Sunday, November 30, 2008

IND Correspondence

what i sent suffis--after he told me hat my music course was not scheduled--

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Mon, 24 Nov 2008 5:41 pm
Subject: schedule

Hi Bob--

I'm very disappointed that there was no room for my great singers' class--

and not happy hat I am expected to do each segment of the movie series twice--

Restore my singers' class and I'll be happy seeing all those movies twice--


His response:

-----Original Message-----
From: robert suffis
Sent: Tue, 25 Nov 2008 3:56 pm
Subject: RE: schedule

Hi Warren,

I am currently working out the schedule for the Spring, 2009 semester. After the luncheon on December 5 we will have a meeting of the Cirriculum Committee. I will let you know after that if we are able to accomodate your wishes.
Bob Suffis

At that point, I concluded that he was just rattling my cage. So I sent a message that I would NOT teach the movie course. And then, after thinking about it, sent another message--I wouldn't teach the Potpourri course, either.

Now he claims, falsely, that he told me that the music course would be held in the spring, and that he didn't want me to teach three courses.

He's the new chairman of the IND curricululm committee, and seemed to want to show how tough and capable he is.

And Besides....

+ I had to drive Gisele ben-dor back and forth from Engle Cliffs for her to speak at Potpourri
+ I had to bring my own Bose to all the vocal music classes
+ I had to not only pay for photocopies but to keep going to Staples to make them
+ To make sure that a movie I wanted to show actually could be shown on the machinery, I asked a paid worker to come in on a Monday--before the showing. He said he didn't work on Monday. On Tuesday, there was a 15-20 minute delay in showing the movie because the machinery was defective. So, many people left right after the showing--didn't wait for the discussion.
+ Someone on the board started introducing me before a talk. I tried to stop him--he wouldn't listen. Arrogant jerk. I wasn't talking that day--someone else was!
+ Alice told me that her own multi-speaker course--similar to mine--would be held on certain dates. Mine would presumably be in the morning, hers in the afternoon. Hooray! I could start inviting people now. To confirm, I sent the dates to the CC. No, they preferred other dates. So, embarrassed, I sent new dates to my invitees. And reflected: Didn't the CC know how important it was for me to learn the correct dates ASAP?
And so forth.


So typical—IND chose, as its restaurant for us to visit this year, Le Restaurant in Hackensack. A place I had vowed never to return to because of its sleazy practices. Coffee is included in the prix fixe, we were told. It wasn’t. $2.50 extra a person. And didn’t it recently get a one-star rating in the Record?
The president insults an absent trustee--in front of the other trustees. An all-around discourteous person.
He keeps sending me messages implying that I am going to be kicked out if I miss more meetings. (I’ve missed two because of conflicts.) Never gives me a helpful answer to questions I ask. Like: How do I get recompensed for my photocopying expenses? Will I get sued if I show copyrighted movies?
I’m never invited to join any committees. Not even the choose-a-restaurant committee. So I don’t get to know other trustees. Gert (who is great) tells me that she suggested, in my absence, that I be assigned to a committee—and her suggestion was rejected. I get the impression that these trustees are B and C people easily threatened by (seemingly, possibly) A people. Protecting their turfs.

Board meetings I’ve attended have been spent on trivia. How do we stop keeping people from fouling up the bathrooms at the church? Trustees seem intent on socializing. They talk and talk.

I have ideas. Eg, we should publicize the fact that we have a new president—send releases to local newspapers. A legitimate story. We need more publicity in general—the number of IND students is shrinking. I want posters in libraries. I’m ignored.

I want a policy statement. How does IND differ from continuing education programs in general? We certainly charge less. Is it also true that we don’t let stockbrokers and chiropractors eg give courses in order to get new clients? What is IND all about? I never get a chance to bring this up—we’re always talking about trivia.

I used to teach finance for IND—and bring in 4 other people to talk. Then that course was killed—attendance had dropped off--but right now it would be a fine idea to have a retirement course. No one suggests doing it. I would—except that I’m busy enough with other IND courses.

I LOVED the vocal music course I was teaching.
It occupied a great deal of my spare time.
I was extremely disappointed to learn that the course was cancelled—which I learned only when I said to Bob S that the course was scheduled, wasn’t it?

