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Cover for KMTF

King Machush the First, a modern play adaptation based on Janusz Korczak’s famous novel, King Machush the First, is available as a paperback and kindle book at  The story concerns a young orphan’s attempt to bring justice and order to the Kingdom of Zorum.  Guided by his friends Fellek, Princess Kali, and the Melancholy King, Machush must overcome the selfishness and stubbornness of children and adults.  He must also deal with the jealousy of the Young King who threatens his kingdom.  In doing so, Machush learns about trust, patience, and the need to persevere in the face of obstacles (Illustration is by Southern Oregon artist, Kassia Zegzdryn).

MG 1

 The Magicians of Form, a guided tour from mineralogy to topology, will soon be available as a paperback and kindle book at

Supposing you were walking in a university hallway and heard people behind closed doors discussing the nature of form from different perspectives.  Wouldn’t you be curious to learn more about how each person dealt with the nature of form?   This book allows the reader to open these doors and see how experts from different fields solve specific problems.  Each door reveals something new:  The first might deal with topology, the mathematical language of shapes;  the second might open out into a riparian environment for botanical study;  a third might examine the shapes of buildings, the province of the architect, while a fourth might examine the intricate and often mysterious world of crystals and their structures.  An abundance of drawings by Southern Oregon artist Dodie Hamilton, including above cover illustration, provides a concrete  visual display of forms.


DR. GEORGE ROSSMAN, of the California Institute of Technology, is a pioneer in discovering how minerals get their colors.  He has a website devoted to mineral spectroscopy: that is highly recommended.  Dr. Rossman’s lecture,”Color in Crystals” is available on the DVD, Dallas Mineral Collecting Symposium 2011, from BlueCapProductions.  For his many contributions to mineralogy, a variety of pink tourmaline was named Rossmanite.

George Rossman’s mineralogy interview may be found at The Mineralogical Record’s web page under Axis.

DR. FRANK LANG was Professor of Biology at Southern Oregon University, and, although in his 70s, recently retraced Darwin’s famous trip to the Galapagos Islands.  He was also the radio broadcaster of Nature Notes for many years on Jefferson Public Radio in Southern Oregon.  He was a botanist with a penchant for ferns.  In his spare time, Dr. Lang was an illustrator and photographer of images drawn from nature.

DR. ALMA ZOOK is currently Professor of Physics at Pomona College.  She specializes in the laboratory and astronomical spectroscopy of diatomic molecules, as well as non-linear optics and photo-refractive materials.  Dr. Zook is also interested in the physical acoustics of woodwinds.  She has written and contributed to numerous articles, including Astrophysical Journal and Astronomical Journal.

DR. LIONEL MARCH  taught architecture at the University of California, Los Angeles.  He was the author of numerous articles and a book, The Architecture of Form, Cambridge University Press(1976).  His book, Shape:  Algebra, Grammar, and Description, co-authored with George Stiny, was published in 1993.  Dr. March  also authored or edited:  The Geometry of EnvironmentUrban Space and Structures, and R.M.Schindler:  Composition and Construction.  His areas of research included the topology of architecture, shape grammars, and the relationship between architecture and mathematics.

DR. PAUL FRENCH is Professor of Music at Southern Oregon University.  He is currently Director of Choral/Vocal Studies, and Artistic Director/Conductor for Southern Oregon Repertory Singers.  He took over the directorship of the William Ferris Chorale in 2005, and has made two CDs with them on Cedille Records.  In 2006, he conducted the west coast premiere of the Robert Levin completion of Mozart’s Mass in C Minor.  He is the composer of over 200 choral and instrumental works.

CAROL SCOTHORN is Professor Emerita of Dance at the University of California, Los Angeles.  She choreographed twenty-two dances for the UCLA Dance Company and produced and directed more than thirty concerts at UCLA.  Her works include Idyll I(1985)Idyll II(1986), and Brief Songs(1990).  She has worked with composers Henri Lazarov and Pia Gilbert, and continues to be an active presence in modern dance.

