From the Inane to the International
"Welcome back to school kids. For your first homework assignment, I want you to write an essay on what you did over your summer vacation."
Remember back to your elementary school days when the teacher, invariably assigned a paper on this topic on the first day every year. Well, I miss those days. For me, starting school without writing an essay about my summer exploits is like spring arriving unaccompanied by baseball players holding out for more money.
So I've decided to use this space to tell you about my summer in my best sixth-grade style.....
"What I did over my summer vacation was nothing. It was very boring....."
Actually it was so dull that I'll use the rest of this column to ramble on about the school year, which has been anything but boring so far.
Already the South African Solidarity Committee (SASC), along with a law school group, has conducted a demonstration outside the Harvard Motor House to protest recruitment interviews being conducted inside for a Washington D.C. law firm because three of the firm's partners represent the South African government. 100, was way down from the 3500 who participated in last year's climatic torch light parade, a number of law school students cancelled their interviews due to the urgings of the protesters.
The demo organizers described the protest as an "informational picket," reflecting their desire to use the coming months to educate Harvard students about the situation in South Africa.
Probably the best opportunity to learn about the issues dividing that nation will be a talk given this Sunday by Donald Woods, a South African journalist who is currently at Harvard as a Nieman Fellow. Woods was banned last year by the government of South Africa for his anti-apartheid writings but he managed to escape from the country some months later. Woods will appear at 8 p.m. in the Leverett Dining Hall.
Perhaps the most exciting event of the new year was the kick-off of the news TV series, "Battleship Galactica," with a special three-hour segment two weeks ago. The show was made even more dramatic when it was interrupted by the announcement that the Camp David talks had resulted in agreement on a framework for peace in the Middle East.
Joel Migdal, associate professor of Government and a native of Israel, will discuss this subject--the Middle East, not star wars--tomorrow evening at 8:45 p.m. in the Philips Brooks House parlor. His topic will be "Can the West Bank Arabs Accept Begin's Autonomy?"
Not far from Israel, Iran has had its own problems recently. Last week a major earthquake devastated parts of that nation which was already in upheaval due to fighting between pro- and anti-government forces. Tonight the Center for Middle Eastern Studies is sponsoring a panel discussion on the crisis in Iran. It will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Boylston Auditorium.
Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn's commencement address on the decline and fall of the West may have been the biggest graduation media event since a man named Marshall took the podium over 30 years ago.
Next Monday at 8 p.m. the Phillips Brooks House presents "A Humanist Response to Solzhenitsyn."
Finally, this week's award for the best lecture title goes to Oxford's James D. Murray who will speak next Wednesday at 4 p.m. in Pierce 209 on "Threshold Cell-Cell Interaction and Spatial Structuring in Practical Reaction-Diffusion Systems or How the Leopard Got its Spots."
Campus Toga fans.