Bridgewater Review, Vol. 27, No. 1, June 2008

Bridgewater Review, Dec 2008

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Bridgewater Review, Vol. 27, No. 1, June 2008

Recommended Citation Bridgewater State College. ( Bridgewater Review, Vol. 27, No. 1, June 2008 0 Thi s item is available as part of Virtual Commons, the open-access institutional repository of Bridgewater State University , Bridgewater, Massachusetts , USA - bridgewater State College Frank Gorga, a professor of chemical science at the College, is also an accomplished amateur photographer. More of his photographic work can be found on his personal website http://photo.gorga.org. Three Leaves (2007) While taking an after Thanksgiving dinner walk in a park in Larchmont, NY, I was struck by the variety of colors, shapes and textures below my feet. Much to the chagrin of those I was walking with I began to search for “photo quality” leaves to take home. I had this very clear idea that when I got them to my studio, I could illuminate the leaves with a light source at an oblique angle and nicely accentuate the textures. s t N e t N o c 2 3 8 12 15 19 22 24 26 28 30 INsIde froNt aNd back co Vers Boston’s Big Dig Project: Alex Ross: The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century Bridgewater Review oN the co Ver Donald Tarallo, Assistant Professor of Art: Tea in Space. Letterpressed (in Caslon) teabags composed in space. Additional works by Professor Tarallo are on pages 15–18. edItor Michael Kryzanek Political Science assocIate edItors William C. Levin Sociology Andrew Holman History edItor emerIta Barbara Apstein book reVIew edItor Charles Angell English desIGN Donna Stepien f aculty PhotoGraPhs Gary Stanton ___________________________ The Bridgewater Review is published twice a year by the faculty of Bridgewater State College. Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies of the Bridgewater Review or Bridgewater State College. Letters to the Editor should be sent to: Bridgewater Review, c/o Editor, Department of Political Science, Bridgewater State College, Bridgewater MA 02325 ___________________________ Articles may be reprinted with permission of the Editor ©2008, Bridgewater State College Editor’s Notebook A Political Reality Check Every electoral campaign for the White House there is the inevitable blame game played by the candidates as they regularly point out what they claim are the evils that are contributing to the downfall of this country and the evildoers who are complicit in this downfall. This presidential election is no different. If you listen to the endless speechifying of the Democrats and Republican hopefuls that started over a year ago you will find a common list of the sources of national decline. Since it’s my job to listen to this speechifying and then try and make sense of it to my students, here is a list of the usual suspects in this year ’s presidential race: The oil companies Financial speculators Hollywood The Federal Reserve Illegal Immigrants The NAFTA agreement Congressional spending The tax code The super rich And last but not least President George W. Bush Now with each one of these popular evils and evildoers there is certainly a nugget of blame that is well deserved. The fact that we as a nation are currently in the dumps is in part the result of the miscalculation, the incompetence, the ineffectiveness, the selfishness, the greed and the excess of the these ten suspects. But they are not the whole story; in fact they are only partial contributors to the current malaise. There are far more central reasons why we are in a down period, and perhaps in a permanent decline. No matter what the politicians say about what’s wrong with this country, here’s a list of the real evils and evildoers that are at the core of our national problems. prove, repair and modernize 20 schools in this country. Talk about mixed up priorities. Credit card debt—Worldwide it is currently $5.2 trillion and we in the United States contribute 40% of that debt. The average personal credit card debt is over $6,700. Whatever happened to pinching pennies? Wouldn’t it be better to put money into the bank every once and awhile, rather than splurge on that wide screen television? An aversion to paying taxes—For some strange reason we have bought into the view that ignoring paying for schools, bridges, scientific research, and health care is good national policy. Investing in public goods is what civilized societies do in order to make life better. We on the other hand would rather put tax money in our pockets and watch as our quality of life deteriorates. The Britney Spears effect—We live in a popular culture that is inane and insane, as a result we live in a nation where ignorance is cool and the lives of B-list starlets are of great social importance. Are our lives so vacant that we get pleasure from watching people destroy themselves? There is a simple solution—read a book. Washington is broken—But remember, we elected Washington. Income inequality—One of the richest nations on the earth and we have over 37 million people in poverty and worse yet, Americans were surprised and shocked to see that poor people lived in New Orleans. Isn’t it time we spent some of our energy and resources to close the poverty gap? It’s all about me—We have become a nation that thrives on a stubborn refusal to make the sacrifices to save this country. Why do we cling to the belief that bigger is better, and what’s so great about our passion to buy more “stuff ”? We hate the government—Yes, government is intrusive and too often stupid, but as the last few years have proven, if we don’t have government then what we get is an economy that is run for self-interest not national interest, regular rip-offs of the consumer and an army of foreclosures, bankruptcies and workers living on the margins. A $1 trillion war in Iraq—Can you just image what we could do with that money on the domestic front? One hour of the war costs an estimated $46 million, with that money from just that one hour we could imWe love the Chinese—they make just about everything we use, they are a major cause of skyrocketing gas prices, and they are the real reason for our job losses and the decline of the dollar, yet we treat them as our valued In the old comic strip Pogo, the wise reptile says “I have friend; some friend. seen the enemy and it is us.” Before we buy into our politicians playing the blame game and pointing fingers, we should first look at ourselves. Maybe, just maybe, we are the problem. —Michael Kryzanek, editor. A Cautionary Tale Wendy Haynes tric dam project on the Yangtze River. But the Big Dig project holds its own in the megaproject hall of fame, or infamy, as the case may be. INTRODUCTION Little did I know as I moved from Oregon to Massachusetts in 1988 that I would soon be witness to one of the most complex and expensive megaprojects in North America. Actually, I’d never heard of the term “megaproject,” a point of ignorance I shared with most of the planet’s population. I’ve since found that experts in the field define a megaproject as a publicly funded infrastructure project that costs in excess of a billion dollars and requires more than a decade to plan, design, and construct. Boston’s $15 billion Central Artery/Third Harbor Tunnel (CA/T) Project still hits the top of the chart for cost and complexity on the list of megaprojects undertaken in the last two decades of the twentieth century. The CA/T Project provides a rich laboratory for studying the inner workings of these mammoth and costly undertakings. Although Bostonians may think of the Big Dig as one unified project, it is actually three separate projects rolled into one by the vagaries and vision of public officials seeking advantage in the politics of the federal transportation appropriations process. The Big Dig boasts three related but distinct design and construction projects: •Bridging the Charles River with an asymmetrical cable stay structure (The Leonard P. Zakim-Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge); •Reconstructing the downtown central artery (I-93) underMy 13-year stint in the Massachusetts Office of the ground and demolishing the old Inspector General would expose me to many things, in- elevated artery; and cluding the interior machinations of planning, designing •Extending the Turnpike (I-90) and constructing Boston’s CA/T Project. In fact, then across Fort Point Channel Inspector General Joseph Barresi and his First Assistant, through South Boston, and Steve Cotton, eventually tasked me with creating a across Boston Harbor to Logan multidisciplinary team to monitor what would become International Airport by way of known as the “Big Dig” project. I soon learned that the a newly constructed (1995) immersed tube tunnel. structural and civil engineering aspects of the project paled in comparison to the political and social engineering that was needed to sustain momentum toward completion. Now, 20 years after my first introduction to the Big Dig, I still marvel at the audacity of the project champions. I hope that, by the end of this article, I’ve succeeded in peeling back some of the layers of the Big Dig’s complexity and piquing the reader ’s interest in the megaproject phenomenon. Maintaining the impetus for the Big Dig required a prodigious display of political engineering that rivaled and surpassed the remarkable civil engineering expertise on display throughout the 7.5 mile stretch of roadway, bridge, and tunnel. According to state documents, the massive project was designed to improve traffic flow, safety, and air quality in one of the national’s oldest and most congested cities. Big Dig proponents also promised to promote economic development in the region. Some even describe the undertaking as a beautification project envisioned by transportation guru Frederick Salvucci mid-way through the twentieth century. Urban legend has it that former Secretary Salvucci was as a young man greatly disturbed by the treatment his immigrant grandmother endured at the hands of MassPike officials as they cleared the way for an urban highway earlier in the century. According to Thomas ON MEGAPROJECTS AND THE BIG DIG Across the nation, taxpayers (and toll and ratepayers) pump billions of dollars into public works megaprojects. The projects range in type and location from the Alameda Corridor (Los Angeles, California) to the Denver International Airport (Colorado) to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge (connecting Virginia, Maryland, and DC). Beyond our borders, we marvel at the $16 billion 30-mile English Channel Tunnel and the Chinese government’s $25 billion dollar hydroelecP. Hughes, an avid megaproject historian, Salvucci’s grandmother was ordered to vacate her house in the Brighton section of Boston within ten days and never received fair compensation for her property or mental anguish. Salvucci vowed not to follow the Robert Moses tradition of leveling neighborhoods in the name of progress. The Big Dig, a project funded by federal and stated monies (about 60/40), was substantially completed late in 2007 for nearly $15 billion. Informed observers question the definition of “substantially completed,” especially in light of the Boston Globe’s recent report of a 2,000-item list of things yet to be done on the project. That’s a far cry from statements in the mid-1980s when project managers estimated the cost at $2.6 billion and looked for completion some time toward the end 1998. BIg DIg ST akeHolDeR The list of people and organizations with a stake in the Big Dig would fill volumes—the business community, neighborhood organizations (North end, Chinatown, etc.), highways users, environmentalists, design and construction firms, property owners along the Big Dig corridor, and on and on. But few had a bigger stake in the project than four high-stakes players: •Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff (B/PB) the joint venture hired by the Commonwealth in 1985 to manage Big Dig design and construction; •Federal Highway Administration (FHWA—in the U.S. Department of Transportation), the federal funding agency for the Big Dig and many other highway projects across the United States; •Massachusetts General Court (the Legislature), which would be on the hook for funding whatever FHWA refused to pay; and •Massachusetts Turnpike Authority (MassPike), the quasi-independent state entity that took over the Big Dig in 1997 from MassHighway and assumed responsibility for maintaining the project into the future. The chart below—taken from the most recent material available from MassPike (May 2007)—shows what soUrces BY FUnding funding sources pay how much of the Big Dig costs. In June 2000, under pressure from Congress, the FHWA dug in its heels and froze the amount it would pay toward the Big Dig at $8.549 billion. Today, that covers just under 60 percent of the 2007 project cost estimate of $14.798 billion. Various state revenue sources will pay about 40 percent of the total cost of the project— far more than the 10–20 percent projected by project enthusiasts in the 1980s and 1990s. Key evenTS in THe RiCH And TURBULenT HiSToR y oF THe BiG diG 1970s and early 1980s. Massachusetts officials seek local support, federal funding, and environmental approvals for the Big Dig 1985–1995. Commonwealth hires B/PB to manage the Big Dig and moves ahead on the megaproject in the early 1980s, Transportation Secretary Fred Salvucci assigned responsibility for the Big Dig to the Massachusetts department of Public Works (MdPW— later to be named the Massachusetts Highway Department), the department that was also responsible for overseeing the design and construction of road and bridge projects throughout the state. There appears to have been general, though not unanimous, agreement that if the project were to be undertaken, there was no alternative but to rely heavily on consultants to manage the megaproject under the Commonwealth’s direction. Transportation officials and some political leaders were concerned that scarce in-house resources would be diverted to the Big Dig from road and bridgework outside the Boston metropolitan area. Their concerns, shared by federal highway officials, buttressed the decision to rely heavily on hired expertise from the private sector. in 1985, MdPW hired the joint venture of Bechtel/ Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade and Douglas (B/PB) to manage design and construction of what was then known as the Central artery/Third Harbor Tunnel Project. Between 1985 and 2006, the Commonwealth would pay B/PB more than $2 billion through a series of open-ended consulting contracts to manage the project from stem to stern. 