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The

College St. John’s College

Annapolis

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2 0 0 3

Santa Fe

Virgil A n d t h e Pow e r of Language


On Virgil n the introduction to his celebrated verse translation of the Aeneid, Allen Mandlebaum acknowledges he came late to Virgil, having been influenced by other great minds (Mark Van Doren and Samuel Coleridge among them) to think that Virgil was less worthy of serious attention than others in the canon. Mandlebaum, who spoke at Santa Fe’s commencement this May, writes that Virgil often loses out in the Homer-Virgil-Dante triangle, but he makes a case that Virgil’s poetic voice is one worth listening to, something he discovered in the six years he worked on the translation. Virgil “speaks of a time of peace achieved, and no man ever felt more deeply the part of the defeated and the lost,” writes Mandlebaum. Publius Vergilius Maro was born near Mantua in Northern Italy in the year 70 BC. He was the son of a small farmer, but the family lands were confiscated by the Triumvirs, later restored to Virgil, and then lost again. By this time, however, good connections—particularly his friendship with Octavianus, the future Emperor Augustus—gave Virgil status and financial means to pursue the life of the poet. Virgil’s first biographer, Aelius Donatus, writing in the fourth century, described him as “large in person and stature, with a swarthy complexion, a peasant’s brown, and uneven health, for he commonly suffered from pain in his stomach, throat, and head; indeed, he often spat up blood.” Because of his status with Augustus, Virgil had it made, says Donatus: “No matter what he asked of Augustus, he never met with refusal. Every year he supported his parents with gold in abundance.” Like Homer, Virgil didn’t lack for detractors—including those who labeled him as a political opportunist or propagandist for Augustus. Donatus pictures Virgil as a careful critic and editor of his own work: “It is handed down that, while he was composing the Georgics, he usually dictated a great number of verses which he had thought out in the morning, and would, in revising them throughout the day, reduce them to a very small number...” Samuel Johnson recommended Virgil’s method to the writers of his time. Virgil’s Eclogues, or Bucolics, completed in 37 B.C. in Rome, celebrate rural life, a theme he continued in the Georgics, completed in 30 B.C. Virgil next turned to the Aeneid, which consumed the last 10 years of his life. He died in Brindisi in 19 B.C., his plans to revise his work cut short. The story is that on his deathbed, Virgil ordered that the Aeneid be destroyed, but it was saved from the flames and protected by Augustus—giving Romans more than a work of literature—an enduring hero and a national epic of a scale appropriate to their role in history. In this issue of The College, we consider Virgil in the context of language, specifically Latin. The 1949 Bulletin of the college is a good document to consult if you want to understand a little about language and its place in the Program. That was the year Latin, originally part of Barr and Buchanan’s New Program and taught at the College for more than 200 years, was dropped to make way for two years of Greek. Language, according to the Bulletin, is “man’s most intimate external possession. The trained language sense extends man’s imaginative powers. We therefore move on it with an organized strategy. The effects are in sustained powers of imagination and therefore in increased attention and powers of analytic thought.”

I

—RH

The College (usps 018-750) is published quarterly by St. John’s College, Annapolis, md and Santa Fe, NM Known office of publication: Communications Office St. John’s College Box 2800 Annapolis, md 21404-2800 Periodicals postage paid at Annapolis, md postmaster: Send address changes to The College Magazine, Communications Office, St. John’s College, Box 2800, Annapolis, md 21404-2800. Annapolis 410-626-2539 reharty@sjca.edu Rosemary Harty, editor Sus3an Borden, managing editor Jennifer Behrens, art director Advisory Board John Christensen Harvey Flaumenhaft Roberta Gable Barbara Goyette Kathryn Heines Pamela Kraus Joseph Macfarland Jo Ann Mattson Eric Salem Brother Robert Smith Santa Fe 505-984-6104 alumni@sjcsf.edu Laura J. Mulry, Santa Fe editor Advisory Board Michael Franco David Levine Andra Maguran Margaret Odell Ginger Roherty Mark St. John Magazine design by Claude Skelton Design


fall 2003 Vo l u m e 2 9 , I s s u e 3

The

College The Magazine for Alumni of St. John’s College

Annapolis

Santa Fe

{Contents}

12 Living Languages

d e p a r t m e n t s

page

2 •

Johnnies in linguistics contribute to human understanding.

• • •

16 Johnnies and Latin page

• • •

Sona si linguam latinam ames.

18 A Moment of Glory

11 page 12

page

27 28

What goes into preparing commencement ceremonies in Santa Fe and Annapolis? Plus, speeches, serious and light-hearted.

John Balkcom Steps Down An Extraordinary Gift Tales from the Tour Guides Making Room in Annapolis Rankings, Ratings and Plaudits Increasing Diversity Sharon Bishop Leads Board

letters bibliofile alumni P RO F I L E S

29 Lovejoy Duryea (A67) and the eidos of design

30 Tony Miller (class of 1961), Hot Wheels designer

22 Santa Fe Comes Home

37 Geoff Marslett (SF96), animator and

page

college instructor

40 The pioneering class of 1968 was among those returning to campus in July.

from the bell towers

Kitty Kinzer (AGI87) Jimmy Matthews (HA99) Vernon Derr (Class of 1948)

page 18

24 Hobbes in Prison

obituaries

page

42

campus life Great books authors provide croquet commentary

Alumnus Mark Lindley (A67) takes great books discussions behind prison walls.

44

tutors Grant Franks’ (A77) odyssey on Shadowfax

48

page 38

on the cover Virgil Illustration by David Johnson

st. john’s forever


2

{From the Bell Towers}

Moving On Santa Fe’s President John Balkcom, SFGI00, Steps Down In early June, after much soulsearching, Santa Fe President John Balkcom decided to step down, just short of three years in office. The college community responded to the news with shock, dismay, and questions—chief among them, why would someone who seemed so perfect for a job walk away from it? But for Balkcom, a huge weight was lifted from his shoulders. After months of feeling that he wasn’t doing the job he had hoped to do, his decision was firm, and he had gained a measure of peace. As he met with Annapolis President Christopher Nelson and Sharon Bishop, chair of the Board of Visitors and Governors, Balkcom decided to speak “plainly and truthfully” about his difficult choice. “I simply said, ‘I don’t like this job,’” Balkcom said. “I could not see my way clear to what I would find both excellent and satisfying. I could have gotten by and done enough things to be satisfactory, at least in the minds of many, but I wouldn’t be satisfied with it. And that decision would lack integrity.” On September 1, Balkcom’s term as the third Santa Fe president ended; Annapolis President Christopher Nelson became acting president and will serve both campuses while the board launches a presidential search. To explain the state of mind that led to his decision, Balkcom reaches for the analogy of The Ed Sullivan Show act in which a performer juggles spinning plates. “I felt as if I had plates spinning on a lot of poles and I was dropping too many of them,” he said. “In recent months, I didn’t have a

sense of gaining on the job.” A successful management consultant who had risen to partnership in a major Chicago firm, Balkcom was a popular choice, particularly among Santa Fe faculty who found both a scholar and an able businessman in Balkcom. He had earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Princeton and an MBA from the University of Chicago. After accompanying his daughter Rachel (also SFGI00) on a visit to St. John’s in Santa Fe, Balkcom became intrigued with the college. He enrolled first in the college’s Summer Classics program, then the Graduate Institute, and in 1995 joined the college’s board. Balkcom began his duties soon after his November 2000 appointment. He won respect on campus by postponing his inauguration ceremony, initially scheduled for three days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. When the college lost its natural gas because of a pipeline problem, he invited students to his home, Hunt House, to do their laundry. Students were drawn to his friendly manner and sincere interest in them. By 2002, faculty salaries were finally equalized with those of Annapolis and a campus master plan was nearly complete this spring. But Balkcom felt a growing unease and frustration. By way of an example, Balkcom describes a campus meeting that seemed interminable; every possible solution to what Balkcom saw as a black-andwhite issue was being analyzed and debated. “Why can’t we wrap this up?” he was thinking to himself. “I came to see that much greater patience is essential for a president at St. John’s.

teri thomson randall

by Rosemary Harty

Carol and John Balkcom expect to remain involved in the life of the college.

Students, faculty, staff—these are not three bodies that automatically agree.” An article in the Santa Fe New Mexican questioned whether the college’s structure, in which the dean is given authority over matters of instruction, rendered Balkcom powerless to make some important decisions. Balkcom firmly dismisses this idea, along with questions about whether the Management Committee structure of the college or domination by Annapolis contributed to his departure. This July, Balkcom was scheduled to take over leadership of the Management Committee from Nelson. Balkcom is pleased that in Santa Fe, the college has enjoyed three straight years of operating surpluses, an accomplishment he quickly shares

{ T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }

with Santa Fe Treasurer Bryan Valentine. He’s pleased that the Santa Fe campus has an excellent advancement team, led by Vice President Michael Franco, in place. There’s no question that the presidency is a challenging job. “It’s a hard job, a complex job, a seven-daya-week job, a thrilling job. There’s no question that it can be done here and it can be done well,” he says. The hardest thing Balkcom has to do, he says, is to walk away from the students. He has enjoyed his conversations with them more than any other aspect of his job. “The greatest sense of loss I have is with respect to the students. I’ve loved hanging out with them, going to dinners and waltz parties, I love going down to the continued on p. 3


{From the Bell Towers}

3

“An Extraordinary Gift” Alumnus Ronald H. Fielding Gives the College $10 Million St. John’s College has received a $10 million gift from investment fund manager Ronald H. Fielding of Rochester, N.Y., a 1970 graduate of the Annapolis campus and member of the college’s Board of Visitors and Governors. It is the largest single gift from an individual in the college’s 300-year history. Fielding, who built a $3 billion mutual fund group by ignoring Wall Street conventions and persisting against the odds, has directed his gift to an endowment for need-based financial aid. “Part of the reason for this gift is to thank the college for having provided me with financial aid at a critical time in my life,” said Fielding. He has also remained grateful that the college’s rigorous program prepared him to succeed in business.“My St. John’s education has been invaluable in meeting my investment career challenges more than a quarter-century after completing business school,” he said. The third of six children raised in a modest home, Fielding began earning money delivering newspapers at the age of 7. He set his sights on a prep-school education and won a nearly full scholarship to the prestigious Putney School in Vermont. He had applied to four colleges, but passed over St. John’s because two older brothers (Richard, A66, and Robert, A68) attended. Though he got into Reed College, his first choice, the financial aid Reed offered fell short. So Fielding applied to St. John’s on his high school graduation day. Already keenly ambitious, he spent a summer riding the train to Boston and working in a menial job at MIT, wondering about his future. He was greatly relieved when his acceptance letter, conveying a full-tuition financial aid package, arrived from St. John’s. Still, Fielding expected to transfer after his freshman year. He applied to Reed again and this time received enough financial aid. But by then, he had fallen in love with the Program. He stayed. “It wasn’t a particular book or tutor. I was hooked on the learning experience,” he explains. Fielding came to St. John’s expecting to pursue a career in science, but reading Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations steered him to the business world. After graduating from St. John’s, he went on to earn a master’s degree in economics and an M.B.A. from the

University of Rochester. He worked in financial analysis and portfolio management in banking before launching his own enterprise, Fielding Management Company, in 1982. He built from the ground up a high-performing bond group that caught the attention of OppenheimerFunds Inc., which bought his firm in 1996 for an estimated $80 million. Fielding is now senior vice president and portfolio managRonald Fielding’s $10 million er of OppenheimerFunds’ gift makes a promising start for municipal bond division. the college’s next fund-raising In announcing his gift at campaign. the July board meeting in Santa Fe, Fielding described a conversation he had the previous night with a Johnnie who was thinking about an investment career. “I told him not to worry that he may lack certain practical investment buzz words or operating tips. Ultimately the St. John’s education is perfect in providing students with the mental tools to face new problems and provide logically sound solutions to issues and opportunities which only emerge after business school classes and texts are completed.” Annapolis President Christopher Nelson (SF70) applauded his former classmate’s generosity. Nelson and Fielding both served on student government together, Nelson as president, and Fielding as treasurer. Fielding’s gift is a promising start to the college’s next capital campaign, expected to begin in 2005. “I think Ron has done what so many of us alumni wish we could do: give something meaningful back to the school that changed our lives,” Nelson said. “In his case, this extraordinary gift will in turn change the lives of many, many more to come.” x

Balkcom

dining hall and just sitting down and joining in their conversations. I think they’re fascinating, engaging, brilliant, and fun.” As of late summer, Balkcom’s next steps were undecided. His wife, Carol, was committed to completing her work as a volunteer coordinator of the Tecolote Group, an independent program for public school teachers created by Tutor Steve Van Luchene and hosted by the Santa Fe campus;

for that reason, the couple expected to be in Hunt House through September. Balkcom had already received several job inquiries by late summer, accepting none because he prefers to take time to read, think, and watch some of the baseball movies (he’s been a Cubs fan for decades) that were farewell gifts from Nelson and the board. He and Carol expected to move back to their home in Evanston, Ill. He has also offered to contin-

ue to serve the college by coleading weekend seminars— such as the seminar he expected to co-lead with Tutor Michael Rawn in late September with representatives of the Santa Fe Institute and the Boston Consulting Group—and assisting with fund-raising efforts. He and his wife Carol will host a reception for prospective students on Saturday, November 8, in the library she had built for him during his last term in the Graduate Institute. He’s also

{ T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }

hoping to return to the G.I. in the summer of 2004 to take the history segment. Even though he has the degree, Balkcom is still curious, still eager to learn something new, looking forward to discussing great ideas with his classmates, and still committed to the board’s vision of assuring “this brilliantly conceived small college” (a phrase he borrows often from Tutor Emeritus William Darkey) has another 300 years in its future. x


4

{From the Bell Towers}

They don’t always wear sensible shoes. They don’t dress formally, wear t-shirts with the college logo, or pin on a name badge. But they are infinitely patient with questions from prospectives, parents, and sometimes people just passing through town on their way to a college they really plan to apply to. They’re diligent in responding to querulous e-mail questions and always give the honest answer, not necessarily the viewbook line. They smile a lot. This summer, on the Annapolis campus tour guide duties fell to Siobhan Aitchison, a rising junior from San Diego, Calif., and Roseanna White, a rising senior from Wiley Ford, W.Va. In Santa Fe, rising senior Jenna Beck, of Bishop, Calif., and Molly Wright, rising junior of St. Joseph, Mo., led tours. Each gave at least a tour a day, traveling the same pathways and describing the Program for three months in the summer. By August, they sounded a little weary, but still managed enthusiasm for Euclid, Barr and Buchanan, the Great Hall, and the view of Monte Sol. Here are some of their observations:

that there are no electives. You’ll spend the whole tour with them, talking about the Program, and later on they’ll ask ‘what kind of visual arts classes do you offer?’” Jenna

Questions that indicate you’ve got a lot of explaining to do:

“Some of them just can’t handle the altitude in Santa Fe, so we don’t always make it to the gym. I just point it out.” Jenna

“So this is a liberal arts school?” Siobhan “Is this a liberal school?” Roseanna “Is this a Catholic school?” Siobhan “How do you decide what a great book is?” Molly “What do tutors do?” Roseanna “What were your SAT scores? What was your GPA? It’s hard to explain scores and grades and all the things from high school that you leave behind when you come to St. John’s.” Siobhan “Some of them can’t fathom

No. 1 parent question, hands down: “What are you going to do when you graduate?” Siobhan, Jenna

Brutal honesty: “I tell them the chairs are uncomfortable.” Roseanna “Sometimes they will ask ‘what don’t you like about it here?’ I could cite specific readings, but I also talk about why we can’t do things like study abroad. And it’s too small a community to offer a really diverse experience.” Jenna

dave trozzo

Tales from the Tour Guides

Above, tour guides Siobhan Aitchison and Roseanna White led tours in Annapolis. Molly Wright and Jenna Beck shared the duty in Santa Fe this summer.

“They won’t look you in the eye.” Roseanna “The roughest tours are when the student isn’t really interested and no amount of telling them how excited you are about the Program will do any good.” Molly

remember Faraday’s name. I think I ended up saying, ‘this guy.’” Siobhan “I had an alumnus take over my tour. He just walked up to the group, started talking to them about various hiking trails, all kinds of things. Then he trailed off and I took the opportunity to end the tour.” Molly

“The brochures all make a big deal of there being no tests and there is the music quiz and the algebra quiz.” Roseanna

When you know you’ll be seeing them at Convocation:

“And ‘no textbooks’—our lab manuals are like poorly bound textbooks.” Siobhan

“When they say, ‘I’m applying here and nowhere else.’” Roseanna

“I love the fact that I get to talk to people who are excited about the Program.” Molly

“When they ask good, hard questions about the Program. Those are the people who will make the best students in seminar.” Molly

“One woman gave me a bag of jelly beans.” Roseanna

It’s not the heat, it’s the altitude:

“When they ask, ‘is it really as good as it sounds?’” Jenna

You know you’ve lost them when:

Most embarrassing moment:

“They don’t ask any questions.” Siobhan

“I fell down a flight of stairs during a tour of Santa Fe Hall. I just got up and continued the tour.” Molly

“Their parents ask all the questions.” Roseanna “One girl just couldn’t get over the math in the Program. I tried to tell her how I didn’t like math, but how sophomore math was beautiful. It’s not like high school math. But she just couldn’t get over the math. Siobhan

“I had a tutor come up to me while I was giving a tour and ask, ‘oh, is this your family?’” Roseanna “I was giving a tour of the labs in Mellon Hall and describing the Faraday experiment where you put your friends in a cage and electrify it. I couldn’t

{ T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }

Perks of the job:

“The more I give tours, the more I appreciate what I’ve done here. No, I don’t remember everything I did in freshman laboratory. But I realize how [the Program] has affected me and how glad I am that I came here.” Siobhan

Strangest e-mails: “I had such fun with one e-mail that asked whether we harbor creative, cutting-edge thinking. My first response was ‘what do you mean by cutting edge?’ The ideas that are popular today or the timeless ideas that are and always will be cutting edge?” Jenna “One person asked, ‘how do you treat people with green hair?’” Siobhan x


5

{From the Bell Towers}

Announcements Four new tutors have joined the faculty of the Santa Fe campus: DEBORAH GARFIELD received a B.A. in English from Agnes Scott College and a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 1990. Her dissertation was titled “Emersonian Eros: Women, Privation and Power in the American Novel,” and she has a work in progress: “Alternative Origins: American Culture, Female Narrative and the Aesthetic of New Beginnings, 1871-1936.” JONATHAN HAND received a B.A. in political philosophy from Harvard University and a Ph.D. from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. His dissertation was titled “Tocqueville’s ‘New Political Science’ a Critical Assessment of Montesquieu’s Vision of a Liberal Modernity.” ERIC POPPELE is a 1989 graduate of St. John’s College, Santa Fe. Poppele received a master’s in environmental engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and is a Ph.D. candidate in civil engineering at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. His thesis is titled “The Cohesive Strength of Biofilms.” A 1993 graduate of St. John’s in Annapolis, JOSEPH WALTER STERLING pursued graduate studies in the Department of Philosophy at Emory University and expects to receive a Ph.D. from Emory in the fall of 2003. His dissertation is titled “Exigencies of the Political.” For the last four years, he has been working as an adult learning instructor for Project H.O.M.E., designing, implementing, coordinating, and teaching adult learning programs, and integrating educational services with special needs of homeless, mental

health, substance abuse, and low-income populations. In addition, Tutor MATTHEW DAVIS has taken the post of assistant dean in Santa Fe. A 1982 graduate of St. John’s College, Annapolis, Davis holds a master’s from Dalhousie University and a Ph.D. in political science from Boston College. x

Agresto to Baghdad Former Santa Fe President JOHN AGRESTO has been selected as senior adviser to the Iraqi Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. He assumed his post in Baghdad in early September. American occupation authorities named Agresto to the post of senior adviser, an 18-month assignment that could be extended. Iraq’s former Minister of Higher Education, who was No. 43 on a most-wanted list published by the United States, was captured earlier this year. Agresto is also president of Agresto and Associates, an educational consulting firm. He served as president of the Santa Fe campus from 19902000. x

New Alumni Director Roxanne Seagraves (SF83) of Tucson, Ariz., has been named director of Alumni Activities for the Santa Fe campus, replacing Tahmina Shalizi, who stepped down last spring to pursue other career avenues. In addition to her St. John’s degree, Seagraves has a master of divinity from the Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, Calif., and a Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union, also in Berkeley. Most recently she served as a prevention specialist at a Tucson elementary school, providing intervention and counseling support for students and their

mary ruffin

New Faculty in Santa Fe

Aspiring Musician Wins Cooke Scholarship Junior TIMOTHY KILE is one of only 30 undergraduate students nationwide to land a Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship for undergraduate study. Kile attended high school in Amherst, N.H. For three years during and after high school, he played with a band called Arcade Fire and recorded an album of original songs that received radio airplay. Kile also spent a year studying literature at McGill University in Montreal, but after a semester, he began to feel “that there were personal and philosophical questions I needed to confront before beginning my life’s work of music.” Kile felt that only St. John’s College could offer him the continued personal challenge he seeks. He enrolled at St. John’s in Santa Fe, where he spent two years. He transferred to Annapolis this fall. “In Santa Fe it’s outrageously, absurdly beautiful, but I’ve got the East Coast in my bones,” he says. In his essay for the Jack Kent Cooke scholarship, Kile wrote of the modern implications of the burning of the Library of Alexandria, discussing the destruction of the world’s single greatest archive of knowledge in the context of the few remaining works of Plato and Aristotle. Why are the great books so important to someone who plans to make music his life’s work? “The yearning that drove me to St. John’s to confront philosophical and personal questions is indistinguishable from my yearning to create meaningful music,” says Kile. During his first year at St. John’s, Kile received the award for best freshman essay. An essay he wrote his sophomore year, “On Love, Knowledge, and the Shield of Law: Understanding the Book of Job,” netted Kile an acknowledgement of excellence at this year’s commencement exercises in Santa Fe. While holding a work-study job with buildings and grounds, Kile sang with the St. John’s College Chamber Choir, participated in a Hebrew study group, and played guitar and piano. Although writing and playing music are still a part of his daily life, Kile has cut back on performing. “St. John’s is a time commitment, much more than McGill. I often feel that the thing at stake in this education is my own life, as thinkers from Plato to Nietzsche constantly force me to ask myself, what is the life that is worth living?” x

families. She has extensive experience in various other community-based and educational organizations, having held key administrative roles in such areas as public relations, fund raising, coalition-build-

{ T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }

ing, finance, and event planning and execution. Seagraves also has worked as a professional storyteller, freelance artist, and stand-up comic. She begins her new job Sept. 29. x


6

{From the Bell Towers}

Quaint 1BR apt. Walking dist. to City Dock. W/D, window AC, gas heat. Modern int. in 200 yr. old bldg. $895/mo Quaint comes at a high price these days in Annapolis. Soaring property values mean higher rents, apartments in the historic district are dwindling as property owners convert buildings back to single-family dwellings, and even one-bedroom apartments in nearby suburbs command rents approaching $1,000. All this has meant more students in the spring housing lottery each year. About 60 students each year end up on the waiting list for campus housing. And as anyone who’s ever been unlucky enough to share a cramped triple in Humphreys can attest, dorm space is tight on the Annapolis campus. Not only have more doubles been turned into triples, and singles into doubles, but common space also has been sacrificed

to make room for beds. The housing crunch prompted the Annapolis Campus Planning Committee to kick new dormitory projects into high gear this year. In July, construction began on the first of two new dormitories on the lower campus. The first will house 48 students; the second 32. After the completion of the first building, the college will be able to house about 75 percent of the student body on campus. The new complex is situated north of the steam plant, parallel to College Creek. Intended to alleviate another chronic campus problem, a parking structure is the third component of the project. The total cost of the project is about $20.3 million, including $2.7 million in renovations and updates to existing dorms on campus. Construction on the second dorm and parking structure will begin when the college has raised enough funds to

ziger/snead

New Dorms Slated for Annapolis

complete the project, says Steve Linhard, assistant treasurer. The dorm project also recognizes that housing more students on campus isn’t just a matter of economics: A community of learning works better if fewer students are heading to their cars after seminar and Friday lectures, says Assistant Dean Judith Seeger. “Our students in this allrequired program are here to talk to each other, and they love to do so,” Seeger says. “Part of our job is to do all we can to support their ongoing conversations.” The new dorm will be the first new residence hall on the

Of Rankings and Ratings What’s a Hot College to Do?

