Monday, November 16, 2009

Veterans Day reception celebrates Bates heroes

Part-time instructor Ed Rivera shared these reflections on Veterans Day:

War exacts a terrible toll on all who are touched by it. So why do some volunteer to fight? That is an issue that many of us, veteran or not, struggle with, and that leads some to blame the warriors for the actions our leaders direct them to take. I know this is terribly complicated, and that very real human suffering is war's most immediate outcome.

However complicated these issues are, I hope we can all recognize that the vast majority of people who serve in the military do so with honorable intentions, that they sacrifice much (time with family, income, comfort, emotional and physical well-being), that many end up facing life-changing dilemmas that most of us only theorize about, and that some find themselves taking another's life before they have even considered the meaning of their own.

The men and women we recognize on this day chose to serve. Many faced the challenges of war and now live with its moral implications.

Each veteran returns to us with lessons that he or she may still be struggling to make meaning of. I hope you will join me in conveying a deep respect for these Veterans, for their service and for their sacrifices. Let us celebrate them, even if we condemn war. Struggle if you must to separate the warrior from the war. It is a minor discomfort, compared to what they have given.

Special thanks to Jacquie Banks, Patrick Brown, Edie Jeffers, Cindy Fulwider, Roland Robinson, Facilities and Maintenance, Robert Suelzle for helping to coordinate this event, and to Ed Rivera for contributing this essay. For photos, see slideshow at top of blog.

Student takes first place in competition

Jo Hutchins loves sewing. For the past 14 years, Jo has attended Ryliss Bod's extended learning sewing classes. "I was sewing until 1975, then I stopped," said Jo. "I retired in 1995 and decided I needed to get myself back into sewing. So, I enrolled in Ryliss' class," she said.

Jo participated in the Make it with Wool contest many times before, but didn't place in the top 10. This year, Jo decided to submit a dress and coat (in picture) made with wool. Jo, who holds a master's in business adminstration, took home first place.

"Since attending Ryliss' courses, my sewing skills have dramatically improved," said Jo. "I've learned the tricks to make sewing much easier, and for that I'm grateful."

Jo is exploring opening a high-end children's clothing boutique in the future.

Congratulations, Jo!

Legal Office Assistant gets serenaded