Archive - 2019

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Screening schedules for Peace Corps Documentaries
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Peace Corps Writers imprint publishes WOVEN by Nancy Heil Knor (Belize)
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The Writer Who Named the “Peace Corps”
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Peace Corps Placement Test
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Review — TWO YEARS BEHIND THE PLOW by Jonathan Stewart (Nepal)
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Mark Gearan interviews Jody Olsen at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum
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Our Most Famous & Infamous RPCV: Marjorie Michalmore (Nigeria)
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“Rent Check” by Mark Jacobs (Paraguay)
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“Breaking the Rules: When to Ignore Good Advice“ by Lenore Myka (Romania)
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A TOWERING TASK will be screened at Yale University, November 9

Screening schedules for Peace Corps Documentaries

Peace Corps has hit the Big Screen!  Thanks to the efforts of talented, persistent and dedicated RPCVs, the Peace Corps story is now being told in film. RPCV Alana deJoseph, (Mali 92-94) and RPCV Allen Mondell(Sierra Leone 63-65) are the producers.  Here is the current schedule, first, for screenings of RPCV Alana deJoseph’s A Towering Task and then the  PBS presentation of RPCVAllen Mondell’s Waging Peace. It is also important to recognize Academy Award Dominated RPCV Alan Toth Documentary, Posh Corps and his website continues to show important videos. http://www.poshcorps.com/film   Here are the schedules for A Towering Task and a PBS presentation of Waging Peace __________________________________________________________ A Towering Task Link: https://www.peacecorpsdocumentary.com/screenings-event Denver Film Festival Sunday, November 10, 2019 11:15 AM 1:15 PM VIEW EVENT → 0 Likes Share NOV 18 7:00 PM Gannon University Screening Monday, November 18, 2019 7:00 PM 9:00 PM VIEW EVENT → 0 Likes Share NOV 19 . . .

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Peace Corps Writers imprint publishes WOVEN by Nancy Heil Knor (Belize)

    About WOVEN: A Peace Corps Adventure Spun with Faith, Laughter, and Love by Nancy Heil Knor (Belize 1989-1991) • The idea for Woven started back in 1989 when I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the K’ekchi Mayan village of San Pedro Columbia in Belize, Central America. As a new teacher-volunteer, I noticed the distinct absence of books in the village. The few picture books that I had brought with me were read and reread by men, women, and children until their bindings cracked; in the schools, classes were taught in English, but had no books for the students to read; and there was always a waiting list of men wanting to borrow my Peace Corps issued Newsweek Magazine.   Within a few months, my Peace Corps project became clear: I would work alongside the villagers to create the first-ever San Pedro Columbia Library! The San Pedro Library . . .

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The Writer Who Named the “Peace Corps”

THOSE OF US WHO follow the history of the Peace Corps agency know the term “peace corps” came to public attention during the 1960 presidential election. In JFK’s last major speeches before the November election at the Cow Palace in Daly City, California he called for the creation of a “Peace Corps” to send volunteers to work at the grass roots level in the developing world. However, the question remains: who said (and wrote) “peace corps” for the very first time? Was it Kennedy? Was it his famous speech writer Ted Sorensen? Or Sarge himself? But — as in most situations — the famous term came about because of some young kid, usually a writer, working quietly away in a back office that dreams up the language. In this case the kid was a graduate student between degrees who was working for the late senator Hubert Horatio Humphrey. Today, fifty-eight plus . . .

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Peace Corps Placement Test

In the early days of the Peace Corps there was a Placement Test given to all applicants. Actually it was two tests. A 30-minute General Aptitude Test and a 30-minute Modern Language Aptitude Test. The areas of testing were in Verbal Aptitude, Agriculture, English, Health Sciences, Mechanical Skills, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, World History, Literature, United States History and Institutions, and Modern Language Aptitude. One-hour achievement tests in French and Spanish were also offered during the second hour. The instruction pamphlet that accompanied the tests said that the results would be used “to help find the most appropriate assignment for each applicant.” For those who missed the opportunity to take the tests, which were given — as best I can remember — from 1961 until around 1967, I am including a few of the questions. Lets see if you could still get into the Peace Corps back then. Verbal Aptitude . . .

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Review — TWO YEARS BEHIND THE PLOW by Jonathan Stewart (Nepal)

Two Years Behind the Plow: Bringing the Green Revolution to Nepal by Jonathan Stewart (Nepal 1969-72) Self-Published 254 pages October 2019 $20.00 (paperback) order from the author at: 20116 Cumulus Land, Bend OR 97702   Reviewed by John Comings (Nepal 1969-72) • In August of 1969, Peace Corps Nepal’s Group 19 landed in Kathmandu. Fifty years later, one of the group’s agriculture volunteers, Jon Stewart, finished writing a memoir of his time as a PCV. I was a member of Nepal 19, and Jon’s book is an honest portrait of a Nepal PCVs experience at that time. Being a PCV in Nepal 19 meant not seeing or talking with your family or friends for two years, communicating by writing letters and waiting a month for a response, and sometimes going for months without seeing another American.  It also meant being sick all the time, often lonely, and occasionally malnourished. Why then, . . .

