Newsletter of the Thomas E. Bellavance Honors Program
Editor: Becki Lee
Brian Basner, Mickey Burke, Eric Colvin,
Sondra Dietz, Tim Dowd, Becki Lee, Andy Stuhl, Angela Thomas
December, 2002 Vol. 8 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."
On Lobsters and Learning
By Becki Lee
I was shopping at Wal-mart the other day
with my boyfriend when we chanced to pass a tank of lobsters.
"Lobsters!" he exclaimed. Naturally, the first thing I thought
was, "How awesome would it be to have a lobster for a pet? I could
keep it in the bathtub! It would scare my roommates!" We didn't buy
a lobster that day, but that's okay.
While I'm on the subject of lobsters, I might as well bring up
the Honors lobster. This has been a year for changes and brand new
exciting things in the Bellavance Honors Program, not the least of
which is the Honors lobster.
Granted, we have a great new freshman orientation, where old and
new students alike bonded over the campfire and in the classroom.
And there’s that nifty mentors program, where every incoming
freshman was assigned an upperclassman mentor to help them get used
to life at SU.
Oh, and there is that new foosball table in the basement…
Not to mention all the new faces of the freshman class…
Or the exciting new course load for the spring semester
—including a Hamlet class taught by the eminent Charles Duff
of the Globe Theatre...
But all of these things pale in comparison with the Honors
lobster, which lives in the upstairs cupboard and was christened the
Official Lobster of the Honors Program in the orientation debate.
...Okay, so maybe some people won't agree with me on that last
assertion. But you have to admit, this semester has brought some
fantastic new events. With the start we've got, hopefully the rest
of the year will only bring more new and exciting things - even if
you don't like seafood!
Psst...try to find the Honors lobster somewhere within these
pages! Alumni, e-mail Dr. Whall at
to tell him what page you found it on.
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The Sagamore Project
By Sondra Dietz
In April of 2002, five honors students –
Andy, John, Tim, Rochelle and Sondra – and two professors – Dr.
Whall and Dr. England – disappeared near Bolton Landing in Lake
George, NY while attending the North Eastern Regional National
Collegiate Honors Council Conference. Seven months later their
footage was found. This is what was discovered.
As the students and professors departed Salisbury early Thursday
morning, not as early as some would have liked, thanks to a faulty
alarm clock, all were looking forward to an exciting weekend at the
Sagamore resort in upstate New York. With them were all the
necessities for a great weekend: digital camera/recorder, hiking
boots, eveningwear, bathing costumes, Cranium and most importantly,
Thursday, after checking into their luxurious cabin suites on the
beautiful Lake George, SU’s entourage ventured into the town of
Bolton Landing in search of dinner. Lady Luck led them to the only
restaurant open for service in the bustling little town, but
nevertheless, it was with satisfied bellies that the crew returned
to the Sagamore, where they played a game of Cranium. John and
Sondra proved victorious over Andy, Rochelle and Tim, and Sondra was
declared the clay sculpture-making champion.
Friday morning, the Salisburians embarked on what they all
believed was going to be a short, scenic jaunt through the woods.
Little did they know that their mission would lead them through a
series of harrowing experiences as this “short” excursion turned
into an 11-mile trek through waterfalls, across streams and over
rocky slopes. Needless to say, Salisbury’s terrain did little to
prepare them for their journey, and a certain someone (ahem, Dr.
Whall) sprained his ankle when he tripped over a rock, and Sondra
managed to fall headfirst over a log even after John told her time
and time again that hiking involves picking up your feet, not
dragging them. They all eventually made it out alive despite their
several setbacks and lack of preparation, and it appears that Dr.
Whall discovered some sort of miracle cure for his hurt ankle, which
had him jumping around on both feet later that evening.
That night after a fancy dinner provided by the Sagamore, the
students discovered the pool, while the profs had a party of their
own. Rochelle bought a blue rubber ball earlier in the day, which
Andy, John and Tim turned into a game they called “Blue Ball.” The
rules of the game were simple: hold the ball under water until
someone said, “pass the stone,” then release the ball for someone to
catch. The game persisted for quite a while until the students were
coerced out of the pool by several angry lifeguards who were
supposed to have gotten off duty 10 minutes before. The students’
energy could not be suppressed, however, so they decided to go back
to their cabins and play another round of Cranium, this time with
Dr. England joining in on the fun. But, even the brainy Dr. England
was no match for John and Sondra, who once again proved victorious.
