Germany and Austria – Wednesday, March 24, 2 p.m.; Nick Goodman.
Palestine – Wednesday, March 31, 1 p.m. – Shadia Kanaan.
Latvia – Wednesday, April 7, 11:30 a.m.; Svetlana Stone.
Rwanda and Tanzania – Thursday, April 8, 11:30 a.m.; Barbara Ciufa.
Ecuador – Monday, April 12, 2 p.m.; Jarek Marsh-Prelesnik.
Russia – Wednesday, April 14, noon; Theo Sypris, director of the KVCC program in international studies.
Haiti– Monday, April 19, 3:30 p.m.; KVCC biology instructor Jack Bley.
The West African nation of Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire) – Monday, April 26 at 1 p.m.; Julien Kouame.
Vietnam – Wednesday, April 28, 12:15 p.m.; Huan Le and Thuc Thi Tran.
Earlier in the semester, Turkey, China, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Argentina were “visited.”
Forums on internment, court decisions set for ‘Cedars’
Timed to coincide with a fall major exhibit on race booked for the Kalamazoo Valley Museum, one of the most acclaimed books about prejudice is the Kalamazoo Public Library’s 2010 Reading Together selection.
“Snow Falling on Cedars” by David Guterson was the winner of the 1995 PEN/-Faulkner Award for Fiction and the 1996 American Booksellers Association Book of the Year.
Scores of special events/programs are being held to promote discussion about the book and its themes.
“Cedars” is set against the backdrop of a courtroom drama in the Pacific Northwest when a Japanese-American man is charged with the murder of a local white fisherman. It is steeped in the World War II forced internment of these citizens, an interracial love story, and post-war politics.
Among the upcoming events are presentations by two university professors who were initially interned in the camps for Japanese Americans and later served in the U. S. military, a look at the U. S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the legality of interning U. S. citizens of Japanese heritage, and a presentation about how what happened to these citizens seven decades ago can steer this nation on the right path toward equality and diversity.
Here is the schedule of events:
“For the Sake of the Children” --Through April 14 in the Kalamazoo Central Library. This photography exhibit documents four generations of Japanese-American life on Bainbridge Island in Washington and inspired Guterson to write the book. Exhibit hours – Sundays, 1 to 5 p.m.; Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Fridays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“Go for Broke” – Through April 14 in the Kalamazoo Central Library. This photograph exhibit from the National Archives contains images of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. The largest Nisei unit during World War II, the 442nd is the most decorated combat unit of its size in the history of the U. S. Army. Its story has been told in several Hollywood movies. Exhibit hours – Sundays, 1 to 5 p.m.; Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Fridays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Toward Wholeness and Community– Sundays through March 28 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 212 S Park St. Throughout history, great literature has contributed to change in society. What can the themes of “Snow Falling on Cedars” teach about living peacefully in a community?
Book Discussion – Friday (March 19) at 6:30 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Library in central Van Buren County.
Understanding Diverse Cultures – Sunday (March 21) at 2 p.m. in the Portage District Library. “Snow Falling on Cedars” isn’t alone. In round-table discussions, area book groups will talk about additional titles that continue to spark spirited conversations about multiculturalism, ethnicity, and diversity. Attendees may visit each table to hear book groups’ suggestions. This is co-sponsored by the Southwest Michigan Black Heritage Society.
Origami – Monday (March 22) at 7 p.m.at the Kalamazoo Public Library. This is a family-friendly, hands-on program that will teach the basics of the Japanese art of folding paper into beautiful creations. It is already full.
Book Discussion – Tuesday (March 23) at 7 p.m. in the Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1515 Helen in Portage.
Kendo: The Way of the Sword – Tuesday (March 23) at 7 p.m. in the Kalamazoo Public Library. The Battle Creek Kendo Club will demonstrate the moves of this martial art that was mentioned in the book. It is suitable for families.
