Thursday, December 29, 2011

2012 Sundance Predictions: Ira Sachs' Keep the Lights On | IONCINEMA.COM

Classmate Ira Sachs is heading to 2012 Sundance Film Festival with a new film.  Good luck Ira!

Ira Sachs' good rapport with Sundance dates back to when his 2005 film Forty Shades of Blue claimed the Grand Jury Prize. Financed with a Kickstarter campaign and aided by Sundance Institute's Annenberg Grant, Keep the Lights On will fill the festival's queer film quota, but also becomes a force to be reckoned with in perhaps the festival's U.S Dramatic Competition section.

Gist: Co-written by Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias, this takes place in 1997. Ben is another gay man in New York trying to make a connection through a phone sex line. He meets Nick - closeted, handsome and with a girlfriend attached. From the start, this casual encounter extends itself into a hopeful moment between potential lovers. As Ben negotiates life as a documentary filmmaker, his relationship with Nick, a precociously young lawyer in a prominent publishing house, becomes more than just a fling.

Producers: Sachs, Marie-Therese Guirgis (The Loneliest Planet) and Lucas Joaquin

2012 Sundance Predictions: Ira Sachs' Keep the Lights On | IONCINEMA.COM

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Please share your pictures

We would love to keep building our reunion video, but we need your pictures to do it. Please send whatever pictures you might have. And, if you're feeling in the sharing mood,please post them to our Reunion Facebook page.

Monday, December 26, 2011

These Are Days You Should Remember -- Come to Reunion

TEDxYale | Events: 2012

TED talks are coming to Yale.  Check it out.  Click below.

Each TED and TEDx conference has a theme that broadly unifies all the talks. For the first TEDxYale conference we have chosen, “A Twist of Fate.” We are living in a time of limitless possibility, and with that comes enormous uncertainty. At TEDxYale, speakers will share their personal stories and vision for the future, pushing us towards new methods of thinking about our world.

TEDxYale | Events: 2012

Writers and Their Books: Inside Famous Authors' Personal Libraries - Maria Popova - Entertainment - The Atlantic

Read below about authors and their books.  The piece below highlights Claire Messud.

Claire Messud + James Wood.jpg

Claire Messud + James Wood

Owning books has been only intermittently of importance to me. At one time, collecting books that were my own, feeling I had my own intellectual and literary trajectory visible before me, seemed necessary and meaningful. But now, in midlife, I feel that my tendency to acquire books is rather like someone smoking two packs a day: it's a terrible vice that I wish I could shuck. I love my books, and with all their dog-ears and under- linings they are irreplaceable; but I sometimes wish they'd just vanish. To be weighed down by things—books, furniture—seems somehow terrible to me. It's important to be ready to move on." - Claire Messud

Writers and Their Books: Inside Famous Authors' Personal Libraries - Maria Popova - Entertainment - The Atlantic

ACLU "Don't Filter Me" Campaign Lifting Web Censorship Across the Country in 2011 | Same-Sex Couples News - faces of marriage equality, same-sex couples worldwide

Here is a piece by James Esseks, who is director of the  ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & AIDS Project , where he has worked since 2001. At the ACLU, Mr. Esseks oversees litigation around the country that aims to ensure equal treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people by the government; equal rights and protections for LGBT couples and families; protection from discrimination in jobs, schools, housing, and public accommodations; and fair treatment by the government of people living with HIV.  Prior to joining the ACLU, Mr. Esseks was a partner at Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, P.C., in New York, where he represented employees in a range of employment matters. Mr. Esseks graduated from Yale College and Harvard Law School, where he was editor-in-chief of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. He clerked for the Honorable Robert L. Carter, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York, and the Honorable James R. Browning, United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit. Periodically Mr. Esseks permits 10,000 Couples to reprint his posts for our readers. Consider making a gift to support the ACLU's LGBT Rights work 

ACLU "Don't Filter Me" Campaign Lifting Web Censorship Across the Country in 2011 | Same-Sex Couples News - faces of marriage equality, same-sex couples worldwide

The Bloating Cure

Classmate Robynne Chutkan has some interesting things to say about bloating . . . and I thought it would be particularly timely advice in the holiday season.  Click the link below to read more.


The Bloating Cure

Supreme Court Short List: Who Will Be America's Next Top Conservative Justice?

Many think that one of the next conservative nominees to the Supreme Court will be our very own Brett Kavanaugh.  You can read the piece below to find out more . . .


Supreme Court Short List: Who Will Be America's Next Top Conservative Justice?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Whiffenpoofs of Yale - Sing Out

If you are in New York this weekend, you might want to check out this benefit concert:

Sing Out, Raise Hope

A Benefit Concert for The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation & The Trevor Project

Featuring Darren Criss, the Yale Whiffenpoofs, the Harvard Krokodiloes, & the Princeton Nassoons

Sat. December 17, 2011

Alice Tully Hall | 70 Lincoln Center | New York, NY

Featuring Darren Criss (Blaine Anderson on Glee)

Whiffenpoofs of Yale - Sing Out


About the Benefit Concert Series

In the summer of 2010, the Yale Whiffenpoofs performed at an Elizabeth Glaser Foundation Pediatric AIDS Foundation HIV Clinic in Kenya and, inspired by the organization's work, pledged to support their critical efforts.

The Association of Yale Alumni (AYA) was eager to help. It constantly calls upon alumni to effect change in their communities through programs like the annual International Day of Service, Summer Institute for the Arts, Yale Alumni Service Corps, and regular local service. While each initiative provides needed volunteers for numerous organizations around the globe, in this economic climate organizations are in dire need of not only personnel, but also financial assistance.

This year, the Whiffenpoofs are continuing their partnership with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and establishing a partnership with The Trevor Project. AYA is proud to partner with the Whiffenpoofs in supporting these important causes.

YaleNews | Yale Homebuyer Program tops 1,000 purchase mark in 2011; University trustees renew employee benefit for New Haven

This has nothing to do with the class . . .  but I thought it is an interesting story about what is happening at Yale and in New Haven.  Click below for details.

YaleNews | Yale Homebuyer Program tops 1,000 purchase mark in 2011; University trustees renew employee benefit for New Haven

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Act II for the Tooth Fairy — This Life -

Bruce Feiler was in the NYTimes recently discussing the Tooth Fairy.  Click below to read the article.
Act II for the Tooth Fairy — This Life -

Our Microbiomes, Ourselves -

Classmate Carl Zimmer had an interesting piece in the NYTimes last weekend.  You should give it a read.
IMAGINE a scientist gently swabs your left nostril with a Q-tip and finds that your nose contains hundreds of species of bacteria. That in itself is no surprise; each of us is home to some 100 trillion microbes. But then she makes an interesting discovery: in your nose is a previously unknown species that produces a powerful new antibiotic. Her university licenses it to a pharmaceutical company; it hits the market and earns hundreds of millions of dollars. Do you deserve a cut of the profits?
Our Microbiomes, Ourselves -

Friday, December 9, 2011

Reunion -- Hotels and Staying on Campus

We have received a few questions about where to stay at Reunion.  Here are some answers:


Some people want to stay in a hotel.  If so, we suggest you contact the hotels at which Yale has secured blocks of rooms.  Many people are staying at The Study, although some prefer other hotels.  For a list, click here.

