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Chris Shorb notes that Eric

Chris Shorb notes that Eric Vincent seem to be at Starting Point Venture Partners in New York City. The web site blurb reports that:

Eric has more than nine years of legal and private equity experience. Most recently, Eric was a partner with Omega Advisors, Inc., a multi-billion dollar New York-based hedge fund, where he managed the firm’s emerging market investments. Prior to joining Omega, Eric spent the previous four years investing in, starting up and managing businesses in various Eastern European countries. Eric specifically co-headed Winslow Partners s.r.o., an investment firm founded with a former Goldman Sachs partner that made private equity investments in the Czech Republic. From 1991 to 1993, Eric was an attorney at the New York law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore. Eric received a B.A. from Williams College and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He serves on the board of Sand Cherry Networks, Inc. and is an observer on the boards of Mirror Worlds Technologies, Inc. and ShipLogix, Inc.

My best googling couldn’t provide much else on Eric’s activities. He is quoted as noting that,

“The biggest challenge for early-stage venture capitalists our size is the financing risk going forward,” said Eric Vincent, partner at StartingPoint Venture Partners LLC, which has $26 million under management. His peers echoed his concern over running out of capital to support their companies.

StartingPoint was formed in January 2000. Although the year 2000 bug had saefly passed by this date, early 2000 was a . . . uh . . . challenging time to start in the venture capital business. If Eric is out there, I hope that he will provide an update.

I am pretty sure that this link refers to Eric, but, alas, my Czech is a little rusty.

No news on whether Gary Hart’s recent flirtation with a presidential run in 2004 is pulling Eric back into politics. Those with long memories will recall that Eric played a non-trivial part in Hart’s canidacy the last time around.

Eric and I were the only sophomores in James MacGregor Burns’ last class at Williams, back in the fall of 1985, held in one of those small seminar rooms at the top of Stetson. If my notes are correct, Eric’s project for the class of focussed on “neo-liberalism and the possibility of an ideas based coaltion.” I still remember Burns noting one day that, 50 years previously, he had been a student at Williams (back in 1935) and was lectured to by a famour professor of that error. He couldn’t believe that the 50 years had gone by so quickly.I always promised myself that, come the fall of 2035, I would somehow find a way to be lecturing at Williams so that I could tell the students that story.


Alas, not enough people have

Alas, not enough people have sent me pictures of themselves and their loved ones. So, since I have a minimum quote of cute baby pictures to fulfill, I will need to revisit some cute kids from the past.

Pictured is Susan (Courtney) Faruqee (wife of Hamid Faruqee) along with their two daughters: Serena and little sister Siraj. Note how smart Susan and Hamid were to select children’s names that go well together. That is, I bet that it will be a lot easier for them to say, “Serena and Siraj, it’s time for dinner!” then it is for me to say, “Michaela and Cassandra, stop fighting!” I am trting to fix this problem by moving to nicknames for the girls (Kayla and Casey), but, alas, the second has failed to catch on.


Jody Abzug sent along a

Jody Abzug sent along a nice e-mail:

In answer to your class agent question — yes all in the class are cordially invited and welcome to become associates. Oh, that was my statement not an answer — hence my reason for being an art history/american studies not english major. In answer to your question all of the above. Typically associate agents have a core of people on their list. They may add and subtract names from time to time, but most likely switches occur when new associates join the team. These new associates will request classmates all of whom are on other associates’ lists. The shuffling begins. Head agents try to make certain all associates have several people on their list they requested. Some associates prefer to have people they know well on their list and others prefer people they’d like to get to know. This year was a special year so many classmates were contacted by more than one associate.

Not only does our blog give you reminisces and baby pictures — we provide key insights into how things really work. Jody was alos kind enough to send along a reminisces, thereby relieving me of the responsibility of posting another one.

Like you music — especially certain songs recall times at Williams. Yesterday I heard UB40s “Red Red Wine,” which I haven’t heard in ages and immediately I was transported back to Fall of 1984 and the freshman quad (luckily the twins woke me from my reverie in time to realize the traffic light had turned green). All of the Purple Rain’s sound track reminds me of
many DJ parties our freshman year. Although for anyone in Sage D that year the penultimate song was “On the Dark Side,” by the Beaver Brown Band (or something like that) — it was from the movie Eddie and the Cruisers and that song was played incessantly by Bob Long, Bill Boyd and Eric Reath (may he rest in peace).

In listing groups that played at Williams you missed 2 of the best — The Band and The Crazy Eights.

Of course, given our poetry-centric flavor on this blog, I can’t help linking to a bit of Rimbaud, the French poet whose life story provides some of the inspiration, I think, to the Eddie and the Cruisers movie. Here is another page about Rimbaud. Alas, I couldn’t find any poems that I liked, but suggestions will be gladly accepted. I considered posting a Rimbaud poem in the original French, but quickly realized that doing so would reveal me as the poseur that I am.


