Newsletter of the Thomas E. Bellavance Honors Program
Editor: Melyssa Malinowski, Dr. Richard England
Writers: Rochelle Clarke, Eric
Colvin, Tim Dowd, John Heath,
Becky Johnson, Mike Kreisher, Dr. Tony
December 10, 2001 Vol. 6 No. 1
Welcome to the Saunterer
||Like Thoreau in Walden,
we will record our sauntering here, remembering that "if one
advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors
to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success
unexpected in common hours."
By Richard England
It’s an odd word. It seems that it ought
to be reserved either for heroic visions of a Leiv Eiriksson
stumbling onto an unexpected continent, or for comic book scientists
with light-bulbs flickering over their distended crania, as they
intuit the atomic structure of benzene or the secret formula for
invisibility. But like all great words it has been cheapened by its
popularity. Odd educational methods, academic speculations,
successful sales techniques, TV channels, indeed, most new
toothpaste flavors—all are heralded as “discoveries” until discovery
itself is exhausted by its own diversity.
And yet it is still possible to walk out one morning and chance
upon something you have never imagined or find something
fundamentally new in what you had thought comfortably familiar. All
education, with its books, boards, tests, and buildings, is really
an apparatus for creating the circumstances for discovery. Teachers
delight at the sight of a student aiming the prow of a longboat out
of some well-known fjord and into the mist over open water.
This semester has been particularly heavy with discovery, as we
explore a world made new by a closely felt tragedy and relearn the
simple pleasures of the every-day. “Fields of Discovery” was the
title of the National Honors Conference in Chicago, which a team of
honors students flew out to despite the warnings that weekend about
a “credible” (if undisclosed) threat. We learned a lot about honors,
each other, and life in our journeys, and so this issue of The
Saunterer presents some of the many small discoveries we made at
that conference and in other Honors activities this semester. We
hope you like it.
That toddling town...It was windy but WARM!
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NCHC 2001 in Chicago: An Overview
by Melyssa Malinowski
The National Collegiate Honors Council
presented its annual conference, with the theme “Fields of
Discovery,” from October 31 to November 4, at the Palmer House
Hilton in Chicago, IL. Eight Salisbury delegates set forth: the
Dr. Whall, the distinguished Dr. England, and the following six
students, who merit no adjectives: Rochelle Clarke, Eric Colvin, Tim
Dowd, Linda Grimmer, John Heath, and Melyssa Malinowski.
We arrived in Chicago on Wednesday night and enjoyed a very brief
free evening. The next day we went on our “City as Text” expedition.
The purpose of these sessions, an integral part of any NCHC
conference, is to teach you how to “read” a city. You select one
location to visit from a list of about eight. You are given
directions and a list of things to look at or for and then off you
go. Some of the choices this year were: the Navy Pier, the Museum
Campus, the Loop, and Hyde Park. We all jumped on the bus to the
Museum Campus, which was a little like the Mall in D.C.. Rochelle,
Linda and I went to tour the Field Museum and the Shedd Aquarium,
while John, Tim and Eric explored the Adler Planetarium. We enjoyed
our explorations, despite very tired feet and legs at the end of the
That evening we met as a group, led by our fearless Dr. Whall,
and were instructed to attend at least three breakout sessions which
would inform us about how we could improve the program. Other than
that, we could go to as many of the other sessions we desired. We
all skimmed through our 178 page (not a typo!) conference programs.
We decided what sessions we wanted to attend as well as who we would
go with. Just to give you an idea of the diversity of session topics
here are some of the titles:
Service Learning and Leadership Education
Creating Community in a New Honors Program
Honors Student Survival Cuisine
Poetry of the City (starring Dr. Whall)
Discovering Van Gogh’s Lost Night Sky
This is just a brief selection. There were topics in every
possible discipline and area of interest.
In addition to the sessions, we all attended the
Gala on Friday night. All I can say about that is that all of us
look very nice when we dress up. (More details in Rochelle
The next day we all enjoyed a banquet lunch together. We were all
so excited about the sessions we attended and bursting with ideas.
The idea we’re currently running with is an orientation session for
new honors students, including a brief stay before the term begins
and experienced honors students acting as mentors. If anyone is
interested in helping out with this, or has suggestions for other
ways we can improve the program, please let us know.
Now, read on, about some of the other kinds of discoveries that
we made in Chicago.
Dr. England thinks he is a caribou...
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The Plane Truth
by Eric Colvin
My Experiences While Flying
Part of the adventure of our honors
conference involved flying to and from Chicago. While it was agreed
by all that the wild drive from O’Hare Airport to the hotel in the
airport shuttle was the most dangerous part of the trip, we still
felt some apprehension about flying. There was no need for worry
though. At every point in our travels we were guarded by numerous
national guardsmen and security
personnel. Before boarding the airplanes, we were sent through the
standard metal detectors and then scanned with a hand metal
detector. On later flights, passengers were randomly selected to
have their carry-on bags searched, even after the bags went through
the x-ray machines. I walked through a metal detector holding my
coat and then set it down while I was hand scanned, but the armed
guards stationed in the airport realized that my coat had not passed
through the x-ray machine, and so it was hand searched. Our jet
flight from Philadelphia to Chicago had perhaps 30 people on board,
about as many as had been on our twin-propeller plane from Salisbury
to Philadelphia! Returning home both flights were full, but I was
still able to sit in a window seat. Every airport had the armed
guards and metal detectors and random searches, and I believe we all
felt secure the entire time.
