Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Library Lecture Series - September 18, 2012

Island of Vice: Theodore Roosevelt’s Doomed Quest to Clean Up Sin-Loving New York

Library Lecture Series Navigate Your Course @Your Library

Stephen B. Luce Library
Tuesday, September 18th  at 1330 

The Stephen B. Luce  Library invites you to a guest lecture on Island of Vice: Theodore Roosevelt’s Doomed Quest to Clean Up Sin-Loving New York
by author and historian, Richard Zacks.

Richard Zacks… tells the story of Roosevelt’s two-year campaign with gusto and authority and the wry observations of an author who knows how it will all predictably turn out. The reason Roosevelt’s quest was doomed, this account makes clear, is that New Yorkers — then and now — like their vices neat. Sure, they did not favor police and political corruption, but they would not stand for the abridgment of their pleasures, even if the consequence was police and Tammany Hall graft…. This well-researched narrative is dense with raffish vignettes, excerpts from Roosevelt’s tireless letters and newspaper lampoons of his righteous campaign." – New York Times

"In his delightful and often hilarious ode to Manhattan, Island of Vice, Richard Zacks makes a comparison to another famously wicked metropolis: "As in ancient Rome, the vitality of New York City sometimes seems to come more from the crooks than the do-gooders." – USA Today

“Here is young Teddy Roosevelt as the reformist New York City Police Commissioner  confronted in 1895 with a cabal of  unaccountably wealthy police officials, whole neighborhoods of brothels, and the paws of the Tammany Tiger in everything. A delicious municipal history, impeccably researched, excitingly told.” – E.L. Doctorow

About the Author:  Richard Zacks grew up in New York City, wandering to Times Square when it was still evil. His mother sought to refine his manners with white-glove dance lessons at the Pierre Hotel but that effort failed miserably. As a teenager, he gambled on the horses, played blackjack in illegal Manhattan card parlors and bought his first drink at age fifteen at the Plaza Hotel. He also attended elite schools such as Horace Mann ('73), University of Michigan ('79) and Columbia Journalism School ('81). He majored in Classical Greek and studied Arabic, Italian and French. His whole life he has felt torn between the seedy and the high brow. He is a born contrarian. His books reflect that, with topics ranging from Joan of Arc's virginity tests to a vindication of Captain Kidd...  Zacks spent the decade of the 1980s as a journalist, writing a widely syndicated newspaper column, as well as freelance pieces for the likes of The Atlantic, Sports Illustrated, and he brings a who, what, when, where and an occasional why to his writing of historical narrative.  His book "Pirate Hunter" has sold more than 175,000 copies and TIME magazine chose it among the five best non-fiction books of the year. Zacks has also appeared in four documentaries. Tall, bald, spry, he still plays full court basketball at age fifty-six, and does his writing in an office, overlooking Union Square Park in Manhattan. 

Please forward any questions to Library@sunymaritime.edu.

Celebrated Librarian’s Paper Presented at IFLA

The Stephen B. Luce Library is pleased to announce that Library Director Constantia Constantinou was selected to have her paper entitled “Towards Peace: One Library at a Time, One Nation at a Time” presented at the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions in Lappeenranta, Finland in August 2012.

Constantia’s paper highlighted the theme of the IFLA conference, “Transcending Boundaries to Increase Cultural Understanding Between Countries”, and described Constantia’s work as a 2010-2011 Fulbright Scholar in Cyprus, where she introduced new library collaborations through a highly political-ethnically sensitive environment between Turkish and Greek Cypriot library communities.  Constantia’s paper was delivered by two Fulbright recipients, Prof. M. Miller, Queens College and Prof. K. Schlesinger, Lehman College, CUNY.  

Congratulations, Constantia!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Now Bring me that Horizon...

Well, that’s all folks! In just about 10 hours we’ll be pulling up to Maritime College once more with a full crew ready for the best welcome home Throgg’s Neck has ever seen! Due to the storms on the coast, we had to change plans from a nice, relaxing anchorage tonight due to zig-zagging back through the night to stay ahead of the weather. Not sure if that changes our course in through the city, but we’re keeping a weathered eye on the horizon…

Since this will probably be the last time I write to you from the ship, dear readers, I just wanted to say what an absolute pleasure it has been sailing with your sons, daughters, and loved ones these past 45 days. I can’t wait to see you tomorrow and to continue working with everyone through the Stephen B. Luce Library ashore throughout the school year. Until next SST, fair winds and following seas to you all!

