September 2008


Our Fellowship

by Marlene Crandell Francis '58 Who better to write a history of Kalamazoo College than Marlene Crandell Francis--a third-generation alumna, trustee emerita (1980-98), American Baptist, retired college English teacher and administrator (albeit from another college), and someone who bleeds Hornet orange? Her 430-page work, A Fellowship in Learning: Kalamazoo College, 1833-2008, was five years in the research and writing and was published by the College just in time for June commencement and its 175th anniversary. Francis tells the story of the institution by highlighting the many forces that have shaped it: the Baptist heritage, the local community, and the goal of excellence. She also places the "K" story within the context of American higher education in general and Michigan in particular. Above all, she tells the story of Kalamazoo through the words and deeds of its students, faculty, and staff; not to mention about 200 photos and illustrations. "The result," says Francis in the book's preface, "will be that readers will...experience a sense of fellowship and community with these people, who are, after all, the makers of the College's history. A Fellowship in Learning can be ordered from the Kalamazoo College Bookstore for the historically low price of $18.33, shipping and handling included!

by Jeffrey Haus Historians have typically characterized 19th-century French Jewry as largely eager to assimilate, or, at the very least, passively accommodating to assimilation, with only the most traditional Jews rejecting the trappings of French culture. In Challenges of Equality: Judaism, State, and Education in Nineteenth-Century France, (Wayne State University Press, 2009), Jeffrey Haus demonstrates that even integrated French Jews sought to set limits on assimilation and struggled to preserve a sense of Jewish distinctiveness in France. Challenges of Equality explores the relationship between Judaism, state, and education in France from the establishment of the Jewish Consistory in 1808 until the separation of church and state in 1905. Utilizing a variety of sources--including school curricula, rabbinical ordination examinations, government documents and correspondence, state jurisprudential decisions, and the French Jewish press--Haus paints a picture of a resilient and persistent French Judaism that adapted and integrated, but nevertheless survived.
Ready, AIM, Teach

by Amanda Leigh Lichtenstein '98 and Cynthia Weiss Need a book that addresses contemporary issues in the arts education field? That offers first-person essays from teachers, artists, and community arts administrators on best practices in integrated arts learning, school/community partnerships and collaboration? That also offers a clear theory of practice for teachers and artists interested in changing the shape of learning? AIMprint: New Relationships in the Arts and Learning (Columbia College Chicago, 2008) tells the story of Project AIM, the arts integration mentorship project of the Center for Community Arts Partnerships at Columbia College Chicago. Through the voices of artists, teachers, principals, college faculty, program administrators, and public school students, AIMprint gives concrete examples of how to create a community of learners at every level of an arts partnership, access higher order thinking strategies that link arts and literacy learning, utilize engaging templates for the development of high-quality arts-integrated curriculum and instruction, and teach artists and public schools to improve the quality and texture of education in the lives of school children.
Reading Teens

by Heather Booth '00 Getting teens to read for fun is the ultimate challenge, yet research shows that it improves skills in grammar and spelling while expanding vocabularies. Reading advisors for teens now have a ready-to-use resource in Serving Teens Through Readers' Advisory (American Library Association, 2007), by Heather Booth '00. Accessible and encouraging for beginners and an informative refresher for those more experienced, this hands-on guide addresses teens' unique needs with practical tools that help reading advisors. Here's what one enthusiastic librarian said about her book: "I often skim rather than read library science texts, but Heather writes to entertain as well as inform and persuade, so I read it all. I readily identified with her sample cases of offering books to reluctant readers, parents with vague ideas about class assignments, and teens who want more books like the ones that they already read." Booth is teen librarian at Thomas Ford Memorial Library in Western Springs, Ill., 15 miles west of Chicago.
Taking the Falls

by Ginger Strand Americans consider Niagara Falls a natural wonder, but the Falls aren't very natural anymore. Water diverted, riverbed reshaped, landscape redesigned, stabilized and flanked with cheap thrills, the Falls are more a monument to man's meddling than to nature's strength. Seamlessly weaving together science, history, aesthetics, and personal narrative, Inventing Niagara: Beauty, Power, Lies (Simon & Schuster, 2008) by Ginger Strand '87 traces the path of America's best-loved natural wonder from sublime icon to engineering marvel to camp spectacle. Along the way, we discover a hidden history: the Mohawk chief who wrested the Falls from his adopted tribe, the revered town father who secretly assisted Niagara slave catchers, the wartime workers who unknowingly helped build the Bomb, and the missing pharaoh who spent a century incognito at the Falls. With an uncanny ability to zero in on the buried truth, Ginger Strand introduces us to underwater dams, freaks of nature, grave robbers, mythical maidens, and 280,000 radioactive mice. A history of more than just the Falls, Inventing Niagara traces the course of natural wonder in America, illuminating what the Falls have to tell us about our history, our environment, and ourselves.
101 Relations