St. John’s was a top pick for several college guides this year.

Yes, we completely ignore those who would rank us. We delete their e-mails, we withhold data, we politely tell them we don’t believe that rankings really serve students making one of the most important decisions of their lives. And yet they persist in saying nice things about us. In its annual college guide, U.S. News & World Report singled out St. John’s to exemplify the intellectual aspects of college life. The three-page article titled “The Life of the Mind” touched on all we at St. John’s hold dear: the value of genuine dialogue, the inte-

grated nature of an allrequired program, the power of an opening question. For the better part of a week reporter Dan Gilgoff immersed himself in the culture of the Annapolis campus, visiting seminars, labs, and tutorials. In his article, Gilgoff concluded: “There’s no other place quite like St. John’s (except perhaps its sister campus in Santa Fe, N.M.). Yet its singleminded approach to academics gives a window into the undergrad experience at the dwindling number of colleges where the life of the mind reigns supreme.”

{ T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }

The first new dormitory in 50 years will be ready next fall.

campus since Campbell Hall opened in 1954, and the first new building since the Harrison Health Center was completed in 1971. The two-story buildings each feature a spacious common area with communal kitchen, a combination of single and double rooms, and a resident apartment. Baltimore architectural firm Ziger/Snead has designed the brick buildings to reflect both the modern features of Mellon Hall and the colonial buildings on campus. x Newsweek-Kaplan’s How to Get into College guide chose St. John’s as one of its “12 Hottest Schools,” gracing the college with the label “Most Old-School.” (Reed got “most quirky.”) Says the story: “The curriculum, with its focus on classical education, is unique and relentless.” Santa Fe was number 25 in Outside magazine’s “40 Best College Towns,” a feature in the magazine’s September issue. The high-desert location and proximity of the mountains were noted; the great books curriculum made it into the last paragraph. And our vote for most quirky: The Princeton Review, which placed St. John’s atop those academies that encourage classroom discussion. x


7

{From the Bell Towers}

Admissions and Diversity, East and West by Rosemary Harty

job is to let students know what the Program is like and encourage them to ask the right kind of questions. Baca, of Hispanic origin, was born in Santa Fe and lived outside nearby Espanola for most of his adult years. “I know that I feel very privileged to have been a student here,” says Baca, whose family wasn’t enthusiastic about his seeking a liberal arts degree. Baca’s convictions about the St. John’s Program tend to command attention. Recently, he was able to sit down to a feast with leaders of the Jemez Pueblo and discuss seminars and great books. “One of the Pueblo governors was an assistant dean at Stanford; he really didn’t know much about St. John’s,” Baca recalls. “I guess he’ll still send some students to Stanford, but now I think he’ll be on the lookout for the Native American students who would love St. John’s.” Tutor Victoria Mora has also been engaged in the diversity initiative in Santa Fe. She met with minority upperclassmen to discuss how best to pursue recruiting and retaining minority students. With their input and that of the dean, assistant dean, and Instruction Committee, Mora fashioned an advising program for all incoming freshmen, a version of which is in place for this academic year. Mora has been involved in outreach efforts to prospective students, parents, and New Mexico high school students. She’s traveled as far as Tsalie, Ariz., to involve alumni in spreading the word about the college. And this year she plans to step up outreach efforts to high school teachers, beginning with Albuquerque, Bernalillo, and Santa Fe. “As a native New Mexican who didn’t hear about St. John’s until two years into

an undergraduate degree at the University of New Mexico, this initiative is very close to my heart,” says Mora. In Annapolis, where minority enrollment ranges from 6 to 8 percent of the student population each year, the admissions office has pursued many different avenues to present the college to more minority students. Some have been effective, and others have yielded not a single application, says John Christensen. “We’ve attended many fairs for African-American students and joined many partnerships. For several years, we joined in a partnership with the Northern Virginia public school system and hosted groups of students as young as ninth grade to talk about how to afford private college and how to apply to college in general. We never got any response,” he says.

A promising avenue Christensen is pursuing is the large, urban high school—particularly magnet schools or preparatory schools with highly motivated students, an emphasis on the liberal arts, and diversity in the student body. He’s found such schools in Louisiana, Philadelphia, and Massachusetts, and has been successful in bringing their graduates to St. John’s. Although no minorities were among them yet, he still believes the audience is primed for the college’s message. “We think those places offer the best forums to meet minority students. And whenever we’re in a city, we’re trying to find out if there are other schools like that: diverse environments where students are interested in the liberal arts and willing to go out of state to college,” he says. x

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A new initiative to recruit more minority students to the Santa Fe campus is off to a good start. The percentage of minority students, which has hovered at about 10 percent every year, has risen to 17 percent, the highest in the history of the campus, says Larry Clendenin (SF77), director of admissions in Santa Fe. Of this year’s freshman class of 142, 15 percent are minorities. Clendenin attributes the increase to the Opportunity Initiative, an effort to devote more resources to recruiting from among the state’s minority students. The initiative is funded by a gift to the college from a member of the college’s Board of Visitors and Governors. What the grant has given the college is more time to talk to students on New Mexico’s reservations, in small-town high schools, and at college fairs. Among other expenses, the grant provides salary and travel expenses for Joaquin Baca (SF95), assistant director of admissions. “One of the big challenges in New Mexico is how spread out it is,” Baca says. For example, it’s nearly four hours to Gallup from Santa Fe, but last year, Baca was able to make three trips to Gallup, one of the biggest reservation high schools in the state, and several trips to smaller schools such as Tohatchi and Pine Hill. With a limited recruitment staff, it was more difficult to do focused recruitment and follow-up in New Mexico, says Clendenin. Adding Baca to the staff has meant six more weeks of recruitment time and at least 20 more high school visits. “We see in college fairs that 90 percent of the Hispanic and Native American students go straight to the state university tables,” Clendenin says. “Our

A spirited game of Spartan Madball during Reality Week marks the end of the spring semester in Santa Fe.

{ T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }


8

{From the Bell Towers}

“I Just Never Let Go” Sharon Bishop, A65, Leads St. John’s Board For nearly 30 years, Sharon Bishop has been one of the most committed and involved of St. John’s College alumni. But had she been the type of person to hold a grudge, the college might have had to do without her service as a member of the Board of Visitors and Governors, president of the Alumni Association, and now, chair of the BVG. In the late 1960s, Bishop was an underpaid social worker in the city of Philadelphia. She had borrowed her way through St. John’s and was burdened by loans. Her employer paid for graduate school, and Bishop was preparing to apply to Bryn Mawr College. “St. John’s would not release my transcript because I still owed them about $500,” Bishop recalls. “I tried to explain that if I had the master’s degree, I would make more money and be able to afford to pay the college.” The story has a happy ending: St. John’s accepted her repayment plan and sent out the transcript. Bishop thrived in graduate school, went on to a successful professional career, and helped establish an enormously successful consulting firm, of which she is now vicepresident. She has never stopped giving back to the college since her first $1,000 donation, made as soon as her professional salary allowed, in 1974. The following year, she was asked to run for one of six elected alumni positions on the Board of Visitors and Governors by an Alumni Association eager to draft more women for the board. In 1976, she attended her first board meeting. “When I was a student, I remembered thinking that the BVG were mostly old, rich people who would give the college money and it wasn’t

clear to me that they knew anything about the college. By the time I got on the board I found other alumni who were, along with non-alumni, deeply committed to the welfare and wellbeing of St. John’s College as an institution.” After earning her master’s, Bishop went to work for consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, where she became a principal. In 1983, she took a chance by leaving a well-established firm to join Gerald Croan in an enterprise he started in his basement in Northern Virginia. Their firm, Caliber Associates, has grown from just the two of them to more than 300 employees, occupying six floors of an office building in Fairfax, Va., and working for government agencies including the Department of Education and the Department of Justice, nonprofits such as AARP, and private firms. “We do work in the child/family/ community studies arena, studies of child welfare systems, evaluations of programs focused on juvenile justice, and operate technical assistance and training centers for victims’ assistance programs,” to name a few, Bishop says. Bishop is a good choice to lead the board at a time of transition; she was involved in choosing three presidents over her many years of service. In her initial term as alumni representative, 1976 to 1982, she served on the search committee that recruited Edwin Delattre to the presidency. In her 1985-90 term as a regular elected member, the board voted for a two-president structure. Bishop was a board member when Michael Riccards was chosen president for Santa Fe and William Dyal Jr. for Annapolis. In 1992, she was elected president of the Alumni Association, a post she held

until 1998. She stepped down from the board in 2002 because of commitments at Caliber, then agreed to return to the board as its chair earlier this year. What motivates such commitment? “This absolute belief that what you’re doing is worthwhile and needs to be done. It’s very rewarding to work with really fine people on behalf of something you care about.” One of the helpful attributes Bishop will bring to the board is an ability to “talk people into doing what they don’t want to do,” says Ray Cave (A48), who just finished his term as board chair. “About two years ago, Sharon and I were on the nominating committee and it was time to look for another chair. Sharon said, ‘Ray I think you’d be an ideal chairman.’” Cave firmly rejected the proposal. Bishop persisted, and Cave became board chair. “I found myself saying, ‘all right,’ and it was all her fault,” Cave says. Cave describes his successor as well-organized, skilled in managing people, and able to make difficult decisions. “She came in at a very tough time, just when John Balkcom resigned. And to watch the way she handled that was to see what a good manager she is. She really cares about people.”

teri thomson randall

by Rosemary Harty

Sharon Bishop chairs the Board of Visitors and Governors.

Alumni should be pleased with the college’s board, Bishop says, because about 60 percent of its members are alumni. The rich assembly of talent and experience of BVG members has always impressed her. “Ultimately, the board is responsible to ensure the survival of the college,” says Bishop, “and the college is in good hands.” Bishop’s family would have been happy if she’d gone to college to be a teacher, but once she’d heard about St. John’s she saw “this was the only worthwhile thing to do.” “The whole concept of beginning with Euclid and ending with Einstein, beginning with Plato and ending with War and Peace—and it was the way it was done, the small groups, the seminars, the discussions,” Bishop says. “You were to think for yourself. I just glommed on to St. John’s and never let go.” x

Presidential Search The Board of Visitors and Governors has appointed a search committee to oversee selection of the next president of the Santa Fe campus. The committee is chaired by Michael E. Uremovich of Santa Fe, board member and Graduate Institute student. The committee comprises the deans of each campus, David Levine in Santa Fe, and Harvey Flaumenhaft in Annapolis; a faculty representative of each campus: Victoria Mora, Santa Fe, and Nancy Buchenauer, Annapolis; and four board members: Thomas R. Krause (SFGI01), Robert Bienenfeld (SF80), Mikael Salovaara, and Julia Wilkinson (HSF94). x

{ T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }


9

{Philanthropia}

Senior Class Gift Learning and community. Wisdom and fun. These are the legacies of the 2003 senior class. In Santa Fe, 65 seniors contributed $3,459 to build an adult swing set near the new Student Activities Center. In Annapolis, 64 seniors contributed $6,100 for the digital re-mastering and transcription of classic lectures that now exist only on audiotape. The Senior Class Gift is one of the ways that Philanthropia, the alumni organization dedicated to alumni fund raising, increases awareness of the college’s needs among younger alumni. Class Gifts introduce students to the opportunity to support St. John’s and seniors carry that sense of philanthropy with them after graduation. Marguerite Pfoutz, a member of the Senior Class Gift Committee in Santa Fe, says that Erin Hanlon (SF03) supplied the idea for the swing set. “She wanted to have a playground that would be suitable for tutors’ children so that we could build stronger

bonds as a community,” says Pfoutz. “And it’s also been a longstanding tradition to drive around Santa Fe looking for swingsets in parks to play on. We need to exorcise—and exercise— our demons.” Pfoutz says she wishes the playground had existed during her years at St. John’s, but vows to come back to play on it as an alumna. Right now she’s applying to the Peace Corps and hopes to teach elementary school at the British Educational Institute International in the Sudan while her application is processed. Alexander Wall chaired the Annapolis Senior Class Gift Committee. The idea for the transcriptions came from his experience listening to tapes of old lectures. “I’ve taken them out and some of them are in terrible condition,” he says. “But those that were already transcribed were very useful. It’s nice to hear what someone has to say about a book that isn’t being read in seminar.” Despite

How Aristotle Would Explain the Annual Fund College financial reports can be confusing to the uninitiated. There’s tuition—more than $27,000 this year. There’s the endowment. There are wonderful gifts, like the $10 million from Ron Fielding (A70) for financial aid endowment. There are expenses like building projects, tutor salaries, and financial aid. A key component in the total picture is the Annual Fund, the money raised from alumni, friends, and parents that is used to help meet annual expenses in the college’s operating budget. Tuition covers about 70% of what it costs to run the college. The rest of the money comes from interest on the endowment, federal and

state programs, and the Annual Fund. During fiscal year 2003 (which ended June 30), even in the face of a tough and uncertain economy, St. John’s alumni, friends, and parents supported the college’s Annual Fund. The college met its Annual Fund goal of $2.148 million—which constitutes about 6% of the operating budget for the campuses. The college received more than 2,700 alumni gifts, meaning that 34% of alumni supported the college this year. That is an all-time high for one year and the most significant indicator of the future health of St. John’s. For the first time, St. John’s is

their questionable audio quality, Wall managed to listen to a number of lectures by Leo Strauss as well as several on the Gorgias, the topic of his senior essay. When he told his classmates his idea for the gift, the response was overwhelming. “It was nice to see how excited everyone got about giving something back to St. John’s,” Wall says. “Everyone wanted the gift to be something that would show how St. John’s had helped them in their learn-

ing, how they cared about the Program. Most people thought that the library was key to their time at St. John’s and they liked the idea of giving a gift to the library that was a bit more individual than just giving money for books.” The time Wall spent struggling with the poor audio of the tapes seems to have paid off beyond its intrinsic value. He is now enrolled in a Ph.D. program in political philosophy at Harvard University. x

Visitors to the Peterson Student Center might think they’ve stumbled across George Plimpton asleep in a wing chair, but this new addition to the Santa Fe campus is actually a sculpture by J. Seward Johnson. Johnson’s remarkably lifelike sculptures of ordinary people doing ordinary things grace many American cities. Johnson’s son, J. Seward Johnson III, is an alumnus of the class of 1993. This piece, “After Lunch,” was donated to the college by Mr. and Mrs. Rick Levin, residents of Santa Fe.

approaching the gift levels of other liberal arts colleges like Swarthmore, Oberlin, and Franklin and Marshall, where around 40-60% of alumni make a gift every year. Philanthropia, the group of alumni volunteers who are working to increase financial support for the college among their peers, has emphasized the importance of the alumni participation rate. When the group began in 1997, St. John’s alumni participation rate was 19%. “It was clear that alumni felt strongly about the college, but

{ T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }

they weren’t demonstrating that,” says Barbara Goyette (A73), vice president for advancement in Annapolis. “The Philanthropia volunteers have worked hard to make connections with their classmates and to deliver messages about the college. What many people don’t realize is the importance of participation. This could even be explained in Aristotelian terms: When an alum makes a gift to the Annual Fund, it is the actualization of a potential positive force, carrying the college forward.” x


10

{From the Bell Towers}

Hans von Briesen: A Tribute When Hans von Briesen Jr. came to St. John’s College, he was already a man with an impressive—if unusual—history. He held a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester in physics; had taught at Stanford, the University of Rochester, and Northeastern University; served as treasurer and coordinator of the Lama Foundation (a spiritual community and educational center in Northern New Mexico); and worked as a journeyman plumber and gasfitter. In 1979 he overcame his unease with academe to leave plumbing and accept the position of director of laboratories in Santa Fe. When he retired this spring, he left to us in Santa Fe a legacy of trust, ingenuity, and excitement in the laboratory.

Hans realized that if he put responsibility in our hands, we would inevitably meet any challenge. Hans says he didn’t feel it was his place to make any changes to the laboratory program, but it’s widely acknowledged that the program developed significantly during his tenure. He computerized the lab manuals so he could make additions and corrections as soon as the tutors requested them. He tapped his plumbing experience to fix equipment and reinforce the value of “recycling” in the scientific method. “His 24 years as lab supervisor have made my as-many years as a lab tutor

purely pleasurable,” says tutor Glenn Freitas. “He has taken constant great care to develop better and better practica [and also] develop experiments and demonstrations that were relevant and powerfully related to the textual arguments of the classes.” Nowhere else on the Program do students, whether assistants or class members, receive this kind of hands-on learning. “He opened up a new world of problems—and I mean that in a good way,” says Devin King (SF03). Perhaps the most significant development that Hans made to the lab program was through relationships with student laboratory assistants. When he came to St. John’s, Hans increased the number of assistants and added to their responsibilities, providing for a richer experience for those of us fortunate to be named laboratory assistants. Under his tutelage, we gained knowledge and experience from those who had come before us; we then passed that knowledge along to the students who followed us in these positions. This tradition calls for an exchange of ideas that is integral to the Program and essential to the laboratory assistantship. On a more practical level, Hans was the man who could help us fix anything. If we had it, he knew how it worked and where to find it. Rumor has it that among tutors his notes are a valuable commodity. But despite being “the man with all the answers,” he put an amazing amount of trust in us, his student workers. He let us work out our own problems, even if that meant a certain amount of frustration and even pain (largely mental pain, if occasionally a bit of physical pain). These are the most valu-

able lessons that student enthusiasts of the St. John’s labs will ever learn. Cobalt Blue (SF92, EC97) reminded me that the amount of faith that Hans puts in his workers inspires them to work harder. We want to finish jobs and solve more problems than we ever would if he hadn’t believed in our ingenuity, creativity, and diligence. Hans realized that if he put responsibility in our hands, we would inevitably meet any challenge. As a student, this will always be the way I think of and remember Hans von Briesen. I love the St. John’s Program, and one of the bigger reasons is the opportunity I’ve had to be a laboratory student and work as an assistant under such a director. Hans symbol-

teri thomson randall

by Megan Sielken, SFo3

Megan Sielken and Hans von Briesen on the Santa Fe campus.

izes so much of what the lab program is, from freshman biology to senior genetics, from cat dissections to the blender experiment. I will always remember the crazy white hair, the strict recycling policy for equipment, and the plumber’s ingenuity that defined my own career as student, assistant, and head freshman assistant. x

More Santa Fe retirements: GLENN FREITAS joined the college in 1969, bringing with him a background in Biblical studies and a mastery of Greek, Latin, French, and German. An early supporter and participant in the Eastern Classics program, he spent five summers learning classical Chinese. He served as assistant dean for three years and acting dean of the college for one year. His favorite author is Montaigne. A tutor since 1985, ROBERT RICHARDSON earned a doctorate at Yale. After directing and teaching in university programs designed to foster thought about ethics and technology in engineering and science, he left academics and worked as a carpenter and milk tester for many years before coming to St. John’s. He still writes about farming, enjoys writing fiction, and indulges in golf. RALPH SWENTZELL came to the college in 1966. He put together junior mathematics and sophomore music tutorials, and was crucial in forming senior math and laboratory curricula. About 10 years ago, he scanned every character in Mathews’ Chinese Dictionary to prepare a computerized lexicon that even beginners could use. x

{ T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }


{Letters} Greenhouse Picture Tells A Second Story The College Spring 2003 report, “Community Building in Santa Fe,” has two texts—the article and the photograph. Both merit careful attention to what is said and not said. Without saying whether the greenhouse used pressure treated lumber or might have, the article creates its ideological strawman by asserting without evidence that “one piece of pressure treated lumber…represents a significant expense of petroleum in the course of its harvest, transport, milling, delivery and installation.” “Community building” is the virtuous alternative, the implication being no use of petroleum. Certainly kudos go to the volunteer laborers and the sense of community developed along the way. I assert, equally without specific evidence but with long knowledge of economics and manufacturing, that petroleum expense in timber production, pressure treated or not, is much less than trivial on a per piece basis. Then there are the questions implied by the story and the photograph. Was the local timber harvested and the boards and pillars cut without power tools? Was it taken to the college without using petroleum? My guess is that recycling the glass required heat, efficient production of which typically involves petroleum, natural gas or coal. Or was the heat generated using wood, an inefficient source? Further clues appear in the photo. The roof is metal, produced most likely by a firm organized as a corporation. Skylights typically are plastic of some sort, which means made from petrochemicals, a big company product. More information comes from a quick visit to the greenhouse. The door fixtures look quite conventional, meaning they were made by a corporation (that capitalist word, again) and perhaps purchased from a big box build-

ing materials retailer of the sort that provides large selection for low prices. Did the community building team walk or ride a bicycle or horse to the retailer to buy the door fixtures or did they drive? The same questions apply to the screws holding the building together. The bricks on the floor appear manufactured rather than formed by hand.

“The greenhouse is a worthy project, perhaps possible only with volunteer labor. A straight tale would have been nice.” My conclusion is that the project used economically efficient high production technology when convenient and trashed technology and economic efficiency when convenient, a situational morality worthy of a seminar. Annoying as are the smug, precious, ideological assertions, a bigger problem lies in the appearance of such a rampantly politically correct tract masquerading as a straight report in a college publication. Through the publication, the college in effect embraces the ideology, something I hope wasn’t on purpose. The greenhouse is a worthy project, perhaps possible only with volunteer labor. A straight tale would have been nice. Harold Morgan (SF68)

Praising Brann This letter heartily seconds the praises sung in Barbara Goyette’s review of Eva Brann’s Homeric Moments (“Rediscovering Homer,” Spring 2003). Ms. Goyette qualifies her apt

review with two somewhat selfeffacing disclaimers: that she “can’t do an honest review” because she so much admires the author’s intellect and imagination; and, as an “insider” employed by the college, is rendered incapable of giving an “honest appraisal.” She need not have been so diffident about her commendation of the high achievement, and thoroughly charming qualities of Homeric Moments. As an alumnus who was a student of Ms. Brann’s, with more than 40 years of friendship following, I too might disqualify myself as a biased “insider.” I have, however, been privileged to review books of Ms. Brann’s in publications other than those of the college (e.g., What, Then, Is Time?, reviewed in 28 Interpretation 173, Winter 2000-2001) without such trepidation. Having been instructed by Aristotle during my student days that “while both are dear, piety requires us to honor truth above our friends” (Nichomachean Ethics, I, 6), I have not been shy—when I thought it conveyed some truth—to criticize, for example, hardships encountered in some of Ms. Brann’s writing. Homeric Moments, on the other hand, is simply as delicious a work as a lover of Homer might wish. It not only refreshes delights experienced from prior readings of the Iliad and Odyssey, but through recollections stimulated by Ms. Brann’s novel survey, it exquisitely expands those pleasures by its exploration of Homer’s most supernal points of light and dark; passion, pathos, and tragedy; lyricism and drama; comedy; and complex humanity. With Homeric Moments, Eva Brann has given us as much of the poetry of reading Homer, as anyone is ever likely to offer readers in one compact volume. Harrison Sheppard (class of 1961)

The Tutors Who Stayed The Winter 2003 issue of The College, page 32, refers to John

{ T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Winter/Spring 2002 }

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Kieffer as “one of only two tutors who remained at the college after the New Program was instituted in 1937.” There were more than two: Mr. Kieffer, of course, was one. Two others were my tutors during my freshman year (1941-42): Ford K. Brown (mathematics) and Tench Tilghman (Greek). I am almost positive that Mr. Brown had been on the St. John’s faculty for many years. My recollection about Mr. Tilghman is less clear, but the personal sketch about him on the jacket of his The Early History of St. John’s College in Annapolis says that “from 1934 to 1942 [he] was an Instructor in English and later tutor at St. John’s.” …The following appears on page 28 of J. Winfree Smith’s A Search for the Liberal College: The Beginning of the St. John’s Program: “Some of the faculty left right away, some stayed for a few years, and four continued to the end of their teaching careers: George Bingley, a mathematician; Ford Brown, a former Rhodes Scholar and an authority on the Evangelicals in the Church of England; Richard Scofield, another Rhodes scholar who had previously taught art and English and very quickly proved the breadth of his interest and ability by the excellence of his teaching within the new program; and John Kieffer.” Edward W. Mullinix (class of 1945)

The College welcomes letters on issues of interest to readers. Letters may be edited for clarity and/or length. Those under 500 words have a better chance of being printed in their entirety. Please address letters to: The College Magazine, St. John’s College, Box 2800, Annapolis MD 21404 or The College Magazine, Public Relations Office, St. John’s College, 1160 Camino Cruz Blanca, Santa Fe, NM 87505-4599. Letters can also be sent via e-mail to: reharty@sjca.edu.


