Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Welcome to this late edition of this week's Boylan Blog! The deadline for submission to the English Major's Zine is fast approaching. Don't forget to submit your short stories, poetry and essays by March 1! The Poetry Club will begin meeting this and every Thursday at 1:30pm in 2307 Boylan. If you have an interest in writing short stories, novels, poetry or any type of creative writing pay them a visit!
prolific writer whose unmistakable style of writing poetry is his most
recognizable addition to literature. Known for his unusual use of
punctuation, capitalization and line breaks, many know him best by the
moniker which hints at this unorthodox stylization, E.E. Cummings.
An accomplished poet, novelist, playwright and essayist, Cummings also
dedicated much of his artistic devotion to drawings, paintings and
This love for aesthetics carried onto the written page, and because
of this Cummings’ poetry is a “Where’s Waldo?” for the eyes and senses. In
reading his poetry pieces, readers find themselves looking for meaning
in a single capitalized letter or a seemingly erroneous line break. Double
entendres abound and are realized in such a way that make hidden
meanings seem obvious upon suggestion.
One of my favorite poems by E.E. Cummings is known as “she being
Brand”, because those of his poems which were unnamed are recognized by their
first line. This poem in particular holds special meaning for me because it
draws on the juxtaposition of sex and driving. I have a theory that the way
one handles the road is the way they have intercourse - and this poem only
validates my theory.
she being Brand
she being Brand
know consequently a
little stiff i was
careful of her and(having
thoroughly oiled the universal
joint tested my gas felt of
her radiator made sure her springs were O.
K.)i went right to it flooded-the-carburetor cranked her
clutch(and then somehow got into reverse she
minute i was back in neutral tried and
again slo-wly;bare,ly nudg. ing(my
oh and her gears being in
A 1 shape passed
from low through
greasedlightning)just as we turned the corner of Divinity
avenue i touched the accelerator and give
her the juice,good
was the first ride and believe i we was
happy to see how nice she acted right up to
the last minute coming back down by the Public
Gardens i slammed on
brakes Bothatonce and
brought allofher tremB
Image Source: http://sitegenerator.bibliotheek.nl/.../matilda.gif
This week, Yecheskel Scheider and Krishna Sury asked Brooklyn College students: which literary/fictional character do you identify with and why?
Anonymous, BC Student
Paul Atreides from the Dune series
Anonymous, BC Student
Ender from Orson Scott Card's 'Ender's Game'
MM, BC Graduate Student
I would like to think that I am like Cinderella and that one day my prince will come and I would never have to work another day.
Anonymous, BC Alumni
Im either like Ignatius J Reilly, from a " Confederacy of Dunces," or like The Giant Spaghetti Monster. The former because I am lazy and demanding, yet hyperintelligent without a sink for my fountainhead of boundless knowledge. The latter, because I am perceived of as a God to a large group of subversively-humoristic iconoclasts.
Either them, or my pirate alter-ego... Bluetooth!
Anonymous, BC Alumni
Someone told me that I reminded them a lot of Allie Hamilton from Nicholas Sparks' "The Notebook".
Yecheskel Schneider, BC Student
Bartleby, because whenever I am asked to do something my inclination to be lazy kicks in and I want to respond "I would prefer not to." In high school, some people called me Hermione, but personally, I don't get the comparison.
DW, BC Student
I'd say I'm either the pessimistic, sarcastic, and gloomy Eeyore (from the Winnie the Pooh series), or I'm the cold, calculating, and possibly evil Snape, from Harry Potter.
Elisheva R, BC Alumni
Matilda/Harry Potter. Matilda is a character from the "Matilda" book who was the child heroine of the story, a girl with magical powers that was being mistreated by people all around her, even her own family. She had telekinis because she was put in low-level classes that did not challenge her. Only one skinny little poor teacher took an interest in her. Then one day, with a huge prank with her powers she turned the poor teacher's destiny for the better, and Matilda got to live with the teacher who was nice to her for the rest of her life.
