Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

The Daily Gazette
Swarthmore College
September 11, 2002
Volume 7, Number 8

Our new email address:

Photo of the day:

Today’s issue:


1)  Swarthmore to remember September 11 with vigils, dialogue,

2)  Culture Corner: Jon Cohen, “Minority Report” screenwriter
3) World news roundup
4) Campus events
1)  Field Hockey Avoids Shutout by Ursinus 1-7
2) Women’s Soccer Defeats Cedar Crest 2-1
3) Upcoming contests
Today: Partly cloudy, gusty winds.  High of 81.
This is what I’ve learned so far this semester:
Tonight: Clear skies, low of 53.
Heat + too much work = cranky student
Tomorrow:  More sun than clouds.  Highs in the low 70s, lows in the mid 50s. 

Cranky student + late night + compiling the gazette = no weather joke for you. 

Lunch:  italian stromboli, french fries, cheese and vegetable stromboli,
butternut squash and sage orzo, broccoli, cauliflower, wing bar
Dinner:  turkey London broil, oven-roasted potatoes, lentil stew, pasta with
sauce, corn on the cob, whole green beans, pasta bar
1) Swarthmore to remember September 11 with vigils, dialogue,
by Pei Pei Liu
Gazette Section Editor
Today will be a day for reflection and remembrance, as the Swarthmore community
and the rest of the country draw together to pay tribute to the one-year
anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington,
The administration, student groups, athletic teams, and Swarthmore Friends have
all coordinated memorial events to commemorate the anniversary. Though classes
will be in session, professors have been asked to be considerate and
accomodating of individual students’ needs.
The day will begin with a silent gathering, open to all students, faculty, and
staff, from 8:30-9:00 a.m. in the amphitheater. Midway through the gathering,
the Clothier bells will chime for 8:45, the time at which the first plane
crashed into the World Trade Center in New York.
A coalition of student groups will be tabling on Parrish porch all day,
displaying peace flags and artwork and providing materials for people to create
their own peace messages. Members of the sponsoring groups will also be
available throughout the day on the porch to discuss specific issues.
According to Laurel Eckhouse ’03 in the official release from the President’s
Office, the events are intended to “affirm our commitment to just and peaceful
alternatives in the war on terrorism, the conflict between Israel and Palestine,
United States policy in Iraq, and throughout our personal and political lives;
and to mourn all who have suffered from violence since last September, both in
the attacks on the United States and in the United States response to those
“We hope that our presence will encourage critical discussion of U.S. policy at
home and abroad.”
Swarthmore’s Jewish, Protestant, and Catholic advisors will be available all day
for discussion with or support for students, faculty, and staff. The Common
Prayer Room in Bond will be open for individual prayer and meditation, as will
the Swarthmore Friends Meeting House.
The men’s soccer team has also organized a brief ceremony that will take place
on Clothier Field before the afternoon match against Baptist Bible College. The
15-minute tribute will start at approximately 3:45 p.m. and will include a
statement from Chief Ed Kline of the Swarthmore Fire & Protective Association, a
moment of silence, and the national anthem sung by Sixteen Feet. A small
reception for Chief Kline and members of the SF&PA will follow.
In the evening, President Al Bloom will introduce the film “Promises,” produced
and directed by Justine Shapiro and B.Z. Goldberg. The film documents the lives
of seven Israeli and Palestinian children in an attempt to encourage dialogue
for peace talks in the Middle East. “Promises” will screen at 7:30 p.m. in LPAC
Cinema, and is free and open to the public.
Meanwhile, the Friends Meeting House will conclude its day with a Meeting for
Worship at 8:00 p.m., open to the college community.
The final event of the day will be a candlelight peace vigil sponsored by the
student groups at 10:15 p.m. in front of Parrish. In keeping with the Quaker
tradition, the gathering will be silent, though individuals may speak. “To
ensure that we treat all who speak with respect,” said Eckhouse in the official
press release, “this will not be a forum for debate; those who speak will do so
from silence and end with silence.” The vigil is open to the general public.
“The attacks last September remind us of how critical it is to overcome the gaps
in perceptions and understanding across the divides of religion and culture,”