1996–1997: LeGiSLATURe CReATeS MeTRoPoLiTAn HiGHWA y SySTeM (MHS); BiG DIg MaNageMeNT SWiTCHeS FRoM MASSHiGHWAy To MaSSPIke Public officials faced a major financial bind in the mid-nineties. By 1996, about $4.7 billion had been obligated for the Big Dig—$4.1 billion in federal funds (86 percent) and about $650 million in state funds. FHWA demanded proof that the Commonwealth would have the wherewithal to handle its part of the deal. The primary source for transportation funding in Massachusetts is state transportation bonds, supported by fuel taxes and other sources. Typically, the State has borrowed funds by issuing general and special obligation bonds. Proceeds from these bond issuances, which are authorized by the l egislature through transportation bond bills, cover the State share of federal-aid projects, and pay for non-federally funded projects. in his cover letter to the Legislature, Governor William Weld noted that the MHS bill “answers the challenge set forth by the FHWA to implement a strategy for payment of the Commonwealth’s share of future Ca/T [Big Dig] Project costs by april 1, 1997.” The bill moved quickly through the l egislature and the governor signed it on March 20, 1997. a companion transportation bond bill, passed by the l egislature and signed into law by the governor in May 1997, ensured that funds would be available to cover the Big Dig cost, then estimated at $10.8 billion. MassPike and MassHighway wasted no time entering into a management agreement, effective July 1, 1997, whereby MassPike would manage completion of the Big Dig, provided that MassHighway would continue to be the recipient state agency for federal funds and “remain fully liable for paying all costs of the Ca/T Project not otherwise paid from the $700 million to be paid” by MassPike. Shortly thereafter, Governor Weld resigned and Paul Cellucci, his lieutenant governor, stepped into the governor ’s office, assuring the public that the Big Dig would come in on time and under budget under the continuing direction of James J. k erasiotes. eSTiMATeS, LieS, And CoST o veRRUnS Stunning increases in megaproject schedule and cost estimates have caused political observer David l uberoff and others to pose a troubling question: is our political system so flawed that those who build infrastructure cannot tell the truth about costs? While i hesitate to pin the problem on our political system, there’s ample evidence that megaprojects routinely exceed time and budget estimates trotted out by proponents when they’re pursuing public and legislative support. The Big Dig is no exception. Indeed, cynics could learn much from the Big Dig play book about creative accounting and financial manipulations. 2000–2001: deConSTRUCTinG THe TRUe CoST oF THe BiG diG In March 2001, State Inspector general (Ig) Robert Cerasoli issued a report to the Treasurer of the Commonwealth alleging that Big Dig officials had beginning many years earlier deliberately misrepresented huge increases in Big Dig costs. Here’s an excerpt from the executive summary of the Ig’s report. “B/PB” refers to Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff, the joint venture hired in 1985 to manage Project design and construction. anxious to avoid the sticker shock effect of B/PB’s total cost estimate, Big Dig officials undertook a ninemonth initiative between June 1994 and March 1995 to decrease B/PB’s total cost estimate from $13.8 billion to $8 billion. a t this time, the Secretary of Transportation and Construction publicly announced that the ontime and on-budget figure would not exceed $8 billion. Documents cite a directive from Big Dig officials telling B/PB to “hit the target” of $7.98 billion. To hit the target, state, B/PB, and local FHWA officials began an extensive cost reduction initiative that consisted of the following: •Reducing every B/PB “to-go” contract estimate across the board—including material, labor and overhead—by a 13 percent “market discount” despite the recommendation of B/PB officials by letter from the home office in San Francisco not to do so…. •Reducing every to-go contract estimate by eliminating the 18 percent contingency allowance for construction growth during design. •excluding all management costs from the estimate after the year 2002 [note that the management team did not close up operations until 2007!]…. •excluding more than $1 billion in costs defined as “non-project” costs. •Stating all estimates in 1994 dollars and excluded to go escalation (inflation costs) from the total cost. l ater, they insisted that the budget exclude all escalation since 1988…. Bridgew Ater review More heads rolled; Governor Cellucci had already policy makers off the rocks before big problems sail in. ousted James J. Kerasiotes, who was regarded by many Put pressure on management to use such techniques as as the primary instigator of this high-stakes shell game. constructibility reviews and value engineering analyses Kerasiotes had arguably been responsible for the Big during the design phase, rather than dealing through Dig for many years in various capacities, most recently change orders with problems that could have been as head of MassPike. Although little came of it, the eliminated before construction (or product delivery). Securities and Exchange Commission launched an Early work increases the likelihood that management investigation into whether Commonwealth officials (and the iG) will be able to identify opportunities deliberately misled bond-buyers when they failed to for cutting costs and ensuring a high quality facility, identify the magnitude of Big Dig liability in their whether that facility be a multibillion-dollar highway or bond prospectus. an interagency radio installation. FPpDmmrHoiieogrmgWrt,eaaaFAptdrHirioelooWytnfjaefaAipiclscerteioadsosjsrefvtueicoensetruadkssnlieitagnechopsitatefhalrtaierhmceeirserpouidoorscfirsfhstadttsicrihlrialeeceondtcsndsteo.airovvtereieodyrssneeair,gnoidhnndetgmcloaraernauggntteiidohotinernnaaBsgnlifgso-r iisaah•nneguaGrtsedsvetomiatritchnnfseeoaacno/tlerctn,afomcuiucnfonodasnfnicuujttottnlroitrroordialsnnvicsngmtuitsgnhlcin(osgaptoehnthlurattaearrcrdacfbeeoeec.l(d.steDossTrr)“eeau,vpsqkmsheuueuloailoaarusklpeellleoydp”asordbugpkeoeor/oa)eopfitoidntonthrstrhtpepsee.llraaaaoDmwgctfeieoeaaon.srnnwFcsd-i-yoohrnatal ConCErnS LooM…AGAin ship with the agency’s internal auditors and outside Much of the Big Dig saga might have faded into the funding agencies. They’ll tip you off to problems and past except for the tragic death of a woman in July 2006 opportunities. Also: watch out for proprietary specifiwhen a falling ceiling tile in a connector tunnel killed cations and sole-source contracts. These approaches, Milena Delvalle who was driving with her spouse to if selected, should be fully justified in writing on the Logan Airport in the early morning hours. The incident basis of agency needs, noT the ability of one vendor or revived earlier concerns about accountability and over- manufacturer to tilt the specs to their own advantage. sight on the Big Dig, especially with respect to AnD: assess the overall “control environment.” Do the B/PB’s role in facility failures and cost overruns. top leaders hold themselves and the organization to the recently, B/PB agreed to return about $400 million highest ethical standards. Are those standards clearly to the Commonwealth in a settlement agreement understood and discussed? approved by U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan and State •Follow the money. if most of the work will be Attorney General Martha Coakley. The Boston Globe contracted out, look at specifications, procurement reported that by settling in this matter, B/PB avoided procedures and pre-bid prequalification requirements criminal charges in the tunnel collapse and would thus immediately. The last thing you need is for favored not be disbarred from receiving future federal and state vendors of powerful politicos to get the work without government contracts. fairly competing for it. And that could happen unless ifaFooSp•mMGouffoaBrfreErenciuawgtdcsGodpadueoelhiApplgsnlfeaateriePgantgtoaotrhgndjlfcofeueeooaJcsmdcevrnEbuotseotaCysb—woorsvtsTvwsiseeetciie,rhqgodlrpspeeushrieorragikevoLotgrhvnejjehinceetEnltgotoccfreirtstptrlSsfeehotlfeiocsaasGoemdoeftdrfrasuiHtteinirttcshrgrcsThseeseh,shp:ehfsjPt—fesuopooeocarsalutailetlc1nooonlxead⁄rT1wndp,sG0bEgaeitoetnrnrehwnhiSngdaeeeonleipgsltmrfocthorae1aceilisafna%’tgs?fhttht.e(eeAoat(idrTGdfbspsavhtu)rfshieoodcerjegeectt. rttaaaakpn•meaollgnroEwlrptooeewopmfirnncvraiwreruiicdeoputsmtyrtyevotuoneenhisrmmnwdhdnitewndeaeaayepervgetnhpnrrriaceoaroaotortcoaggpnerhnoafeeeo—pretnetnrgsehrsrstucaomasterqcylihlcbaoauh“,itaaclontnnaeanttwiwmlar,ooriaiglaefastnng.ei,ssnsestediepntdhdnreroo’we”vntgcutniolasmcigcseatunoheebahgardmsriteens,)dmont.npdaaaoieagaeecfflnetekmyefradirvieo.tan.naqeisYrMyvnjgltuooooerdpaebauolwnilyslknanle(taneyoptggrfoehiresrocn“rrouiotrotsgarcorhwnpenehufesprtinyartuorerehpealepbfddrpacisom,r”tteefmsynnotiaoth-rluse estimated project costs in the early-mid 1990s, but even language throughout. that modest amount didn’t fly.) •Define performance standards in agency mission •Start early. The earlier you weigh in on management and contract provisions. You’ll have a tough time systems, procurement procedures, and design issues, holding agencies accountable for holding their staff the more likely you are to be able to warn managers and and contractors accountable (a BiG part of your job, presumably) if the standards for project delivery aren’t spelled out and measurable. •Push the agency to have reliable, timely re- The Big porting systems. This will be your saving grace. If Dig is, you can induce the managing agency to have a good indeed, a reporting system for contract performance, payments, cautionand change orders, you can monitor THEIR reports, ary tale. periodically test for validity, and then go to the field to I hope it find out whether they’re reporting what’s really hap- serves as a pening. There’s nothing like a big change order early in reminder construction to signal problems down the road. Be sure to all of us to get on the distribution lists for all their routine status that when reports and minutes of public meetings. No doubt they we cede responsibility to private entities without ensurwill be sanitized, but you can still look for big dollar ing adequate oversight, we also mortgage our grandchilchange orders, delays, and disputes. And, finally: scruti- dren’s future. our public officials—elected and appoint nize the assumptions underlying project cost estimates. ed—have a stewardship responsibility to safeguard The bottom line figures provided by the agency may public resources. In the case of the Big Dig, some of our include offsets and assumptions about future savings or stewards fell far short of the mark. In BSC’s Master of aggressive cost control measures that artificially deflate Public Administration program, I have the opportuthe total project cost. Beware of creative accounting! nity to work with my colleagues in the Department of •Have a steady on-site presence. Spend as much Political Science to help ensure that we do not repeat staff time as possible on-site and in the field. Show up at the mistakes of the past as we move forward. cBmoEeneTvtHeinrEsgaRst,Eiso.intSsionwmoietnhopfirnoe-u-hbroibduescseotnalegfeaerdnescnyccoesmtsa,eftfaf,lrvkoemwndihtoharlsslw,taafyf— Itiwona.nItttsoeesmhasrae tfihteticnognecnluddtiongthwisoarrdtsicflreo:m my dissertaaggrieved bidders, and disgruntled employees. February2004: An aerial view of the old elevated Central Artery (I-93) without its road deck just north of Rowes Wharf. CoNCluSIoNS In the 1980s and 1990s, public officials were all too willing to cede responsibility for managing public projects to private ventures. Particularly as we moved into the 1990s—with the cry for government reform, “steering not rowing,” outsourcing, and privatization— state agencies were not then and probably never were equipped to deal with a project like the Big Dig without significant reliance on private sector expertise. Massachusetts officials operated under the delusion that if they fostered a collaborative and harmonious relationship with B/PB, all would be well. Surely, B/PB would not risk its international reputation with substandard performance on Boston’s megaproject. one need only walk along the greenway that’s grow ing where once the elevated Central Artery cast its shadow to appreciate the Big Dig’s contribution to the beauty of downtown Boston. The Zakim Bridge lights up the night and the Ted Williams Tunnel eases our way to logan Airport. But at what cost do we enjoy these marvels? For many years to come, the Big Dig’s $15 billion price tag will siphon state and federal funds from roadways and bridges sadly in need of repair and replacement. We ask an extraordinary amount of our public leaders and managers. The visions of others, inherited through administrative changes and the vicissitudes of public life, may place dedicated public servants in the position of overseeing undertakings for which they have neither sufficient organizational strength nor long-term institutional support. And yet they persevere. As we scrutinize, analyze, dissect, compare and contrast their efforts, we should acknowledge the debt of gratitude we owe to those dedicated professionals who work for us every day. They receive too little appreciation for their deeds. We owe them—and the public they serve—our respect and the best thoughtful attention academia has to offer. Dr. Haynes notes that her fascination with the Big Dig extended beyond the walls of the Office of the Inspector General to her work on a doctoral dissertation on the Central Artery/Tunnel Project and the Boston Harbor Clean up at n ortheastern u niversity in the Law, Policy and Society Program. —Wendy Haynes is Associate Professor of Political Science and Coordinator of the Master of Public Administration Program. T S A E E L D D I M E H T N I P I H S R O S N E C A I D E M D N A Z U O B A T J J A H Hajj Tabouz and Media Censorship in the Middle East els or makes of his sets, but no doubt they must have been one of the popular sets of the time, such as Zenith, National, General Electric, or other small transistors. Travel back with me to the time in Iraq between the late 1950s and the late 1970s. I can still vividly recall the “el-mesta’r,” a gathering of the local leaders including my late father, in our village of El-esrya (a modern village, or as others preferred to call it, the evening village). Now the village is known as el-sadeer; in