IUCAT is currently down. We will let you know when it is up and running. You can still access IUCAT Classic at http://classic.iucat.iu.edu.
Pay off your library overdue fines with non-perishable food!
Food for Fines runs from March 27 through April 7.
For every item you donate, we’ll forgive $1 in outstanding library fines. There’s no limit on the amount you may donate! Don’t have a fine … we’re still happy to accept your donations. The proceeds will go to Titans Feeding Titans.
Food for Fines applies to IU South Bend Libraries fines only. It may not be applied to replacement or damage fees or charges from other IU or campus entities.
By Rhonda Culbertson
I had the privilege of speaking with Wendell Affield, who will be coming to campus Tuesday April 18 to discuss his book, Muddy Jungle Rivers: A River Assault Boat Cox’n’s Memory Journey of His War in Vietnam and Return Home. The event will take place in the 3rd floor Bridge area of Wiekamp Hall starting at 5:00 p.m. The event is free and the public is encouraged to attend.
Mr. Affield is soft-spoken and articulate. His voice has the distinctive cadence and faint accent that reminds me of his generation of the Minnesotans I grew up with. He and his wife live near Bemidji, Minnesota, in a log cabin overlooking a small lake that flows into the nearby Mississippi River. A pair of swans are summer residents, and great entertainment.
He had a difficult childhood on a small farm in Northern Minnesota. Both his mother and stepfather struggled with mental illness. At 17 he enlisted in the Navy, and while still a teenager he was deployed to Vietnam during the Tet offensive, as a member of the Mobile Riverine Force. He piloted an armor troop carrier through the delta of the Mekong river and then on the Cua Viet River, just south of the DMZ. He was seriously wounded in an ambush and was medevaced off the river. Later he was brought back to the United States for rehabilitation and therapy for his injuries. The emotional and psychological wounds took longer to heal. Not until retirement did he begin the process of writing his memoirs. He started attending classes at Bemidji State University to learn the craft of writing. Over a period of ten years he honed a collection of memories and stories into his book.
We spoke at some length about his writing process. Surprisingly, considering the vividness and detail of his writing, he did not keep a diary during his time in Vietnam. He relied on a writing technique taught by Donald M. Murray in his book, Write to Learn, for creating a memory tree. The trunk of the tree is an event. As you delve into the specifics branching out from the main trunk, old memories start to reawaken. These ‘trigger memories’ are where other memories attach. Mr. Affield also made extensive use of military resources available on the web including ‘After Action Reports’ to supply missing pieces and additional detail. Those who shared his experiences confirm his accuracy.
The original essays were discrete stories based on vivid but disjointed memories, told from a retrospective viewpoint. After working with the material and consulting with classmates and mentors, he realized that it needed to be a larger chronological work told from the viewpoint of a young soldier.
I was not surprised to learn that stylistically, one of his main influences is Hemingway. His writing has the immediacy and carefully crafted sentences of that author. He is also an admirer of other WWI poets and writers, who evoked the loss and waste of war so powerfully.
Mr. Affield and I also talked about some of the moral and ethical challenges faced by soldiers in combat situations. Although he entered the navy with a fairly limited picture of the larger world, he felt that his childhood on a small farm and growing up near Red Lake Nation, an Ojibwe reservation north of Bemidji, gave him insight into the agrarian existence of the Vietnamese peasants. He was able to empathize with their plight, and imagine how people in his own community might react to the violent intrusions of war.
He feels fortunate that he did not have to fight in a context where he had to be the first to fire, or where the difference between soldier and civilian was blurred. He has a great deal of empathy for current soldiers who are fighting terrorists in an arena where the distinction is not always clear.
One of the most gratifying aspects of sharing his story has been the contacts he has made with other veterans. Social media has given him the chance to reconnect with many from his past. His website and blog have provided opportunities to interact with veterans and family members who have found insight into their own experiences through his story. Veterans struggling with posttraumatic stress are particularly drawn to his talks and workshops. He makes sure to have information about local veteran resources at all of his appearances.