If you are interested in staying in a hotel, you should try to book soon.  The rooms sell out.

On Campus

Some of you want to stay in the dorms.  These rooms do not sell out.  There are plenty.  Here is the story:

In March you will be receiving, either by email or mail, registration materials. When you register you will have the option to reserve on campus housing. You will also get to put down special housing requests – this is where you can request to be housed with all of the classmates that want to be housed together. (Housing may put you all in one entry way.)

But, here’s the kicker – you have to request who you want to be housed with and each of the other people have to request all of the same people. This way housing knows that it’s ok to put person A with persons C and B since they all requested each other.

Hope this clarifies things.

Reunion Challenge -- Can you write a six word memoir?

Bettina Elias Siegel has posted a reunion challenge on our class Facebook page.  (Click here to visit the Facebook page.)  Can you summarize your life since graduation in six words?  Six words.  It's a challenge.  Some have risen to the challenge, though.  Please give it a try.  Let us know what you come up with.

Here are some of the current entries:

Writing’s more fun than lawyering. (Duh.)
Still crazy after all these years...
Lost hair, gained weight, earned perspective
My MBA is my middle child
Me, a lawyer?  How'd that happen?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bruce Feiler Appears in today's New York Times

Who is coming to reunion?

Some have asked me who is coming to reunion.  Well, if history is any guide, our class typically makes a good show.  Expect over 1,000 people to be there throughout the weekend.  This isn't all classmates mind you; spouses, significant others, and children are included in the mix.  But, we should get a very high percentage of the class.

To find out who has already committed to come, you can click here.

UPDATE:   Lot's of people have already signed up.  Check out the list and see if your friends are on the list, yet.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Golf at Reunion

Liz Swisher has offered to organize an informal golf tournament on Thursday, May 24, so long as there is interest.  So, are you interested in playing golf at reunion?  If so, please let me know at

25th Reunion Website is Live -- Hotel Blocks Have Been Released

I am pleased to share that the 2012 Reunion website is live and the hotels blocks have been opened to receive reservations. Class mailings are being sent starting today and continuing next week. Emails will be sent mid next week.

I urge anyone interested in staying in a downtown hotel room to reserve your room over the weekend. For your convenience I have included the hotel reservation codes here:

May 24-27 - YCR112 with the exception of the Omni which is 14600109102

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Yale College Pre-Reunion 2012 event in Boston -- Saturday, January 21, 2012

Save the Date!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Yale College Pre-Reunion 2012 event in Boston

Doorprize: Free Reunion 2012 Registration Fee!*

Your Yale College Reunion is coming up! What better way to get in the spirit than attend this Reunion Preview Reception and spend time with classmates and others from the Boston area who may be making the trip to New Haven for their reunion. Interested? Read on!

Meet up with Classmates and other Yalies who are in the same reunion cycle as you—Alumni whose class year ends with “2” or “7.” Wear your Yale and Class regalia and kick-off your reunion with us!
Alumni attendees will be entered in a drawing with a free reunion* first prize.

Here’s the skinny:

What: Yale College 2012 Reunion Preview Reception in Boston—come and enjoy great company and appetizers. There will be a cash bar.

Who: Classmates and friends and families of Yale College Classes of ’47, ’52, ’57, ’62, ’67, ’72, ’77, ’82, ’87, ’92, ’97, ’02, and ’07 who live in and around Boston.

Where: TBD (Look for a registration communication in mid-December announcing the venue

When: Saturday, January 21, 2012; 6 – 9 pm

How much: $25 registration fee includes appetizers and lots of great company. There will be a cash bar.

Why: Because once every five years isn’t enough!

*Prize is for Yale College Alumni only, is not transferrable and does not include accommodation or travel expenses.

Yale College Pre-Reunion 2012 event in Washington, D.C. -- January 29, 2012

Save the Date!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Yale College Pre-Reunion 2012 event in Washington, D.C.

Doorprize: Free Reunion 2012 Registration Fee!*

Your Yale College Reunion is coming up! What better way to get in the spirit than attend this Reunion Preview Reception and spend time with classmates and others from the Washington, D.C. area who may be making the trip to New Haven for their reunion. Interested? Read on!

Meet up with Classmates and other Yalies who are in the same reunion cycle as you—Alumni whose class year ends with “2” or “7.” Wear your Yale and Class regalia and kick-off your reunion with us!

Alumni attendees will be entered in a drawing with a free reunion* first prize.

Here’s the skinny:

What: Yale College 2012 Reunion Preview Reception in Washington, D.C.—come and enjoy great company and appetizers. There will be a cash bar.

Who: Classmates and friends and families of Yale College Classes of ’47, ’52, ’57, ’62, ’67, ’72, ’77, ’82, ’87, ’92, ’97, ’02, and ’07 who live in and around Washington, D.C.

Where: TBD (Look for a registration communication in mid-December announcing the venue)

When: Sunday, January 29, 2012; 6 – 9 pm

How much: $25 registration fee includes appetizers and lots of great company. There will be a cash bar.

Why: Because once every five years isn’t enough!

*Prize is for Yale College Alumni only, is not transferrable and does not include accommodation or travel expenses.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Yale Alumni Service Corps -- Video of the China 2011 Trip

If you have ever wondered what a Yale Alumni Service Corps trip is like, you should check out this video of the most recent trip to China.  Very moving.

China Internal from Brian Wimer on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Important Reunion News

This coming week -- the week of November 28 -- the Association of Yale Alumni is going to be sending out a blast e-mail about our reunion.

When the e-mail goes out, blocks of rooms at the area hotels will be released.  They will not last long.  As soon as you get the AYA e-mail, please reserve your rooms for reunion.

Rumor has it that many in our class are trying to stay at The Study, which is a very nice place, a short walk from the festivities.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

YaleNews | Yale plus ONE: Alumni join forces to promote global service and advocacy

Check this out . . . thanks in large measure to classmate Darcy Troy Pollock:

The Association of Yale Alumni (AYA) and ONE, a grassroots advocacy and campaigning organization that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease particularly in Africa, are launching a strategic partnership to promote global service and advocacy by linking the Yale Alumni Service Corps (YASC) with ONE’s education and advocacy programs. The Yale-ONE partnership will begin in 2012, with the YASC Africa Project in Cape Coast and Yamoransa, Ghana, July 27–Aug. 7, 2012.

YaleNews | Yale plus ONE: Alumni join forces to promote global service and advocacy

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Science Ink: Carl Zimmer Catalogs the Tattoos of Science Nerds | Brain Pickings

Our very own Carl Zimmer is coming out with a new book about science-related tattoos, which he co-authored with Mary Roach.  Click below to see some of the ink from the book.  Looks pretty cool.

What kind of tattoos do our classmates have?