DR. STEVEN ADLER is Professor of Theatre at the University of California, San Diego, and Provost of Earl Warren College.  Professor Adler teaches classes in the history of American musical theatre, commercial theatre producing, the films of Woody Allen, and the history of directing.  He is the author of two books, both published by Southern Illinois University Press:  Rough Magic:  Making Theatre at the Royal Shakespeare Company, and On Broadway:  Art and Commerce on the Great White Way.

DR. ROBERT BROOKS was Professor of Mathematics at the Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa.  He published over eighty mathematical papers, and was writing a book on spectral geometry before his untimely death in 2002.  Spectral geometry is a field that examines the relationship between the shape of an object and the frequencies at which it vibrates radically.  Dr. Brooks also studied “circle packings”, an attempt to search for fundamental principles of mathematics, which are expressed in the fitting of circular tiles of various sizes into prescribed areas.  His research interests revolved around the interaction between topology, geometry, and analysis.  He was especially interested in recreating the geometry and topology of a manifold from its spectrum.

DR. JOHN ENGELHARDT was a Professor of Mathematics at Southern Oregon University where he taught both mathematics and mathematics education courses.  He developed and taught an introductory course in fractal geometry at SOU.  His research interests included:  the relationship of mathematics to art, making connections in secondary mathematics through chaos theory and fractal geometry, and geometry and special visualization activities.



Martin Gardner, writer of Scientific American’s “Mathematical Games”, and editor-annotator of countless books, including the definitive works:  The Annotated Alice, and More Annotated Alice: “A book built around such interviews is an excellent idea.”

Steven Smale, Professor of Mathematics, University of California at Berkeley:  “It looks quite interesting, and the drawings do give it a special character.”

Michael J. Evans, Architect: “‘He knows not London, who only London knows.’ How often those of us in creative fields–or any other field of endeavor for that matter–ignore the fertile potential of other, apparently unrelated fields to illuminate our own efforts with surprising unexpected parallels. In this volume, Dr. Weiss weaves together an amazing variety of viewpoints, drawn from fields as diverse as astronomy, musical theater, and mathematical topology, using the single, unifying thread of form. In a series of interviews with scientists, theoreticians, and practicing artists, we are taken on a delightfully rich and eclectic ride through a wide swath of human thought and endeavor, as we are invited to examine the many causes and effects of form.

As a practicing architect(and lately, a professional actor), I was surprised to find myself fascinated with the chapters on botany and fractals. Other readers, no doubt, will be drawn to other areas, as Dr. Weiss’s incisive style ensures that all the interviews are at once accessible to readers unfamiliar with the material, but never trivial. There also numerous illustrations, complementing the text and helping to explain the concepts under discussion. I found this book a valuable, entertaining, and enlightening exploration.”

Robert Brooks,  late Emeritus Professor of Mathematics, the Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa:  “I enjoyed very much reading your interview with Lionel March. I particularly found interesting his notion of ‘shape grammars’, and how you could break down an architect’s work with rules powerful enough to create new imitations. I think his ideas about an architect’s private language has mirrors in my own attitude towards topology as a language of shape.”

Arthur Feinfield, M.D., former Senior Vice-President of the American Heart Association:  “A unique and thought-provoking endeavor. Each interview provides unexpected revelations. A thoroughly enjoyable read.”

I Give My HeartI GIVE MY HEART TO CHILDREN by Vasilii Sukhomlinsky is out of print and available only from author.

NOTE:  This book is dedicated to the memory of my Ukrainian friends, Mikhail Krasovitsky and Dmitri Margulis, who supplied me with great enthusiasm, and helped me in my study of this world-renowned educator.  Mikhail Krasovitsky was the head of the Teachers Training Institute in Kiev.  Dmitri Margulis was chief editor of Ridna Shkola, a Ukrainian education journal.


Vasilii Sukhomlinsky and his children after a harvest.

Vasilii Sukhomlinsky and his children after a harvest.

Vasilii Sukhomlinsky examines a tree.

Vasilii Sukhomlinsky examines a tree.