At approximately 6 a.m. Saturday morning, the students and
professors were rudely awakened by an earthquake; Dr. Whall had been
even more rudely awakened, since Rochelle had called him at 2
o’clock in the morning (word to the wise, don’t interrupt his eight
hours!)! On the other hand, some of the students were already awake
and showering because they had to get up early to show their
posters. They were very frightened and were wondering what on earth
was wrong with the Sagamore’s plumbing. Fortunately, it was only a
brief upset, and the students and faculty all made it safely to
their presentations, which included poster displays, speeches and
discussions with other schools about their honors programs. Sondra
presented a poster called “War on the Hudson: Battling for Freedom
in the Wilderness,” while Andy, John and Tim gave talks entitled
“The Suppression of Wilderness Values along the Wicomico River in
favor of Economic Advancement,” “Locked up in the Wilderness:
Prisons in the Adirondacks” and “Native American Poetry”
respectively. Rochelle was given the task of photographing the
Saturday night, the Salisburians went to a jazz concert put on by
the hotel and a talent night hosted by students. Andy told a very
funny story about a tick he discovered on a “private” part of his
body and Dr. England read a poem he wrote about how boring committee
meetings can be. Next, the SU students began a round of the game
telephone up on stage, which wound up being pretty humorous. Then,
since no one could get enough of Cranium, everyone, including
Salisbury’s new LIU and FIT friends, participated in the ultimate
Sunday was a very sad day as the Salisbury students said goodbye
to their newfound friends and boarded the van for the long trip
back. They all agreed that it was a terrific weekend and they would
never forget the experiences they had and the new friends they made.
So, as they waved a final adieu to the Sagamore… the tape stopped
rolling… Look for the Sequel, “The Sagamore Project 2: Gettysburg”
coming this spring to a Saunterer near you.
HSA students bond with their new FIT and LIU friends.
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Sagamore on a Serious Note
By Andy Stuhl
Although the troopers from Salisbury
were able to enjoy themselves while at Lake George, the conference
had two very serious and memorable moments that are worth
On Saturday, the Sea Gulls participated in the Student Caucus, a
session put on for and by the students in order to discuss student
issues within Honors programs throughout the region. The Caucus
proved to be a very emotional time, as the students from Salisbury
learned about the insufficient provisions for deaf students provided
by such conferences as the one they were attending. After more than
an hour of genuine, from-the-heart discussion, the students decided
to attend the Faculty Caucus, in what could have been dubbed a
"sit-in." The spirit was not one of confrontation, but of awareness,
as the student representatives offered their concerns to the
faculty. In the end, the problems had not exactly been solved, but
they had been addressed, which proved to be a good start for
students and faculty alike.
In addition, the ride home from Sagamore proved to be the forum
for the spawning of the idea for an Honors freshman orientation. The
group's ideas, along with Dr. England's follow through and hard
work, made it a reality. This September, the freshman Honors class
got to experience the thought in action as they read the book
Making the Most of College by Richard Light and spent a weekend
of adventure at Assateague Island.
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The view from a pier on Lake George.
Jim in My Losing Season
Acclaimed author Pat Conroy’s latest
book, My Losing Season appeared in the number two spot in its
first month on the New York Times’ Best Seller List. Since
being introduced to Mr. Conroy’s work by my stepfather, Jim
Plunkett, I have always enjoyed his highly dramatic and passionate
novels. The latest book, which is a memoir recounting his days as a
collegiate basketball player, features Jim in the seventh chapter,
Jim attended the Citadel for his college education, and when he
was a senior, Pat Conroy was a freshman assigned to the dormitory
right next to Jim’s room. So naturally, since the class system
dominated the school, and since freshmen, (a.k.a. plebes, dumbheads,
knobs, smackheads, etc.) were lower than mud on the social scale,
Pat and his roommate Bob Patterson became the personal slaves of Jim
and his other three senior private roommates.
While reading various novels that Mr. Conroy has written, most of
which include some sort of military school and different personas
from that setting, I would hear stories from time to time from Jim
about the gags that he and his roommates would pull (many still live
on as outrageous Citadel legend). In the harsh military school daily
life, Jim tried as hard as he could to have as much fun as possible
in those oppressive school grounds. Because of this attitude, and
although a great majority of the Corps of Cadets respected Jim for
his brassiness, a couple of high-ranking individuals tried their
best to run my stepfather out of school, even though he was weeks
away from graduating.
The Citadel attitude toward the freshmen was one of pure hatred.
For nine months, all of the first-year boys were tortured day and
night by every upperclassman. In reaction to this constant abuse,
Mr. Conroy published this poem in the Citadel literary magazine
voicing his disdain for the cadre.
