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1. Michael Haber (LGB 1959)

Posted By Alumni Office, mardi, 19 août 2014
Michael Haber1. How long did you spend at Ecolint?
1 year, 1958-59.

2. How did you come to attend Ecolint in the first place?
My father’s position with The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, an international relief agency.

3. Which teacher had the biggest impact on you and how?
John Mawson, my English teacher, a man in love with poetry and literature, an unusual, wonderfully eccentric and inspiring person.

4. What was your favourite spot on campus and why?
I liked the entire campus: quaint, charming and old.

5. What was your favourite place in the wider region, and why?
 I loved all of Suisse Romande, bicycled everywhere, including around the lake, stopping in Lausanne for a lunch of filets de perches and frites.

6. Describe your life today, where you live and what you do.
I live in Akron, Ohio, have been a “classical“ musician my entire life (I play the cello), still teach and perform but have retired from full time work.

7. What should be Ecolint's top priority as it approaches its 100th anniversary?
Engaging inspiring teachers, in love with their work and subjects, to arouse a lifelong love of learning in their students.

8. What "words of wisdom" would you pass on to today's Ecolint students?
It’s a clichéd piece of advice but, in my case, it turned out well: I did what I loved best. I was an amateur musician at age 22 and a grad student at Harvard in another field: I did not play the cello well enough to realistically consider a career in music. Against the odds, as one is supposed to have begun serious study of an instrument very early, I dropped out of Harvard, became an undergraduate again at The New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, and in fact have had a long, satisfying and successful career as a musician. But I did take a very big risk: I easily could have failed as a musician whereas I was very good at my work at Harvard and on my way to being “successful”, but not in the way for which I longed. Looking back, I would advise taking such a risk, I mean turning one’s back on what one already does easily and well, only if one cannot imagine living and getting on with one’s life without taking that risk, without throwing caution and hesitation behind and taking that leap. That’s how I felt at the time: the only life I passionately wanted for myself was a musician’s life. Even at the risk of failure, I had to try.

9. What has been the biggest impact of your Ecolint education on your life?
Several of my teachers at Ecolint, in a natural, dedicated, deeply felt way, loved and were inspired by the subjects they taught. It may have been unconscious in me at the time but I too wanted a passionate, dedicated life like theirs for myself and I found it, probably inspired by their example.

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