Magazine On-line [spring 2011]
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The Transy Top 5


Compiled by Tyler Young

The Transylvania faculty and staff are an eclectic group, with interests and expertise ranging all over the charts. A few of those faculty and staff members used that expertise to compile lists of their five favorite pieces from each of their areas of study to show what they’re watching, whom they’re reading, where they’re going, and what they’re doing.

Poems – Writing, Rhetoric, and Communication Instructor Martha Gehringer

“Binsey Poplars,” Gerard Manley Hopkins
This poem is not just beautiful—it’s heart-wrenchingly beautiful. If you have ever mourned the felling of a tree, you know the pain the poem delivers. If you have ever witnessed the devastation of an entire avenue or field of trees, you know the exquisite horror Hopkins describes in the poem.

“To Make a Prairie,” Emily Dickinson

To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,—
One clover, and a bee,
And revery.
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.

That’s it. The whole wonderful poem! What more can be said about creativity?

“Stolen Child,” William Butler Yeats
Especially the phrase, “…and the reddest stolen cherries.” It’s terrifying—and it’s delicious.

“Frau Baumann, Frau Schwartz, and Frau Schmidt,” Theodore Roethke
It’s as full and rich as a very good movie. Reading it is being in it. 

“Blackberry-Picking,” Seamus Heaney
Another “delicious” poem.

At-Home Workouts – Fitness and Wellness Director Ashley Hinton-Moncer

Squat Thrusts Ashley HInton Moncer and son Cole
Begin this exercise with your feet shoulder-width apart. Crouch down from the standing position and place your hands on the ground in front of you. Kick your feet back behind you, extending your body into an upright pushup position. End the repetition by kicking your feet back up underneath your body and standing back up.

The military had it right with this one.  If you are serious about increasing your strength, try the 100 push-up challenge by going to  Push-ups are not only great for your chest, but do a tremendous job of defining your abs, triceps, shoulders, and torso.

Wall Squats
For the lower body, take a break with this static exercise. Stand with your back facing the wall about two feet from it and lean against it. Then slide down until your knees are at about 90-degree angles and hold, keeping the abs contracted, for 20-60 seconds.

The greatest leg workout, the lunge, is done by standing with the feet shoulder-width apart, then stepping forward, landing with the heel first. The knee should be at 90 degrees and directly above the toes. Continue the motion until the back knee is nearly touching the ground, then return to the starting position. It can be varied so many different ways (side lunge, reverse lunge, walking lunge, crossover lunge).

Family Fun
It’s amazing how much exercise you can get just by playing.  And the best part is you are interacting with the ones you love. My children and I often do yoga or superman push-ups (using the child as weight). They think it’s playtime, but really it is my workout.

South African authors – English Professor and South Africa Native Anthony Vital

sindiwe Magona bookSindiwe Magona
She writes fiction that shows the influence of her activist work on women’s issues in Africa. I look forward eagerly to her next book, Beauty’s Gift, which examines the impact of HIV/AIDS on South Africa’s communities and which will be sure to give voice to women’s lives in ways much needed.
 Ingrid deKok bookIngrid de Kok
She has written some of the finest poetry to come from South Africa recently.
K. Sello Duiker book K. Sello Duiker
Before his untimely death at age 31, he wrote fiction that is gritty, disturbing, and that explores the experience of young males trying to survive on the streets of the “new” South Africa.
J. Coetzee book J. M. Coetzee
The winner of the Nobel Prize for literature in 2003, he always writes narrative that pleases for its brilliant clarity and for the emotional and intellectual demands it makes on its readers.
 Nadine Gordimer bookNadine Gordimer
The winner of the Nobel Prize for literature in 1991 has a large body of work, supplying an extraordinarily rich analysis of South African society through novel and short story. A brilliant, though sometimes difficult, writer, her last novel, Get A Life, examines with rich irony the lives of a privileged family and their acquaintances in post-apartheid South Africa.

Museums – Art History Professor Nancy Wolsk

Museum of Fine ArtsThe Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
This is the museum I knew first as a youngster, the place where my mother introduced me to painting.

The Fogg Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
I was assistant curator of drawings there, so got to know the collection from the storerooms up through the galleries—one of the best drawing collections in Western art anywhere. And it’s a comfortable, fusty place.

The Cloisters (Metropolitan Museum of Art),  New York City
Bits and pieces of medieval architecture form the setting for cloister gardens for exhibiting important works of medieval art. When I was in graduate school, I used to lead school groups through the museum; I got to know every nook and cranny of the place.

The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.
The best collection in the world of works by Pierre Bonnard (one of the artists who figured in my doctoral dissertation). Also, because of the environment—a house with comfortable furniture and a reflection of one person’s (Duncan Phillips’s) consistent taste.

Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C.
Again, the architecture together with the treasures inside make this one of the top. Great collections of Byzantine and Pre-Columbian art coupled with an amazing garden.

Fun Websites – Library Director Susan Brown

Exploratorium screen
Are you new to gardening? Sick of the winter? Do you do all right with plants but don’t know why? Explore this fun site to learn about the science of gardening. It’s put together by the Exploratorium Museum in San Francisco.
It’s a great site for news and culture.
This is a for-pay site but shows a very interesting way to visualize the relationships of words. You can try it for free.
Ever wonder about net neutrality? Or the current state of tablets? Read up on that and much more on this site covering technology news.

human Clock screen
This strangely addictive site tells the time with images submitted by users all over the world. Analog and digital versions are available.

 Classical Recordings – Transy music faculty

The Powers of Heaven: Orthodox Music of the 17th and 18th Centuries; Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir; Paul Hillier, conductor.
A selection of sacred choral masterworks from the Slavic tradition of “Divine worship.” The performances are thrilling; the choir is singing with exceptional blend and purity of tone. And the power of music is evident at every moment. This is music for the soul, for the heart, and for the ear. —Gary Anderson

Johannes Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2; Rudolf Serkin, piano, with the Cleveland Orchestra; George Szell conducting
This is the first classical recording that has stayed with me since I fell in love with it at age 10. Serkin’s command of subtle rubato and his crystalline cross-rhythms are a perfect match for Szell’s unwavering demand of absolute precision and power from his orchestra. —Larry Barnes

Mari Kimura: Polytopia: Music for Violin and Electronics; Bridge Records, 2007
Mari Kimura is an absolutely brilliant violinist and composer with a passion for performing with electronic and interactive computer technology. She joins the sound of her violin with string-playing robots, strains of recited poetry, a player piano, and other twentieth- and twenty-first-century sound worlds created by composers Jean-Claude Risset, Conlon Nancarrow, Frances White, Robert Rowe, and Tania Leon. —Tim Polashek

Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 (“Romantic”); Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Daniel Barenboim conducting (recorded 1973) 
From the crystalline perfection of the pianissimo horn solo at the opening, I was riveted every second upon first hearing this truly transcendent recording. The playing is as good as anything I’ve ever heard, the venue and the engineering unsurpassed, and the conductor’s concept supple and powerful, with a sense of understatement that is usually missing in interpretations of Bruckner. —Ben Hawkins

Frederic Chopin: 19 Nocturnes; Artur Rubinstein collection, vol. 49
The Nocturnes are some of the true gems of the romantic piano literature, but it takes an interpreter with the heart, mind, ears, and hands of Rubinstein to reveal their emotional depth and psychological complexities. With golden sound and impeccable, aristocratic musicianship, this recording will satisfy the most and least experienced
listeners; it’s a disc that never wears thin. —Greg Partain

Video Games – Computer Science professor Kenny Moorman '91

This 1980s arcade game is one of the most playable human-vs-space-aliens shoot-em-ups. Running on fairly limited hardware, it still remains my favorite game to fall back on for
a quick play session. And, I turned the machine at Gattitown over (>1,000,000 points).

A three-dimensional version of Tetris available on the Amiga line of home computers. It’s a great time waster; I know this from personal experience.

A fantastic and whimsical game where you try to keep a group of lemmings from killing themselves. You can build walls to contain them, have them dig holes, give them umbrellas to slow their falling, and so on. The high-pitched “oh no!” that the lemmings say if you fail to save them is strangely adorable.

Total Annihilation
An early (mid-90s) real-time strategy game where you act in the role of a commander coordinating the building of various army units to fight a war with your eternal enemy. Although I regularly lose (badly) to my math colleague Mike LeVan, it is still one of my favorite games to spend an hour or two at.

baldur's gateBaldur’s Gate
The first computer role-playing game that I felt came close to having a human running the game. I started to play Dungeons and Dragons in middle school and collected a large number of computer RPGs, but they all fell short in the experience. BG was the first to capture the unique feel of a human game master.

 Films – English Professor Tay Fizdale, Faculty leader of the Transylvania Film Junkies

8½, directed by Federico Fellini 
A brilliant evocation of cinematic writer’s block amid the satiric wonders of Italian culture.

7 Samurai, directed by Akira Kurosawa
The greatest samurai film ever made.

Stroszek, directed by Werner Herzog

An offbeat German look at the absurdities of the American dream, complete with a dancing chicken.

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, directed by Luis Bunuel

The title says it all, ironically.

Happiness, directed by Todd Solandz
The slickest, sickest American black comedy

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