12

{Johnnies on Language}

LIVING

L ANGUAGES At St. John’s we spend four years talking, reading, and writing. What more can we do with words? Four Johnnies discuss their work with language. By Sus3an Borden, A87

ome 50 years after his family had left Germany, Walter Kissinger was asked why he did not share his famous brother Henry’s heavy German accent. “I,” he replied, “am the Kissinger who listens.”

S

—from www.anecdotage.com This bit of linguistic legend is well known to Jim Stone (class of 1955). During his 33-year career working with State Department language training for government employees, the linguistic tendencies of Henry Kissinger were often a source of speculation for him and his colleagues. “When we were thinking about how to evaluate language skills, we thought about different odd cases. Kissinger was an extreme case; his brother speaks ordinary American. I think he has chosen to maintain that German-professor style to a great extent,” says Stone. “People do, consciously or unconsciously, choose their styles to fit in where they want to fit in. I know Southerners who have carefully moved away from their Southern accents and others whose accents have gotten stronger and stronger from year to year. It’s a matter of displaying your allegiance.” Linguist Mark Mandel (A69) is personally familiar with this phenomenon: “My daughter, who is in literary criticism and is very languageconscious, asked me a number of years ago, with some apparent annoyance, why I seemed to change my language into a much more guy-style in certain situations like at gas stations. I explained that

language does many things; it is not just to convey information. We also use it to express concepts of affiliation: ‘I’m a member of this, not that. I’m better than you, you’re better than me. I’m like you, I’m not like you.’ Those are the uses you hear when I unconsciously or half-consciously change my style when I go into the gas station and ask the attendant to check the oil. “Every native speaker of a language uses many different styles and registers them fluently, but they’re not always aware that they do,” says Mandel. “A lot of what linguistics involves is analyzing, making explicit, understanding, and systematizing the tacit knowledge we have as native users of languages.” Mandel’s current project, biomedical information extraction for the Linguistic Data Consortium, demands such analysis. Mandel and his team are developing a suite of computer programs that will read an abstract or full-text article in electronic form to extract facts that will be placed into databases in a uniform format that researchers can query. The project’s Web site (www.ldc.upenn. edu/myl/ITR) gives this example:

We want a program that will read a phrase like Amiodarone weakly inhibited CYP2C9, CYP2D6, and CYP3A4mediated activities with Ki values of 45.1—271.6 ?M and add to a database a set of entries whose ordinary-language presentation is amiodarone inhibits CYP2C9 with Ki=45.1—271.6 amiodarone inhibits CYP2D6 with Ki=45.1—271.6 amiodarone inhibits CYP3A4 with Ki=45.1—271.6 That example manages to both clarify and mislead. While it aptly defines the project’s goal, it hides the complexity of the endeavor. “In order to get the relationships between items in a database, you need to understand sentences, know what words are. You need to

{ T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }


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Does the language used at St. John’s change according to the class? In seminar, students tend to convey their points seriously and with conviction.

“Linquistic knowledge extends beyond written and spoken language.” Jim Stone, class of 1955

know syntax, shallow semantics, syntactic annotation,” says Mandel. “Native speakers, and I include signers in that category, are constantly applying a zillion kinds of real-world knowledge to speech. This ranges from assuming that my friend knows where I live when I give directions as if starting from my house, to knowing that ‘bush,’ if it is the first word of a sentence, is likely to be a public figure rather than a shrub, although that was not the case 50 years ago.” Stone adds to the complexity that Mandel describes, pointing out that linguistic knowledge extends beyond written and spoken language. He describes elements of communication that aren’t—or shouldn’t be—spoken. Stone recalls, for example, Vienna-born tutor Viktor Zuckerkandl, whose sense of conversational space was so different from his own WASP sense that the esteemed tutor once backed Stone all the way through the coffee shop in the course of a conversation. He recounts a situation he encountered more than once during his numerous visits to India: “I’ve seen Indians really blow up about our thank-yous: ‘These Americans, they keep thanking me! What do they think I am? What’s wrong with them?’ They find our thank-yous really offensive and I’ve never been able to find out why. It’s something so basic in their culture that it’s hard to verbalize, a

kind of behavior that’s so offensive they couldn’t mention it. “The gestures that are obscene in one culture are ordinary in another. From the Middle East all through India, you can’t point the sole of your shoe at anybody, that’s filthy, the whole room will begin to squirm.” Stone has encountered cultural taboos on a number of communication practices: making comparisons between people, engaging in role-playing, even smiling. And he’s managed to break some of his own taboos in order to enter other cultures: “When I was in Libya I found I had to hold hands with men. Two men walking down the street in conversation hold hands. I tried putting my hand in my pocket or carrying something, but the Arabs I was with would get very uncomfortable. One day the ambassador saw me crossing the plaza holding hands with the commanding general. He didn’t know what to think about that.” While Stone crossed cultural barriers by following the customs of other countries, Michael Sloper (SF79) seeks to bridge these barriers through language itself. In the summer of 1990, Sloper was about to embark on a career in international teaching. His first stint would be two years in Israel and he planned to follow with a number of two-year stints in countries around the world.

{ T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }


14

{Johnnies on Language}

Esperanto class when he learned that the Esperanto League for “When I was preparing for the job, I decided that two years North America was looking for a director. Sloper put in his applicawould not be enough to learn Hebrew, and then the next two years tion and was chosen for the job. He spent every day of the next would not be enough to learn Japanese. Instead of getting a little seven years speaking and writing in the language. Part of his work taste of this and a little taste of that, I thought, ‘There are Esperanwas encouraging the United Nations to adopt Esperanto as its to speakers in Israel and Japan and Brazil. If I’ve got an internaofficial language. tional job, I should learn the international language.’” The U.N. seems a perfect fit for Esperanto. With six official Sloper took an intensive three-week Esperanto class at San languages and more than 400 interpreters and translators, Francisco State University before he went to Israel. At his first logistics could be greatly simplified and costs reduced if Esperanto meeting with the Esperanto club in Tel Aviv, he found out he were adopted. Sloper cites other benefits. “So much of politics hapcould converse, albeit not deeply or profoundly, about anything pens outside of official chambers where you can’t have interpreters; and everything. you need to have a common language.” “You can learn as much Esperanto in a year as Spanish or French And, Sloper adds, there are advanin four years,” he points out. “What if tages to official conversation in a laneverybody in the world took a semesguage that is native to no one: “When ter or a year of this international lanyou’re speaking a language that doesguage? It makes incredible sense to n’t identify you as a member of a have a common language for diplonation, you treat your fellow man as a mats and tourists, even if you don’t member of the human race. master it.” Michael Sloper, SF79 “The inventor of Esperanto, Sloper’s stint in Israel ended early Ludovic Zamenhof, created a word— when he was sent back to the U.S. at the start of the first Gulf War. Back in homaronismo—which means, basicalSan Francisco, he was taking another In tutorials, the language is often looser, as students ly, member-of-the-human-race-ness.

“It makes incredible sense to have a common language...”

howard korn

focus on understanding.

{ T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }


{Johnnies on Language}

15

In historical linguistics, David says, texts and spoken words only This word expresses a philosophical concept that says that any pertell part of the story—history also yields some clues. “You need an son’s identity is, most profoundly, as a member of the human race. awareness of who lived next to whom and their interactions over “If people had access to tools to get beyond nationalism, the the years. Who was the conqueror, who was conquered? Who was world would be a much happier place,” Sloper says. “Every utterthe slave and who was the master? These are among the external ance in Esperanto is advocacy for putting aside nationalism, and factors that affect how language changes.” recognizing that internationalism is the path to peace.” These historical changes, David explains, gives the world PidIt is the path of war, however, that linguist Anne David (A86) gins and Creoles: languages that arise when people who don’t sometimes uses to reconstruct the languages she studies. Her field, speak a common language are thrown together and create a new historical linguistics, traces the changes in languages through war language. and peace, conquest and trade, enmity and amity to determine the “Adults in these situations speak just to common roots of related languages. make do,” David says. “They don’t use a lot Historical linguistics, David explains, of vocabulary or form a full-fledged lanbegan at the end of the 18th century when guage. They speak what we call a Pidgin. But the English tried to impose their law on the next generation, their children, speak a parts of the Indian culture. Knowing that full-fledged language, which we call a the best way to impose the law would be to Creole. They can’t make do with the limited meld it with the culture, an English judge, Mark Mandel A69 Pidgin language. It’s not sufficient for their Sir William Jones, learned Sanskrit so he linguistic needs.” could study the laws of Manu, an ancient The natural linguistic needs and abilities of children are the subSanskrit law book that helped form the basis of Hindu law. James jects of both science and legend. “I saw a great slogan: ‘children was also well versed in Greek and Latin, and as he studied, he saw catch languages the way they catch colds,’ ” says Mark Mandel. too many similarities between Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin to believe “When we’re born, we’re language-learning machines. Learning they were coincidental. our native language is not something we learn in the way we’re used A whole field of linguistics sprang from his observations, and to thinking about learning. Any American first grader, with the since then, linguists have attempted to establish a system of correappropriate caveats, knows more English than any adult can learn spondences among certain language families (including Indo-Iranof English in two years, or maybe in six or seven years.” ian, Hellenic, Armenian, Balto-Slavic, Albanian, Celtic, Italic, and As for second languages, Mandel says, “if a second language is Germanic) that connects them to their original form. The hypothelearned through immersion, as in the case of an immigrant family ses of what that original form was is called the Indo-European that speaks its family language at home, the child will grow up comHypothesis, and historical linguists have spent the last 200 years pletely bilingual.” filling in the blanks in that system. Which brings us back to another linguistic legend: David’s work is with the Dravidian languages of South Asia, Shortly after nominating Henry Kissinger as his secretary of which include Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada—about 24 state, President Richard Nixon met with his Israeli counterpart, major languages that go back at least 1,000 years. The Dravidian Golda Meir. Both leaders, Nixon observed, now had Jewish forLanguage Hypothesis, which came out soon after the Indo-Euroeign ministers. “Yes,” Meir replied, contemplating Kissinger’s pean Hypothesis, is way behind in filling in its blanks. David made heavy German accent. “But mine speaks English.” x her contribution to the Hypothesis with her doctoral dissertation on infinitives in Dravidian. “A typically esoteric linguistic dissertation,” she says of the work, which she successfully defended in 1999, earning her a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. READING LIST After four years away from formal academia (she’s raising two The Loom of Language daughters—Guenevere, 8, and Rosalind, 4—with her husband, by Frederick Bodmer and Lancelot Hogben St. John’s tutor Amirthanayagam David, A86), David recently won On Language: Chomsky’s Classic Works Language and a grant from the American Institute of Indian Studies for further Responsibility and Reflections on Language in One Volume work in Old Tamil. She and her daughters are now in Madurai, in by Noam Chomsky, Mitsou Ronat South India, for six months as the first part of a project to study Old Course in General Linguistics Tamil verb forms in poetry. “Poetry tells us more about how the by Ferdinand De Saussure, et al language sounded,” she says. “Shakespeare tells us things about The Story of Language by Mario Pei Elizabethan English that prose wouldn’t tell us.” The Language Instinct by Stephen Pinker There are about 32,000 extant lines of poetry in Old Tamil, as Spoken Soul by John Russell Rickford and well as long commentaries—five lines of poetry might generate two Russell John Rickford pages of commentary. Her time abroad, therefore, will mainly be That’s Not What I Meant: How Conversational Style Makes or Breaks Relationships by Deborah Tannen spent gathering texts and reference books, and consulting with regional scholars. Her trip will also help her gain a sense for the area’s geography.

“When we’re born, we’re natural language machines...”

{ T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }


16

{The Program}

FOR THE

LOVE OF L ATIN hristine Kalkavage, visiting tutor, freely acknowledges that as far as languages go, ancient Greek was her first love. “I always loved reading the Odyssey in Greek,” Kalkavage says. Latin came second—an equally thrilling and rewarding relationship—but if she had to choose, Homer wins out over Virgil, hands down. But here is Kalkavage on a summer morning, leading a group of erstwhile students through a kind of Latin boot camp. Eight weeks of Latin, three days a week, four hours a day. A mix of graduate students, recent graduates, and undergraduates, the class is translating sentences about women with torches, lazy sailors, and enraged queens. Their textbook, Moreland and Fleischer’s Latin: An Intensive Course, is aptly named. It features a punishing set of exercises that this group has been working through daily after shifts at restaurants and other summer jobs. “There are a slew of these sailors in these exercises,” Kalkavage acknowledges, but she reminds the class that a great reward awaits them. “We’re going to be reading the Aeneid in six weeks.” Among the students is Hayden Brockett (A04), whose notebook bears the signs of many erasures and corrections. Why is he, after just completing a rigorous junior year, taking on the extra work of studying a language bounced from the Program more than half a century ago? “Well, for it’s own sake of course,” Brockett says quickly, as if

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that should have been obvious to anyone. “It’s also a good foundation for going to school in the classics. And it’s easier than Greek. It doesn’t have so many nuances.” Most of the students share similar motivations, with one reason dominant: They want to read works like the Aeneid in its original language, just as sophomores follow Antigone’s angst in ancient Greek, and Eastern Classics students in Santa Fe take on Sanskrit or classical Chinese. For several years now, Kalkavage, who has a Ph.D. in classics from Johns Hopkins and has also taught Greek to G.I.s, has been leading these summer workshops for Latin devotees. The language of Virgil was a fundamental of St. John’s College for much of the college’s 300-year history. The three-year-college program in 1792 began with Livy; Horace, Longinus, Epictetus, and Quintilian were among the subjects for upperclassmen. Barr and Buchanan included Latin in their New Program, along with Greek, French, and German. Latin, studied by sophomores in language tutorial, was the first to go, to make way for a second year of Greek; German hung on until 1962. “With some regret, because of the role of Latin in the genesis of the English language, the decision was made in favor of two years of Greek,” wrote J. Winfree Smith in A Search for the Liberal College. “The reasons for this were the greater ‘flexibility and expressiveness’ of Greek and the more important part that books originally written in Greek have played in human thought.”

Christine Kalkavage, visiting tutor, on a summer morning spent with Latin grammar and 10 diligent students. { T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }

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by Rosemary Harty


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{The Program}

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Between Latin and Greek, middle of the fall readings. the choice was an easy one: Lucretius and Tacitus are on Few of the seminar books are the Program, but Horace Latin, many are Greek says and Ovid are not, though Annapolis Dean Harvey they turn up in an occasional Flaumenhaft, who studied preceptorial or extracurricLatin in high school, and ular study group, Tuck says. French and German in colAs a doctoral student in lege. “Not only are Latin English literature, Tuck took works derivative, but as a an intensive Latin workshop, body of literature, they are then followed it up with the also not as profound as study of Greek. “I started it Greek works,” says Flauto support the work I was menhaft. “The greatest doing in English Renaisworks of literature, science, sance writers and became and mathematics were writmore and more interested in ten in Greek. The Romans’ doing these things for their genius was in law and adminown sake. If I’d stayed at istration. Virgil recognized Berkeley any longer, I probathat Homer was his master,” Matthew Gates (A04) labors on a translation for a summer intensive bly would have become an says Flaumenhaft. “And workshop in Latin. In both Santa Fe and Annapolis, students seek Egyptologist or studied SanHorace wrote that the outside opportunities to learn languages not on the Program. skrit. You always want to find Greeks took their ‘captors the roots of things.” captive.’” It was much the same for As for why French and not German? “It Christine Kalkavage. As an undergraduate was felt that French had a larger, more constudying English literature at Penn State, tinuous tradition,” Flaumenhaft explains. she developed great appreciation and interIt all goes back to the simple fact that we est for epic poems written in Greek and can’t do everything in four short years. Latin. By declaiming short poems in their Nevertheless, Latin has always found a original language, she found “you can hear place on campus. Like an underground more of the poetry.” movement, tutor and student groups have “Horace’s lyrical poetry really taught me sprung up to pursue Horace, Virgil, or Ovid, says Tutor Jonathan how to read English lyrical poetry,” says Kalkavage. Tuck, who has participated in faculty study groups and led workUltimately, why make a choice between Greek and Latin? Anyone shops in Latin grammar at the request of students. Tutors Nancy with enough time on his hands should study both, she says. Both Buchenauer and Eric Sangeng also have led Latin groups. languages share the important trait of preparing their students for While agreeing with the sentiment that Greek poets are superior whatever comes next: law school, graduate school, or a deeper to the Romans, Tuck still believes Latinists are too readily dis- understanding of almost any work. “The mind is trained to undermissed by the Hellenists of St. John’s. He noted that Virgil’s Aeneid stand logic,” Kalkavage says. “It carries over into being attentive in once kicked off sophomore seminar, but is now buried in the other areas of your life.” x

Latin was dropped from the curriculum to make room for two years of Greek.

{ T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }


18

{Commencement}

FOR ONE MOMENT O F G L O R Y,

A YEAR OF PL ANNING by Rosemary Harty

“On the STAGE, give yourself the TIME to revel in the moment. Consider the saunter instead of the lope.” – Instructions for Degree Candidates, Santa Fe.

“Mortarboards should be worn parallel to the ground, after the fashion of Euclid.” — Commencement Protocol, Annapolis

ich with tradition, guided by protocol, commencement at St. John’s College is no casual affair. Commencement planning at both campuses begins soon after first semester opens, and preparations kick into high gear about the time seniors begin donning their gowns and sitting for their orals. Advance planning? The registrar in Annapolis takes measurements for caps and gowns when freshmen register. Efficiency? In Santa Fe, marshals and the first in line for master’s and bachelor’s degrees are given detailed instruction on how to march and where to go so that they may lead the others, precluding the need for a formal rehearsal. The mace and chain of office are polished. A rubber band oneinch in diameter secures each rolled diploma before black and

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orange ribbons are tied artfully together in the “St. John’s knot.” Each diploma—signed by the campus president—is slipped into a compartment of a box made just for this purpose and trucked across campus for the big moment. There’s a job for everyone: garment-bag handlers, hooders for the platform, restroom pointer-outers. On the morning of the ceremony in Annapolis, the names of each tutor, graduating senior, and G.I. graduate are written on masking tape and arranged in the Great Hall, creating the serpentine path that will allow 200 people to line up in a crowded space and emerge in the requisite order. On the second floor of Peterson Student Center, bachelor’s and master’s candidates in Santa Fe consult an alphabetized list of candidates to arrange themselves for a stately march across the Placita. At both campuses, much labor goes into peparing a rain venue, with chairs, microphones, and a large-screen television for remote viewing prepared well in advance. In Annapolis this year, it looked as if this fine effort might have to be crammed indoors, but a decision to take a risk turned out to be the right one. Not a drop of rain fell on the ceremony. In Santa Fe, it was hot (86 degrees in the shade) and bright, but the strawberries and lemonade looked as fresh as always on black-and-white tablecloths. x

{ T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }


{Commencement}

19

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Commencement is a labor of love for St. John’s (clockwise from left): Antonio Bacas prepares some 2,500 strawberries for the Santa Fe reception; in Annapolis, fellow graduates William Young and Elizabeth Cummings help Jenny Windstrup don her academic regalia; Sid Phipps, chief of Annapolis Buildings and Grounds, lines up chairs with precision; and Thomas McBee (SF04) carries the New Mexico flag to the podium.

{ T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }


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{Commencement}

COMMENCEMENT 2003 Annapolis: “The Courage of Thought”

Magazine editor Lewis Lapham spoke to Annapolis graduates; below, renowned translator Allen Mandlebaum delivered the commencement address in Santa Fe.

On May 21 in Annapolis, 122 undergraduate students—the largest graduating class in the history of the New Program—and 27 graduate students earned degrees.

published 14 books on subjects from Manet to Auschwitz, and was planning 20 other projects when he died at age 66 in 1995. He never became wealthy, but Friedrich pursued his quest for knowledge as far as he could take it. “Otto believed that we are all caught up in the telling of stories (some more complicated and more beautiful than others, many of them incoherent, a few of them immortal), and he assumed that no matter how well or how poorly we manage the plot, we are all of us engaged in the same enterprise, all of us seeking evocations or representations of what we can recognize as appropriately human,” Lapham said. Though he has yet to meet “an educated citizen,” Lapham finds great hope in a “self-educating citizen,” one who doesn’t hesitate to proclaim his own ignorance and voice his questions.

Santa Fe: “A Perilous Journey” On May 24 in Santa Fe, 81 undergraduate and 24 graduate candidates received their diplomas. ome of the most memorable speechmaking in Santa Fe this year came at dinners: a hilarious tribute to graduating seniors by tutor-turned-soothsayer Michael Rawn, delivered at the senior dinner; and a poignant toast to the Graduate Institute by G.I. Director Frank Pagano, offered at the G.I. Dinner for graduates and their families. Rawn’s stated goal was to open graduates’ eyes “to the perilous journey they must embark upon to reach this realm of philanthropic bliss, a journey through

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“Idealism rescues cynicism, and the continued comfort of the party of things-as-they-are depends on the doubts placed under their pillows by the party of things-as-they-mightbecome. The future turns out to be something that you make instead of find. It isn’t waiting for your arrival, either with an arrest warrant or a band, nor is it any further away than the next sentence, the next best guess, the next sketch for the painting of a life portrait that might become a masterpiece. The future is an empty canvas or a blank sheet of paper, and if you have the courage of your own thought and your own observation you can make of it what you will.” Note: the full text of Lapham’s speech is available on the St. John’s College Web site: www.sjca.edu

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n a speech that focused on a central figure in his life—writer, editor, and historian Otto Friedrich—Harper’s Editor Lewis Lapham presented a passionate defense of the humanities in his commencement address, a speech that also touched on the war in Iraq, on tyranny and freedom, and fear and ignorance. The humanities are essential to life, not luxuries, Lapham said. “I can think of no other set of studies more relevant to our present circumstance,” he said. “Our technologists bear comparison to the sorcerer’s apprentice, producing continuously improved means toward increasingly illdefined ends. Unless we look to the humanities to clean up the mess, we stand a better-than-even chance of killing ourselves with our new toys.” Humanism, he continued “is about the passion of thought and the will to understand, about Darwin sailing for the Galapagos or Dostoevsky in trouble with the police, about Condorcet dying in a garret and hunted by agents of the guillotine, writing his outline of human progress so that he might hearten mankind by his vision of its possible perfections.” In describing Friedrich, for whom he worked at the now-defunct Saturday Evening Post, Lapham drew from T.H. White’s The Once and Future King to celebrate the unquenchable intellectual he found in his mentor. Merlin, he explained, proffered this cure for young Arthur’s melancholy. “There is only one thing for it then—to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never dream of regretting.” Lapham described Friedrich, as one who “joined a scholar’s love of learning with a journalist’s boundless curiosity.” Friedrich

{ T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }


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dave trozzo

{Commencement}

economic destitution, through socio-pathological alienation, a journey through an underworld more terrible than the one encountered by Aeneas and Dante and Odysseus and Mr. Rogers.” He took the liberty of predicting the future for several seniors—futures all heavily influenced by a St. John’s education: “Mr. [Michael] Santillanes will have a bleak economic future selling Sigmund Freud action figures”; “Ms. Alexandra Poole…will develop the next generation of Prozac-based sedatives, called Ephemera, whose only deleterious side effect will be strong unsubstantiated feelings of the unity of science and morality”; “Mr. Austin Hall will return to the college in 20 years, under the pseudonym Johannes de Silencio, having copyrighted a performance piece called the Seminar Moment. It will be a CD that one can play prior to seminar to prepare for epiphany, not unlike the rainforest CDs insomniacs play before bedtime.” Toasting the Graduate Institute, Pagano spoke of youth and age, old and new.