fact, the former regime of Saddam Hussein deliberately imposed the name change to the village. Occasionally, Abu Yousif had to bring his transistor with him to el-mesta’r. He trained himself to stay up late at night listening to Radio Moscow, BBC, Voice of America, and Sawat Al-Arab min el-Qahera-Arab Voice from Cairo. In the old days, given the level of commuEl-sadeer is located in the El-Qadesya Province south nication technology, radio reception reached its best of Baghdad. The daily el-mesta’r was held on a hilly at night. In addition to news, Radio bank of the Tigress river every evening, Moscow, BBC, and exactly from 5:00–7:00pm Voice of America in the summer, had a variety of and 1:00–3:00pm programs that in the winter as were broadcast weather permitted. in Arabic. Abu El-mesta’r was led Yousif had incredby an elderly man by ible listening skills the name Waried abu and an exceptional Yousif, whose nickname ability for retenwas Hajj Tabouz. Hajj tion. Hence, he Tabouz did not go to deservedly earned school but he learned his title as a news reading and writing disseminator for through an “el-mula” el-mesta’r. For some traditional religious school reason, Abu Yousif fathat used the holy book vored Radio Moscow Qur ’an as the textbook. to the point that (Hajj Tabouz did not like others accused him of his nickname and he asked being a communist; his people to call him Abu some in the el-mesta’r Yousif instead. However, to even showered him with many his dismay, others insisted on phrases like “You are a socialist calling him by his nickname to the bone.” Although other because he was a news dis- participants acquired radio seminator whiz. In honoring receivers, however, el-mesta’r his wish, I have decided to call continued to rely on Abu Yousif him Abu Yousif throughout rather heavily to get the news and comparative analysis. this article.) Amazingly, Abu Yousif was really the local, He was always up to the task and he fulfilled his duties national, and international source for the news and po- exactly to the point. Abu Yousif did not exercise any levlitical events. He had three radio sets that operated on el of self-censorship. He restated the news as he heard different sets of batteries. I’m not quite sure of the mod- it from the source. Self-censorship has been adopted by the majority of Middle Eastern journalists and reporters as one of the many ways to avoid negative reactions or together, would not outlive the media audience in the Middle East. Thirty-two years went by after 1967 and along with it thirty-two new rules and policies were passed only to make working for media and doing professional journalism a nightmare. In December 1979, I arrived at Baghdad Airport only to see my new reel video camera being confiscated by the airport authorities. It took me three weeks to reclaim it but only with a signed affidavit not to use it while I was on Iraqi soil. In the summer of 1983, my small manual typewriter was confiscated by the airport authorities as well. In October 2007, I was about to lose my digital video camera to two policemen in Cairo only because I took a picture of a poster for an old Egyptian film glued to a high cement wall and nothing else around it. I think Abu Yousif would not appreciate such kind of tashweesh on those of us who work in the media and teach media and communication technology to a new generation of students. repressive retaliation by local authorities. However, sometimes Abu Yousif came to the el-mesta’r with no news at all. He would complain that the tashweesh jamming of radio signals was so strong that his three radio sets with long antennas and multiple bands of shortwaves and longwaves could not help his radio dials overcome the jamming beamed by the Iraqi authorities who were blocking radio signals. Jamming was done throughout the whole spectrum of broadcasting wavelenghts. Historically, governments in the Middle East were, (and some are still), frightened by radio receivers, typewriters and cameras. When the June war of 1967 broke out between the Arabs and the Israelis, Abu Yousif was told by the local authorities to stop agitating the people by reporting to them the daily events of the war. Abu Yousif was informing his participants in el-mesta’r that the Arab troops were losing to the Israeli military, that the Arab Voice from Cairo was exaggerating and not telling the truth to its Arab receivers, and that all Arab radio broadcasts were only a mouthpiece for their gov- The policy-makers in the Middle East appear to be ernments. Abu Yousif was right. The Egyptian air force always in agreement whenever the issue of media lay in ruins on its runways; Arab troops retreated on ev- censorship is on the agenda for discussion. A case in ery front, while Israel rapidly took the Sinai Peninsula, point: a new charter was signed by all Arab countries Gaza, East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Golan except Qatar that amends the regulations of Arab satelHeights. The radio of the Arab Voice from Cairo lost lite TV channels and imposes more oppressive restricits credibility once and forever. The assessment of the tions on television reporters and producers. Similarly, media by Abu Yousif was absolutely correct. Soon local the Sudanese authorities enforce daily censorship of security agents and other informants started showing newspaperswhen they report on governmental issues up at el-mesta’r and directly and indirectly conveyed deemed sensitive by the government. And in a major the official message that Abu Yousif must turn down development, media in the region reported that “The his skeptical voice or else. A few years later, Abu Yousif Arab countries agreed to allow punishment of satelpassed away and el-mesta’r vanished with him as well. lite channels deemed to have offended Arab leaders or national or religious symbols.” These recent censorship practices have further strained political and professional relations between local authorities and privately-run and financed newspapers and media organizations. The Arab political scene changed after the Six-Day War in 1967. The rigid media censorship rakaba elameya and tashweesh jamming techniques became even harsher and much stronger. Surely, these techniques of muzzling and muting the media and critical voices, all T S A E E L D D I M E H T N I P I H S R O S N E C A I D E M D N A Z U O B A T J J A H Recently, Zanan, (Women) a women’s monthly magazine was forced to close after 16 years of publication. The editors of Zanan were accused of painting a ‘dark picture’ of Iran. Authorities in the Middle East refused to understand that it is not the media’s job to paint a dark or a bright picture for a country; it is the job of the government to enforce the order of law, to maintain social justice, to nurture a democratic political system, and to build infrastructure for economic prosperity. It is my firm conviction that governments of the Middle East cannot forever resist the winds of change. In fact some of them have already acquainted themselves with the concept of pluralism and democracy. In light of drastic changes and political storms that hit the former Soviet Union and the Eastern European countries in the 1990s, and the expansion of global technological connections, we have started to witness some promising but limited changes in the region. For example, a Saudi princess revealed a plan for offering a generous rewards and scholarships worth $270,000 (€183,000) a year to encourage female journalists in Saudi Arabia. This unusual announcement upset some among the religious orthodoxy in the country. However, it was indirectly blessed by the government. Preliminary Notes, showing text that was removed. Despite this initiative, women in Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region are still subjected to a host of restrictions. Arguably, some of these restrictions are not condoned by the central authority but they are kept in place to satisfy a minority of religious fundamentalists. The later strive to apply what’s known as an alshari’ah alternative. It calls for applying the Islamic codes and instructions as directed by the Qur ’an and Hadith. Some factions in Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan are strong advocates for such media restrictions. In Iran, Articles 24 and 25 of the Constitution guarantee the right of expression in publication and in the press unless it is contrary to Islamic Law and the public good. Meanwhile, a policy declaration from 1982 in Iran is still in effect, which requires newspapers to uphold Islam and oppose non-Islamic practices. This requirement opposing non-Islamic practices is hard to identify or determine by journalists. It is a vast grey area where journalists may be trapped into foul news coverage or reports as interpreted by these extremists. Only a seasoned journalist has the ability to remain objective and truthful in the face of rage directed at them by extremists reacting to a piece of writing or a critical report. On the other hand, I personally find it difficult to understand the reasons for a political regime to force the media to engage in what amounts to the worship of the regime and its leadership. Portraits of the leaders, for example, must appear on the first page of a daily newspaper and on television screens. I always think that in following this practice, the central authority intends to add another level of intimidation for citizens. And this is not the end of it. Reporters Without Borders (RSF), an international journalists’ advocacy group, and some Arab newspapers reported in February 2008 that the number of websites to which access is blocked in Syria has been growing steadily in January and February 2008. In all, nearly 110 websites are known to be blocked, including the video-sharing site YouTube, the blog platform Blogspot and the email service Hotmail. All are now inaccessible. Abu Yousif, however, would have appreciated some of the developments that would appear to be progressing on the media scene in the Middle East, due in large part to current media and communication technologies such as satellites, the Internet, and blogging. Liberal, and less conservative media models have been advancing in the region. These media models can be found, with varying levels of freedom and media control, in Lebanon, Iraq, Kuwait, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Qatar, Yemen, Algeria, and Morocco. Needless to say the State of Israel takes the lead in the area of free press. This new media trend in the region shows the kind of balance between the government’s desire of applying a certain level of censorship and the public’s demand for more information and news. Some of these countries have either abolished the Minister of Information (state censor) or have been seriously trying to establish complete legal and political equality for all their citizens, including the right for free speech and expression. They seek ways to cope with the idea of deleting from their constitutions all provisions that limit freedoms, such as freedom of the press and speech, freedom to peacefully gather and demonstrate, and the freedom to express critical views may be in clear contrast with official policies. These governments also show a willingness to revise some of the constitutional regulations that appear to guarantee freedom of the press but in effect continue to limit these freedoms and rights. Page from an Arabic Newspaper. Governments of the Middle Eastern countries are aware of the importance of the media and the free flow of information. However, there still are some concerns that too much press freedom might compromise or undermine the power of the rulers. Officials could not critique media policies while in power. Khalid Al-Ajmi, the former minister of information in Kuwait voiced his dissatisfaction with the existing media and communication policies after he left his position. A number of other officials do the same, which is a good sign that a movement of reform is in progress. I think Hajj Taboouz would appreciate the fact that this movement has made noticeable progress in some countries like Kuwait, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, Oman, Turkey, and United Arab Emirates. Free media would enhance statebuilding, increase the level of public participation in political and economic affairs, protect the public and national interests, and hold officials accountable before society and state. Only a new and open political environment would help with the process of promoting democracy and free and independent media in the region. Journalists, media participants, political reformers, and other advocates of human rights are all working diligently to create that kind of political openness. It is happening and will expand. —jabbar A. Al-Obaidi is Professor and Chairperson, Department of Communication Studies. An Interview with Dr. Susan Szachowicz Principal of Brockton High School How can we improve urban education and reduce the ’75, ’81G and BSC Trustee) in early February. While I gap in academic success between students attend- examined the dozens of photos, displays, and tributes in ing urban schools and those at suburban schools? Sue’s office, she told me about her work and her passion Educational analysts and commentators hold many for the school she leads. A lifelong citizen of Brockton, competing positions. One camp says that the problem Sue graduated from Brockton High, did her student is a lack of consistently enforced standards for student teaching there, and was hired immediately after graduaperformance and recommends regular and rigorous tion to teach history and social studies. After serving as standardized tests to identify “failing schools.” A second department head, house master, and associate principal, camp points to the unequal funding and curricular in- she was appointed principal in 2004. Here are excerpts dependence for the thousands of school districts in the from our conversation. U.S. and argues for a greater state and federal role in curriculum and financial support for public schools. A third camp identifies bureaucracy as the culprit and advocates for increased innovation such as small schools, pilot schools, school-to-work programs, and charter schools. A fourth camp argues that schools are being scapegoated for fundamental social ills such as poverty, racism, disrupted family life and urban communities, and the real solutions lie not in the schools but in changing the economic structures of the surrounding communities. NK: How is Brockton High different from other large urban institutions? What are its most important challenges? SS: We are unique because of the focus on academic success and the celebration of academic success. We are the highest-performing urban high school in the state. The challenges we face are the same that any urban school faces. Our students deal with a lot of baggage from outside of school. 