by Douglas Brown...with inspiration and perspiration from Anne (Schwartz) Brown '89 Married couples have intercourse about 66 times a year, according to "American Sexual Behavior," a 2004 study by the University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center. In 2006, Anne and Doug Brown tried to raise that national average all on their own. Just Do It: How One Couple Turned Off the TV and Turned On Their Sex Lives for 101 Days (No Excuses!) (Crown Publishing Group, 2008) chronicles their attempts to have sex for 101 consecutive days--no excuses (not even the flu, late-night child wanderings, or flat-out exhaustion). By turns hilarious, tender, and seductive, Just Do It follows their sexual romps in hotels (both cheap and classy), at an ashram, in a basement, atop boulders and unstable easy chairs, but most often in their own bedroom, which they dubbed the "sex den." But besides the awe in their ability to get it on day after day--and actually enjoy it--they were more surprised and touched by how much closer they became, and firming up a relationship that already seemed as good as it could get. Just Do It proves that even when it feels like there's never enough time or energy, trust Annie and Doug...There is.
Just Peachy

by David Kyvig '66 Once a little understood tool of last resort, impeachment has become a political weapon of choice in recent decades, and one that is leading to an increasingly toxic culture in American politics. So says Northern Illinois University's prize-winning historian David Kyvig '66. His new book, The Age of Impeachment: American Constitutional Culture Since 1960 (University of Kansas Press), chronicles the rise of a culture of impeachment that extends well beyond the infamous scandals surrounding Presidents Nixon and Clinton. Kyvig, a Distinguished Research Professor at NIU, spent more than four years researching and writing the book, including a year in residence as a fellow of the prestigious Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., and another year at the Library of Congress. The author also snagged some high profile interview subjects for the book. They included Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bob Woodward; John Dean, former counsel to President Nixon and the star witness in the Watergate proceedings; U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, once a federal judge who was removed from office via impeachment; Sen. Daniel Inouye and former Rep. Lee Hamilton, the co-chairs of the committee to investigate the Iran-Contra scandal; and Illinois Congressman Ray LaHood, who presided over the House impeachment proceedings of Clinton.
Rhythms of South India

by David P. Nelson '72 In 1970, Kalamazoo College student David Nelson traveled to Madurai, India, to study the mrdangam, South Indian music's principal percussion instrument. In his first lesson under legendary court musician and teacher C.S. Sankarasivam, Nelson was introduced to one of the world's great drumming traditions that he has played and taught for years. And now, he has written about it in Solkattu Manual: An Introduction to the Rhythmic Language of South Indian Music (Wesleyan University Press, 2008). Nelson is a member of the music faculty of Wesleyan University. His manual provides a step-by-step introduction to Solkattu intended for college classroom use, but one that "anyone--novice, student, trained musician, ethnomusicologist--can work through," says one reviewer. The manual includes instructions for designing performable pieces, accompanied by graphic notations, as well as video demonstrations on two DVDs.
Heart Track

by Mary Ellen Geist Mary Ellen Geist '78 decided to leave her job as a CBS Radio anchor in New York City to return home to Michigan when her father's Alzheimer's got to be too much for her mother to shoulder alone. She chose to live her life by a different set of priorities: to be guided by her heart, not by outside accomplishment and recognition. Measure of the Heart: A Father's Alzheimer's, A Daughter's Return is the book that came out of the experience. Through her own story and through interviews with doctors and other women who've followed the "Daughter Track"--leaving a job to care for an aging parent--Geist offers emotional insights on how to encourage interaction with the loved one you're caring for; how to determine daily tasks that are achievable and rewarding; how the personality of the patient affects the care giving and the progression of the diseases; as well as invaluable advice about how caregivers can take care of themselves while accomplishing the Herculean task of constantly caring for others. Geist's years in journalism allow her to report on Baby Boomers' caretaking dilemmas with professional objectivity, and her warm voice brings compassion and insight to one of the most difficult situations a son or daughter may face during his or her life.

by Ray Comeau '63 There Must Be Another Way: Reflections of a Mind Illuminated Through a Course in Miracles (Author House, 2008). This collection of twenty essays is based on Ray's deeply-felt, personal experiences of reading Helen Schucman's A Course In Miracles. The essays describe the transformation from the limited, conceptual, egoic self-identity to the limitless Self created by God, seeing with the vision of Christ. Throughout the book, the transformation is expressed in reference to poetry, paintings, passages from the New Testament, movies, essays on psychology, the classic comedians, relationships with family and friends, Lindbergh's historic flight, and more. Several of these essays started out as blogposts. To read current posts, please check here.

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