Wintertime in New Jersey is not my favorite time of the year. I don’t mind the cold, and I do like the snow, however, the long dark days are, well, dark. The notes below took me away for a bit; thank you everyone for submitting.
Cat Maguire released her new book, Making Meaning with Machines: Somatic Strategies, Choreographic Technologies, and Notational Abstractions through a Laban/Bartenieff Lens. She coauthored the book with Amy Laviers and it is published by MIT Press. The text is a rigorous primer in movement studies and notation for designers, engineers, and scientists that draws on the fields of dance and robotics. The book offers a refreshingly embodied approach to machine design that supports the growing need to make meaning with machines by using the field of movement studies, including choreography, somatics, and notation, to engage in the process of designing expressive robots.
Gary Mezzi and his band, Bronson Rock, performed at a raucous alumni event in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in November. Tim Dibble ’86 hosted the event at his music club, The Cantab Lounge. The band blasted through two sets of music, with special guest, President Roth, on keyboards and vocals for an impromptu version of “Money (That’s What I Want).” Gary’s album, Alligator Shoes, is available on all the streaming platforms.
In June, the guys in Dr. Mezzi Fights Infection got together at Gary’s home in Connecticut for an all-day reunion with instruments. All six members of the band (Steve Levere, David Bondy, Rick Velleu, John Keaney ’84, Michael Canarie, and Gary) played for the first time since our 25th Reunion in 2008. If you squinted hard enough, it almost felt like a Thursday night at Downey House. The group hopes to play again next summer. (Gary, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can send out an email blast with details of the event.)
Tim Brockett traveled back East to visit friends and family. While there he paddled down the Connecticut River from Canada to southern Vermont/New Hampshire. It reminded him of earlier journeys in 1979 when he paddled the entire river by himself in an inflatable kayak, hitchhiked solo to Nain, Labrador, and later applied to Wesleyan. His essay describing his travels gained him an acceptance letter to, and a full scholarship from, Wes. Now back in Montana he is busy exploring the Colorado River during the winter months, gardening in the summers, and hiking and enjoying the rural pace of life.
Cheri (Litton) Weiss is the rabbi-cantor of Temple Emanu-El in Honolulu, the largest Jewish institution in the state of Hawaii. She moved there in July 2022 with her husband, Dan, and dogs, Hope and Josie. In addition to serving her wonderful congregation, she has amazing opportunities to meet and work with faith leaders of many religions. Cheri included some photos:
Harry Gural and Maria Antonaccio were married in Maria’s hometown of Chappaqua, New York, on August 5, 2023. As reported by The New York Times, the happy couple met while taking care of their respective moms in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, where Maria is a professor at Bucknell and where they continue to live happily today.
Karen Adair, Barb Bailey Beckwitt, Sue Stallone Kelley, and Tammy Rosengarten Darcas had a fun roommate reunion last summer in Lake Placid, New York. “We had a fabulous time enjoying the lake, hiking, watching the ski jumping, bobsledding, and skating in the Olympic oval! (Though we missed having Gretchen Millspaugh Cooney with us!)”
Kate Rabinowitz attended the Class of ’82 Reunion. She writes, “It was so fun to see people and remember my first WESU year . . . then I became class of ’83 after the year off to work in occupational therapy and study art in France . . . that time included a silent, solo Thoreau retreat in the countryside of Provence.” The journey continues. Now Kate runs an arts and wellness foundation for young people, makes art, teaches yoga, and is working the land. She is grateful to Wes for “the intensity of education, which is a way of life.”
Nancy Rommelmann writes for The Free Press, Reason, and other publications. She reported in the past year from Ukraine and Israel and various U.S. cities. She also cohosts the podcast Smoke ’Em If You Got ’Em, in which she discusses media, journalism, and culture. Nancy had Thanksgiving with Tory Estern Jadow ’82.
Ken Schneyer has at least two new stories coming out in 2024: “Winding Sheets” in Lightspeed Magazine, and “Tamaza’s Future and Mine” in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine. This is his third sale to Lightspeed and his first to Asimov’s. He still teaches humanities and legal studies, and Janice Okoomian still teaches gender and women’s studies. Ken is now chair of the Interdisciplinary Curriculum Committee where he approves student-designed majors—a more Wes-type job he cannot imagine.
Wishing you a happy and healthy new year and praying for peace,
LAURIE HILLS | email@example.com