38% don’t speak English as their first language, and we have over 30 different languages For a snapshot of urban education at its best, we need to spoken in the school. But the biggest issue I would have look no farther than to Bridgewater State College’s larg- to say is poverty, kids being raised in poverty, across est “feeder ” school, Brockton High School. With over racial and ethnic lines. They are facing educational gaps, 4300 students, Brockton High is the largest high school missing links all over the place. Many are wards of the in New England. With more than a third of its students state, foster kids, with so much stacked against them. not speaking English at home, it is one of the most di- School is a safe haven for many who don’t want to go verse schools in Massachusetts. And with seventy-two home. The lure of the streets hurts even those who are per cent of its students qualifying for free or reduced smart and articulate. Sometimes I sit in disciplinary lunch, its students and their families routinely experi- hearings and know if they were raised in your house or ence severe economic challenges. mine they would be applying to all of the best colleges. We can’t change their circumstances but we can help them face their challenges and succeed. Yet against these odds Brockton High School achieves astounding student success. In each year since 2004 it has been selected by the International Center for NK: Brockton High has had a dramatic increase in Leadership in Education as a National Model School. student performance over the past few years. Can In 2006, it won the National School Change Award. In you share with us some of the indicators of that 2007, it graduated 249 John and Abigail Adams Scholars. improvement? And earlier this year, Brockton High received a Bronze SS: On the MCAS, our improvement is occurMedal from the U. s. news and w orld Report as one of the ring at a much steeper rate than across the state of top schools in the nation that best serve all students. Massachusetts. Our mantra is “Meet or beat the state.” The school’s philosophy is “high standards, no excuses.” In 1998, our failure rate for sophomores was 75% on the math test and 44% on the English Language Arts test. How does a school defy its demographics and mobilize a By last spring, we reduced the failure rates to 19% in low-income, highly diverse student body to achieve aca- math and 9% in English. But it’s not just about passdemic success? This is the question I posed to Brockton ing. We have had a tremendous increase in the number High School Principal, Dr. Susan Szachowicz (BSC of our students scoring at the Advanced and Proficient level—we want them to be the best they can be. Also, we offer many Advanced Placement courses, and 75% of our students pass the AP test with a score of 3 or higher (sufficient to earn college credit). This high rate of student success is the basis for the awards we have received. But the biggest change has been in the culture of the school. When I first started teaching here, the principal told the students, “You have a right to fail.” I was horrified. The students sensed that expectations were extremely low and guess what?—They met them. Now the culture says, “Welcome to Brockton High, you have no right to fail. Our obligation is to help you succeed. And we always celebrate their successes. Now the students know they are heard and respected. There is a new tone, and the kids are very proud of the school. NK: Who were your collaborators, and how did you introduce the changes needed to make this dramatic improvement? SS: When I was the history department head, we started looking at time and learning because of the Education Reform Law of 1993. It was like the hammer in education; it forced the changes in education across the state. The law increased funding but also made the schools perform. It made us change how we counted “learning.” Up to then, every minute that the students were in school and breathing, except for lunch, was counted as learning time. The law made us count only structured, meaningful learning experiences, not homeroom, not passing time between classes. We discovered that we were many hours short on learning time. I was on the state time and learning committee so the principal asked me to set up a committee at our school to change the schedule. So who do you get? I tapped my friends in the school to put together our Time and Learning Committee, and we worked out a new schedule for the school. That format was so Bridgew Ater review successful, we broadened our focus to deal with curriculum, instruction, and assessment in the school. Our committee, now called the Restructuring Committee, represented teachers and administrators, every department in the school, and essentially became the “think tank” for the school. NK: Change is often painful for the participants. Did you face resistance, and if so, from whom and how did you overcome it? SS: The Restructuring Committee did have resistance, but we started with data—no one could deny the problem. It was overwhelming. We began a literacy initiative that was school wide. We (the Restructuring Committee) defined literacy at Brockton High by articulating a core set of literacy skills that we felt were applicable in every discipline. We developed Literacy Charts, which are now posted in every classroom in the school. We also knew that the failure was overwhelming, so we decided to target one thing. We knew that to get people to buy in, they had to see some success. We knew that we had to train everyone well because most teachers were certainly well intentioned but cautious because they had seen so many things come and go. We persuaded them that every subject area could include writing—even art, music, science. Everybody used their own content and we helped them learn to incorporate open-response writing in their classes using a consistent process so the students were exposed repeatedly throughout the year to this writing process. Now here is the best part of the whole thing. We trained everybody to teach a writing process, first by training AN excerpt from iN the life of AN e-mAil from SuSAN SzA brocK toN high choWicz About oNe d Yesterday I began the day with a disciplinary hearing for a girl gang issue. (Typically the “tough girl” ends up boohooing all over the office.)… Then I get on the PA and we have our Poet Laureate of the Week read a poem that was brilliant, powerful, and delivered with such passion that you’d think she was a trained public speaker….Then I meet with three young ladies who were reporting a sexual harassment issue—with a TEACHER.…I’m walking through the cafeteria at lunch and I get called back to the office to take a call from a student who was here but after some “issues” I allowed him to go to Night School. I get on the phone with him and he just has to tell me that his case finally went to the jury and he beat all of the charges! So now he will be able to finish in June and he is actually smart—he passed the MCAS on the first try. And he just had to be sure that I would be there to present his diploma….Then I get an e-mail from U.S. News and World Report about the Bronze medal.…And to cap the day off, we had our first Ballroom Dancing session for this year! Forty kids in the gym—all races, all ethnicities, wearing the wave caps, looking the urban image, and they were fox trotting around the gym. And that was all IN ONE DAY! When I got home last night, I was thinking about what a great ride it is here—the ups and downs are just amazing, and it really made me smile. It also makes me crazy when someone at a conference starts to whine about all the obstacles, and what they CAN’T do…Oh please… them in interdisciplinary groups, and then in their own subject area. We said, here is the process, then how can we do it in history, in science. So everyone was trained to use the same writing process, same rubric for assessment; the only difference would be in the content. Teachers would use their own content to teach this open response writing. The final piece is the most powerful. I was by then the associate principal, and I gave the department heads a calendar of implementation. Each department was told to assign writing at a different time, so each student would get this writing assignment over and over during the year. Every subject was included, even phys ed, music, even cooking. In fact, one day I wandered into a consumer science class because I smelled chocolate chip cookies baking and a student whined, “Oh, Dr. Szach, we are in cooking class and we have to write.” I said, “Oh, that’s awful. You should write a letter to the principal.” So by the end of the year, every student had gone through the writing process repeatedly. The first year we implemented this, our MCAS failure went from 41 to 23% and the second year it went down to 13% in English Language Arts. At first the teachers resisted, but we got unbelievable improvement by doing just one thing, and that is what got us the buy-in. Then the math people asked if we could help them. The head of the math department analyzed the math test and saw that a large proportion of the questions contained a graph or chart, so we asked teachers in all of the subjects to use graphs and charts. The process was the same. There were some teachers who didn’t support this literacy initiative, but this was a school wide mandate. Most embraced it because it meant that the students in their classes were reading and writing better. But there were some who felt they were hired to teach a particular subject area, and some left or retired early. The kids needed the basic skills so it wasn’t an option for us to include them in all classes. NK: What lessons have you learned about education and school management from this experience? SS: There are so many lessons learned. The biggest lesson is that schools are big organizations and what you need is hard work, hard work, hard work. That’s the magic bullet. You have to be relentless. But it is absolutely possible to bring about positive change in the building, and the faculty like it better when things are going well! Most of what we did was trial and error. You learn by doing—try it and if it doesn’t work you back off. We figured the scores couldn’t go down, so we went ahead. They improved. Then we did it again. We never expected to make such a dramatic improvement. We defied our demographics. The best day was when the Commissioner ’s Office called. I was nervous. The Commissioner, David Driscoll, said, “Szachowicz! I’ve got news for you. Brockton High School is the most improved school in the state and I want to deliver the news at Brockton High. You get all of the kids there.” The Commissioner told the students, “You are a school of champions in your city of champions.” They all cheered. Then I asked him to come to the faculty meeting that afternoon and he enthusiastically told the faculty it was because of the hard work they did. After that the teachers didn’t have to argue any more. Now there is a great feeling in the building. —nancy kleniewski, Provost and Vice President for academic a ffairs, has recently been named president of the state University of new y ork college at Oneonta. Stills from a typographic film of an excerpt from Robert Henri’s book, The Art Spirit. y aspiration as a designer is to engage the graphic presence of words and images, so that the dialogue between them generates a more multi-dimensional, in-the-moment encounter with the concepts behind them. Word and image do not have to exist in fields isolated from each other, yet they are often treated as such. As a mediator between content and visual representation, my interests are to unify these fields. In my design work, emphasis is given to reconsidering the conventional patterns of reading words and images within a prescribed space-time continuum. My efforts are to form hybrid compositions that vividly capture a subject. What is uncovered is a unity between the depth, space, and event “capture” of images and the conceptual dimension of words. Donald Tarallo (BA in Studio Arts, Clark University, MFA in Graphic Design, Rhode Island School of Design, and further studies at the Basel School of Design, Basel, Switzerland) has worked as a graphic designer and photographer in Europe, Asia and the United States. Since 1998, he has maintained a practice focusing mainly on identity design and photography, and has developed new identity systems for Sotheby’s, Icograda and the Hong Kong Design Institute. Don has taught graphic design at Clark University, Rhode Island School of Design, Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, Fraunhofer Institute’s Digital Media, and the Samsung Art and Design Institute. His work has been awarded by the AIGA and has been published and exhibited internationally. —d onald t arallo is a ssistant Professor of a rt. Centerfold for concert program book for Community MusicWorks, Providence, RI Faculty Research ‘Club Kids’ Dina Perrone For my doctoral research in criminal justice, I studied people who identified themselves as the “club kids.” I am not talking about children or teenagers. Rather, these are young adults in their twenties who are welleducated, employed, and they spend most of their weekends using drugs (crystal methamphetamine, GHB, ecstasy, ketamine, marijuana, and cocaine) and going to legal, licensed, dance venues in search for an escape from their mundane workweek. Most of the research on drug users who attend dance clubs has focused on the drugs used, how often they are used, and the quantity used in a given night. My research was focused on understanding these users’ lives, and how these users have successfully avoided hospital visits and arrest. To learn about their behaviors, I “hung out” with them in places where they used drugs so I could observe their behaviors. I went to clubs with them and played the part of a regular dance club attendee for a period of fifteen months. This method of research, called participant observation, is a standard method for gaining insight into the behavior and culture of those who typically are unwilling to reveal information to researchers. My dissertation focuses on what I learned from the “club kids” about using drugs, clubbing, and preventing harms, and suggests some implications for drug policy raised by my findings. (I summarize some