David Greenberg

Our lawyer site for the day is for David Greenberg. The firm he is at is called Greenberg Traurig, but, as best I can tell, he is not that Greenberg. If he is, then I know who the class agents should be very nice to at the reunion. Of course, I realize that they will be nice to everyone.

Speaking of class agents, I would be interested to know a little bit more about how they operate. Is the fact that I have had several different agents assigned to me over the last 15 years a sign that:

1) I am really popular and all the agents want me on their list.
2) I am really unpopular and so the new agents always get stuck with me.
3) The agents make a practice of mixing thigs up every few years.

Getting back to David, the website notes that he has been involved in some pretty interesting deals. The Terra Networks Lycos combination was certainly an example of the bubbling stock market at its frothy peak.

Alas, I couldn’t find anything about David’s family on-line. As always, pictures are gratefully accepted.


I’ll add a quick memory

I’ll add a quick memory here – this one came back to me as I was listening to my favorite progressive/alternative rock radio station this weekend, and the featured artist of the day was REM. I remember going to see them our freshman year – before I really even had heard much of their usic. They did a great concert, although the acoustics of the hockey rink were less than stellar (and Michael Stipe was in his “mumbling” phase). As we were walking back up Spring Street much later that night, the band’s bus was pulling out of town. We realized it was them and were then totally surprised to see them waving enthusiastically at us. It always made me think that they were probably a kind of down to earth band. I love that we were able to see some really top acts at Williams – Ray Charles, REM, etc. Not bad for a little school out in the boonies!


Poets Against War

The Williams Record seems to have awoken from its Winter Study slumber. The lead issues of the day are the forthcoming war in Iraq and the recently instituted smoking ban on campus. There must be some clever quip that joins these stories together, but I am at a loss to come up with it. The smoking policy bans smoking within 25 feet of any college building. The money quote from the smoking story, however, is:

The College will also work towards “devising a system to enable those who choose to smoke to dispose of used cigarettes outdoors in an appropriate way.” Other consequences of the new policy will become apparent once it goes into effect, but Boyer, for instance, is already anticipating telling security officers who work at all-campus parties that they will not be able to smoke because of the required distance from buildings.

That certainly brings back memories for me of the Williams security guards working the Carter House parties. Somehow, I suspect that that hasn’t changed much in the last 15 years.

My favorite recent op-ed piece is on Anti-War Poetry and is by Cassandra Cleghorn, professor of English (at least that is how the Record lists her, connoisseurs of faculty politics will recognize that she actually has a different status — although, of course, I am still jealous). Professor Cleghorn noted that:

In Goodrich last Wednesday, twenty poets and readers of poetry gathered to share poems of protest against war. The group included students and members of the community: from Richmond, Stephentown, Petersburg, Pittsfield, North Adams and Williamstown. Poems of Kipling, Yeats and Owens, and of American poets Jane Cortez, Kenneth Patchen and others were read, as were poems written only days before the reading.

Now, I want to be pro-Cleghorn for a host of reasons here. Poetry is cool. My youngest daughter is named Cassandra. I know what it is like to be a lecturer. Most importantly, Kipling rocks. The Kane girls get a couple of pages from his collected works of poetry each evening (after their Harry Potter). Michaela’s “signature” poem is The Female of the Species and Cassandra’s is If. But, alas, I can’t quite pull it off. She notes:

Whitman wrote, “Something startles me where I thought I was safest…” Even before Bush’s policies bring actual violence upon the people of Iraq, and upon American troops, and upon the others who will be drawn into this war, he has done violence to our civil rights, to the idea of truth, and to our language.

The President treats the American people with the derision he offers to the world. Poised as we are on the verge of killing tens of thousands of people, and of creating (according to the latest UN estimates) 2.5 million refugees, Americans should brace themselves for violent news, and for more rage, fear and grief. As Langston Hughes wrote, “There’s liable to be confusion/when a dream gets kicked around.”

It’s hard to know where to begin with these sorts of sentiments and, remember, no politics should go into the blog. But, since not a single person sent in her reminisces, I’ll have to do my best with the material at hand. Suffice to say, that it’s tough to know how the people of Iraq feel about the coming conflict. I vividly recall getting in disputes with people during our time at Williams about what the “people of Poland” wanted — after all, who was I to say that they were probably not in favor of being ruled by Communists subservient to Moscow? With luck, we will have a better sense once the war is over. I would certainly bet a lot against 2.5 million refugees. But the point on the violence of war is well-taken, as Kipling pointed out long ago. Whether or not Professor Cleghor would appreciate these lines from Kipling:

Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap;
An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.

Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy how’s yer soul?”
But it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll.

is an open question. I’ll ask her and report back what she says.


And now for something completely

And now for something completely different.