The dreams of youth are pleasant dreams,
Of women, vintage and the sea.
Last night I dreamt I was a dog
Who found an upperclassman tree.
After the printing of this poem, the friendship between Jim and
Pat truly molded when a group of cadets felt it was their
prerogative to severely haze Mr. Conroy. One night they were doing a
hellish job on Pat in the barracks bathroom, until Jim and his three
roommates burst in on the scene:
There was nothing left to save when I heard a disturbance at
the door. My senior privates had come for me, my four wonderful
senior privates, the boys without rank that I’d come to revere
came running into that shower room when my roommate told them
where I was. Plunkett swung at one of my tormentors and Hough
and LaBianco and Keyser pulled me to my feet...My senior
privates had stormed in for the rescue and I’d love them the
rest of my life for it.
Later on that year, during mid-year exams, Jim had started taking
amphetamines in order to help him stay up all night to study (on one
of these nights my stepfather absorbed a whole semester’s worth of
differential equations and passed the exam the next day). After five
days of staying up all night studying, he napped during study hours
and was completely delirious and got caught off-guard by a surprise
room inspection. While his roommates tried to make him rise from his
bed, he blindly swung his fists and got written up for “assaulting
another cadet.” This violation put Jim over the allowed amount of
demerits, sending him home the next day. As Mr. Conroy wrote, "Jim
Plunkett walked out the gate and all of our lives. I had lost my
first antihero to something as small-time as demerits."
From what I have seen growing up with this noble man, his Citadel
saga has been apart from regretful background noise for most of his
life and I think that reading his story in this book has brought a
certain amount of closure to him. I believe it has shown him just
how much his classmates liked him, and perhaps more importantly, how
much he influenced one of the greatest American storytellers of
modern era. Most of all, reading about my stepfather’s late teen
years, the same age that I am right now, presents to me the greatest
respect for the man who has raised me as his son. There it is, his
life on the pages of a best-selling book, and there I am reading
with water-welled eyes and my chest tight with pride.
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"Defining Excellence: A Freshman Honors New Student
By Eric Colvin
The idea for a freshman Honors new
student seminar has been floating around for several semesters now,
and this year we finally saw it happen. When we first started
talking about it, I was in favor of just getting rid of the freshman
class entirely and not allowing them to come to school with us,
which I think would have made everyone happy. But I was overruled on
that idea, and we prepared to devote a substantial portion of our
time to guiding these lost souls as they entered the wide world of
Salisbury University. Overall, I think the orientation was a huge
success for everyone involved. The 31 incoming freshmen that were
fortunate enough to sign up for this experience trusted eight of us
“experienced” Honors students to teach and guide them in the ways of
college. The program began for us with a scrumptious dinner with Dr.
Whall and Dr. and Mrs. England the day before the students were
scheduled to arrive for the semester. We divided up the jobs and
were all impressed with Dr. England’s foresight and planning for
this. The next day we met the freshmen, along with some of their
families, and introduced them to the program before we finally
allowed them to go unpack. The following day was Labor Day Monday,
which is traditionally a day of rest for incoming Salisbury students
with no classes, but not for our lucky freshmen! We met bright and
early at 10 a.m. at the Honors house and began by breaking into two
groups, which then participated in discussions led by Dr. England
and Dr. Whall. The discussions centered on the book Making the
Most of College by Richard Light, a Harvard professor. Following
the discussion and a lunch in the Commons together, we all returned
to the Honors house for a brilliantly argued debate. The freshmen
were able to watch me and Becki Lee argue against Tim Dowd and Sonia
Gondal over the value of participating in the Honors program. I am
pleased to say that I debated so well that I almost convinced some
students to drop out of Honors, despite being called a wiener by the
The new student seminar continued later that week with a
wonderful Honors barbecue, complete with a pool tournament and lots
of food. The culmination of the experience, however, was an
overnight camping trip to Assateaque Island. As crazy as it sounds,
we took 30 freshmen out into the wild to sleep on the beach and to
actually spend time with one another. The trip was a lot of fun.
Meals were cleverly cooked in aluminum foil on the fire, thanks to
the efforts of Philip Ferralli, and the wild ponies that came and
terrorized the camp especially enjoyed them. The tents that were
borrowed from the school had a distinctly unpleasant odor to them,
but that didn’t bother most people as we ended up sleeping right out
on the beach. This was like a mini-vacation from school, despite the
fact that classes hadn’t started to get hard yet.