Then Harry Potter--well, is someone who got crapped on a lot who was destined for excitement, danger, fun, friendship, love and greatness.
Why am I like these two people? I just am. And I'm still waiting for my destiny to unfold....gosh , this is way over dramatic.
Dominique Gauvard, BC Student
Laura Brown from Cunningham's The Hours. She's a depressed house wife who enjoys a good book, and though I'm not even twenty I felt a connection to her. Her character was brought to life, just over the course of day, and you realize how much of yourself you hold back in that twenty-four hour period. The cake that just finished baking didn't come out perfect, which can oddly enough make you feel inferior. I can relate to how trivial things actually do affect her day, rather than just ignoring them, and how something small can make it better.
Ingrid Feeney, BC Student
Lady Macbeth from----drumoll please----Macbeth!! "Out, out damn spot!"
Sonali Bhalodkar, BC Student
Charlotte from Charlotte's Web. E.B. White rocks my socks!
Nicole Lebenson, BC Student
It's a tie between Tertius Lydgate from "Middlemarch" because he aspires to be a great doctor but can't ever get over his "spots of commoness," and Iago from "Othello." Actually, I think I'll go with Iago. Why does he torture Othello, what is his fascination with him? It's incredible to watch him reak havoc on everyone and everything around him so casually.
Tiffany Jade Colón, BC Student
The young Allie Hamilton from Nicholas Sparks' The Notebook. Not the movie really because they change the character for the movie, but the book version of her is definitly because ... were both really cool. (JK) because even tho she seems to be very sure of who she is and what she wants, she falters for that silly boy who promises her everything of course. HOWEVER, the difference between her and so many other women is that when it didnt work out she picked her ass up and kept going and eventully, she got everything she deserved to have which just so happens to include the guy.
Marissa Gamliel, BC Student
Most defenitely the bowl of petunias from Douglas Adams' The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. There were two missiles heading for the ship of the main characters and one was spontaneously turned into a sperm whale while the other was turned into a bowl of petunias. They both fell to the ground:
"Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was 'Oh no, not again.' Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know alot more about the nature of the Universe than we do now"-Douglas Adams
Yes. I identify most with that poor bowl of petunias.
Clint Hazzard Walker, BC Student
I think I'll settle with the dark elf, Drizzt Do'Urden of the Forgotten Realms books. He was born of noble blood into a society that conformed to 'evil' principles. He threw away these principles, left his home and was pursued for his beliefs. When he came to the surface world, he was seen as evil because he was a dark elf. He made little friends until his good deeds of saving lives and such began to precede him. He became somewhat of a celebrated hero among the humanoids and I didn't read the rest yet. Good story...and character is metaphorically me, and some reality too.
Vadim Kurbatov, BC Student
Quentin Compson from The Sound and the Fury
Krishna Sury, BC Student
I see myself as Clarissa Dalloway. She goes through the novel (which spans one day, the day she is planning to host a party) worrying about the little things - whether the flowers have arrived, etc. In the evening, during the party, when she hears of a suicide and contemplates what drives someone to kill themself, she ultimately decides the act is a heroic one because those who commit suicide would rather die than live forced to compromise their souls. Despite this somewhat depressing thought, I always felt that Clarissa would re-enter the party and resume her duties as hostess - in other words, though aware of the existential/philosophical ideas involved in being a deep thinker, she is nonetheless capable of living in a world where the frivolity of social mores and pertentious parties are, to a certain extent, necessary. She's complex - I like her.
Roni Natov, BC Professor
I thought of two. They are children, but I identify anyway. One is Elizabeth of The Elizabeth Stories by Isabel Huggan, and the other is both
Lisa and Lottie from Lisa and Lottie by Erich Kastner. I doubt if this will resonate with any one else, but there it is.
The Advent of ‘Bionic’ Eye Implants
Years of research attempting to improve the quality of life of the blind population may finally come to fruition, as a bionic eye implant prototype, called the Argus II System, is currently being implanted in a test group of patients across the US. If Argus II proves successful, it could be expected on the market within two years.
