Contact by email:
(or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Letters to the Editor
Click on the above link to let us know what you think or send email to email@example.com)!
The Lunch colloquium on May 18 will feature Mort Waitzman and is dedicated to all Emory veterans. Click on the link below to register:
Contact Other Members
Find other members to get together for shared interests, whether it is forming a book club or a photography club, or getting together to take a hike. Send email to the following link to contact member who would like the same activity!
If you would like to
find out about a travel destination or find other EUEC members who would like to travel with you, send an email to:
If you would like to find other EUEC members interested in taking a MOOC together, an OLLI course together, or possibly teaching together in an OLLI course, click on the following link to send an email:
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This issue of our newsletter is sent to members and friends of the Emory University Emeritus College (EUEC). I hope the newsletter will help keep you informed about our activities and help you feel connected with our members throughout the U.S. On the left are links to our website and links to contact either me or the EUEC office.
With best wishes,
Gray F. Crouse
Message from the Director
Today is Commencement which in some way marks the end of another academic year, although EUEC activities will continue through the summer. EUEC faculty are invited to participate in Commencement, so I hope to see some of you today.
It seems like so many of our Lunch Colloquiums have been special. The one next Monday will certainly be among those. EUEC member Mort Waitzman will talk about his experiences in World War II, and given the proximity to Memorial Day, we will take that opportunity to remember all Emory veterans of wars. You can read a brief summary of some of Mort's experiences in this newsletter, but if you possibly can, you will want to experience the real thing next Monday!
In this issue there is also a report on our Shakespeare excursion and Lunch Colloquium. It was nice to be able to see the play together, but it is certainly possible to go to the Shakespeare Tavern on one's own. What is not possible is to experience a Lunch Colloquium with fellow members and discuss the play with Shylock. I found that experience an incredibly meaningful opportunity, particularly given the problematical nature of The Merchant of Venice. Having any of the cast, or the director, at the Lunch Colloquium would have been good, but to have Doug Kaye, who played Shylock and has been a professional actor for 50 years, talk about his understanding of the play, and particularly his approach to playing Shylock, represents the very best of EUEC.
I hope you will take the time to read through the rest of this issue. Don't miss the link that will take you to the video of Brenda Bynum's Sheth Lecture!
I am very grateful to Herb Benario, Gretchen Schulz, and John Bugge for help with proofing and editing.
May 18 Lunch Colloquium
Waitzman as Witness to the Horrors of War: D-Day and Beyond
The Luce Center, Room 130, 11:30-1:00
For this Lunch Colloquium, we hear from EUEC member Mort Waitzman about his experiences in World War II and dedicate this program to all of the Emory veterans of that war, or any of the wars since, turning this Lunch Colloquium into our very own version of a Memorial Day.
Shakespeare May 3 and 4
On May 3, over 20 of us went to the Shakespeare Tavern to see The Merchant of Venice
The next day, on Monday, May 4, our Lunch Colloquium was a discussion of the play. We were extremely fortunate to have with us Doug Kaye, who played Shylock.
Emory is instituting a new policy on passwords. Below, read about this policy, why it is being instituted, and a few steps you can take to increase your computer security.
April 8, 2015 Sheth Distinguished Lecture on Creativity in Later Life
Now available on video!
Brenda Bynum gave this year's Sheth Lecture and to no one's surprise it was terrific. The video of this Lecture is now available, and if you missed it, you can click on the link and see it.
Faculty GovernanceJim Keller is the voting representative of EUEC to both the Faculty Council and University Senate. You can read short summaries of the latest meetings of each by clicking Council Concerns and Senate Summary. Of particular note from the Faculty Council
is the approval of a motion to revise the faculty handbook to provide a list of principles of faculty governance. A task force of the Faculty Council worked on that list. The task force included John Bugge, Chair of the EUEC Executive Committee, and he presented the list to the Council.
EUEC Member Lee Pederson
passed away May 6, 2015.
Bianchi Excellence Awards
The Bianchi Excellence Awards represent a wonderful opportunity to receive financial support for ongoing intellectual activities. The deadline for applications is May 15.
Faculty ClubMike Kutner has been working tirelessly to build support on campus for establishing a faculty club. He welcomes all EUEC members in this effort.
