Archive - October 10, 2010

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50 Years after Kennedy proposed the Peace Corps — article in Chicago Tribune
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More On The U-Michigan Peace Corps Week
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How To Write A How-To Novel

50 Years after Kennedy proposed the Peace Corps — article in Chicago Tribune

[This article appeared today, 10-10-2010, in the Chicago Tribune. It was written by John Keilman, a Tribune reporter. As of today I am not seeing signs that the agency understands that the 50th is a great recruitment opportunity. The Peace Corps, of course, is allowed to spend money to recruit, but my guess is that they are afraid of the IG’s office, and the Peace Corps lawyers — a bunch of hanger-ons from the Bush years — who will slap their hands for using the lives and experiences of RPCVs to ‘sell’ the idea that the Peace Corps was worthy once, and is still worthy today. Of course these lawyers, and others key people in the Peace Corps administration, never were PCVs, and they do not have a feel for the organization. They just want jobs! I’m sure they are also afraid to volunteer and live the life of a PCV.) Articles such as this one will . . .

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More On The U-Michigan Peace Corps Week

At the Ann Arbor City Council meeting on October  4, 2010, the council agreed to close – State Street, from South University to East William – in connection with the 50th anniversary celebration of the founding of the Peace Corps. There will be two events on October 14, 2010, one of them in the early morning, to mark the exact anniversary of the 2 a.m. speech by John F. Kennedy from the steps of the Michigan Union. The later event, at 11 a.m. will include as guest speakers  Sen. Harris Wofford, Jack Hood Vaughn, Aaron Williams, Julia Darlow, Mary Sue Coleman and Jennifer Granholm. The council voted unanimously to approve the street closing.

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How To Write A How-To Novel

Reading a review of Philip Roth’s Nemesis by J.M. Coetzee in the October 28, 2010, The New York Review of Books, I came across a paragraph, and a piece of good advice, that we can benefit from as writers. Coetzee is writing about Roth’s way of providing “how-to’s” in his novels. “Among the subsidiary pleasures Roth provides,” Coetzee writes, “are the expert little how-to essays embedded in the novels: how to make a good glove, how to dress a butcher’s display window.” In his novel, Everyman, for example, Roth has a “modest but beautifully composed little ten-page episode of how to dig a grave.” In other words, the reader comes away from a book by Roth not only being impressed by the story, his language, but also with new knowledge. It is perhaps an old prose trick, but it works. Give the reader something new to chew on. Telling a story, . . .

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