Monthly Archives: September 2009

New Faculty Tour the OWHL

What better way to wrap up an extensive orientation to the culture and expectations of the Phillips Academy Community than with a party! The Instructional Librarians at the OWHL recently welcomed new faculty to the campus with a dessert reception and tour of the Archives.

Each librarian is affiliated with one or more academic departments, and they gave personalized tours to new faculty members from “their” departments. Displays of new materials were available for perusing by the guests, and the circulation desk was busy as the new teachers discovered the OWHL’s DVD collection. Elisabeth Tully, library director, spoke briefly about copyright issues, and each teacher was given a copy of the brochure “Know Your Copy Rights.”

Tim Sprattler, Interim Archivist, entertained the group with a presentation on “Student Life at Andover through the Ages.”


International Student Orientation

It can be difficult to start a new school year when your school is located half a world away from your family.  It helps to have a “welcoming committee.”  Sixty-two new international students arrived on campus on recently, and were greeted by Andover student “World Partners” and the coordinator of international students, Ms. Suzanne Torabi.  They represent 43 countries by residence and 38 different citizenships outside the United States.

To ease their transition, the new students participated in an extensive, multi-day orientation held in the Freeman Room of the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library.   The students played games, received important information, and had an opportunity to talk about their hopes and their fears in fishbowl exercises with Andover faculty.

Program “graduates” are now fully integrated members of the community.  We enjoyed having them with us during their first days at Andover, and hope that they will come back to the OWHL soon.

Changing Tires

Last February when I was preparing for my cross-country bicycle trip, I decided to change my tires.  The tires I was using were fine–Performance Kevlar tires with about 1,500 miles on them.   But there had been some buzz in the emails that went back and forth among my soon-to-be companions about the best tires for the conditions we would encounter in the Southwest.  The consensus was that Continental’s Ultra Gatorskins was the way to go.  I decided that I could treat myself to a fresh set of tires, and so I replaced my tires with the Gatorskins.

There was something exhilarating about starting the voyage with new tires.  The Gatorskins were there when I dipped my rear tires in the Pacific Ocean, and carried me almost to the Mississippi River before the “flat tire day” when I got 4 (rear) flats and finally had to replace not only the tubes, but also the rear tire.  It had two half-inch gashes in it and clearly was not going to make it to the ferry.

But the front tire stuck with me to Florida, where we ceremoniously dipped our front tires in the Atlantic.  I continued to ride on the Gatorskins throughout the summer.  They went to the Fingerlakes for the Bon Ton Roulet in July and held up through the Blazing Saddles Century in August.  But last week, riding in Vermont with my friend Peggy, I noticed the tell-tale flattening of the curvature that indicates the end of the reliable life of bicycle tires.  It was time for a change.

So a couple of days ago, I changed back to my Performance Kevlars.  They had waited in the dark for all of these long months for their faithless owner to return and reclaim them.  Now they are reinstalled and eager to undertake the POMG 100/200 challenge in two weeks.  These tires, which cost far less than the Gatorskins, will undoubtedly carry me through the remainder of the riding season.

But the Ultra Gatorskin tire that saw me across the entire country, and then some, will always have a place in my heart.  It has been carefully packaged for posterity.  My fantasy is that someday, when my grandchildren are riding their own bikes across the country I’ll be able to pull it out to show them, and they will think that it is really cool.