Science Ink: Carl Zimmer Catalogs the Tattoos of Science Nerds | Brain Pickings

Saturday, November 19, 2011


There is a new website and app that you should definitely check out.  It is an app that helps you locate events of interest near you.  Right now, the app only has New Haven and Yale events.  Soon, it will roll out throughout the country, I am told.  Put together by Yale students, it is quite a neat little app.  The next time you are in New Haven, you should try it.


Yale Alumni Service Corps -- Nicaragua 2012

Come join us this March 10th-17th, 2012 as we fly into the capital city of Managua then travel inland to the vibrant town of Matagalpa in the coffee growing district. From this base we will travel up gravel roads past fields of corn, beans and coffee into the rain forest to impoverished communities on the mountain side. El Castillo is the second village up the mountain road and while it is the site of this year's March program by YASC, we will also invite the people of the adjacent communities to join us. These small remote villages lack clean water, medical care and educational opportunities - we need to help change this!
Act quickly, because space is running out.  For more information, click on the link below.
Nicaragua 2012 - Main Page

Yale Alumni Service Corps–Ghana Trip

The Yale Alumni Service Corp has two great trips scheduled for 2012 – one is to Nicaragua and the other is to Ghana. 

Here is the scoop on Ghana. 

From July 28 through August 6 (then back to Accra) you, our volunteers, will be stationed in the town of Cape Coast where the University of Cape Coast has been working to help the local communities including Yamoransa to address the critical issues of poverty, health and education.

Yamoransa is a community of approximately 4,700 people situated on the main road that runs between Accra and Cape Coast. There are three schools and many children in the community. The main business of the community is the production of fante kenke, a typically Ghanaian food made of corn, primarily prepared by the women. For a variety of reasons and particularly because the women are the producers of fante kenke, there is a high drop-out rate of girls from the schools. In the early grades school there are slightly more girls than boys yet the drop-out rate for girls is so high that by 10th grade, 70% of the students are boys. There are no medical facilities in the community.

The Chief of Yamoransa in cooperation with the University has identified a number of projects that would provide meaningful assistance to the community. We are prepared to help them in many ways from medical services to education to micro-business consulting to needs assessment.
Click below for all of the details
Ghana 2012 - Main Page

YaleNews | ‘Doctorates without Borders’ alumni assembly panel highlights 150th anniversary of Ph.D.

Watch live streaming video from yale at

The Yale Alumni Assembly took place over the last few days.  The Assembly is a chance for Yale volunteers from around the world to come to New Haven to learn from each other and to learn about what is happening at the University. 

One of the sessions was livestreamed for all to see.  Click on the video above to hear what turned out to be a very interesting panel.

YaleNews | ‘Doctorates without Borders’ alumni assembly panel highlights 150th anniversary of Ph.D.

Yale Sustainable Food Project

I went to the Yale Alumni Assembly this past week and learned quite a bit about what is happening at the University.  I will highlight a few of those things over the coming few months, so you can see some of the things you might want to check out during reunion. 

This is a piece about the Yale Sustainable Food Project.  Check it out.

Yale Sustainable Food Project - YouTube

Judicial Decision-Making - C-SPAN Video Library

C-SPAN recent featured one of our classmates, Brett Kavanaugh, discussing judicial decision-making. 
If you haven’t been following Brett, he has been very busy on the DC Circuit Court.  He was recently a dissenting voice on a decision that related to President Obama’s health care plan.  For more on the decision, click here.
Judicial Decision-Making - C-SPAN Video Library

Friday, October 21, 2011

You really need to check out these pictures

Our Reunion tech goddess, Bettina Elias Siegel, has done a terrific job with the Yale Class of 1987 25th Reunion Facebook page. People have been posting pictures from their bright college years. You should visit the page, by clicking here, or by clicking the title to this post.

Please "like" the page to get updates as they happen.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Mindset of this Year's College Freshman Class

Beloit college annually posts a list of facts that help let us know what the mindset of the entering college class might have. I always find these lists interesting. Her is the Mindset List for the Class of 2015

Andre the Giant, River Phoenix, Frank Zappa, Arthur Ashe and the Commodore 64 have always been dead.

Their classmates could include Taylor Momsen, Angus Jones, Howard Stern's daughter Ashley, and the Dilley Sextuplets.

There has always been an Internet ramp onto the information highway.

Ferris Bueller and Sloane Peterson could be their parents.

States and Velcro parents have always been requiring that they wear their bike helmets.

The only significant labor disputes in their lifetimes have been in major league sports.

There have nearly always been at least two women on the Supreme Court, and women have always commanded U.S. Navy ships.

They “swipe” cards, not merchandise.

As they’ve grown up on websites and cell phones, adult experts have constantly fretted about their alleged deficits of empathy and concentration.

Their school’s “blackboards” have always been getting smarter.

“Don’t touch that dial!”….what dial?

More Americans have always traveled to Latin America than to Europe.

Amazon has never been just a river in South America.

Japan has always been importing rice.

We have never asked, and they have never had to tell.

Life has always been like a box of chocolates.

Video games have always had ratings.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show has always been available on TV.

Jimmy Carter has always been a smiling elderly man who shows up on TV to promote fair elections and disaster relief.

Arnold Palmer has always been a drink.

Women have always been kissing women on television.

Music has always been available via free downloads.

Sears has never sold anything out of a Big Book that could also serve as a doorstop.

Electric cars have always been humming in relative silence on the road.

No longer known for just gambling and quickie divorces, Nevada has always been one of the fastest growing states in the Union.

They’re the first generation to grow up hearing about the dangerous overuse of antibiotics.

Russian courts have always had juries.

No state has ever failed to observe Martin Luther King Day.

Some of them have been inspired to actually cook by watching the Food Channel.

They’ve grown up with George Stephanopoulos as the Dick Clark of political analysts.

They’ve often broken up with their significant others via texting, Facebook, or MySpace.

Frasier, Sam, Woody and Rebecca have never Cheerfully frequented a bar in Boston during primetime.

Major League Baseball has never had fewer than three divisions and never lacked a wild card entry in the playoffs.

When they were 3, their parents may have battled other parents in toy stores to buy them a Tickle Me Elmo while they lasted.

Folks in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have always been able to energize with Pepsi Cola.

Andy Warhol is a museum in Pittsburgh.

Refugees and prisoners have always been housed by the U.S. government at Guantanamo.

The New York Times and the Boston Globe have never been rival newspapers.
For more, click here.

Yale Panel on Job Creation

The other night, Yale President Rick Levin and a group of experts held a panel discussion about the US economy and job creation.  You can listen in yourself by clicking on the video below.

Watch live streaming video from yale at

Amor Towles is Yale Alumni Magazine's Yalie of the Week

The Yale Alumni Magazine has a "Yale of Week".  Sometimes I hear about our classmates on there, sometimes I hear a little late.  This one is a little late.  Sorry.
Here's what YAM had to say:

Amor Towles ’87 “arrived in New York in 1989 with diplomas from Yale and Stanford and dreams of becoming a writer,”we learn from the New York Times. “But he quickly noticed that all his friends who were waiting tables and pursuing art on the side looked just as tired as the office drones they were serving. So he joined an investment firm instead.”