The flights could be considered the most valuable
part of the conference. To be separated from the world with 30 other
people is simply amazing. Flying will never cease to astound me. The
rush of adrenaline felt as the plane climbed to 30 thousand feet or
decelerated after coming back into contact with the earth provides a
stark contrast to the calm and peace experienced above the clouds.
Being up above the clouds is truly an awe-inspiring time. To see the
glimmer of the sun in that white perfect world is incredible. During
the turns, while looking straight down, one is able to see a perfect
miniature world through the gaps in the clouds. All imperfections
seen while on the ground are lost in that breathless view. Sunday I
was fortunate enough to be able to spend time with God in his Word
through my devotions, while soaring above the ground. It is rare
that I am able to be both mentally and physically closer to
God. The splendor of God’s creation is truly amazing!
Almost equally amazing was the amount of planning and precision
that I realized are needed to run an airport. While waiting on the
tarmac at O’Hare I noticed through the double-paned windows that our
flight was 10th in line for take off, yet we were not waiting for
very long before becoming airborne. Also noteworthy was that there
were constantly planes landing on the same runway so the takeoffs
were staggered. Before boarding the plane we were sitting in a
position that easily afforded us the view of the planes landing, and
there were always two planes to be seen off in the distance
approaching to land.
I understand the anxiety felt by many about flying due to recent
events, but I will continue to enjoy the precision and freedom that
flight allows. The theme of the conference was “Fields of
Discovery.” We were able to discover fields of marvel and splendor
while flying. Nothing can take the place of feeling the powerful
thrust as the wheels leave the ground and the spirit is able to take
flight into a world of wonder and beauty.
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A Miniature Pilgrimage
by Tim Dowd
In my spare time in Chicago I went to
see the Bahai (Ba-high) House of Worship in Wilmette, a suburb of
Chicago, and I think that this experience has changed my life. I am
not a member of the Bahai Faith, although in recent months I have
been investigating its writings, opinions, and values. I think
everyone’s personal spiritual journey is what they make of it, and
is as deep and fulfilling as they want it to be, so I will keep the
focus of this article on my experience of the Bahai House of
Worship, and not about the religion itself.
To get to the House from downtown Chicago involves an hour-long
train ride along the northwest side of Lake Michigan. My directions
instructed me to take a right out of the final train station and to
proceed two blocks. When I walked out of the last train station, I
found myself in a very charming little neighborhood. I started
walking down the two blocks and saw beautiful homes in rows on both
sides of a red cobblestone street. I immediately thought I was lost,
because I knew that the temple was huge and could surely be seen
from a distance away, but just to make sure, I completely followed
the directions and walked the two blocks. Just as I approached the
end of the street, the great white dome appeared through the
branches of two oak trees.
The placard reads “All are Welcome”
I continued to approach the building and was almost breathless
with anxiety and wonder. Full of awe, I snapped a few photographs of
the marvelous building and its gardens, and then headed down into
the visitor center. There, I saw a film that explained the formation
of the Bahai faith and some facts about the House of Worship. I also
went into the gift shop to buy some literature consisting of prayer
books and different tablets, which I planned to “christen” in the
The worship area, which is the floor above the visitor center, is
a huge circular room with an extremely high ceiling that extends to
the dome’s summit. I found a seat, took a few deep breaths, and
began to read a couple of small prayers. After each prayer, I would
look up and reflect on what I just read. After two or three prayers,
I leaned my head back and gazed up at the staggeringly high ceiling.
I realized that I had sat in the exact center of this great circular
room, where a symbol which translates to, “God is the all glorious,”
faces down at all of the visitors of the building. I immediately
became full of emotion. Tears welled up in my eyes and my chest
surged with something that was so foreign to me, a great eagerness,
a yearning, a wonderful sense of connectedness. I sat there, very
still for many moments, soaking in all of these feelings. After a
short while, I gathered my things and left, taking one last look at
the worship area, then one last look at the building. It was an
amazing experience, and while it wasn’t an “official” part of my
“Fields of Discovery” conference experience, it certainly
represented a field of discovery to me.
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A Soiree at Sue's
Clarke and Richard England
A Soirée at Sue’s
by Rochelle Clarke and Richard England
The highlight of this year's National Collegiate Honors Council
conference was definitely the gala which was held at the Field
Museum The museum was founded in 1893 and has been steadily filling
its stately neo-classical galleries with historical,
anthropological, and of course, natural history specimens. It was a
splendid venue for a formal gala. Well bedecked in finery, our
little delegation set out for what promised to be a wonderful
evening with "Sue." Led by our brave and courageous assistant
director, Dr. Richard England, we joined the thronging thousand or
so conference attendees boarding tourist trolleybuses that would
transport us for the night.
The women of the group, radiant in their one piece gowns, and
indebted to the inventors of hairspray and gel, were held up a
moment at the bag check area, part of the extra security laid on
during that weekend. We were greeted by the hostess of the evening's
proceedings, Sue, who happens to be the largest, most complete and
most famous Tyrannosaurus Rex in the world. She stood proudly, 14
feet high, surrounded by tables of an extensive array of hors
d’oeuvres, appetizers, and desserts on the museum's main floor. Sue
did not dine, despite the temptation we provided by fattening
ourselves up into delicious morsels for a 67 million year old top
Melyssa and Rochelle decided to take a stab at our Asian dinner
with chopsticks. These were soon abandoned for forks after we
realized that the sticks only succeeded in making us even hungrier.
