Greetings from cold and snowy New York—which I hope will be neither by the time you are all reading these notes. Here’s the latest news.
Carol Lynne Booth writes that she and her family are doing “COVID fine.” Amidst all the craziness, Carol’s youngest daughter has become a sophomore at Vanderbilt, where she has a mix of in-person and online classes. Carol’s middle daughter is about to graduate from Barnard and will be moving to Tucson to work for Intuit in the fall, while her oldest son is in Seattle, enjoying life with his partner of four years and their two cats. “My exciting news is that Jewish Baby Network, my little outreach organization, has become a program of the Bay Area Jewish Family and Children’s Services. It is a great move for us and will help expand our reach and mission. David ’91 is still the senior rabbi at Congregation Kol Emeth in Palo Alto where they have just opened up their newly-built building. Of course, because of COVID no one can use it, but it does look beautiful. And we remain hopeful to all be able to be in it and celebrate soon! David and I continue to enjoy our empty nest and have managed to sneak away for a couple outdoor getaways even during this crazy time, though as I write this we are looking forward to having our girls home for Thanksgiving and winter break. I wish everyone the best and hope everyone is doing ok during this time. Maybe by the time the next issue comes out we will all be in an easier place!”
When the first of Nicole Grieco Butterfield’s three children left for college in 2017, she left her job teaching English in a traditional school and reinvented her career as an educator, tutoring and teaching custom classes, and advising students and families through the college and secondary school admissions process. Amid the pandemic, she began teaching outdoors, working with pods in her Westchester County neighborhood and recently launching a Writing in Nature program for adults at the Rockefeller State Park Preserve in Pleasantville, New York. This shift has created time for her to keep working on her book about teenage intimate partner violence and to take on public speaking engagements about healthy relationships for students, parents and school personnel.
While we are on the subject of Nicole Grieco Butterfield, I would like to mention and thank her for setting up Foss First Fridays— regular Zoom calls for those of us who lived in Foss 5, 5.5, 6 and 7. The idea stemmed from the very successful Zoom Reunion sessions last spring and meetings are now scheduled for the first Friday of every month at 5:30 Pacific/8:30 Eastern time. I thought it was great catching up with people at the first one, including, in addition to Nicole, Sarah Ellenzweig (who now can officially add a P’25 to the ’90 after her name!), Peter Brastow, Becky Lloyd DeRoches, Page Fortna, Stephen Norton, and Arieh Rosenbaum. If you are a former Foss dweller and you don’t have the Zoom information for the calls, please email Nicole at firstname.lastname@example.org. The philosophy is the more the merrier so it would be great to have lots of people join!
Peter Mills Finfrock published Fodder Plants of the New World, a book of poetry.
Graham Guest has moved to Glasgow, Scotland with his wife, Jen, and daughter Edie. Edie is attending senior school at Kelvinside Academy (online at the moment), and Graham is pursuing his second PhD at the University of Birmingham (UK), in philosophy. Graham’s first PhD was in English at the University of Glasgow.
Eric Gilman is a fisheries bycatch scientist with The Safina Center and a Pew Marine Fellow, based in Honolulu. He is starting to take virtual college tours with Quinn, his 16-year-old daughter with whom he just recently enjoyed the official Wes campus tour video (about halfway down on the Wesleyan.edu landing page).
Chris Carlisle writes that after his stint with the Peace Corps in Poland, in 1994, Ulandt Kim drove him as far as Minneapolis to visit Jeff Levine ’91. “From there I flew to San Francisco, flopped for a night on Tracey Jones’s ’91 couch in Oakland, and have been living in Berkeley ever since, just a few blocks from where Eric Gilman first lived and worked. Someday I hope to meet either an extraterrestrial biological entity or my other Wes housemate Holly Folk ’91 or both.”
Finally, congratulations to Carole Trone, whose team was a winner in September 2020, in the Alliance for the American Dream national competition supported by Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt, for the Opportunity Calculator, a digital tool to help raise the net income of 10,000 Dane County, Wisconsin families by 10 percent. More information about the Opportunity Calculator can be found at opportunitycalculator.org.
Wishing all of you health and safety. Please write with any updates that you have. That’s all for now.