SCHOLAR'S NOTEBOOK - February 2011

 

 Options on Aging: Congregate Living

or

Aging in Place

 

JACK  CUMMING

SDIS MEMBER

Saturday, February 19, 2011

1:30 p.m.

Room 111-A Chancellor’s Complex, UCSD Campus

 

 Jack Cumming is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and, since moving to a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), Carlsbad by the Sea, he has become active in matters relating to the finances and fulfillment of the CCRC industry.  He is a member of Aging Services of California’s CCRC Subcommittee and he holds the post of Consultant to the National Continuing Care Residents Association (NaCCRA).  Last May he presented an analysis of CCRC Issues on behalf of NaCCRA to the official in charge of CCRCs for the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, the aging services providers’ advocacy organization.

He prepared a widely-circulated analysis of the issues presented at the U. S. Senate Special Committee on Aging’s July 21, 2010 hearing entitled “Continuing Care Retirement Communities: Secure Retirement or Risky Investment?" and of the accompanying report prepared by the Government Accountability Office.  He has been a frequent contributor to the Lifeline newsletter on CCRC residency issues and to the discussion surrounding the CLASS Act (Community Living Assistance Services and Supports), which effective January 1, 2011, provides prospective support for long term care needs.

In addition to his membership in the Society of Actuaries and other actuarial organizations, Mr. Cumming studied history in college and graduate school, and has also qualified by examination though the American College of Bryn Mawr, PA, an educational resource for insurance matters, both as a Chartered Life Underwriter and as a Chartered Financial Consultant.

 

From the President

A recent announcement of a new linguistics graduate degree program stated, “Cognitive linguistics, which has arisen during the last thirty years, . . . approaches language as a behavior integrated with other higher-order human behaviors such as gesture, signing, joint attention, collective intention, and social interaction.”

Several words in this announcement leapt off the page for me: “language as a behavior” and “collective intention.” The mind wanders, sometimes to places where new insights are born. Is scholarship a form of “behavior?” Is it guided by “collective intention?” Does our talking with each other about scholarship imply a shared understanding of the word?

Dictionaries center on defining a scholar as a learned person and scholarship as the methods and standard characteristics of a good scholar. But the concept of scholarship has become intertwined with attention to the policies and practices of academic institutions, especially faculty roles and rewards. A 1998 paper by Arthur L. Dirks refers to Ernest Boyer’s Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate as “perhaps the most influential event in scholarship redefinition.” Boyer (1990) advances four forms of scholarship appropriate for faculty work: the scholarships of Discovery, Integration, Application, and Teaching.

Though I have not reviewed the literature to see whether definitions have changed since then, I find it noteworthy that no single set of criteria is used today to determine UCSD Faculty Excellence Awards. Separate criteria are used to select awardees for different kinds of scholarship. Scholarship in academia today obviously remains multifaceted both in behavior and intention.

For SDIS study group purposes, two of Boyer’s forms of scholarship, Integration and Application, deserve special attention. Integration, Boyer says, “seeks answers to questions such as, ‘Is it possible to interpret what's been discovered in ways that provide a larger, more comprehensive understanding?’” Application focuses on questions about how knowledge can be applied to “consequential problems” and how it can be “helpful to individuals as well as institutions.”

Individual SDIS members have engaged in projects which Boyer would classify as Discovery, i.e., “committed to developing new knowledge, and focused on the question, ‘What is to be known, what is yet to be found?’"

SDIS monthly meetings, at which speakers provide insight and information, illustrate Boyer’s fourth form of scholarship, Teaching.

Within SDIS, as within academia, I suggest that the word concept “scholarship” is defined by a diverse collection not only of behaviors but also of intentions expressible as questions worthy of intensive study. Boyer’s classification system reveals questions of this kind: What is to be known and what is yet to be found? How do diverse specific kinds of information integrate into more comprehensive understanding? How does understanding relate to the affairs of individuals and institutions? How best can these diverse kinds of knowledge be communicated to others?

As we enter a new year, your Board has begun to reflect on the role(s) of SDIS in today’s changing world of scholarship with its new modes of communication, of access to information, and of linkages among people in geographically remote locations. Not that SDIS must change its ways; nor is it necessary to resist change. All I can say with certainty at this moment is that your Board is taking time for reflection, for looking at who we are as well as how we can best define and serve the special scholarly niches occupied by SDIS and its members. This, itself, is an interesting adventure.

Sam Gusman    

 

STUDY GROUPS

 

Colloquy Café

The next Colloquy Café, on Wednesday, February 9, at 1:30 PM, will be on the subject, Closure, at the home of Jean Mayer. Those who are interested in attending can contact Sam Gusman at sagus@sbcglobal.net .

Culture One

The next meeting of the Culture One study group will be held on Thursday, February 17 at 2:30 PM at Sam Gusman's home. The group will continue its study of Metaphors We Live By, by Lakoff and Johnson, with special attention to chapters 5 through 10. Those who are interested in attending should contact Sam Gusman sagus@sbcglobal.net.  

