November 07, 94

Vol. 10 , No. 04   

The Importance of the 1994 Elections

This year's midterm elections have important stakes. On the eve of the elections the Athenaeum is hosting a discussion of the meaning and importance of what could happen on election day. Four of CMC's leaders-in-the-making will analyze and debate some of the major questions of this year's elections, issues of significance at the state and federal levels.

Major national races this year point to what could be a substantial shift in American politics. Andrew Mittler '95 and Zackary Erickson '95 will present an interpretation and appraisal of the most crucial of these races. Both students have participated in CMC's Washington semester and have gained insight concerning political trends. Erickson is a researcher for the Henry Salvatori Center. Mittler interned at the Democratic National Campaign Committee headquarters and also heads the James Madison Society.

Californian politics hold important questions for voters this year. The race for governor has brought state and local news to the front page. This contest pitting Kathleen Brown against Pete Wilson has been one of the most analyzed state races in recent years. Jason Goldberg '95, another Washington alumnus, has been involved in the inner workings of political campaigns prior to this year's contest. His astute political eye and honed writing skills have garnered him exposure in national publications such as the Los Angeles Times, Foreign Trade Magazine, the Washington Times, and Inside magazine. He has also worked as a speech writer for Governor Wilson.

California Proposition 187 is another hotly debated issue. The subject of immigration and residency brings up questions of the definition of citizenship and the responsibilities of government. Ana Delgado '97 has been involved in the campus-wide debate about Proposition 187 and is a future participant in the Washington semester program. She will discuss and dissect this proposition-analyzing the details of the measure and its implications.

So join us for an important presentation on the midterm elections with questions ready for some of CMC's student leaders.

Mathemagics and the Art of Mental Calculation: How to Look Like a Genius Without Really Trying

Bring your calculators! Challenge the master! Dr. Benjamin, the world's foremost lightning calculator can perform his amazing mental feats faster than Rain Man and Little Man Tate combined.

A mathematics professor at Harvey Mudd College, he has performed his special brand of magic live all over the country and on numerous television talk shows. He has been the subject of investigation by a cognitive psychologist at Carnegie Mellon University and is featured in a book called The Great Mental Calculators: The Psychologv, Methods, and Lives of Calculating Prodigies (1983). Also available is a book he authored called Mathemagics and the Art of Mental Calculation: How to Look Like A Genius Without Really Trying (1993).

In his highly entertaining and interactive show, Benjamin will perform such feats as: calculating square and cube roots, memorizing long strings of numbers, magic squares, and other mathematical oddities. What's more, you can learn the system. After his performance he will demonstrate exactly how he does the remarkable mental calculations. Join us in the fun.

Ethics and the Economic Way of Thinking

Writes economist Paul Heyne: "I wandered into economics many years ago from theology and philosophy while looking for the meaning of 'a just economy,' and stayed there because it seemed a more promising territory in which to search." By that mission statement Professor Heyne marks himself as an exceptionally well-suited participant in the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies' Ethics, Economics, and Public Policy series. Thus, it is with enormous enthusiasm that the Center welcomes Dr. Heyne to CMC to deliver the third in a series of talks on issues concerned with how most effectively to design and execute economic systems and policies that reflect a concern with social justice.

Heyne maintains that most market-coordinated systems have been created by well-meaning, altruistic people who could not have anticipated the consequences of what they were doing, and who probably would not have approved their own creations had they been able to foresee the unfortunate results to which their designs would lead. It is neither hypocrisy nor lack of compassion, Heyne believes, that accounts for much of the world's economic misery; rather, it is the misunderstanding of how to effect a desirable result. Identifying and dispelling such misunderstanding will be Heyne's charge in his Athenaeum address.

Heyne, who received his Ph.D. from the divinity school of the University of Chicago, has taught in the University of Washington's economics department since 1976. He authored the much-praised and widely used text, The Economic Way of Thinking (1973), which, after many editions, remains an evergreen in the petrified forest of superannuated books on the subject.

The Athenaeum and the Gould Center welcome everyone, especially students, to come hear what promises to be a most thoughtful and engaging discourse on ethics and the economic way of thinking.

Readings From Her Work

Karen Swenson is a writer and world traveler in the tradition of Isak Dinesen and Peter Mathiessen. Her journeys into the hidden reaches of Southeast Asia, usually alone and often at great risk, are also an exploration of the inner rivers of her own heart and mind from which she returns bearing the gift of her poetry.

