News for the Smith College Community //October 4, 2001
Much Ado About Money
Ask a Smith student about her postgraduation goals and she'll likely rank launching a successful career and achieving financial independence near the top of her list. As for the career, a Smith education and internship have probably prepared her well.
But what about financial independence? What about smart money management and knowledge of investment principles, both of which will affect her financial future? The typical liberal arts education may never address those crucial issues.
But with the help of its new Women and Financial Independence program, Smith is hoping to change that.
The program, which was formally launched this fall, provides Smith students with the practical skills and knowledge they'll need to address financial issues in their personal and professional lives. It was designed to appeal to students across the curriculum, particularly those who have little or no previous experience with economics.
"Everyone needs to know how to manage their financial lives," stresses Mahnaz Mahdavi, director of the program and an associate professor of economics. Financial knowledge is especially important to women, she says, who live longer than men, spend less time in the labor force, and make up 75 percent of the country's elderly poor. "For too long, women have been told not to worry about money, that 'someone else will take care of all that,'" Mahdavi says in a statement that appears on the program's Web site, at www.smith.edu/wfi. "The reality is you are not truly independent until and unless you are financially independent."
"There is a power in understanding the workings of money that gives anybody a sense of individual freedom," agrees Tiffany Reed AC, a participant in the noncredit courses that make up the core of the Women and Financial Independence program.
Reed has plenty of company. Every Wednesday at lunchtime, when Jim Miller, assistant professor of economics, gives his lecture "Interpreting Financial News," Neilson Browsing Room pushes its 100-person capacity. And nearly 200 students flock to Stoddard Auditorium on Monday nights when Randy Bartlett, professor of economics, speaks on "Financing Life."
Mahdavi expects attendance of the program's courses to grow as word spreads. "Student support has been just enormous," she says. "We've received a lot of inquiries from students who want to be directly involved in the program." Eleven students have already signed on as interns, and they will become "an integral part of the program," Mahdavi says. Among other duties, interns will staff the program's drop-in center, at 52 Green Street, when it opens later this fall. The center, which will provide a variety of financial newspapers, magazines, data and educational materials for reference, will serve as a resource for students to access information and ask questions.
One of the program's interns, Rosy Fynn '03, a computer science major, became involved with Women and Financial Independence after she decided to start investing. "I had no idea where to go or what to do," she says. "It was just a whole lot of jargon to me." She and three other students worked with the program during the summer. Now Fynn, who attends the Monday and Wednesday courses, says the program "already has made a difference in my life. I was at a loss before. I didn't know how to organize my own spending style, and now I know how to think about my money, I know what to do with it, and I'm more confident when it comes to making decisions about it."
Ultimately, Smith women won't be the only ones who benefit from the Women and Financial Independence program. Community outreach is also a focus. Program participants will lead workshops and seminars for local students and members of the Northampton community on topics such as setting budgets, managing debt and planning for retirement.
The program will also spawn an investment club, which will practice making investments using money donated by an alumna, then donate proceeds to the Student Government Association. More courses are in the works, including a January interterm class on stocks and bonds and a spring semester course on entrepreneurship, run by Boston's Center for Women and Entrepreneurship. And a series of individual lectures, workshops and panel discussions will be offered throughout the year.
"We are always looking for student feedback so we can continue to improve our offerings according to students' needs," Mahdavi says. So far, that feedback has been "heartening," she notes. "We've received letters and phone calls from our own alumnae, saying 'I wish there was a program like this for me when I was in my 20s.'"
"I am just so grateful to have this program," adds Reed. "This was one aspect of my life that I have had no groundwork for. We're taught how to read, how to communicate, all these things, but we're very rarely taught about our finances, especially as women. This program is definitely a big gift from Smith."
Wit Author to Speak at Smith
Between the time she graduated from Smith in 1983, and wrote her Pulitzer Prize-winning play Wit in 1991, Margaret Edson worked at an assortment of jobs, both odd and meaningful. She'd served street hot dogs in Iowa, waited tables for hog farmers, painted the walls of a French Dominican convent in Rome, scooped ice cream in Washington, D.C., and sold bikes at a cycle shop -- her vocation when she penned Wit.