Although the blog seems to be working, Tracy and I want to solicit more material from more readers. Although pictures and updates are always welcome, we thought we might try a different sort of posting: Reminisces. The idea is that people will provide a paragraph or so of a specific memory of Williams. As long as there is at least one person in the class who will recall your reminisces, then that’s enough. We are looking for items that are longer than a phrase (Dodge Daytonna), but shorter than an autobiography. (Actually, we would gladly link to an autobiography, should anyone have one.) It might be nice if they could each start with a catch phrase, like “I remember.” But, as always, we publish whatever we get.

For motivation, allow me to point out that, if no one else e-mails us their reminisces, Tracy and I will be forced to keep posting ours, day after day. Anyway, he is mine:

“I remember . . .

the first few weeks of JV soccer tryouts our freshmen year. I was under the (misguided) impression that I could play soccer pretty well and that, in particular, I could juggle a ball for a fairly long time. I had certainly spent enough hours practicing this in high school. So, I was pleased to see that our coach, whose name I can’t recall, enjoyed having a juggling contest during practice. Basic set up was that we all started juggling. Once you dropped the ball, you had to start doing sit-ups (or push ups) until the last man dropped his ball. I lasted a pretty long time and, by the time I started doing sit ups, there were only a couple of people left. But one of those was Jonathan Hollenberg. And he just kept juggling and juggling and juggling. He could go on foreover. At some point, the rest of us had to move over next to him and start doing sit ups into his legs to end the contest.”

There are probably less than a dozen people in our class who will remember that episode, but I can see it like it was yesterday. If there are images that you have of Williams, I am certain that your fellow blog readers would like to be reminded of them. Please contribute.


Here are some odds and

Here are some odds and ends:

1) We are using a new web tracking mechanism. Our old one told us stuff like, “You have 1,700 hits in February,” but gave us no insight as to unique users. That is, it could just be that Tracy and I were reloading the page hundreds of times and not writing anything interesting enough for people to read. Since we started tracking on Friday, we have had visitors from 47 unique IP addresses. This is more than enough of a readership to make the blog worthwhile. I’ll post more data on this after a week or two.

2) The only person respond with Trivia Memories was Kim Jordan, our ace list-server-owner. She recalled that “My personal favorite was ‘Supplicants of Gozer.’ I was also a member of ‘Well, yes!’ freshman year.”

3) The discussion of Animal House led to a flurry of e-mail among Brooks Foehl, Bill Pike and Jonathon Hollenberg on the topic of the “D-Day” character. Recall that Jonathan’s original quote was: “Unavailable. Sounds a little like Daniel D. Day’s report card in Animal House.” Alas, your faithful blogger, after much searching, failed to find the precise dialogue, although Bill Pike is clearly correct in claiming that the character’s full name was “Daniel Simpson Day.” The best I could do was this picture.

D-Day is in the lower left. Surely someone can give us the correct facts on this one . . .


Brooks Foehl has confirmed that

Brooks Foehl has confirmed that the picture/link below is indeed Jim Elliott. Thanks Brooks!


Is this a picture of

Is this a picture of our Jim Elliott? Perhaps someone with a better memory and easy access to an old face book can confirm or deny?!


Jonathan Hollenberg sent in a

Jonathan Hollenberg sent in a most excellent update. Here it is, along with my comments:

It’s really quite eerie when you go to a website for only the second time and see your recent life history on display before your very eyes. I’m still wondering if this was programmed to my arrival, sheer coincidence or somehow related to the seismic shift that took place when Joe Millionaire picked shy and simple Zora over hog-tied Sarah. I digress, yet for more info on reality TV, I suggest our Secretary, the Michael Harrington without children, as the one with five certainly has no time for the insipidness of prime time TV.

Actually, Tracy and I monitor all blog downloads, cross reference the information with from the Pentagon’s Office of Total Information Awareness, determine who has recently checked in for the first time and then blog them. Either that, or life is random. We are actually trying to get a sense of how often the blog is being used — no point on spending a lot of time on it if no one finds it interesting — but the tools we are using havn’t been that successful. As best I can tell, we have had 1700 or so page views this month. Now, a lot of this is Tracy and I checking to see if a posting looks good, but some of it, at least, are from real readers. I hope to soon have a sense of how many unique readers (or computer connections) we are getting. Anybody with good advice about these issues should provide us with a clue.

My lovely wife was certainly surprised by Joe’s choice. Having determined that men are idiots — perhaps generalizing too much from her N of 1 — she felt that Joe was sure to mistakenly choose Sarah.

I find that, the more children I have, the more that I need the insipidness of prime time TV.

I wanted to add to the blog with links to the newly-engaged Jim Elliot. I figured that since he’s been teaching, directing and acting in New York for many years, that I would certainly find something of value. Unfortunately, I got caught up in David James Elliot, so if anyone has any questions about JAG, I’m your man. The story on our James Elliot was less than revealing: James Elliot. Home: Unavailable. Cell: Unavailable. EMail: Unavailable. Web: Unavailable. Sounds a little like Daniel D. Day’s report card in Animal House. (I did get a chuckle out of the dead link to which Jim description pointed. Is there any irony in the fact that students make adult films? Now I’m sure my daughters won’t be going to film school.)