“Everyone in the college still calls the undergraduate program the New Program, and I call the Liberal Arts Program the New Program. The New Program is now in its late 60s, and the Graduate Institute in its late 30s. By the standard of a human life, the New Program is old, and the Graduate Institute approaching middle age. And yet when I read Plato in the college he seems to be young. Who gave Plato back his youth? A dean in Annapolis, Jacob Klein. As Plato says of Socrates, the whole purpose of the New Program is to make the best thoughts of the past young and beautiful. We attempt to bring them into the present. “The students in the Graduate Institute are older than most of the undergraduates. And yet they represent the present rather more than the undergraduates. You have seen the world and felt it as it is, and it is already old. To know this is to know what youth is. Youth in the world is the expectation that the good will prevail. Yet this is not the most powerful view in the contem-

{ T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }

Meredith Barton, flanked by Christopher Bareford and Amanda Bell, shows her delight on graduation day in Annapolis.

porary world. The world has the cynicism of old age that the worst is coming soon. In this respect the undergraduates are not yet young. They do not know the world. You are young. You are because you have returned to us to find the good. You have brought to us the expectation of youth.” During the 2003 Commencement exercises an address to the graduating class was given by the great translator of classic works Allen Mandelbaum, W. R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Humanities at Wake Forest University, and professor of the History of Literary Criticism at the University of Turin. Mandelbaum delivered several readings, along with extensive background material on each piece. Preceding closing remarks, sincere thanks and remembrance was proffered to four retiring faculty members in Santa Fe: Glenn Freitas, Robert Richardson, Ralph Swentzell, and Hans von Briesen. x


22

{Homecoming}

CL ASS OF ’68 PIONEERS RETURN by Andra Maguran

assie was on the air, Lyndon Johnson was president, and 23,000 troops were positioned in Vietnam. The Beatles made their television appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, and the Warren Commission determined that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. It was 1964, and in this transition from Camelot to the turbulent war years, the inaugural freshman class of St. John’s College in Santa Fe—84 in number—arrived at a brand new campus carved out of juniper and piñon at the edge of a quaint and quiet town.

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In July, members of the class of 1968 reconvened, along with alumni from years latter and recent, to take part in Homecoming 2003. Ask Vida Kazemi (SF68) to compare today’s St. John’s with life on the Santa Fe campus in 1964 and she likens it to answering “questions about another planet, using the framework of this planet.” “The experience of being at a college with no upperclassmates, about 20 or so faculty and staff, lots of space, in a town where the options for seeing films were the college and the Three Cities of Spain coffee shop on certain weekends, was so different from anything familiar that I can’t put it in another context,” she explains. Kazemi’s parents were in Iran, she was in boarding school in the U.S., and her college choice was up to her. She had seen a promotional film in which an eager prospective named ‘Ernest Groper’ toured the campus, but nevertheless chose St. John’s, in part for its location. She originally planned to

transfer to a more established institution such as Wellesley after her freshman year, but the Program took hold and she decided to stay. There was no gym, few diversions and terrible food, she acknowledges, but “we also had opportunities that no other class has had, and buildings that had never been

Class of 1968 students process to the dedication of the Santa Fe campus in October 1964. { T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }

used.” There were very few cars on campus, Kazemi adds—a stark contrast to today’s packed parking lots. “Allison Karslake was one of the few students with a car, which she generously loaned to everybody and which was at one point painted decoratively by other students and called ‘the Angel,’” says Kazemi. As the fighting escalated in Vietnam, the turmoil in the country affected the tiny campus, Kazemi says, “It was a strange time to be pondering eternal questions when the temporal seemed so urgent.” “When one of ours went to war, we struggled with our respective moral choices. The influence of those times still informs the lifestyle and choices of most of us.” The faculty of the new campus comprised 10 intrepid tutors, seven of whom came from Annapolis, including Ford K. Brown, who smoked a pipe in seminars. Antigone Phalares remembers Brown laying down protocol right off the bat. “Let’s begin with the Greek alphabet. It begins alpha [pointing to himself], beta [pointing to the students], here [indicating the classroom],” Phalares recalls.


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{Homecoming}

The class of 1983 in a playful pose at the Homecoming picnic, and alumni and their families enjoy the President’s Brunch at Hunt House on Sunday morning.

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In contrast to today’s coed dorms was the prohibition against men and women visiting one another in their single-sex dorms after curfew. Julie von Erffa (SF68) is still proud of her class’s success in helping to ease the dormitory visitation restrictions. “We had a sleep-in and got the hours extended until midnight. If you were in a boy’s dorm past midnight you had to stay over because the guards might catch you going out.” With her enlightened notions about living arrangements, von Erffa went in 1967 to live among the founding members of the famed New Buffalo Commune, near Taos. But as Cervantes wrote, “time ripens all things.” Now a doctor of Oriental Medicine, von Erffa says that after spending eight years as a farmer, in order to become an acupuncturist she had to get back to her intellectual roots and re-apply what she’d learned at St. John’s—to go fearlessly into unfamiliar territory.

Browsing through college materials while on campus, Elsa Blum (SF68) experienced “an intense memory of… the excitement and gratitude I felt at the seriousness of the dialogue this college wanted to have with me. I remember scribbling late into the night to answer the questions I felt were so vital to me.” The class Homecoming seminar, on Wendell Berry’s short story “Pray Without Ceasing,” revived the spirit of those longago seminars for Blum. “It was the best kind of relaxed collective effort, no posturing or heavy-handed stuff that we are subjected to in the ‘real’ world. This experience, along with the pleasure of being together after so many years, seemed to cast a benign glow on our class’s time together this weekend.” The Santa Fe campus may have been new, but the Program was almost 30 years old, and the works they read timeless. “St. John’s was one of the most important things that happened to me, both in terms of personal maturity and spreading intellectual horizons,” says Harold Morgan (SF68). “The college has matured into an important part of Santa Fe and New Mexico. I’m proud to have a connection.” x

The pioneers from the class of 1968 at the President’s Brunch during Homecoming. { T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }

HOMECOMING HIGHLIGHTS • Laboratory Director Hans von Briesen, who retired this year, and Kathy Mizrahi, director of Residential Housing, were selected to become honorary alumni by the Alumni Association. • Gloria Page (SF76) delivered a lecture as part of the Meem Library’s Speaking Volumes Lecture Series. Her talk, “Dream On: Creating an Art Business That Works,” was based on her recent book outlining her journey from a home-based creative endeavor to the Smithsonian bookshop. • Alumni Awards of Merit were presented to Alfred Grant (SFGI83) and Eric Springsted (SF73). (More on these awards on page 47). • Homecoming prank: The Class of 1993 staged a “redneck-style” barbeque outside Peterson Student Center, replete with pick-up truck, pirate flag, straw hats, Southern rock music, and beverages. They sported white t-shirts and muscle shirts with the message “I’m with stupid” (written in Greek), and an arrow pointing to each person’s left.


24

{Outreach}

HOBBES IN PRISON Mark Lindley (A67) Brings Great Books to Prisoners by Rosemary Harty

“Attention all visitors: As a part of the routine search that must be conducted before you are allowed to enter the institution, you will be required to open your mouth. Those who refuse shall be denied entry.” ules and regulations greet every visitor to the Maryland Correctional Institution-Jessup. Don’t move through a moving door until it has stopped moving. No double visits on holiday weekends. If asked, open your mouth for inspection. Mark Lindley (A67) pulls out his driver’s license and a Department of Corrections volunteer I.D. and tries to usher a group of volunteers into the regular Wednesday morning session of Touchstones, an Annapolis-based project based on reading and discussing passages from great books. A few weeks before, Lindley had forgotten his license and was turned away. Today one of his visitors isn’t on “the list” from the principal of the prison school. Speaking patiently and diplomatically to the guard behind the glass, he asks that the principal be called for permission. “Every couple of weeks, there’s a new procedure and an old procedure goes by the wayside,” Lindley comments as his group waits by a row of lockers. Several minutes go by as a guard calls the prison school to check if the unlisted visitor can enter. Several more minutes go by until the guard who called decides to tell the guard behind the glass that the visitor has been approved. Lindley shows only gratitude as he waits for his turn through the metal detector, then leads his group into the prison yard and to the building that houses the prison school. About a dozen chairs have been set in a circle. Dion, a slim, bespectacled

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young man in dreadlocks, has placed a copy of the Touchstones text—a selection of short readings culled from many of the books of the St. John’s Program—on each chair. The reading is a two-page passage from Leviathan, rendered into simpler prose and shorter sentences, but keeping Hobbes’ major ideas intact. Participants— initially five inmates and the Touchstones group—are reminded of the rules for discussion and directed to the reading. Dion announces the opening question, a rather broad one: “What is the nature of man?”

Discussions cross lines of race and class, education and experience, freedom and imprisonment. In the next 45 minutes, the conversation will face long silences and diversions. More questions are generated as inmates wrestle with the philsopher’s view about law, order, and chaos: Should we live our lives in fear? Is it possible for two people to compete for the same thing and not try to destroy each other? “The nature of man,” offers one of the inmates, “is to seek what makes him happy or content.” In some cases, he says, it’s a big car, a nice house, a good job. Adds another inmate, a quiet man: “You can only find peace when you look at what’s inside yourself, be true to yourself.” Sometimes one or two people dominate the conversation; often the participants struggle to express a thought. Some conversations have been volatile. But nearly every time, says Lindley, the discussions cross lines of race and class, education and { T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }

experience, freedom and imprisonment, to touch on questions of humanity: Is it possible to obtain peace living in our society today? The Touchstones Discussion Project— created in 1984 by tutors Howard Zeiderman (A67), Geoffrey Comber (HAGI95), and Nick Maistrellis, based in Annapolis and independent of the college—has been in Maryland prisons since 1996. Designed to help individuals of all backgrounds develop skills such as problem solving, questioning, listening, and cooperating, the project was already in schools, nursing homes, corporations, and organizations. The idea to take it to prisons came from a community college teacher in Santa Fe who attended a Touchstones workshop. After a program in the New Mexico State Penitentiary got under way, Zeiderman began working on bringing it into Maryland’s prisons. His initial meeting was with nine men serving life sentences at the Maryland House of Corrections. “They had three reasons they thought Touchstones would be helpful for prisoners: It would humanize the environment; they would take themselves more seriously as individuals; and they appreciated that ideas like justice, integrity, and truth would be helpful to talk about.” The nonprofit organization had to overcome some bureaucratic roadblocks, but it’s now in four prisons in the state. More than 1,000 prisoners have gone through the program, which over the years has gained credibility in the Department of Corrections. The parole board now accepts Touchstones certificates as part of an inmate’s record. And Zeiderman hopes one Mark Lindley finds uncommon wisdom and insight in the conversations he shares with prisoners through the Touchstones Discussion Project. Lindley is one of dozens of Touchstones volunteers in Maryland prisons.


{Outreach}

“Seeing people come to life who have been completely shut down— it’s very exciting.” Mark Lindley (A67)

{ T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }

25


26

day to bring the program to the prison’s guards. When he first began leading discussions in prison, Zeiderman wondered where conversations with a group of men serving life sentences would lead. One week, the group discussed the Bible story of the sacrifice of Isaac. “They’re talking about God and what God is like through the sacrifice of Isaac. It’s really quite breathtaking because they’re all lifers, convicted of committing the crime of murder. The discussion had a kind of intensity and honesty you’re not going to experience anywhere else,” Zeiderman adds. Lindley is one of about 80 volunteers involved in the Touchstones prison project. For the last year, he has invested up to 20 hours a week in leading groups, training inmates, and lately, paving the way for new programs at other correctional institutions. Lindley retired from an executive post at AOL-Time Warner, where he capped a career that started with teaching, led to computers, and involved launching several start-up companies. As his technological abilities grew, he also learned to thrive on challenges. Even when he took a job with General Electric, he found his niche in the company’s cutting-edge projects. When he left to go to AOL, “this crackpot startup,” some of Lindley’s colleagues told him he was derailing his career. “It was geek heaven,” Lindley says of his years with AOL, where he climbed to the post of senior manager of AOL Technologies. He says skills he learned at St. John’s, particularly “fearlessness in the face of total confusion,” helped him succeed in a fast-paced and rapidly changing environment. “It [St. John’s] also influenced my approach to problem solving,” Lindley says. “I was working with a lot of people who had been to engineering school, and I was one of the people who always said, ‘let’s sit down and talk about it.’” Zeiderman recruited his former classmate when Lindley came back to Annapolis for his 25th reunion and joined Zeiderman and his wife, Margaret Winter (A66), for a luncheon. Lindley decided to retire from

{Outreach}

A group of inmates share their thoughts in this Touchstones session.

AOL after the Time-Warner merger. “I could see where things were headed,” he said, and he and his wife, Nancy (A58), moved back to Annapolis. In his corporate life, Lindley enjoyed seeing talented young men and women thrive when given new challenges. His work in the prisons isn’t that different, but he’s very aware that this group of men started out with none of the advantages— stable homes, good educations—that his young workers had. “In my career, I gained a lot of personal satisfaction out of guiding folks into careers and pointing out directions I thought they could go in. But in some sense that was easy, because I was able to pick and choose the talent I was hiring for my department. Here [in the prison], you’re working with people who have been pretty much disadvantaged, largely before they were born.” Touchstones gives prisoners a voice they didn’t know they had, Lindley says. “There was a young man who had started in the

More than 1,000 prisoners have participated in Touchstones.

{ T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }

program maybe nine months or so ago. He was obviously a very bright kid, but out of control, kind of a wild man. He would disrupt the class, speak out, and talk about irrelevant things—not really be active in trying to make the group work.” Within a few weeks, the young man began to participate in a very rational, quiet way. He talked less and listened more. “Nobody clued him in, but at some point he had a breakthrough—he’s responsible for himself. He has a self. He can make a difference in his own life,” Lindley says. Lindley believes that he’s gaining something valuable from his time spent with these imprisoned men. “One of the lovely things about Touchstones is that you’re always discovering things about yourself—gifts that you may have not valued or areas of your personality that you develop—and you get to do that working with people. And in an institution like this, seeing people come to life who have been completely shut down—it’s very exciting. It’s very satisfying.” As of late August, the group had its third discussion leader in as many months. There were the usual rumblings that the program could lose support in the Department of Corrections. Lindley showed up one morning only to be turned away again; the inmate who filled out the paperwork had put the wrong date on the form. Lindley got back in the car without a fuss. But the pat-downs, the bureaucracy, the passage through metal detectors and sharpshooters all gave him impetus to speak up recently when prisoners discussed a short passage from the Iliad. Rendered in simple prose, the passage described Priam begging Achilles for Hector’s body. “The question was, ‘have you ever had to humble yourself?’ And I think they were going to skip right over me, but I had a lot to contribute. You know every time you come into the prison, that the guard with the gun has power over you. That gives you something in common with the inmates. Love, hate, anger, truth, revenge—we’re all human, and ultimately we have the same issues to talk about.” x


27

{Bibliofile}

land stories, but he plans to pursue more serious literary ambitions when he retires in a few years. He also wants to work harder on the “rich and famous” goal. “Local crime is fine, and I’ve enjoyed it,” he says, “but what I need to do is write something along the lines of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” Before he does though, he wants to complete a final “legacy to the public”—a 2,000-page index of murders and disasters in the Cleveland area.

Tales of Cleveland Woe THE KILLER IN THE ATTIC By John Stark Bellamy II Gray & Co., 2002 By Rosemary Harty

J

ohn Stark Bellamy II (A71) had a simple goal when he sat down to write the first of his books on murder and mayhem in his native Cleveland. “All I ever wanted to do was to be rich and famous in my own hometown,” Bellamy

explains. After penning four books with titles such as The Corpse in the Cellar (“includes 104 spine-chilling photographs”) and They Died Crawling, Bellamy has achieved a modest fortune and certain notoriety. His books have sold briskly in the Northeast Ohio region. Bellamy leads trolley tours through the city, pointing out sites of horrific crimes and tragic fires, shares his collection of tales on radio and television, and brings a slide show detailing the stories in his books to various eager audiences. Bellamy earns his living as the history specialist for the Cuyahoga County Public Library. But his fascination for lurid spectacle and human treachery was nurtured at a young age. “I grew up in a family of journalists where it was considered perfectly appropriate to discuss the latest torso killing around the dinner table,” Bellamy explains. “It was not uncommon to have family meals interrupted by the scream of fire engines. We would just abandon what we were doing and follow the sirens.” In his latest book, The Killer in the Attic, Bellamy confesses to a compulsion to keep churning out the tales: “…I have discovered that I could not stifle my melodramatic tale-telling even if I wanted to—and the frank truth is that I don’t.” After four books, his favorite story remains that of Eve Kaber, who arranged for the murder of her well-to-do husband, Dan. “Long about 1918, her husband suddenly became very sick—she was systematically poisoning him by adding arsenic to his food—but she lost patience after a while and hired two goons to stab the invalid in his bed. “The amazing thing was this woman had the complicity of both her daughter and mother,” Bellamy muses. “She was a formidable woman and she almost got away with

CONICS, Book IV Translated and annotated by Michael Fried Green Lion Press, 2002

John Stark Bellamy II chronicles crime and chaos in his native Cleveland.

it. It’s shocking to me that no one has made an opera out of this story yet.” As a historian, Bellamy believes his tales contribute to a better understanding of the social history of Cleveland. In stories such as “They Died Crawling,” he describes the 1916 Waterworks Tunnel explosion, in which 70 men—many immigrant Irish and German laborers—lost their lives after being ordered into a gas-filled tunnel. Bellamy writes about the heroes who were never acknowledged and the series of blunders that cost the men their lives. Growing up in a newspaper family gave Bellamy a love for books, and at his mother’s urging he applied to St. John’s. “I was precocious and maladjusted and looking around desperately for some kind of niche I could fit into,” he says. Although he left after a year, Bellamy says, “there is not one aspect of my life that hasn’t been changed by exposure to the program at St. John’s. It gave me an intolerance for sloppy thinking and for the second-rate.” After earning a graduate degree in history and discovering he didn’t want to teach, Bellamy went on to earn a master’s in library science. Working in Cleveland libraries, he began to collect clippings and photographs of sensational stories and shaped them into books, writing between 11 p.m. and 3 in the morning. Each book features the fast-paced, cynical, and melodramatic style of a tabloid newspaper. “They’re tremendous fun to write,” he says. Bellamy is working on a murder tour guide and a calendar featuring his Cleve{ T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }

Michael N. Fried (A82) has made important contributions to the study of Apollonius’s Conics. Together with Sabetai Unguru, he wrote Apollonius of Perga’s Conica: Text, Context, Subtext (Brill, 2001). The volume contains primarily an “historically sensitive interpretation” of the Conics—seen through its individual books, and as a whole. Particular attention is placed on the areas of the Conics hitherto—neglected Books V-VII. Fried and Unguru hope to offer a “long overdue” alternative to previous scholarship, which will be of interest not only to historians of mathematics, but also to other historians, philosophers, and linguists, as well as “open-minded mathematicians.” More recently, Fried has published a translation of Book IV of the Conics (Green Lion Press, 2002). Book IV deals with the ways in which conic sections can meet in a plane. It is the last of the Greek books, as well as the last part of what Apollonius called a “course on the elements of conics.” (The remainder of the books after IV survive only in medieval Latin and Arabic translations.) In the introduction, Fried himself sums up what he has done: “In reading and translating book IV, I have tried to give Apollonius a fair chance, to keep modern algebraic ideas about conics at a distance, and to view the text with eyes trained only on the mathematical and philosophical concerns of Apollonius’s contemporaries and on the geometrical character of the previous three books of the Conics.” “…for one like Apollonius, whose work with curves is always governed by a fundamentally geometric outlook, the plural-singular nature of the opposite sections makes them an object of fascination, but it also duly gives rise to a certain uneasiness with them….” x


28

{Alumni Notes}

1940 OSCAR L. LORD writes: “My wife, Patti, and I attended a ceremony recently at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, Colo., when our son, Gen. Lance W. Lord, assumed command of the first Air Force Space Command. We were pleased to meet the Secretary of the Air Force and his wife who attended the ceremony and were pleased to learn of his past association with St. John’s.”

1941 Last November VERNON PADGETT was elected to a second term as director of the Las Virgenes

Municipal Water District, which provides water and sewer service to 65,000 homes in several small cities west of Los Angeles.

1944 GEORGE LEVINE is celebrating his 40th year as director of American Telephone Consumer Council.

ot a good story from the early days/weeks/ months of freshman year? Send it to sus3an.borden@sjca.edu for an article we’re working on. Santa Fe stories are currently in short supply; if you spent your first year on the Western campus we especially urge you to take a trip down memory lane and send us a travelogue. x

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1962

RICHARD M. FRANK reports, “I’m older. Otherwise nothing new— alas!”

JOHN FRANKLIN MILLER was elected president of the board of the Library of American Landscape History, a voluntary position, in 2003.

1953 ROBERT G. HAZO is writing a book

ROD WHETSTONE is contacting class of ’44 survivors: “Using the Alumni Register as a base, I would like each of you to verify that (1) you are still around and (2) that your address and phone number are correct in the Register. A phone call or post card will allow me to make my own updated and, hopefully, accurate register for our class. I will then send a copy to all of you and solicit ideas and suggestions for our reunion in the fall of 2004, as well as an indication of your interest in attending. A letter will, of course, be welcome. Though my address and phone number are correct in the Register, I will repeat them here: 3103 S. Park Road, Bethel Park, PA 15102; 412-835-8986. Incidentally, I believe our 55th reunion was quite successful. We had 15 attending out of 34 I was able to reach. The original number was either 90 or 91.”

1945

You Must Remember This

1949

“In my ‘old’ age,” LAWRENCE LEVIN writes, “I’ve become an active tenor singer in the Oratorio Society of Queens; we’re doing the Verdi Requiem in May and I love it.”

1948 GEORGE TRIMBLE was invited to

give three lectures on the “Evolution of Electronic Computers” at Princeton University in honor of John von Neumann’s 100th birthday.

1963

titled Minority Rule. CHARLES POWLESKE sends this

update from New York: “In late 2001, I helped form InterPlan Consulting Inc., which was incorporated a year ago. My associates are business friends from earlier years at the Business Council for International Understanding, who, like me, are (allegedly) retired. InterPlan’s chairman formerly headed a Fortune 500 engineering company, responsible for building and operating power plants and refineries around the world. Our current projects include refineries, both existing ones in need of expansion and new ones. We are also working on projects that range from solar energy (India and Sri Lanka), a proposed rice plantation in Africa, and an existing hotel complex in Barbados in need of equity for modernization under a new management.” He notes that he spent April in his favorite vacation condo in Puerto Vallarta.

1960 JOHN LANE retired a year ago and is thoroughly enjoying life.

1961 CYNTHIA BLEDSOE-DALEY recently celebrated a return to health on her bicycle, completing a trip of 3,135 miles across the country – eight states, 62 days (21 across Texas), Pacific to Atlantic Ocean. “The trip was immensely satisfying to the eye, as we traveled through small towns in deserts, mountains, and beaches, from San Diego to St. Augustine. A great way to start off the summer!”

