David Rodes emcees Teaching Awards

October 28, 2006


You may remember that a year ago I got a teaching award, and got to go to all these fun banquets. Well, it’s a year later and the new batch of teachers are getting their just rewards. This year, David Rodes was the brilliantly funny and witty master of ceremonies. He later tried to complain that his arm was twisted which I didn’t believe for an instant. He made cracks about being old, knowing Andrea Rich’s middle name (yawn), and why it was entirely appropriate for HIM to be the MC. There were little remarks and barbs to and from him from the floor throughout the evening.

David is a great guy and a brilliant man. I’ve always enjoyed serving on committees with him as well a dishing at an occasional cocktail party. I’ve always wondered whether we were related, my mother’s father was Rhodes and from Kentucky, and his family was also from Kentucky but are called Rodes. I’ve actually learned to do a fairly good imitation of his voice, which isn’t too hard: you just back most of the one syllable words into two syllable words in that wide open East-Texan drawl, and voila!

The food was excellent. The award ceremonies are sadly becoming more iike the Oscars: every one began predictably with “I’d like to thank….” One professor thanked “the academy” but was referring to the original academy –– Plato and Socrates and the lot. No one thanked God or said “you like me! you really, really like me!”

I got to sit with my musicology buddies, Ray Knapp, Mitchell Morris and the award winning doctoral student, Stephan J. Pennington, and we had a grand evening.

Here is a bio I found for David:

David Rodes has held Fulbright, Woodrow Wilson, and Danforth graduate fellowships and in 1968 received a Ph. D. from Stanford University in English Literature. He has taught Shakespeare and 16-18th Century Theater in UCLA’s Department of English since 1966 and has been a consultant for various international stage, film, and television projects on classical theater. In 1994 he and A. R. Braunmuller completed an influential interactive CD-ROM project on Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.” (left: David Rodes)

Since 1989 Rodes has been the director of UCLA’s prestigious collection of fine art prints, drawings, and photographs, the Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, located at the UCLA Hammer Museum. The Grunwald Center’s 40,000 works of art on paper include notable old master works, landscape prints and drawings, 19th-century caricature, French modernist prints and artists’ books, and German Expressionist drawings, prints, and books. Under Rodes’s directorship–and guided by the Center’s associate director and senior curator Cynthia Burlingham–the Center has produced such notable exhibitions and catalogues as “Moonlight Theater: Prints and Related Works by Carlos Almaraz” (1991); “The French Renaissance In Prints” (1994); and “Picturing Childhood: Illustrated Childrens’ Books, 1550-1990” (1997).
In 1972 Rodes received the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award, and in 1995 he was decorated by the French government for his contributions to French intellectual activities.

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