said Vice President Maurice Eldridge in the official College press release
regarding the September 11 tributes. “The anniversary of that terrible day is an
occasion for reflection, commemoration, and renewed commitment to bridging those
gaps with models of effective dialogue that overcome difference and help reduce
the flames of antagonism and hostility that block the way to global peace.”
2) Culture Corner: Jon Cohen, “Minority Report” screenwriter
by Charlie Buffie & Alexis Reedy
Gazette News Reporters
Jon Cohen, resident of Swarthmore, PA, never really wrote in high school or
college. In fact, his first foray into creative writing did not end well. He
signed up for a creative writing class at college but only showed up for the
first day.
“It was a hot house of creative types and that made me uneasy,” says Cohen. Yet
twenty years later, Cohen has written the screenplay for “Minority Report” and
two well-received novels.
Cohen was born in Colombia, South Carolina in 1954. In 1960, his family moved to
Swarthmore. “I’m home grown,” he says. He attended school in the Swarthmore area
from grades one through 12, then entered Connecticut College and majored in
English. He later went to the University of Pennsylvania to receive his nursing
After nursing school, Cohen worked as a nurse for ten years. He worked in
intensive care, cardiology, and oncology. “I was hideously ill-suited for it,”
he says. “It’s not the kind of job for a person with an overactive imagination.
I kept imagining these hideous scenarios for my patients. I kept second-guessing
“I was 25 years old when I first started to write short stories,” he adds.
“Before that, the only extensive writing I did was in my diary.”
With two books optioned in Hollywood and a wife with a steady job, Cohen decided
to quit nursing and take to writing full-time in 1990. Cohen’s wife, Mary
Hasbrouck, works in Facilities and Services at Swarthmore College
Cohen describes his writing style as “suburban magical realism.”
“It’s about strange things happening to ordinary people. In ‘Max Lakeman and the
Beautiful Stranger,’ Max finds a goddess in the rhododendron,” says Cohen. “‘The
Man in the Window’ is about a reclusive man that sees beauty and magic in
ordinary things.”
Cohen says that he does not have any direct writing influences but he enjoys
reading. His favorite authors include Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Charles Dickens,
Stephen King, and Jonathan Franzen.
In 1992, Cohen abandoned novels and focused his energy on writing screenplays.
“My first screenplay was about vampires in a hospital,” he recalls. However,
Cohen did get a Hollywood agent, and he “sold [the screenplay] for a little
Cohen continued to write screenplays for five years, writing 20 and selling two.
In 1997 that he was approached with his first “assignment writing,” a screenplay
adaption of Phillip K. Dick’s 20-page short story, “Minority Report,” for John
deBont, the director of “Speed.”
“People had tried to adapt it before but with little success. A number of bad
adaptions had been written over the years,” says Cohen. But he would succeed
where others had failed. His adaption developed a buzz at Fox immediately.
Throughout the following months, Cohen would hear rumors about “secret things
happening at Dreamworks” involving his screenplay. In 1998, director Steven
Spielberg and star Tom Cruise approached Cohen about the screenplay. But a year
later, Cohen was replaced by Scott Frank.
“The credits make it seems as if we [Cohen and Frank] were a team,” Cohen says,
“but we were not. He replaced me.” There were actually over 20 writers involved
at some point in the project, but since Cohen wrote over 33% of the material
used in the movie, he was acknowledged in the credits.
One of the scenes in Cohen’s screenplay that remained intact involved the
mechanical spider-robots deployed by the police to check the identity of those
in a certain building.
“I came up with the idea sitting in my office upstairs,” says Cohen. “It was a
two paragraph description. When in the movie, they had a team of researchers
designing and realizing my vision. It’s sort of scary. I sneeze and someone
spends $4 million.”
Right now, Cohen is working on a screenplay for a movie called “Ripple.” “It’s
about a woman with a time disorder who brings her 8-year old and 81-year old
self together in the present,” he explains.
But despite his past successes and future aspirations, Cohen has no plans to
leave Swarthmore for Hollywood. “You are looking at my home and my coffin,” says