My daughters won’t be going to film school either. Of course, now that we have both made that prediction (for them to see in decade or so), I am sure that we can look forward to seeing “A Hollenberg/Kane Production” our the local mega-multi-plex.

Having struck out with Jim, I moved onto locating the skeletons in Stu Staley’s closet. I’ve been fortunate enough to get out to see him bring his cool, midwestern charm to the centers of the London business world. If you find the news on Stu’s rise to the status of Master of the Universe a bit dull, be sure to check out one of his dad’s articles on topics such as “Relationships Between Molecular Structure, Polarization and Crystal Packing in 6-Arylfulvenes.”

Stu also gave a talk on “Increasing the use of generic coal specifications in electricity generation” at a conference last October. Prior to AEP, Stu was head of Enron’s coal team. Perhaps he will have some amusing stories to tell at the reunion. Stu would like to assure us all that: “We will continue our work to bring price transparency and greater liquidity and efficiency to the coal marketplace.” Perhaps this is another sign of the diversity of class activities. Surely there is a classmate who is working on precisely the opposite, i.e., decreasing the liquidity of the coal marketplace. Of course, like any good free market environmentalist, I am in favor of both efforts.

Yes, Jim and Ray George have been doing these adventure racing sprints for years and I am just a recent replacement for the Mark Raisbeck’s and Blake Robison’s that came before me. We do plan to go through it again this year, and while only one of us was a Dodd Daytona alumnus, we were all one-time winners of the Winter Carnival tricycle race. In recognition of that win almost 20 years ago as the “Baby Finsters,” we will be returning to our roots and racing as “The Baby Finsters on Geritol.” We’re also looking for other Williams alums to join us. Info on the racing series can be found here. Looking forward to seeing everyone in June.


Maggie Heaman has a cool

Maggie Heaman has a cool job working as a costume designer (I think) at the Ballet San Jose. Here is a description (not sure of the date) of her job in her own words. Here is a picture of her wedding to Williams ’87 alum Joe Francis. Actually, it looks like Joe has put together a whole Web site of their wedding (in 1998)! (It’s amazing what you can find on Google!). I wonder how many of us currently can describe our jobs with “I absolutely love it!” – Go Maggie!


Google produces a interesting set

Google produces a interesting set of links for Jonathan Hollenberg.

First, it is obvious that Jon, like every other member of the class but me, keeps in shape. Here are his results from a race in New York last spring. (See 78th place.) Of course, there is always the question with google as to whether or not the “Jonathan Hollenberg” that you have found is the “Jonathan Hollenberg” that you are looking for. In this case, however, we probably have our Jon since his teammates with “The Blubbering Hellbellies” included Jim Elliot and Ray George. I can’t recall if these three are veterans on the famous Dodd Daytona, but memories (along with pictures) would be gratefully accepted . . .

Second, it appears that Jon is a graduate of Columbia Business School. Here he seems to have signed a petition arguing against divestment from Isreal. I agree with the substantive position here, although those with long memories will recall that I have been arguing against divestment for almost 20 years . . .

Third, Jon is on the board of directors at the Stamford Public Education Foundation. (Note that the racing results had him residing in Stamford — these are the sorts of clues that I rely on when doing the google-dance.) Here, he is listed as Director of Research at Ernst & Young as well as an “SPS Parent”, which I guess means Stamford Public Schools.


Our ever-more-organized reunion treasurer, Ben

Our ever-more-organized reunion treasurer, Ben Miller, has kindly provided an updated list of purple postcard responses. Thanks to all those who have sent in the cards. Ben would greatly appreciate any further responses. The reunion committee will be sending out another mailing in due course, but, even at this early date, it seems clear that there will be hundreds of people to party with come June in Williamstown.

Recent additions to the list of repliers, according to Ben, include:

Laura (Wefing) Brady
Jonathan Hollenberg
Nikolai Nachamkin
David Thatcher
Dirk Holden
David Greenberg
Eric Churchill
Bill Pike

Bloggings for some of these lucky classmates will be provided later today . . .


Participants in the Williams Trivia

Participants in the Williams Trivia contest from years past may wonder how the conduct the contest in the age of the web. Well, here is a link to the most recent contest. Some items of note:

1) The contest was held in January. If memory serves, the old contest was held after the last Friday of classes in December so, even though you knew that you had reading period ahead to catch up on work, it was a semi-serious sacrifice to participate.

2) I’ll always regret not participating. But at least I got to watch Chris Jones try to carry all of Williams C on his shoulders.

3) In our constant search for material (more on this later), we would be glad to print fond memories of your time playing trivia. Does anyone recall their favorite team’s name? You can see, I think, the current names here. My personal favorite was the time that two teams both chose “Frogs Without Hemoglobin” — the title of a recent biology talk — as their name, thereby causing much confusion.

