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69. Rock Brynner (LGB 1963)

Posted By Alumni Office, jeudi 20 novembre 2014
Rock Brynner1. How long did you spend at Ecolint?
I was at Ecolint for three years, 1960-1963, age 13-16.

2. How did you come to attend Ecolint in the first place?
I had heard of Ecolint from Steven North (1960) and Kerry Kelly (1960), both children of two family friends, film composer Alex North and dancer/actor Gene Kelly.

3. Which teacher had the biggest impact on you and how?
For many of us, the English classes with John Mawson had the most profound effect in making literature, especially Shakespeare and Milton, come to life. As well, the theatre productions he directed were fantastically ambitious, approached with much greater seriousness than any "school play," whether it was "Midsummer Night's Dream" in the dining room or "Hedda Gabler" at the Theâtre de la Cour St. Pierre (two of the productions in which I performed). Before his death in 1996, I helped raise some money for John at the 1994 reunion, and dozens of alumni called John the best teacher they had ever had anywhere.

4. What was your favourite spot on campus and why?
I loved the back terrace behind the principal's office and the Green Door, where we used to buy sodas and snacks. It's still lovely there, though the Centre des arts now blocks the view.

5. What was your favourite place in the wider region, and why?
Oh, so many. From Movenpick (now gone) to the Genève plage to Salève to Café de Paris. . . .

6. Describe your life today, where you live and what you do.
I am now bracing for my 36th winter on a hilltop 100 km north of New York City. As an author of numerous books and a professor of History and Political Science, I am currently writing an environmental history of electricity. More importantly, in 2012 Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed me to the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law, which advises the state legislature on bioethical issues, "comprised of leaders in the field of religion, philosophy, law, medicine, nursing, and bioethics". It deals with cutting-edge bioethics issues, including the withholding and withdrawing of life-sustaining treatment, assisted-reproductive technologies, organ transplantation, assisted suicide, genetic testing, etc.

7. What should be Ecolint's top priority as it approaches its 100th anniversary?
Ecolint's top priority should be just what it has always been: to foster a truly international life and experience for students, an intense academic experience in which sharing daily challenges and delights across ALL international, cultural and religious backgrounds seeds the separate societies of the world with the internationalist perspective that Ecolint students have developed from LIVING it.

8. What "words of wisdom" would you pass on to today's Ecolint students?
My words of wisdom for students today: Take a big bite out of life and let the juices run down your chin.

9. What has been the biggest impact of your Ecolint education on your life?
Ecolint's impact on my life has been incalculable, even in the phases where I was focused on one small corner of the world. But it is also ineffable. How can one measure or define the benefits of speaking more than one language, much less growing up with a strong, daily awareness of the wide variety of cultures from which individuals emerge? I think many alumni like myself spend the rest of our lives seeking or at least pining for that world we knew at Ecolint, where everyone around you was as aware as yourself of the superficiality of the national and cultural distinctions that others see as so profound.

 


 

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