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  • 8/9/2019 The Sycamore Issue 1

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    atNaropaUniversity April1,2010

    TheSycamoreVol.INo.1

    WelcometoNaropaUniversitysstu-dentnewspaper,TheSycamore.Thisisafirstofitskindaplacewhereour community can further roundout, communicate, and grow. TheSycamoreendeavorstoprovideavig-orousforumwherenewscanbere-ported,ideascanbeexchanged,andthecollectiveawarenesscanberaised.

    The Sycamore will honor thetradi-tionsofourlineagebyembracingcon-templativepracticethroughreflective

    writing.Wewillrespecttheeastmeetswestbalanceofourinstitutionbyre-portingthetruth.Wewillembracethesharedvaluesofdiversityandinclusiv-itybyinvitingalltocontribute.WewillbeliketheSycamoreTree-alasting,ever-presentpartofourcommunity.

    TheSycamoreinvitesstudents,alumni,teachers, faculty, staff, administra-tors,andvolunteersaliketojoinus.

    Shareyourthoughtsbycontributingto our Opinion section, voice yourheart bywriting orpainting fortheCreative Naropa section, become aparticipatoryjournalistandreportthefacts in ourNews section.We wel-comeallmembersofourcommunity!

    TheSycamorewantstonurtureasenseofcommunalpresencewithinitsindi-

    vidualreaders.Readandunderstandwhatyourfellowcommunitymembersareupto.Findinspirationtobecomeinvolvedwhilestillbeingreflective.Ifanything,thisnewspaperendeavorstoprovideaspacewhereknowledgeis

    placedinthehandsofindividualswhodesiretotakethenecessarystepstoseesomethingunfoldinthecommunity.

    The Sycamores Editorial BoardthanksS.U.NandStudentAffairsfortheirsupport.Wearealsogratefultothecommunityasawholeforallow-ingthis publicationthe opportunitytobepresent.Weunderstandourre-sponsibilities. Trust that we willbeinspiredbytruth,guidedbyintegrity,andsustainedbyyou,thecommunity.

    To learn how you can contribute, please e-mail

    us at: [email protected]

    OrVisit us on the web at: www.thesycamore.org

    WelcometoTheSycamoreEditorial Board

    PresidentStuartLordrecentlypromotedVicePresident(VP)of AcademicAffairs,Dr.StuartSigmantothepositionofPro-

    vostandVPofAcademicAffairs.Thecreationof theProvostpositionistherstof itskindinNaropaUniversityshistory.

    FEATUREIn describing the position, Dr. Sigmansaid it was the rst amongequalsinthe Presidents cabinet. This appoint-ment formalizes many of the respon-sibilities that I have been performinginformallyforyears,Dr.Sigmanadded.

    Tothateffect,henotedthoseresponsi-bilitiesare now inclusive of holdingabroaderviewof theinstitution,andeval-uating howthingsconnectas a whole.

    Dr. Sigmans appointmenttook place aspart of the larger cabinet restructuringthathasreducedthenumberof directre-

    portsto thePresidentfromnine tosix.PresidentLordscabinetisnowcomposed

    of thefollowingpositions:SeniorVPofFinanceandBusinessAdministration,VPof StudentAffairsandEnrollmentMan-agement,VPof DevelopmentandExter-nalRelations,ProvostandVPof Academ-icAffairsaswellastheChiefDiversityOfcerandChiefAdministrativeOfcer.

    Additionally, as part of the restructur-ing the Dean of Admissions, SusanBoyle and the Dean of Student Af-fairs, Robert Cillo now report directly

    to Cheryl Barbour the Acting VP ofStudent Affairs and Enrollment Man-agement rather than to the President.

    Dr. Sigmans various objectives for theUniversityincludesstreamliningtheinsti-tutionalresearchprocesssothatdatacol-lectiononthe evolvingdemographicsof Naropaisconstantlybeingturnedout.

    This streamlining will avoid the needto form ad-hoc committees and taskforces to respond to data requestsfrom outside regulatory organizationse.g., the Higher Learning Commis-sion (HLC), according to Dr. Sigman.

    Continued on page 2

    Mohammad Usman

    Editor-in-Chief

    CoverartbyJillianSkalky

    www.thesycamore.org

    SigmanAppointedNaropasFirstProvost

    DEVELOPING NEWS

    Devin Hormann-Rivard

    StaffWriter

    SpeakingtothecommunityonMarch29th at the Nalanda Event Center,President Stuart Lord, anked byBoard Trustee, Christopher Hor-mel announced that the FBI is in-

    vestigating a suspected embezzle-

    ment of $450,000 in universityfundsbyaformerNaropaemployee.

    The employee alleged to have mis-appropriated the funds is AccountsPayable Clerk, Ronda Devers.Ms.DeverswasredoncetheAdmin-istrationwasnotiedof thesituation.

    Additionally, the retiring VP of Fi-nance and Business Administration,Sue Evans and Comptroller, SureeChounlamountry, werealso red dueto a failure to establish proper -nancial controls, the President said.

    FBIInvestigating

    Fraud at Naropa

    Continued on page 2

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    April 1, 2010Page2 TheSycamore

    Noting that Naropa recentlywentthroughtheinspectionpro-cessforre-accreditation,Dr.Sig-man indicated that the currentstateoftheUniversityisOK.

    Adding that, Were goodat some things, but notso good at other things.

    The not so goodfor Naropa,according to the HLC inspec-tion team and President Lord,is institutional scal manage-ment. Speaking to the commu-

    nity on March 17th, PresidentLord indicated that Naropa hasbeen operating a structuraldecit for the past seven years.

    Asaresult,ineachofthoseyearstheUniversityhasbalanceditsbud-getbyeliminatingorsignicantlyreducing funding from program-ming or specic constituencies.

    Anexampleof thedubiousscalpractices thatthe HLCis criticalof includes the former Coburnadministrations decision in 2009to suspend its retirement matchcontributions for all employees

    in order to balance the bud-get for the current scal year.

    In recognition of this, Dr. Sig-manacknowledged,theHLCwillbeperformingafollowupfocus

    visitintwo-yearsthatwillconcen-trateontheUniversitysnances.