The evening was then ours for mingling and viewing a few of the
many exhibits such as the Underground Adventure, Africa and Pacific
Spirits exhibits. These were explored at length by all.
Dr. England, with his usual taste for all things evolutionary,
ate then raced through the natural history halls, taking in the
botanical exhibits. He took a wrong turn and found himself in a
closed exhibit on the Cambrian explosion. He crawled his way up
through the Silurian, Permian, Triassic, and Jurassic periods,
marveling at the displays of fossils and dinosaur reconstructions,
until he stepped over a “Caution—exhibit closed” sign and found
himself once more in the hubbub of the recent Holocene.
There was hardly enough time to take in the splendid Cleopatra
exhibit, which featured items from ancient Rome and Egypt, as well
as from golden age Hollywood (Elizabeth Taylor made a great
Cleopatra.) There was also a collection of brilliant quotes about
the (in?) famous queen. In the words of T. Gaultier, she was “a
person to be wondered at, to whom the poets have been able to add
nothing, and whom dreamers find always at the end of their dreams."
A bit dated as a pick-up line perhaps, but it summarizes a very
powerful and romantic exhibit nicely.
Cleopatra: The Musical. Which one of these hopefuls will get
the leading role of Marc Antony?
Alas! The evening came to an end only too soon and it was time to
say goodbye to Sue and depart in our royal trolleys.
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Stars by Vincent
by John Heath
During my recent stint in Chicago for
the National Collegiate Honors Conference, I had the pleasure of
experiencing a blitzkrieg of culture – a plethora of Honors-related
breakout sessions, huge servings of Chicagoan chow, an evening of
poetry and jazz music, a morning of get-ya-goin’-Gospel music, a
stroll along the Navy Pier, a trip to the Adler Planetarium, a
catered soirée at the Field Museum, and a few hours at the Art
Institute of Chicago. Of all these enjoyable experiences, my
encounter with Vincent van Gogh was the most memorable aspect of my
On reading the Honors Conference Guide, one particular “breakout”
session caught my attention. I noticed that there was a presentation
titled, “Discovering Van Gogh’s Lost Night Sky” given by students in
Southwest Texas State University’s Honors Program. The goal of this
session was to explain how they had, through an Honors Course,
discovered the actual house in the painting White House at Night
as well as the date and time of the painting, and the identity of
the mysterious star featured in it. I have had a vague affinity for
Van Gogh’s paintings ever since I caught sight of The Starry
Night in a high school French textbook. I was a little dubious
that a group of students had anything worthwhile or groundbreaking
to say about a Van Gogh painting. Out of curiosity, yet with low
expectations, I decided to go to the session on this painting, which
had been discovered just a few decades ago.
I sat at the back of the room in case the session was dull and
waited for the academic droning to commence. I had no idea that the
students standing at the front of that stuffy chamber had actually
made a series of monumental discoveries in the world of Van Gogh.
Over the next hour and 15 minutes, I was dazzled by an impeccable
They explained how they read letters from Van Gogh to his brother
alongside historical and astronomical documents in order to discover
when and where Van Gogh painted his White House at Night.
Impressively, most of their work was done in their classroom, yet
they took their theory to the road, proving their hunches during a
summer trip to Auvers, France. The main discoveries proved to be
their finding the actual house depicted in the painting, pinpointing
the actual day in which Van Gogh painted White House, and
discovering that Venus is the actual mysterious star above the Van
Gogh’s White House.
White House at Night by Vincent van Gogh.
By an incredibly lucky coincidence, the
biggest Van Gogh exhibit ever to be held in America was happening
that very same weekend at the Art Institute of Chicago. It featured
works by Gauguin and Van Gogh and explored their mutual influences.
Even though tickets were twenty bucks, I decided I was going to drag
my friends to the exhibit the next day.
The next day I learned that it was more than a worthwhile
investment. Despite the heat and press of the overcrowded galleries,
I seized the opportunity to see some of the most beautiful paintings
in the world. I joined the people gazing at paintings, discovering
the mutual influences of this Dutch and French friendship. Van
Gogh’s self-portraits were stunningly realistic. One I particularly
noted showed van Gogh’s shortened mussed red hair, early morning
stubble, and drunken red-eyes.
I was boggled by his color choices; his mind-bending swirls of
white and various blues as he psychedelically spun the sky in his
landscape paintings. Gauguin was nothing to joke about either; I saw
the joy of life within the eyes of his Tahitians and his loving
feelings for Van Gogh as he paid tribute to him in Sunflowers on
an Armchair. Sunflowers were one of Van Gogh’s personal favorite
I saw how they each strove to outdo each other with artistic
challenges, painting similar objects with vastly different
approaches. I made my way through the exhibit only to find that the
Institute only held three of the five Starry Nights. Although the
Institute did not have White House at Night, I was able to
see many other van Gogh paintings and gaze at them. While all
aspects of my trip to Chicago were enriching, I will never forget my
meeting with Vincent van Gogh.
