Day: July 20, 2012

We need leaders, not dunkers

To the Editor: This business with the dunk tank and whether or not city councilors and the mayor should sit in the tank is silly. Of course they should have the right to say “no thanks.” Shouldn’t you? How would you like to feel pressured to do something you thought was demeaning or uncomfortable? Those elected officials who are saying so, and declining to make a spectacle of themselves are quite correct and we should thank them for maintaining their dignity and propriety. We elect them to lead the community, not to entertain us in clownish fashion. Eric L. Meurer...

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Summer vacation… sort of

Class Dismissed by Susanne Stefani Confession time. I check my work e-mail during the summer. Rather than indicating a hyper-dedication to the profession, I believe that logging in when campus is closed is actually a symptom of a larger issue: it’s tough to completely disconnect from teaching. About 250 students cycle through my classes each year, and those relationships spark constant memories for me long after they’re gone. Even during summer, which is, ideally, a mental hiatus from all things school, I’m reminded daily of students with whom I’ve crossed paths. When fortune cookies accompany my Chinese take-out, I think of Sherry, who gave me a fortune cookie constructed of foam and puff paint. Whenever I see a cat-related comic, I think of Ian; he’s a cat lover, so I’d post pro-dog cartoons just to taunt him. On a comedy show last night, the comedienne’s voice and demeanor made me think of Ellen, who greeted me daily with an affable “Good morrow!” Thus, I can’t make it through a summer day without a student-related recollection. And that’s a good thing, mostly, but the last couple of summers conjure up memories of two students who have passed away. Ben and I had a rocky start, to put it far too gently, his sophomore year. In one heated moment, he yelled something including the f-word at me and slammed the classroom door...

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Ernest Borgnine

By NICK THOMAS For years I had been trying to snag an interview with veteran actor, Ernest Borgnine. But each time I nagged his long-time publicist, Harry Flynn, Harry always had good excuses: “Ernie’s away filming.” “He’s overseas on holiday.” “He’s out of state on business.” “He’s off doing a book tour… Ask me again in a few months.” My hopes for a chat with the aging Borgnine began to dim. But then, in December of 2011, our paths crossed in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. I was sailing on the first Turner Classic Movies film cruise with some 2,000 other passengers, along with several celebrity shipmates, including Borgnine. We got our first glimpse while boarding the ship. As we stood in line to proceed through security, my wife noticed a motorized scooter pulling alongside us, inching its way to the head of the line. But I didn’t give it much thought. “Look,” my observant wife said to me, “it’s Ernest Borgnine!” “Everywhere you go now you have to wait,” said a very cheerful Borgnine. He was wearing a baseball cap and glasses, which I offered as a somewhat feeble explanation for failing to recognize the then 94-year-old Hollywood legend. In his characteristic booming, gravelly, voice, he added with a broad grin, “except when they want to take your money! See you all aboard!” And see him...

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