But it was her stint as a clerk in the cancer and AIDS in-patient unit of a Washington hospital that informed the creation of her award-winning play. Wit is the story of a professor of 17th-century English poetry who is battling advanced ovarian cancer. And though it's staged as a drama, it's written with an icing of dry humor.
Edson will visit Smith on Thursday, October 11, to speak on "The Insubstantial Pageant: Orality, Literacy and Writing for Performance," at 7:30 p.m. in Sweeney Concert Hall.
An HBO production of Wit, starring Emma Thomson, will be shown on Wednesday, October 10, at 7:30 p.m. in Wright Auditorium.
Wit was Edson's first play, and she has said she has no interest in writing more plays. Since its premier in 1995 and a series of acclaimed off-Broadway runs, Wit has won several playwrighting awards. In addition to the 1999 Pulitzer for drama, it has won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, the Outer Critics Circle Award, and the Los Angeles Drama Critics Award, and it was named best new play of the 199899 season by the New York Drama Critics' Circle.
At Smith, Edson majored in history with a concentration on the Renaissance. She received a master's degree in English literature from Georgetown University in 1992, where she defended her thesis on the use of poetry to teach reading by performing a rap number by Queen Latifah.
These days, Edson works as a kindergarten teacher in Atlanta, Georgia. It is the job of which she says she is most proud. "Reading and writing is power," she told People magazine in 1999. "I like handing that power over to students."
Following her talk, Edson will sign copies of Wit at a reception at the Smith College Club.
One More Year Then What?
By Andria Darby '02
I am a senior.
I knew the day would come when I would achieve this lofty status. But now that I'm here, I, like many other seniors, find myself in disbelief. How did three years slip by so quickly?
I have only one more year to experience all the joy, stress and delightful eccentricities of life at Smith. Contemplating that leaves me, at this stage, not nostalgic, but stupefied. On occasion I'm able to overcome my stupefaction and grasp the fact that, barring an academic tragedy, I will graduate in the spring. Accompanying that thought are two overwhelming and distinct feelings: self-satisfaction and fear-in that order, both in healthy proportions.
Earning a bachelor's degree is no small accomplishment. I must admit to being satisfied with myself for making it to the homestretch. For three years I've worked through all the necessary paperwork, diligently filling out Profile, FAFSA and scholarship applications and sending them off to their appropriate destinations. (I even managed, God only knows how, to avoid missing any critical deadlines.) For six straight semesters I've written innumerable essays, read stacks of books, studied long hours and burned my share of midnight oil. In short, I've been a dedicated student.
Some days I even thought I "had it together." Most days I didn't. Other days I teetered on the edge of breakdown and wondered if there weren't something ironic-perhaps masochistic-about voluntarily participating in higher education. I pay this institution all the money I have (and a lot more that I don't have), so that I can-what?-be pushed to the limits of my sanity?
I've thought about giving up. But then I think about how satisfying it will be to finally accomplish an academic task that once seemed impossible, and how much stronger and more capable a person I will be after four years at Smith. So I've conquered every crisis, rededicating myself after each one to earning an education. Now that I'm closer than ever to the culminating event of all my efforts, I couldn't be more excited or pleased with myself.
However, every time I commend myself for my stamina and perseverance, the fear of graduation hits me again. After graduation, I'll have to strike out on my own, find a career, start the rest of my life. The thought makes me panic. (I'm still a member of the "I-don't-know-what-I-want-to-be-when-I- grow-up" club.) I start asking myself questions like, Should I find a job or apply to law school? If I go to work, will I be able to find satisfying employment that enables me to pay off my loans? If I want to pursue a JD degree, will I have the financial resources I need? The list of things to worry about seems inexhaustible.
In the end, the thought that rescues me from obsessive anxiety over the future is the same one that initially left me dumbfounded: I am a senior. Embodied in that simple declaration is the knowledge that I have dealt with difficult decisions and overcome fear in the past, and I am fully equipped to continue to do so after graduation.
As the day approaches when I will don a cap and gown, I know I will grow sad and reminiscent at the thought of leaving the Smith community; yet, the greater compliment to my future alma mater is in knowing that finally, I'll be prepared.