    Outsideofscalmatters,Dr.Sig-mansimmediateconcernspertaintotheAcademicPlan,whichisasub-section of Naropas broaderStrategic Plan. The AcademicPlan callsforthe creation of an

    Arc,whichguideseachNaropastudentsjourneyfrommatricula-

    tiontograduation.Weknowthat

    thestudentexperienceatNaropahastobeaboutthepersonaljour-ney.Butwealsoknowthatwerenotdoingthis,Dr.Sigmansaid.

    In outlining the short-term aca-demic changes the commu-nity should expect, Dr. Sigmansaid, in the next three semes-ters there will be additions tothe curriculum, including Span-ish.Hefurtheradded,Iwouldlike to see more behavioral sci-encecoursesoutsideofthepsy-chology department, perhaps

    more political science courses.

    However to add such additionsto the curriculum, and morebroadly, to implement the Aca-demic Plan, requires signicantresources.AccordingtoDr.Sig-man the total price tag for full-scaleimplementationwouldrangefrom $3.5 million to $5 million.

    Thefundingisexpectedtocomefromavarietyofsourcesinclud-ing: an allocation set-aside fromtheStrategicPlan,re-appropriatingdollarsfromwithinthecurrentop-

    eratingbudget,andrequestingad-ditionalgiftsfromoutsidesources.

    IndiscussingwheretheAcademicPlan and resource re-allocationmight converge, Dr. Sigman in-dicated the Advising Ofce asa possibility. Having a profes-sional staff that advises unde-clared students may be appro-priate,Dr.Sigmansaid.Butheadded, that at Naropa 65% ofourstudentsaretransfersthatgodirectlyintoaspecicdepartment.

    And this leaves the question of

    whatrolefacultyshouldplayoncea student has declared a major.

    He concluded by indicat-ing the Advising Ofce asan area where the Universityis considering reallocation.

    CommentingonDr.Sigmansap-pointment,PresidentLordsaid,IamthrilledthatStuarthasaccept-edthepositionof Provost.WearecondentthathishardworkwillmaketheAcademicPlanareality.

    NEWS

    Continued from page 1

    AcademicPlanPriorityforNew

    Provost

    On Wednesday, March 17th, students andadministrative staff met to discuss the pre-liminaryndingsoftherecentHigherLearn-ing Commission (HLC) visit. The HLC isset in place to evaluate whether or not aschool deserves accreditation, which givestheir degrees reputable standing within thegreater community of higher education.

    Accreditationisanecessarystepforanyuni-versity;asJohnDavis,CoordinatoroftheAc-creditationSelf-Study,putit,itisariteofpas-sage.Accreditationis vital tothe growthof

    theinstitutionasitallowstheuniversitytoof-ferstudentssomethingthatwillbeworthwhiletothemaftergraduation:anaccrediteddegree.

    Naropareceivedits lastaccreditationin 2000foraperiodoftenyears.ThistimetheHLCndings recommended ve-years of ac-creditation with a focus visit set for2012.

    TheHLC noted thatNaropahas made con-siderable improvements since their last visit,

    withthenumberof areasinneedof improve-mentdropping from twenty to two. Further,they indicated that the University shows astrongunderstandingof itsmissionstatement.

    However, the HLC indicated that those twoareas, budget sustainability and administra-tive efciency, were serious. The commis-sion stressed that Naropas precarious s-cal practices and weak decision-makingstructure pose concerns for future re-ac-creditation.The HLCdidemphasize that theUniversitydoeshaveaplaceinhighereduca-tion, but it must streamline its operations.

    President Lord, highlighting the impor-tance of addressing these issues, announcedthat his cabinet met for an all-day meet-

    ing recently to discuss the steps to follow.

    Attheevent,PresidentLorddidmakeitclearthatstreamliningthe administrationwould requiredownsizingandreorganizationateverylevelof theUniversity,callingtheprocess,rightsizing.

    Another issue the President cited fromthe HLC ndings is a lack of com-munication between departments.

    According to him, one serious example ofNaropaspoorcommunicationstructureisthelackofcentralizeddatastorage.IfIwantedto ndyour[student] contactinformation tocall your parents if there was an emergen-

    cy, I couldnt. Student Affairs doesnt housethat data, only Admissions does, he said.

    TheHLC ndings didnote that centralizeddatastorageandbettercommunications,com-binedwithrestructuringofthebudgetandad-ministration,arekeytoNaropassustainability.PresidentLordconcludedbysaying,thendingsareserious,andthetaskbeforeuswillnotbeeasy,butultimatelyitwillbenettheuniversity.

    Isaac EideStaffWriter

    NaropaCelebratesRe-Accreditation;PresidentLordUrgesCircumspection

    CourtesyofNaropaUniversity

    Dr.StuartC.Lord,President

    According to a fact sheet released at theevent, the funds are believed to have beenmisappropriated over a two-year period.

    The President explained that the situa-tion began unfolding two weeks ago whenthe FBI brought the nancial irregu-larities to the Administrations attention.Since thenthePresidentciteda lack of ac-countability standards as the root causeof the problem. Saying that this was fur-ther inspiration for Naropa to strength-en its scal integrity, develop its businesspractices, and proceed with its mission.

    DuringtheQ&A,FacilitiesPaulMontgomeryaskedif therewereanychoicesonhowthemat-

    terwouldbeadjudicated. Amongstmurmurs

    inthecrowdof RestorativeJustice,thePresi-dentdeclaredthattheUniversitywouldcontin-ue,cooperatingwiththeFBIfullyandwouldbepursuinglegalactiontoitsfullestextent.

    Whenquestionedaboutpersonnelcutbacksinconnection with the nancial loss, PresidentLordassuredtheaudiencebysaying,wedonotbelievethatthecourseweareonwillchange.

    Healso condently added, this willnot im-pactnancial aidwhat so ever.Weare com-mittedtoofferinganexcellentacademicpro-gram,thissituationwillnotdeterourmission.The Sycamore will be reporting on this developing story

    in its next issue following more in-depth interviews with

    senior administration ofcials.

