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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Sept. 1, 1978)
friday, September 1, 1978
Excellent films, high operating costs highlight Sheldon
Dan Ladely and the Sheldon Film
Theater face a familiar problem this
semester. The theater's operating
costs are projected to run at a deficit
for the sixth consecutive year.
But the theater director must be
commended for the excellent
program of films he schedules and
for his efforts as a director to try to
overcome financial difficulty.
Ladely, like many other admin
strators, is confronted with the age
old problem of operating costs run
ning higher than profits.
No one can fault Ladely with the
deficit. Film rentals, freight costs,
advertising and projectionists' fees
take quite a chunk out of Sheldon's
budget. He also said he will keep
advertising at a minimum by using
inexpensive flyers to promote the
Ladely's idea of transfering
theater employees' salaries to NU's
budget may be a good way of easing
some of the financial problems.
One can only hope Ladely's search
for other grants is successful, because
the theater is one of the finest in the
Sheldon already receives $10,000
annually from the National Endow
ment for the Arts and $4,000 from
the Nebraska Arts Council.
Yet a grant from Toyota to spon
sor a Japanese film series would only
add to the quality of the theater.
And a U.S. Department of Health,
Education and Welfare's museum
grant may also rid Sheldon of some
of its financial burdens.
Ladely's idea to organize a
Sheldon Film Society may prove
beneficial in the future. The theater
needs a concerned group of citizens
that will Inform the miblic about its
Audience attendance is not to be
counted as one of the theater's
problems. According to Ladely, a
good-sized hard-core audience comes
The problem that Sheldon Film
Theater is faced with is getting more
money. We can only hope that
Ladely will be successful in his fight
to overcome Sheldon's financial
Vague familiarity lingers in first week class rigamarole
There's a fresh, crisp tingle in the early morning air.
The weather seems to have cooled quickly from the
oppressive summer heat, but it seems appropriate.
The slap of cool air wakes me as I peddle furisouly to
class and it assures me that I will be alert enough to avoid
being flattened by the other late students driving furiously
to that 8:30 a.m. class.
Aah! Returning to fall classes, there's nothing quite
like it, even if its only been a week since summer school
The norms quickly reassert themselves.
But first, there's the mandatory, predictably tedious
rigamarole of the instructor's first introductory lecture.
At this lecture the instructors lay down the ground rules
of their class.
a few weeks before the new tunes on the juke box grow
old with repetition and the rise in food and drink costs
is appreciated fully (about the same time that tuition
statements come out and a multitude of parents suddenly
hear from their offspring).
Coffee, soft drinks, and, I assume, tea have gone up
three cents. But there's no help from student fees. Well,
maybe, if caffeine consumption has decreased in contro
versaility . . . Maybe we could get a representee from
Maxwell House to come and speak . . .
Oh well. There is to be expected a certain amount of
disallusionment from the cynical senior. After four years
a bit of the campus superficiality is bound to affect the
It's bound to affect something. Actions, I suppose,
would be the most productive. Maybe it's time to learn
something besides how to read the buying guide in Vogue.
The university life is a great shield from reality. It's
supposed to be the place to set goals and realize ideals.
But the Real World isn't painted with Estee Lauder eye
colors nor carpeted with the Adidas color-coordinated
$125 jogging ensembles .
Wouldn't it be great to look in the mirror and see
something beyond the stylish body in the Pierre Cardin
suit? Wouldn't it be frightening?
God, I wish I had a dime for every time I heard, "Hey,
are you ready for the test?' " "Man, are you kidding?
I just read the assignments last night?"
There is, of course, the customary groans and discon
certed eye-rolling when the testing structure and paper
schedule is announced. The instructors' feed upon mis
response and I have yet to see a class disappoint them.
After that, students are threatened wjth the punish
ment for missing an exam without presenting a valid note
authorized by a valid medical authority. Punishment
ranges from zero to thirty lashes and revoking of the sea
son football ticket.
The only reprieve from this doldrum is that the instruc
tors usually let us out after 10 minutes and we have 40
minutes to wander about the Union and look fashionable.
You've bought your textbooks but do not have a vest
or a blouson shirt in your entire wardrobe? For shame!