of those findings in a sidebar accompanying this article.) In this article, however, I describe the complexities and challenges I faced as a young female conducting this study. well-educated and affluent. Most of these users were in positions of relative economic power, well-connected both socially and financially. All but one of the participants were either employed or enrolled in post-graduate programs. Five of the participants were in the medical sciences, and one had a Ph.D. in neuroscience. Others included a registered nurse, a surgical resident, a chief resident at a hospital and an occupational therapist. Other participants worked in the business field, such as an owner of an investment bank and an investment banker. Such well-connected drug users feel they have much to lose by taking part in a research project. Few incentives are available to convince them to participate in a study on their drug use. As a result, the researcher must use the tools available, and be skilled and patient in creating a relationship with these users. Through that relationship, trust can be established and the subjects of the study, hopefully, can feel comfortable and free to disclose their illegal behaviors to the researcher. Correspondingly, the researcher also must feel comfortable and safe to develop trusting relationships with the drug users. Feeling comfortable is often difficult for the researcher who is studying drug users. These researchers must show they are a part of the group without using, and frequently refusing to use, drugs with them. It is a challenging balancing act to feel safe and be trusted without engaging in those behaviors. The club kids are a hidden population of drug users who often use in private spaces. They have not been under the supervision of the criminal justice system or the drug treatment system, and therefore, are beyond state control and outside of public view. They are not the In my particular study, the settings in which these poor, minority users we often hear about on the news. people used drugs complicated my ability to feel comRather, hidden users are usually white, middle to upper fortable and safe. The dance clubs which these users class drug users. Studying these individuals is much attended were often structured around sexuality. For exmore difficult than researching those who are in a drug ample, on one night the party promoters held a clubbing treatment facility, under criminal justice supervision, event with a lingerie theme. The club attendees dressed or visibly using on the street. These hidden drug users in revealing sleepwear or underwear. While I refused to often attempt to avoid exposure and detection, making dress in that attire, to fit-in, I had to look appropriate them much harder to locate. They often are employed, and appear comfortable. Moreover, since most attendmarried, and have children. In my study, the majority of ees of dance clubs and bars often seek to meet romantic participants were white (five identified as non-white), Bridgewater r eview or sex partners, approaching, and being approached by, potential research participants while feeling safe was often difficult. As a young, petite, unmarried, female researching drug users in these sexualized settings, I was often placed in situations which I would usually avoid. I was presented with various obstacles in obtaining research participants, developing relationships with the users, and ensuring my safety. While my dissertation and other publications primarily focused on these drug users’ patterns (see the accompanying box for a brief description of the findings), in this account, I describe both the challenges and the successes I experienced conducting this research. Specifically, I explain how my individual characteristics—a young, white female from a working class background—had both advantages and disadvantages in researching this hidden group of drug users in these sexual-themed settings. My gender and sexuality placed me in uncomfortable and often unsafe situations, which ultimately affected my ability to establish research relationships with some of the men in the dance clubs. However, my gender and sexuality also facilitated the development of many trusting relationships with the drug users. In establishing rapport and trust, it is very important that the researcher spend time with the drug users. In my project, I spent almost every weekend from March 2004 until June 2005 with a group of young adults who went to dance clubs and used drugs. Over this fifteen month period I attended large, legal dance clubs in New York City, Miami, the Jersey Shore, NJ, and the Hamptons in Long Island, NY. To learn about the drug experiences of this group of drug users and to understand how they avoided police detection and medical attention (see box), I employed both participantobservations, and conducted two-hour interviews with eighteen (eight female and ten male) of these users. At the time of the study, those who agreed to an interview ranged in age from twenty-two to thirty-three years. all aspects of the clubbing environment to ensure that the sexual themes came to life. For each theme the club was decorated appropriately and the staged performances corresponded to that theme. The clubbers also took part in the creation of the sex event as most dressed in costumes reflecting each party’s theme. As I became accepted in the field as a participant, most heterosexual-identified men began to treat me as they would treat many other women in the dance club, as a single and sexually available woman. Women who have an ambiguous marriage status are more likely to be harassed by men in both sexualized and non-sexualized research settings. While I kept the forged relationships professional, some prospective male participants asked for sex or nudity as payment for their involvement in the study. In one instance, a male told me that he would only agree to participate in a formal interview if he “saw me in a thong,” (a request I refused). In many instances during the fieldwork, males made un-welcomed sexual advances. When I began to feel uncomfortable, I often removed myself from the situation. In addition to the emotional toll these experiences had, they greatly affected the data collection process. I chose not to attend certain events in fear of a sexual attack, and I chose to no longer engage in conversations with some males, often potential study participants, in fear of experiencing additional sexual advances. These decisions about how to address the sexual advances were matters of balancing my safety against my research. I did not want to place myself in a situation where physical harm was possible, but I also did not want to aggravate the men who could have greatly helped or hindered data collection. Since most of the sexual advances came from men who were under the influence of multiple mind-altering substances, I could not effectively predict their behavior. I also feared that their feelings of rejection either would provoke them to ask other participants in my project to not cooperate, and/ or perhaps dismantle already forged relationships with participants. DANCe CLub S, Sex AND ReSeARCH: THe DISADv ANTAgeS Sex was intricately involved in the sale of the dance THe ADv ANTAgeS OF geNDeR AND Sexu ALITY club experience. The dance clubs were organized around IN THe FIeLD sexual activity from the mating rituals in which the In the predominantly male-run dance club industry, beattendees were engaged to the performances the dance ing a young, petite, non-pregnant, female also provided clubs provided. The club owners, DJs and party pro- advantages in establishing trust. Often I was able to go moters often chose sexualized themes for club parties, to the front of very long lines for club entry. Male dance such as the Sadomasochist Party, and were attentive to club employees who found me attractive often provided entry into areas in the club usually off limits to club attendees, and I developed a lasting friendship with one male key informant, Osiris. Isaac, a club employee, who was hopeful (yet unsuccessful) of having sexual relations with me, gave me tours of a club and the DJ booth before the venue opened. My gender and appearance also allowed me to foster relationships with females in the drug using and clubbing scene. I was invited to their homes and was able to observe their preparation procedures. While at the clubs, the women invited me on their trips to the restroom where they shared secrets, applied makeup and/or fixed their hair. I also gained insight on their perceptions of male-female relationships in the club scene. COnClusIOn ultimately, I appreciated how a researcher ’s individual characteristics, such as his or her race, gender, class, and sexuality, shape the interactions with those he or she is studying. While many researchers attempt to remain detached from the research, in an ethnographic study such as this, which employs participant observations and interviews, it is essential to understand the researcher ’s experiences in collecting data. As I attempted to establish relationships and blend within the dance settings that were often structured around sex, I was groped and solicited for sexual acts. My petiteness and female-ness shaped my decisions to refrain from attending events and to discontinue talking to potential participants when I felt uncomfortable or was concerned for my safety. I also used my petite-ness and female-ness in addition to my age, my race, and my sexual identity to gain access and establish rapport with the attendees in the dance clubs. I altered my appearance to represent myself in the most appropriate and comfortable manner. Throughout my fieldwork, I was in a constant struggle between using my sexuality and gender to my advantage and managing those situations when my sexuality and gender placed me in uncomfortable situations. My emotions, including fear and intimidation, influenced the data collection, but more importantly, greatly affected my overall wellbeing. College and university institutional review boards, which grant researchers the right to conduct research, have implemented multiple policies to ensure that the rights, safety and health of human subjects are protected. An equal level of concern should be given to the safety of the field researcher. While researchers have to successfully complete a program on studying human subjects, we are not given guidelines on how to ensure our safety and wellbeing in the field. As a result, we are often ill-equipped to address personal challenges, such as sexual harassment, in the field. To address these issues, manage some of the risks, and reduce some of the harms an ethnographer may suffer, I developed some suggestions for both individual field researchers and research institutions: T he participants in my study began using drugs other than marijuana and alcohol when they were between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five years. The average age of the participants at the time of the study was twenty-seven years, and they had been using drugs for an average of eight years. They all reported having used ecstasy at least once, but most preferred cocaine, crystal methamphetamine, GHB, or ketamine. While these users had been using drugs for most of their adult lives, they successfully stayed outside the criminal justice system, had few (if any) emergency room visits, did not engage in crime to purchase their drugs, and maintained fulltime, above average salaried positions. They attributed their ability to do so to their links to family and work, social and economic resources, social support, and settings of use. Conscious of the potential harms associated with club drugs and the potential damages drug use could have on their careers, these users took steps to avoid the negative consequences traditionally associated with illicit drug use, such as arrest, health consequences, and unemployment. Many of the club kids were socially, culturally, and financially ‘embedded’ within conventional society, which in many ways insulated them from harmful consequences associated with their drug use. Their familial responsibilities and employment obligations helped regulate their drug usage. Among their reasons for reducing or discontinuing using drugs were financial obligations, the goal of becoming a parent, obtaining new intimate partners and ending relationships with others. To fulfill their increasing occupational and educational responsibilities, most discontinued, greatly limited or altered their drug use to complete necessary tasks. Their social capital and social support networks also insulated them from consequences typically associated with drug use. They had access to resources and information on the harmful consequences of the drugs and ways to avoid them. They used this information to reduce the negative effects on their health and their daily living. They monitored their dosage and food intake, and avoided certain drug combinations. Their social capital further kept them insulated from the police. They did not have to use in heavily policed areas or in plain view on the street. Rather, their use occurred inside clubs, private homes and hotel rooms, where they could hide their consumption. The settings in which they used drugs also prevented them from using drugs excessively and harmfully. Through learning about the effects of drug combinations and sharing knowledge through social networks, these users chose which drugs to use and when to use them. Most refrained from combining certain substances, such as alcohol and GHB, to avoid possible consequences. This group disapproved strongly of the use of heroin and crack, and they tended to abstain from using them. Finally, in these settings, the users shared information on addressing potential harms, such as flushing out their noses after a night-out snorting ketamine, crystal methamphetamine, or cocaine to avoid growths inside their noses. The club kids, however, did not always follow their strategies for reducing negative consequences, and at times their methods were ineffective. Some experienced shortterm harms, such as being awake for days, not being able to eat and losing large amounts of weight in a short period of time. Others used drugs excessively. Nonetheless, when the club kids flirted with danger, they still managed to remain outside of the criminal justice system. To ensure safety in the field, researchers should avoid engaging in behaviors that make them exceptionally uncomfortable. To assist other researchers embarking or working on field projects, and to broaden the understanding of the culture under