Grateful for Evergreen’s Faculty

I was lucky enough to attend to Evergreen between 1981 and 1984. I never had you as a teacher. My teachers were Bill Aldridge, Gordon Beck, Mary Nelson, and Lloyd Colfax. They all frequently mentioned your name.

What is most profound about Evergreen’s faculty is the fact that they truly care about their students. Evergreen is more than a teaching facility, it is a community and a family. If not for the teachers listed above, I would have never graduated.

I do not know what happened to Bill but my other three teachers have since passed away. I was never able to say thank you properly to them, but to you I would like to say thank you for being part of the Evergreen family, and for nurturing and teaching all of us that have passed through TESC over the last forty years. Thank you so very much!

Thank you.

Hello Doctor Hitchens;
I thought I’d drop by and say thank you. After thirty years out of school I wasn’t sure I was going to make it that first quarter in 2009. If it had not been for you I think I might have dropped out, but your efforts kept me going.

You’re a great teacher and a hell of a guide. I appreciate all you did that year.

I was at the benefit, but had to leave early to pick up my wife. I’ll talk to Pete and see if we can’t we can’t do that again next year. Hell we ought to keep that going on forever.

Thank you once again,

Michael Wilson; 2009-2010

A guy walks into a doctor\’s office…

“I ENCOURGE you to cultivate a willing supension of disbelief… and a TOLLERANCE for ambiguity.”

That’s you, on the first day of the new school year in 1984, giving the opening lecture for the Foundations of Human Expression core program…

I remember sitting in book seminars that year being in almost slack-jawed awe at the power of your mind, at the bounty of ideas you had at your disposal and how you were able to weave them together extemporanously and communicate them in a way that challenged us (sometimes hard) to think – yet also encouraged us with a twinkle or a chuckle.

“Jezus!”, I’d think to myself… “How does a person GET a BRAIN like that?”

And then the next year, when you agreed to be the faculty for my far-flung independent study… we sat in your office each week and talked and laughed and worked through problems of thought both portentious and trival… and as we did I began to see little pieces of my own mind begin to take that sort of burnished glow and fine temper. Towards the end of that year, you told me something remarkable - that you were often learning as much from me as I was learning from you – and to this day, that remains the best compliment my mind has every received.

Your teaching is what made me want to be a teacher, Dave. Your encouragement is what made me believe I *could* be a teacher. And only just now typing these words do I recognize that your spirit has been with me all these years - reminding me, encouraging me, challenging me – that a brilliant man with a teacher’s heart can chart a useful, meaningful, and graceful path through this world.

I’m not trying to make you out as saintly or perfect here, and I know I’ve done the heavy lifting to make myself and my life the amazing, fortunate, daily gift it is – but I also know this: you can’t build a house without a foundation. You gave me a hell of an amazing start, Dr. Dave… and for that you’ll always have my fondest and most profound gratitude.

SO… guy walks into a Doctor’s office. Doc says “can I help you?” The guys says “Yeah, Doc, PLEASE, ya gotta do something! Something’s wrong! I can’t PEE!” Doctor looks him up and down and says “How OLD are you?” Guy says “I’m 80, why?” Doctor says: “awh, you’ve peed enough!”

Don’t think there’s a lesson there… :)

Love and thanks from San Francisco…

Randy Earwood
TESC ’87

Long, Long Ago

So, I have this history problem. I recently read a five volume work on the Shoshone dog soldiers of Eastern Oregon, the greatest light cavalry in the history of the world. The author is not a formally trained historian. He wrote these books in his spare time while working as a ranger for the BLM. Some really strange and startling revelations in here. Is this guy for real or is he a crackpot? Who would know? Dave Hitchens would know. So I googled your name and found this. More than I bargained for, I guess.

You were my Western Civ professor at Lewis and Clark College in 1970. You rescued me, in a way, and opened my horizons, but you were soon gone to start a new school in the moldy woods near Olympia. My friend, Paul Blanding, and I drove up to see you one time when you were on the planning faculty there at TESC. Spent the night at your house. Went to a faculty planning meeting with you and to what seemed like a pretty wild faculty party (where we all sang about that Great Speckled Bird). Haven’t seen you since. Nice memories. You seemed older than me at the time. Now, not so much.

This evening I read all 32 pages of your guest book. Shoshone dog soldier questions can wait. What a long and distinguished career you’ve had. So many lives changed. I get a sense of completion, fullness. You’ve done well, pilgrim. See you on the other side.

Never-ending Thanks

It began Oct 1, 1979 in Lec I (I believe). First, there was the reminder that “you are here because you want to be, not because your parents attended or some other ‘legacy.’”
After warning that if one voluntarily missed seminars, not only would one cheat oneself of learning from fellow students, one would be depriving the others of one’s contributions, a “reminder” that this was college: “No one’s going to call your parents ‘Johnny wasn’t in class today.’”
The all-time perfect example of How Evergreen Is Different and the Challenges That Await: “The only reason I’m standing here and you’re there [sitting] is experience. It’s not IQ or degrees or titles. It’s experience. I have more than you do in a particular field.[Pause of about 5 seconds] And I fully expect the situation to be reversed in four years, with me listening to you up here. Every one of you is capable.”
Those words were the introduction to my education as well as an example of the program theme: The dialectic of overlapping generations.
David, beside being the ONLY person to ever call me “evil” (or try to say chocolate chip cookies were evil), you taught me to look at most issues as diamonds, i.e., a properly cut diamond has 58 facets.
Depending on where the light is coming from, where one’s standing, and other factors, it’s going to look different to each viewer.
Your teaching made me stronger in ways I’m still discovering.
“Don’t forget to take time for yourself.” I still hear that at times today. Part of “taking time” in 1980 was a little group called — Scatter Creek. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Not many folks play “Jerusalem Road.”
Let’s not forget Clock Tower Mickey (has that story ever been recorded?)!
It all started with you.
For all of this and a lot more, I give my never-ending thanks.

P.S. If you thought the cookies were dangerous, I now make some amazing (legal) brownies — dense & fudgy from 100 -year- old receipe.