In addition to all of this, the students had been divided into
groups of four based upon major and had a peer guide assigned to
them. We met with our peer groups outside of class for dinner one
evening just to get to know one another and help them out with any
problems. Not surprisingly, my group members already knew their way
The new student orientation was officially called “Defining
Excellence,” which is definitely a hard task to do. After
participating in it I would say excellence is a group of students
who are willing to devote the extra time to take these Honors
courses, further their education and make lasting friendships with
one another through running from wild ponies. My one regret is that
this did not exist when I was a freshman in Honors, and hopefully it
will be continued and improved upon throughout the years, resulting
in a more comprehensive and enlightening Honors program here at
Mr. Ed comes to dine with Ellie Adelman.
Brian Basner, Lord of the Underworld, guards the campfire.
“The Honors orientation was an excellent way to meet new
friends, learn how to check campus email and talk about what
college means to us. It helped me to feel immediately welcome as
a part of the Honors program and the SU campus itself.”
"Not only was I able to spend time with other focused
students during the Bellavance Honors New Student Experience
Program, but in meeting these friends, I believe I adapted
to the college life much easier." -Ashley Brunner
“I was afraid that it would be incredibly boring when I
read about it in the pamphlet, yet it was actually quite
enjoyable. I was able to meet a lot of nice people, and
camping was a lot of fun too! My favorite thing was walking
on the beach.”
Students (and a professor) lounge around while waiting for the bus
to take them home.
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Salutations from the Social Director!
(don't you just love alliteration?)
By Becki Lee
As Social Director, I get to rant about all of the
fun HSA gatherings we’ve had so far this semester, including those that
haven’t happened yet and those that I have had nothing to do with. So far,
the semester has been full of the HSA hijinks we’ve come to love and expect
– with the exception of petite quiche. (Hey, it’s expensive!)
A couple of the first HSA social events this semester were the Open Mic
Nights, hosted by Mickey Burke. While the turnout to these events was not
quite as large as we had hoped for, the company was great and the
performances were even better. Everything from music to dramatic monologues
to even a recitation of “Fuzzy Wuzzy Was a Bear” was presented, confirming
our suspicions that some HSA students are not quite right in the head.
The “F.I.T. and Fun” weekend was also an event not to be missed. Honors
students from the Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.) came down and
hung out with SU Honors students in a weekend consisting of a trip to Ocean
City, a pizza and ice cream party and the only chance you’ll ever have to
spend the night in the Honors house.
Another highlight of HSA social life was the first annual foosball
tournament, which is explained more in depth in a separate article. Suffice
it to say that Jacob Holloway is the Foosball Grand Master, and he is the
proud owner of not one but two HSA Cups. (Plastic cups, they are.
Also notable was Quoth the Raven, the
Halloween-party-not-quite-on-Halloween-night. The event was a success, as
people crawled out of the woodwork to hear terrifying tales (and then wanted
to crawl back into the woodwork, after some of the more creepy ones!). The
scary (or not-so-scary) stories ranged from an “autobiographical” yarn
related by Dr. Whall (including props!) to a more traditional reading of
Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven”, frighteningly read by Sheryl Kiernan. (This
was followed by a not-so-traditional reading of “The Raven” as narrated by
the main character’s cat, also read by Sheryl.) Hot chocolate, Halloween and
horrifying histories made for a delightfully eerie evening.
In addition, Nick Kolesar and Andrew Dix have been putting on several
unofficial and impromptu movie nights, which certainly makes my job easier!
These movie nights are typically on Thursdays and Saturdays, and Nick will
hook up his Playstation 2 to the monstrous TV in order to view movies like
“The Shawshank Redemption” and “The Emperor’s New Groove” on DVD.
Speaking of impromptu and unofficial gatherings, Nick and Andrew also
managed to put on a Halloween party out of Nick’s own wallet on Halloween
night. Many people came in memorable costumes, some of which I’d rather not
remember. The night culminated in a viewing of “It’s the Great Pumpkin,
For those of you who missed out on the fun, fear not, for there are many
exciting (and tentative!) events yet to go to. For example, you may look
forward to Board Game Night, where we’ll drag out games like “Twister” and
“Environmental Concerns”, and eat munchies and play games far into the
night. (“Environmental Concerns” is a game similar to “Monopoly”, but it has
street names like “Air Pollution” and “Recycle Cardboard” instead of “Park
Place” and “Boardwalk.” Goodness knows what else one may drag up from the
depths of the TV room closet in the Honors house!)
