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Mon, May. 25th, 2009, 11:55 am
On Memorial Day - Remembering our Fallen Hero Spec. Anthony N. Kalladeen

I originally wrote this entry in 2007 and I repost it each year on Memorial Day. One of the saddest of duties for s Student Affairs professional like myself is to attend to the funeral of a student. Unfortunately, I have had to attend several in my 13 years in the field, but the burial of one of our own who served his country in Iraq continues to live with me...

I hope all are having a peaceful and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend. Memorial Day is a day to honor our fallen American Soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedom and our way of life. Take a moment to find a way to thank our fighting men and women, in even the smallest way, especially those who have been placed in harms way in Iraq and those who are currently serving in Afghanistan and throughout the world.

Every time I need to be reminded our our heroes I remember a member of our armed forces that I know personally who gave his life in Iraq in 2005 and share his story.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Anthony N. Kalladeen and his older brother, Chad Pillai, were put up for foster care when they were just 9 and 10 after their mother suffered a nervous breakdown. But Kalladeen, at age 17, came looking for her and his brother to reunite the family. "He showed us what true love was," said his cousin Ana Rodriguez, 46. "He showed no animosity toward his mother."

Anthony Kalladeen served as a SUNY Purchase College resident assistant for three semesters in the freshman residence halls Big Haus and Crossroads, enjoying great popularity with his peers and first-year students. He was a superb mentor and model for the residential community. He touched students’ lives and helped them grow in his capacity as an RA. I still remember the day he came to our office to request a military leave of absence. He was so proud of his military service and felt that it was his duty to return to Iraq. A former Marine, he was about to begin his second tour of duty in Iraq as a member of the Army National Guard 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment out of New York City. He planned to return to Purchase to complete his studies.

Anthony Kalladeen, 26, a resident of Purchase College in Purchase, N.Y., died Aug. 8, 2005 in Baghdad of injuries sustained Aug. 7, when his Humvee was struck by two improvised explosive devices and he received small-arms fire.

Anthony Kalladeen is a true American hero. Whenever I need a source of strength, I think about him. I only wish I had gotten to know him better.

It is one of the saddest duties of a Student Affairs professional to attend the funeral of a student who has passed away, and I have unfortunately attended three, but Anthony Kalladeen's military funeral, with a helicopter fly-over and 21-gun salute will live with me forever.

In May, 2006, Purchase College dedicated Kalladeen’s Corner in the Crossroads residence hall which continues to serve as a place of reflection where students can gather to socialize and study. Every time I visit the College, I try to be sure to take a moment to visit it and reflect.

On this Memorial Day, 2009, I remember Spec. Anthony N. Kalladeen and all of the fallen heroes, and think about all of our men and women in uniform who continue to serve to this day. I hope you take a moment to think of them as well.

Portions of this entry were adapted from an article in The Washington Post. It was initially written in 2007, modified in 2008 and 2009.

Thu, Jul. 24th, 2008, 05:58 pm
I'm Running for President? Could it Be?

Tue, Jul. 15th, 2008, 02:52 pm
I was on TV... sort of...

At the State-Farm All-Star Home Run Derby...

If you watch the first Sizemore home run in this video, wait till the ball reaches the bleachers and then pause it... you clearly see me and my blue shirt above the "r" in "strength". PRETTY COOL if ya ask me...

I know I was on TV clearer in a later round because I got text messages saying people saw me... but I don't remember who was the batter at the time....

Check it out!

http://mlb.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?mid=200807143135892

All in all, I've never seen home runs like that... Hamilton was bouncing them off the back wall. Incredible.

Mon, May. 26th, 2008, 01:44 pm
On Memorial Day - Remembering our Fallen Hero Spec. Anthony N. Kalladeen

I originally wrote this entry last year on Memorial Day and it is worth reposting (with a few modifications)...

I hope all are having a peaceful and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend. Whatever your opinion is about our current administration in Washington, don't forget that Memorial Day is a day to honor our fallen American Soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedom and our way of life. Take a moment to find a way to thank our fighting men and women, in even the smallest way, especially those who have been placed in harms way in Iraq and those who are currently serving in Afghanistan and throughout the world.