Vasilii Sukhomlinsky was a famous Ukrainian educator and Principal of a public school in Pavlysh from 1948-1970.  Although born in the Ukraine, many of his educational concepts are applicable today in the U.S. and throughout the globe.  He was one of the few noted educators to delight in teaching pre-school, because he realized that the seeds for learning need to be planted early.  Sukhomlinsky believed that it was important for children to experience words before actually learning them.  So, he took his students on nature trips, pointing out what interested them.  Later, they learned to form words and do simple drawings.  As their vocabulary grew, they were encouraged to write brief compositions on what they saw in nature.(The audio excerpt that follows contains a reading of a few of the children’s compositions.)VS  Sukhomlinsky also believed that every child should grow a rose, so each could experience being a creator of beauty. * He believed that a child attuned to beauty would develop a sensitivity towards all living beings.  He also placed great emphasis on developing empathy and compassion in children towards people in need, and taught them the true value of friendship.  During his brief life, he never wavered in his belief in children as individuals, and he tried to be their friend as well as their guide.

Vasilii Sukhomlinsky:“There should not be any nobodies–specks of dust cast upon the wind.  Each one must shine, just as billions upon billions of galaxies shine in the heavens.

Children live by their own ideas of good and evil, honor and dishonor.  They have their own criteria for beauty.  They even have their own way of measuring time;  in childhood, a day seems a year, and a year–eternity.  To gain access to this fairy-tale palace called “childhood”–I have always thought it necessary to become in some sense a child.

Play is a broad and multi-faceted concept.  Children not only play when they run as fast as they can, play may also occur in a huge expenditure of creative capabilities and imagination.  Play in the broadest sense of the term begins where there is beauty.

Not every student will be successful in theoretical thinking, will become a mathematician or physicist, a philologist or historian.  But each student is a person.  The lofty mission of the educator consists precisely in finding a hidden facet in each person, to touch it lightly with skillful hands, to select among numerous instruments what is uniquely necessary for polishing this facet.

We, the teachers, have to deal with the most tender, the most fine, the most sensitive thing in nature, a child’s brain.  When you think about a child’s brain, picture a tender rose petal holding a trembling drop of dew.  Imagine what care and tenderness you need to exhibit so that the drop does not spill after you remove the petal.  This is the very care we teachers need to show every moment.

I firmly believe that there will come a time when a person will not know what it means to strike another, what it means to insult one another.  Such suggests my educational faith, yes, and I teach the moral and social education of children.”  


T. Anthony Jones, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Northeastern University, and Chief Editor of Russian Education and Society:  “The translation provided by Robert Weiss is excellent.  The text reads clearly, and is very accessible to the non-specialist.  It also manages to preserve and convey the excitement, passion, and commitment that Sukhomlinsky brought to his work with children.  Sukhomlinsky always insisted that the curriculum was not at the center of a child’s learning, but rather the quality of the human contact that takes place both in and(more importantly) outside of the classroom.

At a time when schools in the U.S. are concerned about declining educational achievement and the number of young people “lost” to education, Sukhomlinsky’s ideas and practices should attract considerable attention.”

Alan Cockerillfrom the School of Total Education, Australia:  “Sukhomlinsky considered investigative approaches to learning very important, not only in training an inquiring mind, but also in motivating a student to learn.  He often returned to the theme of the emotional bases of learning, to the idea that the student needs to experience positive feelings of wonder and discovery during the learning process.”  This excerpt is taken from Alan’s excellent, book-length study of Sukhomlinsky, Each One Must Shine:  The Educational Legacy of V.A. Sukhomlinsky.  Alan Cockerill’s Sukhomlinsky site.

Simon Soloveichik, journalist,writer, and educator:  “Children in school lose something of what makes them children.  In Sukhomlinsky’s view it was only in school that they could become genuine children.  School does not hurl contempt at childhood, it prolongs it.  What is more–it returns childhood to those who for some reason did not receive it in their family.”

Robert M. Weiss, author, writer, and educational theorist:  “I think one of Sukhomlinsky’s greatest contributions was to realize the complexity of the learning process and to provide an environment in which children would be motivated to learn.  He was interested in their development as “total human beings.”

Vasilii Sukhomlinsky accepts flowers at graduation.

Vasilii Sukhomlinsky accepts flowers at graduation.