Employees to Be Feted at Forum
Nine more staff employees have joined the ranks of Employee Excellence Awardwinners in the program's fourth year. The program, which began in 1998, honors and rewards several employees each year for doing outstanding work for the college in categories of service, teamwork or community relations. Each winner receives a $1,000 award.
This year's winners are Chrissie Bell, admission, for community relations/service; Mary Lou Bouley, libraries, for service and leadership; Patricia Kimura, human resources, for community service/diversity and leadership; David Osepowicz, central services, for service; Peg Pitzer, advancement, for community relations/service and leadership; Linda Shaughnessy, music department, for community relations/service; Patricia Thornton, advancement, for service; and as a team, Donna Kortes and Trish Rockett, both of payroll, for teamwork/community relations.
The winners will be honored at this year's Employee Recognition Ceremony on Wednesday, October 10, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. in Sweeney Concert Hall, Sage. A reception will take place at 3:30 p.m. in Scott Gym. Employees will also be honored who have worked at Smith for 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years.
A selection committee is assembled each spring to review nominations for excellent employees. This year's committee received 190 nominations for people in several campus departments.
The Employee Excellence Awards program began as a measure to address concerns raised by staff in their 1997 self-study report. Until last year, the program operated on a pilot basis. Because of the program's success, it became permanent this year.
Series Opens With Tale of Two Brothers
In a book that Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel has described as a "power-packed and poignant narrative" of one family's experience during the Holocaust, author Eugene Pogany tells the story of an unusual family conflict. In My Brother's Image: Twin Brothers Separated by Faith -- Pogany's father and his father's brother -- who were born in Hungary but raised as devout Catholic converts until World War II unraveled their family. Pogany's father returned to his Jewish faith while his brother became a Catholic priest.
Pogany will be the speaker on Sunday, October 14, at the opening event of the 2001-02 Sundays at Two series sponsored by Smith College and the Friends of Forbes Library. The lecture will take place at 2 p.m. in the Neilson Library Browsing Room.
Pogany, a practicing clinical psychologist in Boston, is a frequent speaker on anti-Semitism and Jewish-Catholic relations. He has lectured and facilitated workshops regionally and nationally on interfaith family conflict and combating cultural/religious bias and racism and is the author of many articles and essays. In My Brother's Image, his first full-length book, is a historical family memoir that encapsulates the drama of a family torn apart by the Holocaust and focuses a wider, impartial lens on the historical rupture between Jews and Catholics. The author has participated in a number of television, radio and newspaper interviews about the book since it was published in 2000.
In addition to his private practice, Pogany is a clinical instructor in psychology at the Boston University School of Medicine and consults at hospitals, clinics and educational and religious institutions in eastern Massachusetts. He is the son-in-law of Florence and Maurice Bond of Northampton. Florence Bond was a member of the staff at the Smith College Campus School for 20 years until her retirement 10 years ago.
Since Journals, It's Been All Plath
When Karen Kukil, associate curator of rare books, finished editing the unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, 1950-1962 last year, she thought her job was done. "I really did think, 'That's that,'" she said. "Little did I know, it was just beginning."
The British edition was published by Faber and Faber in April 2000. A week later, Kukil was invited by the chairman of Faber to attend a publisher's lunch with guest Andrew Motion, poet laureate of England. Soon after, Kukil hit the lecture circuit, receiving invitations to speak about her experience editing the journals months before the book was even published in America. Among those was an invitation from English PEN to give the Dawson Scott Memorial Lecture at the Café Royal in London as part of International Writers' Day. She was also interviewed by ABC Radio National in Australia.
Kukil, who came to Smith in 1990 to supervise scholarly use of the Plath and Virginia Woolf collections in the Mortimer Rare Book Room, studied Plath and Woolf while an undergraduate at Trinity College. "I read them in the first women's studies course offered at Trinity in 1973," she says, "and I have studied them ever since."
As associate curator, Kukil fields about 500 inquiries a year, she says, mostly about Plath. But the most important Plath question came in 1998 when Frieda Hughes, Plath's daughter, telephoned from London to ask if Kukil would edit the journals for publication -- "the call that changed my life," Kukil recounts.