Cohen with a wry smile, sitting on his front porch.
3) World news roundup
In a historic ceremony in New York yesterday, the traditionally and famously
netural nation of Switzerland became the 190th member of the United Nations. 
French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin, who made a speech recommending
Switzerland’s application, stated that “The role of Switzerland is now crucial
on issues of development, international law, and human rights.”   Swiss
officials maintain that they can remain netural and still be good members of the
UN.  In Switzerland, citizens have reportedly shown little excitement concerning
the change. 
In anticipation of the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the
United States yesterday closed two of its embassies in South East Asia. 
Following “specific” and “credible” threats, an embassy statement said, the
embassies in Jakarta, Indonesia and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia were closed yesterday
and today.  The U.S. consulate in the Indonesian city of Surabaya was also
closed.  U.S. citizens have been warned to be particularly cautious and to
maintain a low profile today. 
According to a report issued by the International Institute for Strategic
Studies, an independent military and security research group in London, Iraq
lacks the fissile material to produce a nuclear weapon.  However, if Baghdad
obtained this material from an outside source, they could construct a bomb
within months.  Echoing previous findings, the report also claims that Iraq has
extensive biological weapons capability, a smaller stockpile of chemical
weapons, and some missiles to deliver such weapons.  Although the report exposes
and condemns Baghdad’s pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, it stops short of
recommending military action against the nation. 
4) Campus events
Swarthmore Friends Meeting House opens for individual prayer and meditation
8:00 a.m.
Silent gathering in memory of September 11
Scott Outdoor Auditorium, 8:30 a.m.
Men’s soccer pre-game memorial ceremony
Clothier Field, 3:45 p.m.
“Promises,” introduced by Al Bloom
LPAC Cinema, 7:30 p.m.
Meeting for Worship
Friends Meeting House, 8:00 p.m.
Candlelight peace vigil
Parrish Porch, 10:15 p.m.
1)Field Hockey Avoids Shutout by Ursinus 1-7
Lauren Sippel ’05 squeezed in a goal off a fast break with 0:31 to go to
prevent a shutout by the Ursinus Bears.  In scoring her first career goal,
Sippel answered a 5 goal run in the final 11 minutes of the game.  The
Ursinus team, which played at the Division I level last year, proved too
difficult for Swarthmore and senior goalie Jenn Hart, who started yesterday
for the first time in her Swarthmore career.  The Garnet next travels to
Lebanon Valley for a game Saturday at noon.
2)Women’s Soccer Defeats Cedar Crest 2-1
Shavaugn Lewis ’05 scored two in the Garnet’s victory over Cedar Crest.  In
her first career start in goal, sophomore goalie Jessica Zagory made five
saves out of six shots.  Swarthmore next faces Bryn Mawr away at 4:30 in
their Centennial Conference opener.
3) Upcoming contests
Men’s soccer hosts Baptist Bible
4:15 pm
Women’s soccer at Bryn Mawr
4:30 p.m.
Volleyball hosts Arcadia
7:00 p.m.
The difference between what the most and the least learned people know is
inexpressibly trivial in relation to that which is unknown.
— Albert Einstein

Interested in reporting or writing for the Gazette?
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Contact the staff at

Section Editors:  Pei Pei Liu
                          Jeremy Schifeling
Online Editor:     David Bing
News Reporters: Mary Harrison
                          Evelyn Khoo
                          Kent Qian
                          Alexis Reedy
                          Chiara Ricciardone
Sportswriters:     Muhsin Abdur-Rahman
                          Shavaugn Lewis
                          Pat Quinn
Photographers:   David Bing
                          Casey Reed
World News:     Jeremy Schifeling
Campus Sports: Pat Quinn
                          Holice Kil

The Daily Gazette is published Monday through Friday by an independent
group of Swarthmore College students. The Daily Gazette Web Site is updated
regularly, as news happens. Technical support from the Swarthmore College
Computer Society is gratefully acknowledged.

Our world news roundup is compiled daily, using a variety of sources, most
notably the Associated Press (,
Reuters (, CNN
(, and The New York Times (
Our world sports
roundup is derived mostly from ESPN (

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