4) The set of questions are quite clever. You can almost see how they are moving away from things that could be easily googled. Fortunately, none of the items in the Williamsiana portion of the night actually occured while we were on campus. When that happens, we’ll know that we are too old.


I have just discovered that

I have just discovered that my ultra-cheap printer has a scanner built in. Alas, it is not a very good scanner, but, unless and until people start sending in some better materials, this is what we will have to work with. In-line took up too much room, so I have posted the picture from our 5th year reunion here.

Apologies for the quality. I spent 15 minutes looking for myself in this before realizing that, d’uh, I was on my honeymoon at the time. Suggested captions are welcome.


Some Google leads from Brooks

Some Google leads from Brooks Foehl:

“Lawyer Lew Collins – in-house counsel for a financial co. on the North Shore”

Dekker Buckley and Tim Bock – two classmates who have been at their original jobs since graduation- Dekker with Chubb, Tim with Credit Suisse First Boston”

Britta Bjornlund – Whatever it says she does (writing middle school history text?) it’s all a front for this CIA operative, at least that’s the theory.”

“Find my Needham High School classmate Cathryn Hope Clayton who has spent many years in China. She’s a prof. at University of Macau”

Comments/Further Research:

  1. Between Google and the Alumni Directory, I’m able to piece together that Lew appears to be at AMG, but I can’t find him on their Web site. I did find something that indicates he is on the Wellesley Little League Board, though, which sounds like fun!
  2. A Google search produced several race results for Dekker, but nothing on his employment. It appears that I would probably be able to keep Dekker in my sights for most distances, but he would probably still beat me solidly…darn (not that I’m competitive or anything!).
  3. It’s also not easy finding info on Tim, partly because Google thinks it’s a pretty popular name! I did find a press release on the CSFB Web site from May 2001 that indicated Tim was Managing Director and Head of the Equity Derivatives Marketing Group for North America. That was a while back, so Tim wil have to udpate us. I did find a 5k race result for Tim, and I’m afraid Dekker and I would both probably beat him in a 5k (sorry Tim!)…but who knows what would happen if we challenged each other to a race?!
  4. It is a little hard to tell from Google (because there is a LOT out there about her!), but it looks like Britta is involved with an organization called the Open World Program, which focuses on Russian Leadership Development. Here is one press release Britta wrote recently that might shed a little light on the organization. And, lo and behold, I found a picture of Britta here. (I tried to inline the picture, but it appears I need remedial training – she is in the 3rd picture down)
  5. Finding info on Cathy is not a piece of cake, but here is a profile of her and her area of focus at the University of Macau.

Lynch Syllabus

Turns out that there is probably all sorts of fun stuff on the web at Williams, you just have to spend some time looking for it. Marc Lynch is an assistant professor of political science. Alas, he has only been at Williams since 1998 so, presumably, no one in our class has been in his class. But, judging from his website, he might make for an interesting teacher.

And you have to like a Williams professor who goes out of his way to engage the students. Of course, I disagree with his analysis of the situation, but I have to respect someone who makes his positions clear.

Also, his review of Green Eggs and Ham is hillarious — although you may have needed to spend several years in graduate school to fully appreciate it.

Glancing through his syllabi, I might express some concerns about the balance of the readings. Consider the readings for one week for Political Science 202: Introduction to International Affairs.

Dec 2/3 Environmental issues, AIDS, and other hidden disasters 2.33 Thomas Homer-Dixon, “Environmental scarcity, violence, and limits to ingenuity” 2.34 Robert Repetto and Jonathan Lash, “Planetary Roulette” 2.35 PW Singer, “AIDS and International Security”

There is nothing per se wrong worth these reading. But I would think that something by the optimists — those who argue that the past 100 years have witnessed significant progress on almost all measures of human well-being and that the next 100 years are most likely to see more of the same — would have a place. I also seem to recall that the reading for the equivalent class 15 years ago featured a couple of well-chosen books, along with supplementary articles. This syllabus has almost all articles (this is what a graduate school syllabus looks like) and no books. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could link to that syllabus from 1985?

Where is the class historian? If we could get some of this material scanned in, I am sure that I could find a place for it.

Presumably, Rodney or Jocelyn could provide more educated comments.


I am doing my best

I am doing my best to find interesting campus related links, but there isn’t a whole lot to choose from. The Record is OK, but seems less interesting than I remember it being. Perhaps it is just the natural lull of winter study into spring semester. The Record does have a blog, but there are two problems with it. First, they don’t seem to provide a way to link to individual posts. So, even though I found a recent posting comparing the weather in Williamstown to that at the North Pole amusing (no points for guessing which was colder), I can’t provide an simple link to it. (Admittedly, Tracy and I don’t make it easy to link to individual entries in this blog, but it is hard to believe that there is much demand for this.)