Surprising, perhaps, that 22 years later such a pragmatist would produce an “unabashedly romantic novel”—his first—that is also an NYT bestseller. Rules of Civility, which tells the story of a savvy, lovable, and upwardly mobile legal secretary in Depression-era New York City, is gathering glowing reviews from publications as varied as the Wall Street Journal, People, and O, the Oprah Magazine.

Shelving a previous novel after five years’ toil, Towles— who still works at an investment firm—took a businesslike approach to this book. “I started Rules of Civility on January 1, 2006, and wrapped it up 365 days later,” he told one interviewer. “The book was designed with 26 chapters because over 52 weeks I could allot myself two weeks to draft, revise and bank each chapter. Not coincidentally, the book opens on New Year’s Eve and ends a year later.”

But his inner romantic surfaced in talking with the Times: “I would’ve sold it for a penny, just to be able to say ‘O.K., I did it. … I always thought I was a writer on the inside, but after a few years of not writing you can’t make that claim anymore.”

Other Yalies of the Week from our class have been:  Michael Morand, Chris Dudley, Jay Carney, and Natasha Zupan.  Click the title of this post to link to all of the Yalies of the Week.

White House State Dinner: The Morning After - ABC News

Click on the link below to read about the recent state dinner at which the South Korean president was honored.  Our very own Chang Rae Lee was there, with his wife.  If you read the press coverage of the dinner carefully, you will notice that Chang Rae is noted for his literary skills, but it is his wife who earned the description of “cool.”  

White House State Dinner: The Morning After - ABC News

News about Charlene Gilbert

Charlene Gilbert, professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at The University of Toledo, recently returned to campus after serving as an American Council on Education Fellow for the 2010-2011 academic year.  Gilbert will be serving as the new Chair of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies in the College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences.

Gilbert came to UT in 2007 from American University in Washington, D.C. where she was a documentary filmmaker and a tenured Associate Professor in the School of Communication. She is the past recipient of Harvard University’s Radcliffe Fellowship and the Rockefeller Media Arts Fellowship. Her documentary films have been screened nationally on PBS and in film festivals across the country. She is also the co-author of Homecoming, published by Beacon Press, as a companion book to her highly acclaimed film of the same title.

Gilbert spent the past year exploring issues in higher education with a focus on leadership, strategic planning and best practices in retention and graduation.  The fellowship program provided Gilbert with the opportunity to learn specifically about transfer policies and institutional partnerships while serving with President Larry McDougle at Owens Community College and visiting universities across the country including Wayne State University, Barnard College and DePaul University.

“I have gained a tremendous amount of respect for the challenges facing students who are arriving at universities from a variety of backgrounds, academic experiences and life circumstances,” Gilbert said.

Click below for the whole article:

The Truth's Articles

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Big News -- Yale makes huge archive available for alumni

Yale has announced that all Yale alumni now have free on-line access to an extraordinary treasure trove of scholarly articles in the JSTOR database, thanks to a collaboration among the AYA, the Yale University Library, and JSTOR.  Basically, any scholarly content that Yale has licensed through JSTOR for use by faculty, staff, and students is now also available to alumni.  You can read about the details in this news release posted at YaleNews (Yale's new media portal):

As an alum, your access to JSTOR requires only that you login with your Yale Alumni Community credentials, here:

News from David Pollay

Here is a note I received from David Pollay:

Hi Tim!  Thanks for all your doing.  Here's a short update from Florida!  The Law of the Garbage Truck book has now been translated into 12 languages.  I head to Spain next week to speak at a conference, and then promote the Spanish language edition.  We're hoping to travel Asia to support the Chinese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, and Japanese editions.

And this is pretty cool.  Dawn and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary with Peter Frampton!  Peter is a fan of The Law of the Garbage Truck, and he invited us backstage after the concert.  He's a great guy, his band is cool, and his team is gracious.  And Joel Osteen wrote about The Law of the Garbage Truck book in his new book, Every Day a Friday.  We're excited because our mission is to increase happiness, success, and civility in the world.  While my main work is speaking to corporations and associations, I have been speaking more frequently in schools (The Law applied to anti-bullying and character development), churches, and I even spoke to inmates at a maximum security prison recently.

My girls, Eliana (9) and Ariela (8) are doing great, and I'm thrilled to be married to Dawn. We're now living in Boca Raton, Florida.  All is good, and we're grateful.

Thanks, Tim.  I hope the new job is going great!

All the best,

Sunday, October 9, 2011

News about Eve Vogel

I get some of my class news from automatic Google searches that seek out news about the Class of 1987.  A recent hit came up abut Eve Vogel.

Eve has a webpage on which she describes what she has been up to.  You can click here to check it out.

Here is some of what Eve says about her varied and interesting career:

I’ve had an eclectic career. The theme over time has been trying to merge environmental conservation, social justice, and thoughtful analysis of how the two may be coordinated – as well as what are the constraints on this coordination. My current research on long-term river basin governance and politics and its social and environmental consequences follows this theme.

I grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and went to high school at Cambridge Rindge and Latin. In college at Yale I majored in environmental biology and spent two summers as a research assistant studying beetle and spider behavioral ecology. I loved science but by the time I graduated I knew I wanted something that could address some of the human causes and consequences of environmental problems.  After college, I joined the Peace Corps, working in wildlands management and environmental education in Honduras. I worked with foresters, agricultural extension agents, farmers, and especially rural teachers to help educate people about the importance of cloud forests.  (They’re important biodiversity refuges and critical sources of water, as well as places where nearby peasants can supplement their resources with game and medicinal plants.) I loved my job, but over time I became convinced that most environmental and social strains in Honduras were caused at least as much by U.S. policy and economics as by any lack of education in Honduras. I decided I needed to learn more about how to influence environmental policy and practice back in the U.S.

In 1990 I returned to the US and in 1991, I moved to Portland, Oregon. For two years I worked at the Audubon Society of Portland in environmental education. In 1993 I went back to school to get a high school teaching certificate, and from 1994-1997 I taught high school biology, math and Spanish in inner city Portland and at a new arts school in Vancouver, Washington.

In 1997 I left high school teaching to work more directly on environmental policy change. Working for the Sierra Club and the Oregon Natural Resources Council, I learned how to write an Endangered Species petition; I edited an economics report on the economics of removing four federal dams on the lower Snake River; and I went on two group lobbying trips to Washington, DC. This was a tremendously educational year for me, as it gave me great insights into policy-making and political negotiating processes, but ultimately I decided I needed to step back and understand the issues more broadly.

I returned to graduate school in 1998 at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon, in the Department of Geography.  As a graduate student, I TAed both Biology and Geography courses, and taught six of my own classes at the University of Oregon and at Portland State University, ranging from “Law, Geography and the Environment” to “Geography of East Asia.”  My son Ari was born in 2004.  I earned my PhD in December 2007 and moved to Amherst to work as Assistant Professor at UMass in summer 2008.