 

Culture Two

The next meeting of the Culture Two study group will be held on Wednesday, February 23 at 2:30 PM at the home of Len Brown.  The group will read the Introduction and Chapters 1 and 2 of The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. Those who are interested in attending are requested to read the material before the meeting.  For more information, contact Sam Gusman at sagus@sbcglobal.net.   

Film

TheFilm Groupwill meet Wednesday, February 2 at the home of Barbara Heckler in University City.  At 10:45 AM we will view the 2009 German film The White Ribbon, a nominee for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2010 Academy Awards. If you have already viewed the film, discussion will begin at 1:30 PM.  Contact Barbara at bheckler@san.rr.com for information on where to rent the film or to RSVP.

Literature

The Literary Group will meet Monday, February 28 at 10:30 AM in the home of 
Harry and Donna Boyle to consider Edgar Allan Poe's novel, "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket." The discussion will be led by Larry Gartner.Contact Harry Boyle at hhboyle28@cox.net for further information.

Science (aka Brain)

The next meeting of the Science Group is scheduled for Monday, January 31 at 3 PMin Bea Rose's apartment.  The assignment is to read the last two chapters of "Sleeping, Dreaming, and Dying", the documentation of one of four neuroscience conferences convened by the Dali Lama. The Group will then choose their next reading/learning adventure.  Visitors are welcome but are requested to first call Bea Rose at (858) 458-9263 or contact her at bea.rose@sbcglobal.net, because space is at a premium.

Works in Progress

WIP will meet Saturday, February 12, at 1:30 PM, at the home of Aline Hornaday.  The work under consideration will be Carol Gartner's biography of a prominent nineteenth century woman physician, Mary Putnam Jacobi, M.D.  RSVP to Donna Boyle dboyle101@cox.net if you would like to attend.  Reply soon, to save a seat and to receive the discussion material.

WIP in the Future: if you have an artistic, imaginative, or research project, consider bringing it to Works in Progress.  Perhaps we can help you move it along.  Contact Donna Boyle.

 

 

UP CLOSE & PERSONAL WITH WAYNE FANEBUST

Wayne is a long time SDIS member who now lives in South Dakota.  He spent his university years and early working career in Southern California.

Barbara Heckler

 

Q.  You're a well-know author with six published books. Your first book was published more than 25 years ago, and your most recent in 2009.  Did you study writing?  Where? How has your writing process changed in the intervening years?

A.  I didn't study writing nor did I take any creative writing classes, but while I was in college I took courses in English and History, which of course, meant that I would have to write.  I found that it came easy for me and I enjoyed it. In my freshman year of college, I wrote a book review that impressed the professor.  He said "you write extremely well."  That got my attention.

 

Q.  How has your writing process changed through the years?

A.  Actually, my writing process hasn't changed that much unless one considers that I went from a mechanical typewriter to a computer.  I still try to do thorough research on a topic and then start writing about it.  I guess if anything is changed it’s that, having gained experience and having had books published, I've learned to trust my writing. 

 

Q.  Do you have a favorite among your own books?  Why?

A.  My favorite is "Echoes of November, The Life and Times of Senator R. F. Pettigrew of South Dakota."  Prior to starting the biography, I knew very little about Pettigrew, but what I did know impressed me.  He was an unsung hero and greatly under- appreciated in Sioux Falls and the rest of SD.  He was a visionary and a maverick, long before that term became popular.  In the Senate, Pettigrew was a leader and was anti-trust and pro-conservation long before Roosevelt or Pinchot.  He was part of a congressional committee that drafted the very first laws supporting forest preservation.  He was an Anti-Imperialist and spoke out against U. S. involvement in World War I.

 

Q.  How much time do you spend on historical research? 

A.  I have often wondered about that and estimate that I spend about 8 hours of research for every hour of writing.  

Q.   What's the hardest part in writing a book? 

A.  Getting the book published when I finish.  I am currently looking for an agent to promote my next book---about the Civil War. 

 

Q.   What is your favorite part about writing?   

A.  Creating a line, a paragraph, a chapter based on my research. I love to incorporate imagery and metaphor in my writing; I call it the flow of the creative process.  I like to write a page or more, let it sit and go back over it and make changes.  I will spend an hour or more on a paragraph just to get it right.  

      

Q.  South Dakota is the locus of your books. Did you grow up there? What do you love about South Dakota?

A.   I did grow up in South Dakota and lived out in the country.  I had a dog and a horse by age six.  South Dakota is a rural state, lightly populated but with great scenic beauty.  (You have to get off the interstate highway to see it).  I enjoy hiking, exploring and bird watching in the many parks, rivers, lakes and wildlife areas.  Sioux Falls alone has 70 parks, much of it wooded and secluded.  Sioux Falls has just enough attractions, i.e., Starbucks, books stores, a symphony orchestra and a great performance hall, and of course, good restaurants. The good things in life I could not live without.