    FormerEmployeeTargetof FBIInvestigationContinued from page 1

    CourtesyofNaropaUniversity

    Dr.StuartSigman,Provost.

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    Page3 April 1, 2010TheSycamore

    Tierra Promitera, The PromisedLand,isavillagemadeofplastichutsfor the internally displaced of Nicara-

    guas JalapanValley. Oneof thepoor-est villages in an already economicallydeprived country, Tierra Promiterastruggles to live up to its namesake.

    Its location is tucked away from thecountrys capital city of Managua. Asa consequence, basic resources such asmedical facilities, building supplies, oreven markets that sell fruits and veg-etable are very difcult to come by.

    In an effort to address the challeng-ing circumstances of Tierra Promitera,Professor DeborahYoung, Co-Chairof

    Naropas Contemplative Education De-partment, with the help of locals andstudents, founded Programa IntegralEducandoconAmoryTenure(theinte-gralprogramofeducationwithloveandtenderness),anorganizationthatworks

    withthepeopleofTierraPromiteratobuild local resources and community.

    PIEATsmissionistoworkinsolidar-itywiththepeopleof theJalapanVal-leybyprovidinganarrayofeducational

    workshopsthatfocusonearlychildhooddevelopment and community building.Furthermore,theorganizationplacesanemphasisondevelopinglocalleadership.

    PIEATs workshops aremostlyattend-edbylocalwomenwhoaretaughtba-sicliteracyskills,andareencouragedtoactas communityleaders. Collectively,their efforts have increased the levelof prociency within the communityandhavehelped toremove myths thatposehealthproblemsfortheregionasawhole,suchasthemisconceptionthatusing soap makes ones bones weak.

    The guiding objective for PIEAT hasbeen tobegin tolay thefoundationforlocalempowermentasameansofbreak-ingthecycleofpoverty.Theorganiza-tioncontendsthatifleaderswithinthecommunity can end the habit of pass-ing down misinformation on health

    and education to younger generations,then children will benet from theproliferation of reliable knowledge.

    ThejourneyhasbeendynamicforPIEAT.Itisasmallorganization-predominantly,

    volunteerworkerscarryoutitsfunctionsand it operateson a minuscule budget.

    The volunteers are mainly locals, butalsoNaropastudentstravelingtothere-gionduringtheirbreaksorforsemesterlongprojects.Recently,adelegationofNaropa students traveled to the regionduringtheirspringbreakaspartofPro-fessorYoungsPovertyMatterscourse.

    At the outset there were consider-able challenges for the organizationin overcoming the skepticism of the

    peopleofTierraPromitera.Localsex-presseddisinterest in educational work-shopsbecausethebenetswerenotim-mediateandtheyrequiredinvestingtimeaway from ones regular daily schedule.However, over time, community mem-bersunderstoodthebenetofPIEATsprogrammingandbeganworkingalong-sideNaropadelegationstondsustain-ablewaystocounterpoverty.Asaresultof these collaborative efforts, PIEAT

    was able to understand the problemsrelatedto education, disease,and nutri-tion in the region with greater clarity.

    One of the solutions that PIEAT hasdevisedwith community membersis tobuilda local vocational school for stu-dents who have missed multiple yearsof school. The curriculum would of-

    fer courses on hygiene and nutrition.

    NutritionisahugeproblemintheJalapanValley.Duetopoverty,familiesareforcedtomake an economic decisionbetween choosing to buy

    vegetables,whichareexpen-sive and very perishable, orbuyingriceandbeans,whichisaffordableandcanlastformonths. However, beyondeconomics, most people in

    thevalleyareuneducatedonthebasicsof healthyeating.

    In an effort to tackleissuessurrounding nutrition, pov-erty and education, PIEAT,usingNaropastudentvolun-teers,haspreparedtheearthfor community gardens on

    which vegetables and fruittreeswillbeplanted.Further-

    more, the organization will teach com-munitymembersthebasicson nutritionand healthy eating through workshops.

    Oncampus,PIEAThasenlistedthehelp

    of Naropastudentstoraisemoneyforitsefforts.Studentshaveorganizedafund-raisingeventknownasLoveinAction,

    which is collecting dollars to build thevocational school in Tierra Promitera.Thefund-raiserisscheduledtotakeplaceon April 23rd at theArapahoecampus.

    PIEAT emphasizes thatthereare manyproblems outside of health and edu-cation in Tierra Promitera. And ulti-mately there efforts are but one com-ponent of a broader struggle rootedin grass-roots development. Still, theorganization persists until The Prom-

    isedLandcan live upto itsnamesake.

    ThePromisedLandinNicaraguaJohannah ReimerContributingWriter

    Boyplayingindirtpatchnearhishome.

    Womanstandingnexttoherplastichome.

    Boyridinghisbicyclethroughthevalley.

    JohannaReimerofvisionsofjohannah.com

    JohannaReimerofvisionsofjohannah.com

    JohannaReimerofvisionsofjohannah.com

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    Page4 April 1, 2010TheSycamore

    OnSaturdayMarch6th,NaropaUniver-

    sity hosted, in thename of communitybuilding,itsrstMindHiveevent,whichincluded nine speakers, three perfor-mances,thenomadicharpistGafferasagreetingpresence,theimprovisatoryen-sembleCricketFieldTheory,anenthusi-asticaudience,andsponsorshiphelpfrom

    TonicHerbanBarandLounge,BackyardBees, and Student Life Programming.

    Each presenter spoke for ve minuteson topics rangingfrom scholarly to ex-perientialknowledge.Theeventwasun-dergirdedthroughoutwithNaropaUni-

    versitysfamouseastmeetswestbalance.

    Jordan Quaglia, one of the hosts ofthe event, described the inspiration forthe MindHive event as beginning withthe question: Is the Naropa commu-nityasengagingasitcouldbe?Asheput it, from that question was bornthe idea of having anevent unlike anyeventthat came before,to revealthatakind of cultural community is possibleat Naropa under the right conditions.