{ T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }

BEVERLY W. BELL is a teacher and tutor of children with learning differences, and her husband, Dr. D. Bruce Bell, is the army’s expert on military families and is currently doing research on desertion and first-tour attrition. Son David, 29, is an opera singer and mathematician in New York City and daughter Toby, 26, is a medical social worker and milliner in Northern Virginia. All are thriving. MARCIA HERMAN-GIDDENS writes, “I am still happily living in rural North Carolina, teaching, consulting, and doing research in pediatric issues and child maltreatment. Imagine my delight and amazement when my daughter married a St. John’s tutor (Jonathan Badger, Annapolis) last year! Life is full of delicious wonders.”

1964 JAN CALDWELL THORPE has a psychotherapy practice in San Francisco and Berkeley, and is at work on a book about clinical work with dreams. “My husband is in law practice in San Francisco, and my eldest son and daughter-in-law are both lawyers in my husband’s practice. My youngest son is in the Navy, and my grandson is busy being six!”

1965 JESSICA HOFFMANN DAVIS is the Patricia Bauman and John Landrum Bryant Senior Lecturer on the Arts in Education and the director of the Arts in Education program at the Harvard Graduate


29

{Alumni Profile}

Teaching the EIDOS of Design by Sus3an Borden, A87

ike many alumni who have become teachers, Lovejoy Duryea (A67) uses St. John’sstyle teaching techniques in her classroom. At first, her students are uncomfortable with her approach; they hadn’t signed up for Socratic questioning or Aristotelian causation. That’s not, after all, what they were looking for when they applied to study interior design. But Duryea, who is chair of the interior design department at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, says that St. John’s is the best training a designer can get. “St. John’s is about asking questions, not giving answers. That’s what I’m trying to do—teach students how to think on their own, to solve problems, to be critical thinkers. I ask my classes: ‘What is a chair? Does it have to have legs? Does it have to have a back? What is chairness?’ If you’re going to design something important, you have to get into the eidos of what that something is.” When Duryea graduated from St. John’s, she didn’t know she’d someday put her education to work in the world of construction drawings, textile science, and sustainable environments. Instead, she started out in advertising, writing commercials for products like Ivory soap, Tide, Gleam, Crisco, and Duncan Hines cake mixes. “I was the queen of cake mixes,” she recalls. “They sent me to the test kitchens at Procter & Gamble and taught me to make pie crusts, fry chickens, and bake biscuits. Then they sent me on a radio talk show tour across the southern U.S. People would call in and ask me their cooking questions. That was my first experience after getting out of St. John’s: I was the baking lady.” When her tour ended, Duryea returned to the offices of Compton Advertising where someone dropped a bottle of the newto-market acetaminophen (brand name: Nebs) on her desk and told her to write a commercial for it. At the time, acetaminophen took a back seat to aspirin—its superior qualities were not well known outside of the world of research scientists. Duryea picked up the pills and headed for the library. “I found books on headaches, learned how the pill worked on the body, and drew up a list of questions for the scientists in the lab. No copywriter had ever asked to talk to them before. The average

Award-winning designer Lovejoy Duryea uses logic in her work.

L

copyrighter is not even going to read the label. But I wasn’t intimidated by chemical formulas,” she says. “I discovered that acetaminophen was superior to aspirin and buffered aspirin. It was a great product that was not being well promoted. Even the name—Nebs? Before we were through, acetaminophen became the largest painkiller on the market.” In 1976, Duryea (née Reeves) married William Duryea and stayed at home to raise four children. When her youngest was six, she returned to work, but this time as an interior designer. “I hardly missed a beat going from professional writing to design. I didn’t even consider it a stretch,” she says. “Because of St. John’s, I saw the unity and not the disunity. There’s an underlying logic in design and also a logic in selling. The St. John’s method of trying to find the underlying logic or order of something— that’s really what design is about.” Duryea’s residential design business took off almost immediately. She began with a project for a neighbor and her reputation spread quickly as she built up a Park Avenue practice—glamorous clients with big spaces and budgets to match. In 1987 Duryea was asked to teach at the School of Visual Arts and was offered the chairmanship of the school’s new interior design department in 1990. “I had a definite concept of what students should know when they graduated. I wanted them to have confidence about problem-solving.” As in philosophy, Duryea says that there are no right answers in design. “Some

{ T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }

answers are more right than others, and there are criteria you can bring to evaluating answers, but it’s not black and white. There’s a fiery pluralism in design that can be confusing to students. One teacher will say ‘this is a great design,’ another will say something completely different. I can’t tell my student what direction the design world is going, but if I teach them to be good thinkers, they’ll have the tools they need to figure out whatever they’re given to solve.” Last March, the Design Committee of the National Arts Club awarded Duryea a gold medal for her work as a designer and educator. Although she still does some work in design, her current focus is teaching, running the department, serving as chair of the State Board for Interior Design, and improving the certification process for interior designers. “We’re establishing standards for education and for practice, which brings us into more St. John’s kind of questions: What do interior designers do? What do they need to know? What kind of education should they have? Everything gets back to St. John’s,” Duryea says. “It’s the perfect background for a designer.” x

EIDOS of Couch “For we should not be content with saying that the couch was made of bronze or wood or whatever it might be, but should try to describe its design or mode of composition in preference to the material; or, if we did deal with the material, it would at any rate be with the concretion of material and form. For a couch is such and such a form embodied in this or that matter, or such and such a matter with this or that form; so that its shape and structure must be included in our description. For the formal nature is of greater importance than the material nature.” —Aristotle, ON THE PARTS OF ANIMALS, Book I


30

{Alumni Notes}

School of Education. Husband WILLIAM DAVIS (class of 1964) is a director at Credit Suisse First Boston and just stepped down as chairman of the board of the Berklee College of Music, which gave him an honorary doctorate in music. They send love to all.

1966 IAN HARRIS (A) reports that his daughter, Jessie WashburneHarris, was married to Michael Lieberman last October in Paradise Valley, Ariz. McFarland and Co. published a second edition of Ian’s book, Peace Education, written with Mary Lee Morrison. He is a professor of education policy and

community studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

1967 LARRY (A) and HAZEL (A69) SCHLUETER announce the birth of a second grandson, born to CHARLES (A90) and his wife, Kaya, named Kaden Douglas, on January 18, 2003. Larry has retired from U.S. Customs where he was an inspector for over 32 years, and is helping his grandson have fun. Hazel has a new CD out, Jam Session, and is playing with her band Hazel and the Delta Ramblers at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival—her 28th year at the festival.

1968 BRUCE R. BALDWIN (SF) writes that his daughter, Marisa, graduated from Johns Hopkins in May, and son, Ian, graduated from West Point in 1999 and is now a captain in the army, presently serving in Afghanistan. DONALD A. BOOTH (A) sent along this list: “I’ve recently returned from a year in Hong Kong, working as an architect on major projects including the CCTV (Chinese television) competition in Beijing. In 2001 I completed restoration of a historical house on Hanover Street in Annapolis, Md. (I’m a registered architect in Maryland.)

Tony Miller (A61): The Big World of Small Cars

I

“Grandson Lyw Westrick learned to read last year—another one boards the bus!” writes SARAH B. FISHER (A). CHARLES B. WATSON (A), sends a suggestion: “Listen to your local NPR station to hear events of the day and especially Ivan Watson reporting from northern Iraq near Moult, Kerkuk. In fall 2002 and February, March, and April of 2003, he was favorably impressed by the citizen soldiers and the beauty of the Kurdish-held areas of exile protected for 10 years by the Northern No-Fly Zone.”

Tony Miller’s design career has run the gamut from action figures to Hot Wheels.

By Roberta Gable, A78

n 1945, when he was five years old, Tony Miller’s parents submitted an application to St. John’s on his behalf. Advised that their suit was premature, they bided their time until he was of the age to make such applications for himself, and then they tightened the screws: although he was wild to study automotive design, they insisted that he spend at least a year in Annapolis before they’d endorse any other education. The would-be car designer accepted his lot, and came to St. John’s. No doubt to his parents’ delight, he was sufficiently hooked by the end of his freshman year to return as a sophomore. Push came to shove by second semester time, however, and he decided that perhaps it was time to follow his heart: He returned to his native California and enrolled at the Art Center (now called the Art Center College of Design) in Pasadena, the preeminent institution for training industrial automotive designers. He left there after two years, again without a degree, got married, and went to work as a draftsman and design engineer for Douglas Aircraft.

I’m currently based in Cambridge, Mass., working for a landscape architecture firm.”

Then destiny tapped him on the shoulder. “Aerospace in general is a place for methodical people who don’t need excitement and stimulation—it’s very slowpaced.” Finding himself to be more of a fun-lover, he was gladly recruited to be a project manager for Mattel. There he worked on a variety of toys, including an action figure called Big Jim. As a project manger he was responsible for each item from the moment it was added to the line: engineering, design, child testing, cost, the whole shootin’ match. After a while on the design side, he moved into marketing, the antithesis of engineering. “At St. John’s I gained a tolerance for finding out about stuff I didn’t think was interesting instead of believing that I already knew what was interesting. The discipline of being at St. John’s showed me that I have more tolerance for checking out things I don’t know anything about.” Although his three-year stint in marketing

wasn’t a time of unmitigated pleasure, the experience gained there informed his long career with a variety of toy companies: Zee, Tomy, Aurora, Lakeside Games, Tona, Galoob, and his own design consultancy, Red Racer Studio. In the end, he came back to Mattel, and back to his first love, cars. This year he’ll retire from his position as the vice president for design for Hot Wheels. Hot Wheels. They bill themselves as “The World’s Coolest Car Company,” and the claim goes largely undisputed. Since 1968 they’ve made more than three billion cars—they’re currently selling at a sevencars-per-second clip. You may think of the product chiefly as little 1:64-scale die-cast cars, just the right size for a boy to carry in his pocket, but wait! There’s more. Tracks, devices to hurl the cars through space, computer games, skateboard peripherals, auto show sponsorships: It’s a lifestyle cavalcade of cardom. Miller supervises the group of 30 designers from whose whimsy must come the new toy ideas. “It’s sometimes like watching a basket of puppies.” The Hot Wheels people say that all the Hot Wheels cars produced in the last 35 years would, if placed end to end, circle the earth five times. Says Miller: “That’s the one statistic that I challenged…and I did re-calculate it myself. I probably have Euclid to thank.” x

{ T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }


31

{Alumni Notes}

From Sweden, RICK WICKS (SF) sends this update: “After a long effort to develop the field of social economics at the university here (Goteborg U.) I’ve finally met with some success: the granting of a licentiate degree (which they describe as between a master’s and a doctorate), I continue working toward the Ph.D. and editing on the side as usual.”

1969 ELISABETH A. AIELLO (SFGI)

recently participated in the Tecolote Group, Santa Fe Tutor Stephen Van Luchene’s colloquium for K-12 teachers in New Mexico. “Participating…was revitalizing, inspiring and professionally productive. I revised my Great Book Class curriculum for the 2004 session and will redirect my techniques to include more small group discussions.” JOHN D. GOODWIN (SF) recently became chief executive officer of Victory Enterprises Inc. of Las Vegas, N.M., also known as Victory Home Health, Victory Personal Care, and Victory Royal Express, specializing in non-emergency medical transportation. One of their largest employers is in San Miguel Country, and they have offices throughout New Mexico. BYRON E. WALL (A) has been appointed associate lecturer in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at York University in Toronto, as of July 2002. His son, ALEX, graduated in May from the Annapolis campus.

1970 RONALD H. FIELDING (A), a member of the college Board of Visitors and Governors, sent his older son off to Hamilton College this August, noting that “after doing a mandatory overnight at SJC, he told my wife he wouldn’t apply but respected his father more, knowing he had gone there. I continue managing the municipal bond fund group for OppenheimerFunds (9 funds, $13 billion

ANA NETHERTON (A72) has found an unusual use

D

for his volume of Liddell & Scott: “I’m using it as I work my way through a photostatic reprint of an introductory book on Greek Orthodox church music (Byzantine Chant), which was published in 1821 by one of the three people who effected a major revision to the genre’s musical notation (and which was written in Greek, of course). I actually have a practical use for this study: I am learning to sing this genre of music in my church. I became a member of the Greek Orthodox Church in March 2002, when I was chrismated on my hospital bed the night before my successful triple bypass heart surgery (following about a month of angina). Now, I climb on my home treadmill several times a week, both for all-weather exercise and also for singing practice (while reading music written in Byzantine-chant characters and listening to (and singing along with) a Greek-American monk who sings the same music on a CD. Singing while walking briskly for a couple of miles works wonders for my breath control during services! My sophomore music tutor, the late Michael Ossorgin, was renowned in the world of Orthodox music (though Russian Orthodox of course, not Greek Orthodox). He was also incredibly patient with my sophomoric impatience in his class. If he is looking in on me, no doubt he is pleased—and quite probably stunned!” x

in assets, 20 total staff). My wife and I are working on a design for a beautiful house in Kiawah Island, near Charleston, S.C. That will become our winter home in two to three years. Finally, but not least, I’m chairing the next capital campaign for St. John’s. So put some money aside while you wait for my call.”

1971 HELEN ANASTAPLO SCHARBACH (A) and J. SHIPLEY NEWLIN JR. (A67) were married in a private ceremony on July 25, 2003, in Saint Paul, Minn. THOMAS N. DAY (A) writes, “it’s been an interesting year working at the INS in the aftermath of 9-11. I’ve been busy integrating various databases and developing new ones. LOIS [ECKLER DAY] (A77) is looking forward to getting back to teaching after our youngest is out of college.” PAUL EITNER (SF) is happy to report that his daughter Laura is taking a big step toward her lifelong goal by being accepted for entry into Ohio State University’s veterinary program this fall.

VICKY MANCHESTER (SF) was married in November of 2002 to Dr. John Garrison and is now Vicky Garrison. She continues to teach English and drama at the CIVA Charter High School in Military Springs, Co. CYNTHIA HANCOFF LEVY’S (A) latest CD for young children, Proud of You, won a spring 2003 Parents Choice Award. “You can listen to one of the songs on my Web site, www.music-makers.org. After 16 years of teaching music to kids and parents, I still love it!”

1973 LAURIE F. CALLAHAN (SF) reports that ANNALISA EWALD (A) is a classical guitarist with a studio in South Norwalk, Conn. JEAN FITZSIMON and LEE FISCHLER (SF68) are spending much of this year in New York City. Jean has a new job as a corporate compliance consultant. Compliance involves teaching companies to be ethical as well as responsible to an everchanging legal climate. In other words, she’s a “cop for hire.” When Lee is not writing marketing material for Jean, he takes

{ T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }

the grandkids to anti-war demonstrations. BARBARA ROGAN (SF) is pleased to report that her seventh novel, Hindsight, was just published by Simon & Schuster.

1974 RENATE LEWIS (SFGI) looks forward to moving back to Santa Fe this summer. JEFF (A) and Alla Victoroff are delighted to report the thrilling birth of Ivan on Dec. 17, 2002. ROBERTA FAULHABER-RAZAFY (SF) sends news from Paris: “Just thought I’d update fellow Johnnies on the latest development in my life. My husband, Jean-Pierre, was recently appointed ambassador of Madagascar (his native country) to France, UK, Spain, the Vatican, Israel, Portugal, and Monaco. I am currently living in an embassy in Paris not far from my former address in the same city, meditating on the authentic Aubusson tapestries and a strange Venetian chandelier that looks like miraculous frozen jellyfish as I type this in the living room. Although I feel something of an alien as a tall, blonde, and blue-eyed American Malagasy ambassadress, the situation’s potential is certainly intriguing. As life changes go, the surreal impact of this one will probably drive my work as a painter into some new configuration. In my new role, I encourage you all to visit Madagascar, with its unique flora and fauna, landscapes, excellent food (still organic!), and last but not least, the people and a culture based on nonviolent solutions to life’s problems and, of course, parties for the dead at the end of the world. You’ll enjoy it. Need info? Just email me at faulhabe@noos.fr and I’ll see what I can do.”

1975 BETSY BLUME (A), former director of the college’s Alumni Activities office, has taken a position as


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{Alumni Notes}

director of development for the Association of Science-Technology Centers, which represents institutions of informal science education worldwide. Among its member organizations are the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History, the National Aquarium in Baltimore, the Maryland Science Center, the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. ERIC SCIGLIANO (SF) is at work on a new book, on Michelangelo, marble, and the Carrara quarries, that draws inspiration from a junior preceptorial in Santa Fe.

1976 “My second novel, The Healer’s Keep, is now published in the U.S. and U.K. with German and Finnish editions due out soon. My third novel, The Oracle’s Light, will be published in spring 2004,” writes VICTORIA HANLEY (SF). “Greeting to my classmates,” writes NICOLE SCHLESS (SF). “I’m well, living in a beautiful spot in Connecticut, but am out to Santa Fe fairly frequently. I’m writing, carving, and contemplating the mysteries, making a living running a company here in Connecticut. I’ve been building a ‘barn’ for almost two years now and it’s close enough to done for visitors…well, hardy campers, anyway!” PHYLLIS HUFFMAN HERMAN (SFGI) has a private practice using the Feldenkrais method of somatic education, working with movement and awareness.

1977 GENE GLASS (A) and his wife, Susan, continue to live in Carroll, Iowa, where Gene has a private psychology practice. He also travels to Des Moines and Omaha, Neb., for his practice and for paid acting jobs. He’s looking forward to getting back to Annapolis soon during a homecoming and to spend time with good friends from

St. John’s. “Our 20-year was a blast!” This is the first year that JIM and ANDREA HAM (both SF77) are without children at home since 1984. “Dylan (18 years) is a freshman at UC-Santa Cruz and Caitlin (16 years) is a Rotary exchange student in Belgium for the year,” reports Andrea. “We are proud of them and we miss them but are enjoying the time alone too. We would love to hear from our classmates!” VICKI PHILLIPS (A) received her Ph.D. in religion from Vanderbilt University in 1997. She teaches at West Virginia Wesleyan College. Her husband, BARRY (A), works as a finish carpenter in historical renovations.

1978 RACHEL BARRETT (SF) has a new Web site, home.earthlink.net/~ rachelbarrett, showing what she has been doing, art-wise, for the last several years. Both her daughters graduated this June, Fiona from University of California Santa Cruz and Vanessa from Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandizing in Los Angeles. ERIC “TITO” COLEMAN (A) is back in Virginia after completing a six-year HIV-AIDS project in the Dominican Republic. Funded by USAID, his project was designed to build local capacity (NGOs and government agencies) to respond to prevention and treatment challenges in HIV through communications and policy initiatives: television, radio and print media development for public awareness; training, policy facilitation, and grants for interventions. “Now I am doing similar things but in the environmental field in Latin America. I’m also a challenged and proud parent of two bodacious daughters. I’m happy to hear from ‘past ghosts’ at tcoleman@ aed.org.” MARTHA MCGINNIS (SF) writes, “After 19 years in corporate life, I was thrilled to be ‘outsourced’ in December. I’m enjoying catching up with my girls, Amelia (12) and

A

NDREW WHITE (A81) will be in Athens on a Fulbright grant for the next academic year, completing a dissertation on Byzantine theater and ritual—the first of its kind in English. He will be living in the northern suburbs and dividing his time between the University of Athens Theatre Department and the American School for Classical Studies, where he will be an associate student. Andy has been incredibly lucky to find a brilliant wife, Laura Hjerpe, and now enjoys the company of a rowdy, sociable 6-year-old, Ian Richard, who is also looking forward to next year’s Big Fat Greek Adventure! Andy can still be contacted through e-mail at awhite@wam.umd.edu. x

Molly (9), through soccer, volleyball, chess club, Brownies, and chairing our charter school council. Once I catch my breath I will begin a new career in freelance graphic recording and facilitation.” TERRY C. SCHULD (A) has been married 20 years this fall to Peg, an animal and wildlife artist. He works as a Web applications specialist for ADI, a division of Honeywell, and lives in the Long Island Pine Barrons. “After eight years in the Navy, I have transferred to the U.S. Public Health Service, working in vaccines and biologies,” writes ANN SCHWARTZ (A). “My two sons, Adam (20), and Caleb (19), are in college at Dickinson College and Gettysburg College, respectively. I am looking forward to a trip to New Zealand next year.” RITA BAHUS SATO (A) is currently director of administrative services for the Department of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is married with a lovely 13-year-old daughter who is into horseback riding and competing and Ozzy Osbourne! The family also includes a crazed Shar-Pei, Cocoa, and a quarterhorse named Polly. (Mom rides her, too!) JAMES WALTON (SF) writes, “We wrapped up another movie this month in Albuquerque. This is the second movie I’ve worked on (since joining IATSE Local 480), an Alejandro Iñárritu production starring Sean Penn. Since the New Mexico legislature passed bills offering financial incentives, New Mexico is once more a very attractive place for movie making.”

{ T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }

1979 The University Press of Florida recently published a book by CAROL COLATRELLA (A), Literature and Moral Reform: Melville and the Discipline of Readers. DENNIS SHERMAN (A) has been living in France for just over 20 years. He works in “gastronomic tourism” and is a wine broker based in Burgundy.

1980 LISA LASHLEY (SF) is teaching math at St. Michael’s High School in Santa Fe, where her two children, Alex (11th grade) and Virginia (8th grade), attend. She is also involved with Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, serving as a Cadette troop leader and an assistant scoutmaster. She is also a docent at local museums and serves on the board of the Santa Fe Archaeological Society. SUSAN REED (SFGI) and her firstgrade son, Harry, have traveled to New Zealand twice, England once, 12 different states, and numerous cities, but otherwise lead a quiet life in the country. DEBRA A. RUTHERFORD (SF) and her husband, Larry, still work at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Their daughter, Michelle, will enter Los Alamos Middle School in the fall.


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1981 MONICA CREELMAN (SF) is working in New York City as a clinical psychologist in a private practice. She is also teaching graduate students. She was married three years ago to Karl O’Donoghue, and they have no children. EMI SARA GEIGER (A) has made some changes. “My husband and five children and I moved back to the U.S. one year ago to care for my aging parents. We miss our relatives and friends in Israel, many Johnnies among them, but we are glad to be with my parents. The kids, ages 2-10, provide the joy and the noise, and we clean up the mess. All in all a perfect arrangement for two 80-year-olds in need of a bit of excitement.”

1982 COMFORT DORN (A) writes from Middletown, Md.: “I am no longer married to ED GRANDI (A77), but I continue to live in Middletown and edit a community newspaper. I was pleased to see the topic of my senior essay, Montaigne’s ‘On the Education of Children,’ on the front cover of The College. As I continue to educate my own three children (Rachel, 18; John, 15; and Claire, 10) I am ever reminded that ‘only fools are certain.’” MAREA JENNESS (HIMELGRIN) (SF) writes, “I am living in Catalina, Ariz., on two beautiful acres and teaching high school biology. My

amily and friends of MARTIN MILLER (A81), have set up an endowment fund in the memory of Mr. Miller, who died in January at the age of 45. The Martin Conrad Miller Book Fund will help students who could not otherwise afford to buy Program books. To contribute to the fund, contact the college Advancement office in Annapolis at 410-626-2507. x

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husband, Doug, and I recently celebrated our second anniversary together with our son, Daniel Minh. We adopted him as a baby in Vietnam. He recently painted us a family portrait that shows a glowing energy ball between two long brush strokes. That just about sums up the joy and passion of our intertwined lives. I’m looking forward to visiting Santa Fe now that I am closer and would welcome visits from old friends. You can reach me at marearose@yahoo. com.” “I have a new position as a founding faculty member of the new (opening September 2003) Shoshana S. Cardin Jewish Community High School in Baltimore,” LESLIE SMITH ROSEN (A) writes. “I’ll be chair of the Humanities Department (thanks, SJC!) working on integrating a multi-disciplinary curriculum. My family (including children Marielle, 19, Alyssa, 16, and Samuel, 12) and I are well. I am looking forward to an Aspen Institute conference on Mortimer Adler at Wye River in June.” GAIL DONOHUE STOREY (SFGI) and her husband, Porter, bicycled on their tandem from Houston to San Diego, covering 1,700 miles in five weeks. It was their second tandem bike trip—the first was from Houston to Camden, Maine (2,400 miles in seven weeks).