The implants are intended to partially restore the eyesight of sufferers of particular forms of blindness caused by diseases, such as macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa, which cause light-processing cells in the back of the eye to gradually die. The new device plants electrodes in the back of the eye where the dead cells were located and, in real-time, the electrodes carry out the function of the light-processing cells. Using a spectacle-mounted camera that feeds visual information to the electrodes, the Argus essentially “[takes] real-time images from a camera and convert[s] them into tiny electrical pulses that jump-start the otherwise blind eye and allows patients to see,” explains Mark Humayun, Professor at the University of Southern California.
Patients who participated in the testing of previous versions of the implant were able to see light and movement and to distinguish shapes. The Argus II implant may be capable of improving the lives of a large portion of the world’s population. Worldwide, about 1.5 million people have retinitis pigmentosa, and one in ten people over the age of 55 have macular degeneration, an age-related affliction.
En Route to Legalizing Early Abortions in Portugal
On February 11th, 59% of Portuguese voters reached the decision that they are in favor of legalizing abortions within the first ten weeks of pregnancy. Now, Portugal may well be on its way to becoming the latest European nation to legalize abortion. This would mark a momentous occasion for the women of Portugal, since the only abortions available in their own country have been of the "backstreet" variety.
Due to low voter turnout, the result of the vote is not legally binding. However, the overwhelming consensus among politicians is that the voters' voices will be heard. Says Luis Marques Mendes, leader of the main opposition group in parliament, the centre-right Social Democratic Party (PSD), "The will of the Portuguese must be respected." Indeed, expectations run high that President Anibal Cavaco Silva will sign into law a bill, which states that abortions within the first ten weeks of pregnancy are legal.
In expectation of the successful ratification of this law, a major abortion clinic of Spain is relocating to Portugal. Also, as is the case in other European nations, including Belgium and Hungary, a stipulation mandating counseling is expected to exist in the final law.
Fitness? That’s Greek To Me
On February 12th, researchers in Britain reported findings that modern mankind – despite advances in diet and training – pales in comparison to the fitness of the ancient Greeks. Harry Rossiter, a physiologist at the University of Leeds and one of the primary researchers, based his findings on a rather unique experiment. He measured the metabolic rates of modern athletes rowing a reconstructed Athenian trireme, a 121 foot-long warship, powered by 170 rowers seated in three tiers. By recording their energy consumption as they powered the vessel at various speeds, Rossiter was able to estimate the athletes’ efficiency. The findings were then compared to classical texts that recorded details of ancient rowers' endurance.
It was concluded that the ancient Greek rowers were highly athletic, even by contemporary standards. “Either ancient Athenians had a more efficient way of rowing the trireme or they would have to be an extremely fit group,” remarked Rossiter. “Our data raise the interesting notion that these ancient athletes were genetically better adapted to endurance exercise than we are today.”
Counterfeit Drugs Exacerbate Malaria Epidemic in Asia
Counterfeiters have moved from paper currency and leather purses to patented drugs, flooding Central and Southeast Asia with useless and often deadly imitations of prescription medications produced by Chinese pharmaceutical giants, such as Guilin Pharma. The most widely reproduced medicines are anti-malarials (specifically artemisinin, the newest and most effective cure for the disease), although the discovery of fake meningitis vaccines, AIDS drugs, and antibiotics has also been reported by the World Health Organization. It has been estimated by the WTO that more than half of the malaria drugs in Southeast Asia are sophisticated, convincingly-packaged fakes, stamped with the holographic logo of Guilin Pharma, and, furthermore, that these fakes are responsible for over 200,000 deaths a year.