Mr. Affield feels that writing can be a powerful healing tool for anyone dealing with trauma; not just veterans. Several times he mentioned that the act of writing the trauma down ‘puts boundaries’ around an event, and allows the writer to start making sense of the traumatic injuries and to approach them more dispassionately. He recommends the book, Writing War: A Guide to Telling Your Own Story, by Ron Capps as an aid for those who would like to record their own experiences.
Although Mr. Affield has taken careful pains to not glorify war in any of his writings, a history class with Tom Murphy made him realize that the anti-war movement perspective was missing from early drafts of his book. Embodied by one of his military comrades, nick-named “Professor”, the anti-war position was explored using remembered conversations. Upon returning home, Mr. Affield had an encounter with anti-war protesters. Thirty years later he returned to the scene in an attempt to learn why the protestors had assaulted a hospital bus loaded with wounded troops enroute to Great Lakes Naval Hospital. What he discovered was quite astonishing.
He hopes that accounts like his can help us, as a country, learn from the past. While reading H.R. McMasters’ Dereliction of Duty, Affield was outraged at the hubris and lies made by national leaders in the early 1960s—deception that dragged this country into the Vietnam War. He hopes that Mr. McMasters remembers what he wrote while serving as National Security Advisor for the current administration. Affield also talked about the experiences of his mother and grandmother who were in Europe during Hitler’s ascendancy. His grandmother, a student of history, foresaw the problems that might arise from the 1938 Munich Agreement. Mr. Affield sees parallels with the current situations in the Middle East and North Korea.
Mr. Affield closed our conversation with an anecdote. He wanted to place copies of his book in his former business place. He felt he needed to warn the owner, a devout Jehovah’s Witness, that there was profanity in the book. The owner took a long look at the author and said, “Wendell, war is profane.”
Please plan to join us for a fascinating conversation. Copies of the book are available for check-out in the library, and by contacting Vicki Bloom, email@example.com. For more information or to rsvp, please contact Rhonda Culbertson, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ARTstor Digital Library includes a wide variety of Black History collections that cover African art and cultures, as well as resources that focus on the lives and achievements of African Americans. Here are some wonderful examples:
- Jacob Lawrence’s complete series of “The Migration of the Negro,” 60 paintings chronicling the passage of African-Americans from the rural South to the urban North.
- Rare photographs of Martin Luther King, Jr. and in the secret history of Washington, D.C. as the center of African-American cultures in the early 1900s.
- Works by Harlem Renaissance Masters from the Amistad Research Center
- Artists of the African Diaspora from the Mott-Warsh collection
- Modern and Contemporary artists such as Romare Bearden, Eugene James Martin, and Wangechi Mutu
The Veterans Book Club will meet on Wednesday March 22 at 5:00 in Fireside Room B to discuss, Soldier Girls: The Battles of Three Women at Home and at War.
Vicki Bloom, the Dean of Libraries at IU South Bend selected this book because, “With more women enlisting in today’s armed forces, I thought it would be interesting to read about the military experience from a female perspective . . . Soldier Girls follows three women from small towns in Indiana over a 12 year period. . . I liked the fact that these women were members of the National Guard. They had different expectations, motivations, and family responsibilities when they signed up.”
Book club members were enthusiastic when they heard about the next selection. Several had already read the book, and thought it was an engrossing story with an interesting local angle. According to the Indianapolis Star, The 2008 deployment was the largest for Indiana since World War II, and in 2009 Indiana deployed more members of its National Guard than any other state.
The author, Helen Thorpe, is a journalist who has written for a number of national publications including, The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine. The book was selected as a best book of the year by Publisher’s Weekly, and as an Editor’s Pick in the New York Times. Time magazine named it one of the top-ten non-fiction books of 2014.