 

Q.  You've also been a practicing corporate attorney during your writing career.  You're retiring in February.  Has it been hard to manage dual careers? 

A.   It was hard to manage both while I was in private practice in San Diego.  After moving to Sioux Falls and going corporate, I had much more time to write and less stress to deal with.

 

Q.  You were a musician at one time.  What can you tell me about that?

A.   I am still a musician and play guitar better than I did when I was young.  I got started in the sixties as I was inspired by the Beatles, Dylan, Donovan and others.  I moved to L. A., started a rock band and while we never got famous, we had great fun.  There was nothing like it in the world. It was outrageous and daring. We were part of the first wave of long-haired rockers in L. A. People sometimes ask me what it was like to be young, with long hair, playing rock music in the sixties.  I tell them it was like a party that never ended; it just changed locations.  

 

Q. "Fanebust" is an interesting last name.  Do you know anything about its origin or meaning?

A.  Fanebust is a Norwegian name of ancient origin.  It is derived from the word "Fonnebost" and goes back as far as the 5th century in Norway.  There is a "Fanebust Sea" and a town of the same name.  I have learned that I have relatives in Norway and have had the pleasure of meeting some of them.  I discovered a Fanebust web site that lists all my long lost relatives, many of whom are prominent Europeans.  I am the only American Fanebust that you will find on the internet.   

Q.  You've kept your SDIS membership even though you live in South Dakota.  What do you love about SDIS?  How were you involved when you lived here? 

A.  I was attracted to SDIS because it was made of "Independent" Scholars, which intrigued me for I have always considered myself an independent person.  Alice Marquis introduced me to the group and she became a friend and mentor.  I served on the Board as treasurer and enjoyed the meetings.  I got great pleasure from being among like-minded people whose company provided much needed relief from the mundane and stressful, day to day duties of a lawyer. Talking to and socializing with people of high intellect was so refreshing and enlightening, just the tonic I needed after a day of dealing with clients and courts.   

 

Q.  Are there any particular bragging points or interesting things I don't know you well enough to ask? 

A.  I served in the U. S. Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton.  There are other points of interest but revealing them would, I fear, sound overly pretentious and are better left unsaid. 

 

Q.  When and why did you leave San Diego?  Is it possible that you'll want to spend more time here after you retire?   Do you still have family here?

A.  I left San Diego for a career change and to get far away from what I called "urban madness."  By that I mean the traffic, the crush of humanity, the noise, the long lines and the frustration associated with living in a big city.  But, strangely, I still love to visit Southern California.  Because of the great L. A. years in the sixties, I will always have a warm spot in my heart for L. A.  My daughter and granddaughter live in San Marcos and I will be spending more time with them after I retire from professional life and become a full-time writer!   

 

 

 

FANEBUST BOOK PUBLICATION AND DONATION

The SDIS Board of Directors is purchasing two copies of Wayne Fanebust’s Cavaliers of the Dakota Frontier, published in 2009 by Heritage Books. One book will be donated to UCSD’s Geisel Library; another will be donated to San Diego’s Public Library. This conforms with SDIS policy which calls for the purchase of two copies of any book by an SDIS member newly published during his/her membership, and the presentation of one copy to each of the two libraries. 

According to the Heritage Books website, Cavaliers of the Dakota Frontier depicts the 1850s American West and the rampant land speculation which resulted from an 1844 law implemented by Congress. “…This book is a series of interconnected essays and each essay is a narrative within a larger narrative….”      This book, along with Wayne’s other books, is available through several sources on the internet.  

 

 

NEW MEMBERS AND DIRECTORY CHANGES

SDIS extends a warm welcome to these members who joined in late 2010.

Joel Bengston          Len Brown          Gail Orell          Sonia Rosenberg

Dutch Schantz        Millie Small

 

Please make these additions/changes to your directory:

Board Director at Large:     Gerry Horwitz/619-224-5664

Publicity Chair:     Change to Non-Board Official

 

March Meeting

SUSAN SHIRK

Ho Miu Lam Professor

of China and Pacific Relations at UCSD

will discuss China

 

The usual UCSD meeting place,

Room 111-A Chancellor's Complex

Saturday, March 19, 2011, 1:30 P.M.

 

About SDIS

San Diego Independent Scholars (SDIS) supports unaffiliated writers and researchers and welcomes everyone who appreciates creative and intellectual activities in the humanities, science, and the arts.  SDIS is a non-profit organization and an affiliate of the National Coalition of Independent Scholars.

Sam Gusman, President, saugus@sbcglobal.net

 

Scholar’s Notebook is the newsletter of SDIS. Please send your news for the Notebook to Barbara Heckler, the Notebook editor: bheckler@san.rr.com or by mail to 3489 Wellesly Ave, San Diego, CA 92122. The deadline for submissions is the 22nd of the month prior to publication date.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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