1983 GINA CASASCO (SF) has a daughter, Alexandra, who was born on October 2, 2002. She moved to Hudson, N.Y., from New York City in May of 2002. She works as the financial manager for two commercial real estate LLCs, one in Maryland and another in Northern Virginia. DAVID HALSTED (A), having earned a Ph.D. in comparative literature, is working in the computer industry in Ann Arbor, Mich. His wife, Keely, is in the department of history and is director of Jewish studies at Michigan State University. They share a house outside of town with two wonderful children and a

recently acquired cat. halstedd@ hotmail.com.

love to hear from old classmates. trisha@howellcanyonpress.com.

“I am happy and well, living in Portland, Ore. with my family,” writes ANNE MCCLARD (SF). “Zoe is ten and Soren is almost five. They are both flourishing and growing in spite of the lack of sun! Ken Anderson, my husband, and I continue with our struggle as anthropologists in the technical industries, loving and hating it at the same time. I welcome e-mail from Johnnie friends and former classmates. amcclard@ mindspring.com.”

TIFFANY KNIGHT-JAN (SF) writes that she still loves living in Madison, that she’s “still doing the eyeball thing alternately with the mom thing.”

News from RICHARD MILLER (A)and BARBARA COOPER (A): “We’re finishing up a year’s sabbatical in Paris. Then it’s back to work at Rutgers, where we both teach now—Barbara in the history of Africa, Richard chairing the English department.”

KAREN ASTRID TOURIAN (A) and her husband, Rolf, took their second biking trip in Tuscany this past fall. She started bike racing this year, both time trials on the road and cyclocross (“Midlife crisis?” she asks). She’s worked a year at Wyeth and loves the work. touriak@wyeth.com

1985 ELBERT DELANO PORTER (A) announces the birth of Arno Xenophon Porter, born February 17, 2003.

1984 DR. WENDY A BROWN (A), daughter of DR. MICHAEL BROWN (class of 1951), was recently honored with a fellowship in the International College of Dentists and the American College of Dentists. These fellowships are conferred by peers for extraordinary contribution to the profession. JOHN L. BUSH (SF) received his license to practice architecture in Virginia in September 2002. He and his wife, Elizabeth, celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary by traveling to the Pecos Wilderness, Santa Fe, Taos, and Chaco Canyon, and had a wonderful time. He sends a special hello to Dan, Les, Joel, Brad, and “of course, ole’ Joe Tetrault.” After slaving away to write 11 books, TRISHA (FIKE) HOWELL (SF) is pleased that some are finally rolling off the presses. The Princess and the Pekinese (a children’s picture book with a surprise twist) and The Pekinese Who Saved Civilization (a humorous social and political commentary from the viewpoint of a toothless old dog) are making their debut through www.howellcanyonpress.com. Trisha would

1986 MELISSA (FISHER) FRIEND (A) is working and living outside of Geneva, Switzerland, with husband Michael and their children: Leo, 2, and Marina, 6. “We originally came to Switzerland from Washington, D.C., on a two-year posting for Michael’s job, but made the change to local hires about a year ago. So we’re here now for the foreseeable future. Life is good, we’re all healthy and happy.” ELISABETH M. LONG (A) has been busy with a dual life: “By day I codirect the Digital Library Development Center at the University of Chicago Library, and by night I am pursuing an MFA degree in Book and Paper Arts. I recently won first place in the Art of Math and Science show for two pieces of artwork. My SJC background is certainly informing my work. I’d love to hear from anyone who’s passing through Chicago.” LISA N. ROSE (A) is building a semi-underground living structure and a strawbale schoolhouse as part of a spiritual community project in central New Mexico.

{ T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }


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{Alumni Notes}

Inquiries welcome. shafiyah@ mydroplets.com. MICHAEL RYAN (SF) writes, “I am a partner in an architecture firm in downtown Albuquerque, and am five-ninths of the way through the Architect’s Record Exam, with the goal of being a registered architect by October. I am engaged for the second (and last) time to a wonderful woman with two girls about the same age as my 7-yearold daughter, Chloe.” TAMMY LACHER SCULLY (SFGI) reports that she and her husband, Jack Scully, have started Easterly Wine LLC, distributors of fine wine with an emphasis on offerings from France, Italy, and Portugal.

1987 WARREN KING BUSS (SF) writes: “I am currently enrolled at the Oregon College of Art and Craft, working toward a BFA in Book Arts—after so many years of reading books, I am now learning how to make them. Finally, some relief from all the computer programming I’ve been doing for too many years! My wife Laura and son Matthew are well and thriving.” He can be reached at wakibu@ aol.com. JOE T. COXWELL (SFGI) is now chair of the science department at Northeast Lauderdale High School in Meridian, Miss. He recently received the 2003 Star Teacher Award from the M.B. Swayze Educational Foundation and the Mississippi Economic Council. He also is a part-time instructor of physical science and astronomy at Meridian Community College. CHARLOTTE L. GLOVER (SF) writes, “My St. John’s training has really come in handy while I lead book discussion groups at the library! Montana 1948 by Larry Watson has been the favorite of the group so far.” On May 16th my husband, Michael, and I welcomed Benjamin William Lewin into the world, writes SALLIE FINE LEWIN (A). “We have not yet found

language adequate to describe the incredible joy we have discovered through parenthood. Benjamin and I are spending our summer days going to Mommy and Baby yoga classes, taking walks, and hanging out at the pool before I go back to teaching at the end of August.” In January, PEGGY O’SHEA (A) returned to St. John’s Santa Fe to finish her sophomore year, 18 years after leaving St. John’s Annapolis. She expects to graduate in 2005.

1988 ELAINE PINKERTON COLEMAN (SFGI) announces the birth of future Johnnie Emily Clementine Pinkerton, born October 3, 2002. “Grandmotherhood is even more fun than parenting,” Elaine reports. Coleman traveled to eight states promoting From Calcutta With Love and is now finishing a novel, Beast of Bengal. The novel is set in Calcutta during World War II.

Chicago three years ago. John’s in practice at Harbor Hospital in Baltimore and I’m home with Lucy (4 1/2) and her little sister Beatrice (8 months). Our e-mail address is lucykate98@aol.com.” KIM PAFFENROTH (A) is the editor of A Reader’s Companion to Augustine’s Confessions (Westminster: John Knox Press, 2003), in which he has gathered 13 Augustine scholars, each writing an essay on one of the 13 books of the Confessions, each presenting his or her case for why that particular book is the most important of the 13. Kim lives in Cornwall on Hudson, N.Y., with his wife, Marlis (A86), and their children, Charles and Sophia. ELIZABETH (A) and ANDREW (A90) PENDERGRASS are pleased to announce the birth of their son, John Alexander, born in January of this year. LAURIE COOPER (A) and Dov Kugelmass gave birth to their son, Cyrus, in October 2002. Their daughter Carrie is three.

(SF86) announce the birth of Hayden Martinez Merz in November 2002. Diana is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Columbia University. Ted is the managing editor for the Americas of Bloomberg News.

CLAUDIA (PROBST) STACK (A) and Joseph Stack welcomed a second son, Jack Matthew Stack, on January 29, 2003. They would like to hear from classmates visiting the North Carolina area and from those planning to attend the 15th-year reunion in 2003. Stackc@uncw.edu

THERESA DONNELLY (SF) writes, “John (Irwin, SFGI89) and I moved back to Baltimore from

THERESA SULLIVAN (A) married Daniel Mooney at St. Joseph’s Church in Denver, Colorado, on

TED MERZ (A) and DIANA MARTINEZ

Johnnie Plates in Maryland t. John’s alumni in Maryland can trade in their old license plates for a new set celebrating their alma mater. The Maryland Department of Motor Vehicles began issuing the St. John’s license plate this fall. The plates, which cost $25, feature the seal of the New Program and a fourdigit number with St. John’s College across the bottom. Sign up soon: We have a long way to go to catch up with all the Navy plates on Annapolis-area roads. The project was spearheaded by JOEL ARD (A98), who hopes it will catch on in other states that offer organizational plates. There’s no financial benefit to the college, Ard notes, “it’s simply an opportunity to celebrate the college everywhere you drive.” The Alumni Office in Annapolis is happy to work with alumni in other states who want Johnnie plates. Call 410-295-6926. x

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{ T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }

October 25. BURCH HARPER, KATARINA WONG, BENJAMIN KRAUSS, SHEILA MONEN VIRGIL, and JAMES O’GARA were a credit to St. John’s waltz parties as they danced all night to the Irish band. STEVE VIRGIL (A88) and James’ wife, Ellen, stayed home with the kids and were sorely missed. After nine years as a communications consultant at Pricewaterhouse Coopers and Ameritech in Chicago, Theresa moved to Denver in 2000 to attend cooking school. She went on to study with chefs in Provence and the Piedmont region of Italy, and became certified as a professional sommelier and chef of wine arts. The Mooneys live in Denver, where Dan works for OppenheimerFunds and Theresa is a marketing writer and caterer. The highlight of their Santa Fe honeymoon was a St. John’s Community Seminar with Patricia Greer on Yeats’ “Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen.” She always loves to hear from old friends at tresullivan@aol.com or 303-639-1354.

1989 PATRICK CRINNION (SF) is finally looking through a telescope at the Galilean moons of Jupiter—great field experience to go with the readings. KURT REDFIELD (A) recently com-

pleted his MBA at Columbia University’s School of Business and is the chief financial officer of the French software company Neartek. Kurt, his wife, Christine, and 4-year-old son Wilson live in Cambridge, Mass. LAEL GOLD (SF) married VANESSA CAMPBELL (SF) on December 14, 2002. Perhaps a bit more precisely, Alex Brown married Vanessa Campbell in a ceremony performed by Lael Gold. (She is also available for bar mitzvahs, baptisms, boat christenings and supermarket grand openings.) The wedding was held near Vanessa and Alex’s organic farm in the mountains outside Asheville, N.C. (St. John’s students interested in farming and prepared to work hard can contact Vanessa at full-


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sunfarm@earthlink.net concerning summer internship opportunities.) When not officiating at weddings in the North Carolina mountains, Lael teaches film and literature classes at U.C. Berkeley where she is in the Ph.D. homestretch. Vanessa and Lael send their fond regards to former classmates and long-absent friends. How IS everyone? REGINA LANDOR (AGI) served in the Peace Corps in Macedonia and Romania, where she met her future husband, a fellow volunteer. They now live in Peoria, Ill. CHRISTOPHER SULLIVAN (A) is traveling a lot between San Francisco and Heidelberg for his writing and design job for a software company, becoming nearly fluent in German. He continues to stay busy doing voice-overs in the Bay Area for phone systems, radio and TV ads, video games, and even animation—he performed a couple of voices for a short animation called “Metropopular” that showed at Sundance and toured with Spike and Mike’s Animation Festival. He reports, “No spouse, no children, no house, but—considering how disturbed and gaisquantialized the world is—not too terrible a life.” Former classmates can reach by e-mail at christophersullivan @email.com. GEORGE TURNER (A) writes: “Our second child, Lily Sarah, was born April 26, 2003. Everyone is healthy and happy.” The family moved to a new house in Costa Mesa, Calif., about a 15-minute bike ride from the beach. He also started his own law firm, Turner Green Afrasiabi and Arledge LLP, last year. Their Web site, www.turnergreen.com, is “either impressive or funny, depending on how well you know me.” NINDA LETAW (A) reports that she is the proud owner of Charlotte’s Home Cooking, a personal chef service in Raleigh, N.C. She would love to hear from classmates.

1990

1992

DAHRA LATHAM (A) graduated from

MICHAEL BROWN (SF) is living in San Francisco and would love to hear from old friends: M1Brown@ aol.com; 415-734-9500.

law school on June 16, 2003. GREY VALENTI (A) married Chris D’Amato in June. DEBRA JO WHITCOMB (A) is working full-time as a hospice nurse, doing a little massage therapy on the side and spending the rest of the time doing Tai Chi. She’s also a Tai Chi instructor

1991 STEVEN MCNAMARA (A) and ANGE MLINKO (A) welcomed their new son, Jacob, into the world on March 19, 2003. NATE DOWNEY (SF) finally got the answer to the question “what is hapiness?” after the birth of his son, Liam Nathan Downey, on January 6th, 2003. “I never thought I would be able to teach works studied in the Eastern Classics program,” writes RONALIE MOSS (SFGI, EC95). “But in spite of the Euro-centric nature of the Advanced Placement program, I have been able to teach some Chinese poetry, Noh plays and the Bhagavad Gita. The program is worthwhile for its own sake, of course!” ANDY SCHUCHART (AGI) writes:

Charlotte and I became parents on August 1 with the birth of Maximilian Blaise and Veronica Joyce. We are living in Iowa. I am a professor of social science and humanities at our community college, and Charlotte practices internal medicine. LAKE (JAMES) PERRIGUEY (SF) is working as an attorney in Portland, Ore. He recently authored three amicus briefs to the Oregon Supreme Court arguing that the state constitution protects lap dances and sexual expression in live theatrical performances. He’s been a groupie to the British AMP Swan Lake, touring the world in awe of all male corps de ballet. Lake has never seen “Will and Grace.” { The College

PATRICIA COXWELL (SFGI) is now teaching elementary and middle school general music for the West Lauderdale School District near Meridian, Miss. She specializes in traditional folk music and this year raised over three thousand dollars to purchase dulcimers for her classes. She is married to JOE COXWELL (SFGI87). They have one daughter, Joanna, age five, who will begin kindergarten this fall. ELYETTE (BLOCK) KIRBY (SF) has been living in England for two years with husband Jonathan, and children Benjamin and Bronwyn. They live an hour away from London and would enjoy hearing from Johnnies in the area. elyette@hotmailcom SIOFRA (RUCKER) NUGENT (SF) writes: “We are expecting our second child this September. I am teaching second and third grade at my daughter’s school, Delphi Academy. Delphi is a network of seven, soon eight, schools around the country. We both love it.” ALBERT REED (SFGI) is currently the dean of business and technology at Santa Fe Community College.

1993 J. CLAIRE DARLING (SF) is busy with environmental actions regarding safe water and nutrition. She is also completing training to become a Music Together teacher. Music Together is a “fabulous, fun-based program to informally teach basic music competence to kids ages 0-5 (and their fun-loving caretakers).” JULIA (GRAHAM) MESNIKOFF (SF) is working as a nurse practicioner with Boston Healthcare for the Homeless, “which is challenging as much because of financial cuts

John’s College • Fall 2003 }

to Medicaid (severely limiting what we can offer some patients) as because of the huge learning curve of diagnosis and treatment. I like and respect my patients and find that working with them makes me incredibly grateful for my own life and circumstances, warts and all.” GABRIEL PIHAS (A) received his Doctor of Philosophy degree from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago in June 2003. He accepted a teaching position at the European College of Liberal Arts in Berlin for the fall.

This fall, JONATHAN PEARL (A) heads to Brno, Czech Republic, with his wife Cheryl and their son Rembrandt, age 1. “I have received a nine-month Fulbright grant to conduct research on the composer Leos Janacez and on the intonation and rhythm of spoken Czech.” He is a Ph.D. candidate in musicology.

1994 SCOTT ANDREWS (SFGI) married Jennifer Matson, a physical therapist, in June. He finished his seventh year of teaching history at a nearby preparatory school. They live in a small, quiet village on the shores of Cape Cod. “Meaningful work in a beautiful place with the one I love beside me – is life good, or what?” LEAH MULHOLLAND AUCKENTHALER, (A) is married and has a baby boy named Nicholas. She is living in Minneapolis, Minn., and is a stay-at-home-mom. News from BILL KOWALKSI (SF): “My wife, Alexandra Nedergaard, and I are delighted to announce the birth of our daughter, Kasia Alexandra Kowalski, on July 3, 2003, in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. Both Mama and baby are doing well after an arduous labor. I myself have also given birth: to a third novel, called The Adventures of Flash Jackson (HarperCollins, January 2003). I’m pregnant with a fourth, which I am hopeful will be delivered sometime in 2005.


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{Alumni Notes}

Earlier literary progeny continue to do well, including a short film co-written with Markus Griesshammer called Coyote Beach, which won the prize for Best American Short Film at the New York/Avignon Film Festival this past April.” JEFFREY SPENCER WRIGHT (SFGI) will be studying at the National University of Ireland, Galway, this summer.

1995 DINA DINEVA (A) and MILEN DYOULGEROV (AGI96) are happy to announce the birth of their daughter Maia on December 24, 2002. Dina writes, “Having the baby has given me a chance to slow down and reflect—a sort of return to a Johnnie state of being—for which, and for the many other gifts of motherhood, I am very grateful.” CHRIS DAVIS (SF) and CARMEN ELIZABETH HERING (SF) were married May 31. GEOFF GIFFIN (AGI) is now the publisher of a brand new Internet Yellow Pages in Annapolis and the greater Washington/Baltimore area. “Check us out as www. yellowpagecity.com. For the first time the look and feel of the traditional Yellow Pages is available on the Internet.” LAURA GIANNINY JOYNER (A) reports that Caroline Anne, her second child, joined the family on Nov. 1, 2002, and she is “experiencing all the challenges and joys of raising two children under the age of 3 in Hawaii.” BETH SCHAEFER (EC) retired at the end of 2001 after working for 25 years as an attorney for the state Department of Health in New Mexico. “I have been dividing my time since then between ice skating and Zen practice. What fun!”

PETER LAMAR (AGI) currently serves as dean of academies at Holy Cross Academy in Miami, Fla. The school has implemented a great books curriculum based on

the St. John’s model, beginning with the 2003-2004 school year. www.holycrossacademy.net Still living at the top of the world in Barrow, Alaska, MIKE LAYNE (SF) and his wife, Rachael, celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary in June, and the first birthday of their daughter, Audrey Rae, in February. He is working as a counselor at a local youth shelter, and may become more involved with grant writing. He may make the transition into a program coordinator position for their new Tobacco Prevention Grant program in the near future. JASON MCCREADY (A) writes: “I graduated from Georgetown Law School, realized I hated the large law firm environment, and moved back to my hometown in western Pennsylvania. I am working as a lawyer in a three-lawyer law firm, enjoying it immensely. Friends from St. John’s that I’ve lost contact with can contact me at jasonmccready@yahoo.com.” RONALIE A. MOSS (SFGIEC and SFGI91) reports that, despite the Eurocentric nature of the high school Advanced Placement program, she’s been able to teach Chinese poetry, Noh plays, and the Bhagavad Gita. TOM (A) and Marion SLAKEY report the happy news of three new grandchildren: twins Charlotte and Brendan, to Bill and his wife, Heather, in Placitas, N.M., and Noah Yarrow to Michael and his wife, Victoria, in Brittany, France. APRIL WALTERS (A) graduated from Towson University with a master’s in professional writing in May 2002. She currently works as the writing studio coordinator at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and freelances as a personal coach for writers. www.writingstudio.com

1996 DOUGLIS BECK (AGI) is enjoying mostly staying at home with 2year-old Veronica. He is pursuing

{ The College

n update from DONA CUTSOGEORGE (SFGI96): “After leaving the Graduate Institute in 1996 with M.A. in hand, I was looking for ‘good’ work and, although some may disagree that this fit the bill, joined Amazon.com as a German language customer service rep, first assisting in the establishment of Amazon.de, I later went on to help build their U.S. program for independent authors, musicians, and filmmakers. After several years in the dot-com world, I no longer felt as enthusiastic about this career, and the bubble was on the verge of bursting, to boot. I switched gears and am now employed as a writer with The MacColl Institute for Healthcare Innovation in Seattle, Wash. I’m fortunate enough to work with a team of very dedicated and caring researchers and clinicians devoted to improving U.S. healthcare for the chronically ill. I’d love to hear from any local Johnnies or former classmates: donajgrl@yahoo.com” x

A

small projects on his own as Douglis Beck DesignStudio, and will be teaching art history and architecture courses at Webster University beginning this summer with a seminar on the Bauhaus. SCOTT FIELD (SFGI) and his wife, Jessica Field, had another baby boy last spring. Henry, 2, is very happy to have his little brother Oscar.

JONATHAN ROWAN (SF) is studying for a Ph.D. in comparative literature at UC Berkeley. His e-mail address is jonathan_rowan@ hotmail.com. LUCILLE AND MARTY WALKER (both AGI) are now the proud parents of two sons, Reeseman Adams Walker (born October 5, 2002) and Ian Archibald Walker (born December 3, 1999).

HANAN MIKLASZ (AGI) reports that

she and her husband are celebrating the birth of their second son, Zane, on May 27, 2003. FRANCESCO GIUSEFFI (SFGI) has been enjoying teaching, coaching, and performing the duties of athletic director at Missouri Military Academy and has even facilitated a couple of independent study courses in Western philosophy. CHERYL HENEVELD (AGI) writes, “We have begun a community discussion group and vigilia against the war. Why can’t we use words instead of bombs and guns? We are also teaching a course (with my husband Ward Henevald) on Peace and War at Johnson State College—a required course for this state college. I can send the syllabus to others. Ridley’s Origins of Virtue is a required text. HEATHER ELLIOTT (SF) and SAUL LAURELES (SF92) were married in 2001 and bought a house in Houston Heights. They’re both lawyers; Saul practices with Mayer Brown Rowe and Maw, and Heather with Davis, Oretsky and Guilfoyle.

John’s College • Fall 2003 }

1997 ELAINE ATABA (A) is starting a master’s program in traditional Oriental medicine in the fall. After completing the four- to fiveyear program, she will be able to sit for a national exam to become an acupuncturist. BENJAMIN BLOOM (A) says all is well. “I am starting my second semester at the University of Maryland. I hope to begin teaching an undergraduate English course next year. Best wishes to all.” “Instead of finding a summer internship with a large corporation, I decided to launch a company of my own,” writes DOMINIC CRAPUCHETTES (A). “It is very exciting and scary. I borrowed $10K and have already raised $15K from other investors, but I still need to raise about $25K more before I can truly begin. At that point I’ll be able to finance the first print/run of a new board game called ‘Cluzzle.’ The game is


37

{Alumni Profile}

Part Monkey, Part Robot Animator Geoff Marslett (SF96) bridges art and technology in his films by Sus3an Borden, A87

“Monkeys hit Robots with sticks. Robots shoot Monkeys with lasers. They both love their mothers. Why must they hate each other?” This is the question that Geoffrey Marslett raises in his two-minute animated film, “Monkey vs. Robot, ” a project that met with surprising and satisfying success: The film was screened at 25 film festivals, purchased by “Spike and Mike’s Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation 2000,” included in PBS’ “Egg the Arts Show,” and recognized with awards and prizes at festivals. Marslett made the film for an animation class in his second year of film school at the University of Texas, taking his inspiration from a song of the same name written by his friend James Kochalka. The project took just a week and cost about $20, but Marslett says that’s only one side of the story. “The flip side is, I worked on it nonstop. Because I was a student I had access to computers and time to devote to it. At the worst point during that week, I showed up at the computer lab at 9 a.m., worked all day long and all through the night, then went to T.A. a class from 9 to noon and went right back to work.” Animation, it turns out, is part monkey, part robot. “There’s the low-fi end, writing the script and creating the art,” explains Marslett, “then you spend weeks and months fighting with machines to get it to come out in a format that can be mailed to everybody’s house, sent out on the Internet, or broadcast on television.” Marslett, who now teaches animation at the University of Texas, says that his students often come into class thinking that they will produce a few drawings and the computer will do the rest. “I always tell them that animation is not making drawings move; they’re going to have to draw motion. They have to look at the world and figure out how to draw things that create the illusion of motion. It takes a lot of work just to see the world around you. For the first assignment, I usually have them take still photos of motion, have them break it down frame by frame.”

