SUPPORTING ASFSB SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM by Einar Hovind
The ASFSB Christmas Party has always been the highlight of our Foundation’s social activities with the Santa Lucia pageantry, good food and glø gg, Julenisse and Christmas music in festive surroundings. In recent years a “Silent Auction” event has also been added to our annual Christmas Party, providing an opportunity to do some special Christmas gift shopping, but more importantly, providing a successful fund-raising opportunity for our ASFSB Scholarship Program.
The impact of this program in our community can be seen in the statistics over the past 40 years with 66 scholarships having been awarded to local high school- and college/university students in their pursuit of higher education. Also, some 15 years ago ASFSB established a very important Scholarship Endowment Fund with the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara (SFSB). This fund is managed by SFSB and provides support for our scholarships which are awarded at our Awards Luncheons each spring.
One of ASFSB’s standing committees is the Scholarship Committee which is responsible for developing programs designed to raise the funds necessary to support our scholarship efforts. It also interacts directly with SFSB, helping to establish criteria by which SBSF selects candidates for our ASFSB scholarship awards.
Currently the following ASFSB members are serving on the Scholar Committee: Brooke Van Der Kar, Art Kvaas and Einar Hovind (Chair) We welcome more members to get involved in this important part of our ASFSB Mission. You are not required to be an ASFSB Board member to join the committee, so if you have a special interest in our youth and in their pursuit of higher education, then: we need you!
Call me (682-9292) or any ASFSB Officers/ Board members if you would like to serve on our committee. See you at the Christmas Party!
A Classic Scandinavian Movie for the Holidays: Fanny and Alexander (1982)
The story is set during 1907-09 (with an epilogue in 1910), in a Swedish town. It deals with a young boy, Alexander, his sister Fanny, and their well-to-do family, the Ekdahls. The siblings' parents are both involved in theater and are happily married until the father's sudden death through a stroke. Shortly thereafter, their mother, Emilie, finds a new suitor in the local bishop, a handsome widower, and accepts his proposal of marriage, moving into his ascetic home and putting the children under his stern and unforgiving rule. He is particularly hard on Alexander, trying to break his will by every means, something Emilie had not anticipated. The children and their mother soon live as virtual prisoners in the bishop's house until finally the Ekdahl family intervenes, urged by Emilie who has secretly been in touch with her former mother-in-law Helena and told her of their dire situation.
With help from an old friend, a Jewish antiques dealer, as well as some magic, the children are smuggled out of the house, but the Ekdahls' attempts to bribe or threaten the bishop into divorce fail. Emilie, by now pregnant, slips her husband a sedative and flees as he sleeps, after which a fire breaks out and the bishop is burnt to death. In the meantime, Alexander has met the Jewish merchant's mysterious nephew, Ismael Retzinsky, and fantasized about his stepfather's death – it is as if Alexander's fantasy comes true as he dreams it. The story ends on a mainly happy, life-affirming note, with the christening of Emilie's and the late bishop's daughter as well as the illegitimate daughter of Alexander's uncle, Gustav Adolf Ekdahl; this fruit of the lustful man's affair with the nanny girl Maj is cheerfully adopted into the Ekdahl clan. During the festivities however, Alexander encounters the ghost of the bishop who pushes him to the floor, signalling that he will never be completely free of him. more info
What a lively afternoon at the Scandinavian Center today! A Brownie troop of 9 little 2nd grade girls, three or four siblings (who were required to come along), and several parents visited the Center to learn about Denmark as part of the Brownies' "Think Day." The adults brought food for Danish-style open-faced sandwiches (forgotten the Danish term) that the girls assembled and ate after playing around in the back yard for awhile--to burn off some energy. All seemed to be intrigued by the big Dala horse!
While they ate, Dick, Tenna and I talked with them about Denmark and involved them in some question-and-answer learning time. They all enjoyed the 3-4 minutes of the Hans Christian Andersen movie with Danny Kaye that Dick showed. Tenna encouraged them to ask for words that they wanted to hear her say in Danish. I showed some Danish items from our museum and library, including the flag, and taught them the names of the five Scandinavian countries, and everyone wanted to assemble some plastic alphabet tiles on the floor to spell "Denmark."
When I held up a Hans Christian Andersen children's book, "The Snow Queen," I mentioned "The Ugly Duckling," too. "Who knows that story?" I asked. One little girl shouted, "EVERYONE KNOWS THAT STORY!" Noisily, all agreed.
One sibling--a fifth grade boy-- who had been forced to come along, was fascinated by the large Norwegian ship on the table near the TV. Never moved away from it! I brought in one of Olaf Engvig's books on ships for him to look at, and he enjoyed that, but then went back to the ship. His other interest was in the small flags nearby. Eventually he asked if we had any extras. Succumbing to his interest and wanting to encourage it, I told him that we do. [Siri: I gave him one of Iceland because that was the one he was so interested in. (Hope I didn't throw your count off.) He was delighted!] Several times young Calvin asked if it gets "really cold" there, so I told his mother about our Nov. 21 program. She thinks Calvin would be interested in the volcanoes of Iceland. Sure hope they come!
The moms cleaned up quickly, and before the hour was up, all were on their way out the door.
Perhaps this is more than you all want to know, but I think we "won some new friends--young parents and their children--today," and I thought you should know how it all came about. Our young Danish artist Helle Rasmussen was the original connection, by the way.
How NOT To Retire: The World of Politics
by Peter Haslund
I was perfectly content with my career as a retired professor. I found meaningful work as your President and with a number of other non-profit groups dedicated to community involvement. It was a great life!
Then, a group of concerned citizens approached me to run for the SBCC Board of Trustees. They had serious concerns about the future of this “jewel” of California’s Community College system, and they urged me to stand for election. At first, I was reluctant…but ultimately, I said yes.
I think my immigrant experience had much to do with my answer. Like many of you, I am a naturalized American citizen. I was born in Denmark but chose to become an American. I made a conscious choice to become a citizen, so perhaps I take the responsibility of living in a participatory democracy especially seriously. I was asked to run, and ultimately, I couldn’t say “no.”
There is another reason I chose to run. Having served on the faculty of Santa Barbara City College for 40 years, I am passionate about its mission-- helping the next generation learn about the world so that they can be productive citizens and, ultimately, enable them to help yet another generation do the same.
This goal has never been more important. We live in an increasingly globalized society in which yesterday’s truth’s are being replaced by new realities. Our kids will have to learn about this changing set of global circumstances if they are to succeed in life!
Along with these changing realities will come new ethical choices. Thanks to technology, especially the internet, people with different cultures and religious values who once lived on the other side of the planet will now be living “next door.” Our educational system will be required to help students learn about these cultures so that our differences can be embraced rather than be seen as a cause for fear and rejection.
My job will not be easy. I was aware of this when I made the decision to run. California has serious economic problems – in short, the state is broke – and therefore is likely to allocate fewer resources to accomplish more than ever. As I said…it won’t be easy but I’ll do my best!