Emory Caregiver Support Program
Emory now has a full-time work-life specialist who is here to provide free of charge faculty and staff guidance in navigating the care of an adult, whether it be for yourself or someone in your family. Mary Ellen Nessmith can be reached at the number on the Caregiver Support flyer. I have not yet met Mary Ellen, but she came to Steve Nowicki's Retirement Seminar that EUEC sponsored (and had great things to say about it) so I know she is interested in working with EUEC members.
Master of Religion and Public Life
Candler School of Theology is beginning a new master's degree program and wanted to inform EUEC of the program:Explore the dynamics of faith in the public sphere in Candler School of Theology's new Master of Religion and Public Life. The MRPL is a 30 credit-hour, residential program, with the flexibility to choose courses based on your interests. Apply by July 15. Learn more.
May 18: Waitzman as Witness to the Horrors of War: D-Day and Beyond
|Waitzman at Fort McPherson|
Lunch Colloquium, Monday May 18, 11:30-1:00
Like so many in the diminishing numbers of those who witnessed the horrors of World War II, Mort Waitzman was reluctant to speak about what he had experienced until just a few years ago when he learned about Holocaust deniers. Since then, he has begun to share his story, as he did recently at The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum in Atlanta and as he will do again with his Emeritus College colleagues in this program we are dedicating to all of the Emory veterans of that war or any of the wars since. Mort will tell us of his "scariest experience," landing on Omaha beach, his involvement in the battle that liberated Saint-Lô and then in the liberation of Paris, his participation (and wounding) in the Battle of the Bulge, his presence at the seizure of Goebbels' headquarters (and at a Seder held later in that very place), and his role freeing those still alive in numerous labor camps and concentration camps (and mourning those they were just too late to save, as Nazis killed thousands in the course of their retreat). As Elie Wiesel has said, "To hear a witness is to become a witness oneself." Mort's story will help us do that, turning this Lunch Colloquium into our very own version of a Memorial Day.
More about Mort and his experiences:
(From a talk he gave in 2011):
Mort was born in Chicago in 1923, the youngest of seven children. His father was from Latvia and his mother Lithuania.
Although he was still in school when WW II began, he enlisted in the U.S. Army in January 1943, joining three of his brothers who had already enlisted.
Mort was highly trained in combat signals intelligence and secret codes. He wanted to fight the Nazis and even turned down a chance to go to Officers Candidate School after his first year of Signals School. He became a proud member of the 115th Regiment of the 29th Infantry Division (Light) and landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day. Mort reminded us how fast the 115th moved inland, engaging the Germans at Saint-Lô a few weeks after D-Day and being bombed and strafed almost every day on their way inland.
Mort had been in almost constant communication with the French Underground before departing England for D-Day, and because of his connections with them he was transferred to Paris after liberating St. Lo, where he took part in the liberation of that city on August 25th. In his absence, the 115th took part in the Battle for Brest in October 1944, one of the fiercest battles fought during Operation Cobra, the Allied breakout of Normandy that began on 27 July 1944.
Mort was sent back into combat in October 1944 and rejoined the 115th to fight in the Netherlands near Maastricht. That December he fought in the Battle of the Bulge, receiving a Bronze Star for valor after being wounded by a mortar capturing the City of Julich. Shortly after he recovered, he rejoined the 115th and took part in the capture of München-Gladbach (present-day Mönchengladbach), HQ of the Nazi Propaganda Minister Paul Josef Goebbels, and at this time also liberating the forced labor camp of Dinslaken. The 115th then went on to capture the infamous camp of Dora-Mittelbau, near Nordhausen, in April 1945, where the Germans were launching their V-I and V-II rockets against London.
Mort is emeritus professor of ophthalmology and physiology at Emory and is a founding member of EUEC. He recorded a Living History video for EUEC, and that video may be seen by clicking here. In addition to his Bronze Star, he was also awarded the Medal of Jubilee and a certificate of thanks from the state of Illinois for his participation in World War II; he was recently inducted into the French Legion of Honor.
Click here to register for the Lunch Colloquium
Shakespeare Tavern and Lunch Colloquium
The Merchant of Venice
For several years now, EUEC member Gretchen Schulz, Professor of English Emerita from the Oxford College campus of the University, has organized opportunities for other emeriti (and their family and friends) to join her in viewing a production by the Atlanta Shakespeare Company, a fine group of theater professionals whom she served as Board member (and sometime Board chair) for many years and still serves as Resident Scholar and educational advisor. Last year, when a very grand total of forty one signed on to see a production of Antony and Cleopatra, consensus on the pleasure of the experience was accompanied by consensus on a complaint--namely, that there had been no arrangement made for follow-up discussion of any kind.