Book Discussion – Wednesday (March 24) at noon in the Bernhard Center’s WMU Faculty Dining Room on the Western Michigan University campus.
Imprisoned at Home: Internment Stories – Thursday (March 25) at 7 p.m.in the Kalamazoo Public Library. Two retired Michigan State University faculty members, anthropologist Iwao Ishino and professor of art Sadayoshi Omoto will share their experiences about being housed in an internment camp and in serving in military intelligence during World War II. In 1942, the U/ S. government ordered more than 110,000 men, women, and children to leave their homes and incarcerated them in remote, military-style camps. On March 24, the Army issued its first Civilian Exclusion Order for Bainbridge Island—the real-life model for San Piedro Island in “Snow Falling on Cedars” Forty-five families had just one week to prepare for forced relocation to a War Relocation Authority (WRA) camp. Shortly after Pearl Harbor, Japanese-American men were categorized 4C (non-draftable enemy alien). But in 1943, the government reversed its decision on Japanese Americans serving in the armed forces. The Army then recruited volunteers from the camps. Takashi Yoshida, Western Michigan University professor of history, will moderate the discussion.
Chanoyu: The Way of Tea –Saturday, March 27, at 2 p.m. in the Kalamazoo Public Library. This Japanese ceremony will illustrate the preparation and presenting of tea. It will be complemented by a showing of Japanese kimonos.
Korematsu v. U. S. – The Constitution’s Darkest Hour – Wednesday March 31, at 7 p.m. in the Kalamazoo Public Library. The American Civil Liberties Union’s Southwest Michigan Branch presents Mark S. Hurwitz, associate professor of political science at Western Michigan University to discuss the internment of Japanese-American citizens during World War II, the landmark decision of the U. S. Supreme Court upholding that internment, and Fred Korematsu’s courage and ultimate vindication, culminating with his award of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
How the Past Can Help Us Live in the Now –Thursday, April 15, at 6:30 p.m. in the First Baptist Church, 315 W. Michigan Ave. What can history teach about solving today’s conflicts? Presenting his thoughts will be Frank Kitamoto, president of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community BIJAC). Bainbridge Island’s Japanese American residents, many of them U.S. citizens, were the first to be incarcerated in War Relocation Camps by the federal government. Kitamoto was a toddler when his family was sent to internment camps...Kitamoto suggests that “lessons from the past help us not just to survive, but to come alive in a multi-cultural community...diversity, equality and humanism are the true strengths that make the United States of America so special and admired in the eyes of the world.” Following Kitamoto’s presentation will be a performance of Japanese-style drumming by Kalamazoo College’s Taiko Drumming Troupe. This Reading Together wrap-up event is co-sponsored by the WMU Race Exhibit Initiative.
KVCC’s Jim Ratliff is a member of the 24-member, communitywide committee that makes the choice of a Reading Together volume.
This year’s book selection was driven in part by a request from the Race Exhibit Initiative of Southwest Michigan, which asked the library to choose a book that could help foster discussions about race in advance of an October 2010 unveiling of the traveling exhibition “Race: Are We so Different?”
The exhibition features photographs, movies and interactive displays — all of which explore the history of race in America, the biology of race and experiences of living with race. It will be on display at the museum from Oct. 2 to Jan. 2, 2011.
“What I like about the book is that many people, when they talk about race, focus on black and white issues,” Zarinah El-Amin Naeem, coordinator of the Race Exhibit Initiative that is housed in Western Michigan University’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, told The Kalamazoo Gazette. “Because this book brings in a segment of Asian-Americans, it helps to broaden the discussions by moving it outside of the discussions of black and white.”
Naeem said Kalamazoo will be the smallest community to host the exhibition, and organizers hope that it can “be a catalyst for social transformation in Kalamazoo and southwestern Michigan as a whole rather than an exhibit that just comes and goes.”
