqueña. In it he argued that Chicano (or Mexican American) literature was not a modern development but can be traced back to the Spanish colonization of the Southwest. The writing sprang from people living in territories that had passed through Spanish, Mexican, and finally U.S. hands. Therefore, the literature is autonomous — no culture has full claim to it, not even American literature, because of its mixed heritage. In 1976 Leal retired from the University of Illinois, though he has continued his teaching as professor emeritus at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In this scenic seaside playground he has accomplished his second wave of work, promoting Mexican American literature. In 1995 he chronicled the genre with the publication of No Longer Voiceless. Leal feels proud that in fall 2005 the university is planning to launch the first Chicano studies PhD program in the nation. He continues to teach in the classroom. His friend Hinojosa-Smith, who has already delivered two retirement speeches for his friend and expects to deliver more, calls him a war horse: “Come September, he just begins to sniff the chalk on the chalkboard.” As a scholar Leal has always had a reputation for being open-minded. “Some famous or important people tend to look down on other people, and he has this tremendous sense of generosity and compassion,” says Victor Fuentes, a retired professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “He has a great love for people and humanity.” “To me,” says Fuentes, who hails from Spain, “he personifies all the best values of Mexican culture and history in one person.” So Leal continues on his quest. Each day he tackles the work at hand: another book on the Mexican short story, an article for an encyclopedia yet to come out, or the latest edition of a literary journal he founded, Ventana Abierta: Revista Latina de Literatura, Arte y Cultura. “I have a whole file of articles unpublished,” Leal says, walking to a room and then opening a file cabinet packed with papers. “Then I have a big box of topics to do. I know I won’t have time to do it all.” But, he says, “I’m still doing it.” And he doesn’t intend to stop any time soon. — Katherine Leal Unmuth (who is not related to Luis Leal). Reprinted with permission by Northwestern magazine.

Spring 2005 Continuum 13

Student profile

Jenn Williams: communication studies major

Home town Brenham, Texas Current SCS program I’m pursuing my bachelor’s of philosophy in communication studies. Day job I wear a couple of hats. I am a coordinator of Northwestern’s LGBT Resource Center. We provide resources and services for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community and our straight allies at Northwestern. I am also assistant to the director of the Norris University Center. Hobbies Photography, songwriting, singing torch songs, playing Pacman and Ms. Pacman. What’s your favorite thing about Chicago? The architecture. This city is so vertical and well thought out. It is so different from what I grew up with. Why SCS? Why now? Eight years ago I left the University of Texas at Austin. First off, at 19 who really knows what they want to do with their life? Additionally, I was struggling with being gay and trying to reconcile that with growing up in a pretty socially and religiously conservative place. I wandered for awhile: I lived in Alaska and Montana; I worked all kinds of jobs; I gained experience and began to find my voice. I worked for a couple of LGBT and progressive religious organizations, but I really wanted to go back to school. I was ready. It feels great to be at SCS and back on this path. It is even more remarkable that I am providing a resource to students who might be struggling with the very things that caused me to leave school the first time. Who is your favorite professor? Pamela Bannos keeps the fun in photography and appreciates the creativity in each of her students. It’s a gift to keep encouragement alongside criticism. What inspires you most? People and their stories. When I traveled I met people I would never come across otherwise, people from all walks of life. I think of these friends and carry the stories of their triumphs and failures, of love and love lost with me. Through them I learned that the most radical thing we can do is to be completely, truly, shamelessly ourselves.

14 Continuum Spring 2005

SCS News

Center for Public Safety joins SCS Northwestern’s Center for Public Safety became part of the School of Continuing Studies on January 1. Founded in 1936 as the Traffic Institute, the center offers courses in accident investigation, police operations and management, and transportation engineering to public safety and law enforcement professionals. In addition, the center does research and provides technical assistance to law enforcement agencies on such topics as racial profiling, DUI, and related topics. Recognizing that the center, like SCS, offers programs for adult learners, the University decided to combine the assets of both programs. The move will provide improved instructional and administrative support for the Center for Public Safety, said Thomas F. Gibbons, SCS dean. “Locating the center in SCS will enable it to take advantage of our registration, information technology, marketing, and other areas of support,” he says. “The type of training offered by the center will be a good fit with SCS, so we’re looking forward to having them as part of the school.” “This permits us to solidify our place in the Northwestern community,” said Alexander Weiss, director of the Center for Public Safety, “and to capitalize on the significant expertise and experience that SCS brings to the University’s programs in continuing and professional education.”