Signing off,

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Land Ho!

This fog has seriously impacted our visibility, not to mention any last-minute sun tanning plans. Even with just a rumor of being near shore, the first cell phones started emerging this afternoon from the holds after 45 days of hibernation. As we came in to anchor around 1500, one cell phone user had already multiplied into dozens of cadets with their phones surgically attached to their ears once more. Even at dinner in the Officer’s Mess, it was odd to observe the handful of electronics taking their long-absent place on the table right along with the silverware and cups of coffee! I suppose this is a very fair reward for all of the students who successfully finished their final exams today (one more day to go for some!), since now they can start easing back in to the “real world” before reality hits on Monday.

So far I’ve heard great reports back from my frequent library visitors that they’ve done well on exams, before quickly heading back to what I’m sure is a phone call home to share the same news. The library is nearly all packed, and I have a handful of last minute students crash studying for their finals tomorrow. Best of luck to all!! By tomorrow this time, all tests will be handed in and we’ll have enjoyed our final BBQ at sea (I saw the grills being set up this evening despite more fog rolling in…).

Speaking of home, Cadet Zach Curtis would like to say “Hi Mom, Hi Dad!” Only two more nights at anchor, and we’ll be home free! To my own parents, a Starbucks trip is sounding mighty tasty right now... Can't wait to see you on Monday :)


Friday, August 3, 2012

Overheard in the Library

“I have so much to study for I don’t know where to start studying!” – a good-spirited library visitor to his friends at the next table over

We’ve hardly had a minute to think straight today, let alone study.  From the start of the day we realized that we’ve made incredible headway into warmer weather – no more jackets for this crew!  I’ve heard tales of the heat wave that’s hit shore over the past month; I think we must be heading straight into an arm of it out here.  We ducked south a bit further to avoid a low front (aka, seasick weather) and still plan to cut back over to N.Y. around Saturday, for those of you following along at home.  It’s almost nice enough weather to throw on some sunscreen.

Cadets who were focused enough today to come into the library to study did so piecemeal, unfortunately.  Not only was today our final safety drill, but also a dress inspection ahead of Monday.  Today’s drill was the security drill, which would prepare us in the event of a hijacking or some related hostage situation; basically, for the majority, our instructions are “Go to room – lock door.”  However, a few lucky ones are part of the security team, manned with fire hoses to ward off any potential borders (and reportedly a potato gun, compliments of the Engineering Department).  I, for one, feel safer now that I know we have such a complete arsenal aboard.  Wish I had brought my marshmallow shooter or my rubberband gun…

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Memoirs of a Messman

"Does everyone think they’re just now going to lose weight in a week?" –disappointed female cadet coming out of an apparently over crowded cardio room.

We’ve survived ice-infested, fog-covered waters and making great time past Canada.  Some sightings of “orca” whales have been reported in the last few hours; sorry to say, cadets, they’re most likely pilot whales or a type of dolphin.  I’m hoping someone got some pictures!

Cadet Jordan Rose, former chess champion from a couple of posts back, would like report that his day as messman (which began at 0530 this morning!) was successful.  As an engineer, he’s reported for messman three times already; his deck counterparts, however, could report up to 8 times during their cruise!  Messman duties could include serving, working in the scullery, collecting garbage, wiping tables, and running pots and pans from the cooks in the galley.  Today’s work day also included having underclassmen shadow upper class rates and help them with their daily tasks, like checking the lifeboats (boat rate), lines (bosun rate), designing special projects (carpenters), normal checks on the gyro or chart corrections (navigators), etc.

Finals have come and gone for many, while others still wait with baited breath.  Ship’s operations are gearing towards shoreside preparations, and forms for berthing check outs have started circulating.  I’m constantly reminded by my library visitors with just as much enthusiasm usually reserved for, say, opening a pile of birthday presents or getting your very first car. that there are “Only 4 days and a wake up left!!!”