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Where in the world are your former professors?

Creative writing Professor Emerita Frances Mayes, now a full-time resident of Tuscany, Italy, has just come out with a new book, "A Year in the World: Journeys of a Passionate Traveler" (Broadway, 2006). In it, she details her travels to more than a dozen different countries, but Mayes is not the only "retired" professor staying busy abroad.

Economics Professor Emeritus Ralph Anspach, who divides his time between the Bay Area, France and New Zealand, is continuing his work surrounding "the secret history of Monopoly."

"Monopoly was really invented by a woman who never got credit for it," says Anspach, who detailed his research findings in "The Billion Dollar Swindle," a book newly titled " Monopolygate," and available through The book also details the story behind the "Anti-Monopoly" board game Anspach produced and the legal battles with Parker Brothers that followed. Recently he and Patricia Gavin (B.A., ’84) wrote a feature film script based on the battle to distribute the game.

Anspach reports that his game, now licensed to San Francisco-based University Games, is beginning to sell well in the U.S. and abroad. "The game is an extension of my economics teaching about imperfect competition, and I can reach many more people through the game than I ever could in a classroom," Anspach says. More information:

Photo by Tim TenintyMeanwhile, sociology and urban studies Professor Emerita E. Barbara Phillips has found a home away from her Bay Area home -- also in France -- and a way to continue teaching. She wrote to SFSU Magazine about her coup de foudre (love at first sight) with Pech-Merle’s 20,000-plus- year-old cave paintings which she first encountered on a vacation to the countryside of southwest France 15 years ago. "The feeling of reverence inspired by these caves decorated by nature and our Cro-Magnon ancestors did not wear off quickly," she explains. Phillips and her partner, Tim, bought and renovated a small home about 20 minutes from Pech-Merle and later, a nearby "fairy-tale 14th-century mill" that would become home to Latitude, "a multicultural, multigenerational retreat with courses, conferences,
and events."

As the center’s director, Phillips lives in France four months out of the year and teaches classes. Although there are few Americans in her neighborhood, Phillips reports, "I feel rooted here. After all, my ancestors came from Pech-Merle." More information:

Back to Robert Bechtle story.


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