The first two weeks of class just wouldn't be worth it
without the women who wiggle about on spikes from class
to class (their endurance across campus can not be under
estimated!) and the men who trot about in hooded wind
breakers. But Vogue and GQ have let them down. Jeans
and painter's pants are still the thing to wear on campus.
The Union is crowded with a gregarious lot. It is still
mmiw wm& m T III
Best interests of child difficult to judge in adoption case
Washington-So what would you do .
about Barbara Bernhardt and three-year-old
It is beyond dispute that Bernhardt lied
to the adoption agency in order to improve
her chances of getting a new baby daught
er; (She already had two sons, one natural,
the other adopted.)
She told the agency that she hadn't
been married before, although she had
been twice divorced. She told a muddled
story about her financial resources. And
she neglected to tell agency representatives
that she and her husband were having mari
tal difficulties and were in fact separated at
the time Deborah was placed with her.
(They since have divorced.)
Not to put too fine .a point on it,
Barbara Bernhardt got Deborah under false
That's one side. The other is this:
Testimony in the Maryland Court of
Special Appeals portrays Bernhardt as a
loving, even doting, mother, and her
children-all three of them-as happy and
well-adjusted. There were even hints that
the reason her three marriages had gone
bad was that she devoted too much of her
attention to the children.
Deborah, in the two and a half years she
has been in the Bernhardt home, has been
one of the family. She seems to love her.
family, and to be loved in return.
The court, looking at all the facts
including some that have been sealed
ordered Barbara Bernhardt to return
Deborah to the adoption agency. And what
would you have done?
' Look only at Bernhardt, and you may
see a conniving, cheating and lying if loving-woman
determined -to have her way at
any price. If she had undertaken the same
misrepresentations in order to gain trustee
ship of an institution, or a fund, or a piece
of property, you'd have no problem.
You'd get yourself another trustee.
But institutions and funds and property
don't have feelings. They don't form
attachments. Deborah, by all accounts, has
formed an attachment to Bernhardt that is
hardly different from that of any bright
eyed toddler for the only mother she's
So even if you say Bernhardt deserves to
lose the child she lied to obtain in the first
place, wherein lie the best interests of the
As one of Bemhardt's supporters
demanded the other day, what is the point
of breaking up this family? Can it be right
to "take (Deborah) and give her to strang
ers" just because the agency is sore with
The head of the agency, the Rev.
Raymond Hartzell of Lutheran School
Services here, says being sore has nothing
to do with it. Nor, he insists, is his agency's
move to delay Bemhardt's petition to
adopt motivated by any desire to punish.
But there are other considerations. For
one thing, the Chicano who is Deborah's
natural mother (the father is black) had
specified when she put the child up for
adoption that she should go to a two
parent family. For another, Hartzell has
problems with Bemhardt's persistent misre
presentation, fearing that it suggest a
pattern of behavior that could prove
damaging to the child.
That last is a tricky, almost specious,
argument, and the hard question remains:
Why try to move the child from a loving
home to a situation that is uncertain at
best-especially after two and a half years?
Isn't that a failure to temper justice with
humanity and common sense?
Hartzell, clearly troubled by the
question, answers with an analogy. Sup
pose someone kidnapped your infant child
and raised her as his own, giving her as
much love and security as any parent
could. What should happen when the kid
napper is caught? If she and the kidnapper
have a warm, loving relationship, would
you merely shrug and walk away?
Delay mother's fault
He knows your answer to that one. As
to the breakup of a family after two and a
half years, he lays that one at the feet of
Bernhardt herself. The agency moved to
block the adoption and regain custody of
Deborah less than six months after the
child was in the Bernhardt home. The
balance of the time is a direct result of
litigation initiated by Bernhardt herself.
Hartzell makes one final point. Children
are removed from their families-even
natural families-all the time. Social work
professionals are trained to minimize the
trauma these removals might engender.
It all makes sense -certainly from a legal
point of view and probably from a moral
one as well. But if Deborah's well-being is
supposed to be everybody's chief concern,
is this the best way to achieve it?
What would you do?
(Copyright), 1978, The Washington Post
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