Some of the fakes contain only chalk or starch and kill simply as a result of their ineffectiveness. More frighteningly, however, many counterfeits contain drugs seemingly added in order to fool patients into thinking they are being cured. Acetaminophen, chloroquine (an out-of-date and useless anti-malarial), and sulfa drugs, all found in the fakes, are potential allergens and could in some cases cause fatal reactions. Perhaps the worst of the counterfeit medications though, are those that actually do contain a small amount of real artemisinin. These pills contain too little of the drug to cure malaria, but enough to pass the Fast Red dye test widely used for laboratory authentication. Much in the same way that abuse of antibiotics has fostered the development of medication-resistant strains of viral and parasitic illnesses, these small doses of artemisinin could contribute directly to the inadvertent creation of an incurable strain of malaria able to spread from person to person via mosquito.
Vulture Funds Feed Off Nations in Debt
Since 1979, economic justice campaigns, such as Make Poverty History, have tried to help poor nations of the world by pressing for debt relief, canceling a nation’s outstanding debt so they can focus their efforts on providing services to improve the lives of their citizens. A recent decision by a British court has just set that movement back decades, making all the progress up to now in vain by awarding a company that bought Zambia’s national debt for three million dollars, then took the country to court and forced them to pay their original debt plus interest, an amount totaling $20 million. The company, Donegal International, is known as a vulture fund, one of many companies that profit by buying up the canceled debts of poor nations, then taking them to court and forcing them to pay their original debt plus interest. In this way, vulture funds garner themselves profits up to ten times their original investment and prevent nations from benefiting from years of debt relief efforts by using the funds to solve education, healthcare and public works problems.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
"Toward which area, program, or innovation do you think increased funding for education should go?"
I think that more funding should be allotted to the Modern Literature and Language department. The reason being that there is a shortage of language professors to teach more language courses. Unfortunately, many higher level language courses are now being offered in English, which allows for non-majors to take courses that only language majors should be allowed to take. If there were more funding for this department, more professors could be hired, hence, more higher level language courses could be offered to majors who have spent their college careers sharpening their language skills.
The Theatre Dept's design programs need more money. We have no storage space, only about $150 per show to costume, and very little help. We are an often overlooked program; most people don't even know we exist. But it is an excellent program providing hands on experience for design students, and we cannot continue to grow without a little help!
Teachers should be paid fairly. Everything starts from parents or teachers.
-Jeffrey Severe, student government
Guaranteeing every high school student adequate test preparation for standardized exams, so that everyone can be on the same playing field when it comes to those tests. Make it mandatory during junior and senior year, for the ACT and SAT, depending on the region.
-David Jochnowitz, student government
Sports. If the sports programs are better, kids will want to come to the school more. You do have to have a high GPA to play, and coaches help students stay on point.
-Britney, Freshman Childhood education major
Dorms. It would broaden the environment and diversity of people here, and it helps with sports.
-Hakeeb and Ife
I think there should be an increase in interdiscipilinary studies so as to broaden the varied interests of the students.
-Yecheskel Schneider, Senior Biology Major
The chemistry labs need to be revamped; the vacuums don't work, and the countertops are disgustingly dirty.
-Krishna Sury, Sophomore Creative Writing Major
Monday, February 12, 2007
Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892 - 1950)
The poem below is one of many other brilliant pieces St. Millay produced over her lifetime. I love this poem for its rebellious tone – the narrator’s strength of character shines through with every line. As a woman, I have been on the receiving end of patronizing comments intended to make me feel less scholarly because of my gender, and I can therefore easily imagine what word the narrator was so offended by. The last line of this poem has always intrigued me, because I see two ways to interpret it. Certainly it is possible that the narrator intends to someday walk out on her condescending man. However, the idea of telling him to whistle for her brings to mind whistling to call a dog to your side. The narrator asserts that his belittling comments have wounded her to the extent that she will actively hide her intelligence from him. If she does that, he will come to see her not as a person in her own right, but as nothing more than a pet dog, a creature cared for and adored, but not respected as an equal. Edna St. Millay is an amazing, prolific poet – I encourage everyone to read more of her works.