This year, therefore, Gretchen combined plans for a trip to the Shakespeare Tavern to see The Merchant of Venice, on Sunday evening, May 3, with plans for a discussion of the play at the Lunch Colloquium on Monday, May 4, both experiences she hoped to enhance by making copies of her Study Guide material on the play available to all. Given that the play has probably provoked more discussion--more really heated discussion--than any other Shakespeare play, she hoped enrollment for this pair of events would be high. And she hoped it would be higher still when she was able to announce that Doug Kaye, the actor playing Shylock, "the Jew" determined to claim a pound of flesh from the merchant of the title, "the Jew" finally savaged by the Christians of the play, not least in his forced conversion to Christianity, would be joining us for our discussion.
In fact, however, only twenty one EUEC members enrolled to see the play, and only fifteen enrolled to discuss the play at the Lunch Colloquium--reminding Gretchen that not everyone is up for entertainment that is at least as disturbing as it is entertaining. After all, there's no doubt that this play is disturbing--indeed, DISTURBING, with a capital D and a capital everything else. It's no wonder Gretchen entitled the Colloquium "The Merchant of Venice: Shakespeare's Unfunniest Comedy." Just how funny can a play be in which the titular character boasts about spitting on a "Jew" and kicking him, too, while his fellow Christians look on approvingly? How funny is a play in which the heroine, the clever girl-dressed-as-a-boy so common in romantic comedy, delivers a moving speech about "the quality of mercy" just before she insists the same "Jew" fall to his knees to beg mercy from the Christian court where he has sought for nothing but justice?
Yes, on the night we attended the performance, there was agreement that the play was very well done. But there was also agreement that the viewing experience was a difficult one. Even Gretchen, who has seen the play and experienced its difficulties often, could be heard muttering "no, no, no" when one of the bit players delivered his description of Shylock's distress at the loss of his daughter (and his ducats) in a nasty imitation of the quintessential "New York Jew." And John Bugge spent much of the intermission telling everyone who would listen just how "uncomfortable" he was--this even before the particularly discomfiting responses always elicited by the infamous trial scene. Of course, it may well be that Shakespeare penned the play with every intention of discomfiting his audience, and that those who perform it best perform it to do just that, or so Gretchen argues in her Study Guide material, insisting, as others have done before her, that Shakespeare's greatness in this play, indeed, in them all, resides in his refusal to write to please, period--to give us nothing but what we like or what we will. At the end of the evening, we took our disgruntled selves home, wondering how the discussion at the Lunch Colloquium the next day would go.
Well, it went wonderfully well, partly because our disgruntlement (and attendant confusions--also appropriate to the play) gave us so very much to talk about, and partly because the small number in attendance let us sit around a square of tables, facing one another, in a set up that allowed the talk to flow as freely as Gretchen had hoped it would. And then there was the fact we had Doug Kaye, the Shylock of this production, right there with us, ready to share a lifetime of experience with and insight into Shakespeare's plays and into this play in particular, a play he's performed in many times, enacting many roles before finally tackling Shylock himself, just a few years ago, in the first of now three productions at the Tavern. Doug opened the session with a brief review of his history in the theater generally speaking (beginning with roles in New York in the 60s)--and his history with the Atlanta Shakespeare Company itself (beginning in the mid-80s when the Company was still performing at Manuel's Tavern)--as Gretchen had asked him to do.
And then the questions began . . . almost all related to the issues so central to interpretation of the play, what we're meant to make of Shylock--and of the Christians' treatment of Shylock--and of the play's treatment of Shylock. Inquiring minds (and perplexed hearts) wanted to know: IS THE PLAY ANTI-SEMITIC? Or, as Gretchen had suggested in her Study Guide material: IS THE PLAY ANTI-ANTI-SEMITIC? Has Shakespeare here transcended the anti-Semitism that certainly characterized his time, inviting us to indict the Christians of the play for being UN-Christian in abusing Shylock-the-Jew as they do (and glory in doing), prattling of "mercy" the while? Not that Shylock's behavior isn't awful, as well. But Doug explained that he sees and plays Shylock as a man--not a monster, not a martyr, even a tragic hero, the extremes of the ways he has been seen and played down through the centuries--but as a whole and credibly human being, flawed as we all are, sympathetic, in some ways, decidedly unsympathetic in others. And deserving of mercy from us in the audience--mercy such as he does NOT receive from the supposedly merciful Christians within the world of the play. That's one viable view of the characters and the play, certainly. But it's only one of many viable views.