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Spring 2002 Course Offerings
Here are the courses and faculty that
current Honors students are being offered in the spring of 2002.
HONR 112 Issues in Social Sciences: Politics and Conflict (Core
Greg Cashman (2 sections)
HONR 112 Issues in Social Sciences: Revolutions of Thought (Core
HONR212 Issues in Natural Sciences (Core IV)
Richard England (2 sections)
HONR311 Outlaws in Literature
HONR311 Don Quixote
HONR311 Local Environmental History
HONR311 The Culture of the Great War
Stephen Gehnrich/Tony Whall
HONR312 Honors Research/ Creative Project
HONR490 Honors Thesis Preparation
HONR495 Honors Thesis
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9-11: The Colloquia
entered the Honors Program in 1998, and although he hasn’t been
actively involved in the program since he completed the core last
year, we knew he would be willing to be a featured speaker at one of
our colloquia (aka “Mind Shrapnel and Cookies”) devoted to the
September 11th attacks. This past summer, Tim did an
internship in New York City’s Office of Emergency Management in a
multi-million dollar operations center that took up a complete floor
of the building now known to us as World Trade Center #5. Obviously,
he did a remarkable job for them, because on September 12th,
barely 24 hours after the attacks, they called Tim, asking him to
leave school and return to the city to help them with the difficult
work of recovery and salvage and efforts to get things back to
normal - or as near normal as possible. Tim left for Manhattan
immediately and ended up working in the recovery efforts for several
As Tim reported in his colloquy in the Honors Center on October
18th, he worked 12-16 hours each day in a new control
center set up in midtown, several blocks from Ground Zero. When he
could, he escaped to his brother Gabe’s apartment to bathe and
sleep, or he’d walk down to the river and sleep for a few hours on
the hospital ship, USNS Comfort. “For the first few days it
was total chaos,” Tim told the overflow audience, as he showed them
before and after aerial photos of the devastation. “I walked in the
door the first day, was handed a phone and radio, and was told I was
in charge of ‘logistics.’ No explanation, no training. There wasn’t
time. I didn’t even know what logistics were!”
As it turned out, he was in charge of coordinating the delivery
of supplies to the recovery and construction teams at Ground Zero
and attempting to control traffic in and around the site. “The
volunteers were, finally, a large part of the problem,” Tim said.
“They would come into the city with truckloads of donated
supplies—boots, gloves, water, tools—and want to take them down to
the WTC. I finally had to forbid a few of them from proceeding with
their individual plans, and, seriously, I almost came to blows with
one outraged guy. These volunteers had so much emotion invested in
their work, and they wouldn’t sleep, and they’d lose perspective
about what was important.”
The audience, mainly students, asked Tim detailed questions about
the recovery effort, about dangers remaining at the site, and about
rumors they had heard about millions of dollars of gold buried
beneath the rubble (“true”) and about the FBI and CIA presence
around the scene. Finally, after Tim had made it clear that he
believed we were justified in using our military might to go after
Osama bin Laden, a student challenged him to consider what
devastation we might inflict on the innocent people of Afghanistan.
Tim explained that he understood the moral complexity of the issue,
but, he concluded, almost in a whisper, “We must do something.”
Tom Boudreau, a visiting scholar with Salisbury’s new
Conflict Resolution Program, introduced students to another aspect
of the aftermath of the September terrorist attacks. An overflow
crowd of political science students and honors students looked on as
he addressed the question: “Is your country at war a spectator
sport?” His answer, of course, was no—but he went further than the
students perhaps expected by enacting a mock draft board. Before a
large American flag, students were called to the front of the room,
their “draft papers” were examined, and they were asked whether
they were willing to report for duty as requested. Dr. Boudreau and
Dr. Richard England, in the personae of draft board officials, were
quite successful in raising a squad of infantry from the surprised
students. Only one student refused to go, despite the dire warnings
of jail. It was all Dr. England could do to stay in character and
not tell the student that the other option was to dodge the draft in
The point of the exercise was not to test students’ patriotism,
but to make them investigate their own idea of their responsibility
(if any) to their country in a time of war. Was conscientious
objection possible? Was it ethical? Were there non-military actions
citizens ought to be taking to support the war effort? The questions
were explored both in the classroom and afterwards in the corridor
as our mock troops drifted back to class, and the changing world
We are enjoying the fruits of
further co-operation with the Center for Conflict Resolution as the
Honors Center hosts a reception on December 11th (about the time
we’ll have printed this!) for Giandomenico Picco, the Under
Secretary General of the United Nations. Picco is best known for his
role in negotiations which led to the release of western hostages in
Lebanon in 1991 (including Terry Waite). Picco will be speaking
about international terrorism and about building communications
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The Great Tree Debate
by Richard England
On a rather lighter note (I foolishly
thought) the “Mind Shrapnel’n’Cookies” held a (semi-)formal debate
on a matter of pressing civic concern: real or fake? That’s right,
we argued about Christmas trees. Speeches by Drs. Tony Whall (tree
murderer) and England (faker) featured almost all of the logical
fallacies they’d spent the semester warning their HONR111 students
about: Dr. Whall lambasted his opponents as cold-hearted mechanists
(ad hominem) and said real trees were just better (begging the
question). Dr. England retaliated with the charge that real trees
were murdered (false analogy and faulty emotional appeal) and
concluded that real tree fans were all motivated by a pathetic
desire to get “back to nature” (hasty generalization). Melyssa
Malinowski and John Heath ably backed up their faculty partners, and
before long the question was thrown to the floor. The assembled
audience had lots of questions and comments. The main surprise was
the presence of a student who was also a Christmas tree farmer (!):
he stunned us with his detailed pleas for the utility and
recycle-ability of real firs, and ably commented on the viability of
certain species under the rainless conditions experienced by the
Eastern Shore over the last six weeks.