Oh, Oh You Will Be Sorry For That Word
by Edna St. Millay
Oh, oh, you will be sorry for that word!
Give me back my book and take my kiss instead.
Was it my enemy or my friend I heard,
"What a big book for such a little head!"
Come, I will show you now my newest hat,
And you may watch me purse my mouth and prink!
Oh, I shall love you still, and all of that.
I never again shall tell you what I think.
I shall be sweet and crafty, soft and sly;
You will not catch me reading any more:
I shall be called a wife to pattern by;
And some day when you knock and push the door,
Some sane day, not too bright and not too stormy,
I shall be gone, and you may whistle for me.
Source: American Poems
Doomsday Seed Vault on the Way
About to be built 364 ft. into the mountain on Spitsbergen, an island near the North Pole, the Svalbard International Seed Vault is destined to preserve the biodiversity of Earth’s food crops in case of a global catastrophe. The Norwegian government is covering the $5 million in construction costs of the vault, and the Global Crop Diversity Trust will oversee the collection and maintenance of the three million seed samples to be stored.
Svalbard, composed of four islands one of which is Spitsbergen, is located 621 miles north of mainland Norway and constitutes the ideal location for the project. Scientists have “looked very far into the future” in determining the radiation levels and taking into consideration the high water level that may result from climate change, and concluded the island’s stability. In addition, should technology fail, “the surrounding permafrost would continue to provide natural refrigeration.”
The “living Fort Knox,” as the vault is sometimes referred to, is a back-up storage area for a whole network of seed banks scattered worldwide. In case that any one of them should fail, as happened with the Philippines when a typhoon struck in September, the vault will replenish their reserves.
Construction of the vault is scheduled for March; the vault could open as early as 2008. The seed collection is expected to fare on its own with virtually no human intervention. As one of the scientists explained, “Somebody will go up there once every year to physically check inside to see that everything is OK, but there will be no full-time staff. If you design a facility to be used in worst-case scenarios, then you cannot actually have too much dependency on human beings.”
Source: BBC News
Conference to End Underage Soldier Practice
A recent conference hosted by the Government of France and UNICEF was held as a result of the recruitment of children into armed combat in areas plagued by civil strife. The conference convened in Paris on February 5, 2007, attended by participants from countries impacted by children in armed conflict and from donor countries.
Children in these conflict countries have been used as combatants, messengers, spies, porters, and cooks; girls have been forced to engage in sexual activity. Although there have been UN resolutions and international legal standards to deal with this problem over the last ten years, remaining gaps have yet to be addressed. It is imperative for the global community to come together to ensure the protection of these children and to guarantee the protection of children’s rights.
Security vs. Humanitarian Concerns in Pakistan
Pakistan is planning to close four Afghan refugee camps as part of a project to repatriate the more than two million Afghans currently living there. This plan would cause some 300,000 people to find a new place to live and work, either in Afghanistan or in other refugee camps. Assistance for relocating is promised to the refugees, but many do not want to go back to their homeland, where they have nothing to support them. Pakistan insists on the urgency of the Afghan repatriation project because of security concerns, especially as Afghan and Western officials accuse Pakistan of harboring Taliban insurgents in the camps. The Pakistani government agrees that the camps do provide a sanctuary and should be removed. However, the United Nations refugee agency, which also took part in this decision along with representatives from Afghanistan, stresses that humanitarian needs must be recognized.
Source: BBC News
Sound Therapy: Reinventing the Old
Most of us know what it's like to come home from a long day, turn on a
favorite song or album, and feel a sense of relief and refreshment.
But can sound literally heal the physical body through vibration?
Although sound therapy has not yet been scientifically proven, sound
healers say yes, that sound can have physiological effects, because
vibrations are not only heard but also felt. While Sound Healing may
sound like a new phenomenon, it has been used in ancient cultural
practices, which have included chants and singing bowls to restore
health and relieve pain. According to the sounders, vibrations can
lower heart rate variability, relax the brain, and reduce respiratory
rates. Vibrations above the range of human hearing, like ultrasound,
have been used therapeutically when the body is out of sync. Sound
healing may be more relaxing than other kinds of medicine, but may not
necessarily be used to replace science. Dr. Gaynor considers sound
healing not as an alternative to science, but a compliment to it.