The second problem with the blog (and, to a lesser extent, with the Record editorials and Op-Ed articles) is that they don’t focus enough on Williams specific issues or on the specific relevance on national issues to Williams. Here is an article on affirmative action. There is nothing particularly wrong with the article, but if someone (student, professor, web-surfing alumnus) wants to get an overview article on affirmative action, they will probably read what someone in the New York Times or Wall Street Journal has to say. As gifted a writer as Joe Buccina may be, it is hard to believe that his writing will be as good as that of the professionals.

Which isn’t to say that Joe shouldn’t be writing articles on affirmative action. He should! Indeed, your humble class blogger was doing much the same 15 years ago. But he should be focussing on Williams. How much affirmative action does Williams practice? How much should it practice? Would Williams be a better place if Katie Kent’s position in the English department were given to someone else, someone who was perfectly well “qualified” but who was not quite as good a teacher or scholar as she is? I don’t think so, but addressing the trade-offs at Williams would make for much more interesting reading.

The Record does much better when it focusses on College issues. Like anyone working in a large city, I am endlessly fascinated with parking issues. Here is a fine editorial on the topic from the Record. The Record

As you can tell, Tracy and I have just about run out of e-mail updates from the class. So, it will soon be back to the random Google for us unless, that is, you help us out.


Wilbur Swan sent in a

Wilbur Swan sent in a lovely picture of his daughter Cate along with this update:

My wife and I were living in Ventura and San Francisco for a number of years, while I was working for Patagonia and then Esprit, where I ran the catalog businesses. My wife had a baby, we decided to move back east, and I took a job with a open source software start up in Cambridge (200 MIT engineers is a slight shift from Patagonia). That was sold last year to Red Hat, and I joined up with some classmates from Tuck/Dartmouth who had started a VC firm a few years back.

So, I am now working primarily on one start up, Business Intelligence Advisors, that combines experts who once worked for various government intelligence agencies and financial analysts, to deliver pretty focused equity research and due diligence. It is difficult to describe in a short paragraph, so let me know if you might want more info…

I also launched a boot-strap start-up with a friend from grade school last summer and a few engineers, called Contact Network. We’ve developed an intranet software application that lets co-workers share contacts, and improve on the ineffective Hail Mary spam “Does anyone here know someone at [XYZ Co.]?” The clients so far are a handful of the strategy consulting, IT consulting and VC firms here in Boston. Our crude web site is here.

Cathy and I have a 2 year old girl, Cate. I will attach a recent picture of her where she fell asleep in her sled (guess she was having too much fun).


1) I am still working on my Photoshop skills. In an ideal world, a picture as cute as this one would be in-lined in the blog. I think that that looks nicer. Alas, some pictures, like this one, seem to be naturally too big. That is, when I in-line them, they throw off the formatting on everything. Other pictures work fine. Perhaps someone smarter than I can explain what is going on.


Another classmate to add to

Another classmate to add to the PhD list – Sarah Taub, who appears to be teaching linguistics at Gallaudet University, in DC. It looks like a lot of her work is in the area of sign language. She also appears to be an accomplished editor and author, judging by some of the books that come up on Google!


Here are two links –

Here are two links – complete with pictures – of Bill Connick: Assistant Professor at University of Cincinnati, and his bio on the page of what looks to be a UC-based group that bears his name – the Connick Group. And here is an article about an award Bill won for some of his research.

I wonder how many of our classmates have groups or companies that bear their name? Maybe we should start a tally. I must say Connick Group has a nice ring to it!


You can tell who the

You can tell who the more technically-oriented of our class are – they are the ones that have friends/co-workers who post lots of fun pictures of them on the Web. Such is the case for Nathan Schimke at least! It appears Nathan underwent a job transition in September of 1999, and these are a bunch of pictures of the farewell celebration.


Apologies for the hiatus in

Apologies for the hiatus in posting…had an emergency trip to NYC this weekend (where I was absolutely thrilled to learn that the national terror threat level had been raised and the subway was considered a target…this all after wondering if I was going to get into NYC in the first place, due to snow!). Now that I am back to my speedy Internet connection, I can pick up my Google research where I left off. A few tidbits before returning to playing catch-up at work!:

Stealing a page from Dave’s book, our lawyer of the day page belongs to Jim Hartnett! It looks like Jim and Anne are living in Minnesota, and Jim’s practice area relates to construction. Perhaps something that will be of interest to anyone at the reunion who is in the midst of building a new home to house all the kids our class has produced! Am I one of the only ones who does not have kids yet? I am starting to feel woefully inadequate!

Google also helped me to locate this picture of Sheldon Jobe (at the top of the page). It appears that Sheldon works at KeyLogic Systems, and that is about all I could find out about Sheldon from Google. Sometimes Google does not give up a lot!


After looking at some

After looking at some of Jeff Perrott’s work, I think that this is one of the ones that I like best. As always, reader’s are invited to submit their own favorites. A review of Jeff’s work provided these comments:

“Jeff Perrott’s latest show, Gethsemane, at the Barbara Krakow Gallery is quite a breakthrough for this Boston-based artist. Moving away from a conceptual and non-narrative way of looking at the world, Perrott has focused his latest works on the narrative and the emotional aspects of life’s uncertainties. Gethsemane has been interpreted many times by Renaissance artists; Perrott’s work is an abstraction of an oil by the 15th century Renaissance master, Masacchio.