News from Dan Kohan

Our second book from Ruka Press, Cerulean Blues, is coming out October 18, so I want to alert people to that. Anyone interested in birding, the threats to our wild songbirds, mountaintop removal coal mining, and coffee production will appreciate the book. Cerulean Blues will be highlighted in the December issue of Birdwatching magazine as one of the year's top bird books.

Dan Kohan
Sensical Design & Communication
Ruka Press
Cerulean Blues coming October 18. Preorder now!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A note from Nicky Grist

Here is a note I just received from Nicky Grist:

Dear Colleagues and Friends, 

This month I'm hosting two events in Park Slope, Brooklyn, on behalf of an organization I truly admire: United for a Fair Economy (  I hope you'll join us and spread the word! 

(1) Public Workshop 

When: 2:00-3:30 pm, Sunday, October 30th. 

What happens at the workshop: Go beyond the sound bites that pass for national dialogue on the Great Recession, examine trends in the distribution of income and wealth using “human graphs,” explore the impact of trickle-down policies on our lives, and plan what we can do to protect vital public assets including our democracy - all in a participatory way that draws on your own experience.  
Who: Great for families, students, voters, immigrants, and everyone who cares about fairness and wants to better understand our economy. 
Cost: $15 or whatever you can afford. 

(2) Members & Friends Party 

When: 4:00-6:00 pm, Sunday, October 30th. 

What happens at the gathering: Learn how United for a Fair Economy (and its special project, Responsible Wealth) address growing income inequality and the racial wealth divide, meet people who share your values, discuss the economic issues of the day, experience a brief example of our workshop, enjoy light refreshments. 

Who: Great for people who care about organizations and strategies as well as issues; no children, please. 

Cost: Donations welcomed but not required up front.  We hope you’ll be inspired to join UFE/RW. 

Please RSVP for one or both of these events to Kathy at or 617-423-2148, x121 to get directions and tell us how many people will attend. 

best regards, Nicky Grist

Friday, October 7, 2011

Yale 1987 Reunion Facebook page

Check our new Yale 1987 Reunion Facebook page.  Bettina Ellias Siegel is our Facebook guru, and she has started posting pictures from our Bright College Years.  You really need to check it out -- and to send in pictures from college.  (For a small fee, we will ensure no embarrassing  pictures of you are posted.)

Just click here to visit the Reunion Facebook page.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A note from Rena (Longstreth) Hedeman . . . who, you should know, is coming to reunion

Hey Tim, thanks for the email about reunion! I'm definitely coming and bringing the whole family along this time (husband and 3 daughters). Can't wait! When will we get info about staying on campus? I know it might be crazy to put my gang in a dorm, but I think it'll be fun - and if it's too noisy, we'll come equipped with earplugs!

Rena (Longstreth) Hedeman

News from Peg McCarthy

Here is a note I received from Peg McCarthy:

Hi! This is Peg McCarthy writing in; I haven't updated for awhile. Hope this isn't too long.

I still live in my hometown, Topeka, Kansas. I was re-elected to the board of education for my local school district, the historic Topeka Public Schools, a high-poverty urban district rich in diversity. I also continue my private practice in clinical psychology. My time on the school board has been deeply rewarding, despite the wretched challenges facing our educational system. School boards truly have the power to make a significant difference in children's lives. I would encourage all of you to consider the opportunity to serve; it is interesting, challenging, and terribly important work.

My husband and I just shepherded our oldest son, Sam, through the college admissions process, and I wanted to share with others what a positive journey it was. I was alarmed by stories I had read (and heard in my office) about the conflict and heartache families experience. But in our case, it worked just the way it should have. As we visited schools with Sam, we had many wonderful discussions, and his thoughts became clearer about what he wanted from school and from life in general. We quickly discovered there were many, many fine colleges well-suited to his needs, which took the pressure off of everyone. He (and we!) matured in the process. He pared his list to a dozen small liberal arts colleges, was accepted to all but one, and selected his original top choice, Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where he currently is having a terrific experience. He had previously attended a writing workshop there, which I highly recommend to any young writers.

He had a lovely Cinderella-like experience along the way that helped lessen the stress of the college search. He submitted a short story to the Young Arts competition in the fall and promptly forgot about it. He was named a finalist in writing, attended week-long workshops in Miami and New York City, and ultimately was selected as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts--a great end to his high school career. He would like to write but also loves science and technology. You can imagine how he enjoyed talking with our classmate Carl Zimmer at our 20th reunion. I should point out that in our own class of '87 we had a Presidential Scholar in the Arts--the accomplished Kevin Berlin.

We really miss Sam--it is an unsettling experience to end such an intense phase of parenting. He is not the only one who has been searching his soul; we have reflected on the years and asked ourselves, Did we teach him what he needs to know? Should we have done this or that differently? But we are all adjusting to the new family dynamics, and our two remaining sons are absorbing the extra parental attention good-naturedly.

The whole family attended the Presidential Scholars week in Washington, D.C., in June, but first my middle son, Joe, and I took a quick sidetrip to New York, where we saw some shows and caught up with my old roommate, Sarah Zimmerman. Sarah and her husband, Wim Vanderhoof, have two gorgeous children, Julia and Kai. Sarah is the same dynamic, sharp, exhilarating gal we knew at Yale, and it was a treat to spend time with her again. She and her family have just re-located to Princeton.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Reunion News

Dear Classmates,

            Twenty-five years ago, we were seniors preparing for our future.  In the years since, we have done a lot -- built lives, raised families, established, switched and shaped careers, experienced the highs and lows of adult lives, travelled and explored, all sorts of things.  Now, it's time to reconnect as a class to share what we have experienced and create new memories that will last the rest of our lives.  We hope you can join us on May 24 -27, 2012 in New Haven to celebrate at our 25th Reunion.

            Why come to Reunion ?

            Reunions are fun.  It is as simple as that.  We are planning a weekend of informal gatherings, informative talks and big parties.  This weekend is NOT  going to be about who has earned the most or had the fanciest job.  This weekend is about spending time with the most engaged, intellectually alive and diverse group of people we have ever known  in a low-key environment.

            So, why come to Reunion?  Come to see your friends.  Come to reconnect with your classmates.  Come to experience Yale again.  Come back to enjoy yourself.  Come back to give back.  Just come back!

            What is planned?

            You can have the kind of weekend you want.  We will have a tent to hang out in.  You can spend your time doing just that. 

            Yale is providing two days of lectures and experiences aimed at everyone.  And, we have classmate panels planned, including discussions of sports, law, politics, the economy, books, movies, just to name a few.

            We have fun activities for the kids: Quidditch with the Yale Quidditch team, Camp Bulldog, just to name two.

            We have opportunities to give back.  We are participating in service projects by partnering with Dwight Hall and joining with other Reunion classes to accomplish something worthwhile for others, e.g. working at the Yale Farm, painting a local soup kitchen.  Some will be family friendly, some will be adults only. 

            Parties.  Can't forget those.  We will have two great events -- one on Friday night and one on Saturday night. 

