Stories get readers thinking about their links to WWU
Catching up with alums around town and in the bookstore….Dave Osborn (’68) sent us a Class Note to let us know he retired this year after 41 years with the Department of Defense. “There is great value to me in receiving Window magazine,” he wrote. “I read with great pleasure that Bob and Virgie Hayden are included in the Legacy Family of the Year for 2010. I worked for them from 1964 to 1969 while attending WWU (WWSC at the time) and learned as much or more about running a business and dealing effectively with people as I did in the classroom.” Dave also made some new WWU connections after reading Window. “I contacted Jim Sterk (’80) at San Diego State University, purchased five season football tickets, and found we had common acquaintances from Whatcom County, mostly teacher alumni of WWU. I also just purchased three of Gregg Olsen’s (’81) books.”
Our word of the day: grokking
Our story about Bob Keiper’s acting class for future teachers (“The Act of Teaching,” Spring 2010) got Pam (Hopper) Webb (‘80) thinking about what brought her to WWU: a desire to work outdoors and with children. So she signed up for WWU’s Leisure Studies program. She’s now an English teacher at Sandpoint High School. “While attending WWU I remember a fantabulous class dealing with education taught by a professor named Cy,” Pam writes. “It wasn’t quite what Bob (Keiper) is doing but it still pointed me in the right direction.” (Pam’s not the only teacher “pointed in the right direction” by Associate Professor Emeritus Sy Schwartz, a beloved mentor who taught Educational Foundations.) Before she was a teacher, Pam worked in environmental ed. “I still like working with children,” she says. “Although the sixth-graders I once worked with at outdoor camps grokking trees have morphed into seniors contemplating Hamlet, it’s still teaching.”
R.D. Brown, one of your students would like to thank you
After seeing a Class Note about the publication of Gregg Olsen’s (’81) new book, Greg Cox (’82) also wrote in to announce his own books soon to hit the stands. “The class that had the most impact on me was a course in ‘Writing Commercial Fiction’ (or something like that) taught by the late R.D. Brown, a professor who wrote mystery novels on the side. I’ve always regretted that R.D. passed away before I could send him a published copy of one of my novels.” R.D. Brown, an accomplished writer who taught at WWU for 25 years, is still remembered in the English Department with a scholarship in his name supporting outstanding student writers. See Class Notes for news about Greg’s new book.