The vote was held, and the real tree opinion was victorious. The
plastic tree was thought an abomination. And so, even as I type, a
real tree sits quietly dying in the Honors Center living room,
decorated (or as John Heath put it, “desecrated”) in bright lights.
It is beautiful, and it does have a lovely scent, but be warned—the
champions of a PVC-Yule will rise again. Next year, next year....
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Trip to D.C.: Unfortunately,
recent events compelled us to post-pone our trip to Manhattan (we’d
scheduled it for mid-September), so we set off for the delights of
Washington, D.C., instead. After enjoying the Mall, we went to
Ford’s Theater for a matinee stage adaptation of Harper Lee’s To
Kill a Mockingbird. The evening saw us in Georgetown, shopping
and enjoying the local restaurants. A long day, but an excellent
trip. Next semester, Times Square
Quoth the Raven: The
Honor's House Halloween Celebration was a grand success this year.
Jack-o-lanterns glinted in the Japanese garden, chocolate biscuits
and hot pies abounded and a host of talented guests shared some
scary stories with an appreciative audience of thrill seekers. Dr.
Tony Whall began the evening with a dramatic tale of ghostly music
and shared the candelabra-lit hot seat with Drs. Gerry St.Martin,
Lee May, Bill Zak and Richard England. Our visiting scholar, Dr. Tom
Boudreau, was especially gracious when Dr. England's basset,
singularly unsuccessful in his dramatic role as the Hound of the
Baskervilles, snored soulfully at a particularly suspenseful moment
in his narration. All present agreed that a tradition was in the
making and we look forward to having our socks frightened off in
atmospheric surroundings again next year.
Deck the House: That’s
what some of the students might have been singing last week, when we
launched ourselves into the annual frenzy of seasonal decorating.
With a little ingenuity and courage, students were swinging
extension cords from one window to the next, shinnying up trees,
tacking up lights, and generally going tastefully over the top with
holiday decor. Dr. Richard England, son of an insurance broker and
blessed with an all too lively imagination, looked on in prayerful
horror as two students navigated the roof to ornament a portico with
lights. Luckily, all went well: the roof line looks splendid, and we
had no cause to become better acquainted with the fine points of the
university’s liability policy. The tree was trimmed in beautiful
style, and personalized stockings were hung over the gas fireplace
for Dr. England & Tony Whall, their spouses, and Dr. England’s
quietly omnipresent basset, Wrinkles (who doesn’t want socks this
year). Special thanks go to Liz Wood (the tree climber), Linda
Grimmer, Eric Colvin, Stephanie “I-like
climbing-out-of-high-windows” Kowalski, Tim Dowd, John Heath,
Rochelle Clarke, and, of course, that indefatigable shopper, Melyssa
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Archeological Discovery at the Honors Center (by Becky Johnson and
Recently, the constant digging up of
waterlines for the pump in the goldfish pond brought some ancient
artifacts to light. A few weeks ago, Honors students Mike Kreisher
and Becky Johnson, happened on some clay tablets in a pile of earth.
Thanks to their exposure to the Babylonian myth of Gilgamesh in
their HONR 211 class, taught by Nancy Mitchell, and a crash course
in Akkadian Semitic, they’ve manage to piece together fragments of a
narrative that is curiously similar in style to that of Gilgamesh.
Experts at the British Museum and the Smithsonian, have been sent
copies, and we eagerly await their comments on this exciting new
text. It would be rash for me to try to anticipate their
explanations of some apparent curiosities in the text (I for one,
didn’t know that the Babylonians had Honors programs), and it may be
that the experts will refine Mike and Becky’s translation. I ask you
to peruse the fragments below with an open mind and a willingness to
enter into the spirit of a culture both very different, and
curiously similar to our own. Without further introduction then,
here it is— the fabled epic of
Of him who knew the most of all men know;
Who made the journey; heartbroken; reconciled;
Who knew the way things were before AOL Instant Messenger;
The secret things, the mystery; who went
To the end of Maryland, and over; who returned,
And wrote the story in The Saunterer.
He built the Honors House. He built the keeping place
Of the pool table and the ping pong table. The gazebo
Sits in the sun like dullest wood; the inner
Classroom is beyond the imagining of students.
Study the brickwork, study the fortification;
Climb the ancient staircase to the leather room;
Study how it is set up; from the leather room see
The giant TV and white tiger print, front and rear of the house.
This is the Honors House, the city of Dr. Whall
The Wild Ox, son of his father, son
Of his mother, Dr. Whall
The head and maintenance of the Honors Students
Shadow of darkness over Loblolly Lane,
The Web, the Flood that rises to wash away
The slackers in the Honors Program, Dr. Whall
The smartest one of all, the perfect, the terror.