            Who is coming?

            If history is any guide, we expect to have a very large crowd.  Our class comes to reunions -- we have been at or near attendance records pretty much every reunion since we graduated.  If you come, you will know people, lots of people.  And, they will be very happy to see you.

            What do need to do today?

            Connecting has never been easier.  Here is what you can do  . . . today:
    • Put the Reunion dates -- May 24-27, 2012 -- in your calendar
    • E-mail one classmate today -- and tell them they need to join you at Reunion
    • Send us pictures from our Bright College Years
                What can I do to help with Reunion?

                Classmate participation is critical for a successful reunion.  We have plenty to do:
    • Reach out to classmates to make sure that everyone comes
    • Join the Reunion Planning Committee
    • Share your reunion ideas
    • Volunteer to help with an activity at reunion
    • Contribute supplemental dues to help make sure that we have an extraordinary experience that is affordable for everyone.  Click here for more information on how to contribute to reunion.
          Just e-mail us at and we can get you involved.

    We look forward to seeing you all in May!

    Very truly yours,

    The Reunion Chairs

    Lisa Vigliotti Harkness     Darcy Troy Pollack    Tim Harkness

    Update on the YASC Trip to the Dominican Republic

    From March 12 - 19, 90 Yale alumni and family and friends of alumni traveled to the village of Las Charcas in the Dominican Republic with the Yale Alumni Service Corps. During one week we accomplished a lot! Here is a list of the trip highlights:

    * 500 medical patients seen
    * a concrete block & stucco house built in 3 days
    * the walls of a second house built to 3 block courses
    * English taught in the elementary school
    * art lessons and 10 murals painted at the school
    * music lessons and keyboard taught to the students
    * dance lessons and performances for the community by the students
    * computer lessons given to dozens of students
    * spa facial lessons given with demonstrations using local products
    * small business consulting for farmers and local businessmen
    * presentations to San Juan university students on business principals
    * soccer, basketball and baseball coaching
    * over 500 homes visited to distribute information on cholera and dengue...

    Join us on a trip in 2012. For trip updates, visit

    New York Class Lunch

    We have a New York class lunch on Thursday, October 13, from 12:30 to 2:00 at the Yale Club of New York.  These are great fun, so we hope you can attend.  You do not have to be a Yale Club member to attend.

    For more information, please e-mail Paul Sarkozi at

    New blog features

    There are a few new features on the blog, designed to make things easier for you.

    Tags  I have started tagging posts.  If you click on the tags in the right hand column, you can call up all posts related to that tag.  Click on "reunion", for instance, and you will get all of the reunion-related posts.

    Subscribe There are now two ways to get real-time notifications of changes to the blog.  Either sign up for e-mail notifications or include this blog in an RSS feed.  Both options on are on the left hand side.

    Blogs of the Class of 1987:  On the right hand column, I have added feeds from blogs of our classmates.

    Books  I try to include classmate books in the widget on the top of the page.  If you have one you'd like to recommend, please let me know.

    Wednesday, September 28, 2011

    Science writing professor talks tapeworms over dinnerCross Campus | Yale Daily News

    Our own Carl Zimmer took his talk about Cantagion to Morse College recently.  Read all about it in the Yale Daily News by clicking on the link below.

    Science writing professor talks tapeworms over dinnerCross Campus | Yale Daily News

    LA Class Get Together

    Los Angeles may be 3,000 miles from New Haven, but that didn't stop the class of '87 from gathering together to reconnect prior to our reunion. Liz and Steve Atlee opened their beautiful Hancock Park home for the event, and over beers and guacamole (this is L.A. after all), Jason Reese, Jen Devore and Darcy Troy hosted a group that included Matt Sloan with his wife and two adorable girls, Marcy Hardart and two of her brood, Sy Sussman, Ken Bernstein, John and Alexa Pogue, Karen Eastman, Ethan Goldstine and Caprice Young with her daughter Roxanne. The adults ate, drank and chatted, while the kids ran around playing badminton, jumping in a bouncy house and making their own cotton candy. A good time was had by all! We highly recommend holding a mini-reunion of your own in your neck of the woods...

    Sunday, September 25, 2011

    Contagion: Could they really make a vaccine so quickly? (4) - By Arthur Allen and Carl Zimmer - Slate Magazine

    Lisa and I went to see the movie Contagion last night.  Interesting and thought provoking, it made us look a little differently at everyone when we ventured out this morning.

    It turns out that classmate Carl Zimmer wrote a post about Contagion.  Click below to read Carl’s take on things.

    Contagion: Could they really make a vaccine so quickly? (4) - By Arthur Allen and Carl Zimmer - Slate Magazine

    Stew, Heidi Rodewald, Jon Spurney Re-Opening Joe’s Pub with Songs from Passing Strange

    Check out Jon Spurney’s next gig by clicking below.

    Stew, Heidi Rodewald, Jon Spurney Re-Opening Joe’s Pub with Songs from Passing Strange

    Ways to Connect to Yale -- where to get your news

    Sometimes people ask about to best connect to Yale and get more news about what is going on.  Here are some suggestions:

    •ELine Newsletter –

    A monthly online newsletter with information about Yale initiative, programs, and research.

    •Online Alumni Directory –

    Free online directory that allows you to search for and keep in touch with fellow alumni, and update your own contact information.

    •Virtual Yale Station Email Forwarding Alias –

    An email alias (eg. that will forward your email to a full service email account of your choosing

    •Yale Daily News –

    During term, the Oldest Campus Daily is the source for updates from the student perspective.

    •Yale Calendar of Events –

    If you find yourself in New Haven, this is your best source for information on campus-wide activities.

    The Drive for 25 -- Reunion News

    Dear Classmates,

    Over the last few years, we haven't pestered you much about class dues. Why is that? Well, for a couple of reasons. First, we didn't have much we needed dues for. Our events have been self-funded and the blog and e-newsletter is not costly. Second, we didn't have a pressing need for funds. Both of those things have changed.

    In the last several months, classmates have stepped up to organize what is shaping up to be a great 25th Reunion. We could use your help. Specifically, we need to increase our class treasury so we can nail down the compelling offerings we hope to provide at reunion and to get the service opportunities we are putting together off the ground. Planning these sorts of things is much simpler when we have the capital necessary to assist class volunteers with the necessary support.

    Here's how you can help:

    Despite the assumption shared by many that Yale will subsidize our reunion, the truth is that we, as a class, pay for our entire reunion. A very basic reunion costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. A GREAT 25th reunion costs much more -- diverse and tasty menus, late night hospitality, class-level activities and a financial aid fund so everyone can come! Our class is a GREAT class and we should have a GREAT reunion! To do that, we need help! Please consider making an enhanced class dues donation that can be directed toward our reunion. Individuals or groups (teams, colleges, SIGs, or friends) can get together and be part of the Class of '87 history.

