Tag Archives: howard stein

SoundCloud Reruns Howard Stein in Collaboration

Technology is amazing when it can bring back the best of the past and press it forward with new life into the future.  Now that SoundCloud is here — and is a reliable and robust service — I have finally been able to bring together a series of 12 voicemails Dr. Howard Stein left for me in 2011 — he died a year later at 90 — and, with his expressed permission then, as now, I am able to share them with you to help create an arc of a man and his mind in collaboration.

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The Most Intelligent Alternative: In Defense of the Public Good

[Publisher's Note: Boles Blogs author Howard Stein died on October 14, 2012 at 90 years of age.  In an ongoing effort to preserve his legacy and memory, David Boles is sharing articles and preserving other works from his private Prairie Voice archive. The following article was likely written by Dr. Stein in the early 1980's -- and his point still rings true, and still bites us with a bitter hardness of the flat truth -- three decades later.]

Public education in the minds of the parents, schoolboards, teachers, and local politicians seems to have as its purpose either the preparing of the young for higher education (preferably private education), or the preparing of the young for a variety of jobs and trades.

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Tripping Over Times Square

Last night, Janna and I were rushing home after teaching in New York City, and in the middle of Times Square, I had a moment I hope I never get to repeat.  I tripped — over my own two feet, or the curb, or a break in the sidewalk — and instantly fell long and hard on the sidewalk.  I was stunned for a moment and didn’t quite know where I was.  Janna was behind me somewhere and I remember one woman bending down to ask me if I was okay.

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Howard Stein Rents a Revenge

As a graduate student at Columbia University, I recall one particularly challenging playwriting assignment from mentor, and teacher, Dr. Howard Stein: “Rent a Revenge.”

“Rent a Revenge” was one of the last, and most challenging, things for us to write because Howard would only give us the title of the assignment.  You had to figure out the rest on your own.  Many students would get stuck and whine and complain, but Howard would not budge with additional direction.  Ask him any question about the assignment, and all he would do is yell back at you, “Rent a Revenge.”

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Running for the Train with Howard Stein

One of my earliest, and most frightening, experiences in New York City was when I first met Dr. Howard Stein at Columbia University in the City of New York to decide if I wanted to attend graduate school with him or not.  Howard was Chair of the Oscar Hammerstein II Center for Theatre Studies at Columbia University in the City of New York.

I met Howard on a hot August day and he was in a mighty hurry.  He was late for a meeting at the Shubert Organization in Times Square and we were at Columbia University at 116th Street and Broadway.  If I wanted answers from Howard, I would have to ride the subway to the Shubert Theatre with him.  I told him I was with him and we were off!

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At Night, I Get Scared

Today is the third day in a row I’m writing about the death of the great author and teacher, Dr. Howard Stein, because I just can’t get his life out of my mind.  Every time we’d meet or speak on the phone, I would take copious notes because I didn’t want to forget anything he told me.

Every conversation was ripe and ready for memorialization in a blog post or in a future thinking endeavor.  Howard Stein was always teaching, and when you had his attention, you were the most important person in the world to him.  He was staunchly rational and fearless almost up to the end; and I say “almost” because during the last few months of his life, he confessed to me that, at night, he would get scared.

http://boles.com/called/12/scared.jpg

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