    Thevaluesof learningcommingledwithasocialsceneprovidedagoodframework

    forwhattheeventcouldlooklike.HavingpeoplespeakonwhattheyareinspiredbyinordertoinspireothersconjuredupthelecturemodelsofTEDtalksorIgnitewith

    itsbuzz wordsideasworthspreading.MindHives title wastakenfromthe in-uence of the buzz term Hive Mind,

    whichQuagliaarticulatesasacollectiveconsciousnesswherethewholeisgreaterthanitsparts.Inthespiritof discoveringthe already inherent community, Mind-Hive was interested in expressing thediversity of the Naropa student bodysinterests;humanmindscomingtogetherto share whatthey aremost passionateaboutorinterestedin,toprovideatan-gible air of what the Naropa commu-nitylookslike,feelslike,orexperiences.

    OnewayinwhichMindHivewantedto

    keepitsthemeofcommunityatthefore-frontof its intentions - whichechoesbackto Quagliaastorevealthecollec-tiveintelligencethatisalreadyhereinthecommunity,thecommonthread,thees-senceofNaropa-wasbyusingtheim-ageof bees.Therewasaprojectorscreenofbeesononewall,andtherewereindi-cationsofbeevibesonthepublicyer.

    Bees couldbe seen ashavingthe sym-bolicquality of community intheir in-stinctualneedtosurvivebyworkingto-

    gether with the hive and queen. Qua-glia expressed that the bees play ametaphorical role, an analogy of whattheyweretryingtodowiththeevent.On the MindHive website, users weregreetedby Buddha surrounded by bees

    withthewords:anightof cross-pollinat-ingpresentersfrommembersofyourcol-ony.Throughthewebsite,peoplewereabletorespondtowhattheywantedtohearatMindHive.Pickingpresenterswasintended to be participatory, engag[ing]the whole community, Quaglia said.

    Theevent wasspread throughwordof mouthandyerspostedaroundthecampus.

    When lookinginto sponsors, MindHivemaintained the goal of a waste freeevent by hosting local companies thatadvocated for sustainability. Accordingto Quaglia, one potential sponsor wasturnedawaybecausetheirproductuseda lot of wrapping, which did not co-herewith MindHivesor studentvalues.

    Any future MindHive events intendtokeepaskingthequestionwhatkindof community is possible at Naropawithallof itsdiversity,collectivewisdomandjoiningofheartsandminds?Theques-tionisnotinneedofadenitiveanswer,butinsteadshouldbe exploredthroughinvolvement,engagement,andcontinualre-evaluation.WhatunfoldsfromMind-Hive is up to the community,Quagliasaid.MindHiveeventscouldbeanalter-nativeinsteadofgoingoutdrinking.Theeventcouldbejustasfunandbuzzing.

    QuagliaspokeofhavingadiversewholecommitteehostMindHiveeventsasop-posedtoasmall,unrepresentativegroup.Peoplecouldcontributeand helpshapethe process of MindHive, reinventingandparticipatinginwhattheeventcouldexpress. Quaglia concluded by saying,

    [email protected].

    AniaChapskaofTheSycamoreMindHiveguestspeaker.

    MindHiveHostsFirstAnnualEventinPAC

    Atsome point, mostevery college stu-dentisaskedwhytheychosetoattendaparticularinstitution.Formoststudentsattending Naropa University, at least apart of the answer is that Naropa of-fersacontemplativeapproachtoeduca-tion.Indeed,Naropaistoutedbymanyas the foremost name in contemplativeeducation in the United States. Thatis why it is particularly odd that when

    askedthefollowupquestionofWhatis a contemplative approach to educa-tion? manyof ushavea difculttimeputtingourngeronanexactdenition.

    If you ask a hundred different peoplewhat a contemplative approachto edu-cation involves you will likely receivea hundred different answers. More-over, in true Naropa spirit, virtually allofthosediverseanswerswillbeequally

    valid.Suchamultitudeofanswersshouldnot beinterpreted tomeanthat all an-swers are relative and all true, for that

    wouldalsomeanthatthereisnoanswer.

    TheanswerthatNaropagivesthepublic

    canbe found onthe university website:

    Contemplative education is learn-ing infused with the experience ofawareness, insight and compassion foroneself and others, honed throughthe practice of s itting meditationand other contemplative disciplines.

    To esh out that answer, we turned tothe president, graduates, students andfaculty. During the summer of 2008,Susan Burgraff, Ph.D conducted inter-

    views and focusgroups of the Naropa

    faculty on this question of contempla-tive education. Susan is core faculty inthe BAContemplative Psychology pro-gram. Herinvestigation is ongoing, butearlyndingsdenefourmethodsofap-proachingcontemplative education. Shelists these as the perceptual/embodied,the intellectual/cognitive, the emotion-al/identity and the social/community.

    The rst of thesecategories has todowith increasing awareness by focusingattention on thevarioussensations andperceptions experienced through thebody. Practices such as Tai Chi, Yoga

    and sitting meditation develop in thepractitioner an integration of the body

    and mind by bringing the minds fo-cus to what is happening in the body.

    Thesecondcategoryortheintellectual/cognitive approachis visible in thewaystudentsare taught to engage academicmaterial.Someformsof thisapproachin-cludequestioningthewaysinwhichonesassumptionsandsubjectiveexperiencein-uencetheexperienceofsubjectmatter.Itmayalsoincludequestioningwhyandhowcertainquestionsareorarenotasked.

    Thethirdapproachtocontemplativeedu-

    cationistheemotional/identityperspec-tiveandthereasonwhysomanystudentsatNaropawillendupcryinginclassbeforetheygraduate.Studentsdonotonlylearnfrom and about academic topics, theylearnfromandaboutthemselves.Thisap-

    proach challenges the individual toexamine his or her own experience,

    values and personality in ways out-side their comfort zone in order todiscover who he or she is and howthat inuences all that heor she does.

    The last category seems to ow from

    the self-knowledge emphasized in thethird. The social/community approach

    acknowledges that no students educa-tionhappensinavacuum,butisalwaysundertaken with others. Skills such asdeep listening, dialogue, empathy andseeing theself in others andvice versadevelop in students an awareness ofthe larger community and society as

    well as the ability to engage therewith.