Hughes and her brother Nicholas asked that Kukil not judge or interpret Plath's words, only that she faithfully transcribe and edit the journals for publication. Kukil's meticulous work in allowing Plath to speak for herself has been praised on both sides of the Atlantic.
In the course of editing, Kukil estimates that she read the journals close to a dozen times. "I had the 900 pages in my head when I first began speaking about the journals," she recalls. "Later on, I needed to reread them before each presentation. And even though I thought I knew them by heart, I kept discovering new things with each reading. Plath's journals are packed with information and with beautiful language."
Kukil gained an even deeper sense of Plath's development as a writer when she helped cull excerpts from the Journals for publication in The New Yorker in March 2000. "The magazine edited some of her college entries; her 18-year-old syntax was a bit off," Kukil says. "But an entry that Plath composed at the typewriter after Nicholas's birth in 1962 was published exactly as written. In the course of 12 years, she had become a writer whose rough drafts could meet The New Yorker's standards."
On April 27, 2000, Kukil was invited by the Smith Club of Atlanta and the Friends of the Emory University Libraries to lecture with Stephen Enniss, curator of the Ted Hughes Papers at Emory University, on "Poems from a Marriage: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes." By this time, Kukil was well-acquainted with the literary couple's habit of writing on the back of each other's manuscripts. "Plath's famous poem 'Daddy' was drafted on the back of a Hughes manuscript for a play," she notes. At Emory she was fascinated to discover that Hughes had composed some of his early poetry on the back of Plath's drafts of fiction.
In July 2000, Kukil prepared the American edition of Plath's Unabridged Journals for Anchor Books. That edition, published in October 2000, received more than 80 reviews in every major U.S. publication, including the cover article for the New York Times Book Review. More speaking invitations followed, including one from the Boston Globe Book Festival, where Kukil presented "A Tribute to Sylvia Plath" with former Smith president Jill Ker Conway.
Then last April, Kukil joined a group of poets, critics and editors at the New York Public Library for "Sylvia Plath Revealed: The Unabridged Journals." The forum, organized by the library and Anchor Books, celebrated the American publication with what was described as "a discussion of this groundbreaking addition to Plath's hotly contested legacy." Kukil joined a panel with poet J.D. McClatchy and novelist and critic Cynthia Ozick.
Kukil thinks that part of the draw of such events is that "people are absolutely eager for the real Sylvia Plath." She's also discovered that editing Plath's Journals is "a living process. People who knew her want to share their stories," Kukil explains. "They approach me at lectures or email me information. I'm collecting it all for the next edition."
Next fall, Kukil will participate in "Eye Rhymes," a major exhibition of Plath's artwork at the Indiana University School of Fine Arts Gallery. She'll contribute an essay to the catalog and lecture at the opening symposium in November 2002.
Along with continuing her Plath activities, Kukil plans to further pursue her scholarship on Virginia Woolf. This past summer, she spoke at a Woolf conference in Wales about Smith's Woolf and Bloomsbury holdings. Currently, Kukil chairs a committee that is making plans for Smith to host the 13th Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf, in 2003.
Kukil tries to teach a class each interterm in the rare book room using primary sources. She says she's never worked in a place that so actively uses rare books and manuscripts throughout the curriculum. ARH 292, The Art and History of the Book, is taught every fall by curator Martin Antonetti in the rare book room. Between them, Antonetti and Kukil give 70 tailored presentations a year for classes. Kukil also laughingly admits that since editing the Journals, she seems to work Plath into everything, even a presentation last year for instructor Mary Laprade's invertebrate zoology course: "I read students a passage where Plath describes a biology professor."
But Plath is just one topic that animates Kukil. Ask her about Smith and she lights up. "I love working here," she says. "The material in the rare book room is a dream. And what makes it come alive is the enthusiasm of Smith's students and faculty. Who could be luckier than me?"
Public Safety at the Ready With AEDs
Ambulances have always had them. Fire trucks and police cruisers have them. Many shopping malls and airplanes even keep them on hand.
As of this fall, Smith's two Public Safety cruisers are also equipped with automated external defibril-lators, or AEDs, electronic machines used to quickly stop the fibrillation of a person's heart by applying an electric shock.
The machines, which were purchased for $3,000 each by the Department of Public Safety during the summer, are meant to be used in emergency situations, when a person is not responding and shows weak vital signs.