Music and relaxing sounds reduce stress, and when stress is reduced,
the body is happier and healthier.
Source: The New York Times
5 Out of 5 Doctors Can't Tell You What They Think
On February 7, 2007 Australia announced that it intends to amend the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code to ban health professionals – including doctors and pharmacists – from appearing in advertisements for therapeutic products, specifically over-the-counter medicines. In 2005, the Australian government granted health professionals permission to endorse non-prescription medicines and medical devices. Assistant Health Minister Christopher Pyne has remarked, “I, along with many health and consumer organizations, including the AMA (Australian Medical Association), believe that it is entirely inappropriate for healthcare professionals to be lending their support to health products… [for] this could lead to consumers thinking these products are superior to similar medicines on the market." Furthermore, it could potentially lead to over consumption of unnecessary medical products or consumers choosing an endorsed product over a more effective one. The AMA said it was pleased to see action taken to rectify the concern it has expressed about using health professionals for endorsements. As a whole, Australia’s doctor body appears to have welcomed the move.
Source: The Herald Sun
Monday, February 05, 2007
Welcome to this Semester's Boylan Blog! We hope your winter break was restful, eventful and enjoyable. Here are some of the events coming up this month:
The English Majors' Zine will be accepting submissions for its annual publication until March 1, 2007. Submissions must be sent to email@example.com, and a hard copy should be brought to room 3416 Boylan Hall.
February 20, 2007 is the deadline for submission for the annual English Department's Contests and Awards.
This week Yecheskel S. Schneider and Maria Rubio asked BC students the following question:
What was your New Year's Resolutions for 2007?
"I don't make New year's Resolutions. I have never kept any that I've
made, and they just remind me of what I want but will never get."
"To lose weight of course...just kidding. This year I want to make more
friends. I'm so sick of sitting in a classroom all by myself. I have
been in college for over a year, and I have not made even a single
real college friend."
"Last semester was a disaster. I did not do good because of some
personal things and I have to pick up my GPA for FAFSA, I think, or
I'll lose my financial assistance. This isn't a New Year's resolution
so much, but I have to clean up my act pretty quickly."
My new year's resolution is to not drink alcohol for one year and one
day. So far, so good. Except this one day when I THOUGHT the bartender
served me a non-alcoholic beer. What a jerk.
- Erica Berger, BC Student
Mine is to take better care of myself emotionally and physically. And
to speak up more often.
- Lande Yoosuf, BC Student
Read more, go outside and see more shows/events/concerts/performances.
oh, and I tried to wean myself off of the internet, but that failed after
an hour and a half of sitting on my living room couch staring at a wall.
- Jessica Song, BC Student
This year, I stayed away from the whole New Year resolution bit because
I never follow through. But then again, I inadvertently (this that how
you spell it?) Made one when I told myself to stop being so damn uptight
and have fun again starting this year - although this whole "act my age"
idea came on my birthday, three weeks after New Years happened.
- Annamarya Scaccia, BC Student
I'm trying to be able to have a conversation in Spanish by the end of
the year, but I hate calling it a resolution because that just brings too
much baggage. I'm doing it for love and for myself.
- Leah Golubchick, BC Student
lol. to get married before I turn 23. just 11 or so more months to go.
- Elisheva Rison, BC graduate
What draws me to this poem is how Hughes does not specify which kinds of dreams or dreamers. Without specification, the piece can relate to anyone anywhere. Hughes may not be specific in what kinds of dreams, because he is calling all the dreamers, but does specify how he would keep their dreams safe. The 'blue cloud cloth' detail enlivens the concise poem.