    ThefourapproachesaddressedinSusanBurgraffsworkanswerthequestionofhowwegoaboutcontemplativeeducation.

    For a perspective on why weundertakecontemplativeeducation,weturntoDr.StuartLord,Presidentof NaropaUniver-sity.WhenaskedwhatmakesaNaropagraduate stand out, he responded, ANaropa graduatecan answer theI amquestion. . . They have done the inner

    work,theyhavebecomeacquaintedwithself . ..inarealhonest,thoughtfulway.Hegoesontosaythatsuchapersonispreparedtoengagetheworldinaunique

    way.AccordingtoLord,Theycangooutandmeettheworld,withoutaddingtotheconfusionof theworld.ANaropagraduate has that anchor from practice

    thattheycanmeettheconfusionoftheworld without getting caught up in it.

    Garret Curler

    ContributingWriterTheHeartof ContemplativeEducation

    Troy Suben

    CreativeEditor

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    Creative Naropa

    Iwalkedintothepark,feelingabitapprehensive.Withmyrecorderand camerain hand, I drew more atten-

    tiontomyselfthanIwishedfor.Mybiggestfearwasoffendingsomeone. Afterall,I wasthereto converseandlearnmoreontheideaoffreelivinginBoulder.

    My rst interaction was with a friendly gentlemannamed Scott Browne, who traveled the park in his

    very distinguished bicycle. Approaching him, I hadno idea what to expect, but the encounter provedto be fruitful, as he became my guide for the day.

    WhenIaskedScottifhewashomeless,Ireceivedaquizzical reaction, followed by an explanation. Scottused to live in the park, but now is holding a job,and livesin anapartment.He is also receiving somemoney from the government for being a veteran.

    Thoughhedidnotmindmyinquiryintohishousingsit-uation,hewassuspiciousofmyintentions.OnceItoldhimIwaswritingapieceonBouldershomelesspopula-

    tionfollowingtherecentcityordinanceagainstpeoplesleepingonsidewalksandparkbenches,hebecameea-gertohelpmendpeoplewhowouldsharetheirstories.

    As we walked through the park, holding both in-

    tense and light-hearted conversations, Scottpointed at a man in his late 20s, carrying a hugepack on his back and a little dog under his arm.

    Sasquatch Adams was the mans name and Nikitawas his furry travel companion. Sasquatch grew upintheprojectsofHartford,CT,andgotsickoftheghettoveyearsago.Hedecidedtohit theroadandhasbeenmovingaroundthestateseversince,follow-

    ingBobWeirandRatdogandgoingfromshow to show, hanging in the parkinglotsanddancingwithprettyhippygirls.

    OnhisexperienceinBoulder,Sasquatchexplainedthatpeoplehavebeen kindtohim, helping him whenever the occa-

    sion called for it. Hesummed uptheirgenerosity by saying, The road has a

    wayofblessingyouwithinnitepossi-bilities. Ijusttrust inthegoodness ofpeople and the laws of the Universe.

    Following that encounter, I returnedtosittingwithScottonabench.Withinafewminutes,heintroducedmetoan-otherman.Hewasatallgentlemanwithdreadlocks anda bright smiled whoin-troduced himself as Dave Oldhand.

    Davewasexcitedtobeinterviewed,sayingthatpeopledontusuallylistentohimbecauseheshomeless.People

    actliketheywouldwanttoseeallthehomelessdead,hesaid.Delvingintothecausesof homelessness,Davesaid,somewantthefreedom,[others]camebackfromght-inginIraqandaretryingtondthemselvesbutfeeldis-connectedfromsociety,andothersareforcedintohome-lessnessbecausetheycantworkduetohealthissues.

    AccordingtoDave,everyoneintheparkhadastory.Apersonwithabluemohawk,abodycoveredintattoossleepingonaparkbench,mighthavejustcomebackfromthewar,andunderhisjackethehideshismedals.Hecouldbeahero,butisseenasnothingmorethangarbage.

    Speaking to the recent ordi-nance,Davesaid,If richpeo-ple think that they can push

    allthepoorpeopleoutoftheway,thentheyregoingtobeinforasurprise.TheycanjudgealltheywantbutBoulderisajewelandthatswhysomanydifferentpeople gatherhere.

    Following the conversationwithDave,Scottinvitedmetoattend the community dinnerattheFirstUnitedMethodistChurchwhereIwouldbeintro-ducedtomoreparkresidents.

    Arriving at the Church at 7

    PM,I found a cafeteria lledwithpeopleenjoyingtheirdin-

    ners.OnemanwhomIsawearlierintheparkwasnowtheevenings entertainment.He wasplaying thelargepianoin the corner of the room.Eventually IfoundScottwhowassavoringthelastbitsof hismeal.Lookingbothpleasedaswellassurprisedtoseeme,hekepthis

    wordbyintroducingmetoacouplefromtheEastCoast.

    TheirnamesareGrifnandRowanTanner,andtheyhavebeentravelingsinceGrifnturned18roughly5yearsago.UponpassingthroughNederland,theydecidedto

    stay,andnowliveinatent.Theypasstheirtimebyread-ingfeverishlyandenjoyingtheirfreedom.AccordingtoGrifn,Thereisahugemisconceptioninthistownaboutthehomeless.Wearenotdoomed.Wejustwantedtoliveupinthemountainsinatentandsimplyrelax.Somepeoplewanttoliveoutdoorsanddowhatevertheywant.

    After a long, enjoyable conversation with the cou-ple, I realized that my day was coming to a close. Ithanked Scott for his guidance and friendship, andI promised him that I would come and see himagain. It was time for me to return to my home.

    BoulderIsMyHome

    Page5 April 1, 2010TheSycamore

    DaveOldhandgazesbytree.

    ScottBrowne,guide,onhisbicycle.

    Sasquatchanddog,Nakkitaenjoyingthepark. Griffin(left)andRowan(right)Tannerstandingwiththeirrabbit.