Before the AEDs were available, the main alternative for emergency care was manual cardiopulmonary rescuscitation (CPR), which yields a comparatively lower survival rate.
"This is the next step up from your conventional CPR," says Scott Graham, assistant director of public safety.
Graham quickly emphasizes that the AEDs are not necessarily a replacement for CPR, but that they might sometimes be used as a precursor to the technique. All Smith public safety officers are trained in both CPR and AED applications, he says.
About the size of a laptop computer, the AEDs are kept in the cruisers' front seats, where they are readily available. The machines are simple to use, Graham says, and fully automated, with electronic voice signals that inform the user precisely when to apply the shocks. Adhesive pads are connected to the patient that monitor the person's heart rate.
Approximately 350,000 people die each year from heart disease in the United States. AEDs can provide a lifesaving pulse of electricity to restart the heart.
"It was a logical progression
for us to go to AEDs," says Graham.
Sources of further information, if any, are indicated in parentheses. Notices should be submitted by mail, by e-mail email@example.com) or by fax (extension 2171).
New Chapel Services
Museum Trip Rescheduled
Print Workshop and Lecture
Head of the Paradise
UMass FAC Discount
Time to Rock Climb
Literacy Project Volunteers Needed
EPIC Theatre Residency
On the Fence
Chill Out With Chilipeppers
Faculty and Staff
Study Abroad Plan
Grécourt Book Returns
Orientation Survey Winners
Escape to Nature
Health Education Workshops
Drop Course Deadline
Harry S. Truman Scholarships
Study Skills Workshops
Sources of further information, if any, are shown in parentheses at the end of event descriptions. An asterisk following a listing indicates that the event is open to the public. Admission charges, if any, are listed when known. Items for this section must be submitted on Event Service Request Forms.
Monday, October 8
Tuesday, October 9
CDO open hours for library research and browsing. Peer advisers available. 7-9 p.m., CDO, Drew
Wednesday, October 10
Lecture Musicologists Ramchandra Pandit and Pandit Ravindra Goswami, University of Wisconsin and Banaras Hindu University, will speak about and demonstrate Hindustani classical music. 7:30 p.m., Dewey Philosophy Study
Employee Recognition Ceremony Nine Excellent Employee Award-winners will be honored along with other Smith employees. Reception will follow in Scott Gym. (See story, page 4.) 2:30-3:30 p.m., Sweeney Concert Hall, Sage
Informational meeting about Sponsors for Educational Opportunities, a minority internship program for business, media, philanthropy, law and asset management careers. 4 p.m., Seelye 110
CDO Informational session MassMutual Financial representatives will discuss jobs and summer internships. For more information, consult www.massmutual.com. 7:30 p.m., Dewey Common Room
Informational meeting about the Five College Coastal and Marine Science field course "Tropical Field Biology" in St. John, Virgin Islands, during spring break 2002. The course will focus on exploration of the area's tropical ecosystems, especially coral reefs, ecology, island plants, invertebrates, birds and fish. 7:30 p.m., Engineering 102
Service "Repairing the World: Reflections on Hope in Troubled Times." See 10/8 listing. 12:30-12:50 p.m., Chapel*
Buddhist meditation and discussion. 7:15 p.m., Bodman Lounge, Chapel
ECC Bible study Student-led discussion of topics raised by the Sunday morning worship community. Snacks provided. All welcome. 10 p.m., Bodman Lounge, Chapel
Classics lunch Noon, Duckett Special Dining Room C
Yoga class Noncredit, for students. All levels. 4:45-6 p.m., Davis Ballroom
Social Events Coordinators dinner 5:45 p.m., Duckett Special Dining Room C
Thursday, October 11
Lecture "Trance y Amor en el Contexto Afroamericano." Tomas Gonzalez Perez, Cuban playwright, poet and painter, will speak in Spanish on Afro-Cuban culture and religion. 4:15 p.m., Dewey Common Room
