Archive - May 2016

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Peace Corps Gap Year PCVs
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A Writer Writes: “Peace Corps Reflections” by Bob Criso (Nigeria)
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“The Nzeogwu I Knew” by Tim Carroll (Nigeria)
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The Peace Corps retires its Master’s International Graduate School program after nearly 30 years
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A Bookworm’s Dilemma

Peace Corps Gap Year PCVs

“The President and Mrs. Obama announced today that their daughter Malia will attend Harvard University in the fall of 2017 as a member of the Class of 2021,” the office of the first lady announced on Sunday. “Malia will take a gap year before beginning school.” Suddenly, the Gap Year is Hot! Those of us old enough to remember when there were No iphones  and  No Internet, will remember Peace Corps’ ATPs? No, an ATP wasn’t some sort of pain medication; it stood for Advance Training Programs and juniors in college applied early to the Peace Corps and spent the summer between their junior and senior high school year on a college campus somewhere in the States listening to boring lectures on their Country of Assignment before returning home for their senior year, and then off again the next summer to Peace Corps Training for real, often at the same . . .

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A Writer Writes: “Peace Corps Reflections” by Bob Criso (Nigeria)

In the Peace Corps Bob Criso (Nigeria 1966-67) was in southeastern Nigeria, the village of Ishiagu, and then in the Somalia 1966-67 in the village of Bulo Burte. After the Peace Corps he worked in mental health, and also at Princeton University as a psychotherapist for students and with a private office in Princeton. He retired seven years ago and currently lives in New York City where he reviews plays, take photos (four exhibits), and writes memoir articles.  • Peace Corps Reflections Bob Criso There I was, back in the sixties, teaching English at a rural school in eastern Nigeria, raising chickens in a coop behind my house and hustling to promote sales of the beautiful pottery in the village of Ishiagu. It seemed like a great gig — a house of my own, a humongous book locker filled with classic and contemporary gems, motivated students, friendly colleagues and, in . . .

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“The Nzeogwu I Knew” by Tim Carroll (Nigeria)

   Editor’s Note: In February 2015, Roger Landrum (01) 1961–63, in the email below, alerted the newsletter staff of what he believed to be an interesting story about a friendship that had developed in Nigeria in 1965 between Peace Corps Volunteer Tim Carroll and a young major in the Nigerian army. Jim. I recently read Achebe’s Biafra memoir, There Was a Country. It has a brief section on Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, one of the five military majors who led the coup that triggered the chain of events leading to the Biafran secession and the civil war. Achebe calls Nzeogwu “a mysterious figure.” Maybe not all that mysterious! There was a Nigeria PCV named Timothy Carroll posted in Kaduna who was friends with Nzeogwu. I’m trying to convince Carroll to write a piece for the FON newsletter called “The Nzeogwu I Knew.” I think Nigeria RPCVs would find this fascinating. It . . .

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The Peace Corps retires its Master’s International Graduate School program after nearly 30 years

Peace Corps Press Release WASHINGTON, D.C., April 28, 2016 – The Peace Corps will be retiring its Master’s International (MI) graduate school program after nearly three decades of fruitful partnerships with 96 graduate universities across the country. While students beginning an MI program by or before the fall of 2016 will still be able to apply to Peace Corps and serve as an MI student if selected, the Peace Corps will end its memoranda of agreement with MI university partners in September to focus resources on the agency’s Peace Corps Prep undergraduate program and Paul D. Coverdell Fellows graduate program. “We are incredibly grateful that this program laid the foundation for strong relationships with so many universities,” Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. “Although the Peace Corps has outgrown the goals of the Master’s International program, we’re looking forward to continuing our collaboration with our valued university partners knowing there are . . .

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A Bookworm’s Dilemma

  I never thought I’d be saying this but I have to admit it now – Kindle is a great invention.  A plethora of books in English are accessible with the tap of a finger to this eager reader living in a non-English-speaking country. Of course, I’d prefer the real thing — the book in my hands, my fingers turning the pages, underlining brilliant thoughts or beautifully expressed ideas. Then, when I finish the book, if I decide it’s a “keeper,” I’ll squeeze it onto a bulging bookshelf, or else pass it on to another eager English reader. Besides its accessibility, Kindle has the marvelous option that with another tap, the definition of an unwieldy word pops up. I’m reading more than ever: fiction and nonfiction, exploring authors new to me, recommended books, Pulitzer Prize winners, well-known authors I hadn’t read. I read not only for pleasure, but to learn more . . .

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