    Ania Chapska

    SeniorStaffPhotographer

    AniaChapskaofTheSycamore

    AniaChapskaofTheSycamore

    AniaChapskaofTheSycamoreAniaChapskaofTheSycamore

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    Iopenmyeyes.Itissomedaysomeafternooninthemiddleof asnowstorminJanuary,anditiscold,freezingcold.Icantastealcoholandvomitin my mouthandI have nomemo-ryof whathappened. Itisso coldoutsidethesheetsthat I

    cantget up. Imwaiting forthe semiuseless oldrusty heat-erto start and doits workin the apartment. Bad luck,thedoorbellrings. I jump and runtowards the entrance of theapartmentandyellwithoutopeningthedoor,whoisthis?!

    Themailman,letmein!Itsfreezingouthere,alow-pitchedvoiceanswers.Ilookoutthroughthepeepholeandtheretheyare,asix-footrectangleboxandastiffve-footmuscularman

    wrappedinwhiteclothes,wearinga blackbeaniethathidesareallybigpairofheadphones.Foranephemeralmoment,Icouldnttellwhichthepackagewas.ImsleepyandIhavenoidea

    whatthepackageis.Still,Iopenthedoorshiveringwithcold,lettingaminustwothousandandsixtythreedegreebreezeblowthestrongmailmanin.Hecomesinpullingeffortlesslytherect-angleboxashetakesoff thethickblackbeaniethatrevealshishead,unfoldinghisears.IclosethedoorasquicklyasaChineseping-pongprofessionalhitstheballtotheothersideofthenet.

    Themailmandoesntthankmeandasksformynameabruptly.Heshiverswithnoanswer.Hetakesoffhisbeanie.Itturnsouthisroundbaldheadisntholdinganyheadphones,thebulkunderthebeaniewerehisperfectlyroundears,giganticears.Hestaresatmewaitingformetoutteraword.However,mymouthcant produce any sound because of the impression causedbythesizeofhisears.Theyarelikesatellitedishes.Hemusthavehadaterriblechildhood,kidsmakingfunofhimattheplayground,teachersusinghimas anexampleof naturesun-predictability,parentsashamedof creatingsuchafreak.I startfeelingpityforhim.Suddenly,IrealizeIshouldntbethinkingthis;itisnotniceandhemighthavethepowerofhearingmythoughts;therefore,getmyasskicked.Thecoldhelpsmecome

    backtorealityreplyinghisquestionwithanidioticdullhuh?

    Herepeatsthe questionimpatiently, thistime withhis smallmouth so wide openthat I could feel theloud andirritatedsoundof hisvoiceasvibrationsonmychest.Sorry,whatdidyousay?asIcontinuetogroundmyselfandconcentrateinreality,ohyes,thenameThenameisElephantEars,Ian-swersmilingandstopping tosmile.I cantbelieveIsaidthis.Imscrewed.Themailmanturnsintoaredandhotwarriorim-mediately. Hestartsbreathingquickly andnoisy. Imscared,reallyscared.HiseyesdeliverballsofreatmeandIdontknowwhatheiscapableof doing,chokingmetodeath,drown-ingmeinatoilet,choppingmeintolittlepiecesandsendingmetomyrelatives.Ilookaroundavoidinghisgazeandenduplookingathisearsagainndingsomecomfortinthem.Icantdecidebetweenlaughingorcrying;itislikebeingthreat-enedbyabodybuilderversionof aninfuriatedMickeyMouse.

    What!?heyellsintensely.Mylegsareshaking;thistimeisntbe-causeofthecold.Hepunchesmehardwithhisburningstontherightcheekforcingmetotheground,andthenkicksthepackagesendingmesomecompany.Theimpactmakesacrackingnoise.Heopensthedoor,andleavestheroomstampingtheoorwithsteamingtinyfootprintswhilehemumblesyouinsensitiveidiot!

    Theheaterisandhasbeenasleep.ItscoldandImhurt.Again,Idontwanttogetup,butthecoldfromtheopeneddoorforcesmeto.Istandupgettingalittledizzyandclosethedoor.Nowthatthebig-earedmanisntherethepackagestartstointrigueme.I stillhavenoideawhat itis. Iovercomethe coldandstartto openthe boxambitiously. After a minute,I manage

    toseeitsinsides.Ohgreat!Itisanewbrokenheater.Imusthaveboughtitlastnight.Iguesstheoldheatercantretireyet.

    UnexpectedHeatJaime Gonzalez

    ContributingWriter

    Whentheweightof theworldhasgotmedownandI'minneedofsomepeace,IalwaysheadovertotheNaropagreen.WhenInallyarrivethere,Ifeelthewaythatagreatexplorermustvefeltwhenhe

    rstlaidfootinIndiaaftermonthsoftreacheroustravel.LyingdownundertheSycamoreislikere-turningimpossiblytomymothers'womb.If IgoonaWednesday,Iamsuretondevermoresolacebe-tweenthehandsoftheNaropaHealers,andit'sfree!

    When I've nally recuperated the l ife thathad been buried beneath all my world-ly stress and anxiety, I feel anew and ready

    to face once again the daily struggles of life.But,asWinter'scoldngersinsistentlygropetheheelsof Spring,theopportunitiesforndingthispeaceatNaropahavebeenslim.Onpracticeday,theintentionsofeveryoneoncampusconvinced

    the innite power pervading all of the universetogiveussunshine,andthatdaythewarm,heal-ing power of the Naropa green was exposed.

    I invite everyone to help me in my day-to-daystruggle with nding peace.Meditate a lot,espe-ciallyoncampus,andthatwaythesunwillshineagain and we can hold hands and dance in cel-ebration beneath our majestic Sycamore tree.