The Dream Keeper
Bring me all of your dreams,
Bring me all your heart melodies,
that I may wrap them in a blue cloud cloth,
Away from the too rough fingers of the world
Langston Hughes published more than three dozen books during his life, starting out with poetry and then expanding into novels, short stories, and plays. He is closely associated with the Harlem Renaissance, the flowering of African-American literature and music in New York City following World War One, but he wrote poetry, books, and
newspaper columns right through into the 1960s. Hughes's work often spoke plainly about the lives of ordinary black people, which in later years earned him a reputation as one of the major black voices of the 1900s. His works include the poetry volumes The Weary Blues (1926) and Shakespeare in Harlem (1942), the novel Not Without Laughter (1930), and the short story collection The Ways of White Folks(1934). He wrote two personal memoirs: The Big Sea (1940) and I Wonder as I Wander (1956).
An L.A. times investigation has found that companies the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has investments in are directly linked to diseases the foundation is trying to fight, particularly diseases affecting Africa. While the Gates foundation sponsors polio vaccination drives in Ebocha, Africa, the petroleum company Eni, with investments from the foundation, spews tons of toxic chemicals from burning natural gas into the air near the very same villages where the drives take place. All over the Niger Delta, similar practices occur nearly daily. The region is experiencing an explosion in cases of asthma and bronchitis in children and adults alike. While devoting $218 million to fighting polio and measles, the Gates foundation also invested $403 million into oil companies responsible for polluting Africa, causing many of the diseases the foundation seeks to combat.
The Gates couple does not handle the investing of endowments; that is the responsibility of investment managers at Bill Gates Investments, who are not given any specific instruction on where to invest the money. The Times found that the Gates foundation has holdings in many of the worst polluting companies in the world, as well as pharmaceutical companies whose drug prices leave the poor without access.
The L.A. Times
First Arab Nominated for Holocaust Award
Recently, Khaled Abdelwahhab, who died in 1997, was nominated for recognition as “Righteous Among the Nations,” an honor awarded to non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews from Nazi persecution. During World War II, Abdelwahhab, who is from Tunisia, hid a group of Jews on his farm, saving them from Nazi troops occupying North Africa. The Nazis imposed anti-Semitic policies in Tunisia while they occupied the country, and sent more than 5,000 Jews to forced labor camps. When Abdelwahhab heard that German officers intended to rape Odette Boukris, a local Jewish woman, he gathered her family and other Jewish families – approximately two dozen people in total – and hid them in his farm for four months.
The nomination still has to be approved by the granting commission of the Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Memorial. Since its creation, Yad Vashem has conferred the status on 21,700 people, including some 60 Muslims from the Balkans, but has never yet nominated an Arab. Abdelwahhab received the nomination from Robert Satloff, director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Following the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks, Satloff traveled to Morocco to research what happened during the Nazi genocide in hopes of countering Holocaust denial in the Arab world and lessening some of the negative sentiments he believed indirectly paved the way for the attacks. “I asked, did any Arabs save Jews in the Holocaust?” Satloff said. “If they did, these are stories about which Arabs could be proud. It would also entail accepting the context, because it would mean there was something to save Jews from.”
Sign on Sandiego
First Foreign Female Force to Keep Peace in Liberia
As part of the United Nations’ peacekeeping force in Liberia, India has sent 100 policewomen there, making it the first female contingent. Women peacekeepers may make it easier for women and children to approach them, as civil conflicts continue. Last year, male officers were accused of trading food for sex, and the UN responded by instituting stronger policies against sexual exploitation. This female force will be better armed than regular units and will support UN police activities by protecting UN officials, controlling crowds, and training local police officers.
Liberia has been unstable since its foundation in 1847, when American slaves were transported there to live in freedom. The immigrants fell sick with malaria and yellow fever, soon confronted attacks from locals, and were forced to labor on rubber plantations. Corrupt, repressive regimes plunged the country into more conflicts with its neighbors, including the Ivory Coast, and tribal hostilities. A brutal civil war has raged from 1989-2003, leaving some 200,000 people dead, 1.5 million people homeless, and the country’s infrastructure broken. In 2003, peace-keeping forces from Nigeria and the UN arrived.