[break—here the tablets are illegible—we next see a different
One day a slacker came to the quad
And saw Dr. England; he stood expressionless,
Astonished; then with his slacker friends he went,
Back to his dorm, fear in his belly.
His mouth was hanging open because of what he realized.
He spoke to his RA and said, “RA,
I saw a floppy-haired man today
In the quad, knowledgeable as the president
Of Harvard, he learns in the library
With the students; he visits the quad
With hound dog; he has filled my mind and filled
My schedule; the students of his class
Never have time. The Canadian teaches them
Because of him I am no longer a partier.
[break—there follows a passage in which Dr. England is introduced
to an English professor,
Dr. Mitchell, who brings him to the kingdom of Dr. Whall. In this
concluding section, the English professor speaks to Dr. England and
explains how Dr. Whall had foreknowledge of his arrival]
“While you were speaking incoherently to the students
Before your mind had any understanding,
His mind, a gift to the gifted of the administration,
Had a memo of you before you knew of him.
In the early morning Dr. Whall arose
And told his wife of the memo: ‘I had a memo.
A Canadian fell from the sky, an Englishman
And spoke in the gardens behind the Honors House.
The students came and wondered at it.
I wanted to push it into the pond but could not.
I was drawn to it as if it were an English professor.’
All-knowing Mrs. Whall spoke to him.....
‘That Canadian that fell from the sky, the English man
that spoke in the gardens behind the Honors House....
Is the intelligent companion, smart as a Canadian
The Englishman of Canada, a gift of the administration.
That you were drawn to as if drawn to an English professor
Means that this companion will not forsake you.
He will ease your workload and teach your students.
This is the fortunate meaning of your memo.’
Then Dr. Whall the lord of the Honors House said:
‘May the memo as you interpret come to pass.’”
The English professor thus told the tale.
Back to Top
Hi Dr, Whall! Alumni News.
Hi Dr. Whall! - Alumni News
David Holland (1990), his wife, Chris, and two children,
Joel and Rebekah, are back on the Eastern Shore after a year of
missionary work in Mexico, China, and Turkey. They’ll be moving soon
to Nashville (no, not to begin a music career) to work at the Youth
With A Mission headquarters until their next call to mission. In the
family newsletter they publish to keep their friends and relatives
informed about their work, David wrote the following: “The day
we flew from Chicago to Turkey, I stopped in a used bookstore and
bought copies of The Merchant of Venice and Henry V to
read on the 10-hour flight. While in the city of Konya—and just as I
was finishing The Merchant of Venice—we asked a man named
Kadir for directions. He enjoyed talking with us and invited us to
his home that evening.
As we talked he told me he loved English literature, especially
Shakespeare. “What’s your favorite work?” I asked him. He replied,
The Merchant of Venice. I told him the story about buying the
book for the trip to Turkey, and we agreed that God had orchestrated
our meeting. Kadir continues to e-mail us.
Heather Campbell (1993) is a Ph.D. candidate in Spanish at
the University of Kentucky in Lexington. She wrote recently:
Things here are going okay. I passed my Ph.D qualifying exams in
August (all those writing skills I honed in my honors classes stood
me in good stead I guess since they told me it was one of the best
written exams they had seen!), so now I am trying to get my butt in
gear to write the dissertation prospectus and get started. My
dissertation director has just retired from the department this past
July, but agreed to continue to work with me and one other woman,
provided we go ahead and get the thing written. So that gives me a
little incentive. I am writing on theatrical monologues written by
women playwrights in Spain in the 20th century. It's kind of
exciting because there's very little
written on the monologues and I have about 35-40 of them to work
with. It is also interesting because I am applying feminist theory
to analyze them, and what I'm finding is that what these playwrights
are writing is what the women novelists were writing about 10 to 15
Stephanie Havenner (1994) I just saw your e-mail address and
wanted to share some news. Shawn (Kastle) (1994) and I
had a baby boy April 30th. His name is Quinn Irie Kastle and weighed
9 lbs. 7.5oz. He is now 14 lbs. at 12 weeks old. We have our hands
full and are loving every minute of being parents. You should see
Shawn. He is very proud.
Hope to drop by when we are in the area.
Christina (Halter) Minkiewiscz (1995) I’ve been meaning to
write since I received the latest issue of The Saunterer, but
have been a little busier than usual. Frank and I are happy to
announce the birth of our daughter, Zoë Marie, on June 20, 2001. She
was a whopping 10 lbs 2 ozs, 22 1/2" long! We are extremely blessed
to have this beautiful angel here on earth with us. I still cannot
believe that she is here! We just returned this weekend from a visit
up to Frederick to visit Todd (1994) and Alison (Frame)
Humphrey (1995) and their son Noah. Alison Humphrey has
agreed to be Zoë’s Godmother at her baptism in September.
Alison and I were talking this weekend about time and how our
plans after college have been altered. She pointed out that we've
known each other for nearly 10 years now, and I nearly fell out of
my chair. I never would have believed that I would be where I am
now, but I wouldn't trade for anything. I am a stay-at-home mom to
our beautiful, almost 8-week-old daughter. I couldn't ask for a
better place right now. Alison and Todd are expecting another child
in December and have a terrific house.
Anyway, I seem to be wandering a little bit myself. I hear that
the Honor's Program just keeps getting better and more diverse every
year, and I think that's wonderful. Do you still get to do the trips
every year up to the mountains or to the Everglades?