Frame by frame in most animated productions is to the tune of 24 frames per second. But that simple equation is misleading: a single frame usually requires several drawings. Marslett explains why, using as an example a scene where a monkey swings through the jungle: “You make several drawings: one that is the far background, another a couple of trees closer, another of more of the trees that you can use to shift perspective, drawings for the vine that’s swinging, the body, arms, anything in the foreground. If you have a rhinoceros run by, you need one rhinoceros body and ten or twelve drawings of legs for a walk cycle. Any given frame might have 10 or 20 layers to it.” In addition, the animator must add lipsynching. For each character, animators create a library of lips, consisting of 10 or 15 different shapes. After the script is recorded and edited, the animator takes the library and puts the lips in to match up to the sound. “It can get pretty tedious,” says Marslett. “If everything is already drawn so I’m only working with the lips, and the character’s not turning his head while he speaks, I can do one minute of monologue in a day.” Marslett did all the drawings for “Monkey vs. Robot.” But for his thesis project, a 24minute film called “Trip to Roswell,” eight artists worked with him. “Animation is always labor-intensive,” he says. “Even if someone is making drawings quickly, at five or six minutes a drawing, multiply that by 90,000 drawings for a feature film. That’s a lot of minutes.” After “Trip to Roswell” won the Best Animation Award at CinemaTexas Short Film Festival, Marslett was inspired to write a feature-length screenplay based on the film. The price tag? Marslett says $500,000 to $750,000—cheap for an animated feature. As he investigates sources of funding for the movie, Marslett is reworking the Roswell script as a television series. “I get more interest in it that way,” he says. “People can wrap their minds more quickly { The College

John’s College • Fall 2003 }

Geoff Marslett’s film “Monkey vs. Robot” met with surprising success.

Trip to Roswell Deep in the Heart of Texas in the year 2020 AD, the suburbs have spread like weeds across the hill country. Everyone lives in a suburban rancho-style stucco house with a red tiled roof. They all park their Ford Lemmings next to their Toyota Replica, and absolutely everyone surfs the Internet incessantly. Frank is your average kid in this near dark future until his parents get him the latest in elective medical implants, the locotron. This device is supposed to allow him to access URLs just by thinking about the site—but Frank is special. He still practices the forgotten art of reading books, and the extra input transforms his implant into a sort of time machine that pulls him into whatever he’s reading about. The U.S. Senate Chambers in 1856, Pangia during the fall of the dinosaurs, Paris in 1969…eventually stranding a twenty-five-year old “damaged” Frank in Roswell, New Mexico during a 1947 flying saucer crash.

around animation for adults as a TV series than as a feature film.” x

To wrap your mind around other Marslett productions, check out his Web site: www.swervepictures.com


38

K

{Alumni Notes}

ATHY PLUTH (SF99) finished her master’s in

theology from the Catholic University of America (CUA) in 2001. “Since then I’ve stayed in Washington, and I’ve been working, first as director of religious education in a local parish, now as a research assistant at the Life Cycle Institute at Catholic University. I’ve been able to do some freelance editing of philosophy and theology books for the CUA Press as well, and I have an ongoing part-time job tutoring a seminarian and future Catholic priest. In my spare time I write hymns. Two were recently published in a Catholic devotional magazine called Magnificat. I noticed when I was doing parish work that a lot of devoted Catholics are nonetheless terribly undereducated about their faith, so the hymns are my attempt to teach a little (I borrowed the idea from St. Ephrem the Syrian). This is definitely the most fulfilling work I’ve done since leaving St. John’s. If I had more free time, I would extensively study the works of Henri de Lubac, Yves Congar, and Hans Urs von Balthasa—great 20th century theologians.” x

a lot of fun to play! Learn more about it on our Web site, www.cluzzle.com. P.S. Business school is very demanding. I can’t wait for it to end.” CHRIS ENGLISH (SFGI) and his wife, DIANE SHIRES (SFGI98), are expecting their first child, a boy, in June. “We’ve begun saving up for his St. John’s education now– Alumni ’25?” From SARAH JANE FRAUENZIMMER (FREMONT) (A): “After several great years in the Pacific Northwest, Matt, the dog, and I packed up and moved a little farther west to Japan, where Matt is currently stationed. We are enjoying plenty of sushi, feeling unusually tall, and the prospect of cherry blossoms in the spring. I’m teaching a bit of yoga and English, learning Japanese and am contemplating master’s programs. If you find yourself in the Tokyo area, drop us a line at sjfaraway@yahoo.com. JESSICA CAMPBELL MCALLEN (SF) writes, “I am living and working on my husband’s family cattle ranch in south Texas and I would love to hear from anyone in the area (jessielee4242@yahoo.com)! I would also love to hear from JEFF HUGGINS, BRIAN PARKINSON, and JACOB CURTIS who were here with me on spring break 1996.”

LESLIE NORTON (AGI) served in the Peace Corps in Mongolia from June 2 through September 2003. Here’s what NATHAN SCHLEIFER (SF) has been up to: “J.D. Washington University School of Law, 2001; married to Brenda Nelson, 2002; B.S./M.S. biomedical engineering (biocomputing focus) expected 2004/2005. Currently, I’m general legal counsel for Automating Peripherals Inc. and an editor for the Biotechnology Review.

1998 News from LEA (A) and BRIAN (SF97) BROCK: “After rectifying our relationship to Santa Fe by means of completing the Eastern Classics program in 2001, we moved to Anchorage to teach in the well-known Atheneum School, which both supplies and utilizes many Johnnies. We currently tend an earthship in Taos while riding horses and playing music. We audit Sanskrit classes with MR. PERRY and various EC folks. Oh, by the way, as you might guess…we got married! We had a seminar on C.S. Lewis’s The Four Loves after the wedding—it was great!”

{ The College

JACQUELINE CAMM (A) announces her marriage to Robert Travis (a 1998 graduate of Columbia University) on February 8, 2003 in the Cathedral Church of St. Luke, Orlando, Fla. The Rt. Rev. John Howe, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida presided. AMY (NORMAN) MORGAN (A96) and her husband, Bill, provided music for the ceremony. “We have moved to Tennessee where we purchased our first home with the help of MILK KLIM (A02) of Columbia National Mortgage. If anyone would like to reach us, or is passing through Tennessee, please send us an e-mail: jacquelinecamm @hotmail.com.” GLENSCOTT THOMAS COPPER (AGI) has been awarded a Fulbright Memorial Fund Fellowship to Japan for next fall. He has finished construction on his own ceramics studio and fired his first pots. He still teaches creative writing, journalism and theater at Milwaukee High School of the Arts. SASHA MUDD (A) finished a master’s degree from the University of Chicago’s Divinity School in June. She will spend a year at Cambridge before starting doctoral work at the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought. LUIS ALEJANDRO SALAS (A) has just received a master’s degree in classics from Rutgers University. This fall, he moves to Texas to complete a Ph.D. at the joint program in ancient philosophy at the University of Texas-Austin.

1999 SHELBY BLYTHE (A) relocated to Philadelphia where he is enrolled in the Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Group at the University of Pennsylvania. He’s studying the early embryonic development of frogs this summer. He’d be glad to speak with students and alumni who are considering careers in the biomedical sciences regarding his experience so far. sblythe@mail. med.upenn.edu.

John’s College • Fall 2003 }

RUTH BUSKO (SF) is very excited to be in her final year of training for a master’s degree in acupuncture at the Tai Sophia Institute for the Healing Arts in Laurel, Maryland. She spends most of her time treating patients at the faculty-student clinic at the school and in the Baltimore City Detention Center as well as other drug rehabilitation sites around Baltimore. She can be reached at rmbusko@hotmail. com. GEORGE FINNEY (SF) dropped a line from Dallas: “I’ve just gotten engaged to my longtime girlfriend, AMANDA KENNEDY (SF02). Amanda and I will be married at Grace and Peace Fellowship in St. Louis on November 1 of this year. I have also recently taken a new job at Southern Methodist University as a network engineer. This new position works out great because I hope to begin my pursuit of a legal education there, as opposed to the illegal one I had been pursuing, in the fall of ’04. If you would like to contact me, send e-mail to: diggablelinux@ yahoo.com.” MARK H. JOHNSON (A) is currently pursuing his Master of Divinity at Duke University. PATRICK REED (AGI) moved back to the Annapolis area and is currently teaching at Severn School. His wife, Jana, is an ER doctor stationed at Andrews Air Force Base.

2000 KELSEY BENNETT (SF) will begin courses in the fall toward a master’s degree in English at the University of Denver. She recently completed a novel. TIM CARNEY (A) is currently working in Washington, D.C., as a reporter for columnist and CNN commentator Bob Novak, as well as doing freelance writing. He has been awarded a Phillips Foundation Journalism Fellowship and will use it after the 2004 elections to write a book reporting on big business and big government.


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{Alumni Notes}

In sunny Las Cruces, N.M, KARINA NÖEL HEAN (A) is working on a Master of Fine Arts degree and is a teaching assistant at the university. In June 2003 she had an artist residency at Vermont Studio Centers. She writes: “Allin-all, I’m just loving life, but miss my friends, though. Hope everyone is well—feel free to drop in. Peace!” She can be reached at karinahean@hotmail.com. BENJAMIN SHOOK (SF) writes, “I now have a successful business building furniture and cabinets. I also now have a great deal less amour-propre.” SAM MARKHAM (SF) is studying at the University of London for a master’s in the History of the Book.

experiencing in mainstream academia these past few months makes me appreciate St. John’s even more. I welcome contact from former classmates or from other Johnnies who might want information about grad school and comparative literature at Penn State.” CHRISTOPHER VAUGHAN (A) learned to surf, visited England, and “saw what might have been Spiderman” while living with FLETCHER CUNNIFF (A) and other alums in Baltimore. He traveled to Chicago to visit STEVE PALOPOLI (A01), who is now living and working there. He also reports hearing that ALEX DIEFENBACH (A01) is in the Army, married, and presently living in Germany. Christopher can be reached at cvaughan@ flagier.edu.

SARAH SIEMERING (SF) entered the

Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia in Nashville, Tenn. in August. The Sisters are a teaching order and teach in schools throughout the country. Sarah joins at least two other Johnnies who are already professed Sisters. SARAH MARSH (A) writes from Brooklyn, N.Y., “Hey y’all. Things are going well with me in the big city. I’m finishing up my first year of grad school and can’t believe I will be a midwife in a little over a year! I think of so many of you so often and it always makes me smile. Get in touch. sarahkmarsh @hotmail.com.” N. NICOLE NELSON-JEAN (AGI) lives in Tokyo and serves as the Energy Attaché to the U.S. ambassador to Japan and director of the U.S. Department of Energy Asia office at the American Embassy. She recently celebrated her twoyear wedding anniversary to Patrick. DEBERNIERE J. TORREY (AGI) writes: “Following a year of teaching high school history and literature at Abu Dhabi International School in the UAE (working with SJC alumna JUDITH HUGHES [AGI95]), I’m now enrolled in my first semester of Ph.D. studies in comparative literature at Penn State University. What I’ve been

2001 LANCE BRISBOIS (A) lives in Boston, where he also works as a secretary to the chancellor of Boston University; his e-mail address is brisbois@bu.edu. From DANIEL BRAITHWAITE (A): “I’m in Chicago.” Students interested in Boston University’s University Professors Program are welcome to contact BASIL CLEVELAND (A) at basilcleveland@hotmail.com or visit him in Boston. LANCE KIRMEYER (SF) and JENNIFER JULIANA CORONA (SF02) were married on May 25, 2003, and are living happily in Santa Fe. Lance provides technical support and assistance to customers of Dankoff Solar Products and Juliana will teach math and New Mexico history at Alameda Middle School in the fall. MATTHEW LIPPART (SF) has finished his second year of teaching in Santa Fe and has returned to St. John’s for the Eastern Classics.

SUZANNE SIMMONS (SF) writes, “After having my assignment with the Peace Corps cancelled three times, due to a country’s civil unrest and the imminence of war with Iraq, I decided not to join. I did not want to wait another year for a proper assignment. I hope that all my former classmates, tutors, and other friends are doing well, especially those who have any friends, family, or are themselves involved with the U.S. efforts in Operation Iraqi Freedom. I am still keeping track of SF01 addresses, numbers, etc., so please e-mail me with any new information: guneh@ hotmail.com.”

2002 H. CHRISTIAN BLOOD (SF) writes, “How nice it was to see everyone who made it to croquet. Precipitation complications aside, what a fine weekend. This fall I shall begin doctoral studies at the department of literature at University of California Santa Cruz. I think I’ve found a school whose location rivals the beauty and glory of Santa Fe. Anyone who finds himself in the area, contact me at hchristianblood@yahoo. com; looks like I’ll be there for at least six years.” AMANDA KENNEDY (SF) writes, “I’m employed! After attending the 2002 Summer Institute on Philanthropy and Voluntary Services, I went to work temporarily at a nonprofit called Energy Solutions, which provides energy conservation consultations to schools, businesses, etc. Then in January 2003 I started at the Genesis Women’s Shelter in Dallas, Texas, as their fund development writer. We serve women and their children who are victims of domestic violence. Thank you to SJC! I’m liberated!” JONATHAN COOPER (A) has moved to

St. Louis to spend a year in Americorps. He already misses Boston very much, but misses his friends even more. Any interested party or area alumnus should feel free to e-mail him at his newly minted

{ T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }

account: MisterNojangles @hotmail.com. He is also very excited to see his name in the paper here. JAMES GILMORE (A) began studies

in philosophy at Johns Hopkins University. EMMA WELLS (SF) reports that she has her first full-time, salaried position: “Good news! I am so excited. I am working at the Cato Institute in downtown Washington, D.C. This is where I interned this last spring semester. I am really happy. I work for the development department, which is the fundraising department of Cato. I will be here for at least a year, if not two, before going off to law school. So make sure and send me an e-mail and let me know if you’re in the area or if you can visit!”

2003 REBEKAH NEELY GOTTLOB (A) married NATE EAGLE (A) on July 5. x

What’s Up? The College wants to hear from you. Call us, write us, e-mail us. Let your classmates know what you’re doing. The next issue will be published in January; deadline for the alumni notes section is October 31. In Annapolis: The College Magazine St. John’s College, P.O. Box 2800 Annapolis, MD 21404; reharty@sjca.edu In Santa Fe: The College Magazine St. John’s College Public Relations Office 1160 Camino Cruz Blanca Santa Fe, NM 87505-4599; alumni@sjcsf.edu Alumni notes on the Web: Read Alumni Notes and contact The College on the web at www.sjca.edu — click on Alumni.


40

{Obituaries}

Kathyrn “Kitty” Kinzer, AGI87

Kitty Kinzer (AGI87) was “part mother hen, part vigilant fury.”

Former Annapolis librarian Kitty Kinzer died unexpectedly last spring. Annapolis Tutor Mera Flaumenhaft delivered this tribute on the occasion of Mrs. Kinzer’s retirement from the college in 1999. By her own account, Kitty Kinzer knew from the beginning that it wouldn’t be your usual assistant librarian’s position. Charlotte Fletcher, who presided over the library in those days, walked Kitty to the house of Bob Goldwin, where she was to be interviewed. The dean was expecting them; he was lying on the floor. Charlotte, a Southern lady of refined manners, promptly suggested that she and Kitty join him on the floor. There followed a peculiar conversation about how many of the Program books the would-be librarian had already read. Aside from that, all Kitty remembers is thinking wildly (no doubt in her best Virginia accent) “Wha, oh wha, are they doing this to me?” Later Charlotte did mention that Bob Goldwin had back problems. And Kitty, to her surprise, got the job. To this day it’s remained a bit offbeat. But, then, so has Kitty. You see, she was not so conventional an applicant herself. Kitty grew up in a small Virginia town in the days before TV and air conditioning, the kind of place where sultry summers were spent on porches, sipping lemonade, playing board games, and reading…and reading…and reading. Smart kids took Latin, and schools that couldn’t afford new texts continued teaching geometry from the musty old Euclid books the rest of the world had left behind. Kitty studied biology in college and started her career in medical labs. After Valerie and Adriane were born, she took up graduate studies in American history and intended to move on to European history. When her family decided she needed direction, she chose a degree in library science and read books in any field she chose. Once in our midst, she happily continued her education: in community seminars, in the Graduate Institute, and as an auditor for undergraduate seminars, tutorials, and preceptorials. Kitty has had as wide an academic experience of this college as any non-student or non-tutor I know. An old poster declares, “Have a Question? Ask your Librarian.” How literally many of us have learned to take that

advice! A botanical passage in Homer? Ask your librarian. A history of London? Ask your librarian. A musty old manual? Ask you librarian. A novel for a vacation? Advice on gardening? A new doctor in Annapolis? Ask your librarian! But this librarian not only answers your questions. She gets interested in them. She reads up on them, continues sending you relevant materials for years to come, and forever forwards her own queries about the purchase of related books for her library. Finally, in the spirit of this college, and as a true associate of the faculty, this librarian has taught us what questions we should ask. Most important, she has urged us to ask: “What is the function of the library in this unusual community of readers?” Which secondary materials best help us to read the books that are the primary teachers in our program? How can the library supplement that program with books on subjects that we don’t all read together? And how can we keep our attention on books at all, while much of the world is turning from printed to electronic words? In short, she has articulated the notion of the library as a carefully selected “collection” in the service of a carefully thoughtout curriculum. Another “collection” that we owe to Kitty is the important archive of photos and documents she has established about the history of St. John’s College and its program.

{ T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }

For several decades, Kitty has bought our new books and rebound our own, planted flowers at the entrance and kept an eye on the exit, dealt with leaks in the roof and mushrooms in the basement. She personally visited Mortimer Adler’s books in Chicago, and arranged to move them all to Annapolis. She’s moved her own books from one side of campus to the other. She even managed to make it a lot of fun. Over the years, Kitty has trained and kept in touch with dozens of student aides who consider her a trusted friend who knows what they are doing from the inside. She’s made parties for our students, for our children, and for us. And she’s been an important representative of the college to town borrowers and other visitors who know us through our library. Unflappably, she has dealt with converts, and extroverts, introverts, and, like all librarians, even a few perverts. Great readers come in at least two types. Some withdraw into their books and are very silent. Others are great talkers. We all know which type Kitty is. She is articulate in the old-fashioned way that one finds in people who love words, words in books, and words in the talk of friends who love books. For this urban Northerner, the Virginia accent and exclamations like “my word” have always had a special delight. And our Kitty is witty. It was she who declared, in the early seventies, that she wasn’t “laid back, but hunched forward, and proud of it!” Part mother hen and part vigilant fury, Kitty Kinzer has shaped and guarded her– and our–precious “collection” of books for almost thirty years. Many of us simply cannot imagine the library without her. But we probably won’t have to. For, from the day she retires, she’ll probably become one of the heaviest town borrowers the St. John’s library has ever had. Of course, she will no longer be the first person to take home all the books. And, yes, like the rest of us, she will have to drag them all in for her infamous call-ins. Nevertheless, from the day she retires, things will be different around here. And, my word, dear Kitty, how we shall miss you. x


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{Obituaries}

James A. Matthews by Thomas May, Tutor

At a dramatic moment in Book IX of the Iliad, Phoenix, lifelong counselor and tutor of Achilles, reminds his pupil of the model by which he has been instructed: “to be both a speaker of words and a doer of deeds.” Longtime St. John’s staff member James Matthews, who died in March, is fondly remembered as just such a man—one whose words and actions simply and eloquently expressed noble character and deep religious faith. Known to his friends and associates on the Annapolis campus as “Jim” or “Jimmy,” he served the college for more than 37 years before retiring in 2000, after becoming incapacitated by ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Born in Shadyside, Md., Jim was raised by his foster parents, Charles and Elizabeth Tyler, in Annapolis, where he attended Wiley Bates High School and sang in the choir of First Baptist Church. He came to St. John’s in 1963 at the age of 18 and was assigned to custodial duties in Mellon Hall. Of his many associates, James “Jake” Hicks remembers him fondly as a true friend who acted as an older brother to him during their 27 years together in Mellon. He recalls that Jim took him under his wing when he joined the college staff, greeted him as a friend and showed him every-

thing, from how to run floor-stripping machines to how to keep calm under harsh criticism. Jim was unstinting in his praise of what was right and well done, and equally direct in his criticism of what he saw to be wrong or unfair. He was unafraid of expressing his affection; when the weekend arrived on Friday afternoon, Jim would say, “Stay out of trouble, see you Monday; I love you, man!” Early on in their time together, Jake came in one morning to hear Jim’s deep bass voice emanating from the supply closet beside the FSK lobby, privately reading his Bible and saying his prayers. “Did you pray for me?” Jake asked. “You’re the first one,” was the reply. His keen sense of when a student, a staff member, a co-worker, was troubled or discouraged was inerrant, and he would gently offer to listen, frequently taking the person aside into the Conversation Room, his “office,” for words of support or advice. He was scrupulous about keeping confidences and expected others to do the same. This staunch faith and love of life that informed Jim’s life at the college sustained him through his long struggle with ALS. Throughout this time, and particularly during these last two years, as his life was gradually confined to the sickroom of his home, Jim continued his keen interest in the life of St. John’s and his friends here. When colleagues and I went to visit Jim and his wife, Doris, we would invariably find him in good spirits. “I’m still here,” he would say, greeting us with a smile full of his joy for life, “and I’m obviously meant to be; I am so blessed.” With characteristic generosity, he and his family requested that any memorial contributions be made either to Hospice of the Chesapeake or to the James Matthews Scholarship Fund, established at the college when Jim retired in 1999. x

Vernon Derr, ’48 Vernon Ellsworth Derr, class of 1948 and member emeritus of the Board of Visitors and Governors, died of complications of Parkinson’s disease on July 24, 2003, in Boulder, Colorado. He was 81. Born and raised in Baltimore, Derr had planned on a career in engineering until a teacher suggested he consider St. John’s. He enrolled in 1940 but left in 1942 to serve in the 11th Airborne Signal Company during World War II. He returned to St. John’s after the war, living on the back campus in the veterans’ housing with his wife, Mary, and graduated in 1948. In 1959 he earned a Ph.D. in physics from Johns Hopkins University. Derr was chief scientist at Martin Company from 1959 to 1967. He worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from 1967 to 1994, serving as director of Environmental Research Laboratories from 1983 to 1988. He taught at St. John’s, Rollins, and the University of Colorado. As a research scientist at the University of Colorado, Derr studied the effect of climate changes on clouds. He developed a forecasting method based on artificial intelligence and data going back 150 years on winds, cloudiness, and air and sea temperatures off the west coast. His computer model could predict weather six months in the future. In 1988 he received the U.S. Presidential Distinguished Rank Award and in 1991 the U.S. Department of Commerce Gold Medal Award. Derr was always interested in St. John’s and served on the Board of Visitors and Governors for six years. He credits his education at St. John’s for helping him remain open to new ideas, adapt to changes in careers, and respond to the demands of research. Survivors include his wife Mary, of Boulder; a son, Michael E. Derr; two daughters, Louise E. Derr and Carol MacBride; and a grandson. x ALSO NOTED: EDWARD HEISE, class of 1936, July 30, 2003 WILLIAM K. LYNCH, class of 1932, June 3,

2003 WILLIAM D. RENDALL, class of 1942, March

23, 2003 For 36 years, Jimmy Matthews had a smile for everyone on the Annapolis campus. { T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }

WILLIAM J. SEELEY JR., class of 1936, March

17, 2003


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{Campus Life}

CROQUET 2003 For behold, in the midst of the field there arose a great contest. And mallet strove with ball, and ball with ball, and many balls did thread the postern of a wicket, and great was the tumult thereof. But the people regarded it not, and drank and made merry. And the Lord saw that it was good. Well...OK. Anonymous Alumnus, class of 1978

Les chic-chacs eternelles de ces espheres infinies m'effrayent. Henri “Blaise” Higuera

Every tradition grows ever more venerable—the more remote is its origin, the more confused that origin is. The reverence due to it increases from generation to generation. The tradition finally becomes holy and inspires awe. Nietzsche, HUMAN, ALL TOO HUMAN

nother croquet match, another victory for St. John’s College. Imperial Wicket Ben Porter led the old orange-and-black to its 17th win in the 21-year contest against the Naval Academy on Sunday, April 27. Originator of the croquet tradition, Kevin Heyburn (SF86, shown above with mallet) hit out the first ball. Unable to come up with a new angle on the same old story (I’ve been covering the match for nine years), I will step aside to let more able pens provide the commentary.