    OntheSycamoreTree

    Beneath The Majestic SycamoreLars Rismyhr

    ContributingWriter

    Therstwinterthegoldcurtainof theNaropaSyc-amoreattheheartoftheArapahoecampusbegantoshedatmyfeet,Ididnotyetknowhowtotakeupspaceontheearth.Ididnotunderstandthegroundbeneathmyfeetwelcomedmypresence.ADance

    TherapyclassandadialogueclassinthePeaceStud-iesprogramhelpedwiththisbutnothingwasmoretransfor mativethanthequietgraceoftheSycamore

    Teachings, a casual relationship I developed withthemainbeautyof theArapahoecampus.IalwaysmadesuretotakeamomenttogreettheSycamore:animperceptiblenodinherdirection.Youseeme,Ithought,andIyou.Thankyouforshowingushowtostandwithgraceandleanintothewindsofchange.Thankyouforwatchingoverus,Idwhisper.

    TheNaropaSycamoresthatguardovertheArapa-hoe campus, categorized as platanus occidentals,arethreeofthelargestinthestateofColorado.

    TheybeganlifeswayingoverwhatwasonceLin-coln Elementary, which was erected in 1903. Isavored each autumn daylayingunderthe noblechampoutsideof theadministrationbuildingandbranchingmybodywideopen,mimickingthelace

    viewofthebranchesandthinninggoldleaves.Iwould imagine the elementary children of yearspassed tracingtheirngersaroundthe same softtrunkandwonderingif theyreceivedsimilarteach-ingsaboutopenheartsbeforeNaropaeverexisted.SlowlyIbegantoseetheSycamoreinsideeveryoneImet.Lookingoutfromthepodiumatcommence-

    mentthispastMay, Iimagined eachof the newgraduatesasbranchesfromourbelovedSycamore.

    My Naropa journey illuminated passions andbirthednewrelationshipstomyartandcommunity

    visions,friendshipsandmentorrelationshipsthatIneverthoughtpossible.Inconictorjoy,itwasnotonlytheteachingsof myinstructorsthatprovidedmethegreatestopportunitiesforgrowthandlearn-ing. I becamea privatestudentof theSycamore

    Teachings. The Sycamores modeled everythingI needed:Bringyourself back to your roots.Re-spectallbeings.Trust.BeOpen!ReachHigh!Love!

    Through sunshine, blizzard, midterms and war-riorexams,themainSycamoregreetedmewarmly.Churningleavesoverheadandbrightbranchescalledme: Open!Reach out! Look deeper! What bows

    withuseachday?Totheglintof thesun,thequietshiftingof weightin relationshipsandtherattlingthatkeepuseverdrivingtowardssomenewques-

    tion,need,desire,hope.Whattravelsunderfootandrises aboveus, framingour vision?What bloomsandreleasesatexactlythemostdelightfultime?TheSycamorechurningoverheadsoothedme,encour-agedmetogive,reach,andwhenitstime,toletgo.

    AsanewNaropaalumna,thetimehascometotaketheSycamoreTeachingsandthesweetmomentsof myNaropajourneyintomyheartandtakemyfeetoutintothedeep,wideworld.Theblueslicesofthefadingdaywillpeakoutfromthelaceof oth-ertreetops.I willalwaysremembertheSycamore

    whorstcalledmetostandup,reachout,leanintothewindandclaimmybelongingontheearth.Ihopethatyoutoowillndthecallthatteachesyou

    aboutthewisdomofaswayingheartbeatbloom-ing right out of the earth into your own heart.

    The Sycamore TeachingsMartine Joelle McDonald

    ContributingWriter

    Page6 April 1, 2010TheSycamore

    AniaChapskaofTheSycamore

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    Page7 April 1, 2010TheSycamore

    Opinion

    ItwasbackinhighschoolthatIrstcon-templatedthemeaningof theheartofed-ucation.Studyingfactsandguresseem-inglyirrelevanttomyteenagelifemademefeellikeschoolwasjustawasteof time.

    Thethingsthatmattered tome werentaddressedinschoolandIhadnoforumtheretosafelybringthemup.Ifeltpow-erlessinatimeof transitionfromchild-hoodtoadulthood--atimewhenI,morethanever, wanted to live withpurpose.

    Itwasthisexperiencethatledmetoin-

    vestigatetheheartof education.Iknewthat all of the hoursI spentin schoolwerelacking a connection tothe thingsthatmatteredinmylife.SoIdecidedtopursue with passion the education thatisprovidedforchildrenandadolescents.

    While at Naropa I was introduced toPublic Achievement, an internationalyouth empowerment service-learningprogram.IworkedwithLafayettehighschoolstudentsforoneyearinthePublic

    Achievementprogramandwitnessedthecreation of meaningful service-learningprojects.Thiswasthekindof opportuni-tyIwishedIhadhadwhenIwasinhigh

    school.ThiswastheheartofeducationIfelthadbeenlackinginmypriorstudies.

    At the beginning of the program, thestudentshad a hard timebelievingtheyhad the power tobe leadersand makereal changes in their community. Theyseemedhesitant becausetheyhadneverbeengiventheopportunityto beagentsof change and werent used to beingtrustedwithpower.Astheprogramwenton,theyslowlywarmedtotheideaandbegan to investigate their self-interests.IntheyearIworkedwiththesestudents,theycreatedaHipHopCultureclubandbegantocreateaTeenPregnancyCenterfor students at their school. Both pro-gramsarosefromthestudentspersonal

    interests and their communitys needs.

    Childrenin our society are a marginal-izedpopulationina worldrunprimarilybythedecisionsofpeopleovertheageofforty.Theyaremoreoftentoldwhattodoandhowtoberatherthanasked,Whatdo youthink we should do?Itis this question that inspired Art forSocialChange,aprogramthatagroupofNaropapeersandIcreatedlastApril.

    We designed our project as a programthat, through the vehicleof art, wouldempower elementary-aged students tocreateaworldthatbestsuitstheirneedsand personal interests, just as the high

    schoolstudentsIworkedwithhaddone.We alllovedart andbelieved it wasvi-

    talin expanding studentsthinking abil-ity, creativity, and emotional learning.

    Wedecidedtolaunchourprogramwithintheafter-schoolDragonDiscovery pro-gramatthenearbySanchezElementaryinLafayette.Theprogramisnowmidwaythroughitssecondfullsemester.Sherrill

    Jones,thedirectorof theDragonDiscov-eryprogram,hassaidaboutArtforSocialChange, I love theprogram!The kidslovetheprogram!Itsbeenawonderfulad-ditiontotheafter-schoolprogramming.