I had carefully planned the next program, asking the students for their recommendations--I had bought books, CDs--not been compensated for all the photocopies I had made--

Finding out, accidentally, that the course was cancelled was like being fired--shocking and hurtful--

I was doing the movie course just to help IND--it had been very popular and no one was doing it now--and there was/is the danger that showing the movies, even for a nonprofit organization, was against the law--$250,000 fine, up to 5 years in jail.

The Potpourri was just a matter of getting speakers--I wasn't going to be a speaker this time.

Now I’m told that the curriculum committee decided that I shouldn’t do three courses.

The CC doesn’t seem to realize that being told one is not giving a course again can be disappointing and hurtful.

I have a good many grievances against IND, and the cancellation of a course I had worked hard on and had enjoyed so much is only the most prominent.

I'm furious and I won't get over my anger for a long, long time.

I'm not going to the luncheon this Friday and I have resigned from the board--I want nothing more to do with IND.

When I told Bob S I WOULD do the movie course if I could also do the music course, he should have responded: OK.

I’m very busy. I run a movie group, an investors group, & a music group for the Hobbyists; I freelance for Consumer and I want to write a book, want to freelance for the AARP magazine.

To hell with IND.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I looked into the bathroom mirror--

A long line of faces were looking back at me--colorful--calm-well organized--

A hallucination, I thought--

My next thought: I NEVER have hallucinations.

I looked more carefully--

The faces were on the shirt I was wearing, from a Baron conference--

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Danny Boy

A whole book on Londonderry Air!

By Malachy McCourt.

Padded with (among other things) a chronology of Ireland.

But stretching to 141 pages. Including a few blank ones. For $18.95.

Cleverly written. But full of typos. And this doozy of a sentence:

Born in Derry, the oldest of nine children, the song has special meaning to Heaney.

Barbra Streisand comes off badly. She refused to sing Danny Boy to Liam Neeson, And her name is spelled Barbara.

Saturday, November 22, 2008



Clever idea, cleverly executed, and b-o-r-i-n-g.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Wives and Daughters

A BBC production, available on DVDs in libraries, and utterly irresistible--if you like Jane Austen, you will love this--

Sunday, November 16, 2008

5 Terrific Movies?

I need 5 good, little-known movies to show for a film course.

Narrow Margin. 1952. fllm noir

Counselor at Law (with Barrymore) play

Tokyo Story? not seen foreign

Love Me Tonight (Chevalier) musical


39 steps (Hitchcock)

A silent film? Charlie Chaplin's City Lights? comedy

A WC Fields film? comedy

400 Blows? La Strada?

Olivier & Domingo

After seeing Placido Domingo perform in Verdi's Otello, Sir Laurence Olivier allegedly said...

Nor only does he act is as well as me, the bastard sings it!

Sunday, November 09, 2008


In her autobiography, Marilyn Horne writes that although she loves listening to Conchita Supervia and Kathleen Ferrier, their techniques were deficient. Two of my favorite singers! I'll write to her, ask her to explain.


Obama, in one of the debates, said that "we have to kill Osama bin Laden." A good thing to say--reassuring to skeptics. But, admirably, he seemed uncomfortable saying it.


Elderly roue to elderly woman, in a play I just saw:
What is that wonderful perfume you are wearing?
Answer: Ben-Gay.


Saturday, November 01, 2008

A favorite singer

From an interview with Marilyn Horne:

"One of the greatest singers I ever heard was Jussi Bjoerling. He had a unique voice that was really unsurpassable... the beauty of that quality he had! His records still touch me whenever I hear them"


Miss Horne

She had married Henry Lewis, conductor of the NJ Symphony, and moved to South Orange, NJ, with her daughter, Angela.

Here’s an excerpt from “Marilyn Horne: My Life”:

“We enrolled her in nursery school and I’ll never forget her first day at the Temple Israel Nursery School in South Orange, the best school around. That it was affiliated with the Jewish temple was no problem for me, but even though she hadn’t been baptized, Angela had been raised in a Christmas-and-Easter way. Could she cope with Rosh Hoshanah and Hanukah? I was silly to worry, of course…. She never asked why she was in a Jewish temple. I guess she just assumed that was the way you started school. Before you could say the Four Questions, Angela had a best friend named Elissa Cohen….
“Every Friday, one little nursery school student was appointed Shabbos girl or boy, and whoever was chosen invited his or her parent to be Shabbos mother. I had that honor, and it was one of my greatest roles. As Shabbos mother, I baked challah and went with Angela to school, where the Sabbath was celebrated with candle-lighting and prayers. I sang many a B’rucha in Temple Israel.”