Every time I need to be reminded our our heroes I remember the only member of the armed forces that I know personally who gave his life in Iraq in 2005.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Anthony N. Kalladeen and his older brother, Chad Pillai, were put up for foster care when they were just 9 and 10 after their mother suffered a nervous breakdown. But Kalladeen, at age 17, came looking for her and his brother to reunite the family. "He showed us what true love was," said his cousin Ana Rodriguez, 46. "He showed no animosity toward his mother."

Anthony Kalladeen served as a Purchase College resident assistant for three semesters in the freshman residence halls Big Haus and Crossroads, enjoying great popularity with his peers and first-year students. He was a superb mentor and model for the residential community. He touched students’ lives and helped them grow in his capacity as an RA. I still remember the day he came to our office to request a military leave of absence. He was so proud of his military service and felt that it was his duty to return to Iraq. A former Marine, he was about to begin his second tour of duty in Iraq as a member of the Army National Guard 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment out of New York City. He planned to return to Purchase to complete his studies.

Anthony Kalladeen, 26, a resident of Purchase College in Purchase, N.Y., died Aug. 8, 2005 in Baghdad of injuries sustained Aug. 7, when his Humvee was struck by two improvised explosive devices and he received small-arms fire.

Anthony Kalladeen is a true American hero. Whenever I need a source of strength, I think about him. I only wish I had gotten to know him better.

It is one of the saddest duties of a Student Affairs professional to attend the funeral of a student who has passed away, and I have unfortunately attended three, but Anthony Kalladeen's military funeral, with a helicopter fly-over and 21-gun salute will live with me forever.

In May, 2006, Purchase College dedicated Kalladeen’s Corner in the Crossroads residence hall which continues to serve as a place of reflection where students can gather to socialize and study. Every time I visit the College, I try to be sure to take a moment to visit it and reflect.

On this Memorial Day, 2008, I remember Spec. Anthony N. Kalladeen and all of the fallen heroes, and think about all of our men and women in uniform who continue to serve to this day. I hope you take a moment to think of them as well.

Portions of this entry were adapted from an article in The Washington Post.

Fri, May. 23rd, 2008, 07:20 pm
Award-Winning Playwright Tony Kushner Addresses Purchase Graduates at 36th Commencement May 16

Below are the remarks delivered by award-winning playwright Tony Kushner at Purchase College’s 36th Commencement on May 16. I agree with much of what Tony had to say, so I thought I would share it with all of you.


This business of receiving an honorary degree, this transaction, perhaps I ought to say, goes basically like this: someone or some group here at SUNY Purchase has decided to honor me for my writing and speaking, and several decades of hard working psychotherapists stand behind me imploring me not to question too extensively the wisdom of that decision, and my parents who taught me how to behave in public stand behind me imploring me to at least have the good taste and graciousness not to question the decision publically; and in exchange for the honor, I appear onstage, most often to accept diploma and hood and shake hands and wave, or occasionally, as is the case today, to say a few words. Whether silent or speaking, I’m decoration, I’m here to help adorn, decorate, make more festive this most festive occasion.

I love participating in commencements because, well, I’m a pretty depressed person, I read the newspaper every day and so of course I’m depressed, who isn’t depressed nowadays, everyone is depressed, you are depressed, or you ought to be, not today, of course, when you are celebrating, but usually you are depressed, your pet has probably gotten a contact depression just sitting next to you while you read the newspaper; I’m depressed and most of the time, when I’m not in rehearsal or, you know, as we say in Hollywood, taking a meeting or doing lunch, I have to sit alone with myself, all alone with myself staring at a blank page or the ghastly white glare of an empty laptop screen, wondering how it’s possible that at a mere 51 years of age any trace of talent or intelligence or moxie I once possessed could so abruptly, so unceremoniously, have departed, leaving not a trace behind; depressed and lonely, I attend graduations, looking to mooch off the day’s celebratory spirits, the bright sexy seductive promise of a future of change, novelty, discovery, progress — even on a rainy day like today, the radiance attendant upon real accomplishment, the bacchic non-Euclidean ecstasy of liberation – joy, in other words, sheer lovely human joy, rises up to turn stormclouds and rainfall into rococo chariots transporting Divinity and the promise of pennies from heaven.

