October 21, 87

Vol. 03 , No. 03   


Recent bestseller lists have included two books on American education. One is The Closing of American Mind (1988) by Allan Bloom, who will visit the Athenaeum later this semester in conjunction with a symposium, "What Is Political Economy," planned by Professors James Nichols and Colin Wright. The other, by E.D. Hirsch, Jr., is entitled Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know (1987).

Bloom's thesis is that Americans do not inquire enough, while Hirsch argues that we do not know enough. Bloom wants our minds to open through questioning, dialogue, and investigation to discover what is true. Hirsch thinks we have paid insufficient attention to teaching and learning about the Western tradition that gives our shared lives a meaningful core.

If both of these men are basically correct, and I believe they are, the Athenaeum provides abundant means to help all of us at CMC open our minds and rove our cultural understanding. Already this autumn there have been exceptional programs on the U.S. Constitution; the interface between power, wealth, and athletics; California history; and on what the best forms of campus life involve. More events of the same stimulating quality are noted in this Fortnightly.

Our interests at CMC are diverse, but we share a common concern, namely, to resist closed-mindedness and illiteracy of all kinds. Taking advantage of the Athenaeum's offerings is a worthwhile way to join that resistance effort and to support the goals that Bloom and Hirsch encourage.

A Prayer for Owen Meany
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 27, 1987 McKenna Auditorium

To Be A Writer
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 1987 12:30 p.m.

The Athenaeum hosts John Irving, contemporary American novelist, short story writer, and essayist, Tuesday and Wednesday, October 27 and 28. Irving's works have received widespread critical and popular acclaim. He is the author of The Water-Method Man (1972), The 158-Pound Marriage (1974), The World According to Garp (1978), The Hotel New Hampshire (1981), and The Cider House Rules (1985). He is currently working on another book, A Prayer for 0wen Meany.

In 1979 Irving received the American Book Award for The World According to Garp. He has also been honored with a Pushcart Prize and an O. Henry Award for his short story fiction. Noted for his dramatic literary style, which combines humor with violence and tragedy, Irving strives to capture the essence and drama of human life by exaggerating it, sometimes emphasizing its irony through bizarre and morbid events.

On Tuesday, October 27, the Athenaeum hosts a reception and dinner for Irving starting at 5:30 p.m.; Irving's address is in McKenna Auditorium. Sign up for this event by using the coupon in The Fortnightly. On Wednesday, October 28, Irving addresses students at a luncheon sponsored by the CMC English Resources Center. At 4:00 p.m. that afternoon, a reception and discussion with Irving takes place for advanced literature majors and faculty members. Save these dates on your calendar. Return the reservation form as soon as possible. John Irving's visit to CMC is an excellent opportunity to meet a very talented and insightful man.

California Politics
WEDNESDAY. OCTOBER, 28, 1987 7:30 p.m. McKenna Auditorium

The Rose Institute and John Brown Cook Association are hosting California's Gov. George Deukmejian on Wednesday, October 28. Students are welcome to attend Governor Deukmejian's address at 7:30 p.m. in McKenna Auditorium. Deukmejian, who was re-elected in 1986, has served as California's governor since 1983.

During his tenure Deukmejian has eliminated California's $1.5 billion budget deficit without increasing general taxation. He has also led initiatives that resulted in teaching the basics in education and in a crackdown on crime, including the appointment of "common sense" judges to California's courts.

Deukmejian served as a legislator and attorney general prior to becoming governor. He graduated from Siena College and St. John's University School of Law.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 1987 11:00 a.m.

Sunday of each month the Athenaeum offers a brunch for students, faculty, and other CMC-associated individuals. The second brunch of the school year is scheduled for Sunday, November 1, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Early reservations are advised for this event as the first brunch "sold out." Due to the popularity of brunch, the event is only open to CMC-associated individuals (and one guest). All persons attending brunch, including guests, must have reservations.


Leadership of General Marshall
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 1987 4:00 p.m. Child's Lounge

The Origins and Achievements of the Marshall Plan

Germany and the Marshall Plan

To offset the economic and physical woes of Europe following World War II, the Marshall Plan was enacted 40 years ago. The plan resulted in America's giving Europe substantial aid to help the continent alleviate postwar problems of starvation and assist physical reconstruction.

On Wednesday, November 4, the Keck Center sponsors a one-day symposium honoring the 40th anniversary of the Marshall Plan.

The progran begins at 4:00 p.m. with a seminar featuring Dr. Forrest Pogue, the definitive biographer of Gen. George C. Marshall, who devised the Marshall Plan. The seminar, which focuses on the leadership of General Marshall, takes place in the Athenaeum's Child's Lounge.

Following the seminar, the progmm continues with a reception and a dinner at the Athenaeum beginning at 5:30 p.m. After dinner Dr. Michael Hogan and Dr. John Gimbel speak about the Marshall Plan. Hogan's remarks are entitled "The Origins and Achievements of the Marshall Plan." Hogan is professor of history at Ohio State University; he recently published The Marshall Plan, America, Britain, and the Reconstruction of Western Europe, 1947-1952 (1987). Gimbel, professor of history emeritus at California State University, Humboldt, is the author of numerous works on the United States' relations with Germany. He speaks on "Germany and the Marshall Plan."


A special madrigal dinner is being offered for CMC students, faculty, and staff on Tuesday, December 1. The feast features live entertainment and a multi-course meal of medieval cuisine. Tickets for the event are limited. You are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible for the event because seating is on a first-come basis. The event costs $5.00 per CMC person, and $5.00 for one guest. Use the reservation coupon to sign up, and be sure to include your payment when turning in your reservations.


Aftenoon Tea. Tea and sweets are served daily during the weekdays in the Athenaeum library from 3:00-4:30 p.m.
Wednesday Lunch. Every Wednesday at noon, lunch is served in one of the Athenaeum's small dining rooms for students and faculty who wish to share a meal and engage in conversation. The lunch is an open forum, and reservations are not required.