Most Americans watched events at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, unfold from afar. One Grinnell senior’s own initiative took him to Copenhagen last December to attend the conference in person. Nathan Pavlovic ’10 calls the experience “eye-opening” in many ways.
An Excerpt from
by Erika Graham ’10
You call me to you, vast and powerful mind,
Minerva of France, immortal Emilie
I awake at your voice, I march to your insights,
In the footsteps of virtues and of the truth.
Emilie was a very unusual woman.
Issue: Winter 2009
Almost everyone has had that experience — you’re running, or swimming, or working out in the gym. Your mind is relaxed, you’re working hard, and thinking of nothing in particular — when the perfect solution to that exasperating problem magically materializes in your mind.
J.B. Grinnell is a towering figure in the history of Grinnell, Iowa. Josiah Bushnell Grinnell -- better known as J.B. -- was born in Vermont in 1821. He grew up a farm boy, working in the fields in the spring and summer and attending school only in the winter. He learned quickly and began teaching in a one-room schoolhouse by the age of 16. After spending a few years teaching, he left Vermont to attend Oneida Institute in New York, a radical institution that opposed slavery. It was there that Grinnell became a staunch abolitionist.
I’ve been in-country for one day. I’m jet-lagged and overwhelmed by the complexity of my 24-hour experience in the Green Zone in Baghdad: the omnipresent armed guards, the ubiquitous dust in the air, the monochromatic landscape (no color, especially no green), and the incomprehensible mission.
Everyone has a different reason for pulling out the checkbook and writing a check to Grinnell. We asked several Grinnellians for their thoughts on philanthropy and the College.
Joel Spiegel '78
Why give to Grinnell? Trustee Joel Spiegel says the College needs to stress how giving throughGrinnell can make a difference in the world.
Carmen Valentin, newly tenured in Grinnell's Spanish department, also has scholarly and personal interests on two continents -- in her case, Europe and North America. A native of Spain, she received B.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Hispanic philology at the University of Valladolid, and cut her teeth as an instructor by teaching the university's courses in Spanish for foreign students.
For Erik Simpson, English is more than a discipline; it's the family business.
He grew up in Olean, N.Y., the son of an English professor at St. Bonaventure University. His mother, too, is in academe, running the learning center at the local community college. His parents met -- as did he and his wife, Carolyn -- in an English graduate program. Simpson's father teaches the British Romantics; so does he.
That said, Simpson stresses that he never felt any pressure to walk the same path his parents walked. Quite the opposite, in fact.
When Grinnell's English department brought Ralph Savarese to Iowa six years ago from Florida, he saw it as a chance to nourish a range of interests that -- to an outsider, at least -- looks not only exhaustive, but downright exhausting.
Shuchi Kapila believes that English is an academic discipline that is anything but merely academic.
"By the time I got to university, the study of English had become a cutting-edge discipline," she says. "I felt that in studying English I would be doing something to change the world of ideas."
Kapila, who grew up in Chandrigarh and New Delhi, came of age intellectually and academically during a time of foment in Indian society, when the roles of women and questions of class were being re-examined from bottom to top.