Walter E. Smithe helps SCS settle into new home

As SCS prepared to move into its new Evanston headquarters at 405 Church Street last year, one of the first orders of business was furnishing the facility. The original plan for the former mansion, built in the 1890s in the French Romanesque style, was to acquire period pieces where possible — especially for the newly renovated first-floor lounge. Although a few such pieces were purchased from antique stores, SCS staff found that 405 Church Street was far from furnished. When Timothy Smithe (Kellogg 96) learned of this need, he arranged for SCS to purchase a number of pieces at a discount from his family’s company, Walter E. Smithe Furniture, where he is vice president for sales and marketing.

Walter E. Smithe has been a leading furniture manufacturer and retailer for more than 50 years and was able to provide SCS with a number of stunning and stylistically appropriate pieces for the lounge, including two sofas, two high-back chairs, a writing desk and chair, a marble table that matches the olive green fireplace in the lounge, and an antique clock for the mantle. As the furnishings arrived, so did a personal note from Smithe, along with a bottle of champagne chilled in a crystal bucket. SCS is grateful to the Smithe family and looks forward to many happy memories in the newly furnished lounge at 405 Church Street.

Spring 2005 Continuum 15

SCS News Inspired collaboration

Student Advisory Board: Making a difference

Last December SCS’s Institute for Learning in Retirement celebrated the publication of its annual literary and art magazine, the ILR Journal. At a reception in Evanston ILR members and SCS staff gathered to hear Fred Shafer, lecturer in advanced creative writing at SCS, speak on the subject of inspiration and mark the end of nearly a year’s work on the 104page collection of fiction, poetry, essays, photography, drawing, painting, and other artwork. With the publication of the 13th volume last year, the ILR Journal has been around nearly as long as ILR itself. The noncredit peer-learning program for mature adults has been in existence for 17 years. (An essay reprinted from an earlier volume of the ILR Journal appears in “To be continued …” on page 20.) “The ILR Journal reflects the depth, breadth, and creative spirit of our members,” says Barbara Reinish, ILR director. “The humor, wisdom, personal reflection, and art within its pages demonstrate the remarkable acuity and agility of the mind even in our later years.” Each year work on a new edition of the ILR Journal begins soon after the last one is finished. Early in the year ILR members are invited to apply to be on either the journal’s jury or the editorial board. In May the ILR community submits writing and artwork for the journal. The jury meets with Robert Gundlach, director of Northwestern’s Writing Program and professor and chair of the Department of Linguistics in the Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Science, and together they review all submissions and agree on which pieces to send to the editorial board. The editorial board decides which of these pieces will appear in the journal and works with the authors and artists to refine their work as needed. In the fall this

Students in the School of Continuing Studies have long

material is turned over to Brad Farrar, SCS production manager in Chicago, who works with Reinish and the journal editor to produce the final layout. The artwork that received the most positive reaction from the jury and editorial board during their reviews is selected for the cover. The journal is printed after Thanksgiving. A portion of the cost of producing the ILR Journal is paid through donations from the ILR members, with the remaining expenses covered by the ILR budget. Copies of the current issue of the ILR Journal are available for a tax-deductible gift of $12. Back issues are free. For more information, contact ILR at 847-491-7724, 847-467-3021, or 312-503-7881.

Congratulations to Barbara Reinish and the Institute for Learning in Retirement, which recently received a $100,000 grant from the Bernard Osher Foundation to support new initiatives in lifelong learning. See the next issue of Continuum for more information.

understood they have more to offer the SCS community than just tuition and attendance in classes. The SCS Student Advisory Board is committed to seeing that students remain full and dedicated partners in the life of the school. “We want to help fellow students get the most out of their SCS experience,” says Timothy Lindsey, SAB president. The current incarnation of the SAB was founded in spring 2004 with the goal of enhancing the experience of SCS students. The SAB acts as an advocate for students and works closely with associate dean of student services Tim Gordon and the student services staff. “The SAB has worked very hard in the past year to assist faculty, staff, and fellow students in creating a stronger SCS community,” he says. “The group is a critical link in continuing the school’s mission and providing a student voice as we continue to develop new services and initiatives.” In the past year the board has sponsored presentations during New Student Orientation, held “meet and greet” events during the first weeks of class, and created other opportunities for students to air their concerns. One of these ideas involved publishing the Dean’s List (a listing of students who have earned a GPA of 3.7 or better in a term), which, thanks in part to the SAB, is now available online at credit/deans_list.cfm. On the social side, the SAB hosted the first annual SCS Homecoming Tailgate party last autumn—and celebrated the Wildcats’ victory over Purdue. Angelique Collins, SAB treasurer, says, “It was awesome. The best part was hearing the stands go wild every time the Wildcats scored!” Regular SAB meetings are held on the second Friday of every month in Wieboldt Hall in Chicago. SCS students who attend two consecutive board meetings are eligible to be nominated as SAB members at their third meeting. Each spring the SAB membership nominates and elects an executive board — president, vice president, treasurer, and secretary— that serves a one-year term. “Any current SCS student is eligible to serve as a member of the board,” says Matthew Brach, SAB vice president. “All they need is the desire to make the SCS experience even better.” Upcoming activities include the 2005 SAB member recruitment event on May 8, leadership elections on May 13, and an open board meeting on June 10. For more information, contact SAB secretary Ann Hennig at

