Dr. Charles Stein, hosted by J.I. Abbot, Associate Professor of English and Philosophy, Tunxis students Zachary Omichinski and Jack Giesselman, and Tunxis alumnus and current Trinity College student Darren Bruno.
Poet and independent scholar Charles Stein is the author of eleven books of poetry including From Mimir’s Head (2011), The Hat Rack Tree, and Parts and Other Parts (all from Station Hill Press, and part of a larger project, theforestforthetrees). In 2008, he completed and published his translation of Homer’s Odyssey (North Atlantic Books) (described by Don Byrd, Professor of English at SUNY Albany, as “a Homer that is surely as like the real Homer as any of our other translations . . .[Charles Stein] gives us poetry that might reawaken many ears to what poetry really is.” Stein’s vision of the Eleusinian Mysteries, Persephone Unveiled (2006), has been lauded by many readers, including Peter Manchester, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Stony Brook University, who characterized the text as “the most powerful and authoritative book I have ever read on the nature and consequence of divine revelation.” Stein holds a Ph.D. in literature from the University of Connecticut and a B.A. in ancient Greek from Columbia University. He lives in Barrytown, New York, with classical guitarist Megan Hastie.
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Excerpts from the Tunxis Stage production of Dead Man’s Cell Phone written by by Sarah Ruhl and published by Samuel French Inc. A woman answers a stranger’s ringing cell phone in a cafe and is then pulled into a dark, mysterious world of love, mystery and the trafficking of human body parts.
Cast members include Tammi Melisky, Josh Namnoum, Nina Nguyen Lagac, Margaux Leigh Hamilton, Robert Carrier and Isabel Koepke.
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The afternoon of April 2, 2013 featured performances by Kris Allen’s saxophone, guitar, drum and bass ensemble, interspersed with discussion. A young protege of the great Jacki McLean, Allen has performed and recorded with jazz legends such as Gerald Wilson, Illinois Jacquet and Mario Pavone, as well as modern stars like Winard Harper, Andy Laverne and Helen Sung. He teaches saxophone at Hartt School, University of Hartford. He was accompanied by Kevin O’Neil (guitar), Brian Jenkins (bass) and Tido Holtkamp (drums). This event was free and open to the public.
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The third Tunxis Humanities Athenaeum, on the topic “Benjamin Franklin and the Virtuous Life” was held on March 27, 2013. Panelists were Rachel Hyland, Research and Collections Librarian; Bob Brown, Professor of History & English; and Dr. Rafaele Fierro, Associate Professor of History. The discussion focused on a section from Franklin’s autobiography in which he defined his thirteen virtues and the steps by which he attempted to achieve them.
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The Tunxis International Dinner is a traditional Pot Luck Supper that culminates International Week—a week of events highlighting the various cultures represented by Tunxis International Students. The dinner is special because it features international food and music. Students and faculty both contribute foods from main course dishes to desserts for the feast. The music of the Latin band, Goza, adds to the festive nature of the evening. For most attendees this dinner also marks the beginning of Spring Break!
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The New York Times bestselling author Amy Bloom spoke about her books and the writing process in Founders Hall on March 14, 2013. The author of three collections of short stories, Bloom is a past National Book Award finalist and nominee for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories, Prize Stories: The 0. Henry Awards~ and numerous anthologies here and abroad. She has also written for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, among many others, and has won a National Magazine Award. Her most recent novel, Away (Random House, Inc., 2007), was an epic story about a Russian immigrant. Her new collection of short stories, Where the God of Love Hangs Out (Granta Books), was published in 2010. She became Wesleyan University’s Writer-in-Residence in 2010 and previously taught creative writing for many years at Yale University. The talk was presented by Professor Patrice Hamilton and the Tunxis Humanities Series.
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It is often hard for people who have lived in one country to understand the notion of Culture Shock. That is why, during International Week, Tunxis International Students present a panel discussion on what it is like to move into a new culture. The panel members tell the audience some of their interesting or unusual experiences that happened to them when they first moved here. Then, the panel answers questions from the audience about those experiences.
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In post-secondary education, the question of how to measure student success has become the hot topic in recent years. Highly politicized and rife with many voices, the debates around what comprises a college education and what its true value is have become dominated by specialized terms such as ·learning outcomes assessment.”
The interpretation of such words varies considerably among academic faculty and administrators,legislators, taxpayers, employers. and other decision makers. However, existential priorities such as how students- around whom the deliberations swirl-can understand themselves and their own knowledge sometimes get lost in these exchanges.
An educational reformer throughout his career, Dr. Leon Botstein, President of Bard College, will address this subject in this spring’s Proof & Possibility lecture. His interdisciplinary criteria for a thorough education include skills in reasoning and argumentation; scientific understanding; and the critical analysis of both personal experience and human history. But equally important, he submits, are both the study and practice of the arts, which pursuits, he says, are ·crucial to the development of … parallel cognitive abilities· that keep one both more inquisitive and competitive professionally.
