“Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.” William Butler Yeats
The first Irishman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature (in 1923), William Butler Yeats (above) composed “The Second Coming” during a time of widespread disillusionment following World War I. He wrote:
“Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned.
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
. . . .
And what rough beast, in its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”
According to Anya Kamenetz’s article “Student Course Evaluations get an ‘F,’” statistics show that difficult graders receive more criticism than easy ones. Utilizing evaluations for tenure and promotion purposes, therefore, discourages rather than encourages rigorous teaching. Kamenetz wrote: “Say one professor gets ‘satisfatory’ across the board, while her colleague is polarizing. Perhaps he’s really great with high performers and not too good with low performers. Are these two really equivalent?” Cathy Billinger commented that Anne Balay was “a hard teacher but the one I learned the most from.”
Alissa, with green and blue lollipop
Miranda is in a photo with Les Gold, the Detroit pawnbroker featured on truTV’s reality series “Hardcore Pawn.” Also on Facebook were pictures of Alissa at a 2014 Grand Valley State “Alumni Reunion” of Overseas Program students that she planned. Sunday I got to view the first half of the Bears-Packers contest (the second 30 minutes weren’t worth seeing, I learned later) before the Hagelbergs took us to Memorial Opera House for the 1971 Neil Simon play, “The Prisoner of Second Avenue.” It wasn’t my cup of tea (non-musicals rarely are), but I admired co-stars John Sanchez and Pegg Sangerman and enjoyed the early 70s music played beforehand and during intermission, including songs by Gordon Lightfoot, Credence Clearwater Revival, and the Beatles’ “Long and Winding Road”
In “The Prisoner of Second Avenue” 47 year-old Mel Edison loses his job and also has to cope with noisy neighbors, faulty air-conditioning, insufferable siblings, and his Manhattan apartment being robbed. From time to time phony radio news bulletins (i.e., a Polish freighter rams into the Statue of Liberty) exaggerate the perils of living in “The Big Apple.” In the summer of 1971 a stifling heat wave and a prolonged garbage strike actually took place in New York City, so it would not have been an exaggeration to suggest that tenants like Mel might smell the aroma up on the fourteenth floor.
Kate and Corey Hagelberg joined the four of us at Popolano’s Italian Restaurant in Chesterton. The weather was perfect for dining outside, where singer-guitar player Mike Bruccoleri (above) was performing mainly Fifties hits for the silver-haired customers – several Elvis and Everly Brothers numbers and, my favorite, “Silhouettes,” a 1957 doo-wop tune by the Rays. Cover versions by the Diamonds and Herman’s Hermits also were hits. Bruccoleri has been a member of Peter Noone’s Herman’s Hermits and recently performed a set of the group’s songs with Buckinghams guitarist Bob Abrams, including “I’m Into Something Good.” When I saw Herman’s Hermits a few years ago at the Star Plaza, the Buckinghams were also on the bill.
A Carole Carlson Post-Trib feature on Gary’s City Methodist Church made use of my account in “Gary’s First Hundred Years” of its construction 90 years ago. Reverend William Graham Seaman persuaded U.S, Steel to donate $385,000 for a state-of-the-art Skinner organ. . An integrationist who, in Carlson’s words, “dreamed of an interracial church where black and white parishioners shared church pews,” Seaman proved too liberal for his congregation and got shuffled off to Lancaster, Ohio in 1929. His ashes, however, are in the church sanctuary. Seaman Hall adjacent to the church was once home to IUN’s predecessor, the IU “Gary Extension.”
Filmmaker Blandine Huk emailed that she and Frederic got together in Paris with Jonathyne Briggs and his friend Jamie. Because Jon frequently is in France researching that country’s punk scene, I had introduced them last year when they had lunch at IUN, and they had exchanged email addresses. Blandine wrote: “They are really nice people. We spent a good time together.”
Back at Valpo University for Heath Carter’s seminar on race-relations, I passed around James Madison’s “Hoosiers,” pointing out the photo of Hatcher looking dapper when mayor, just 34 at the time of his first election. I stated that white flight began pre-1967 and that Gary was no Shangri la before then, with ethnic gangs prominent and wide-open prostitution flourishing in the “Red Light District” along Washington Street. I also showed them my Traces article on Alex Karras and told about his throwing food onto the floor of a Miller restaurant during the 1950s when waitresses refused to serve his African-American friend and fellow Iowa Hawkeye Earl Smith. , A student expressed surprise that Karras played Mongo, the dimwit who punches a horse in “Blazing Saddles.” Students did a great job reading or summarizing Shavings stories about race relations during the 1960s. In a couple cases the only black people suburbanite kids came in contact with were maids or rivals in athletic competitions. African Americans all over the country were becoming more outspoken during the 1960s; in fact, Gary was one of the only cities not to experience a race riot during that turbulent decade, in large part due to Hatcher being elected. There would have been one, I told the class, had the Lake County Democratic machine managed to steal the 1967 contest.
During the last 30 minutes of the class VU political scientist Larry Baas (above) discussed an ongoing project of his Community Research and Service Center to document bias motivated incidents, such as cross burnings and swastika vandalism, which have occurred in Valparaiso and throughout Northwest Indiana since 1999. Lacking a Hate Crime statute, until recently local police didn’t aggressively investigate these incidents or keep records of complaints. Baas involves VU students in research studies and frequently speaks to local groups, where, he joked, some have nicknamed him “Bad News Baas.” Larry was very personable, someone I’d like to know better.
Going into Monday night’s game between New England and Kansas City, all I needed was for QB Tom Brady to earn me 5 more points than the Patriots kicker. He had probably he worst game of his career, with a fumble and two interceptions, but I barely won my Fantasy match against Garrett Okomski by a single point – too close for comfort. Brady’s back-up replaced him with a few minutes to go and engineered a TD drive. Had New England kicked a field goal instead, which I was certain would happen, I’d be 0-4 now instead of 1-3. Ten years ago, Chiefs coach Andy Reid was with the Eagles, who with Donovan McNabb at quarterback, made a Superbowl appearance against Brady and Coach Bill Belichick. New England won 24-21, their third championship in four years, but last night Reid got his revenge.
below, first ore boat arrives at Bethlehem Steel; by David Mergl
Archives volunteer David Mergl used to provide drawings touting safety procedures for area steel mills, in addition to his work as a photographer. He has several bound volumes of these, in addition to hundreds of photos that he has converted to jpegs for the Archives, including some of construction of the Bethlehem Steel in Burns Harbor during the 1960s.