East Hill Connected At Least Once
Congratulations on the recent ICQ with the cover package "The East Hill Connection." I found it fascinating and read it cover to cover. This will go a long way toward changing perceptions and fostering pride in both schools and in the greater Ithaca community. Thank you!
Paula Peter Sidle
Friend of Ithaca College
Rebutting Seymour Hersh
You couldn't have come up with a more inappropriate headline for your article on Seymour Hersh's visit to the IC campus than "Journalist Tells It Straight" ("South Hill Today," ICQ 2005/2). I don't really have much of a problem with the "torture" he uncovered at Abu Ghraib. Throwing hoods over their heads and only letting them sleep a couple of hours at a time is nothing, compared to the fate the victims of 9/11 suffered. Do critics of the military really think you just nicely ask suspected terrorists for information, and they'll tell you?
You quoted Hersh as telling students, "Bombing worries me. Bombs never go where they're aimed, and, you know, there are people beneath the bombs." Never go where they're aimed? Are you kidding me? If our bombs never went where they were aimed, we'd all be speaking German today. Or at the very least, all of Saddam Hussein's weapons plants, hideouts, and Republican Guard facilities would still be standing, with Saddam still in charge. Though I suspect Mr. Hersh would probably consider that a good thing.
In his speech Hersh criticized our military: "There's nothing dumber than a 20-year-old kid with a gun in a war zone." How insulting to the thousands of young men and women who have put their lives on the line to protect his rear end from terrorism. That's what we're fighting in Iraq, folks -- terrorism. Not insurgents, or rebels: terrorists.
Kudos to Mr. Hersh for making a living criticizing our armed forces. But someone remind him the military he keeps smearing is the same military that has fought for his freedom to write and speak such tripe. Maybe for his next book, he should write about the hundreds of schools, and hospitals, and power plants our military has built in Iraq. Or would that book not be so worthy of a return invitation to speak at Ithaca College?
Michael D. Wallace '91
West Milford, New Jersey
Kudos to the President
I commend Ithaca College president Peggy R. Williams for her stand on hate, bigotry, and divisiveness on the College campus. It took a great deal of courage to address this issue in such a straight-from-the-shoulder manner in both her ICQ column and the March 15 forum.
Ithaca College is fortunate to have such strong leadership.
Robert Chantler '52
Twin Alumnae Praise HEOP/EOP
We are twin sisters making a difference, one as an employment counselor with the New York State Department of Labor, the other as a social worker for St. Anne Institute, a nonprofit agency specializing in the area of sexual abuse.
We are grateful Ithaca College alumnae, and we want to thank IC, specifically the HEOP/EOP program, because it was their funding and support that allowed us to pursue higher education. It began when a high school teacher who saw our potential marked the "EOP" box on the College application. She said to us, "I know a beautiful place for you -- Ithaca College."
We are two of five children who at one point struggled to survive. We grew up frightened and often hungry. Poverty and physical abuse plagued us. We used to rush to the breakfast programs at school. Our apartment was full of insects, our clothes tattered. We were raised by a mother who herself suffered and passed on only what she knew. We witnessed the ravages of unpredictable anger. Over the years we found jobs to sustain us, both working practically full-time while going to school. This left us sleep-deprived.
At Ithaca College our growth began; we found our freedom, and found ourselves. We immersed ourselves in our studies, worked at the Campus Center and in [the Office of] Campus Safety, and found friends who would stay with us for years to come. IC was home. Since graduating we have both achieved master's degrees and have each worked in our respective fields for more than 10 years.
We owe what we do today to Ithaca College. Thank you!
Ramona Adler Emery '94
Trumansburg, New York
Phyllis Adler '94
Albany, New York
Remembering John Harcourt
John B. Harcourt, the first Charles A. Dana Professor at Ithaca College, died on April 17 at his longtime home on South Hill (see page 47). Hearing the news inspired these reminiscences from his former students:
As a sophomore, I had Professor Harcourt for English lit; he was a stunningly brilliant lecturer who radiated love for teaching. I recall his immense command of English, his crisp delivery style, and the many animated class discussions we had about literary giants from Aeschylus to Chaucer to Chekhov, and -- above all -- Shakespeare. He challenged us to think in different ways -- and restored the confidence my high school English teacher had utterly destroyed.
Later, when I became a member of the faculty, I served on committees with him. John invariably asked insightful questions, sometimes playing devil's advocate, to prod thought. To disagree with him was not to generate animus but to achieve a better understanding.
The College has always had many dedicated faculty, but during his 31-year tenure John Harcourt was among the most highly admired. Never does an Alumni Weekend pass without his former students asking for him and reminiscing warmly about the enriching, challenging, and immensely fulfilling classes they took with him.
John was also a tireless advocate of the College. Even after his retirement he continued to give talks and slide presentations about the College. In 1982 the Ithaca College Alumni Association awarded him its Meritorious Service Award. As author of the brilliantly written 1983 College history, The Ithaca College Story, John was made an honorary alumnus in 1983 and appointed college historian in 1984.
Beyond John's sterling achievements as a teacher and scholar, his wonderful gift of The Ithaca College Story will forever remain his legacy.
Mary I. Arlin '61
Professor, School of Music
Professor John Harcourt was a tyrant, an absolute ruler, in his classes. He had enormously high standards. He insisted on promptness and wouldn't let anyone who came late into class. He gave daily tests in various forms. Papers or other assignments never could be late. His lectures always had an Aristotelian beginning, middle, and end. For English majors, especially, so did our papers. He insisted on outlines. He insisted on the challenge, and if you faltered . . . !
He insisted that the effort be "to be as good as you could be." To be as good as he was. To learn to learn. We felt fear and trepidation -- but we also learned discipline. We felt the joy of the challenge and the job well done. We learned the how and why of learning, as well as the what to learn. A smile from Professor Harcourt was at least equal to a great score on the GREs.
There was nothing better.
Shari Mayer '63
Ithaca was a place where I came of age, inspired to study under the tutelage of Prof John B Harcourt -- amongst the most brilliant academics I have ever encountered, who knew when to encourage and when to reprimand. While it has been 40 years since my graduation, I have kept in contact with Dr. Harcourt and his family.
Dr. Harcourt tutored me to focus on Elizabethan literature, and during the summer of 1964 I was one of two American students chosen to participate in the 400th anniversary ceremonies for the birth of William Shakespeare at Stratford-on-Avon, organized by Birmingham University (U.K.). I spent seven weeks in England and studied with one of the greatest of 20th century Shakespearian scholars, Dr. Kenneth Muir. It was John Harcourt who brought me to this level, and when I graduated one year later with various offers of teaching fellowships, he encouraged me to choose Harpur College at SUNY Binghamton because of its close proximity to Ithaca. One would never disagree with Dr. Harcourt's suggestions, and his loyalty to IC was continuous.
While I have worked hard during my life to achieve the recognition I have accomplished, John Harcourt was always a symbol to me of trying to do better. For a long time I felt that I disappointed him by not going into academia, but my career has made significant contributions within my circles and Professor Harcourt was pleased that he had partly inspired me to these levels.
Justin G. Schiller '65
Kingston, New York