I come to mooch off your joy, not to dampen it. The price of my admission, since I haven’t done the work you’ve had to do to be here, is that I must speak to you; that’s the deal, that’s how I can get in at the banquet table of your joy. It’s sometimes a complicated deal: a hard assignment. I began speaking at commencements in the mid-1990s, during the Clinton Interruption of the Reagan Counter-Revolution, and I have continued speaking at commencements, at shorter and greater lengths, throughout the resumption of the Reagan Era, through these past eight years, these long, long, long years of an administration whose every action outflanks one’s wildest satirical impulses and surpasses even the most hyperbolically alarmist imagination. I am, as I mentioned, depressed, but my depression these days isn’t the depression I was born with, not my birthright depression, it’s a new kind of depression, it’s like the depression you get when you put a lab rat in a cage and he learns that if he pushes one button he gets corn and if he pushes another button he gets malt, and he’s happy when suddenly, Oh No, he pushes one button and he gets shocked, but that’s OK, the other button still dispenses malt, until oh no, now THAT button shocks him, maybe he’ll try the corn button, maybe that button will now –OW! No, that shocks too! Oh no! Try the malt butt – OW! Oh NO! Try the – OW! The rat gets depressed. I am the rat’s poor earth-born companion and fellow mortal. Ow! I feel his pain. I know it well. It isn’t depression; call it by its correct name: it’s terror. The world, which once seemed a flowing fountain of corn and malt, now stands revealed as the cage it actually is, a prisonhouse of no good possibilities and a future we cannot see but which will bring, we guess, more shocks, further fear, further terror. Ow! The subprime mortgage collapse! Ow! The bloody, criminal miasma in Iraq! Ow! Global warming! Ow! The cyclone and the junta in Burma! Ow! Ow! The earthquake and the lack of construction standards in China! Ow! The President of the Unites States stands before the Knesset and deliberately – to the extent that anything this President does truly merits the adverbial form of the word “deliberation” – and deliberately confuses appeasement and diplomacy! Ow!

The conundrum of the speaker at a banquet table of joy laid out in a prisonhouse cage of terror: Everyone who speaks at a commencement ceremony is a threat to the festive spirit, everyone who opens his or her mouth near a live mic at commencement may well prove to be the buzzkill. That’s how menaced, that’s how fragile our joy is.

But maybe that’s what graduation day is intended to teach us, maybe that’s The Point: We gather together to celebrate, among other things, the proximity, the disquietingly vital intimacy of Terror and Joy.

I mean let’s face it, you’re not entirely joyful, are you?  No!  You’re anxious, too.  You’re Free!  But free to do what?  The Future awaits!  But what will it bring?!  Are those grey skies outside a canopy concealing a delightful surprise, or... are they a portent of future disaster!?!?

Perhaps I’m kidding myself, perhaps I come not to mooch off your joy, but to seek out kindred souls, souls similar to mine, souls brimfull of PANIC!!!

But if under your joy is panic, I believe that under that panic, that terror, is more joy, a deeper, truer, stronger joy: hope, desire, expectation that the stormclouds will deliver not discouragement and disillusion but some bright sexy God, or some unanticipated goodness, to Earth.

