2019 February ARRUF Newsletter

2019 February ARRUF Newsletter

2019 is off to a great start, and there’s more stimulating collaboration ahead. A reminder: spouses are automatically associate members and invited to all events. Moreover, both members and associate members are welcome on committees. We need YOU to make it all work. Reply to ARRUF.invites@rice.edu to tell us how you would like to be involved.

Automation's Effect on the Future of the United States

Brito and Curl

Bob Brito and Bob Curl will soon publish an article about their new model, which links automation to patterns in employment and other economic phenomena. The two Bobs presented the key elements in their model in the first session of In Progress, which showcases ARRUF members’ scholarship and research. A roomful of distinguished colleagues joined them to ask questions and probe the implications of the model’s surprising predictions. A second discussion will be held once the article is published and people can study the model thoroughly. A summary of their work will appear in the REPORTS AND RESOURCES section of the ARRUF website once the article comes out.

Academic Memoir Group

The second Friday in the month, 10:00 a.m., is the new meeting time for the Academic Memoir Group, whose accounts of turning points in their careers are becoming elements in their academic memoirs. In January, Dave McStravick read a touching reflection on his family’s holiday sing-along tradition. Jane Chance’s poem, “My Mother’s Purse,” conveyed the difficulty of knowing our parents and the poignant challenge of memory. You can join the writers on February 8 in Fondren 412 or via ZOOM to listen in or share your own accounts. Send your drafts to June Ferrill at JuneF@rice.edu so that she can incorporate them into the plans for the next sessions, February 8 and March 8.

Death, Dying, and Dessert - on the menu February 6th!

Susan Lieberman_0

“Chocolate, vanilla, closed casket, and strawberry.” Yes, it’s true that some topics are hard to slip into a social conversation. But you can learn to feel comfortable talking about your final wishes. Free copies of Susan Lieberman’s Death, Dying, and Dessert will be served with cookies and more on February 6that 3 p.m. in Fondren 412. Send word you’re coming to ARRUF.invites@rice.edu so there will whipped cream for YOU.

What Do We Expect from a Tribute?


Thad Logan
Thad Logan at the October 2018 Conference

For something seemingly lighter, but in fact more serious: the use of language to express our highest esteem. What sentiments and techniques do we expect? What makes a worthy tribute? So much excessive language is used to describe everyday events now that “awesome,” “Incredible,” and “amazing” have lost their power, but we are still touched by the expert language of praise to honor those we admire. Thad Logan leads a discussion of some classic tributes from literature and philosophy that will refresh your spirit and vocabulary on February 12that 10:30 a.m. Join us in Fondren 412 or via ZOOM.

Office of International Students and Scholars International Friends Project

Both Thanksgiving and December holidays brought international graduate students and their ARRUF mentors together for meals and fun. Plan now to get in line for YOUR international student assignments next year. Clarence and Hilary Miller and Viqui Arbizu report a lovely experience with this project.

ARRUF Faculty Club Lunches Second Thursdays

Food for thought and collegiality are on the menu at the Faculty Club each second Thursday in the month at 11 a.m. Ask when you check in for the reserved tables. Members pay for their own lunches, but the good company is free.

Discussions on Purposeful Aging and the Longevity Economy

Three sessions in February featured contrasting perspectives on aging. On January 17th, members gathered to discuss Paul Irving’s The Power of Positive Aging, a high-level view of how rapid aging of a large demographic sector will create big demands for services, products, housing, caregiving, and medical care. However, retirees who volunteer and remain active enjoy a long lifespan and better health. Their volunteer activities, redefining the meaning of “retirement,” can contribute to meeting these demands. Whether volunteers can effectively address these challenges without being exploited themselves was part of the discussion. One solution, participating in university outreach activities, looked promising to those who attended.

On January 24th, the group took up the witty but cogent views in Susan Lieberman’s Growing Old Is a Full-time Job: Moving on from a Life of Working Hard. Susan brought the focus back to individual decision-making. One of her main points: When imagining a new last chapter (or chapters) for one’s life, it is crucial to adopt new criteria for success. Otherwise, the same unsparing demands of regular faculty life will make us feel guilty. Choose new goals AND new criteria. Susan is back this February in person to help us learn how to leave procrastination behind and have that conversation about our last wishes with those we love (February 6, 3 p.m.) while eating tasty morsels and receiving a free copy of her book, Death, Dying, and Dessert. Finally, a second look at Roger Baldwin’s report on retired faculty organizations at universities across the U.S. wound up the series. All three discussions previewed issues sure to come up in the Spring Half-Day Conference on March 21, when Paul Irving from the Milken Institute’s Center for the Study of Aging talks about Purposeful Aging in the Longevity Economy.

University Archives Research with Melissa Kean

Melissa Kean Melissa Kean, University Centennial Historian

Don’t let University history be lost. Join Rice University Historian Melissa Kean’s Research Teams March 27 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. to plot some detective work in the archives. Thousands of photos, artifacts, and other materials in the Rice Archives are unidentified or unexplained. You can help. Melissa will present some opportunities and adapt projects to ARRUF members’ interests and experience after this start-up meeting.

March 21st Conference - PUT THIS ON YOUR CALENDAR!

Owls Illustration

In ARRUF's second half-day conference about retired faculty in the university, Paul Irving, Chairman of the Milken Institute’s Center for the Future of Aging, will summarize work at the Center related to the Power of Purposeful Aging in the Longevity Economy. A panel of ARRUF faculty and current Rice University faculty will respond, and all participants will join in roundtable discussions over lunch. PUT THIS ON YOUR CALENDAR NOW. Also, you may wishs to read in advance this .pdf by Irving: The Power of Purposeful Aging.

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Our Mailing Address is

The Association of Retired Rice University Faculty

Rice University

Office of the Provost MS-2

P. O. Box 1892

Houston, TX 1892