In The Landlady in Bangkok, for which Swenson was awarded the 1993 National Poetry Series prize, her experiences become accessible to her readers through evocative language of great precision and clarity. With other volumes, such as A Sense of Direction (1989), East-West (1980), and An Attic of Ideals (1974), she has won acclaim with the Pushcart Prize, the Arvon Foundation in England, and the Ann Stanford Award.

Swenson taught at City College, New York, for fifteen years and has also been poet-in-residence at Skidmore College, The University of Idaho, Denver University, and Scripps College. At the Athenaeum she will be reading from her latest work, The Landlady in Bangkok (1993), which David Ignatow describes as "quintessentially of cultures in division with each other ... at times humorous with each other under strain. The book is a reader's voyage I for one have enjoyed to my enlightenment."

The Future of NATO

With the future of the former Soviet states still in question and Germany's reemergence as a major world power, the visit by Ronald Asmus to the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum is timely.

A special guest of the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies, Ronald Asmus is senior political scientist in the international policy department at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica. He has received a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University. Asmus has led several RAND projects examining potential conflict in post-Cold War Europe: above all the implications of the instability in the East and the Mediterranean for the transatlantic relationship.

Asmus conducts ongoing research on political trends in Central Europe. He heads a survey research effort exploring public opinion trends in Germany, especially changing attitudes toward the United States.

Asmus is currently completing a book entitled Germany's New Geopolitics. He is active in organizing conferences with European institutions and is a frequent public speaker in both the United States and Europe.

The Waiting Room: Women, Husbands, and Doctors

Lisa Loomer's new play, The Waiting Room (1994), takes a satirical look at American health care and the lengths to which women go to achieve "beauty." Underlying this absurdist comedy, however, is a very important message, inspired by Loomer's mother's battle with breast cancer.

Loomer began her career as an actress and comedienne. Her works include Birds (1986), Bocon! (1989), Looking for Angels, Cuts, Chain of Life, A Crowd of Two, and Accelerando (1991). Her plays have been performed in prominent venues across the nation, as well as in Mexico and Germany. For television, she has written a movie-of-the-week, a miniseries for PBS, sitcoms, and is currently a creative consultant on Hearts Afire ( 1993) and the upcoming Women of the House. Loomer has received grants from the NEA and NYFA, and was recognized as the runner-up for this year's Susan Smith Blackburn Award. She is the winner of the Jane Chambers Award, has been nominated for an Ovation award, and is an alumna of New Dramatists.

During her Athenaeum address Lisa Loomer will discuss issues of the play, The Waiting Room, and responses to it. She welcomes the opportunity to talk with students about these issues during the discussion period after her lecture.

The Biological Basis of Schizophrenia

After graduating from CMC in 1977, William 0. Faustman went on to study one of the most intense aspects of clinical psychology: schizophrenia.

Faustman earned his Ph.D. at the University of Mississippi and now specializes in investigations of biological neuropsychology at the Stanford University Mental Health Clinical Research Center. Faustman teaches psychiatry and behavioral science at the Stanford School of Medicine. His research has been published in numerous prominent psychological journals such as Psychological Reports, The Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, and The Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry.

Recognized for his expertise in psychopharmacology and on issues of professional ethics, Faustman is frequently invited to major psychological professional meetings.

Faustman embodies the perfect melding of research and clinical practice and will receive the inaugural Distinguished Alumnus Award presented by the psychology department of Claremont McKenna College.


By sitting at the head table one orchestrates new strategies for world peace, redefines democracy, and ensures lifelong financial security. Well, no. Sitting at the head table with the fellows and the evening's speaker is a chance for great conversation: no topical expertise required. With Cornel West, a master of the "funky chicken," we discussed the significance of music and dance for different generations. With Stacey Kabat, director of Defending Our Lives, we took a behind-the-scenes glance at the Academy Awards. So, when dropping off your reservation for an Athenaeum event, look for the fellows' box in the office and sign your name, for we'd love to see you at the head table.


The Twelfth Annual Madrigal Feast, featuring the medieval cuisine of the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum and the Chamber Chair of The Claremont Colleges, will soon be upon us. Two dates are still available: Thursday, December 1 and Tuesday, December 6. Make your paid reservations today!