WWU Plans Events to Promote One Read, ‘The Whistling Season’

William Woods University faculty and staff have planned a number of activities during September in conjunction with the Daniel Boone Regional Library’s One Read program. This year’s book, chosen by a public vote, is Ivan Doig’s “The Whistling Season.” All events at WWU are free and open to the public.


One Read, now in its seventh year, is a community-wide reading program that encourages adults of all ages to read one book and participate in thought-provoking discussion and activities.


“The Whistling Season” is narrated by an aging Montana state superintendent of schools, Paul Milliron, who is charged with deciding the fate of the state’s last scattered rural schools, and who, in the hours preceding his meeting to determine those schools’ fate, recalls the autumn of 1909, when he was 13 and attending his own one-room school.


In the novel, Paul’s father decides to hire a housekeeper after the loss of his wife. Rose Llewellyn arrives from Minneapolis with her University of Chicago-educated brother, Morris Morgan, an affable but nearly useless man when it comes to homesteading. After a short stint chopping wood and cleaning chicken coops, Morgan becomes the best teacher the one-room schoolhouse has ever had, but buried secrets soon surface.


Following is a list of One Read activities planned at William Woods University:


• Tuesday, Sept. 2, at 7, Library Auditorium, Steve Hageman, history professor, “Death of the Dream” documentary about the history of homesteading, family farming, the people, etc…on the prairie, and the decline of that lifestyle.


• Thursday, Sept. 4, at 7, Library Auditorium, Brett Rogers, history professor, talks about his research into black one-room school houses in Missouri.


• Monday, Sept. 15, at 7, Library Auditorium, Linda McClaren, equestrian professor, “Horse Drawn Loose Haying.” Step back in time, and see how the hardy ranchers of Beaverhead County, Mont., put up hay for the winter, using draft horse power and a unique device known as the “Beaver Slide.”


• Tuesday, Sept. 16, at 7, Library Auditorium, Greg Smith, English/films professor, Clint Eastwood’s “Unforgiven,” which won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1992. This brilliant revisionist Western explores the importance of learning life lessons at any age and the difficulties of homesteading in the beautiful, but harsh landscape and tenuous socio-political climate of the American West at the turn of the century.


• Wednesday, Sept. 17, at 4, Gladys Woods Kemper Center for the Arts, Terry Martin and Jane Mudd, art professors, opening of exhibit of student work, “Beneath the Prairie Sky.”


• Monday, Sept. 22, at 9, Joe Kyger, science professor, “Studying the Stars,” with WWU’s new, powerful, state-of-the-art 14” telescope. Weather permitting. Campus location TBA. Program will be geared toward WWU students, but will be repeated Friday, Sept. 26, at Crane’s Museum in Williamsburg, following a 7 p.m. book discussion.


• Tuesday, Sept. 23, at 7, Library Auditorium, Ivan Doig, author of this year’s One Read selection, “The Whistling Season,” will talk about his book and answer questions via videoconference.


• Wednesday, Sept. 24, at 7, Library Auditorium, Laura Ward, equestrian professor, “The Horse as Horse Power,” power point about the years 1880-1920.


• Monday, Sept. 29, at 4, Library Auditorium, Betsy Tutt, education professor, “The One Room School House.” This program will focus on the unique qualities of education in the American one room school house of the early 1900s and highlight the human and cultural challenges inherent in public schooling both then and now.


• Tuesday, Sept. 30, at 7, Library Auditorium, Linda McClaren, equestrian professor, “The Homestead Years.” Between the Civil War and World War I, America was busy building its heartland. Uncle Sam made it possible, the railroad made it practical. It would be a half-century of dreams and despair … the Homestead Years. This is the story of those years, told with figures and facts; music and poetry.


Programs offered by William Woods University are subject to change, and additional programs may be added. Please check the WWU website (TheWoods.edu) for the latest information or contact Mary Ann Beahon, director of university relations, at mbeahon@williamwoods.edu or (573) 592-1127.