Cover LH

LAURELHURST:  LOST COMMUNITY OF THE UPPER ROGUE is available in a limited number of copies at

Beginning with the early homesteaders, this book explores the Laurelhurst community, and its relationship to the Rogue River.  Using interviews, anecdotes, numerous photographs, and archives, the book tries to recreate the life of a forgotten community in Southern Oregon.  Laurelhurst disappeared after the Lost Creek Dam was built in the late 1970s.  The videos that follow are excerpts from Stairsteps Rapid, Garden at Rogue’s Roost, and Rapid Below Tucker’s.  All videos were taken prior to the 1964 flood, and none of these spots remain:

NOTE:  This book is dedicated to the many “old timers” who shared their stories and experiences along the Upper Rogue.  It is my great hope that their memories be preserved by future generations.


Rose Mansfield Varni:  “I remember the Watkins man coming in his little model T truck-van to sell us his products:  vanilla, seasonings, horse liniment, salve good for man or beast.  He always had something for us kids.

I also remember when on a hot summer day, Snider’s delivery truck broke down near our ranch.  He was delivering ice cream to Prospect, and since it would not last until another truck came from Medford, he gave us all he had:  chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla.  We called all the close neighbors, and ate, and ate, and ate some more.”

Duane Kingsley, Roxy Ann Gem and Mineral Society:  “We have an intensive study and pictures of pioneer families, where they lived, where they came from, and how they made their living. Descriptions of places like Tate’s Rogue River Resort, Eastin’s Rogue Haven, Flounce Rock Ranch, Rogue’s Roost, Casey’s Auto Camp, and Laurelhurst State Park, make you want to jump in the car and go see the homes and places described.

Although extremely site specific, the reader can get the feel of pioneer life in the latter 1800s and early 1900s of Anyplace, U.S.A. I wish someone had written a book like this about my ancestors.”

Jack Caseyson of Jim Casey:  “Before the place(Casey’s Auto Camp) was organized for camping, there was nothing but trees, vines and brush…  My mother was the instigator of this whole thing.  She said, ‘I want this place, and we can make a campground out of it.  We can make a life.’  My Dad just couldn’t see it.”

Murray Weiss:  “He(Jack Vaughn) would tell me stories that were just enthralling.  He would describe to me the Indians and the Modoc Indian wars…  It really brought the West alive to me, and helped me develop my interest in western history.”


Cover PR

PROSPECT:  PORTRAIT OF AN UPPER ROGUE COMMUNITY is available in limited numbers at

The work is the first comprehensive history of Prospect Oregon from its origin to 2015.  It includes oral histories, “tall tales”, and an abundance of photographs.  The book also treats the relationship between the people of Prospect and the Rogue River.  The videos that follow contain excerpts of the Gorge at Prospect and Pearsoney Falls:



Vicki Guarino, Mail Tribune: “By the time a community turns 100, it should have at least one book dedicated to its past. Author Robert Weiss, a college professor in California with a long history of vacations in the Upper Rogue area, has stepped in just in time with Prospect… portrait of an Upper Rogue Community.

The book begins with a general history of the community. The second section consists of chapters on two families, the Nevilles and the Nyes, and three individuals. Rose Kelley, Frances Pearson and her son, Paul. The last section focuses on the Rogue River–days spent fishing, camping and swimming in cold waters.

Weiss’ portrait of Prospect spans 108 pages, including an index that enables readers to track families, businesses and places throughout the text. Many of the pictures reprinted in the book come from the Southern Oregon Historical Society; others are from local families, who also contributed much of the information in the book.”

Frank Boothby, grandson of A.H. Boothby, owner of the Boothby House”Why, there’d be a dance at Prospect, and, well, gosh, my folks started getting ready  Saturday morning.  They’d load up some hay in the wagon, and hook up the horses, and we’d get started about noon.  And, well, maybe by the time you’d get up the road, they’d be eight or ten wagons all together headin’ for the dance.  There was an old dance hall at Prospect.  They’d have their supper. and pretty soon they’d clean up, and they’d dance ’till about one o’clock, and they’d have a midnight supper.  Of course, us kids, we’d conk out about ten o’clock, and they’d put us to bed.”


The Three Gray HairsThe Three Gray Hairs,  a children’s story with illustrations by Dodie Hamilton 2014.  It is currently available through author.  This story plus eighteen poems will soon be available at



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