From left: SAB members Matthew Brach, Nodia Powell, Angelique Collins, Adrianna Baryla, Timothy Lindsey, Ann Hennig, and Mike Lough. 16 Continuum Spring 2005

SCS people News

Alumni and students Lindsey Simenson Bass (97) of Roselle, Illinois, is operations manager at GN Otometrics North America in Schaumburg. The company develops and manufactures computer-based audiological and vestibular measurement instrumentation. She and her husband, Steve, are the parents of Abby Louise, born in August 2003. Keith Bodger (00) of Wheaton, Illinois, is an environmental specialist at Nicor Gas in Naperville. He wrote his first book, Fundamentals of Environmental Sampling (Government Institutes, 2003), a practical guide to sample collection. He and his wife have two children. Eileen Brendel (99) of Chicago married David Monsurate on April 23, 2004. Alvin Cheeks (02) of Chicago is chair, president, and CEO of ClinDev Global Inc., an international pharmaceutical/ biotech services firm. He was elected to the board of directors and named chair of the board’s nominating committee for Near North Health Service Corp., one of the nation’s largest federally qualified community health care centers.

Brian R. Dolan (99) of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is an associate at Camp & Camp, specializing in probate and estate litigation. He earned a law degree in May 2002 from Shepard Broad Law Center at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale. Byron S. Dunham (73) of Savannah, Georgia, retired after a career in journalism. He was a reporter for the Toledo Blade and assistant editor and manager of the Rotarian, the Rotary Club’s magazine based in Evanston. In 2001 he received a National Magazine Award for best fiction and has been in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World. Connie Garner-Cohen (89) of Wilmette, Illinois, is head of the liberal arts department at Harrington Institute of Interior Design in Chicago and teaches English composition and literature. She received a master’s degree in written communications in 1995 and a teaching certificate in adult education with

a writing specialization from National-Louis University in 1997. Syrola Schaefer Hirsch (61) of Chicago, a former World War II Army nurse, received the Cook County Sheriff’s Senior Medal of Honor, given to seniors who best represent the spirit of volunteerism. She volunteers at the Chicago Cultural Center and performs as “Jolly Sally,” a professional clown. Marilyn Grinager Mason (67) of Evanston obtained a master’s in social work from Loyola University in 1986 and became a licensed clinical social worker in the early 1990s. She worked full-time at Catholic Charities from 1986 to 2001. Mason is now semi-retired and since March 2003 has run the Home Sharing Program of the Center of Concern in Park Ridge, Illinois, which matches people in homes or apartments with people looking for a place to live for reasons of economic need, security, or companionship.

Northwestern Alumni Association Northwestern CareerNet, your online, searchable networking resource offered by Northwestern Alumni Association, has more than 11,100 alumni career contacts in its database. This service offers you the benefit of establishing and maintaining valuable connections with fellow alumni in your field of work. You may also volunteer to be an alumni career contact yourself. By volunteering, you are agreeing to be contacted by fellow alumni or students so you can share your career

Robert G. Mau (92, G98) of Chicago was appointed senior writer for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in February 2004. Jennifer Raaths (00) of Wauconda, Illinois, coedited and helped publish a book titled Faces of POF: Learning and Living with Premature Ovarian Failure and has been appointed to the board of the Premature Ovarian Failure Support Group. She and her husband, Daniel Yacono, are the parents of twins, Emily Susan and Lauren Elizabeth, born in November 2003, and Alexander Henry.