The book follows the story of three very different women. A New York Times article describes the main characters:
Michelle Fischer who thought of herself as a ”music-loving, pot-smoking, left-leaning hippie,” signed up because it would pay for college and enable her to live on campus.
Debbie Helton, a beauty salon manager, signed up in the 1980s because she wanted to emulate her father, who had been an Army drill sergeant . . . at 49, she had become a cherished den mother to the men, and growing number of women, there.
Desma Brooks signed up in 1996 on what she calls a dare. . . [W]ith a cratering marriage and three children, she also found herself dependent on the paychecks, which supplemented her factory job.
None of them expected to be deployed oversees until after 9/11.
Ultimately, this is a story of unlikely friendship forged in dramatic and traumatic experience. Bloom finds hope in that, “Despite their many differences, the three women accepted and supported each other.”
The book club is open to veterans, their families and others in the campus and community interested in veteran’s experiences. Copies of the book are available for check-out in the Schurz library or by contacting the library director Vicki Bloom at email@example.com
“Utterly absorbing, gorgeously written, and unforgettable” – Boston Globe
“Raises important questions about how men and women serve together and the differences in how they experience war, enabling us to see the subtle challenges female soldiers face — the hardships that don’t make easy headlines.” – The Washington Post
Films on Demand is a streaming video service that makes it easy for you to embed documentary clips or even entire films into Canvas. New content is being added monthly. In January, nearly 200 films were added to the database. Below is a small sampling of some of the new titles added to the database.
From Ryan Weber, Assistant Supervisor of the Wiekamp Educational Resource Commons:
Now at the Wiekamp Educational Resource Commons, printing in the third dimension!
No matter your major, 3D printing can be applied to nearly any field of study. 3D printing has already found its place in the fields of science and medicine with the creation of customized prosthetics, personalization of medical products, and pharmaceutical research to name a few. It has widely been used by the manufacturing industry for decades to produce prototypes, models, and molds. Now, 3D printing technology is gaining in popularity and becoming increasingly affordable for consumer uses as well. Thousands of premade 3D items are available for download, many of them for FREE!
What does this mean for you? You can check out any of several popular 3D printing services online or create something of your own design and get it printed right here at IU South Bend. The Wiekamp Educational Resource Commons (on the second floor of the Education and Arts building) encourages anyone on campus to stop in for a free 3D print consultation. Want to know more about 3D printing at IU South Bend? Click the link below.
The Veterans Book Club will meet on Thursday January 26, at 5:00 in the Fireside room of the Administration Building. Please put it on your calendar if you are able to join us!
We will be discussing, The White Donkey: Terminal Lance, a graphic novel featuring characters from the military comic, Terminal Lance, penned by Max Uriarte. Mr. Uriarte brings his personal perspective as a combat veteran and military artist to vivid life in this New-York Times best-selling novel. It was praised in the Washington Post, as capturing “the singular moments that, like a rock cast into a pond, send their ripples out almost infinitely – altering lives and ending others.” The White Donkey has been on several lists of top book of 2016 including the The New York Times and NPR.
The book club is open to campus and community veterans, their families and others interested in the vet experience. If you can come to campus, copies of the book are available for check-out, (call number PN6727.U74 W55 2016) Otherwise, please get in touch Vicki Bloom, (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a copy. RSVP email@example.com or https://www.facebook.com/events/1465091690175509/
For additional information please visit, IUSB Veterans Book Club blog at: https://vetsbookclub.wordpress.com/
The Library has acquired a new ViewScan III microfilm reader-printer that allows documents to be scanned as pdfs. It is located in the Government Documents room on the ground floor. If you are interested in a tutorial, contact Kirby Cheng at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Need a study break and some extra caffeine to get you through finals?
The Library is providing free coffee in the Dorene Dwyer Hammes Media Commons and Café from 8 p.m. to closing Sunday, December 11 through Wednesday, December 14.