Speak Up!

Welcome to “Speak Up!”, our EphBlog community bulletin board. This is where you can post a comment that might be unrelated to a current discussion. It could be an essay, an anecdote, an announcement, a bit of campus news, a question about Williams, or even a suggestion for a topic. From time to time, an author may choose to feature a comment made here, on the front page of the site. Every week or so we will move all the substantive comments to a new Spoken Up archive post.

In any case, “Speak Up!” is here for your convenience and we welcome your contribution. You can also send feedback about the site via email to: eph at ephblog dot com

32 Responses to “Speak Up!

  1. (d)avid says:

    Okay, here is a really important issue.

    Having two small children, I am relatively experienced at buying toddler clothing. I KNOW the difference between 2T, 3T, and 4T is most normal brands. 4T should be too big for both my boys, 3T should fit comfortably, and 2T should be tight like a sausage casing.

    I have purchased 3 items of Williams clothing in the recent past. All three of them are nearly two sizes too small. The 4T sweatshirt has never been washed and fits like a 2T. The cute 4T rugby shirt (after a few washes) looks like Britney Spears cropped it to bare the mid-riff. Oliver’s belly is cute, but this is not the look I was seeking.

    I bought the clothing hoping to get two or three years of wear, but Goff’s Sports had other plans.


  2. Dick Swart says:

    There is something very sad going on in the two posts in re: John Drew.

    To me it is the repetitions by both Dr Drew and those confronting him. The answers are expected on both sides. It is though we are witnessing bear-baiting or that form of 17th century amusement, paying a penny to see the antics of the inmates at Bedlam when teased.

  3. David says:

    On Goffs: I have found the quality of their products over the years to be so lousy that I try to never buy from there.

  4. (d)avid says:

    @Swart: I agree.

    @David: So where do you buy your Williams gear?

  5. Jr. Mom says:

    @Dick Swart:

    And I agree. Enough, already.

  6. JG says:

    @(d)avid: I don’t trust the labeled sizing on any children’s clothing, because it is all different. I go by holding things up to the kids I’m buying for (or similarly aged kids in the vicinity).

    The stuff I’ve bought from Goff’s has always been fine – my favorite shirt purchased in 2000 (gray, classic “Williams” in the vein of the Belushi “College” shirt from Animal House) is still worn to sleep, although the gray is now 90% see-through and there are holes.

    Where else would one by Williams gear? I’m curious….

  7. dcatsam says:

    Hey, our institution is being accused of racism. That matters to some of us. If it does not matter to you, by all means ignore it. But as someone who’s done a little work on Civil Rights, when the issue is race, I’m sometimes going to exercise my prerogative for weighing in. And as an academic, when the issue is about things like hiring and firing and when a clearly unqualified person hides behind accusations of racism and of victimization by Marxist Socialism, I’m going to say my peace. I’m sorry if that strikes the superior crowd as “sad.” Devote your life to looking at issues like race, or commit yourself to a career in academics, and maybe you’d realize that those of us who do so don’t need your sorrow.


  8. Jr. Mom says:


    The sizing of baby clothes can be SO inconsistent. And, as you well know, babies don’t all come in the same size to begin with. I mean, mine debuted at over 9 lbs, so I had to adjust sizing from the beginning. Like JG said, you kind of have to eyeball them. And, if that doesn’t always work, buying big, so they can grow into it, is a good option. Which, they do all too quickly.

    Have you checked out the fantastic baby stuff over at Idiots’ Books? They are a couple of clever Ephs up to all kinds of lovely nonsense, and their baby onesies that say “I suck” are just one great example.

  9. dcatsam says:

    I shopped for my little Godson at Goff’s — same problem. He barely got to wear it despite me buying a size large.


  10. jeffz says:

    President Falk spoke to the D.C. alumni association last night. Great turnout including Senator Udall. I was definitely impressed. He is a great fit for Williams in my view. Unsurprisingly, he didn’t say anything terribly controversial or go into particularized details in terms of his specific plans for Williams. But he is very down to earth and approachable, has obviously thought deeply about the institution and what it stands for, and seems to “get” Williams. Hopefully that will translate into good results for the institution.

  11. (d)avid says:

    @Jr. Mom: Yes, I know of Idiots Books, and agree that their baby stuff is fun.

    Robbi now auctions off a piece of her work once a week. This week’s is here. You, too, can own original work by someone who lives in a barn.

  12. JeffZ says:

    Interesting news from Amherst:


  13. Sam says:

    To the Board,

    OK…another cheap shot against me. That’s fine. I’m a big boy. I can take it. But let’s look back over the last few weeks (or the last few years for that matter) and think about what Kane has been saying about Williams and the Williams faculty. We’re racists. We’re intolerant. We’re sleazy (indeed, any of you who know Bill Wagner will understand just how bizarre it is to use that adjective in connection to him). This list goes on and on and on, with depressing and debilitating regularity and continuity.

