Scholars Notebook October 2015


My Art and the World Around Me:
The influences of Environment, Culture and History 

 A Talk by

Eva Struble is a highly regarded painter with solo exhibitions at a number of museums. Her artwork has been informed by her exploration of the cities where she has lived, and in particular through environmental, cultural and historical research. Her work is based on such diverse themes as the architecture of the Brooklyn Navy Yard and other military sites, and on agriculture, labor and immigration in North County, San Diego. In this talk she will explore the trajectory of her art accompanied by images of her paintings.

Artwork by Eva Struble

Black Water by Eva Struble
(Image permission from Eva Struble)

In addition to painting, Struble is an Assistant Professor in the School of Art and Design at San Diego State University. Most recently, she led a two-week intensive art class in Morocco on art in the context of globalization and social change in Morocco.



You’ll see a notice elsewhere in this month’s Notebook about a new activity called Just Lunch. My concept is to schedule lunches at different restaurants where members and guests can gather to dine and converse about anything and everything, with no set topic.

Our first gathering will be Friday, November 6 at Oceana Coastal Kitchen in Pacific Beach. I had lunch in August at Oceana, and was pleased with the menu and the bayside view. I hope Just Lunch will appeal to enough members and their guests to schedule on a regular basis. Restaurants will be selected on the basis of location, ease of parking, and interesting menu choices. If there is a need, it might be possible to set up a car pool from the University City area. Validated or handicap parking is available on the premises.

The board extends its thanks to members who included contributions along with their dues.  Although not all dues have been received yet, to date the Operating Fund has received $340, Helen Hawkins has received $160, and Jane Ford has received $60. If you haven’t sent your dues yet, this is a gentle reminder. We’re eager to get started in putting together the SDIS Directory, and want it to be as accurate as possible.


Getting To Know
David and Dorothy Parker

Dave & Dorothy ParkerSome of us know Dave as our Membership Chair and Treasurer--the man who takes our annual checks. Others know Dave and Dorothy Parker as the genial hosts of our Thursday evening Supper With Scholars. But where did they hone the skills, interests, and personalities they bring to SDIS?

Well, to begin—Dorothy grew up in Webster, South Dakota. It was the county seat, with a population of 2,500. Dave is a native of Springfield, Massachusetts, and his New England roots go back many generations.

Dorothy says, “I never saw a bookstore until I went to college.” Nevertheless, as a high school senior, she entered the state’s science fair with a study of the effect of sleep deprivation on mental, physical, and physiological functioning.

“I was hoping to refute my mother, who said I didn’t get enough sleep….But my research proved her right!” says Dorothy. She won the nation’s top prize in Girl’s Biology and the American Medical Association’s Award at the National Science Fair in New York City.  Another influence was her older brother, an astrophysicist, who she says, “taught me set theory when I was in the fifth grade.”

Dorothy’s interests turned to biology, specifically microbiology. After undergraduate studies at the University of South Dakota, she arrived in California to earn a master’s in bacteriology and her doctorate in molecular biology at UC Berkeley. Meanwhile, Dave studied philosophy at Brown University, switched to psychology at Wesleyan, and arrived at UC Berkeley to earn a doctorate in clinical psychology.

You know what happened next: Dave and Dorothy met as graduate students in Berkeley.

Life in Oshkosh

Dorothy completed her degree first, and was offered a position as professor of biology and microbiology at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. When Dave joined her, positions for psychologists were not widely available in the area. He accepted a post providing clinical services to people in the correctional system – he says, “It was the best I could find in Oshkosh.” But he held the position for over eighteen years, reporting to the Dept. of Health and Social Services, while interacting cooperatively with the prison administration, before starting a private practice.

The Parkers lived in Wisconsin for twenty-six years. Dave had retired when Dorothy won a sabbatical year in India, where he studied Indian culture, explored Varanasi on a bicycle, and hiked in the Himalayas. When it came time for both to retire, Dorothy says, “We were looking for warmth. We started in Oregon and drove south along the coast.” It turned out that they liked San Diego—and “It had a good university.”  But remember: Dave and Dorothy met in graduate school in UC Berkeley. “We thought it was romantic to return to California,” says Dorothy.

Back In San Diego

In San Diego, Dorothy is a research associate at UCSD, where she initially studied environmentally-important bacteria but is now collaborating in a project involving autism in children—“We are trying to bring together genetic studies with neuroscientific studies,” she says, “We’ve created an enormous data base related to autism.”

What might you not know about the Parkers? What did they enjoy when they were out of the classroom and office? Dorothy says: camping, skiing, living in India, hiking in the Himalayas. Dave says: sailing single-handedly through the Bahamas in a 22-foot sailboat, using dead reckoning and celestial navigation.



Meeting Details are in Column 2

Colloquy Café

September's subject was "happiness," a word we realized was difficult to define.  Like the word "time," it has variable definitions.  For example, compare the happiness quota in "content" with that in "ecstatic."  Joy, bliss, delight, and comfort are all definitions of happiness, but they have a wide variety of meanings.  Happiness is ephemeral, it can be interrupted or end momentarily, or become fear, rage, sorrow, or other forms of unhappiness.  Also, it's very difficult for us to control.  Nonetheless, we're always grateful for whatever happiness we find in our lives.  The October meeting where we shall discuss "truth" will be on October 21, 2015, For more details, email


Culture One

Culture One is holding its first meeting of the year: Thursday, October 22, 2015, 2:00 - 4:00 PM, Signature Room, 1st floor, Vi. The meeting is open to SDIS members, long-term and new, and welcomes visitors interested in exploring research and ideas having to do with the evolution and development of human beings.