And so yesterday as I sat at my desk facing the horror of my empty laptop screen, my head filled with newsprint terrors, wondering how I was going to speak to you, what it was I would say, the phone rings, and it’s my husband, informing me that all of a sudden it has become unconstitutional in the state of California to deny same-sex couples the right to marry! Joy! These glad tidings are followed by the fear that homophobes in the Fall will manage to adulterate the California State Constitution’s beautiful echo of the simple moral majesty of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution’s promise of equal treatment under the law. That fear’s followed by hope, my husband reminding me that a likely heavy big-D Democratic turnout, far greater in number than the Republican turnout in the primaries, in November will favor the defeat of the homophobes’ plans; which hope is followed by the depressing news that neither candidate for the Democratic nomination is going to openly disavow the separate-but-equal discriminatory treatment implicit in any exclusion of LGBT citizens from the legally-sanctioned estate of marriage; followed by the news that Governor Schwarzenegger, who’s a Republican, sort of, is going make a break with his party and not support the homophobes, and so on...

My point is: Joy and Terror follow fast upon the heels of one another, and this is how the world’s set spinning, and the trick is not to give up pushing those buttons. Don’t be afraid to push buttons, food or electroshock buttons or other people’s buttons, DON’T BE AFRAID! Keep hoping, keep hungering, for corn and malt, or, if neither corn nor malt but only nasty shocks are forthcoming...

Start to look around you, start to fight for a way out of the cage.

Thank you for inviting me to share this gloomy, glorious, scary day with you. Thank you for this lovely honor, which means a lot to me. And a million billion mazels to you all, to your parents and teachers.

Make us proud: We’ve been waiting for you!

Mon, Mar. 31st, 2008, 10:03 pm
Yankees Opening Day

Yankees Opening Day 2008


Thanks to the rain today, I get to go tomorrow night!!! It is the final opening day at the "old" Yankee Stadium!!! :) Let's Go Yankees!!!

Thu, Mar. 20th, 2008, 04:10 pm
Remembering my Uncle

For those of you who know... my Uncle Hy (he's actually my "Great Uncle") has suffered for a very long time with Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's is one of the worse possible things I can think of as a way to suffer through the end of your life. Over the years, my Uncle became much less and less the person he was, forgetting the marriage of his daughter (my cousin), or the existence of his granddaughter. Unfortunately, my Uncle lost his battle with Alzheimer's earlier this week. I wanted to get some of my memories of him down on paper...

The Uncle I remember had a very strong personality. A man who loved everything that was Frank Sinatra... his music, his movies, his exploits. Talking about "Frankie Baby..." always brought a smile to his face. He loved Friendly's Banana Split Sundaes and his mission in life, we were all convinced, was to visit every single Friendly's in the northeastern United States.

A marine who served in active duty in the Korean War, my uncle never talked about his military experiences much. That is something I think is common for his generation. He was proud of his military service though, you could tell that whenever it came up.

Uncle Hy in his Marine Uniform

My Uncle was a business owner, something else he was always proud of.... and a philanthropist within his means, sending money to charities as fast as those envelopes we all throw away would come in.

My Uncle was a teacher... an honorable profession. As an educator myself at the College level, it is difficult for me to comprehend how people work with the little ones (my Uncle taught 5th grade for most of his life), but he did so in a way that inspired them. Always proud to have been asked to advise his students in their annual play or the model rocket club (something I think would never happen with the liability rules of today).

On his retirement, one of his colleagues wrote the following:

"When thinking about Hy, which we do often and fondly, I know that all of us think first of his humor, which daily reminded us how much fun it is to work with children. Deeply serious about his profession and always aware of its importance, he never forgot the joy of it.

"Hy's commitment extended beyond the four walls of the classroom. He contributed in broad ways to the life of the school community. He shared with children his conviction that find our value in giving to others, and found concrete ways for them to make their contribution. They threw themselves into projects from children's hospitals, to pet homes. The gardens they planted and tended continue to delight us.

"Hurricane tracking, computer communication with classes across the country, 'playing' the stock market, those are but a few of the events that students looked forward to when they were lucky enough to be in Mr. Papierman's class.

"He enjoyed the respect and warm affection of those toughest of critics, his colleagues, and the high regard of parents and children. I have been deeply appreciative of his grace and generosity. I think of Hy always as a gentleman, a professional, a wit, and a friend."

Always a gentleman indeed. He will be missed.