In memoriam John T. Anagnost (50) Elizabeth Schrei Bailey (48, Kellogg 52) Stephanie Biedron (47) John J. Bogdansky (67) James V. Brown (59) John R. Budz (61) George W. Cole Sr. (68) Gary Alan Heller (82) Alice M. Lessick (60)

Michael Raleigh (97) of Greenwich, Connecticut, is an award-winning artist whose mixed-media piece Easter Parade was accepted in the New Jersey Center for Visual Arts’ 2004 International Juried Show, which ran between January and March. Lisa Yondorf (96) works as a writer/editor for the Graduate School at Northwestern University. She plans, writes, edits, and does most of the photography for the Graduate School Quarterly and edits the Graduate School Bulletin, the school’s web site, and other documents published by the Graduate School. She says her professional success is “thanks in large part to my writing certificate from the School for Continuing Studies and to articles I wrote for the Evening Northwestern and Northwestern by Night (predecessors of Continuum).”

Lucille Levenshon (99) Henry F. Levin (85) Margaret Boyer Linsday (48) Helen C. Mattas (48, G49) Frances Witmer Miller (37, G38) Ronald A. Paul (70) James E. Roach (70) Richard Serafin Rossi (75) Martin J. Ryan III (57) Paul S. Urbanick (57) Fae Phyllis Vaughan (47) David D. Weinstein (44)

knowledge and experiences with them. You may access Northwestern CareerNet at www.alumni For more information, contact Aspasia Apostolakis, Northwestern Alumni Association, at

Spring 2005 2004 Continuum 17

SCS People

Faculty Paul Buchheit, instructor in the Master of Science in Computer Information Systems program, is one of the founding members of the One Globe group (www, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the education of high school and college students in the larger issues (environment, health, military spending, etc.) that will affect the peace and prosperity of our future world. Benjamin Chickadel, instructor in the Fine and Decorative Art Appraisal and Connoisseurship Professional Development Program (PDP), has work appearing in the book Figurative Ceramics, to be published by Lark Books this spring. He also had a solo show at the Contemporary Art Workshop in Chicago in January 2005 and had work in San Francisco at the Pawn Brokers Gallery in December 2004. Elizabeth Crane, instructor in the Master of Arts in

Creative Writing (MCW) program, will have her book of stories All This Heavenly Glory published by Little, Brown in March. Reginald Gibbons, professor of English and classics, chair of the Weinberg College English department, and teacher of the poetry-writing workshop in the MCW program, won the Folger Shakespeare Library’s O. B. Hardison Jr. Poetry Prize in 2004. It is the only major award in the United States to recognize excellence in both teaching and writing poetry.

18 Continuum Spring 2005

Thomas F. Gibbons, dean of SCS, received a Faculty Member of the Year Award in June 2004 from the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern. In addition to teaching at SCS, he teaches a course on negotiations for McCormick’s Master of Product Development program. Robert Launay, professor of anthropology in Weinberg College and instructor in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program, had six articles published in the New Dictionary of Ideas (Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2004). He has also written a chapter on “New Frontiers and Conversion” to be included in the New Cambridge History of Islam. Gary Lehman, instructor in the Landscape Design and Management PDP, has joined HNTB Corporation’s department of urban design and planning. He is also a parttime faculty member at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, teaching architecture in the Early College Program. He submitted design for the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania and will be contributing to a symposium, “Arts and Crafts: Gardens and Landscapes of the Era,” at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Jennifer Morrow, instructor in the Mediation Skills PDP, has been named program chair for the Chicago-area chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution. She is a conciliator for the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Office of Conciliation.

John W. Swain, instructor in the Master of Arts in Public Policy Administration program, had two book chapters accepted for publication in the past year: “Niccolo Machiavelli: Learning from the Past as We Move through the Future” (with Christopher Anne Easley) in Peter L. Cruise and Thomas D. Lynch, eds., Handbook of Organization Theory and Management: The Philosophical Approach, and “Public Finance Management Information Systems” (with Jay D. White) in G. David Garson, ed., Handbook of Public Information Systems. Both books are forthcoming. Another essay — “Do More Lights Make You Safer?” (with Mark Karczewski) — appeared in two trade journals: Law and Order (March 2004) and Police Fleet Manager (March–April 2004). S. L. Wisenberg has been codirector of the MCW program since August 2004. In March 2004 she published fiction in the literary magazine Third Coast. In June she was interviewed on “Sunday Papers with Rick Kogan” on WGN-AM about the book Poetry from Sojourner: A Feminist Anthology, in which her work appears. In November she was the Closs Writer-in-Residence at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, visiting classes in creative writing, Holocaust studies, and Jewish humor. This academic year she was reappointed a visiting scholar in gender studies at Northwestern.