    I appreciate Swart’s efforts: putting up a frivolous post to push Kane’s latest screed down the page. I know Ronit has worked hard to make this forum something more constructive and positive and civil. And understand Ken’s efforts to moderate comments. But none of this works, ultimately. Because what stands out here is Kane’s self-indulgent assaults and insinuations on so much of what we do. We all know the pattern: unsubstantiated, baseless assertion (with many !!!!!) which elicits outraged response and critique, then the tactical retreat (“moving the goalposts”), and the snarky faux-innocence.

    But what lingers are the original attacks. We are racist, intolerant sleaze-balls. That’s about all that is ever accomplished by Kane. And it gets tiresome.

    For a long time I have understood my role here to intervene when the worst smears are brought against my colleagues or my students. I guess I am a fool to do so; it only feeds the troll that is Kane. But I think this is truly the end of the line.

    HWC said, before he left, that it was obvious that I despise Kane, and I should just shut up. It’s true. I do despise him. I don’t think I can honestly say that about any other person (well, there might be one). I tend to be an optimist and think the best of people. So my contempt has to be hard earned. Kane has earned it.

    So, I end with a request: I will completely disengage from this site, no longer comment in any manner (and even stop reading, if I can resist the “what did the jerk say today” impulse), if, in return you strike any reference to me in any post that Kane puts up. I just don’t want to be associated with his vile, hurtful, hateful rants any longer. How about it? Is it a deal?

    And it should be obvious to you that, whatever your good intentions or actions, you are facilitating an embarrassment to Williams.


    Sam Crane

  14. JeffZ says:

    Oh boy, I’m not sure I am ready for another meta discussion. I’ll just say that I hope that you don’t stop posting here Prof. Crane, although I understand why you are frustrated. I think that, in the aggregate, the existence of this blog is more credit to Williams than embarassment, but on some days, I’ll admit that ratio is reversed. Still, I’d like to think that, despite the occasional craziness here, the fact that we are the only college in the country (that I know of) with an extremely active blog that brings together faculty, parents, students, alumni, and other interested parties, says something very positive about the community-building aspects of Williams. While it is a shame that the blog can at times be an embarassment to the institution, overall, I still think it is a net positive.

    I would THINK that if you ask David to stop mentioning you by name in posts, he will, regardless of whether you stay or leave. I realize that’s not a sinecure, but it’s a start. Maybe if David would limit himself to one or two posts on a topic like this over a two week period, rather than a seven-part series, it would feel less like an unrelenting attack on the faculty. But it certainly is not good that you, among others, should feel constantly under siege. In all events, I do hope you’ll continue to participate.

  15. kthomas says:

    I’ve removed the main page article per what I take as Sam’s request, and would request that we defer the discussion for a few days– but not sweep it under the rug.

  16. Parent '12 says:


    This has nothing to do with your comment under Speak Up. Instead, it has to do with the New Yorker article on Eric Holder and the trial of KSM. I couldn’t recall the name of your post.

    Here’s a link to an interview with Jane Mayer.


  17. Sam says:

    Thank you, Ken.

  18. Parent '12 says:


    Well done.

  19. John C. Drew, Ph.D. says:

    This is sad. One of the blog articles piling up around me pulled together information regarding one of my old colleagues, Prof. Carlos Egan. Egan was teaching in the Williams political science department in 1986, as I recall, and I knew him when he was a professor at Occidental College in the 1970s. He was always very kind to me and knew both me and my old friends from Occidental College. I would be curious to know if young Barack Obama ever had a class from him.

    Here’s the full story:

    Carlos Egan

    Carlos Egan died before the real internet age so there is little information out there on him. Below is an article regarding his death:

    “Carleton professor believed to be among Honduran crash victims”
    Star Tribune: Newspaper of the Twin Cities – Tuesday, October 24, 1989
    Author: Suzanne P. Kelly; Staff Writer

    Carlos Egan , a 40-year-old political science professor at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., is believed to be among 131 people killed Saturday in the crash of an airliner in Honduras.

    Grow said Egan came to Carleton this fall as a one-year replacement for a faculty member who had taken a leave of absence. He was returning from a trip to Nicaragua to visit his fiancee when he was killed. Egan’s fiancee, Gloria Bacon, is the artistic director of the Modern Dance Company of Nicaragua.

    Egan had been scheduled to return to the United States on Oct. 16, but was bumped from several flights.

    Egan, an Argentinian, has been a consultant to the U.S. State Department, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Commission on U.S.-Latin Relations and the American Assembly Association of U.S. Attorneys General.

    Before joining Carleton’s faculty he taught at Williams College in Massachusetts and Occidental College in California, the University of California at San Diego and the University of California at Berkeley.

    Carleton officials said Egan is survived by his parents, who live in Wilmington, Del.