Jeannine Rood (1995), who works as an accountant in San
Francisco, wrote in June: I know that it has been a long time
since I have talked to you. Just wanted to send you a message to let
you know that all is well with her in sunny California. I am still
living just outside San Francisco. I am in the East Bay, as they
call it here. Work is going well, but slightly crazy.
I will be back on the East Coast in August. I am moving back to
New Jersey to finish school and be close to my family. I am really
looking forward to being closer to everyone. Maybe I will have to
take a trip down and see you when school is back in session.
Hope that all is well with you.
Brooks Truitt (1995) The last eight months have been eventful
for me. I moved from Connecticut to Houston, TX, in February to be
with my fiancée. Since my job can be done from anywhere I have
access to a phone line and Internet connection, I was able to
transfer my job. So, now I am working from my home office. By the
way, I work for Gartner Group in Stamford, CT, as a research
analyst. We do research on growing businesses and on consumer usage
of home technologies. I assist senior analysts in analyzing and
reporting data and also work very closely with our clients.
In July, I got married. The wedding was held at a gazebo in
Huntsville, TX, where Lisa attended college. As you might imagine,
it was hot and uncomfortable. The cicadas serenaded us, however, and
there was a nice breeze from time to time. We honeymooned in
Colorado, spending five days in Rocky Mountain National Park. We
hiked, fished, went sightseeing and wildlife watching. Lisa and I
were so excited because we saw our first moose, elk, and coyotes in
the wild! From there we moved on down to Colorado Springs and saw
the usual tourist things. We liked it so much that we're planning to
move to the Denver area next fall!
This fall I made a foray back into teaching college. I am
teaching two classes, Introduction to Composition and Introduction
to Literature, at North Harris Community College in Houston. It had
been four years since I’d taught a course, so I felt rusty. It's
been really nice being back in academia, though I must admit that
teaching two courses and holding a full-time job is starting to take
its toll on me.
I'll most likely make my annual pilgrimage to Salisbury when my
I come up at Christmas. Hope to see you then.
Heather Small (1997) Hi all! Or maybe that should read
“y'all”, seeing as I have recently moved to the South. That's right,
after four years in BEAUTIFUL Seattle, I have moved to Alabama. No
one would come visit me in Seattle so I decided to try someplace a
Actually, I moved because I'm getting married! My fiancé’s name
is Ben Blasingame and he now lives in Florence, AL. If you want to
hear all the details of how a Seattleite ended up engaged to a 'Bama
boy, you can look up our Web page on
Anyway, the wedding is March 2nd, and I am currently living with my
sister in the Birmingham area while I look for a job in Florence and
plan the wedding. I also have a part time job at Mail Boxes, etc.
until I can find something more permanent.
It's great to be back on the East Coast, close to my family and
loved ones. I am adjusting to the culture shock that is southern
living, and I miss lots of things about Seattle, especially my
friends. However, I am looking forward to seeing at least some of
them in March at the wedding.
If any of you are in the B-ham area, I'd love to hear from you!
Becca Brooks (1998) (with whom I meet now and again for
lunch this year) sent me an e-mail report from her desk across town
to include in The Saunterer: I graduated from the University of
Texas at Austin in May 2001 with a Master’s in Library Science and
am now the archivist for the Edward H. Nabb Research Center for
Delmarva History and Culture at Salisbury University. Among other
important tasks, I get to look all the old yearbooks of the
University - Dr. Whall you haven't always been gray and Joe Gilbert
didn't always have a beard! Although I'm happy to be back by the
beach after two years in Texas, I loved living in Austin with its
spicy food, live music, and cowboys!
Kari (Moxey) Schoerner (1998) I'm working now for the
Department of the Navy at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, MD. I
write contracts to purchase anything needed by the fleet. Since
September 11th, I've gotten to work on a number of "hot" issues
concerning national security, which has been really interesting. I
got married this past May to another SU graduate, Jeff Schoerner.
We're still in that newlywed state, and things are going well. I'm
halfway toward completion of my master's degree in management with a
concentration in procurement and contracts. I'm taking my classes
online through UMUC. I like the online format; I'm just tired of
school. I wish I could take a semester off work and just finish the
Jenny Pruitt (1998) reported recently that she had
graduated from Wake Forest Law School in May and was preparing to
take the Bar exam in February. Sandwiched between those two events,
the indefatigable Ms. Pruitt Esq. is teaching Business Law and “Real
Property” (is there any other kind?) at Forsythe Technical community
college in Winston-Salem and applying to the Keenan-Flagler graduate
program in accounting at the University of North Carolina, Chapel
Doug Zwiselsberger (1998) Sure has been a while. By now you
must be saying, "kids, they graduate and become so unreliable."
Since I promised you over a year ago that I would send you an update
and never followed through on my promise. Well hopefully this will
make amends for my tardiness!
Since I graduated from “SSU” (there will always be a second "S"
in my mind!) in 1998, I have been working for a consulting firm
called Booz | Allen | Hamilton in McLean, Virginia. I work primarily
on government clients and have enjoyed the many projects that I have
been involved with. My main client is located in Honolulu, HI. So I
get to enjoy a trip out there once or twice a year.