    What We Need:                   What It Costs:                                   
    Cover fixed costs                      $100,000                                      
    Working AV System                 $75,000                                        
    Diverse, tasty menus                  $75,000                                    
    Better booze                              $50,000                                     
    Financial Aid up to                     $25,000                                       
    (so everyone can come) (every dollar helps!)

    Kids' Tent                                 $25,000                                       
    Additional Programming            $10,000                                        

    Hospitality Suite                        $10,000                                        
    Umbrellas                                 $1,500                                          

    We also would love to get in-kind donations! How about… Wine, Booze, Snacks, Video and other games for the Kids Tent, Swag (anything we can put in our goody bags to take home – books, kids stuff, DVDs, etc.)


    Contributing is easy.  Please click here, or the title of this blog entry, to access the class dues website and make a supplemental dues payment. Please specify in the comments box that your directed donation should be earmarked for Reunion. Unfortunately these donations cannot be counted toward the official class reunion gift, but we will publicly thank you (unless you would prefer that we don't) and they WILL count toward having a great Reunion weekend!

    For in-kind donations, please email Darcy Troy at

    Your Reunion Chairs,

    Lisa Harkness      Darcy Troy    Tim Harkness

    Reunion News -- Hotels

    Yale reserves a block of rooms at various hotels in the New Haven area.  They are not yet available . . . but we know when they will be available.

    Later this fall, the Association of Yale Alumni will send out a mass e-mail to all reunion classes.  The day that e-mail goes out, the hotel rooms are available.

    So, keep an eye out for a reunion email from AYA.  (We will try to give you a heads up on the blog beforehand, but cannot promise that we will know.)

    Reunion News -- Group Discount on American Airlines

    With our 25th Reunion just a few months away, we wanted to make sure that everyone can make it.  Here is some important news:

    We now have a way for Classmates to get a discount on American Airlines. 

    Here is how it works:  We have a group promotion code. American Airlines encourages everyone to book on line at in order to avoid a $25 per person telephone ticketing fee. They also encourage everyone to book soon, since it is a holiday weekend.

    Our name is "Yale 25th Reunion" and our promo code is A4752BL. Using it will give everyone a 5% discount, and for every 40 tickets bought we get one free one. We are not quite sure how that works, but I guess it will be a good problem to have if it occurs!
    People can fly from anywhere into JFK, La Guardia, Newark or Bradley any time between May 22 and May 29

    Nellie Shipley Named One of Nation's Top Lawyers

    Classmate Nellie Shipley has been named to the 2012 edition of The Best Lawyers in American in the category of Real Estate Law. Nellie is a frequent author and speaker and is well known in her field. To get a sense of Nellie's work, you can click below to hear one of her talks:

    I did a post a while back about Nellie's work.  Click here to read more. 

    Tamar Gendler gives a talk on YouTube

    Check out Tamar Gendler's latest YouTube Post:

    Gideon Brower is KCRW’s September Volunteer of the Month! | Members

    Check out this piece on the Class of 1987’s Gideon Brower.  Well done Gideon!



    Gideon Brower is KCRW’s September Volunteer of the Month! | Members

    Snooping in the Age of E-book - This Life -

    Click the title of this post (or the link below) to read Bruce Feiler’s latest NYT column on e-books.  As an e-book reader, I found it pretty interesting.

    Snooping in the Age of E-book - This Life -

    Class of 87 to Decide Fate of Obama Health Care Law . . . not really: Obama Health-Care Law Gets Mixed Reaction From Appeals Court - Bloomberg

    The Class of 1987’s own Brett Kavanaugh is a judge on the Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C.  He is on the three judge panel now reviewing with the Obama Health-Care Law is constitutional.  Although this panel will likely not get the last say – there is a split among circuit courts, so this issue will probably be decided by the Supreme Court – it is nice to know a classmate is involved.  Click below for more details.

    Obama Health-Care Law Gets Mixed Reaction From Appeals Court - Bloomberg

    Saturday, September 24, 2011

    Degrees of Inequality -- a Tale of two colleges: Yale and Southern Connecticut

    I admit that I can be a bit of a geek sometimes. When not reading fiction or mainstream non-fiction, I sometimes read more esoteric books. My latest foray into the obscure is a sociology book by Ann L. Mullen, "Degrees of Inequality."

    A write up I found on the internet summarizes it as follows:

    Dr. Ann L. Mullen studied at Yale in the early 2000s; and like almost all of her colleagues, she had zero interaction with students attending Southern Connecticut State University. The schools are separated by a 2 mile stretch of Goffe Street in New Haven, but are worlds apart in terms of privilege and attitudes toward education.

    “The contrast was really intriguing from a sociological point of view. Over half of the parents of [SCSU] students didn’t attend college. That was pretty rare for a person attending Yale,” says Mullen, from her office at the University of Toronto.

    Her latest book, “Degrees of Inequality,” is based on hundreds of interviews with students from both schools. They catalog the way in which class and privilege affect our perceptions and even enjoyment of higher of education.

    “Because I’ve been a middle-class student, I was really familiar with this belief that college is more than just completing a major. It’s an experience that encompasses living on your own for the first time, making friends, joining clubs,” says Mullen. “I was surprised at the degree to which that was completely absent for [SCSU] students. They thought of it more as work. It’s something that you have to do to get a reward at the end.”

    At least for the students of SCSU and Yale, Mullen found that higher education does not diminish class divisions in terms of physical interactions or psychological perceptions. It actually exacerbates them: “We keep looking to higher education as a fix for a lot of other structural inequalities. Like if we can just get more people to go to university, we can start to level inequality. But I’ve become convinced that higher education is not the solution. Social problems can’t be fixed at that high a level.”


    Mullen's book raises some thought provoking questions.  Mainly, it makes clear that there is a huge cultural divide between those who go to Yale and those who go to Southern.  Southern students, for instance, gave detailed answers when asked: why did you decide to go to college?  Yale students, by contrast, didn't understand the question -- of course they were going to go to college.  They never considered otherwise.

    From where does this cultural difference stem?  A long discussion in the book tackles this question.  For those interested in examining the advantages we received from a Yale education -- and the advantages we are bestowing on our children by raising them to value a liberal arts education -- you should read Mullen's book.  It is thought provoking.  It is also food for thought when examining the growing diffences between "haves" and "have notes" in our society.

    Monday, September 5, 2011

    Pennies From Space? Hunt on for Valuable Meteorite -

    Dante Centouri has some interesting things to tell us about meteorites.  Click below to hear more.

    Pennies From Space? Hunt on for Valuable Meteorite -

    Floating University Launches New Model for Education -- A Liberal Arts Education in 12 Hours! - MarketWatch

    Classmate Tamar Gendler is participating in an exciting an innovative program called the Floating University.  Click below to read more about what Tamar and her colleagues are up to.

    Floating University Launches New Model for Education -- A Liberal Arts Education in 12 Hours! - MarketWatch

    News from Doris Iarovici

    Here is a note I received from Doris Iarovici:

    Wanted to share some news for class notes: my daughter, Ariel Katz, will be headed up to New Haven soon as part of the class of 2015! It will give me a good excuse to come back for The Game, or just to visit.

