By Moying Li M’82
In her memoir Snow Falling in Spring: Coming of Age in China During the Cultural Revolution
Moying Li offers a vivid and moving portrayal of her life from summer 1958 up to the day she left her homeland on the journey that brought her to Swarthmore College. She was one of the first students to leave China since 1949.
It took me over 20 years to return to my grandma Lao Lao’s old courtyard in Beijing, where I spent much of my short childhood. I was shocked to find it gone. Bulldozed. Wiped from the face of the earth. It was like discovering that a dear friend had died and realizing I had been robbed of the last chance to say goodbye.
I sat on a pile of shattered gray bricks—the only remnants of my grandpa Lao Ye’s labor—watching the brisk November wind lift the withered leaves from the dusty ground, up and up and away from me.
Then I closed my eyes—to remember.
By Karen Linnea Searle ’84
Editor’s Note: Following are edited excerpts from a journal written by Linnea Searle (known in college as Karen) while she was a university student and teacher of English in Beijing from January to May 1989.
As a young speaker of Chinese, she could closely observe the democracy movement that is now known as Beijing Spring. The names of her Chinese friends have been changed, but events are recorded as she experienced them during that tumultuous spring. The name of the photographer must be withheld to this day.
By Dana Mackenzie ’79
If particles had personalities, what a family they would be! Quarks are so cliquish that they travel only in groups of three and are never seen alone. Flashy photons, all style and no substance, travel everywhere at the speed of light.
By Paul Wachter ’97
Robert George ’77, a leading conservative public intellectual, remembers the precise moment that he was set on the path to becoming an academic: It was when he first encountered Plato’s dialogue Gorgias
in Kenneth Sharpe’s political theory seminar.
By Carol Nackenoff
professor of political science
On October 9, I left the United States on a remarkable journey. Just three weeks earlier, Natasha Franceschi ’96 had e-mailed Swarthmore’s Political Science Department, asking if we had a faculty member who could speak about the upcoming United States presidential election—in Kazakhstan.
Peter Andreas is a master at uncovering the secrets behind the official stories. Blue Helmets and Black Markets: The Business of Survival in the Siege of Sarajevo
looks beyond the popular tale of the siege—local heroism, struggles for freedom and survival, and white knights of humanitarian intervention—to reveal a darker side of the battle to save the city from the Serb onslaught between 1992 and 1995.
By Benjamin Bradlow ’08
When I found myself in Barack Obama’s campaign field office in South Philadelphia on Election Day—where I had worked for the past month—I couldn’t help feeling somewhat surprised to be there.