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Quotes from recent lectures and talks at St. Mary's College of MarylandNo matter who you voted for, everyone, including the outgoing administration, really really really wants this new president to succeed. We are at war, people want to do us harm, healthcare issues, the market.…He has more to oversee than any president in recent memory. … The presidency is not a lateral move; for anybody, it is a huge step up.
--Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget Clay Johnson III, who has known President George W. Bush since they were teenagers. Johnson also was head of the 2000 Bush/Cheney Transition Team, and spoke Nov. 17 about the challenges of a presidential transition. (Tip for job-seekers: Highlight all the verbs in your rèsumè to check if they are “being” verbs or “doing” verbs. You want people who have been involved in the action.)
The Democratic national platform is a new promise for America.
– Maryland Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, speaking Dec. 1 as a guest of the Center for the Study of Democracy on the future of democracy.
I’m a kinetic learner: I learn lines by walking around. Since I live in D.C. near the Capitol, my usual place to walk is Lincoln Park. People are used to seeing me walking around, flapping my arms, talking to myself. My neighbors recognize me doing this and sometimes one will roll down the window of their car as they’re driving by and yell, ‘Hey Michael, what play is it now?’ ”
– Michael Ellis-Tolaydo, professor of theater, film and media studies, describing his process for learning almost two hours of lines for The Gospel According to Saint Mark, a one-man play he performed at the College in the fall. (See his Shakespeare memories, page 6.)
In many respects, the state of Israel is like an abandoned child in Europe.
– Former Ambassador Samuel Lewis speaking Nov. 11 on how Israel started out being a project of European countries and how, as it matured, it got less and less attention from them and more support from the U.S.
Mozart wrote relatively rarely in the minor mode, but when he did he was especially inspired.
– Pianist Brian Ganz, before a noon Oct. 15 concert of Concerto No. 20 in D-Minor.
Respect and admiration for our country is at a pretty low tier, and it’s your generation’s job to fix it….The most important thing is to give the world a sense that we’re working with them.
--Nitze Senior Fellow and longtime Washington Post and NPR correspondent T.R. Reid in his talk, “Love Us or Hate Us: The World’s View of the USA” Oct. 20.
We all learned that slavery was in the South, and the North was a place to be free. (However) 20 percent of New York was African in colonial times, 40 percent was African in 17th- century New Amsterdam (New York City). Ninety-five percent of these numbers would have been enslaved. Slavery was legal in New York until 1837, but was practiced until 1848….Wall Street was not only built by Africans, but financed by the sale of Africans.
– Michael Blakey, National Endowment for the Humanities professor at the College of William and Mary, as he recounted Nov. 19 the discovery of the African Burial Ground 18 years ago in Lower Manhattan. Excavations at the cemetery, which could hold as many as 15,000 bodies, significantly raised public awareness of colonial African heritage, especially in the Northern states. An interpretive center opens next year.
Since the time of Marcus Aurelius, an equestrian depiction was usually reserved for kings; it was very unusual for viceroys. What makes this all the more analogous is formal portraits typically posed the person in half or full length, with a quarter turn and drape elements.
--- University of New Mexico art professor Ray Hernández-Durán Nov. 19 as he conjectured that the late 18th-century portrait of Viceroy Bernarde de Galvez, a symbol of Mexican independence, was a statement by the monk artists raising him to the stature of a king.
The most courageous people are those who refuse to be optimists. They resist the pull of a culture that constantly bombards them with the idea that we should live in an eternal state of optimism – a culture that shows no compunction or hesitancy in telling us that we can achieve balance and inner harmony in our lives.
–English Professor Ben Click in his talk Nov. 20 “Gamble Along and Improvise,” one of the faculty’s “Last Lectures.” Here, he was referring to the countless number of self-help books that prey on people’s insecurities.
Spending money on women and children is politically more palatable than spending money on things no one gives a damn about.
– Scientist Elizabeth Pisani, in reference to the need to spend money on needle exchange programs, condoms, and methadone programs. Pisani spoke Oct. 30 on trying to make sense of the multi-billion-dollar AIDS industry.