    Looking forward to reunion!

    Best, Doris Iarovici

    News from Preston Lewis

    Here is a note I received from Preston Lewis:

    After stints at HBO, MTV and Disney, I returned to Time Warner and have been running Warner Bros. Consumer Products' business for Australia and New Zealand over the last 4 years. My family - wife, Cari, and children - Carson (17), Faith (14) and Jackson (11) - are all enjoying life Down Under and the wonderful city of Melbourne.

    During a recent business trip and family vacation - and college tour for my eldest! - in the US this summer, I had the chance to see a few of our classmates - Pearlena Igbokwe and Jon Walls in LA, Tracey Capers in NYC and David Pollay in FLA. Also spoke to Stephanie Anderson and Yves Labissiere by phone. Everyone is managing careers and/or raising families, and simply enjoying life. Wonderful to think that these relationships are all 25+ years strong. Go Yale!

    Looking forward to seeing everyone at our reunion in 2012!

    Sunday, July 24, 2011

    Amor Towles' New Book

    One of my guilty pleasures is reading People Magazine. There, I admitted it. No more secret shame.

    As I was flipping through this week's issue, I saw that our classmate Amor Towles gets a great shout out for his new book, Rules of Civility:

    Put on some Billie Holiday, pour a dry martini and immerse yourself in the eventful life of Katey Kontent, a smart young woman trying to find herself in Manhattan in the late 1930s. Though Katey's not to the manor born, her wit and intellect open doors all over the city, from Upper East Side society soirees to funky downtown jazz clubs. When she and her friend Eve Ross, a beautiful, nervy party girl from Indiana, meet suave bachelor Tinker Grey, life hits a high note-for a while. (Despite his royal-blue eyes, Tinker is a gentleman with some twists in his pedigree.) Yet his relationship with Katey ultimately shapes both their fates. First-time novelist Towles, a principal in a New York City investment firm and a graduate of both Yale and Stanford, clearly knows the privileged world he's writing about, as well as the vivid, sometimes reckless characters who inhabit it. Reading about Katey and her fast friends shaking off the Great Depression in pre-World War II Manhattan-a city "so improbable, so wonderful, so obviously full of promise"-you'll find yourself feeling nostalgic no matter how old you are.

    It turns out that Oprah loved the book, too. Click here to read the review.

    Quidditch at Reunion?

    Yale has a Quidditch Team. Really. Not making it up. 100% for real.

    What if we had Quidditch at reunion? Would your kids enjoy that? Would you enjoy that? Let us know!

    Gay Marriage in New York

    Today was the first day of legalized same-sex marriage in New York. As our family was watching the news coverage of the happy couples getting hitched, a familiar face came on . . . the Class of 1987's own Alan Miles was married earlier today to his partner, now husband, Drew Glick. The newlyweds beamed as the said their vows. I was very proud to be able to point out to our children that a classmate of ours was now free to marry as he chooses . . . and that finally being recognized as having the right to do so made him so obviously happy.

    If you want to learn more about Alan and Drew and their wedding, you can clink the title to this post to see the news, or click below.

    View more videos at:

    Congratulations to Alan and Drew. May you enjoy every happiness!

    Sunday, July 10, 2011

    AYA Board of Governors Welcomes Two Members of the Class of 1987 to its Ranks

    Recently, the Association of Yale Alumni ("AYA") went through its process for picking a new slate of members of its Board of Governors. Drawn largely from the representative body of the AYA Assembly, the Board of Governors works with the University administration and the AYA staff to set priorities for and guide the work of the AYA. The group was established following the formal adoption of the AYA Constitution in 1972. Made up of 24 elected and appointed members and a number of members ex officio, the AYA Board accomplishes much of its work through several focused committees. Elected and appointed members serve three-year terms, and the Board’s four officers – Chair, Vice-Chair, and two executive officers – serve one or two-year terms.

    Here is the list of newly elected AYA Governors:

    Jeannine Scott ’85 MA
    Tim Harkness ’87
    Joe Staley, Jr. ’59
    Vikram Mansharamani ’96
    Magda Vergara ’82
    Scott Williamson ’80
    Darcy Pollack '87
    Robert (Bo) Hopkins '86 MBA

    As you will see, the Class of 1987 is very well represented -- the current Board of Governors has two representatives from our class. Over the last several years, our class has been represented on the Board of Governors, most recently by Lynn Oberlander and, before Lynn, Kathy Edersheim. If you are interested in becoming active in Yale alumni activities -- either through the class or through some other part of the Yale community, please let me know.

    My America: Chang-Rae Lee - The Takeaway

    Classmate Chang-Rae Lee appeared recently on NPR’s “The Takeaway.” This was a very personal interview about his view about his role in America.  Very interesting.  Click below to listen to the interview.  It’s a quick listen, and well worth it.


    “When I used to teach in the city at Hunter College the most amazing thing would happen… You’d hear all these different accents and languages…and of course all their variations and kinds of English, and I always thought that was the most wonderful thing.”

    Chang-Rae Lee


    My America: Chang-Rae Lee - The Takeaway

    Mastering the Art of Dinner Party Talk - This Life -

    As you can tell, I am a Bruce Feiler reader.  I enjoy his columns.  The last one I posted was pretty serious.  This one is not nearly as heavy.  Check it out.  I know a few people I might want to e-mail this to.

    Mastering the Art of Dinner Party Talk - This Life -

    Reading Between the Lines - wowowow

    Classmate Jane Mendelsohn explains why — in literature and in life — it’s best not to take things at face value in a recent post.  Click below to check it out.

    Reading Between the Lines - wowowow

    Sunday, June 26, 2011

    What to say and not say to friends and family coping with serious illness

    Lisa and I lost one of children to cancer almost 10 years ago.  During the days, weeks and months that passed after David’s death, we were moved by the powerful expressions of love and support we received from many, many people in our lives.  We were also pretty surprised at how horribly others responded.  My personal favorite, looking back at it more with sad recognition than hurt (although it hurt then), were the people at work who couldn’t even look at me.  Over time, I have come to understand the reaction – the whole thing was so unspeakably awful, they had no idea what to do or say.  Speaking to me, even making eye contact, meant confronting something more painful than they had ever experienced.  Easier just to walk on by.

    Then there were those who told me that everything would be alright.  We were young, after all, and could have more kids.  Well, I didn’t want more kids.  I wanted that kid, and I was hurt, sad and angry that he had suffered and died.  We have since welcomed more children into our family, which has been a wonderful blessing.  They neither replaced David, nor erased our grief, however.  And, the suggestions that they would never eased our pain.

    Classmate Bruce Feiler just wrote a great piece that I will pass out to people when I find myself, as I sometimes do, as a compassion consultant to those unsure at how they should approach a family battling illness or wrestling with death.  Bruce’s rules apply to those who are battling illness, but they apply well to those who grieve.  They are good, solid rules to use when times are tough, so I commend them to you.  Click below and give it a read.  It is worth the time.

    Living | What to say and not say to friends and family coping with serious illness | Seattle Times Newspaper