Of course, as critic Norrie Epstein has said (and as Gretchen has reported in her Study Guide material), "What else is new? . . . In its infinite ambiguity, [the play] is quintessential Shakespeare. No sooner have you reached one conclusion about the play than it's immediately contradicted in the next scene--or line." And what might the "right" conclusion be? Well, that is a riddle many have tried to solve, much like the riddle of the three caskets in the play. And Epstein isn't the only one to make this connection. Remember, she says, in the play "the [suitor's] choice [among the caskets of gold, silver, and lead] is a test that reveals the character of the chooser and not just the contents of the casket. The play sets up a similar test with its audience . . . . Shakespeare offers at least two views of every character and situation, confronting us with a variety of possible interpretations. The play supports almost any reading you care to give it, and, like the caskets, the one you choose reveals more about you than about the play." Maybe that is why so many find the play uncomfortable to deal with--so much so that they opt to avoid dealing with it altogether. But let it be said, those of us who did deal with it last week, seeing it at the Tavern and discussing it in our Lunch Colloquium (with our very own Shylock) emerged from the challenging experience much enlightened--and at least as entertained as DISTURBED (with a capital D and a capital everything else, too).
Typical of the comments from EUEC members who participated in the Lunch Colloquium were those of John Bugge:
"It was a rare privilege to experience the play [The Merchant of Venice] once again on 'the morning after,' but this time from the perspective of its main character in the person of the extremely accomplished Atlanta actor who plays Shylock in the Shakespeare Tavern production, Doug Kaye. Kaye was both genial and graciously forthcoming about his own complicated view of the role; he insisted that he tries to play the multifaceted 'whole man' that he feels Shakespeare was intent on creating, not the stereotypical Jewish villain seen in the plays of some of his contemporaries."
"The relatively small number in attendance got the benefit of an intimate, seminar-like discussion in which questions and comments flowed back and forth in what seemed much more like a good conversation than a 'presentation.'"
Computer Security, contd. Emory's new password policy
You are almost certainly aware of the increasing vulnerability all of us have to computer hacking and loss of personal information that is stored online. No matter how careful we might be, we have little control over our information that is stored by other companies and organizations that have our personal information online. No organization is immune from such attacks, and the larger the organization, the more tempting the target. Universities in particular are a target because many university employees and students tend to be rather lax about issues of security and can unwittingly create holes in university systems. Emory is a very big target and faces unrelenting cyber attacks, many from very sophisticated criminals and hackers. As one way of increasing its overall security, Emory is going to start requiring everyone to change their password once a year.
Note that even if you don't use your Emory email account, you will still need your EmoryID and password to use any Emory library resources and to be able to access any of your personal information in the HR database.
New Password Policy
Not only does everyone have to change their password yearly, but there are certain constraints on the password: it has to be at least 9 characters long and contain at least two alphabetic characters and 2 non-alphabetic characters and it can't be a password you have used previously at Emory. There are a few other limitations as well. The full policy can be read by clicking here
Hints on choosing a new password
Even people who don't have a lot of online activity can end up with a number of websites that require a username and password. Those sites will usually require a complex password (NOT
12345 for example) and it gets to be a hassle to remember all of the passwords. Writing them down on a slip of paper works, at least until you lose the slip of paper, or need it when you are not home, or (hopefully never) it is stolen. One temptation is to make up a really "good" password, and then use it for every website. That is a bad
idea. If your password is ever stolen from any website by a cyber criminal, you are vulnerable at every other website, as cyber criminals are very aware that many people tend to use the same password everywhere.
Unfortunately, there is no really good solution to this problem. The best alternative is to use a program that will manage all of your passwords. Those programs will keep your passwords secure and will also generate new passwords whenever you need one. You do
have to remember the password that locks your password manager, and initially setting up the password manager can be a bit complex. (If you have a 12-year-old grandchild or neighbor, they could help you do it.) There are several good and free programs. I use LastPass (https://lastpass.com/
) and now couldn't function without it.