    See, full link at


  20. midprof says:

    Sam, I want to echo what JeffZ said: I think this blog is a great credit to Williams, on balance. If my own institution had anything remotely resembling it, I’d probably never be reading this one. It is a testament both to the quality of alumni, student, and faculty engagement, and to the standards of fair discussion, enforced by its community. And your contributions to it are among its most attractive features. I hope you don’t stop.

  21. John C. Drew, Ph.D. says:

    #13 – Sam

    Little known fact: I studied Tibetan Buddhism for two years while I was on the faculty at Williams.

    Ideally, Williams should be a place that welcomes tough discussions of justice, encourages freedom of expression and allows people to explore their spiritual experiences.

    It should be a place where people test their views against reality and human experience.

    Otherwise, the discussion moves on and the people pursuing justice and truth (and spiritual insight) simply work out their new ideas and new inventions at other more exciting venues…

    In the electronic age, the leading colleges and institutions have not yet been sorted out. We are no longer tied to a physical place like Cornell, for example, simply because it has great waterfalls. :) In some ways, this blog can be the place that Williams ought to be.

  22. wslack says:

    I saw Sam’s comment come up in my feed. There is a point at which such comments and content begin to work more harm than good. (Pulls out soapbox)

    I’m the student chair of the college’s overseeing educational policy committee, which is vetting the entire coursepacket for next year. I’m also the student chair of the Stetson-Sawyer committee, which recently met to discuss the new project. I’ve been on the Honor Committee for 3 years now, and I took an entire class from Morty on the economics and philosophical policies of higher ed, espeically seen at Williams. I’m gad to say that I’ve been able to have some good conversations with the trustees as well, both within the Honorary Degrees committee and outside of it. I’ve worked with the Dean of the Faculty’s Office, the Registrar’s Office, the Office of Financial Aid, the Dean’s Office, Security, the President’s Office, the Zilkha Center, the VP-Operations Office, and Dining Services. That involvement is based on the same premises that led me to post on Ephblog: participation and ideas are good; uncomfortable discussions can be helpful, and so on.

    I quit Ephblog because I thought the line I mentioned at first had been crossed. If Dave’s thoughts are even REMOTELY close to truth, don’t you think I would have disengaged from giving so much of my time to governance at Williams? I don’t do what I do for ego (and have never made a list like the above before); my most important work on the Honor Committee will never be known by anyone else here. On the whole, I’m glad that someone is independently looking at Williams in this way, but even the best points can be overwhelmed by nonsense.

    I do continue to read Ephblog when I can, but I will not endorse its content with any regular participation.

  23. PTC says:

    Looks like someone knows who he represents….

    It’s a small step, but it’s still a step,” Brown told reporters after casting a procedural vote in favor of the Democratic jobs bill, bucking his party leaders and the strategy of opposition they have carried out since President Obama took office.

    For Senate Democrats, it was much bigger step. Four Republicans followed Brown’s lead, giving the jobs legislation 62 votes, two more than needed to cut off a GOP filibuster.

    Perhaps not the ultra conservative shrew? More like the tempered moderate…

  24. bfleming says:

    Impressions of subjective motivations are less important than the actual effects of policies.

  25. John C. Drew, Ph.D. says:

    Dr. Drew will be on TRUNEWS at 1:00 p.m. EST today to discuss young HBO’s commitment to Marxism. http://www.trunews.com/listen_now.htm #tcot

  26. aparent says:

    Gramercy Bistro entering after Cafe Latino exited Mass MoCA:


  27. '11 says:

    Word on the street is that Hart’s Pharmacy on Spring Street is planning to stop operating as a pharmacy. The store will continue to sell a lot of the other stuff, beauty products and miscellaneous pharmacy goods other than drugs. That will leave students with only the Rite Aid in Colonial Plaza, the Stop & Shop pharmacy, and whatever they can get at the Health Center (which isn’t open as much as it used it be). I’m not sure what Hart’s thinks they can sell that students won’t buy online or at Stop & Shop, but the loss of the only pharmacy within walking distance of campus is big deal.

  28. Dick Swart says:

    Strange to remember, Hart’s also had a soda fountain in the ’50’s. For 15¢, a Boston Cooler as a root beer float was called, would fortify you in the afternoon after a lab and before the dinner gong was rung. In the local vernacular, you could also order a frappe. Turns out this is a milk shake.

  29. Jr. Mom says:

    @Dick Swart:

    This and what you have mentioned about other local establishments, make me think a fun post would be to describe Spring Street (or Williamstown, for that matter) as it was when you were there. Kind of a walking tour, circa 1950’s.

  30. jeffz says:

    Each of these warrants a post of its own, but I am posted out for a bit:



  31. 1d7r says:

    And when do we see him prosecuted???

  32. frank uible says:

    Perhaps the Eph who gained the most newsworthy accomplishment this holiday season is Dave Clawson. Look him up – if you have some time to waste.

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