- Maryana Isakova
Source: The Guardian
Women Rising In South American Politics
Defying clichés and stereotypes, women are filling one-third of the primary defense posts in South America. The wave of women in top political offices has been an obvious indicator of the changes of attitude in South America. Not only is support for women leaders evident, but the fact that most of these women come from decidedly leftist political backgrounds echoes the revolutionary intentions of South Americans and their leaders.
Michelle Bachelet, a socialist and single mother of three children, was voted president of Chile. In Argentina, there is a female minister of defense as well as a female minister of finance, both of whom are from the radical party: Nilda Garre and Felisa Miceli. Ecuador’s government has the prestige of boasting a 17-seat cabinet, and seven of those seats are currently occupied by women. These women are bold and demand respect for the duties they fulfill.
- Maria Rubio
Source: The International Herald Tribune
Sex Trafficking and Exploitation in the UK
The UK Joint Committee on Human Rights is petitioning for more protection and support for victims of sexual exploitation, to which the Home Office has agreed to give consideration. According to unpublished statistics, in 2003 alone there were 4,000 female victims of sex trafficking. Chairman of the Joint Committee Andrew Dismore said, “The growth and extent of people trafficking into the UK is extremely worrying…. We should recognize women trafficked for prostitution…as victims of this serious crime….”
The government is moving towards setting up a national identification system to improve training in the identification of victims. One of the issues the government is facing has to do with immigration: many of the victims of sex trafficking are brought into the UK, where they often cannot properly speak the language and therefore suffer a social handicap that keeps them from moving freely in society and devising a means of escape. Alarmingly, sometimes victims of sexual trafficking are seen as immigration offenders when they were in truth brought into the UK against their will.
- Krishna Sury
Source: The BBC
We are pleased to remind you once again about the annual English Department's Contests and Awards. Please keep in mind that the deadline for submitting your much-coveted written works is February 20, 2007 (Tuesday). Best of luck!
The contests that require students to submit writing for 2006-2007 awards are due by February 20, 2007 (Tuesday). The essay-writing contests will be held in the second or third week of February, 2007. Consult the rules and guidelines for any prize you wish to enter. A booklet containing all the information about the 2006-2007 awards cycle can be obtained from the English Department, Room 2308 (Boylan).
The BEATRICE DUBIN ROSE award (to poets with merit as agreed upon by the department).
The BERNARD GREBANIER award for a sonnet written to the Italian (Petrarchan) or English (Shakespearean) pattern.
The ENGLISH AWARD IN POETRY EXEGESIS (for the best explication of a selected poem in a contest conducted by the English Department).
The DOROTHY JERVIS Award for Science Writing (awarded to undergraduate students who have submitted the best essay on a
scientific subject written in language accessible to the lay reader).
The BERTHA & PHILIP GOODMAN award (to the three undergraduate students who write the best short stories in a contest conducted by the English department).
The GOODMAN SHORT STORY AWARD (first, second, and third prizes).
The LAINOFF PRIZE (to a second-year fiction student in the MFA program. Students must submit a short story or chapter from a novel, not more than 25pages in length).
The LOUIS GOODMAN prize for a "woman-centered" work, 10-15 pages in length. GRADUATES AND UNDERGRADUATES may apply.
The JACOBSON Award in Expository Prose (to a student enrolled in English 1 or 2 who writes the best expository prose essay in a contest conducted by the English Department).
The OTTILIE GREBANIER Award for a one-act play.
The SAM CASTAN Award, for graduating seniors only, based on material that has appeared in BC publications.
The SHAKESPEARE contest with money donated by RANDOLPH GOODMAN. Students competing for this award will meet to write an essay or essays, on assigned topics. Details to be obtained from the English Department office.