Responding to Emory emails, but avoiding Phishing Attempts
Those of us who are aware of how prevalent cyber hacking attempts are, and how phishing attempts are getting more sophisticated, are understandably wary of clicking any
links in email or even in newsletters!
I get attempts at least weekly to compromise my Emory email account. For example:
This is not a very sophisticated attempt. I certainly don't
" to update! The Emory document
I referred to earlier shows what their reminder emails will look like. Most phishing attempts will not look anything like the real Emory email. It is not inconceivable that a very sophisticated attempt could be made that would imitate the real Emory email. The important thing for you to be careful about is not what the link you click on says it is, but where it actually takes you.
Here is a (safe) example of how you can be fooled by a link. You can find out more about your security by clicking on this link: SecureLife@emory.edu
. If you tried out that link, you found that it took you to a good place, but not where you thought you were going! To be sure you are where you think you are, you need to check out the URL of the website where you landed. For most phishing attempts, the website itself might look somewhat legitimate, but the URL would be something totally different. A more sophisticated attempt might take you to a URL such as SecureLife@emori.edu. Unless you looked very closely, you would not realize you were not at a legitimate emory.edu URL.
One way to increase your safely is to type in the URL yourself, rather than relying on a clickable link. To change your password for example, you would open a web page and type in the URL: it.emory.edu/password.
A note about links in these newsletters: The links in these newsletters are safe--they take you to the files or websites that they are supposed to. It is possible for any website, even the Emory homepage website, to be hacked, so you do need to be cautious on any web page.
Bianchi Excellence Award
It is time for applications for the third annual Bianchi Excellence Award. The award, named in honor of the founder of the Emeritus College, Eugene Bianchi, Professor Emeritus of Religion, is funded largely by his own very generous bequest to Emory, as well as by contributions from many of his retired colleagues.
The Award is meant to advance the interests of the Emeritus College by providing its membership with financial support for ongoing intellectual activities by means of small, strategic grants to cover expenses incurred in pursuit of a broad range of activities, including, among others, research and writing, lecturing, training, development of teaching materials, and presentations at academic conferences. The Award will foster continuing professional development and thus play a significant role in building a vibrant emeritus community at Emory.
In the past two years the Bianchi Excellence Fund was able to support at least two Awards each year in amounts ranging up to a maximum of $2000 for a twelve-month term starting September 1st - the start of the normal academic and fiscal year.
The application process is open to all retired members of the EUEC and applications must be received by May 15, 2015.
Click here to read about how to apply.
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Lee Pederson Walter Kalaidjian, Professor and Chair, Department of English sent the following to the English Department:
Thursday, May 7, 2015
Dear English Department,
Sadly, today we mark the passing of our former colleague and friend, Lee Pederson, the Charles Howard Candler Professor of English. We remember Lee as a wonderful and wonderfully learned member of the English department. Before the Internet, I remember the third floor of N Callaway as a forum for Lee's daily discussions of Shakespeare with Bill Gruber and Lee's endless explorations of the nuances of Southern dialect. He was an exemplary citizen of the Emory and Atlanta communities.
Lee received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1964 and came to the English faculty in 1966; he became full professor in 1971. He taught courses on the English language, the American language, Southern language and culture, the structure of modern English, introductory linguistics, American dialects, Old English, Middle English, early modern English, literary style and stylistics, Shakespeare, Shakespeare's language, and introduction to literature.
He worked as an American dialect consultant to the British/American Bloomsbury Dictionary. His Linguistic Atlas of the Gulf States, a seven-volume work that draws from 5,200 hours of tape-recorded interviews between 1968 and 1980, offers a survey of regional and social dialects in eight Southern states. He received funding for a dozen years from the National Endowment for the Humanities for his work on that atlas. He published The Pronunciation of English in Metropolitan Chicago (1966) and East Tennessee Folk Speech (1983) and two essays in The American Heritage Dictionary (1992) and The Cambridge History of the English Language as well as A Manual for Dialect Research in the Southern States.
Lee will be sorely missed by us all.
Lee is survived by his daughter Nora (82C), Paul Sites, his son Thomas and his wife Mukang, and his grandsons Nicholas Sites and Thomas Sites. Lee's family is grateful to the Emory Clinic and the Emory University community for their care and support.
Donations in his memory may be made to:
St Rita of Cascia High School
7740 South Western Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60620
Emory University Emeritus College
The Luce Center
825 Houston Mill Road NE #206
Atlanta, GA 30329