Also on the calendar is (even more tentatively) a Cookie Swap night, just in
time for <insert your favorite wintry holiday here!>. HSA students will be
baking wintertime goodies and
distributing them amongst each other. (Or something to that effect.) I’m not
sure which is more fun, icing the cookies or eating them…
Lastly, plans are in place for a Christmas party towards the end of the
semester. Perhaps John Heath’s test of our pop culture and movie knowledge
will make a comeback. Either way, it’s bound to be a night of fun and
fellowship (and food!).
So if you haven’t been able to come to an HSA social event yet, there are
still plenty of occasions to attend one. We’d love to have your company. And
bring some petite quiche!
The Grim Reaper makes a cameo at Quoth the Raven, courtesy of Tom Hamill.
Ellie Adelman as Vanilla Ice at the unofficial Halloween party.
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Miscellaneous Photos from Social Gatherings
Obligatory photo of Wrinkles, the
Englands’ portly basset hound.
The ultimate in entertainment:
Sean Michalski juggles fire at Nick and Andrew’s Halloween bash.
Pat McDermott spoke at the year’s first
Mind Shrapnel ‘n’ Cookies Colloquium about corporate dishonesty.
Dr. Whall reads a thrilling tale
entitled “The Anatomy Lesson” during Quoth the Raven.
The Riddler meets the Fierce Tiki
Warrior — Andrew Dix and Brian Basner face off.
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By Brian Basner (HSA Mascot)
Unless you've been living in a cave for
the past few months, you've noticed that the Honors house basement
isn't the cave it was before. It has since been swept a few times.
The basement also features a working CD player and a foosball table.
If you have any more ideas on possible basement improvements, let me
know at email@example.com. Sadly, we're still working
on the basement flooding issue...
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By Brian Basner and Becki Lee
Greetings from the self-appointed HSA
mascot and Social Director! We pose to you a riddle of sorts: what
do you get when you mix one-legged men; a small, white plastic ball;
and too much caffeine?
Answer: an HSA foosball tournament!
Thanks to the persistence of Jacob Holloway and the toil of the
Committee Overseeing Foosball Table Acquisition (COFTA), the HSA
welcomed this newest addition to the Honors House early on in the
In a moment of euphoria, upon completion of the foosball table’s
assembly (thanks to Brian Basner and Becki Lee), it was decided that
the HSA would christen the table with a foosball tournament. So on
October 24, members and non-members alike congregated to determine
who was the best foosballer of all at the first annual HSA foosball
In the Solo Conference, Dr. England made a valiant attempt to
clinch the HSA Cup, but he was destroyed by the invincible Jacob.
With sleight of hand and steady concentration, along with general
encouragement and commentary from Wrinkles), Jacob demolished his
competition at every stage. In no Solo Conference game did anyone
score more than two goals against him!
(Honorable Mention goes out to Mark Mackenzie, who had played
foosball only once before in his life, yet held his own ‘til the
In the Duo Conference, the team comprised of Tom Hamill and Jacob
Holloway proceeded to triumph over all of the other pairs. Again,
Jacob’s impeccable offense, combined with Tom’s entertaining
defense, led the way to a 10-3 victory against Sheryl Kiernan and
Becki Lee, winning Jacob yet another HSA Cup.
For those of you who were unfortunate enough to have missed the
tourney this time around, take heart. There is a chance that another
tournament will be held in the spring of 2003, when Jacob may be
called upon to defend his title of “foosball champion.” So start
The winners of the HSA Foosball Tournament. What a bunch of goofs.
Sheryl Kiernan and Becki Lee battle Dr. and Mrs. England, with Brian
Dr. and Mrs. England practice for the foosball tournament.
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An Honors Visit Fit for...well, F.I.T.
By Angela Thomas
Gucci and Gull Cards had a chance to
mingle when Honors students from New York’s Fashion Institute of
Technology came to visit the Bellavance Honors crew here at
Salisbury University. This wasn’t just some random idea; SU folk had
met the F.I.T. folk at the annual Honors Convention in New York City
the previous year. They liked each other so much that they made
plans to make a little trip here to Salisbury. Those of us who
volunteered to have one (or two, or three) F.I.T. people stay in our
rooms for the night waited anxiously for the bus to arrive,
wondering just what these people would be like. Then our answer
burst through the door.
Amidst suitcases and pillows, in walked a motley crew of fashion
students. And they came bearing gifts! A little sphere bearing the
F.I.T. logo and wind-up legs that hopped about (or didn’t, depending
if yours was unwilling) were handed to each of us. They told us the
story of the astute Arby’s cashier who, when they walked in,
inquired, “where y’all from?” in that distinct Eastern Shore twang.
