Virtual Book Groups
Seek Real Readers

Penn alumni and family members are invited to join The Kelly Writers House Virtual Book Groups for 2001. All you need is an e-mail account and a willingness to engage in free and perhaps free-wheeling discussion of an interesting book with a member of Penn’s faculty. For more information, see ( ~wh/bookgroups/); to join a group, send a message to <whbook>, supplying your full name, home address, the e-mail address you will use during the discussion, and, if a Penn alumnus, your year(s) and degree(s). Selections include:
  Group 6: Jan. 15-Feb. 15. Bob Judd, adjunct professor and executive director of the American Musicological Society, and Cristle Collins Judd, associate professor of music theory and director of graduate studies in the music department, will lead a discussion of Edward Rothstein’s Emblems of Mind: The Inner Life of Music and Mathematics.
  Group 7: Mar. 1-April 1. Dr. Joe Farrell, professor of classical studies and associate dean for graduate studies in the College, will lead a discussion of the writings of Ovid.
  Group 8: April 15-May 15. Dr. Bob Giegengack, professor of earth and environmental science, will lead a discussion of Farley Mowat’s Never Cry Wolf.
  Group 9: Sept. 15-Oct. 15. Several poets affiliated with the Writers House will lead a discussion of contemporary poetry.
  Group 10: Nov. 1-Dec. 1. Dr. Al Filreis, professor of English and faculty director of the Writers House, will lead a discussion of two stories: Stephen Crane’s “Experiment in Misery” and Nadine Gordimer’s “Which New Era Would That Be?”

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Paper Tickets? How PassČ
Imagine being able to go to the movies, a concert or a football game—even to the concessions stand—without waiting in long lines. Marc Steren L’96 and his business partner, Jordan Klear, already have. They’ve launched ZebraPass, a Washington, D.C.-based “wireless ticketing and mobile commerce system” with exactly this convenience in mind. Continued...

A Japanese-American Legend Set to Song
In 1841, a 14-year-old Japanese boy named Nakahama Manjiro was shipwrecked while on a fishing trip and rescued by an American whaler who brought him back to Massachusetts. Continued...

Still Crazy—About Education—After All These Years
Dr. DeidrČ Farmbry GrEd’97 began her school career fortysome years ago with a fit of protest. Or so her mother tells her. The then-kindergartner was so resistant on her first morning at Lingelbach Elementary School that the principal had to “come outside, grab me by the hand and drag me in, kicking and screaming,” she recalls. “The joke is, I loved it, and here I am, after all these years, still with Philadelphia schools.” Continued...

When George W. Bush was looking for a success story from his state’s charter-school system to showcase at the Republican National Convention that nominated him as the GOP candidate for president, he naturally turned to the KIPP Academy. In July, Michael Feinberg C’91 [“Hello, Mr. KIPP,” December 1996], co-founder of the Houston school, found himself on the stage of the convention, talking about the Knowledge Is Power Program before introducing Laura Bush to the crowd. Continued...

Odes to “Perpetual Childishness”
Jon Gailmor C’70 stands on a makeshift stage in the small gym of a rural elementary school in northern Vermont. This is familiar territory for the singer-songwriter, and both he and his songs are well known and loved. The audience for this early evening concert is typical, ranging from pre-schoolers to their grandparents. Continued...

When Disease Masks
As Devotion

Four years ago, a 32-year-old Orthodox Jewish woman came into the Brooklyn clinic where Dr. Steven Brodsky C’82 worked as a psychotherapist. Since the age of 13, she told him, she suffered from “intrusive cursing thoughts against God. It was very disturbing,” Brodsky says, “because it was not what she believed.” Each time it happened, when rabbis boarded the neighborhood bus she rode, for example, she would engage in a ritual of blessing God or cursing the devil to cancel out the unwanted thoughts. Continued...

The Color of Mummy
Four years ago, a donkey carrying a guard across Egypt’s Bahariya Oasis, 230 miles southwest of Cairo, stumbled over a hole. It turned out to be the edge of a tomb; peeking out was the gold-covered face of a mummy. Continued...

Previous issue's Profiles | Nov/Dec Contents | Gazette home

Copyright 2000 The Pennsylvania Gazette Last modified 11/1/00


Heard at the Convention

“ … When I first decided to run for Congress four years ago, in 1996, I, like most candidates—and I’ve met so many over the past few days—was hoping and was excited about all the invitations I might receive to speak at various events. I was so excited that I was waiting by the phone for invitations. But as you young candidates and new candidates surely find, that isn’t always the case.
  But there was one forum, and one place, where I was often welcome, where I was welcomed with great smiles, where I was able to gain my footing as a candidate and develop my momentum as a candidate. And that was at kindergarten graduations.
  I spoke at more kindergarten graduations than anyone in my district ever knew existed. As I spoke at those graduations, I was struck by the pride in the eyes of those five-year-olds, in the eyes of their families. In many ways it was magical. I couldn’t help but think about the horrors that you hear about when kids grow up and join gangs and bring guns to school. But when they’re five and six, they’re still ours. For those children and their families, we must continue working for a better life and a better world. As we turn our attention to the choice at hand, let us remember those children, kindergartners in Memphis and all across this nation, and remember in the end what this election is really all about—them … ”

U.S. Representative Harold Ford Jr. C’92 of Tennessee, giving the keynote address on the second night of the Democratic National Convention.