Botstein articulately opposes uniform standards in higher education. Nonetheless, he is also known-as one of the founders and leaders of Bard High School Early College in New York and New Jersey-for working effectively with stakeholders in public education to align his educational model with existing mandates. In this talk and subsequent discussion, Botstein will explore the dangers of academic conformity and the rewards of alternative approaches to testing and learning-but finally, the value of original thinking in discovering both a meaningful career and a richer life.
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Organizations in many countries use posters as a way to communicate ideas and messages to their audience. Posters are sometimes used as billboards and are pasted on walls, fences, and poles over an entire city. Unions sometimes hang posters in work places to warn of dangers, educate about benefits or inspire actions. Posters sometimes use mainly the written word to communicate a message. Other times they rely on creative graphic art to communicate the idea. It is an art form that is easily accessible to many people. The art goes to the people rather than the people having to go to a museum. It is a communication tool that is less frequently used by unions in the United States.
While neo-liberalism and globalization have been around for a number of years, the last couple of years have seen an intensification of the attacks of the rich against the middle class (the poor already have nothing or next to nothing so there is little for the super-rich to take). This is an international attack that takes many forms. One way the rich and powerful mount their attack is by going after the organization of workers, which is the trade unions. As more politicians are elected thanks to the money of the 1%, governments at all levels and in many countries are going after the ability of working people to organize together to fight for better working conditions and wages. They pass right-to-work (for less) laws. They are eliminating defined benefit pensions and replacing them with defined contribution pensions, or with nothing. They are taking collective bargaining rights for public employees away at the state and city levels. Without workers having an organization to fight against these attacks, workers are at the mercy of their employer.
We haven’t begun to call the attacks in this country, austerity measures, which it is called in other countries, but that is exactly what it is. Simply put, the rich and the big corporations are doing everything they can to pay less in taxes and less to workers in order to maximize their profits. They do this by hiding their profits, by outsourcing jobs to other countries, by demanding government subsidies to keep their company in a certain location, by enacting “free trade agreements”, etc. This means less money for governments to function in the form of tax revenues. With fewer people working or working for lower wages, the tax revenue is reduced even more. It has been well publicized in the media about the IMF, and the European Union banks demanding a lowering of living standards in some of the Euro Zone countries. In order for countries to receive loans, they are told to reduce public pensions, to raise the retirement age, to privatize basic services and benefits to their citizens, to lower wages and more. In this country, the US Supreme Court has held that corporations are people. This allows corporations to spend immense amounts of money to elect to political office, individuals who will make laws that aid these same corporations. Right-wing think tanks and politicians are working overtime to move more money to the 1% Working people have not been sitting idle while this has been going on. While there has been for many years a tug of war between the very rich and the rest of us, the struggle has begun to intensify over the past few years. Part of the reason for this is the increasing gap between the very rich (the 1%) and the rest of us (the 99%). The posters of this exhibit highlight the attacks on working people, and depict some of the ways people are resisting.
The posters are from a collection of more than 4000 of Stephen Lewis. He is a long-time activist in the labor movement and is the former Treasurer of his union. Stephen has exhibited at a number of public libraries in Massachusetts and two of the state Heritage parks. He can be reached by email at email@example.com . The posters were contributed by friends, collected at conferences, visits to some of the organizations, and from connections made through the internet.
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Interpreting Naples yellow as a ball of cashmere yarn, feeling a swath of crimson as a kiss and seeing glossy impasto as a decadent bite of meringue on the delicate tines of a fork, these paintings are interpretations of the simplest moments. Thinking back on a mundane moment, such as a long drive home along a road too familiar, the sound of gravel beneath the tires translates into an area of staccato brushstrokes. Sunlight catching in my squinting eyelashes filters into the play between warm and cool hues on a canvas. Paint fuses my morning tea with the fragrance of a cast iron stove, an opiate Jeff Buckley melody with the touch of leather boots. These medium- and large-scale works are consistently inconsistent – tangible translations of how I experience the world. Sometimes sharply focused and at other times deliberately blurred, I am compelled to set free that which I cannot fully express in words. This is the synesthetic experience.
“Speaking Synesthesia,” an exhibition of paintings by Jes Zurell, was on display in the Wallace Barnes and Barbara Hackman Franklin Art Gallery at Tunxis Community College in Farmington November 26-December 27, 2012.
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Jes Zurell is a native artist of rural northern Connecticut. She earned her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in painting and Master’s of Art Criticism from Syracuse University in upstate New York. She is currently a writer in the greater Boston area.
Spark Contemporary Art Space, Syracuse, NY
JUNK! Collaborative Works
Shaffer Art Gallery, Syracuse, NY
Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY
Spark Contemporary Art Space, Syracuse, NY
South Windsor Public Library Gallery, South Windsor, CT