Just the first impression they needed! But they laughed it off as we
all filed out of the Honors House and into the dorms to get everyone
Being that they had such a long bus ride, I figured that everyone
would want to go right to bed. WRONG! Oh right, I forgot, they’re
from New York. Well, being a night owl, I took it upon myself to
show everyone the highlights around the campus area. We strolled
about, trying to find decent parties or something interesting to do.
The party idea failed, as did the trip down the railroad tracks to
Superfresh, but we did have fun riding shopping carts down the
tunnel to the intramural fields. It was a good time for everyone to
get to know each other better as well. We talked of Aristotle, the
meaning of life and of whether or not stiletto boots would be in
style next year. Then it was off to bed.
The next morning we all met to have breakfast in the Commons.
After filling our bellies, courtesy of campus dining, we meandered
over to the Honors House to get ready for the highlight of the
weekend: a trip to Ocean City for the day, woo-hoo!! Piling into two
vans and a couple of cars, we were on our way.
The drive was made more interesting in my van, with Dr. England
cursing idiot motorists, a biker-dude spotting and, of course, the
name game. We had Ambidextrous Angela, Titillating Tara, Nasty Nick,
and who can forget Fabulous Fred. Upon arrival, we laid out our
towels in a central location and were off. Some read, some slept in
the sun, some went swimming, but everyone stared at Fred’s Gucci
Speedo. Then a stroll on the boardwalk, a bite to eat (or not, if
your name was Megan and you wanted a hot dog), and one last dip in
the ocean made the day complete. We piled back into our respective
vehicles and drowsily made our way back to campus, while visions of
Papa John’s danced in our heads.
Back at the Honors house, there was an odd feeling of having
forgotten something. Oh wait! The F.I.T. chaperones are still
wandering the Ocean City Streets! Enter Mrs. England to save the
day, driving all the way back to pick them up. I think that maybe
the chaperones needed some chaperones. After the pizza, a showing of
“Zoolander” was presented upstairs on the bigscreen TV. Then a
late-night outing to Cool Beans resulted in free donuts, sticky buns
and cookies for all. And if that wasn’t enough, card games and card
tricks went on in the Honors house kitchen until the wee hours of
the morning. Then, FINALLY, everyone crashed.
Then it was Sunday morning, time for the F.I.T. departure.
Watching the bus drive off, there was time to reflect. I was happy
to have met such an interesting and creative group of people so
eager to share their talents, thoughts and friendship. New friends
were made. New ideas were shared. We laughed. We cried. We got sand
everywhere. And a good time was had by all.
The only thing more captivating
than the ocean was Fred’s Versace speedo.
So just how many students can
you fit into the TV room of the Honors house? Shhh, don’t tell
the fire marshal…
SU students introduce FIT students to
the gourmet food at the Commons.
The F.I.T. and S.U. honors students
gather together for one last photo.
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Spring 2003 Honors Course List
The obligatory picture of the Honors
Issues in Social Sciences: A More Perfect Union: Humanity’s Search
for Utopia – Mike Lewis
HONR 212: Issues in Natural Sciences – Richard England
HONR 311/PHIL 310: The Experience of Animals – Grace
HONR 311/MATH 200: Mathematics and Culture – E. Lee
HONR 311/THEA 392: Studies in Theatre: HAMLET –
Charles Duff and Paul Pfeiffer
HONR 312: Honors Research/Creative Project – Tony
HONR 490: Honors Thesis Preparation – Tony Whall
HONR 495: Senior Honors Thesis – Tony Whall
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Dark and Stormy Humor...
Taken from the winners of the
Bulwer-Lytton fiction contest (www.bulwer-lytton.com) in which
entrants strive to write the worst first sentence of a novel....
The camel died quite suddenly on the second day, and Selena
fretted sulkily and, buffing her already impeccable nails--not
for the first time since the journey began--pondered snidely if
this would dissolve into a vignette of minor inconveniences like
all the other holidays spent with Basil. --Gail Cain, San
Francisco, California (1983 Winner)
She wasn't really my type, a hard-looking but untalented
reporter from the local cat box liner, but the first second that
the third-rate representative of the fourth estate cracked open
a new fifth of old Scotch, my sixth sense said seventh heaven
was as close as an eighth note from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony,
so, nervous as a tenth grader drowning in eleventh-hour cramming
for a physics exam, I swept her into my longing arms, and,
humming "The Twelfth of Never," I got lucky on Friday the
--Wm. W. "Buddy" Ocheltree, Port Townsend, Washington (1993
"Ace, watch your head!" hissed Wanda urgently, yet somehow
provocatively, through red, full, sensuous lips, but he couldn't
you know, since nobody can actually watch more than part of his
nose or a little cheek or lips if he really tries, but he
appreciated her warning.