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Grace was in all her steps, heaven in her eye, In every gesture dignity and love.

--Sus3an Borden (A87) photos by sara white wilson

Milton, PARADISE LOST { T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }


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{Campus Life}

Not at all similar are the race of the immortal gods and the race of men who walk upon the earth. Homer, ILIAD

Dance and Provençal song and sunburnt mirth! Oh for a beaker full of the warm South, Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene! With beaded bubbles winking at the brim, And purple-stainèd mouth. Keats, “Ode to a Nightingale”

For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?

Among all men on earth bards have a share of honor and reverence, because the muse has taught them songs and loves the race of bards.

Austen, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE

Homer, ODYSSEY

{ T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }


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{tutors}

Grant Franks: Finding His Inner Wizard on the Road from Santa Fe to Annapolis n July 15, Santa Fe tutor Grant Franks (A77) rolled into Annapolis on his Trice XL recumbent tricycle—completing a five-week journey of more than 2,000 miles from the Santa Fe campus. After triumphantly planting the New Mexico flag in front of McDowell, he set off with family and friends—gathered to witness his arrival—for a crab feast at City Dock. Franks says the unusual design of his three-wheeled cycle makes for an extremely safe and comfortable ride; stable and aerodynamic, it’s “the go-cart of your dreams.” He named it Shadowfax, after Gandalf’s horse of Lord of the Rings fame. “A friend told me that the secret when going through middle age is to find your inner wizard,” Franks explains. “His is Yoda, so he said I could have Gandalf.” Franks spoke to his wife regularly by phone, and Martha Franks (A78) logged his experiences on their Web site under the heading, “From the Bay to the Fe: Cross Country on Shadowfax.” Excerpts from Franks’ travel log describe the highlights (and low points) of the trip. Except for Grant Franks’ initial pre-trip entry, the log was recorded by Martha Franks.

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–Beth Schulman

June 3: Headed out of town, the headwind seemed daunting until Grant realized he had the parking brake on—doesn’t happen on a regular bike. Then, to make up time, put on Bach’s Symphony and Cantata No. 3 which pushed him up from 10.5 mph to 14.3 mph. Although Grant brought some selections from the Buddhist monk Thich Naht Hahn, he’s worried that “mindfulness” is exactly what you don’t want on a trip like this. June 6: Grant headed up 54 North on a shoulderless four-lane highway… Some people gave him a wide berth; some didn’t,

June 9: First, the stats: 99.38 miles, over very bumpy proto-Ozarks; 10 hours and 48 minutes between Lamar and Marshfield. While not the longest, this was certainly the hardest day so far. There were even despairing thoughts of flagging a truck down during the last few hours, but none came by, and Grant was driven by circumstance into accomplishment. June 11: The morning began auspiciously, keeping up a 10 mph average, despite a phenomenon that Grant named to himself “missouris.” These are small valleys cut into the limestone Ozark plateau until it comes to the edge of the “missouri,” where it continues in the same compass heading, but angling downward at an alarming angle of dip. Without making actual measurements, Grant estimates the average angle to be about 88°. Since the citizens of Missouri—could it really be malice?—have made no use of zigzag “switchback” patterns common in the Appalachians for going up steep grades, the road simply careens down the side of the valley where it crosses a one-lane bridge over the small stream that is responsible for the valley in the first place…Grant can measure the severity of such “missouris” by the speed that the Shadowfax attains when it arrives at the bridge: there are 30 mph misBiking from Santa Fe to Annapolis gave Grant Franks a physical challenge he was hungry for. “In my fantasy life, the trip quickly grew into a personal confrontation between me and the highway system of the United States,” says tutor Grant Franks. “In my imagination, I would taunt the road map: ‘You’re not so big! I can take you!’ Bizarre? Maybe. But I was looking for a big challenge, and here it was.”

victoria smith

May 16: With the trip a week and a half away, I am doing some preparation work on Shadowfax, fixing the headrest and the side pannier supports. I am also working on loading my I-Pod with music and books for listening during the trip. The longest work I have is the Bible, unabridged (77 hours from Genesis to Revelation). Also included are three John Le Carré novels, Jack Kerouac’s On the Road and extended selections from James Joyce’s Ulysses and Finnegan’s Wake, plus several dozen hours of music ranging from Sinead O’Connor and Joan Baez to Aaron Copeland, Beethoven, and Bach. Also the Beatles.

and Grant realized he had been spoiled by the long ride from Las Vegas on an empty two-lane highway with broad shoulders and no traffic—hot, straight and boring, but reasonably safe. The Song of Songs is wonderful—love stronger than death—although some of the similes are surprising, and there is not the smallest textual suggestion to support the church’s long-time claim that this is a chaste allegory for divine/ecclesiastical relations.

{ T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }


{Tutors}

no desire to be like anyone else; second, in particular, he didn’t want to be like someone who would shout such a question; third, cars were a blot on the landscape which made us dependent on foreign oil; and fourth, maybe if this guy got out of his car sometimes he would be in better shape.

souris, 35 mph missouris, etc. The most severe has been a 44 mph missouri; coming to the “Yield” sign at the bottom of that missouri, Grant was screaming, “Yield to me! I can’t stop!” Fortunately, there was no oncoming traffic...And then the rains began. At first it seemed merely an obstacle to be faced with a high heart, and thoughts of “this is not so bad” kept up the energy. The yellow rain jacket seemed to work, although there was no question of keeping dry, really, since rain on the outside met sweat from the inside with only the wall of plastic between them. Sunscreen, it turns out, causes water to bead up, leaving Grant feeling that he had been dipped in wax. June 13: The first leg to Ellington, Mo., was easy enough, and the eidos of a roadside diner was found, with aggressively authentic people—Heidegger would be pleased. Fortified with a Western omelet, hash browns and toast, Grant made the dicey decision to brave the predicted thunderstorms and head for the next dot of civilization some 35 miles away . . . Every hill is a raw, untempered straining straight into the sky. One was five miles long and found Grant geared all the way down to first gear—out of a possible 81—but still hardpressed. The Ten Commandments are a popular lawn ornament in this place. June 14: I remarked that he seemed to think nothing now of 60-mile days which had been hard at first. He scoffed at the 60-mile day—a “nothing, a bagatelle, a luxury.” The first 10 miles whistle by, the second are a little harder; the third seem like the meat and potatoes of the day; the fourth are “droll,” and the fifth are spent thinking that you are practically there, while the sixth pass thinking that you are there and will there be a hotel? June 15: Coming out of Chester, the Cycling Association offered two routes. Grant chose one along the levee, which meant that he rode on absolute flat through haze and watched the water and the coal barges moving along with it. Spectacular. Deer by the side of the road. The miles slipped by. The heavy, thick smell of green and humidity brought home that he has reached the East. June 16: Coming out of Eddieville, in the last few miles of the day, he looked straight ahead through some trees and saw bluegreen hills rolling away into the distance

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forever—Kentucky, just across the Ohio. He had about a tenth of a second to admire all that loveliness before he was taken by a final, unexpected missouri, and plunged, shouting, down an asphalt incline. You don’t pedal at that pace; you mostly fall, and the winds pulled his helmet back so far that it was acting like a parachute, so that the only way to get it back on the top of his head was to open his jaw widely, in which case the bugs moved in. Quite a moment. Through wind-induced tears he made out that he was going 44.1 mph, peak speed on the trip so far. June 21: The two books he had recently bought, Northrop Frye, some superfluous shorts, and other small items could be spared, so Grant packed them up and mailed them to my mother in Washington, D.C., lightening his load by, says the post office, 4.7 lbs (including some Missouri moisture that had never entirely left the Northrop Frye book). Feeling immensely ahead of the game, he rewarded himself by purchasing Paul Tillich’s The Courage to Be—narrowly preferred to Nietzsche’s Ecce Homo and only upon the discovery that Hegel was not to be had…The madness for books obscures every prudent thought; I know this because, with Grant too far away to exercise oversight, I have been filling up our bookshelves, too. Between us, we will read ourselves out of house and home. June 23: As he was starting up, a black Camaro roared by, and a pudgy head and shoulders leaned out from it to shout “Why don’t you get a car like everybody else?” Some energizing defiance from that experience, as Grant reflected that, first, he had { T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }

June 25: There was a curious feeling today that, under the table, the trip had been accomplished, even though there is so far to go...Finally, he began to feel a little ragged, 73 miles being a pretty long day over rough country, so he put on the Brandenbergs, which give the feet great tempo. You can switch to the largo movements going uphill, and there is nothing to beat the peppiness that pulls you over those last few miles. Bach was truly a genius. Grant is in Damascus, Va., trying to avoid having portentous thoughts about being blinded on the road there, since he has been listening to all this Paul. June 28: There is a large National Park between Lexington and Charlottesville…Down so close to the ground, not only does he get interested and appreciative toward the flowers, but has begun to notice the smells. A car going by, spouting exhaust, is something of a trial in that regard—he finds himself tempted to shout “Get a tricycle!” at them . . . Several times in the course of the last few days people have asked about the New Mexico flag he flies. Some people’s jaws drop when he says he has cycled from there, which is gratifying of course, but he also muses on the fact that no one recognizes the flag. He feels like Odysseus with the oar. June 29: “Never let it be said,” Grant told me, sternly, “that a guy in a fake wheelchair can’t make it all the way up Blue Ridge.” The Appalachians are harder, although in Virginia they have achieved the switchback …Grant came down through the town of Afton, clinging by his fingernails to the side of the mountain, where the cookie lady lives. This is someone who keeps a perpetual welcome and refreshment for bicyclers coming up this steep way, by way of congratulations on the undertaking. A classy ministry, I think…Charlottesville was unmistakable, with the rotunda of the University of Virginia. This is the symbol for Grant of a life not lived, as he would probably have gone to UVA if he hadn’t found St. John’s instead—an imponderable alternative. x


{Alumni Association News}

From the Alumni Association President Dear Johnnies, The January Alumni Association Board meeting sometimes leads us into blizzards and sometimes into beautiful winter sunsets, but it always puts us in the middle of essay writing period for seniors. They take a few hours out of their labors to join alumni hosts for Senior Dinners—conversations between alumni and soon-to-be alumni about the college, self, and the world. April on the Annapolis campus includes lots of fun things—croquet, budding flowers, more senior dinners, and soccer on the green. Passing by Dean Flaumenhaft’s office I was reminded of the completion of the spring essay ritual. Posted there on his door were the schedules for Senior Orals. Before I could have a thought, the feelings rushed back. In an instant I relived it all: the alternating despair and elation of essay writing period, the trembling hands before the opening question, the careful and considered conversation, the unfettered relief when it was over, and the joyous celebration. Looking at the list of essay titles, feeling gave way to thought with a question: How does your senior essay relate to the rest of your life? I know the curiosity that led me to Galileo for my essay was the same curiosity that has driven my work as a high school physics teacher, instructional designer, entrepreneur, and researcher. Though the title is long since lost (and thankfully) in the dusty recesses, I know that the questions that drew me to my topic are the same questions that inspire and engage me today. I am sure my essay, as product, was both arrogant and naïve, but as process it was a precursor to a chain of investigations that continue to build my life as a thinking human being, if not a full-time liberal artist. Is the same true of you? How do you see your current self reflected (or challenged) in the essay you wrote during the spring of your senior year? How have the questions shaped your later inquiries? How did the

writing reflect your literary habits? How did the public defense of your work build your strength as a confident conversational companion? Or do you see the experience as disconnected from the rest of your life? I also wondered about the lives that would unfold for these emerging alumni as they take their St. John’s experiences out into the world. What do their essay titles say about them as productive members of their various communities? How will they integrate their Johnnie experiences into fulfilling lives of love, work, and learning? What kind of partners and parents will these people become? How will they practice citizenship in an ever more challenging polity? How will they express themselves through public and private action? What do these essay titles tell you about the newly formed alumni who created them? A Modest Approach to Science through Analogy A Confession of the Confessions The Art of Beauty: A Discussion of Duality in To the Lighthouse Wanted: Guilty for All God’s Thumb: The Political Discourse of The Federalist Desire, the One True Teacher: The Investigation of Love Within Plato’s Symposium Moral Teleology and Practical Proofs Montaigne’s Path to Wisdom; or, How Not to Miss the Point Entirely Experiencing Incommensurability And from Santa Fe... Science as a Poetic Vision: Finding a Home for Orphaned Beauty in Goethe’s Metamorphosis of Plants The Importance of Being Wagner You Ain’t the Boss of Me: Freedom and Social Rebellion in Prometheus Bound Human Instinct: The Mortar of Our Universe Piety and Passivity: Walking the Line in the Book of Job Prelude to the Song: Mathematics, Dialectic, and the Good Mercy, Sin, and the Foundations of Society in The Scarlet Letter Life: A Blend of Dichotomies Theory of the Use of Theory: The Question of the Practical in Modern Science

Santa Fe graduates have much to celebrate. { T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }

ST. JOHN’S COLLEGE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION Whether from Annapolis or Santa Fe, undergraduate or Graduate Institute, Old Program or New, graduated or not, all alumni have automatic membership in the St. John’s College Alumni Association. The Alumni Association is an independent organization, with a Board of Directors elected by and from the alumni body. The Board meets four times a year, twice on each campus, to plan programs and coordinate the affairs of the Association. This newsletter within The College magazine is sponsored by the Alumni Association and communicates Alumni Association news and events of interest. President – Glenda Eoyang, SF76 Vice President – Jason Walsh, A85 Secretary –Barbara Lauer, SF76 Treasurer – Bill Fant, A79 Getting-the-Word-Out Action Team Chair – Linda Stabler-Talty (SFGI76) Web site – www.sjca.edu/aassoc/main.phtml Mailing address – Alumni Association, St. John’s College, P.O Box 2800, Annapolis, MD 21404 or 1160 Camino Cruz Blanca, Santa Fe, NM 87505-4599.

We welcome all of these authors into the community of the St. John’s College Alumni Association along with their peers who began the journey with them four years ago and who were following other paths as spring came to Santa Fe and Annapolis. It is a privilege and a pleasure to share experiences and remembered experiences with you! For the past, the present, and the future. Glenda Eoyang SF76 Eoyang@chaos-limited.com President St. John’s College Alumni Association

teri thomson randall

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47

{Alumni Association News}

Homecoming Honorees The Alumni Association celebrated the accomplishments of two distinguished St. John’s alumni with Awards of Merit presented at Homecoming in Santa Fe. A native of New York City, Alfred Grant (SFGI83) earned a degree from City College of New York before embarking on a naval career from January 1943 to November 1945. He founded his own company in the 1960s and sold it in 1972. He moved to Santa Fe in 1978 and enrolled in the Graduate Institute. After earning his St. John’s degree, Grant earned a second master’s from the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of two books: Our American Brethren: A History of Letters in the British Press During the American Revolution, 1775-1781 (1995) and The American Civil War and the British Press (2002). Grant served on the Board of Visitors and Governors from 1987 to 1990. Eric Springsted (SF73) went on to study theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, where he earned a master’s of divinity and a Ph.D. Springsted has served as chaplain and lecturer in philosophy at Princeton Theological Seminary and Illinois College. As founder and president of the American Weil Society, he is recognized as the foremost American author on Weil, having authored and edited books including Christus Mediator; Simone Weil and the Suffering of Love; and Spirit, Nature and Community. Springsted’s involvement in the college has included serving as class of 1973 representative for the Fourth Century fund-raising campaign and as a member of what is now Philanthropia, the Alumni Association’s development arm. He has also been an active member of the association. x

Celebrating the Formation of Attention The following is excerpted from remarks from Eric Springsted, A73, at the Homecoming banquet in Santa Fe. Fourteen years ago in April 1989, the American Weil Society held its annual meeting at St. John’s in Santa Fe. The theme of the meeting that year was “Simone Weil and Educa-

tion.” With the help of [Santa Fe Tutor] Elliot Skinner, I arranged for a volunteer group of students to have a seminar on Weil’s essay “Reflections on The Right Use of School Studies with a View to the Love of God.” Fifteen to twenty students read the text and showed up on a late Friday afternoon to discuss it as Elliot and I led the seminar, and the Weil experts sat around the outside of the Senior Common Room and watched. That the students were willing to do this was already a testimonial to St. John’s. What was more important is that the students were magnificent. The best of them saw the deeper points of the essay, and even were able to anticipate Weil’s thought in areas where they had not read. But something else struck me about this seminar, something that very much had to do with the reading. “Right Use of School Studies” is about attention, a key notion in Weil’s thinking. She defines attention as “suspending our thought, leaving it detached, empty and ready to be penetrated by the object.” The word “detached” is an unfortunate translation for it renders the French disponible, which does not have the connotation of aloofness that the English “detached” does; it means something more like “ready to be used.” What Weil then means by attention is that it is a way of knowing that does not construct meaning and truth but takes it in as it is, consents to the reality of the other, and then adjusts itself to that reality. Attention is a key notion for her understanding of faith, love of God and neighbor, philosophy (including her astounding readings of Plato), Christ, and her left wing politics. Now what struck me about this seminar is that the students weren’t just talking about attention, they were showing it at an appropriate level just as Weil thought students should. They were paying close attention to a not-so-easy text. But they were also paying attention to each other. Afterwards members of the society remarked with some amazement at how students in the seminar helped each other to understand. They also remarked on the fact that when a junior or senior cited a thinker such as Kant, he or she immediately recognized that the freshmen and sophomores hadn’t read Kant, and so worked to put the point in other terms. At St. John’s discussion has always been fair and requires a common text. Why is all this so important? In a late fragment Weil defined culture this way: “Culture is the formation of attention.” Culture, at least a worthy culture, gives us worthy things to pay attention to, it gives us knowledge and wisdom as a goal; it even shapes our bodily reactions so that we can sit still long enough { T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }

to pay attention. It gives us what the Germans call Sitzfleisch. That “culturing” in the service of attention above all is what this school is good at, I realized that April afternoon. I don’t know if we always recognize that. I don’t think we did, or even could as students when we were so thoroughly situated within the process. But for those of us here who are no longer students, we ought to recognize it. We ought to recognize it for a reason that Weil argued that we need to respect institutions and collectivities, namely that they are food for the soul. Without them our souls starve. This is something we need to pay close attention to. In a culture that deforms attention, where intellectuals are either busy constructing or deconstructing reality—but never paying attention to it, where differences between the just and the unjust are blurred by those leaders who ought to distinguish them, and where we all are constantly being distracted, this college is a rare place where a mind when it asks for bread doesn’t get a stone or a serpent. It truly deserves our support. x

CHAPTER CONTACTS Call the alumni listed below for information about chapter, reading group, or other alumni activities in each area. ALBUQUERQUE Bob & Vicki Morgan 505-275-9012

PHILADELPHIA Bart Kaplan 215-465-0244

ANNAPOLIS Beth Martin 410-280-0958

PORTLAND Dale Mortimer 360-882-9058

AUSTIN Bev Angel 512-926-7808

SAN DIEGO Stephanie Rico 619-423-4972

BALTIMORE David Kidd 410-728-4126

SANTA FE Richard Cowles 505-986-1814

BOSTON Ginger Kenney 617-964-4794

SEATTLE Amina Stickford 206-269-0182

CHICAGO Lorna Johnson 773-338-8651

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Elizabeth Eastman 562-426-1934

DALLAS/FORT WORTH Suzanne Gill Doremus 817-927-2390 DENVER/BOULDER Lee Goldstein 720-283-4659 MINNEAPOLIS/ ST. PAUL Carol Freeman 612-822-3216 NEW YORK Fielding Dupuy 212-576-7260 NORTHERN CALIF. Jonathon Hodapp 831-393-9496

TRIANGLE CIRCLE (NC) Susan Eversole 919-968-4856 WASHINGTON DC Jean Dickason 301-699-6207 ISRAEL Emi Geiger Leslau 15 Aminadav Street Jerusalem 93549 Israel 9-722-671-7608 boazl@cc.huji.ac.il


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{St. John’s Forever}

The birthplace of Charles Carroll, the Barrister, begins its journey up Main Street to the Annapolis campus.

Moving Day hat does it take to move a 1723 house through a 1955 town? Five weeks, $20,000, 43 feet of clearance, and some legal acrobatics. On the morning of October 4, 1955, hundreds of Annapolitans watched as the Carroll Barrister House, birthplace of Charles Carroll, the Barrister, an early American patriot, was moved from the corner of Main and Conduit streets to its current location on the King George Street side of the Annapolis

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campus. Workers had spent two weeks preparing the house: jacking it up, laying steel beams, and dismantling chimneys. The power company sent 20 workers to install temporary high poles to provide clearance for the house along its journey. The house was split into two parts: a 125-ton section that reached King George Street at 6 p.m. and was placed on the campus the next morning, and a 25-ton section that was moved three weeks later in less than three hours. During the course of the move, the title changed hands three times to establish insurance liability: At the beginning of the day, the house belonged to Joseph G. Greenfield, who had bought it at auction

{ T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }

and wanted to develop the site for commercial purposes. During the trip, it belonged to Historic Annapolis, which had raised $20,000 to save the house from demolition and finance the move. As soon as it was placed at its new site, it became the property of St. John’s. Today the building houses the Admissions and Advancement offices. It is the first stop on campus for many Johnnies who visit as prospective students. They meet with Admissions Director John Christensen in his office, which was once the dining room, and often have their interviews in the reception room, once the living room. x


{Alumni Events Calendar}

Alumni Event Annapolis-area alumni have the opportunity to take a leap of imagination in considering mathematics in a seminar on Harvard mathematician Barry Mazur’s book Imagining Numbers (Particularly the Square Root of 15.) Tutors Sam Kutler (A54) and Eva Brann will co-lead the seminar, scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, October 12. Mazur, one of the foremost mathematicians in the world, served as the chief “referee” on the panel to check the Andrew Wiles proof of Fermat’s last theorem. Imagining Numbers explores how we grasp and develop ideas both in poetry and in math, from the Renaissance to the present day, and provides a step-by-step guide to how we can begin imagining numbers for ourselves. To register or for more information, call the Annapolis Alumni Office: 410-626-2531.

moe hanson

The Painting Project For three days in August, a small group from the classes of 1968 and 1969 came to the Santa Fe campus, sacrificing vacation time to tape windows and casings, climb ladders, paint walls, and generally improve the environs for all. The effort was coordinated by Margaret Gaffney (SF69), who was joined by Thompson Clay (SF69), Wendy Watson (SF68), Richard and Shirley Flint (SF68), and Ray Drolet (SF69). The group hopes to see the Alumni Painting Project become an annual event.

Homecoming in Annapolis Laura Mangum (A04) and Alex Wall (A03) donned formal clothes and waltzed around the Great Hall as models for the 2003 Homecoming poster in Annapolis. Annapolis artist Moe Hanson photographed the couple, then used the snapshots to paint her watercolor celebrating one of the college’s favorite traditions, the waltz. The painting was used for a Homecoming brochure and poster—this year’s giveaway gift to attendees. Didn’t get one at Homecoming September 12-14 in Annapolis? A limited number are available for sale. Call the Alumni Office at 410-626-2531.

Tom Clay works on painting a ceiling as Shirley Flint takes a break.

{ T h e C o l l e g e St. John’s College • Fall 2003 }


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Profile for Jennifer Behrens

The College Magazine Fall 2003  

The And the Power of Language fall 2003 St. John’s College • Annapolis • Santa Fe Known office of publication: Communications Office St. John’...

The College Magazine Fall 2003  

The And the Power of Language fall 2003 St. John’s College • Annapolis • Santa Fe Known office of publication: Communications Office St. John’...

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