Lecture "Tolerance and Intolerance in Early India." Romila Thapar, visiting Kahn fellow. Part of the Kahn Institute project "Religious Tolerance and Intolerance in Ancient and Modern Worlds." 5 p.m., Wright Auditorium*
Lecture "The Insubstantial Pageant: Orality, Literacy and Writing for Performance." Maggie Edson '83, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Wit. Reception follows at the College Club. (See story, page 1.) 7:30 p.m., Sweeney Concert Hall*
Concert WOZQ presents Bis, an indie pop band from Scotland, and Model Rocket, a Northampton pop band. Doors open at 9 p.m. Free to Smith students. For more information, call ext. 6130. Sponsors: Rec Council; the Sawyer Fund; Office of Student Affairs. 10 p.m., Davis Ballroom *
Informational meeting concerning Duke University's undergraduate marine lab and graduate environmental studies programs in Bermuda and Beaufort. The dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment will discuss the graduate programs. Sponsor: Environmental Science and Policy Program. 4:15 p.m., Engineering 102
Study Abroad meeting for current and prospective economics majors. 4:15 p.m., Seelye 207
workshop Learn how to create a résumé that works
Junior class meeting to discuss issues and policies, and meet class officers. Attendance is strongly recommended. 7 p.m., Seelye 106
Meeting MassPIRG. 7 p.m., Seelye 310*
CDO Information session Representatives from Kaplan Testing Service will discuss the MCAT. 7 p.m., Burton 101
Drop-in stress reduction and relaxation class with Hayat Nancy Abuza. Refresh body, mind and spirit. Open to all Five College students, staff and faculty. Sponsor: Office of the Chaplains. 4:30-5:30 p.m., Wright Common Room*
Intervarsity prayer meeting 7-10 p.m., Bodman Lounge, Chapel
Language lunch tables Korean, Russian. Noon, Duckett Special Dining Room A, B (alternate weekly)
Glee Club lunch table Noon, Special Duckett Dining Room C
Field hockey vs. Amherst. 7 p.m., Athletic Field
Friday, October 12
CDO Informational session The Capital Group, an investment management/consulting firm, will present information about entry-level jobs. Noon, CDO Group Room, Drew
Meeting Smith Science Fiction and Fantasy Society. Animé, gaming, sci-fi, fantasy and people who like sci-fi people. 4:30 p.m., Seelye 208
Shabbat Services Dinner follows in the Kosher kitchen, Dawes. 5:30 p.m., Dewey Common Room.
Language lunch table Hebrew. Noon, Duckett Special Dining Room C
Something on a Friday Karaoke/open mic. Do you have rhythm or rhyme? Come and show it. Sponsors: Office of Multicultural Affairs; Unity Cultural Organizations. 10 p.m., Unity House
Saturday, October 13
Film Weekly showing of animé, Japanese animation. Sponsor: Smith Science Fiction and Fantasy Society. 3 p.m., Seelye 106*
Field hockey vs. Wheaton. 1 p.m., Athletic Field*
Tennis vs. Wellesley. 1 p.m., Tennis Courts*
Sunday, October 14
Meeting Smith African Students Association. All welcome. 4 p.m., Unity House
Meeting Feminists of
Quaker (Friends) meeting for worship. Preceded by informal discussion at 9:30 a.m. All welcome, childcare available. 11 a.m., Bass 203, 204*
Roman Catholic Mass Fr. Michael Sequeira, celebrant, and Elizabeth Carr, Catholic chaplain. Dinner follows in Bodman Lounge. All welcome. 4:30 p.m., Chapel
The Henry L. Seaver Collections: A Celebration of the 25th Anniversary of Henry L. Seaver's Stunning Bequest Through December. Mortimer Rare Book Room vestibule, Neilson Library, third floor*
Paradise Gate A site-specific architectural sculpture made of natural materials, by North Carolina sculptor Patrick Dougherty, which will remain on campus all year. Sponsors: Smith College Museum of Art; Botanic Garden. Burton Lawn*
The Journey Not the Arrival: Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 1906-2001 An exhibition of rare materials from special collections, chronicling the life of the aviator, author and 1928 Smith graduate. Through October 31. Neilson Library, Morgan Gallery (entrance corridor) and third floor*
Linear Dimensions Recent figurative works, including paintings, drawings and sculptures, by Eileen Kane '67. Through Oct. 31. Alumnae House Gallery*