All in a Day's Work: I wondered if writing fiction mattered

Brian Morton ’79

Brian Morton ’79

Writer, New York City

My teachers helped prepare me for being a writer. Joe Papaleo was forthright about the literary life and its difficulties. I also became very interested in politics at SLC—and ended up as an editor at Dissent for fifteen years—and I wondered if writing fiction mattered when there was so much misery and suffering. Ilja Wachs pointed me to Schiller’s letters on “the aesthetic education of man.” They helped me to realize that in a world that is dominated by money values, the aesthetic realm, the realm of play, has its own value. Even art that isn’t directly political can be socially important.

Vicki Ford ’60 In this job you need to be a good listener

Vicki Ford ’60

Councilwoman, Eastchester, NY

When I came to SLC, the teacher training program placed me in a Bronxville school. I fell in love with the community and was fortunate enough to raise my six children there. For the last twelve years, I’ve been on the town council in Eastchester, which includes the villages of Tuckahoe and Bronxville. In this job, you need to be a good listener, and my goal is to empower people to do things they don’t think they’re capable of doing. The good news is that with community support much has been accomplished. Of course, there are always problems, but Eastchester is a positive place, and we usually achieve positive results.

Lowell Miller ’70

Lowell Miller ’70

President, Miller/Howard Investments, Woodstock, NY

I surprised myself, founding an investment management business. We handle about seven hundred million dollars in a conservative style. But it was never my ambition to be in business. After SLC, I published poetry in Rolling Stone and articles in the New York Times Magazine. I wasn’t making a living though, and I had this gambler side to me, so I hooked up with a computer-scientist partner. We solved some investing problems and soon began gaining clients. SLC gives you a high opinion of yourself, which makes you think that if you push on the world it will give way. In my case, it did. As in any field, it helped enormously to have strong writing skills. Articulation rules!

Raushan Mitchell - ...I knew that was what I wanted to do with my life. Pam Tanowitz - When I came to SLC for my M.F.A., Viola Farber changed my life. Theresa Wyatt - But I only received a call to the ministry after I graduated from law school