Previous “Reading Together” titles were: “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury in 2003; “Nickel and Dimed” by Barbara Ehrenreich in 2004; “The Color of Water” by James McBride in 2005; “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien in 2006; “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” by Mark Haddon in 2007: “Animal Dreams” by Barbara Kingsolver in 2008; and New York Times columnist Rick Bragg’s trio of memoirs this year.
Reading Together invites people of all ages from all walks of life to read and then discuss important issues raised by a selected book. Thousands of county residents have participated in seven previous Reading Together programs.
The Kalamazoo Public Library leads Reading Together with the collaboration of libraries, educational institutions, health and social service agencies, cultural, civic and religious organizations, businesses, the news media, and local governments throughout Kalamazoo County.
The Kalamazoo Community Foundation helped the library launch Reading Together with funding for the first three years with grants from it Better Together initiative. The library now provides major support for the program. Foundation grants, gifts and contributions from collaborating organizations make it possible to offer Reading Together to all of Kalamazoo County. The Fetzer Institute has stepped forward to help support this year’s edition.
Fret concert is ‘Friday Night Highlight,’ ‘Star Trek’ is next
The opening-night concert of the three-day Kalamazoo Fretboard Festival is the March 19 “Friday Night Highlight” at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum.
The trio Four Finger Five will kick off the festival on Friday (March 19) with a pair of concerts at 6:30 and 8 p.m. in the museum. It and all of the festival events are free.
The March 26 attraction is “Star Trek Generations,” the seventh full-length movie in the anthology that uses space-age scenarios to focus on life-on-earth woes and issues.
Tickets to that 7:30 p.m. showing in the Mary Jane Stryker Theater are $3.
Also part of the "Friday Night Highlights" agenda is an 8:30 p.m. showing of the planetarium show featuring the music of U2. That has a $3 admission fee.
With a laser-light show in full color streaming across the planetarium's 50-foot dome, the 35-minute production will feature the classic hits of the Dublin, Ireland, combo that has earned 22 Grammys, sold 146 million albums, and warranted induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in its first year of eligibility.
The U2 show will continue at the planetarium through March when it will be replaced by a similar presentation featuring the music of Pink Floyd.
The 1994 production features just about all of the “Star Trek” favorites with the exception of Spock, “Bones,” Uhura and Sulu. William Shatner, Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent “Data” Spiner, LeVar Burton, Michael “Worf” Dorn, James “Scotty” Doohan, Walter “Chekov” Koenig, and Whoopi Goldberg headline the cast.
In the late 23rd century, the gala maiden voyage of the third Starship Enterprise carries many of the crew of the first, most of them now retired from Starfleet service. But the junket turns to disaster as the unprepared and not-completely-finished ship is forced to rescue two transports from a mysterious energy ribbon. The Enterprise manages to save a handful of the ships' passengers and barely makes it out intact, but at the cost of Captain Kirk's life as the legendary leader is swept out into space.
Seventy-eight years later, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Enterprise-D find themselves at odds with the renegade scientist Soren, who is destroying entire star systems. Only one man can help Picard stop Soren's scheme, and he's been dead for 78 years.
As the plot develops and the evil Soren continues on his path of destruction, Picard ends up in the “mysterious energy ribbon” where – “Surprise, surprise” as Gomer Pyle used to say – he finds the time-warped Captain Kirk alive and well.
Picard approaches Kirk as one Starfleet officer to another, and convinces him to return to Picard's present to help stop Soren. Though initially apathetic and distracted by the flood of memories, Kirk eventually agrees. Together, they are able to distract Soren long enough to lock a missile in place, causing it to explode on the launch pad, killing Soren.
However, Kirk is mortally wounded from the encounter, and as he dies, Picard assures him that Kirk helped to make a difference. Picard buries Kirk before traveling to the wreckage of the saucer section and reuniting with his crew as they are evacuated from the planet.
Here is the “Friday Night Highlights” schedule of movies, concerts by local combos, and special events through the first third of 2010:
April 2: “Terminator.”