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Mark Gearan interviews Jody Olsen at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Susan Zawalich —    Mark D. Gearan (left), Jody Olsen (center), and Barbara Stewart (right) discuss the importance of young people having the opportunity to pursue public service, seen here at the Institute of Politics.  Photo: Sung Kwang Oh By Christina T. Pham and Ethan Lee Harvard Crimson   Director of the Peace Corps Jody Olsen and Barbara Stewart, chief executive officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service said at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum on Friday that increasing Americans’ awareness of service opportunities is critical to expanding public service. Moderated by Mark D. Gearan ’78, a former director of the Peace Corps and the current director of the Institute of Politics, Stewart and Olsen each spoke about how they began their journey in service. Stewart credited her mother for instilling in her the inspiration to volunteer. Olsen’s journey began later in her life, . . .

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Our Most Famous & Infamous RPCV: Marjorie Michalmore (Nigeria)

In Alana DeJoseph (Mali 1992–94) wonderful new documentary on the Peace Corps–A Towering Task — there is a segment on Marjorie Michelmore “postcard incident” in Nigeria. For those RPCVs who don’t know about the ‘postcard’, here is some background information that I have published over the years. Note: JC     Marjorie Michelmore was a twenty-three-year-old magna cum laude graduate of Smith College when she became one of the first people to apply in 1961 to the new Peace Corps.. She was an attractive, funny, and smart woman who was selected to go to Nigeria. After seven weeks of training at Harvard, her group flew to Nigeria. There she was to complete the second phase of teacher training at University College at Ibadan, fifty miles north of the capital of Lagos. By all accounts, she was an outstanding Trainee. Then on the evening of October 13, 1961, she wrote a postcard to a . . .

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“Rent Check” by Mark Jacobs (Paraguay)

  Rent Check by Mark Jacobs (Paraguay 1978-80) evergreen magazine • The question was did Janelle fuck Old Ray Taylor so they got the house. Grace drew a quick picture mental picture of herself, the sticks and circles of her that moment. On her knees next to the bathtub, kneecaps aching where they touched the tile floor. Washing Meadow’s hair because something was wrong with her granddaughter, Meadow always forgot where she was so forgot what came next, for example rinse the soap out. On the toilet seat, Grace’s pocketbook. In the pocketbook, a pack of L&M. Against Grace’s better judgment it was December, but so far she was keeping November’s promise not to smoke inside. She was asking herself did her daughter fuck the owner of the house Grace was living but now not smoking in. And how come it mattered so goddamn much. Ha! If she could answer . . .

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“Breaking the Rules: When to Ignore Good Advice“ by Lenore Myka (Romania)

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Marnie Mueller (Ecuador 1963-65)     Breaking the Rules: When to Ignore Good Advice by Lenore Myka (Romania 1994-96) THE LITERARY LIFE Poets &Writers September/October 2018 • I waved the white flag, surrendering. The novel I had developed a relationship with—had spent time and resources and emotional energy on—had built a fortress around itself, locking me out. It did not want me. But more to the point, I did not want it. We were through. As in any dysfunctional relationship, it had taken me a long time to get to this point. Six years, to be exact. Four different drafts, a total of more than a thousand pages, which did not include the dozens of index cards, the journals and notebooks filled with ideas and research and mind-maps; the hundreds of dollars spent on out-of-print books and DVDs and even a poster featuring a . . .

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A TOWERING TASK will be screened at Yale University, November 9

    A Towering Task is the  documentary of the history of the Peace Corps. Sargent Shriver was the architect of the iconic organization.  On November 9th, the 104th Anniversary of Shriver’s birthday, Yale University, Shriver’s Alma Mater, will screen “A Towering Task”. Yale University Screening When: Saturday, November 9, 2019 3:30 PM – 6:00 PM Where:Edward P. Evans Hall – School of Management Zhang Auditorium, 165 Whitney Avenue, New Haven, CT 06511 Description: A screening of the film that tells the story of Peace Corps – A Towering Task! Directed by Alana DeJoseph with Associate Producer Dave Steinke, the film is narrated by Annette Bening. Founded during the Cold War, the Peace Corps stands as an icon of American idealism. From the beginning its mission of world peace and friendship proved to be a towering task. Imbued with the unbounded energy and vision of its charismatic leader, Sargent Shriver, and thousands . . .

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