The titles of his new works follow a religious theme from the New Testament: Kingdom, Baptism, and Gethsemane, the garden where Jesus and his disciples met before Jesus was arrested. Before he ventured off to pray, Jesus asked for his disciples’ strength; he knew there would be a betrayal and begged God to remove the burden of the crucifixion from him. When he returned, he found his disciples sleeping. “The spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak.”

What does Agony in the Garden mean to Perrott? It is an allegory of his own struggles. The old Renaissance masters Masaccio and El Greco, and the etching by the Dutch master Rembrandt all interpreted the Agony in the Garden; each brought to the canvas his idiosyncratic style. Masaccio brought depth, mathematical perspective, and luminous golds, reds and yellows. El Greco interpreted the struggle of Jesus in the mannerist mode. In 1657, Rembrandt, known for his chiaroscuro, emphasized the struggle in a dry point etching by highlighting the angel and Jesus in the foreground with the background darkened.

Perrott, however, was inspired by Masaccio’s version because of his mathematical perspective, color and interpretation; Perrott has always been enamored with the mathematical grid. Drawing grid lines upon Masaccio’s masterpiece of Gethsemane, Perrott has transposed the colors and articulates his interpretation – albeit an abstracted one. The colors poured onto the grid are routed so they shadow Masaccio’s, but also venture out on their own. Perrott’s color flows as if the paint has dripped from Masaccio’s painting onto his.

Stating that he has achieved a kind of alchemy with his emulsion, Perrott has begun a spiritual journey; his new works are “away from the head and toward the heart.” He pours a la Jackson Pollack and lets the paint – other than the routing (where the paint follows a given path) go where it pleases. Letting go – that seems to be Perrott’s strategy. Trying not to control everything and seeing what happens. Masaccio’s garden ghosts appear to be popping through the paint.

The result is Gethsemane, a large acrylic work on 8 birch plywood panes that measures 96 by 192 inches overall. It is the centerpiece of the exhibit and – one suspects – the most meaningful to Perrott. Leaving the plywood bare in some areas, he stays with the grid but you get the feeling that that might be the next thing to go – alchemy has indeed occurred. “Many visitors think it’s made of ceramic tile,” said Jeremy McDonnell, of the Krakow Gallery. The incandescent colors and paint emulsion also give the impression of stained glass.

Perrott explains his latest work. “It’s a metaphorical domain of struggle: what I want, what the world wants, what the surface wants, what the paint wants–control, chance, order and chaos. Through this territory, he experiences “real difficulty, real peace and real connection to the spirit.” Perrott is struggling to break into new areas and the use of Gethsemane, as an inspiration, is a significant one.”

Lest people think that art is Jeff’s only talent, I should point out that he spent some time playing drums with Fountains of Wayne post-graduation. Jeff left the group before they hit it big by writing and recording the title song for “That Thing You Do“, the Tom Hanks movie about a 1960’s rock group. Jeff also writes the occasional art review.


Jeff Perrott has been doing

Jeff Perrott has been doing some interesting things since graduation. Here are some samples of his art. Below I quote from a biography on a recent show that he did:

“Gethsemane is the result of two years of change — moving away from a systemic, conceptual approach to abstraction and toward an intuitive, organic focus on process; away from non-narrative subjects toward narrative ones; away from cooler, calculated methods and toward emotion, feeling, and uncertainty; away from the head and toward the heart. The subjects are drawn from traditional stories, images, and moments that I identify with directly, emotionally. The interaction of poured acrylic paint and the grid-etched surface, for me, not only bounds a formal investigation of contrasting materials and visual strategies, but more importantly defines a metaphorical domain of struggle: what I want, what the world wants, what the surface wants, what the paint wants — control, chance, order, and chaos, etc. In that realm I’m finding real difficulty, real peace, and real connection with the spirit.


They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be distressed and agitated. And he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even unto death; remain here, and keep awake.” And going a little further, he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. He said, Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.” He came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep awake one hour? Keep awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak.” Mark 14:32-38″

I’ll try to have some intellgent comments on this tomorrow.


If you are one of

If you are one of the people, like me, who wonder about who really pulls the levers of power in this country, I can now reveal the truth. Andrew Erdmann pulls the levers of power! He writes:

“I’m in DC, working at the State Department. I am a member of the Secretary’s Policy Planning Staff (of George Kennan and Paul Nitze fame). Richard Haass brought me on in June 2001 as sort of a utility infielder — but, along the way, I have also picked up along the way responsibility for the counterterrorism, homeland security, and Central Asia accounts. To state the obvious, it has been (and continues to be) a rather interesting time to be on the inside of the foreign policy machine.