April 9: Embarr in a concert of Celtic music
April 16: The pop/rock music of We Know Jackson.
April 23: Performer Rob Vischer and his California style
April 30: Concert by Waverland (topic/acoustic/alternative).
May 7: The 1979 movie “Battlestar Galactica
May 14: The rock and blues music of Branden Mann and the Reprimand
May 21: The 1984 comedy “Ghostbusters.”
May 28: The improv comedy of Just Panda.
Invite students to take part in ‘Strengths Week’
With winter semester moving on at break-neck speed, KVCC instructors should be alerting their enrollees about the Student Success Center events that are designed to energize academic accomplishments and expand educational horizons.
March 22-26 is designated as “Strengths Week” during which students can identify their individual talents and strengths, develop them, and learn how to use them as they strive toward their educational and training goals.
“Strengths Week is both a celebration of the concept and an opportunity to spread the word to others about the StrengthsQuest and the Student Strengths Development Office,” said the unit’s director Ken Barr Jr.
To assist in the venture, KVCC staff members are urged to display their “Top 5 Strengths” and wear apparel related to them.
Instructors are requested to quiz their students as to whether they know their strengths and to invite students to visit tables in the cafeteria and in the hallway by the Office of Admissions, Records and Registration during the week.
That’s where the students can schedule an appointment to take StrengthsQuest and gain insights in their inner talents.
“Lunch ‘n’ Learn” discussions will be scheduled throughout the week. Participants will learn how fellow students are using their strengths to succeed.
Featuring free lunches for participants and giveaways, these dialogues will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Student Commons Forum.
Here is the schedule and lunch offerings:
Monday (March 22) – the strength of “responsibility – sliders
Tuesday (March 23) – “woo” – pizza
Wednesday (March 24) – “competition” – tacos
Thursday (March 250 – “achiever” – sub sandwiches
Also scheduled is a workshop designed to take students through a step-by-step process in applying for admission into a four-year institution and how-to techniques involving scholarships.
That session is set for Tuesday (March 23) at 5 p.m. in the Student Commons Forum.
As part of Women in History Month, the blockbuster movie of its time – “Cleopatra” starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton – will be shown on
Tuesday (March 23) at 2 p.m. in the Student Commons Forum
Other “Women in History” presentations are slated for Wednesday (March 24) at 12:30 p.m. in the Student Commons and for Monday, March 29.
On the April calendar are workshops on making a good first impression and on strategies to use in a job search. The annual Student Art Show is slated for April 5-16.
Career roundtables under way at Texas Township Campus
KVCC students are invited to a month-long series of “Career Roundtables” being organized by the Student Success Center’s Career and Employment unit.
Career adviser Joyce Tamer is leading the discussions that are continuing on each Tuesday throughout March from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the Student Commons Forum.
Instructors are urged to inform their students about these sessions that will cover topics related to exploring careers of interest and mapping a path toward such a career.
“The purpose is to have an informal setting with minimal structure to allow the students to explore career issues that are of concern to them,” Tamer said.
In addition to conversations about a variety of careers, the participants will also learn about of value of networking and keys to finding and keeping a job.
Sampling life in 15 nations is fair’s mission
KVCC students and the public will be able to get a passport full of information about 15 countries, their people, cultures and food without leaving the community.
On Wednesday, March 31, from 2 to 4 p.m., an International Fair will be hosted in the Texas Township Campus cafeteria by the Student Success Center.
With the participation of the college’s program in international studies, the event will illustrate what life is like in these nations:
Kenya, the Dominican Republic, Zimbabwe, Colombia, Egypt, Nepal, Lebanon, Uganda, Brazil, Ecuador, Ukraine, India, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Indonesia.
Part of the attraction will be performances of ethnic music and dance that originate in some of the featured nations. Booths will also help showcase these countries, their traditions, historical landmarks and art.