Our meeting will focus on the book: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (cf. Amazon book review). …“Planet Earth is 4.5 billion years old. In just a fraction of that time, one species among countless others has conquered it. Us. We are the most advanced and most destructive animals ever to have lived. What makes us brilliant? What makes us deadly? What makes us Sapiens? In this bold and provocative book, Yuval Noah Harari explores who we are, how we got here and where we're going. Sapiens is a thrilling account of humankind's extraordinary history - from the Stone Age to the Silicon Age - and our journey from insignificant apes to rulers of the world”.

At this meeting, we will share our initial opinions of the book and how we might want to use it in our study group meetings. The book is available in various formats: hardcover, paperback, kindle, e-book, Audible, Audio CD.

For information, please contact Sue R. Rosner, Michael Seidel, or Bea Rose.


Culture Two

At the Culture Two meeting on Friday, September 25, the group discussed issues raised in the background reading for the meeting: Islam, The Religion and the People by Bernard Lewis and Buntzie Ellis Churchill. 

For the group’s next meeting on Friday, October 23, the background reading is What Went Wrong?: The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East by Bernard Lewis.

Please contact Sam Gusman ( for further information or inquiries about attending meetings of this study group. 


Film Group

TheFilm Groupwill meet Wednesday, October 7 at 10 a.m. at the home of Barbara Heckler to view The Past, a 2014 Iranian drama by Oscar-winning director Asghar Farhadi (for A Separation).  It’s a story about a Palestinian family touched by tragedy. Contact for more information.


Literature Group

The literature group will continue their reading of the stories of Thomas Mann, Tonio Kruger, Disorder and Early Sorrow, and Mario and the Magician. Marla Jensen will again be our discussion leader. We will be meeting at the home of Larry and Carol Gartner on Monday, October 12th, 10:30 a.m. Bring a brown bag lunch; dessert will be served!


Neuroscience Study Group

The Neuroscience Study Group will meet the third Tuesday of each month, at 3 p.m. in the home of Bea Rose. Discussions will focus on significant contemporary writings. The subject of the meeting October 20 is an essay by Daniel C. Dennett in This Idea Must Die, edited by John Brockman. Dennett’s essay is titled: The Hard Problem.



 Saturday, October 17, 2015
1:30 – 3:30 PM

Free and Open to the Public 

Room 111A, 
Chancellor’s Complex
UCSD Campus 

Free Parking in the 
Gilman Parking Structure

Click here for maps and
directions telling how
to park on campus
and walk to the meeting room

This event, like all monthly meetings of SDIS, is free and open to the public. A question/discussion period follows the talk.


Third Saturday of each month:
2015 – 2016
November 21
(no December meeting)
January 16
February 20
March 19
April 16
May 21 


NOTES: from September 19:

Speaker: Dr. George Tynan, Associate Dean, Jacobs School of Engineering, UCSD
Human Energy Demand and Climate Change 

  • The discovery of less expensive forms of energy besides human muscle allowed men to be free.
  • Access to energy has profound effect on how humans live their lives. Access to energy is linked to population growth; with increased sources, people have fewer children.
  • Moving the world to a sustainable energy source is critical. Energy demand is expected to double in the next ten years.
  • The vast majority of our energy comes from burning fossil fuels – a finite source.
  • Burning fossil fuels is synonymous with carbon dioxide emission. CO2  molecules create a “blanket” over the earth.
  • The current global power demand is 14 trillion watts per year.
  • Options for replacing fossil fuels include: Tidal waves, geothermal, solar, wind, biofuels, nuclear fusion, and nuclear fission.
  • We don’t have the technology today to use nuclear energy sources efficiently. It’s an engineering problem, not a physics problem.


Supper With Scholars
Meets on the 2nd Thursday of every month at 6 pm at Humphreys La Jolla Restaurant, 3299 Holiday Court, La Jolla. Meals from the menu (see are Dutch Treat. If you plan to attend, please RSVP to, stating whether you are coming alone or bringing friend(s).

The next two meetings are on October 8 and November 12

Group discussion is based on suggested topics that have particularly interested the attendees in the last month. If possible, we select a question that can be addressed from the viewpoints of the various areas of expertise of the participants, which are ordinarily quite diverse, ranging from the humanities to natural sciences to social sciences to various professions. If some subject has particularly interested you during the past month, please suggest it.


Breakfast Roundtable
Next meeting is October 19, 9:30 to 11 a.m. at Coco’s for breakfast and roundtable discussion. Coco’s is in University City, at the intersection of Genesee and Nobel Drive in the Costa Verde shopping center.


Just Lunch
A New SDIS Activity
The very first “Just Lunch” for SDIS members and guests will be held at 12 noon Friday, November 6.  We’ll gather at Oceana Coastal Kitchen at Catamaran Hotel in Pacific Beach for lunch on their patio. Oceana opened in February 2015 after a $2.1 million renovation. With the Catamaran’s two-story waterfall entrance, Oceana’s bayside location and an eclectic menu, you’ll feel like you’re on a vacation retreat.  

The second lunch is scheduled for Friday, January 8 at Solare Ristorante, Liberty Station, Point Loma.

Members will receive a reminder in mid-October. Reservations may be sent now to



Study Groups
Times, Sites, Contacts

Colloquy Café
October 21, 2015

At the Vi
Contact: M.E. Stratthaus

Culture One
October 22, 2015

2:00 – 4:00
Signature Room at the Vi
Contact: Sue Rosner 

Culture Two
October 23, 2015

Contact: Sam Gusman

Film Group
October 7, 2015

10 a.m.
At Barbara’s home
Contact: Barbara Heckler

Literature Group
October 12, 2015

Host: Larry & Carol Gartner
For 760-419-9172 

Science Group
October 20, 2015

At Bea’s home at the Vi
Contact: Bea Rose 


Contact Numbers:
President: Barbara Heckler
Editor: Arlene Gilbert