Petra is living in St. Louis, where she is an assistant professor of biology at Washington University. (Yes, we didn’t read the fine print on which Washington we were joining.) So we have the commuter thing going. I’ll begin looking for work in the private sector — hoping to get to STL — sometime later this year, perhaps after some of the uncertainties afflicting the economy have been removed. Any suggestions?”


1) Like me, Drew had the good sense to marry a woman (Petra Levin) from the class of 1989, although I seem to remember that he didn’t win any awards for excellent boyfriendedness either. ;-) More importantly, this means that we get to see each other at reunions twice every five years.

2) My suggestion: Write an article under the psuedoname (I really need to figure out the spell checking on Blogger) “W”. Of course, as Drew knows, this parallels the article that George Kennan wrote as “X” 50 years ago. Not sure what the article should be about, but just make sure that everyone talks about it. In fact, you could release it on this Blog first. (“W” being for Williams.)


After I told KK Roeder

After I told KK Roeder that my life is as she would have predicted it would be (wife, kids, finance-job, SUV) 18 years ago — half our lifetimes — when she, Willa Morris and I would take longs walks around the campus, she replied back:

“I’m in New York, writing, thinking about writing more, thinking about going back to school for my PhD and teaching ingrates like us. Pretty much what you would have guessed? Nice to hear about the wife and kids. How about exchanging the SUV for a hybrid? Or a horse?”


1) I am doing my best to get KK to share some of her writing with us. (Actually, I am doing my best to get everyone to share their writing with us.) No luck so far.

2) Actually, I want to trade in my SUV for a minivan, but my lovely wife is a strictly SUV-kind-of-gal. Perhaps KK will be able to convince her at the reunion . . .

3) I never been a big fan of the whole hybrid and/or alternate fuels schtick. Mostly, these are just subsidies for big business (Acher-Daniel-Midlands, General Motors and so on). But a horse . . . that would be great! My daughters would certainly be in favor, at least until they found out that the horse doesn’t come with Radio Disney.



Laura Gasiorowski sent in this

Laura Gasiorowski sent in this photo of her son, Jake:

Note that I can in-line it because it is a reasonable size. In keeping with today’s baby name theme, I’ll note that I have always thought that Jake (not Jacob) would make for a good middle name, should Kay and I ever have a son. Of course, there are a lot of reasons for that, not least of which is the fact that Kay spent her senior year living in Jake House, which I think is now owned by people in our class.

Note that the less material people send me, the more likely that I am to write about myself, and that is the almost the last thing that you want. The last thing that you want is for me to start writing about politics . . .



Nicole Melcher has been continuing

Nicole Melcher has been continuing her work related to Japan and trade. Alas, we have set to convince her to sent in a proper update, so you will have to be satisfied with this series of pictures. No one seems to have the details on Nicole’s position, although Chris Shorb is making a plea for Yu-gi-Oh cards. It is sometimes strange to see the ways in which our lives our connected: Chris traffics in Yu-gi-Oh cards; Nicole ensures that trading in Yu-gi-Oh stays free and fair; I evaluate the company that distributes the cards in the US (4Kids Entertainment) — their stock price closed today at 17.59. We’ll see where they are come the reunion . . .

Of course, the Kane Family owes an endless debt of gratitude to Nicole and her fellow Williams C JA Lisa Mandl for ensuring that my brother Brendon made it through freshmen year. There were some who had their doubts at the time. Alas, we haven’t had the chance to pay them back as of yet — although I did my best to move the bottom of the grading curve lower in Williams Japanese classes . . .

Or perhaps we do! Here is a picture of Lisa’s daughter Imogen. I did my best to make this a picture that could be inlined (least I could do for all the many hours that Lisa spent trying to keep my brother on the straight and rugby — nihil in moderato!), but alas, my Photoshop skills are not what they should be. Lisa reports:

“I believe our last personal sighting was somewhere in the bowels of Costco in Dedham MA. Since then I have had a daughter, Imogen, who is 14 months old-source of constant joy, picture attached :) After commuting between Boston and NYC for five years, I moved to NYC and John (Ciolek ’87)and I are finally living in the same place. It is actually first time we have had the same mailing address since Williamstown. Don’t ask me how we managed a long distance relationship for all that time- I really do not know.”


1) All the very best people shop at Costco, although my wife, for reasons that are, at best, unclear to me, maintains memberships with Sam’s Club and BJ’s as well. We don’t discriminate in the Kane family!

2) Imogen is a pretty unique name. It is not among the 1,000 most common baby names in the US. I tried to figure out its origin. Alas, google produced some inappropriate cites when the name was keyed in. (No, I will not be providing a link for Imogen Bailey on this family-oriented blog.) I did find that:

“IMOGEN f English
Derived from Gaelic inghean meaning “maiden”. This name is borne by a character in Shakespeare’s ‘Cymbeline’.

I’ll be curious how Lisa and John picked the name. It says a fair amount about my psyche that I named my daughter Cassandra . . .


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