Kristina Kaufmann and Kayli Hertel – Photo Editor and 1851 Staff
“We all think we can’t make a difference, yes we can,” said actress Kaiulani Lee at the Talk of Ages, “A Sense of Wonder” event on Friday, November 9, in Rosen Auditorium. The event was centered on bringing recognition to Rachel Carson, an influential author and environmental activist. The event focused on Carson’s novel, Silent Spring, which reflected on the chemical industry’s use of pesticides and America’s contemporary environmental movement.
During the event, the film “A Sense of Wonder” was shown that portrayed the remaining years of Carson’s life in which she wrote Silent Spring. The film reflected Carson’s personal struggles with her family life as well as her work life, where chemical industries challenged her credibility as a scientist.
“Since I was a little girl I always assumed, I would be a writer,” said Carson. However, it wasn’t until her sophomore year, when she was forced to take a biology class, that she discovered her love for science. She changed her major to biology, graduated magna cum laude, and went to graduate school at Johns Hopkins University to study zoology.
Carson strived to illuminate the truth in her writing by using science. Towards the end of her life she was battling cancer for three years. She used determination to postpone what she considered the final battle, death.
Her last book, “Silent Spring,” was published in 1962, after four years of continuously collecting new data and research. Originally, she was hesitant towards writing a book that focused on the act of pesticides, which indirectly killed birds and other wildlife. “I wanted to write about life,” said Carson.
After the film, Kaiulani Lee, who portrayed Carson in the adapted film, talked with the audience filled with students, professors and residents of Lasell Village.
Lee answered questions concerning the film, but also talked about her personal experiences in relation towards Carson’s views. “If there is something you believe in, do it,” said Lee.
Lee has had more than 35 years of experience in television, film, and theater industries. She starred in plays on and off Broadway, and guest starred on television series such as “Law & Order.” For the past 13 years she has taught acting at George Mason University. She has previously taught at NYU’s Kanbar Institute of Film and Television.
The event, “A Sense of Wonder,” was one of many Talk of Ages events scheduled throughout this upcoming year. This new program, offered through the Fuss Center of Lasell Village, is designed to bring the community of many generations, in both Lasell College and Lasell Village, together around mutual interests.
“I thought it was riveting to tie multiple generations together to educate everyone on such a historical figure,” said sophomore Seth Millman.
Each year a new theme is chosen in which events and programs are based on, this year’s theme is “healthy aging and the environment.”
“Next semester we have another big event coming. Florence Williams is coming to speak about her book, ‘Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History’,” said Joann Montepare, Director of the RoseMary B. Fuss Center.