    The program continues to evolve eachweekwiththestudentsinterestsandin-

    quiries.Sincetheprogramisbasedonthestudentspersonalinterests,theyaretheoneswhodecidethedirectiontheirproj-ecttakes.Coaches,whocurrentlyincludeNaropaandCUstudents,volunteertheirtimetoguidestudentsalongtheprocessofdevelopingtheirservice-learningprojects.

    My experience as both a coach andprogram coordinator has allowed metoexplore the world of education andinteract with youth in a very real andplayful way. Children rise to the ex-pectations you give them. If they aregiven the opportunity and tools to beleaders,theywillbeleaders.Ifwe,asa

    people, question, acknowledge and em-bracewhatchildrenandadolescentswant

    and need,we are buildinga happyandempoweredfutureof humanity. We arehelpingto create a worldthat everyonecanenjoyandbeproudof,bothyoungandold.Eachstudentwhohasparticipat-edinArtforSocialChangehasexperi-encedwhatitistobealeader.Workingasateam,studentsbuildeffectiveleadershipskills while learning the tools requiredto initiate their wishes into the world.

    Thefutureofthisprogramdependsonthat same teamwork and leadership weexpect of the studentsin the program.Severalof ourcoaches willcontinue toexpand and rene the program next

    year as directed by student needs anddesires. I see this program developinga stronger tie with family members byinvolving parents and siblings. Parentscould co-coach orlead-coachtheirchil-dren and childrens peers. Eventually, Ihopetoseetheprogramintegratedintomore public schools as time goes on.

    Naropas mission towards service andchangehaschallengeditscommunitytostand up andbe leadersin thecreationofaworldtheyareproudtolivein.Ifyouareinterestedinchangingtheworldbycontributingyourtime,fundsorwouldotherwiseliketobeinvolvedwithArtfor

    Social Change, please contact me, Por-tia Johnson, at [email protected].

    ArtforSocialChange

    Portia Johnson

    ContributingWriter

    Featured Student Group

    IcametoNaropaUniversitywiththedesiretobecometheAliceinWonderlandofmyinternalbeing.Iwantedtoinvestigate,roam,possess,meander,andobservethemarvelous happenings of myinner landscape.Dancehasbeenmyconstantconduitintothisrealm.

    When I arrived last fall, I was disheartened tond that Naropa did not have a belly dancegroup. I tried to check out other movementgroups, and either never heard from them orcould not seem to locate any to get in touch.

    As an incoming Interdisciplinary Studies studentwithout a focus in performance, I found it dif-culttobecomeinvolvedindanceoutsideoftheclassroom. Even in the classroom itis challeng-ingtogetintodanceclasseswithoutbeinganup-per classmen or declared into Performance.

    Lastsemester, intheFallof 2009, Icreated thestudent group Barefoot Soul in the hope that I

    would inspire in others the same sense of com-munityand camaraderiethatI havefound bypar-ticipating in group improvisational belly dance.

    As a dancer, I love movement of all kinds, butmy home is belly dance. I have been study-ing a group improvisational style called Ameri-canTribal Style belly dance forthe pastsix years,as well as some amenco, Khalbeliya Gypsy(notRomani) dance, and tribal fusion belly dance.

    OnFebruary17th,IstartedteachingATSbellydancefundamentalsandoverthepastseveralweeks,twelvepeoplehaveshownup forclasses.I amincrediblyinspiredandexcitedtoseewhatthisgroupbecomes.

    Barefoot Soul meets every Wednesday night 7:30-9pm in the

    Student Center (Goldfarb) on the Arapahoe Campus. Formore information contact: [email protected]

    BarefootSoulKenni Psenak

    StudentGroupFounder

    KenniperformingatNaropaSupportsHaitifund-raiser.CourtesyofCheeXiong

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    Page8 April 1, 2010TheSycamore

    Events

    Once a year Naropa University hostsan event calledPractice day where the community comes togeth-er and is reminded of the Universitys intention tohold the diverse traditions of east meets west with-in a contemplative learning environment. PracticeDay usually begins at 9 AMwith an hour of sittingmeditation and half an hour of walking meditation.

    FellowstudentJordanCohen,whenaskedif thislengthof meditation wasdifcult, responded Itcan be forpeoplewhodontmeditate,butshefurtherstatedthatit

    wasstillawonderfulcommunitybondingexperience.

    Followingthemeditation,studentswereinvitedtopartici-pateinseveralmovementpractices,whichweredesignedto

    bothintegratemindfulpracticeandintroducebasicprin-ciples. After a little over an hour the group recon-

    vened for a combination interactive play and speechlead by Carole Clements, Chair of the BA Psychol-ogy Department and other faculty. Professor Cle-ments took the students through an imaginedGrand Central Station, bringing the attendant staffand students together as she shared the experi-ence of meeting upwithher old friends once again.

    Atonepoint,theattendeessangHappyBirthdayto

    onestudent,andwanderedaroundtheroomasifwait-ingforthetrain,greetingeachotherasif itwasperfectly

    naturaltomeeteachotherthereatthatspecicmoment.

    AfterwardCaroletoldof howinacommunitysuchasNaropa,it wasessentialtoincorporatemovement andbeingsillytogether.Sheexpressedhowpracticedayisoftenthoughtofasstill,wheninactualitywehaveaheritageof playfromChogyamTrungpaRinpoche.Con-cludingtheceremony,shesaid,playingtogethermatters.

    ExperiencingPracticeDay

    Kiwi BarnstienStaffReporter

    AniaChapskaofTheSycamoreCarolClements,speaker.

    AniaChapskaofTheSycamore

    Studentspracticingmovementmeditation.

    Bi-Weekly Events Calender

    Thursday,April1st Friday,April2nd Saturday,April3rd Sunday,April4th Monday,April5th Tuesday,April6th Wednesday,April7th

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    NalandaStudioTheaterMFAStudentPerfor-mance:ThisArmyof MewithMariela

    Luzmina,feat.MarcinMroz

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