Jenna, Hy, and I

Sat, Feb. 23rd, 2008, 03:48 pm
That's what This Election Should Be About...

At the end of the debate in Texas, Hillary Clinton garnered a standing ovation for her answer to the last question. Watch this clip and you will see...

Fri, Feb. 15th, 2008, 06:32 pm
Tragedy at Northern Illinois University

It is with a very heavy heart that I learned last night that once again, for the second time in less than a year, we are once again facing tragedy on an American university campus.

My heart goes out to my colleagues at Northern Illinois University, and to the entire Northern Illinois University community over the tragic deaths and injuries that occurred on their DeKalb campus.

NASPA (the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators) President Jan Walbert said: "As I reflect on the past 10 months, I shudder as I think of the deaths of college and university students, I am impressed by the heroic efforts of so many campuses to be ready for the challenges we face, yet, I am devastated that we are facing such tragedy again and again."

"Please support your colleagues and your students," Dr. Walbert continues, "take time to extend yourselves to those affected, and in spite of it all, may we never give up on hope for peace in our communities."

Once again, it heartens me to know that I work with such a great group of colleagues in student affairs nationwide... and it is so wonderful to be a part of an organization which supports all of us so well, both in times of joy and of tragedy.

In a period when events throughout our world can often be difficult to comprehend, remember the humanity that binds all of us and to take care of each other.

I'm sure all of our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Northern Illinois University community.

NIU Black Ribbon

For more information about the Higher Education Community's response to this tragedy, visit the NASPA Web Site: www.naspa.org.

Sun, Feb. 3rd, 2008, 02:35 pm
My First Letter to Purchase Alumni

February 2008

When I graduated from Purchase College in May, 1996, Professor Connie Lobur, who was my advisor and Senior Project sponsor, gave me a copy of The Education of Henry Adams. The work, an introspective account of Adams's own opinions, fears, and responses to a changing world as America approached the 20th century, remains relevant today as our world seems to change faster and faster every day.

As a Purchase alumnus, and long-time employee (I worked for ten years in various positions for the Division of Student Affairs from 1996 - 2006), I can firmly say that the experiences I took from Purchase helped shape the person I am today. When I meet with other alums, they too share the same philosophy.

As Henry Adams proposes in his book, it is more than just the formal education provided by a superb faculty, but the friendships and experiences developed at Purchase that continue to influence our lives to today. The Alumni Association exists to help our fellow alumni continue to take advantage of those networks, friendships, and experiences you developed at Purchase. Networking is very important, and so many of our fellow alumni are eager to re-form connections they made while at Purchase and to make new connections.

At the Alumni Association we are taking our cues from our newest generation of alumni as well. Although it is often difficult to keep up with trends in technology and communication, we continue to work to improve the way we communicate with you. We are on Facebook and MySpace, and we continue to develop additional outreach through our web site in addition to traditional methods of communication. In the past year, we have also added two current students to the Board of Directors in order to better understand the needs of our future alumni.

The Alumni Association looks forward to working to provide leadership and career development opportunities, to help network both socially and through career-based initiatives, to encourage community service, both at the College and beyond, and to help cultivate a new generation of scholars, artists, and leaders by working with current students at Purchase.

I have many ideas on what we can do together to make the Purchase experience more fulfilling for students and alumni—I'd love to have your input as well. Feel free to e-mail me (jeffrey.putman@purchase.edu), add the Association as a friend on Facebook (Alumni Association on Facebook), friend us on MySpace (Alumni Association on MySpace), call the alumni office at (914) 251-6054 or even snail-mail me (Purchase College Alumni Association c/o Purchase College, SUNY, 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, NY 10577-1400).

Tell me about what made your time at Purchase a success, or let me know what you might have changed. I look forward to hearing from you and am honored to serve as your president.

- Jeffrey S. Putman, '96
President, Purchase College Alumni Association, Inc.


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Jeffrey S. Putman, '96 was elected President of the Purchase College Alumni Association in December 2007. He is currently Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY.

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