study, researchers should reflect upon and share their fieldwork experiences. To prevent and address harmful experiences in the field, research institutions should create and implement legislative safeguards on researcher safety, and devise an independent and confidential research support team. This team, ideally comprised of researchers, lawyers and counselors, could provide an avenue through which field researchers could discuss their experiences and seek guidance on challenges they are confronting in the field. —Dina Perrone is Assistant Professor of Criminal justice. Faculty Profile Diana Fox and Ten Years of Women’s Studies Scholarship on the Web Diana Fox, Associate Professor of Anthropology, remembers well the moment of inspiration that led to the creation of the Journal of international w omen’s studies, an online, cutting-edge, scholarly publication that she founded in 1999 and has edited ever since. “I had already been aware of internet publishing and its potential for reaching those without access to print scholarship. But the point was really confirmed when I was in Cuba at a Women’s Studies conference at the University of Havana in 1998.” Many of the scholars there weren’t aware of what was happening in the field around the world. Like others in the developing world, the university lacked resources for print journals and its women’s studies office had only one computer and a staff that was just learning to use it. Still, it was the promise of the technology that struck Dr. Fox. “To stay engaged with colleagues around the world, I thought, a person only needs occasional access to a computer…and no paper!” Diana Fox has developed her idea into a leading journal in the field of Women’s Studies and if longevity reflects success, the Jiws is proof positive. The journal turns 10 this year. Originally, the journal was hosted by the Women’s Center at North Adams State College (now the Massachusetts College of the Liberal Arts), where Dr. Fox was the Center ’s director and overseer of the college’s Women’s Studies minor. When she took a tenure-track position in BSC’s Anthropology Department in 2000, Fox brought the journal with her to Bridgewater and to a new electronic address (www. bridgew.edu/SoAS/JIWS/). From the time of its inception, the Journal of international w omen’s studies has filled a void and makes connections between scholars and others in the field. “There was, I think, a disconnect between feminist scholarship and feminist activism. The journal tries to be a link between these two endeavors,” Fox notes. In fact, an open-access, free, peer-reviewed journal has become a form of activism itself.” At the core of the Journal’s mission is a simple assertion: awareness of the plight, challenges and achievements of women in other parts of the world is necessary if change is to happen. As women’s studies increasingly embraces gender studies, relationships between femininity and masculinity and GLBT concerns, the Jiws publishes articles, essays and literary works across these related fields. Though it has never appeared in print, the Jiws possesses all of the features that scholars would recognize in other leading journals in their fields. Dr. Fox is joined by two associate editors and a 29-member editorial board made up of scholars from institutions across the United States as well as Malawi, South Africa, and Finland. The journal is peer-reviewed and listed in the International Social Science Index of scholarly citations, both of which serve as markers of its caliber. True to the field, the journal is multidisciplinary, which means it is flexible about writing styles and emphases, citation practices and topics. Among the journal’s November 2007 issue, for example, were full-length articles on the construction of “woman” as a category in Kashmir, female emancipation and the concept of “liberation” in Sri Lanka, wife-battering in Africa, a literary deconstruction of Shakespeare’s character caliban (from the t empest) as a symbol of subaltern resistance, and the work of the YMCA in the United Nations “Decade for Women” (1975–85). “The common thread is that they all analyze the central categories—woman, and increasingly gender—and provide a bridge between scholarship and activism,” Fox explains. “All these themes and issues have to have a transformational quality.” The journal’s most recent issue is composed of the winning and short-listed entries to the UK- and Irish-based Feminist and Women’s Studies Association essay competition for 2006. “This is the fourth year that we have published FWSA contest essays. It’s a great way for us to forge connections and show multiple perspectives.” Over the past ten years, the Journal has developed an important reputation in the field as a meeting ground for ideas among feminist scholars throughout the world, but particularly from places where scholarly discourse was isolated or muted. To be a vibrant journal means also to be willing to embrace change; that is, to be open to new and revisionist ideas and to be an ongoing voice of inclusion. Even a cursory look at the subjects examined in the past issues of the Jiws shows it to have been remarkable in reflecting the dominant debates and changing approaches of the leading scholars in the field. Fewer contributors to the journal write about women and gender in the ways that the leading scholars did even 10 or 15 years ago. Fox notes that “few scholars write about women’s experiences as being a product of particular regions or nations alone…The latest scholarship sees women’s and gender experiences as transnational phenomena.” In many American colleges, the presence of an academic journal or university press on campus often goes unnoticed, the product of a rather common separation of research and teaching functions in higher education. Not so with the Jiws. One goal that Fox has emphasized is that the Bridgewater State community should be much more than simply a host for a journal whose contributors largely reside elsewhere. In short, the Journal gives back to BSC. At a general level, she says, “the journal helps to explode the idea that a regional college like ours must have a regional perspective.” Placed alongside the College’s many other global initiatives, the Jiws opens yet another window on the world. Professor Fox and other members of BSC’s Women’s and Gender Studies program routinely use articles, reviews and discussions from the Journal in their classroom pedagogy and invite students to use this resource in their research. “I think the Journal has shown our students that scholarship about women on one hand and women’s experience, on the other—here and around the world—are not two separate, distinct things. The Journal articles are about real lives in other contexts and they give our students perspective on how to view and value their own lives.. Moreover, using the Jiws in the classroom demonstrates a point that is simple but profound: new, fresh and good ideas come rather often from other, often overlooked parts of the world. And what lies ahead for the Journal in its next ten years. Dr. Fox and the editors will hardly rest on their wellwon laurels for long. One challenge they plan to tackle is making this international publication even more international—to include scholars from even more countries among the members of the editorial board and among the authors submitting work. Growing the Journal’s diaspora of scholars won’t happen overnight, but through conference discussions, word-of-mouth and internet discovery, the community is poised to expand. A second, more perennial and intractable challenge involves brass tacks. The Journal’s success thus far has come from hard work from its editors and goodwill from the College. “The account balance is always less than $1,000,” Fox notes, and while it’s not her aim for the Journal to become a major financial earner, a more comfortable margin would be nice. “As we grow, so will our sources of revenue. Royalties from bibliographic sources, for example, will help.” But the top priority for the Jiws in the next decade involves another challenge: how to make the journal more accessible linguistically. The journal is currently published only in English and this poses a conceptual hurdle given the diversity of its global clientele. Unfortunately, the cost of in-house translations is prohibitive. Still, Fox and her colleagues plan to move ahead to make the Journal more multilingual. In addition to publishing the abstracts for some English-language articles in other languages, the editors will consider republishing selected whole articles that have already appeared in English a second time, in other languages. One recently published piece on women’s activism in Honduras will appear again in a future issue at the author ’s request, this time in Spanish, so that more women’s activists in the Spanish-speaking world could access the ideas. “This is an example,” Fox said “of how the mission of the Jiws is actually working.” Like a charm. Happy anniversary, Jiws. Many more. —andrew holman is professor of history and associate editor of the Bridgewater Review. Higher education in the United States is increasingly advancement of Canadian Studies by forming a council focused on making students global learners. Programs of faculty members who would provide support and that provide undergraduates with educational experi- guidance as the program moved forward. Within a ences abroad are now an integral part of the curriculum. few years there were student exchanges, field trips to In line with this trend, Bridgewater has been fortunate Canada, research and travel grants, gifts of books, maps, to have in place the Canadian Studies program, which slides and other materials provided by the Canadian since 1973 has taken the lead in Massachusetts and government and summer workshops to train high indeed throughout the country in providing students school teachers about Canada. with international learning opportunities. This year the Canadian Studies Program proudly celebrates thirty-five years of ever-growing cross border ties. In 1989, Professor Myers handed over responsibility for the Canadian Studies program to Dr. Anthony Cicerone of the Economics Department who took the In 1973 Professor John Myers of the History program to a new level of excellence. One of his first Department offered the first course in Canadian History objectives was to develop an official budget for the and in effect launched a program of study that after program that allowed him and his fellow Canadian thirty-five years now includes a full range of courses, studies colleagues to plan for new initiatives. With the numerous faculty participants, research and travel support of then President Adrian Tinsley, Dr. Cicerone grants, a speaker series, heightened student interest and was able to make Canadian Studies an integral part of an endowed chair in Canadian Studies, the first among the college’s external relations efforts and develop closer Massachusetts state colleges. During Professor Myers ties between southeastern Massachusetts and Canada. sixteen year tenure as Canadian Studies Coordinator As a result of these growing ties, Cicerone developed a at Bridgewater, the program grew from one course series of conferences linking local mayors in the region to an academic discipline offering students a minor with their counterparts in Atlantic Canada and hosted concentration. Myers also laid the groundwork for the numerous workshops and other gatherings to promote cross border ties. Cicerone was also successful in convincing the Canadian Government in Boston to provide expanded research and travel support for faculty and students who wanted to develop a better understanding of their neighbors to the North. The result was a significant growth in grants awarded to the program and to Bridgewater State faculty. The success of the Canadian Studies program convinced the college administration to hire specialists on Canada such as Professor Christopher Kirkey in Political Science (now head of Canadian Studies at SUNY, Plattsburgh) and Professor Andrew Holman in History. Fulbright Scholars such as Louis Balthazar of Laval University in Quebec and Joel Sokolsky of the Royal Military College of Canada spent full semesters at Bridgewater teaching classes and working closely with students. During this time Dr. Cicerone initiated a distinguished speakers series. The TD Banknorth Distinguished Canadian Annual Address brings some of the most visible and respected Canadian leaders to the college. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, the Commission of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, provincial prime ministers, authors, poets and other luminaries were invited to come to Bridgewater to speak to the college community. In one of his most gratifying initiatives, Dr. Cicerone also was able to develop funding relationships that permitted Bridgewater students to study in Canada. The Maple Leaf Foundation provides substantial financial support giving students new opportunities to spend a semester at a Canadian university. Also ties were formed with the Killam Fellowships Program, which provide Bridgewater students with a $10,000 award ( plus additional money for travel) to attend a Canadian university. Bridgewater ’s participation in the Killam Fellowships Program placed it in company with Massachusetts schools such as Harvard, MIT, Wellesley and Smith. These programs also allow Canadian students to travel to Bridgewater and spend an equal amount of time here fostering a true exchange relationship. The relationship with the Killam Trusts set the stage for the most significant accomplishment of the Canadian Far Left: Steven Smalley, Canada. 66" x 76". Acrylic on Canvas. 