--Janice Estey, Aspen, Colorado (1996 Winner)
P.S. Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873) was the novelist who
immortalized the phrase “It was a dark and stormy night.…”
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The Tradition Continues
By Mickey Burke
If you find yourself near the Honors house
on a Thursday night, you may hear strange sounds emerging from the
classroom. Whimsical laughter and the angry growl of a guitar are
sure signs that it’s Open Mic Night.
Once a month I organize an Open Mic, producing posters and sending
out the word of mouth. The promise of cookies can bring between
10-20 people. Yet coffee and snacks are not the only draw for this
motley crew. The need to share everything from songs of rage to the
inner desire to be baked goods brings students to the stage.
Everyone is invited to come and present. For those that
conveniently “forget their notebooks back in their rooms,” I pass
out paper and pen. One game we play is Partial Poetry; the audience
is given a few lines of poetry and must finish the work. Some nights
we are even privileged to create boot rhymes from Dr. England’s
inspiration. The ideal is total participation, but we do not rip
every wallflower from its roots.
The stage is open to nearly every type of performance. In the past
we have had everything from a belly dancer to a violin/cello duet.
Of course, we always welcome poets, musicians, and angry people who
need to vent. Just do not hurt the audience. The event usually runs
as long as people have work to perform, frequently three hours.
With my impending graduation in May, this will be my last year
hosting the event. It has been a wonderful ride, but have no fear. I
am confident that someone will step up to the plate after I leave,
but do not wait until then to come out. We always welcome new faces
and the bodies that accompany them.
Mickey Burke performs some of her unique poetry.
Fred Wills tells the story of Little
Red Riding Hood like you’ve never heard it before.
Brian Basner presents a stunning rendition of “Fuzzy Wuzzy Was a Bear”
while students look on.
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Hi Dr. Whall! Alumni News
AMANDA ELZEY 
I just received the Saunterer from May. It came in a
roundabout way, as I haven't been in the same place for a while now.
But I am happy to report that I now have an address that'll work for
at least one year.
I just finished my international MBA which took me traveling
through France and Japan with a six month sojourn in Philadelphia in
the middle of it. I'm in the process of moving to Boston and am
currently hunting the elusive job.
I'm happy to see that the Saunterer is so meaty this year.
It is nice to know that the program is active and people are doing
well. I hope that all is well with you and you are making time to
enjoy your grandchild(ren?) this summer.
ELIZABETH GRANT 
I've just returned from a month in the wilds of Connecticut and am
preparing myself to return to Salisbury next week.
I'll give you the briefest of brief updates now, regrettably a
month after you requested it -
1997 June through July - I was a field assistant in the Bienville
National Forest of Mississippi studying the Red-cockaded woodpecker.
It was a home range study to determine the habitat requirements and
range of the average nesting group of these endangered birds.
1997-1998 Veterinary Assistant...Harrisburg, PA
1998 I was with the Thoreau Society, organized the 1998 Annual
Gathering and at the same time worked with MassRecycle, a recycling
non-profit, and Allandale Farm, the last working farm within Boston
1998-2001 University of North Texas, Teaching Assistant and
Teaching Fellow. I taught two sections of Intro. to Philosophy and
Moral Issues while working on a Master's Degree in Environmental
Philosophy (still pending). I also worked with the Census Bureau and
as a job coach for the mentally retarded through the county MHMR
agency in Texas.
Ever since, I have been with the Manada Conservancy (www.manada.org)
to help set up their office and learn about the inner workings of
BRIAN GROVER 
I am in my last year of pharmacy school at the University of
Maryland, Baltimore, and will graduate in May with a Doctor of
Pharmacy degree. I have been on rotation all summer and fall. I am
on rotation in Easton this month. I am planning on applying for a
residency in Pharmacotherapy for the next year (I guess I will never
stop learning). School is pretty much taking up most of my time so
not much else is going on. I was singing with Choral Arts until this
year. Can't because of rotations...3 months on the shore makes it
hard to make it to rehearsal. I am still living in Baltimore and in
the summers I have been coaching a swim team.
