August 31, 1994: Headlines: COS - Peru: Editing: Publsihing: Training: 1970's: Personal Web Site: Peru RPCV Hugh Pickens writes "Message to Dr. Crandall from a returned volunteer" to Peace Corps Program Director Jack Crandall

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Peru: Peace Corps Peru: The Peace Corps in Peru: August 31, 1994: Headlines: COS - Peru: Editing: Publsihing: Training: 1970's: Personal Web Site: Peru RPCV Hugh Pickens writes "Message to Dr. Crandall from a returned volunteer" to Peace Corps Program Director Jack Crandall

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Peru RPCV Hugh Pickens writes "Message to Dr. Crandall from a returned volunteer" to Peace Corps Program Director Jack Crandall

Peru RPCV Hugh Pickens writes Message to Dr. Crandall from a returned volunteer to Peace Corps Program Director Jack Crandall

Peru RPCV Hugh Pickens writes "Message to Dr. Crandall from a returned volunteer" to Peace Corps Program Director Jack Crandall

Message to Dr. Crandall from a returned volunteer

Pride. You were proud of the Peace Corps, of the program you designed and implemented and of the young people you selected to join it. The Program that you considered your highest administrative achievement was both academic and experiential. It combined a major in science with language, cross-cultural training, teaching experience, and international service. The Program produced highly motivated, resourceful teachers equipped for assignment in an overseas setting - it produced us - the members of Grupos 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. I was a member of your Peace Corps/College Degree Program (PC/CDP) - you accepted me into Grupo Tres in 1969 and you affected my life during the following twenty-five years; first as the Director of the program, as my teacher in your graduate course on "The History of American Ideas," through our correspondence and in our conversations. When we met the last time, I was proud and honored that you asked me to read your memoirs and see to their publication. The words that ended our final conversation were "I love you" and the reply "I love you too."

Commitment. You asked us to commit to the values "of the free and sacred individual, equality before the law, and the human brotherhood of ideals, justice, integrity, and good-will." You asked us to commit to the Peace Corps as both "pluralistic and universal in outlook and committed to the essential dignity and equality of all people." And you committed to channel our energy and passion into an experience that changed our lives and the lives of the people we lived and worked with. Twenty-five years ago I went to South America from your PC/CDP eager to help high school teachers build low cost lab equipment for teaching science in rural secondary schools. Today I lead project engineering teams that build satellite control stations for NASA and other agencies all over the world. Although my present day concerns may seem far removed from Peace Corps days, I recognize that the lessons in flexibility and perseverance that I learned from you and the PC/CDP have shaped my life and put me on the road to who and where I am today. Lessons that have included

* That the first step in reaching our goals is self-knowledge. In your words - The unexamined life is not worth living - the unexamined society is not worth living in.

* The value of self-reliance but also the power of a group of committed individuals with common ideals working together to overcome impossible obstacles - The committed are aware of the magnificent paradox that only by losing one's life in causes larger than themselves can one find his life.

* Knowledge that our accomplishments in life are limited only by our dreams - Goals to live for, standards to live by, causes worth fighting for, living for, yes, worth dying for - ideals that make life a profound and passionate thing.

* The awareness, which your own life demonstrates, that each person can make a difference - volunteers are making an affirmative, active response to the world's problems - the problems of people.

Communication. You were a teacher and your life was spent communicating values and knowledge to us, your students. Reading your words has been like resuming an interrupted conversation with you. Your book has brought me insight into the forces that shaped your life and why our generations have moved along such different trajectories. Now with the publication of this book that communication continues - and you will continue to live through it's pages and in the lives and memories of the people who know you and love you.

Development. In developing your memories into memoirs you have provided us with your final and most lasting gift. You've written a book about a life well lived, stories of friends and family - relationships and love (of Jill, your family, friends, colleagues and students) - a book that doesn't contain a harsh word about anyone - a book that shows how a man can make a difference in the lives of others - but the most important gift I've received from reading your book has been the realization of how fortunate I have been in my life for the gifts I have received from my wife, parents, children, family, friends, colleagues - and from teachers like you who have developed us by unselfishly sharing their wisdom and insights.

Peace Corps Volunteers returned to Brockport in July 1994 for the silver anniversary of the Peace Corps/College Degree Program to show you the contribution they had made as volunteers and as citizens of the America and of the World. Although you were unable to attend the reunion due to illness, you expressed satisfaction with the rich harvest of the Cuerpo de Paz and that the spirit of the PC/CDP lives on. And so, Dr. Crandall, we honor your memory. You created a program that showed a new way. You taught by example. You transformed our lives. We owe you a debt we can never repay.

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Story Source: Personal Web Site

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Peru; Editing; Publsihing; Training; 1970's



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