2008. Left: John B. Newhall, Jan Cellucci, Anthony Cicerone, Kate Newhall, Paul Cellucci, Dana Mohler-Faria. Studies Program. While serving as President and CEO of the New England-Canada Business Council, Dr. Cicerone met Mr. John Newhall, who was entrusted with managing the Killam Trusts. Over an eight year period starting in 2000 Dr. Cicerone has worked closely with Mr. Newhall and was able to raise over $1 million from the Killam Trusts, with additional support from the Canadian government and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Endowment Incentive Program to establish the first endowed chair among the nine state colleges in Massachusetts. The endowed chair was announced in 2007 by college president Dr. Dana Mohler-Faria, a strong supporter of Canadian Studies, with 2009 as the start date. Once fully operational, the college will host a series of distinguished Canadian scholars who will teach classes, conduct research and mentor students. The distinction of being the first state college to endow a faculty chair indicates the standing that Bridgewater ’s Canadian Studies Program has attained since its inception in 1973. As the Canadian Studies Program celebrates its 35th year, Dr. Cicerone, his faculty colleagues, administrators and a growing number of students are anticipating continued interest in Canada and expanded cross-border ties. Each year there has been an increase in the number of students who take the inter-disciplinary course in Canadian Studies. Furthermore, the Canadian Studies Program has grown to over twenty faculty and staff members who meet regularly to plan out new initiatives and research projects. Because the Bridgewater State College Canadian Studies Program has received international recognition, there is also increased support from the Canadian Consulate General in Boston, the Canadian Government in Ottawa, and Canadian businesses. There is no doubt that over the last thirty five years Canadian Studies has become a major player in the United States as a center for academic excellence, student exchanges, business involvement and community participation. With such a success rate it can only be concluded that in the coming years the Canadian Studies program will continue its proud tradition of strengthening ties to our northern neighbor and enhancing the opportunities for students, faculty, businesses, public officials and the regional community to develop closer relations and a better understanding of Canada. —michael kryzanek. bridgewater review One of the longest serving faculty members at BSC, Professor Philip Scalisi has been teaching mathematics here since 1969, but time has hardly slowed his enthusiasm for his subject or his interest in new discovery. Scalisi was the first to introduce courses on the history of mathematics at BSC. His recent study involves Leonhard Euler (1707–83), a grand figure in the history of mathematics and the subject of a recent study tour. Bridgewater Review met with Professor Scalisi in March to talk about Euler, the history of mathematics, and the benefits of scholarly study tours. where we start at the Stone Age and proceed forward. We study the ancient Egyptians, ancient Babylonians, and ancient Mayans. I have actually taught my students how to read mathematically-related Egyptian hieroglyphics. We study math from the Greeks to the Middle Ages into the Renaissance, after that working century by century to the present. Another way is to concentrate on one or two topics, branches of mathematics such calculus, non-Euclidean geometry or number theory, and trace them. At the graduate level, I prefer to teach math history by topics, and at the undergraduate level by chronological order. One challenge in doing all of this involves books; until recently there were only a few good texts in the history of math. Philip Scalisi: On the Trail of Leonhard Euler and the History of Mathematics BR: How did you first become interested in the history of mathematics? Years ago, when I was an undergraduate at Northeastern University, I took a course offered by a professor named Holland Filgo. It was just a quarter BR: You imply that it is natural to study the histocourse, pretty primitive compared to what we do today, ry of mathematics chronologically; could you also but Filgo stirred my interest. It caused me then to say that it is natural to study it biographically? think that all majors ought to know something about Yes, it is intimately associated with the mathematicians the history of their own fields. Others have obviously themselves. A good example of this involves the study agreed. Now, the National Council of Teachers of tour in which I participated last summer. The tour was Mathematics (NCTM), our math education profes- organized by the Mathematics Association of America sional association, has included mathematics history in (MAA) and focused on just one man, Leonhard Euler. the recommended standards for courses that prospec- This past year, 2007, was the 300th anniversary of his tive math teachers should take. This has been adopted birth. Any mathematician, math physicist, or astronoin the Massachusetts State curriculum standards as mer is familiar with Euler; he is generally considered to well. So, mathematics history has come to occupy an be one of the top four mathematicians of all time. His important role. I was glad to have introduced a course work dominated the field throughout the 18th century. in the history of math here back in the early 70s and He was what we would refer to today as a universalI have taught it ever since. It’s refreshing to have our ist—one who knew everything in all branches of mathgraduates—those now out teaching in the schools— ematics, pure and applied. He was a true genius. His come back and say that they have used the history of total published output is in more than 80 volumes, each math in their teaching. one between 300 and 600 pages. Scholars started publishing Euler ’s Opera Omnia in 1911 at the University BR: What topics in the history of mathematics of Basel, Switzerland and it continues today. The Swiss have special appeal for you? academicians who are working on it told me that they They are all appealing, but I teach the course in different had completed the editing and publishing of his original ways. One is from a purely chronological point of view, books and (as of last summer) they were working on his notebooks and personal correspondence. This project will make important source materials much more accessible. Euler corresponded with just about every major scientific figure in 18th century Europe such as D. Bernoulli, C.Goldbach, and J. Lagrange. His work provides a storehouse of ideas that we can still examine and test today. BR: What did Euler’s notebooks look like? Surprisingly, his original manuscripts are well written; not a scribbly mess. He wrote in Latin, French and German, though probably 80 percent of what he published was in Latin. That was typical for all European scientists during the Renaissance. Another 15 percent of what he wrote was in French, the remaining 5 percent in German. Euler was born in Basel, in the Germanspeaking part of Switzerland. His first major full-time appointment was to the Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg, Russia, founded there by Peter the Great. He stayed there until 1741, but because of the turmoil that was going on in Russia and the overtures of Frederick the Great of Prussia (who wanted to develop scientific study in his country) Euler was lured to Berlin. BR: What are some of the main differences in mathematics education? It is very interesting the way they foster their math majors to graduate, get a bachelor ’s degree, and then go on for their doctorate. It’s very different from what we do over here. In Berlin, for example, there are three major universities: the Alexander von Humboldt University, the Free University, and the Technical University of Berlin. Then there are two very focused research institutions, one of which is called the Weierstrass (named after a 19th century mathematician). A council was formed, formally called the Berlin Mathematical School, sometimes “Matheon.” The Matheon program at the German Research center provides funding for students to get from a bachelor ’s degree to a doctorate degree. The students take courses at each of these institutions. In all, the Matheon program is granted annually by the German Research Foundation (DFG) close to €5 million. It’s fairly new; it was initially founded in 2002. In addition, there is the Berlin Mathematical School (BMS) that was established in 2006. It is a two phase graduate program which also uses the above mentioned institutions as well as Matheon. Leonhard Euler. BR: But he left his books behind? He left some of them, not all of them. He went to Berlin, to the Academy of Sciences created by Frederick the Great, and stayed there for 25 years. While he was there, he still contributed to the publishing house in St. Petersburg. He wrote for all the great scientific journals, including the Acta eruditorum and the Royal journal. When Catherine the Great (Catherine II) became czarina, she lured Euler back to St. Petersburg in 1765 or 66. She had known of Euler ’s work and reputation, so she offered him a tremendous annual salary and residence. He stayed in St. Petersburg until his death in 1783. His scientific work was carried out largely in those two cities, so that’s where the tour spent the most time. Since he began and ended his career in St. Petersburg, most of his original manuscripts are there in St. Petersburg. BR: What did you take away from the study tour? It provided me the opportunity to get first-hand information concerning Euler and his works. One of my fields in mathematics is complex variable theory or complex analysis, and Euler did so much in that. One the greatest of all mathematical formulas in terms of complex variables is called Euler ’s Theorem and I was curious if I could find that in any of the archives, where he used it and what notation he used. And I did, in one of his many notebooks. I was actually allowed to handle them and take pictures. That is a pretty rare privilege. What makes his accomplishments even more amazing is After that, I didn’t want to wash my hands! that when he was 31 years old he lost sight in his right eye due to an illness. And in the last 12 years before he died he lost sight in the other eye. Still, he continued to produce; in those last years, he produced over 400 publications. Naturally, the notebooks from that time were written in someone else’s hand. In fact, I saw some that were done by a transcriber. Study tours like this and others that the MAA has done have a lot to recommend them. They allow you to meet other people in the field, to see who else shares your interests and to become friends. Also, it was useful to actually see the actual institutions where these mathematicians worked, where my European colleagues teach, and what they emphasize in their teaching. The MAA has asked me to organize a math study tour here because of some connections I have to experts in crystallography and mineralogy at Harvard and Yale. Both places have very rich archival and historical scientific instruments collections, which I have used in my own research. Right now, I can’t do it; but I might in two or three years. That is the sort of thing that I think members of the MAA would like. —Professor Scalisi was interviewed by Andrew Holman, Associate editor of the Bridgewater Review. BR: And you went to Basel to see where he was born? Yes, and to the University because that is where his Opera Omnia is being published. While we were there, there was at the Natural History Museum a special mathematics exhibit that we went to see. We also conversed and interchanged ideas with the academicians there on math education. We wanted to know what were they doing in teaching mathematics as well as the development of research in mathematics for students. Cultural Commentary Free Time is Me Time has, at some time, besotted the hobby portion of my brain. Some have remained with me for life (woodworking and sailing), and some faded away, leaving me with fond memories and a library of specialty books. I still have four shelves of books on fly fishing, two of which are about fly tying and bamboo fly rod construction. (I wish I could find my copy of The Idyll of the Split Bamboo by George Parker Holden. It’s apparently worth some money now.) In distinguishing a real hobby from a mere leisure activity I do not depend solely on an examination of my own experiences. I have also dipped into the academic literature on the subject. Given the many billions of dollars spent yearly in America on leisure activities, it should be no surprise to you that there are several serious academic journals devoted to leisure studies, and dozens of departments of leisure studies in the United States. In addition, other academic departments, such as sociology, also offer courses on the subject of leisure. So, here are my criteria. Take a look at the data from the 2006 survey of Adult Participation in Selected Leisure Activities that is cited above. Americans are bird watching and working with wood, painting and model making, flying kites and baking in large numbers. But the really big numbers for leisure participation are in activities like barbecuing (a third of adult Americans), reading books and entertaining at home (about 40 percent each) and dining out (almost half of the adult population). First, people pursue their hobbies for fun. Of course, the choices people make are matters of individual taste. I have no idea how anyone could enjoy spelunking, the exploration of caves, which appears to require that the spelunker wedge him or herself into increasingly narrow passages until the possibility of turning around is gone. But no one needs to defend the pastime they love. If In reading this data I felt uneasy about the range of your colleagues in the accounting firm don’t know that these activities. Something made me think that dining on weekends you travel hundreds of miles to take part out and bird watching, for example, don’t really belong in Civil War battle reenactments, there will be no need on the same list. In short, it seems to me that some of to explain yourself. Just keep your musket at home. As these activities do not rise to the level of what I consider to the amount of fun you have at your hobby, be aware a genuine hobby. As a dedicated hobbyist, I believe this that the border between fun and obsession is fuzzy. is a distinction that is worth making. Before making the Remember the scrap bookers? In a recent article in attempt, please allow me to list my credentials. Maclean’s, a Canadian weekly news magazine, some men complained that they had become “scrapbook widowers” who had problems keeping up with the bills for supplies. This brings me to my second point. I am a serial hobbyist, having devoted my leisure time to various passions including, but not limited to, woodworking, fishing, sailing, opera (watching, not singing), tennis, golf, poetry (reading, not writing), guitar (playing and building) and rowing. I’m not saying I have been particularly good at any of these, merely that each Though hobbies can be pursued in private, they tend to develop communities of like-minded people. After all, it is near-impossible to reenact a Civil War battle on your own, though I am certain it has been tried. In the age of the internet, these communities of shared interest are larger and