BEN HINCEMAN 
Since my last update, I have returned home from Hong Kong and my
various other journeys. Of my adventures traveling in Asia, the
greatest by far was my trip to Nepal. I spent a couple weeks solo
trekking in the Himalayas, making it to my ultimate destination of
Mt. Everest base camp. I also spent a few days investigating the
chaotic and mystic sights of the city of Kathmandu, which is the
most exotic place I have ever experienced. For all those wanna-be
Indiana Joneses out there, Kathmandu is a must see. For photos from
my trip go to:
On a much more banal note, I have returned to Maryland where I
have since sold out to "the Man." I passed the Maryland Bar Exam and
accepted an associate attorney position with a corporate law firm in
downtown Baltimore. Additionally, I live downtown and enjoy a 15
minute walk to and from work...no beltway traffic for this amigo. I
play soccer on a team in the Maryland Majors adult amateur league
and am volunteering my time as a mentor in the "Big Brothers
Program." I encourage anyone who is considering becoming a Big
Brother or Sister to get involved; it is a truly wonderful program.
TODD  AND ALISON (FRAME)  HUMPHRIES
All is well here... We are pleased to announce the birth of our
daughter, Eliza Rose Humphrey, born 11/28/01. Our son, Noah (age 4)
is a very helpful big brother. Alison (Frame), class of '95, is
currently working as Senior Technical Advisor with Alexus
International in Gaithersburg, Maryland. I am a Contracts Associate
with Westat in Rockville, Maryland.
MICHELLE KEENEY 
I hope this note finds you well! Thank you for sending me the
latest edition of the Saunterer. It is always great to
hear about the exciting things you and your students are doing. The
Honors Program and the Honors House have undergone some amazing
changes. You have a lot to be proud of!
I realized when I saw you mailed the newsletter to my Durham
address that we have been out of touch for too long. I left Durham
and completed my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology [at the University of
North Carolina, Chapel Hill] in August 2000. I immediately began a
one year Congressional Fellowship sponsored by the American
Psychological Association. I worked with Senator Kennedy’s Judiciary
Committee staff and served as legislative counsel on issues related
to crime, sentencing, substance abuse and others. It was an amazing
year and an incredible learning experience into the federal
legislative process – the good and the bad. I finished there last
August and had a few months off before accepting my current position
as an Assistant Professor at Drexel University’s College of Medicine
in Philadelphia. The majority of my time is spent providing
individual psychotherapy to HIV/AIDS patients. It has been an
incredible experience, but alas, I’m moving on again. This time I
hope the move to be more permanent. I have accepted a conditional
offer of employment from the federal government, based in D.C. I
don’t want to jinx it so I’ll save details for when things are
finalized (6-9 mos).
As you can see, I’m been moving around quite a bit and I’m
yearning for some stability and a place to call home. That is my
goal in the next 1 to 1½ years. Again, I hope you are doing well.
BECKY [McCANN] KOWALCZYK 
If you remember me, it will be as Becky McCann. I got married
last August. My younger brother, Kevin, just finished his first year
at Salisbury. He recently remembered to tell me that you had
inquired about me last fall, and said that I should email you.
(Obviously, he's inherited the good old McCann memory.)
So here I am! After graduation ('99) I moved to New Jersey to be
with my fiance, John ('98). He designs web pages for a company in
north Jersey, and I work in New York City as an assistant to a film
studies professor at NYU. I don't really like working in the city;
the commute is a real pain and I have no desire to actually move
into New York to make it easier. Call me a country girl - but I need
a back yard. Or a front yard. Or any tiny bit of grass at all! I
like living close enough to the city to take advantage of the
cultural aspects (we recently saw “The Graduate” on Broadway, with
Kathleen Turner -- if you can call that culture), but riding the
train here every day is draining. Happily, I have a new plan. I
would like to become a teacher myself. I wouldn't really say that my
current job has inspired me... Our students are adults. Rich adults.
I would like to teach people at an age where it's possible to
actually have a positive impact. It seems to me that I would
flourish in a nice high school, where I can really become a good
teacher and not have to worry about my tally of publications. You
once commented on a paper I wrote about “Candide” that my writing
was "lucid and insightful." I have never forgotten that sincere
compliment. It made me try harder in your classes and that is the
main reason why I want to teach. I want to figure out how to reach
kids like me.
BROOKS TRUITT 
Brooks and his wife, Lisa are the proud parents of James Roy
Truitt, born in Texas on September 24th. Being that Texas is our
most commodious state in the lower Forty-eight, Roy, as he's
affectionately called by his worshipful parents, weighed in at 10
lbs, 4 oz. Brooks has sent several photos of his son (a spitting
image of the old man, if I do say so myself, even as I wonder what a
"spitting image" is), and he is indeed an adorable little guy.
Back to Top
The Thomas E. Bellavance Honors Program
Bellavance Honors Center
1101 Camden Avenue
Salisbury, MD 21801