A demonstration of aerobic dance known as zumba is set for 2 p.m. African drumming and dancing takes the stage at 3:15 and Brazilian martial arts is the billing at 3:40 p.m.
For more information, contact LaJoyce Brooks, the advocate coordinator for the Student Success Center, at extension 4685 or email@example.com.
The story of the Kalamazoo Ladies Library Association
The Sunday Series spotlight will be on “The Ladies Library Association” on March 28 in the next installment of the Kalamazoo Valley Museum’s focus on the history of the Kalamazoo area.
A flashback to this aspect of community history begins at 1:30 p.m. in the Mary Jane Stryker Theater. All presentations are free.
While the elegant home of the Kalamazoo Ladies Library Association on Park Street is a National Historic Site, the building itself is symbolic of a cultural movement led by women, to promote literacy and intellectual life in 19th-century Michigan.
The presenter will be Sharon Carlson, director of the Western Michigan University Archives and Regional History Collections.
During the 19th century, subscription libraries provided many communities with circulating book-distribution services.
Michigan’s ladies library associations existed as one variation of this form of library.
White middle-class women participated in library associations as a moderate reform and exercised deliberate choices about the evolutionary path of these organizations.
More than 100 of these organizations existed in Michigan. Kalamazoo’s Lucinda Hinsdale Stone, the acknowledged "mother of clubs," directly assisted in the formation of many of these libraries that existed in other states but in lesser numbers.
Ladies library associations brought women into the public arena as they organized, raised funds, constructed buildings, and ultimately contributed to the formation of public libraries.
Carlson will focus on the evolution of the Kalamazoo Ladies Library Association and briefly touch on some of the other associations in southwestern Michigan.
Here are the “Sunday Series” programs through spring:
“Play Ball! – Baseball in Kalamazoo” – April 11
“Kalamazoo’s Musical Heritage” – April 25.
For further information, contact Tom Dietz at 373-7984.
New duties in Financial Services
Two personnel shifts are now in place in the college’s Office of Financial Services.
Meily Lightcap has taken on the duties of the financial-services manager that will include special-funded programs.
KVCC’ers in the news
Nursing instructor Helen Palleschi has been appointed one of the Kalamazoo Russian Festival’s co-directors.
Since 2002, she has been serving as secretary of the Kalamazoo-Pushkin Partnership’s annual salute to that nation’s cultural history. She will retain her secretarial duties.
The 14th Russian Festival was held last November at Western Michigan University. Palleschi has been involved in the event since the partnership since it was formed in 1992. The other co-director is Michael Stoline, a professor of statistics at WMU.
Pushkin is Kalamazoo’s sister city in Russia. The 15th festival is scheduled for Nov. 13.
And speaking of that particular sector of the health-care industry, the KVCC Student Nursing Association has been nominated to receive a STAR Award for its service to the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission.
STAR stands for Sharing Time And Resources. The annual awards ceremony is set for April 22. The STAR venture is co-sponsored by the Volunteer Center of Greater Kalamazoo and The Kalamazoo Gazette.
Byron Foster, who serves as an advocate in the Student Success Center, was profiled in the Sunday, March 14, Business Section in The Gazette.
Foster’s working career includes assignments for such major enterprises as The Kellogg Co., Target, United Technologies, Motorola and Merck.
Born in New York City, Foster served in the Air Force during the Korean War. He attended Howard University and earned a degree in business management from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Commenting on his current duties, Foster told The Gazette:
“KVCC is meeting the challenges that are facing the economies of both Michigan and the nation. It is doing so by providing an affordable means for quality education to a broad cross-section of students. Students ranging from recent high school graduates to individuals with extensive years of work experience are requiring preparation for available new careers.
“The Student Success Center has the team and resources capable of helping students through meaningful support systems to navigate through the college experience. The surprise is that there are several students who do not take full advantage of the multiple services available to them.”