I am currently pursuing my master's from Johns Hopkins
University. I will graduate in May 2003 with a master’s in
information and telecommunications systems for business. JHU comes
to my company and teaches. It is a great format for those of us that
work full time. It is a cohort setup, with classes once a week for
seven weeks. Each class is three and a half hours long. There
is also a Saturday class for five hours. It is pretty intense, but
it allows us to complete our program in two and a half years.
Outside of the work and academic world, I am staying active by
playing soccer in a men’s amateur league and softball. No sleep for
Lindsey Clime (1999) wrote recently: So nice to hear
from you! I am doing fairly well, incredibly stressed with graduate
school - but I am getting by. I am at the University of Maryland,
working on my master’s in criminology and criminal justice. It is
exciting but challenging. The year between undergraduate and
graduate school, I floated through a couple of jobs--trying to find
my niche and ultimately throwing up my hands and returning to
school. The only exciting part of that year was my working for
Outward Bound in Baltimore. (I am still employed for the summers.) I
get to take a group of high schoolers into the wilderness of western
Maryland for two-weeks at a time and teach them all about survival,
responsibility, and life.
Anyway, that's about all thus far. I am still searching for my
“calling” and I hope to find it sometime before I turn 60! Thanks
and feel free to reach me at my new e-mail -
Todd Cooper (1999) came for a visit in May and in October
sent this update about his graduate studies in environmental science
and management at the University of California at Santa Barbara:
Everything's going well here in Santa Barbara, CA. My flight back to
LA was uneventful. I'm currently taking classes in applied
population ecology and principles of biological mitigation and
remediation, as well as working on a group thesis, "Wetland
Mitigation Alternatives for the Casmalia Resources Hazardous Waste
Disposal Site." I've also applied for an internship for winter
quarter with NOAA's Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary
Todd also sent his e-mail address along,
(firstname.lastname@example.org)—and I’d like to encourage all of you to let
me publish your e-mail addresses so that you could all stay in
Katie Kirby (1999) I'm now in my third year of the
Ph.D. program here at Fordham, and, although my workload increases
every semester, I'm very much enjoying it. I took part of my
comprehensive exams, so I now have the unofficial M.A. in philosophy
(which you sort of earn-along-the-way to the Ph.D.). I have to admit
that this task was certainly the most difficult intellectual hurdle
I've ever encountered. The comprehensive exams are very difficult
here, requiring a fairly sophisticated understanding of the history
of philosophy -- ancient, medieval, and modern. I take the second
half in January, in order to continue on the Ph.D. course. Despite a
great deal of nervousness, I'm hoping all will go well.
I was also lucky enough to start teaching this semester, which
was unexpected, as graduate students normally don't get the
opportunity to teach until the spring of their third year. However,
I had a connection through my past assistantship position where I
advised and tutored student-athletes, so I was offered a position
teaching Philosophy of Human Nature in the Liberal Studies/ Adult
Degree Program. I can honestly say that I love it! It's like I've
finally discovered what I'm good at! The class is going very well,
and I think that I've even hooked a few of them on philosophy. (Dr.
Miller, aren't you proud?)
As far as my direction philosophically is concerned, I think I'm
headed toward specializing in either Heidegger (with some
connections here and there to environmental ethics) or
Postmodernists such as Levinas, Derrida, etc. At this point, I'm
hoping to start writing more, and eventually seek publications and
presentation spots, although these endeavors are, of course,
extremely intimidating. I did get to present a paper on Heidegger
and technology at the annual Society for Philosophy and Technology
conference in Aberdeen, Scotland, this past July. It was great fun
and provided a comforting window into the world of professional
philosophy. (And I got a nice vacation around Scotland and to
Iceland out of the deal!)
All in all, I'm having a great time at Fordham -- there are some
really great people in the department, both students and faculty.
And, of course, much of the strictly academic climate normally
associated with graduate study has taken second seat to what has
been more than a tragedy for New York. Luckily, everyone I know who
either works in the Trade Center or lives nearby is fine -- a bit
shaken, but alright. I was amazed to see all of the people
volunteering and mourning with one another in the days after the
attack, especially having known the colder, less compassionate face
of the typical New Yorker. It's still very tense up here, and
there's a certain dread that underlies all of our daily activities.
But at least people are looking each other in the eye now, and life
doesn't seem to be moving so fast. So that's about it. I hope that
all is well in Salisbury.
Jocelyn Wright (1999) I am currently finishing my master's
degree in physical therapy at the University of Delaware in Newark,
DE. I finish didactic training the beginning of February and begin
six months of clinical internships all in the Salisbury-Lower
Delaware area. I will graduate one week after my 25th birthday and
will enter the big, bad world-hopefully gainfully employed so I can
pay off student loans. I have gotten the chance to attend national
conferences for the American Physical Therapy Association in
Indianapolis, IN, Dallas, TX, and Anaheim, CA. I've become quite a
baseball fan and have acquaintances who should be playing in the
Majors within the next two seasons. My parents, my grandmother and
myself are planning a trip to Europe after graduation and I am
looking for places to visit. Any suggestions? School has done a lot
to teach my about who I am and what my strengths and weaknesses are.
I still miss Salisbury and think of it as home. All in all, life is
The Thomas E. Bellavance Honors Program
Bellavance Honors Center
1101 Camden Avenue
Salisbury, MD 21801