March 2, 2006 • Volume 14 Number 12
Spotlight on hunger
The show wasn't over when the metaphorical curtain came down Sunday afternoon at Robsham Theater's Bonn Studio for the production of "We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay!," Dario Fo's sociopolitical farce built around a theft of groceries by a group of poor women.
Following the performance, Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculties Cutberto Garza, MD, joined Ellen Parker, director of Project Bread - a Massachusetts-based organization that sponsors The Walk for Hunger and other similar activities - for a discussion on hunger in America, with Assoc. Prof. Scott Cummings (Theater) serving as moderator.
The panel was organized by the play's director, Assoc. Prof. John Houchin (Theater), who got the idea after hearing a National Public Radio series on hunger that aired around Thanksgiving.
"It was very moving and reiterated to me the problem that this country has with taking care of its own citizens," he said. The prospect of cutbacks in US social programs inspired Houchin "to explore this condition further."
Working through the University's PULSE Program, Houchin learned that Project Bread "knows more about issues of hunger than any other in Massachusetts. I also knew that Bert Garza is a nutritionist with vast experience in the area of hunger. Thus, it seemed like a doable and valuable project. I made the calls and everyone was very excited and cooperative."
Garza said, "Fo's play effectively dramatizes the multiple dimensions and manifestations of hunger and relates hunger effectively to social justice concerns. It is an effective vehicle for initiating the deeper, complex issues of why hunger exists in the midst of affluence and in a world that produces sufficient food to feed everyone. It enables discussions on the role that developed countries play in creating situations that lead to hunger in the developing world and its immediate and long-term consequences to development and political stability."
Pictures=story When Leslie Douglas, office administrator for the Office of Marketing and Communications, took part in a Boston College service trip to aid Katrina relief efforts in Biloxi, Miss., she found more than enough to meet the eye - her camera's eye, that is.
Douglas, who was accompanied by her 15-year-old son Alex, captured the devastation in the Biloxi area in a series of photos she has made available on-line at www.flickr.com/photos/73541052@N00/. The images offer a bleak testimony to the desolation that remains months after the hurricane: a mailbox standing in front of scattered lumber that once formed a house; a portion of a roof that broke off and came to rest on top of a car; jumbled remains of a bridge resting in a river. The absence of any people in the photos contributes to their overall stark nature.
But Douglas, like many other volunteer workers who have visited the area, was impressed by the determination and resolve of the area's residents. "The unique spirit of Biloxi is evident in every resident you meet," she wrote in a recently penned commentary on her experience. "They are deeply grateful to be alive and inspirational in their resilience and determination to rebuild their lives. They are a people of great warmth, great faith, great spirit and great hope.
"Their lives are changed forever. Please do not forget them - Alex and I never will."
An ice tale
It's been a heady last few weeks for the Boston College women's hockey team.
Third-year coach Tom Mutch and his team celebrated Valentine's Day by capturing BC's first-ever Women's Beanpot Championship, beating cross-river rival Harvard 2-0 in the finals to take home the coveted prize.
The Eagles also were cheering on Assistant Coach Katie King, who won a bronze medal with the US Women's Hockey Team at the Torino Winter Olympics. King, competing in her third Olympics, scored a hat trick in the 4-0 US victory over Finland to clinch the medal.
Along with its first Beanpot title, the women's team earned its first national ranking this winter, most recently roosting in the No. 9 slot in the USA Today/USA Hockey weekly poll. Not a bad turnaround for a team that was 6-22-3 just two seasons ago.
"It's been a total 180 since my freshman year," said senior goaltender Alison Quandt of Wayland, who was named the top Beanpot goalie after blanking the favored Crimson in the championship game. "It was a really special moment to finally have that Beanpot in our hands."
The Eagles, who finished the regular season schedule with a school-best 19-10-4 record and second place in the Hockey East standings, take on No. 3 seed Providence in the first round of the league championship tournament to be played at Northeastern's Matthews Arena at 3 p.m. on Saturday. The title game is Sunday at 1 p.m.
"We're going pretty good right now," said Mutch. "Our older kids have really come along and I think that everybody is a little bit confident in what they can do on the rink.
"I think we are really starting to jell. It's what we need to keep this bus rolling forward."
Another US Olympian with Boston College ties, snowboarder Tyler Jewell '99, took the opportunity to pay tribute to a special classmate during his event.
Competing in the parallel grand slalom, Jewell wore a red bandanna in honor of Welles Crowther '99, who died in the Sept. 11 New York City terrorist attack after leading dozens of fellow employees to safety. Crowther's signature red bandana, which he always carried in his pocket and used to cover his face while helping his co-workers on 9/11, has become an enduring symbol of his heroism.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Jewell - who survived the first two qualifying rounds of the slalom but was eliminated from the quarterfinals by less than a second - said he had called Crowther's father and asked his permission to wear the red bandanna in honor of his former lacrosse teammate.
Jewell also told AP he had thought about joining the military when Crowther died.
"It really upset me and it's like I want to do something about it," Jewell said. "In hindsight...what a cool way to do it. Instead of fighting with guns I can do it through sport."
A Sports Illustrated profile of Jewell is available on-line at sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/olympics/2006/writers/02/22/jewell/index.html.