Hemon named MacArthur Fellow Aleksandar Hemon was named one of 23 MacArthur Fellows for 2004 by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. He is an instructor in the MCW program. The so-called “genius grant” brings with it $500,000 in “no strings attached” support over the next five years. Hemon was born in Sarajevo and received a BA from the University of Sarajevo in 1990. In 1992 he traveled to the United States as a journalist and, unable to return home because of the Bosnian War, remained in Chicago as a refugee. He earned an MA in English from Northwestern in 1995, when he began writing in English. His work has appeared in Granta, the New Yorker, Ploughshares, McSweeney’s, and the Paris Review. In 2000 Doubleday/Nan A. Talese published Hemon’s The Question of Bruno, which subsequently won several literary awards, was published in 18 countries, and was named one of the best books of the year by the New York Times Book Review, Esquire magazine, the Village Voice Literary Supplement, the Los Angeles Times Book Review, and the Washington Post Book World. It was followed in 2002 by Nowhere Man, a novel in stories that Esquire called “a true work of art that’s as vast and mysterious as life itself.” Says the foundation: “Hemon creates an expansive fictional universe. He dramatizes with wit and dexterity the cultural displacements that he and his characters have endured. His voice invigorates American literature and succeeds in conveying moving stories from the otherwise incommunicable experience of war.”

SCS snapshot

To be continued…

Memories of the P. I. What I remember most about the P. I. — that’s what we called the Philippines when I served there between the wars in Korea and Vietnam — was the heat. I would walk back to the Bachelor’s Officers’ Quarters (BOQ) after the midwatch, the sun just coming up, and already I could feel the heat rash on my back, like stinging nettles on my skin. Lowering the blinds in the room, turning on the fan, I would try to sleep, listening to the myna birds squawking in the acacia trees outside the windows and following the progress of a gecko slowly across the ceiling. When five of us moved out of the BOQ and rented a house “on the beach” — meaning off base — we thought we had it made. We had a house boy, Carlos, who cleaned, washed our dishes, made our beds, and did our laundry, and a nasty parrot, Binky, who bit the hands that fed him. When we had parties, we served French champagne, brought back from Saigon by the flyboys who made regular flights there. I was one of the fortunate ones to be in service between the wars. Only one of my 31⁄2 years in the navy was at sea. I spent two years as communications watch officer at a naval air base in the Philippines called Sangley Point. Two years is a long tour of duty in a place like the P. I., but we found ways to pass the time. There were vacation trips to Hong Kong and Japan. To escape the heat we drove to Baguio, 5,000 feet up in the mountains, where the air was cool and pine trees replaced palms. When we wanted a beach, we could drive to Nasugbu, where in a hidden cove beneath the cliffs we’d found a perfect reef for snorkeling. I remember taking sightseeing cruises on the admiral’s yacht to Corregidor and Bataan. And a canoe trip to a waterfall deep in the jungle, like the kind of highpriced eco-tours people take today, complete with tropical vines and brilliantly colored birds and butterflies. And, of course, there was always the city of Manila, 20 minutes by boat across the bay. We docked at the Army Navy Club, a relic of another age. The embassy and officer wives sat around the pool, sipping their tropical drinks, looking out over the bay, while the amahs watched their children. The drinks were made from the calamanci lime, an orange-fleshed fruit I had never seen before. They clapped their hands, and servants rushed to take their orders. It was a scene right out of Somerset Maugham.

20 Continuum Spring 2005

Along the bay ran Dewey Boulevard, one of the main thoroughfares of the city. Yet next to the new hotels, 10 years after the end of the war, there were still the ruins of bombed-out buildings. Across the Luneta, the city’s main park, sat the venerable Manila Hotel, where at night Manila society gathered. Like colorful butterflies — women in their long-skirted ternos of filmy pina cloth, men in the loose formal shirt called the barong — Tagalog danced to the mambo across the vast hotel room. And there was another, older Manila, too — one that existed behind the walls in certain areas of the city, where old Spanish families, still speaking Spanish among themselves, clung to their traditions. They met one another at the Casino Español. Or played jai alai at the Fronton. Or joined the Basque pelotaris after hours at the open-air café on Dewey Boulevard, where they sang Spanish songs until the wee hours of the morning. Sad to say, when I remember the P. I., I think I may have seen the best of it. The beautiful forests around Baguio are all being logged, and what I recall has probably disappeared. The reefs off the beach at Nasugbu where we snorkeled may have been dynamited by now, because that’s what the fisherman have been doing in the Philippines. And Manila, a town I remember as congested and corrupted then, can only have become more so now. I always wanted to go back. But maybe it’s a good thing I never did. —Jim Kemper (ILR) reprinted with permission from the ILR Journal.

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Northwestern University School of Continuing Studies Continuum Magazine - 2005  

Continuum is the annual magazine for the Northwestern University School of Continuing Studies community.