more organized than ever. Only a few incurred are not important. If you love golf, you pay decades ago it would have been very difficult to make for clubs, course fees and lessons, and that’s that. But I connections with others who, like you, were desperam aware of people who try to make money from their ate to race their radio-controlled model sailboats. Now Left, hobbies. For example, I know some men (no women, for there are national and local organizations just a few fSoprefluunnk.ing, some reason) who love their fishing, and who sell what mouse clicks away, each with lists of rules and schedules Below, they can to local fish markets to “defray the costs” of of races in your area. Check out the Marblehead Model Civil War battle their hobby. In New England the odds are good that the Yacht Club (mmycboat.com) for racing most weekends reenactors. striped bass or bluefish you buy in June from your small, for five classes of local market, was caught by an amateur. Of course, model boats. after calculating the cost of the boat, boat insurance, fuel, tackle, bait, launching or mooring fees, clothes and sun block the honest fisherperson would have to charge a buyer $850 a pound for the fillets just to break even. But just because you can’t make money pursuing your hobby doesn’t mean that someone else can’t profit. Selling to hobbyists is big business. Go online to “mygranniesatticantiques” to find that turn-of-the century sewing machine you have been longing for, or visit Para-Gear or Drop Zone for the skydiving gear you can’t live without. Literally. The more popular the hobby, the larger and more numerous the suppliers. Third, hobbies tend to develop in the devotee a set of skills and specialized knowledge. In most cases these do not have much use in the real world. I never have found a practical application for the movements required to produce a topspin forehand on the tennis court. Neither will you impress normal people with your ability to sing all sixteen verses of the English folk ballad, “The Knight and the Shepherd’s Daughter.” Such things are the natural byproducts of a hobby intensely pursued. Some do have real-world uses, though caution is often a good idea. In the 2004 documentary film “Word Wars,” a small group of fiercely competitive Scrabble players are shown compulsively studying lists of words, especially those employing high value Scrabble letters. Here are some words that are legal in Scrabble, taken from a list that will use up those pesky “K’s” in your tray. They are, dekko, hokku, kayak, kakas, kamik, kapok, kecks, keeks, kirks, kopek and kukri. Try using one of these in every day conversation and see how valued your special knowledge is to “normal” folks. Even my spell checker has warned me to doubt the authenticity of half of them. Such special skills and knowledge only have currency with others who love the particular hobby. Which brings me to my fourth point. If we use these criteria to define a true hobby, then we should be able to distinguish mild, leisure activity from true hobbying. When you take advantage of a pleasant June evening to grill some burgers in the back yard, it’s just leisure. But there are true barbecue hobbyists. In fact, they are regularly featured on television’s Food Network, competing in large-stakes contests in the pulled-pork, whole hog and brisket categories. They have custom smoked-meat trailers, secret dry-rubs and years of accumulated knowledge that they would gladly share with you, but then they’d have to kill you. And the company of like-minded grillers and smokers makes their faces shine like Texas-style sauce on a judge’s chin. —w illiam c. l evin is Professor of Sociology and associate editor of the Bridgewater Review. R u T n E c h T E I T n E W T E h T O T g n I n E T s I L : E s I O n s I T s E R E h T : W E I V E R K O O B Alex Ross, The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century. Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, ©2007 far right” and its desire to recapture and restore the mythic past of the Germanic heroes. Others saw Wagner ’s music as a break with the past where, in Wagner ’s own words, “‘we shall live only in the present, in the here and now and create works for the present age alone.’” Thomas Mann’s novel Dr. Faustus, to which The roots of Ross’ argument appear in his brief sum- Ross frequently alludes, pits the “bloody barbarism” of mary of Richard Wagner ’s influence “not only in music, the ultranationalists against the “bloodless intellectualbut in literature, theater, and painting…Anti-Semites ity” of the humanists who, in reacting to the Wagnerian and ultranationalists considered Wagner their private program, removed art from its historical and cultural prophet, but he gave impetus to almost every political context and consequently drained themselves of any and aesthetic movement of the age” including liberalism, energy to counter the forces arrayed against the values bohemianism, African-American activism, feminism, they professed to represent. In my perhaps overly and Zionism. The strands of Wagner ’s legacy unraveled simple terms, Ross explores whether the early twenin often conflicting ways. Some saw Wagner ’s operatic tieth century music—and the intellectual movements heroes—Parsifal, Wotan—as representing “an allegory that engulfed it—was an outgrowth of or a reaction to of the diseased West” which “fed the fantasies of the Wagner ’s influence. Ross begins with the friendship between Richard reactionary mind-set. Many members of the modernist Strauss and Gustav Mahler, the two giants of early vanguard would tack away from a fashionable solidarity twentieth century German music. Strauss began his with social outcasts and towards various forms of ultracomposing career under Wagner ’s spell but around the nationalism, authoritarianism, even Nazism. Moreover, turn of the century wondered whether Wagner ’s ef- only in a prosperous, liberal, art-infatuated society forts “to unify religion and art” was “a utopian scheme could such a determinedly anti-social class of artists that contained ‘the seeds of death in itself.’” Strauss’ survive, or find an audience. The bourgeois worship of operatic heroes, Guntram for example, decide to opt out art had implanted in the artists’ minds an attitude of of their messianic roles and forgo any attempt to save infallibility, according to which imagination made its humanity. “Anarchist individualism”—think Salomé— own laws. That mentality made possible the extremes became Strauss’ “way of removing himself from the of modern art.” It hardy needs asserting that this stylistic squabbles of the time.” The still popular Till symbiotic relationship between apparently antithetical Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks—the tone poem made fa- stances spills over into the other arts, politics, and humous in Disney’s Fantasia—orchestrates this spirit with man psychology itself. its “deliciously insolent sounds.” Strauss courted the vox populi; his work became—remains—enormously Two cases in point: the Russian Dmitri Shostakovich popular and regularly scheduled on orchestral programs. and the African-American William Grant Still each faced in their own ways political and social imposiLike Strauss, Gustav Mahler began his composing tions that influenced their compositions. Shostakovich career writing tone poems and program music, pro- spent most of his composing life in Stalinist Russia. viding titles and detailed program notes for his early Initially, he hoped for acceptance from the regime but symphonies. However, he began to envision himself as Stalin, who Ross says had taken an interest in Soviet “a ‘pure musician,’ one who moved in a ‘realm outside opera, expressed displeasure with the composer ’s Lady time, space, and the forms of individual appearances.’” Macbeth of the Mtensk District by leaving the theatre Later Mahler referred to himself as the “untimely one” before its conclusion. Shostakovich who had hoped for whose music would receive acclaim in some future an invitation to the leader ’s box grew “’sick at heart’” time. Mahler, whose friendship with Strauss gradually upon hearing of Stalin’s departure. “Pravda,” the official cooled, thought his rival “already enjoys immortality Communist newspaper, printed an editorial with the here on earth.” Mahler worried about Strauss’s popular- headline “Muddle Instead of Music” and in an additionity and felt that popular acclaim and fame corrupted al 600 words condemned the opera “as an artistically the true artist. Mahler, Ross tells us, was obsessed “with obscure and morally obscene work.” Knowing what suffering and redemption.” Mahler ’s death in New York had happened to other writers, poets, and composers stunned Strauss who referred to Mahler as a worthy considered enemies of the regime, Shostakovich lived adversary. But, Ross observes, “each man misunder- in fear. “For anyone,” Ross writes, “who cherishes the stood the other to the end; Strauss suspected Mahler of notion that there is some inherent spiritual goodness surrendering to antiquated Christian morality, while in artists of great talent, the era of Stalin and Hitler is Mahler accused Strauss of selling out to plebeian taste. disillusioning. Not only did composers fail to rise up The split between them forecast a larger division in en masse against totalitarianism, but many actually twentieth-century music to come, between modernist welcomed it…. Having long depended on the largesse of and populist conceptions of the composer ’s role.” the Church, the upper classes, and the high bourgeosie, This modernist and populist polarity placed the rational composers found themselves, in the Jazz Age, without and intellectual against the irrational and emotional, obvious means of support. Some fell to dreaming of a the avant-garde against bourgeois middle-class, the political knight in shining armor who would come to anarchic spirit against the utopian spirit. Yet, for Ross, their aid.” The regime elected to censure Shostakovich these seeming antitheses exist in an uneasy embrace for failure to promote and advance the artistic ideals with one another. “As in prior periods of cultural of socialist realism. The composer responded—and I’m and social upheaval, revolutionary gestures betray a oversimplifying and compressing a complex series of events—by writing symphonies like his Fifth that left hearers wondering whether the finale’s crescendo of trumpets and timpani intended to glorify the regime’s R u T n E c h T E I T n E W T E h T O T g n I n E T s I L : E s I O n s I T s E R E h T : W E I V E R K O O B power or condemn its artistic barbarity. Ross observes that critics wondered whether Shostakovich served as the regime’s “official composer ” or its closet “dissident.” Some confessed to hearing in the composer ’s pronouncements and in his compositions sophisticated ironies. “To talk about musical irony,” Ross says, “we first have to agree on what the music appears to be saying, and then we have to agree on what the music is really saying. This is invariably difficult to do.” Shostakovich remained—and his music remains—a divided self, in his words “‘a cut-out paper doll on a string.’” Though different in nature, cultural and political influences played as great a role in twentieth century American musical life as they played in Europe. William Grant Still, an African American composer and musician, faced enormous difficulties having his music played and heard. When the Rochester Philharmonic under Howard Hansen played his a fro-american symphony in 1931, “a black composer finally found a place of respect in classical America.” (Let me note here that I managed to find a Naxos CD of Still’s symphony and recommend it.) Still fared better than most classically trained African-American composers who, confronting racial stigmas against having their works performed, were forced to find work as jazz composers and popular musicians. Curiously, American Jewish composers, themselves a stigmatized group, borrowed freely and frequently from the African-American musical tradition, incorporating rhythms and melodies into their popular songs. “Still accused Gershwin of plagiarism,” Ross notes, and listening carefully to the opening theme of the a fro-american symphony’s second movement, the hearer encounters the familiar theme of Gershwin’s “I’ve Got Rhythm.” African-American and Jewish composers listened to and borrowed from each other. Their melodic and rhythmic innovations worked their way into much of the music we hear today. Nonetheless, American music has been described as championing democratic ideals in such pieces as Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man or questioning those ideals as in John Adams’ more recent Nixon in China. This last opera, Ross tells us, “coalesce[s] into an epic poem of recent history, a dream narrative in halfrhyming couplets”…where at the end “the assembled potentates [Nixon, Mao, Kissinger, Chou-en-Lai] cease to be distinct historical characters and instead become vessels of one sadly remembering mind, perhaps the soul of the century itself.” As the century began with Strauss’s Salomé dancing with John the Baptist’s head in what Ross calls “necrophiliac bliss,” it ends with Nixon and Mao “standing on a mythical island in a pitch black river while the swan of death glides serenely around them.” But…that was last century, violent, tormented and troubled. In this new century, no less troubled I suppose, I’ve found myself taking colleagues’ children to Boston Symphony concerts. While I have formed particular musical tastes, the young ears respond to Stravinsky’s rite of spring, Prokofiev’s first Violin concerto or Oliver Knussen’s The Way to castle Yonder with “Wow!” Sitting in Symphony Hall with the youngsters, with the noisy and noisome just outside on Huntington and Mass Avenues, I take infinite pleasure in listening anew and offer thanks to Ross’ The r est Is noise for some help in understanding why silence itself is not always golden. —charles angell is Professor of english and Book r eview editor of the Bridgewater Review. Sunrise, Roberts Bay (2007) Rising early, as is my habit, I was sitting in the kitchen of a house on the shore of Roberts Bay, Vancouver Island. I looked up when I noticed the “interesting” light that was filling the room as the sun rose and was able to capture this image. The light only lasted five minutes. D o t A g t P in i lr m 2 r 0 ew i


This is a preview of a remote PDF: http://vc.bridgew.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1207&context=br_rev

Bridgewater Review, Vol. 27, No. 1, June 2008, Bridgewater Review, 2011,