Goldman's Observations http://blog.ericgoldman.org/personal 2015-05-22T15:36:14Z hourly 1 2000-01-01T12:00+00:00 My Eulogy For My Mom (Gail Schlachter Hauser 1943-2015) http://blog.ericgoldman.org/personal/archives/2015/05/my-eulogy-for-my-mom-gail-schlachter-hauser-1943-2015.html 2015-05-21T16:24:02Z
My mom loved desserts, and these were some of her favorites

My mom loved desserts, and these were some of her favorites

On Sunday, we celebrated the life of my mom, Gail Schlachter. We had a full house of about 80 people. We did some readings, said the Mourner’s Kaddish, had some eulogies, watched a slideshow (with “(I Had) The Time of My Life” playing over it, per my mom’s request), reviewed and commented on her life timeline, and ate her favorite desserts. I hope to post the slideshow soon.

I will be posting some of the eulogies here. We asked speakers to limit themselves to 5 minutes (which, I believe, everyone respected), so that will help explain why mine seems so brief. There were a thousand different ways I could have taken the eulogy, so I found this one of the hardest projects to write that I’ve faced for some time. Here’s what I ended up with:

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I want to thank you for coming here today. I know many of you made special efforts to be here, and that means a lot to us.

My mom raised my sister and me as a single parent. This fact defines our identity. For my mom, it meant many years of extra sacrifices, above and beyond the sacrifices that parents typically make. I still can’t figure out how she did it—and I was there! For my sister and me, it meant she had to be both our mom and dad. Still, there always seemed to be enough love to fill the whole household.

Today, we might call my mom a Tiger Mom. She would tell me daily to “Get All As,” even years after my graduation. Getting all As wasn’t a goal or a request, it was an expectation. No matter how proud I made my mom with my achievements, I always knew she expected even more from me. For 47 years, I have been striving to meet those high expectations, and I’ll keep trying for the rest of my life. So although my mom’s direct contributions to the world have come to an end, Sandy and I (and our children) will continue to extend her legacy with the accomplishments we have yet to make, guided by the values and lessons we got from her.

A couple of days ago, I spoke with a woman who bought a book right before my mom’s death and didn’t understand why the book hadn’t arrived. She had a surprising undercurrent of desperation in her voice. I realized she hadn’t just bought a book; she had bought a key that she hoped would help unlock her professional and personal dreams. Without that key, her dreams might be unobtainable. The book didn’t cost that much, but it was an incredibly high-stakes purchase for her.

Multiply this story by many tens of thousands of other readers of the books, and my mom’s true legacy becomes clearer. With each reader who improved his or her professional skills and knowledge through their education paid for with help from the books, my mom’s books helped enhance society’s storehouse of human capital. Indirectly, then, all of us have benefited from a society made richer by my mom’s books.

My mom often described herself as “small but mighty,” and today we remember her mighty impact on me, on our family, on our community, and on the world at large. Thank you again for coming today to help us celebrate her life and her memory.
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There will be another memorial service for Gail Schlachter at the ALA Annual Meeting in San Francisco, June 28, 5 pm.
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Blog Posts About Gail Schlachter Hauser’s Death

* From my wife: Gail Schlachter, My Mother-in-law, Remembered
* Selected Remembrances of Gail Schlachter Hauser (1943-2015)
* My First Mother’s Day Without My Mom (Gail Schlachter Hauser 1943-2015)
* Signs That My Mom Is Still Thinking of Us (Gail Schlachter Hauser, 1943-2015)
* My Mom’s Idea of a “Really Good Day” (Gail Schlachter Hauser, 1943-2015)
* Initial Reflections on Losing a Parent (Gail Schlachter Hauser, 1943-2015)
* My Mom Died: Gail Schlachter Hauser, 1943-2015

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Selected Remembrances of Gail Schlachter Hauser (1943-2015) http://blog.ericgoldman.org/personal/archives/2015/05/selected-remembrances-of-gail-schlachter-hauser-1943-2015.html 2015-05-14T13:57:34Z
Gail Schlachter, Palo Alto

Gail Schlachter, Palo Alto

As word of Dr. Gail Schlachter’s death spread through various communities, there was an outpouring of love and respect that overwhelmed us. We knew her death would impact many communities, and our hearts ached as we heard from so many folks feeling that impact. All of the comments and sentiments meant so much to us, but I thought it would be helpful to collect a few into a single post.

Robert Karatsu, President, California Library Association:

Gail was a true icon in our profession and will be deeply missed. Many librarians I admire and respect specifically pointed to Gail as their professional role model and personal inspiration, and this as much as anything illustrates the kind of person Gail was.

Besides her work as a member of ALA’s Executive Board, I had the pleasure of getting to know Gail through the Reference Service Press Fellowship which is coordinated in California by CLA. This Fellowship has been awarded continuously since 1992 and encourages college seniors, college graduates, and beginning library school students to prepare for a career in reference/information service librarianship. Just looking at some of the past recipients of the fellowship (i.e. Heather Cousin, Evelyn Shimazu Yee, Amy Sonnie, Susan Trujillo, etc.), this was just another way that Gail had an impact on our profession and how she demonstrated through her actions the importance of giving back to the library community.

Roy Tennant, the Digital Shift:

Gail was the kind of person who was always glad to see you. If she ever didn’t smile I don’t know about it.

She was giving to a fault. When my mentor Anne Lipow retired from UC Berkeley and started a consulting business, Gail was there with advice and assistance on how to start a successful publishing business. Anne credited Gail with providing essential guidance and support. They were steadfast friends until Anne’s untimely passing from cancer.

Later I came to know Gail’s daughter, Sandy Hirsh. Sandy is an accomplished librarian in her own right and now Dean of the library School at San Jose State. If you know Sandy you know that Gail clearly did something right.

Yesterday the Twitterverse and Facebooklandia were abuzz with anguished cries from librarians all over. There are good reasons for that. Gail was a giant in the profession, and active in so many areas, from professional publishing to ALA governance. To say that she will be missed is a serious understatement.

Dena from Eureka:

EUREKA has lost a close partner. Dr. Gail Schlachter, founder of Reference Service Press, died unexpectedly yesterday.

EUREKA started using Gail’s scholarship and financial aid data in the Macintosh and Windows versions of EUREKA in 1996. In 2008, we moved her data to the online version of EUREKA and her own website, RSPFundingFinder. Her data in books, EUREKA and other online resources has helped generations of students get scholarships and awards to help pay for school….

Gail was passionate that her financial aid data and filter be the best. We spent many hours on the phone talking about the data and filter and how to improve the results for our users. She never compromised the integrity of her data and strove for perfection in what she did. We have lost a good friend and business partner and will miss her greatly.

Jim Rettig:

I first met Gail in New York at the 1980 American Library Association Annual Conference. The next year at the San Francisco conference we spent some time talking about reference reviewing. She had to miss an Annual Conference or a Midwinter now and then, albeit rarely. Starting with the 1982 Midwinter she and I always had dinner together, dinners made more enjoyable those times my wife was able to join us. They shared a birthday date (different years) and loved to talk about real estate with each other. It was always my responsibility to select the restaurant, a process that depended upon concierges to tell me which restaurants had the best chocolate desserts. They would try to tell me about other foods, but the only thing that mattered and the standard by which Gail judged a restaurant was that it offered at least two decadent chocolate desserts. We always ordered and shared both–or all three when my wife was with us.

The highlight during our dinner in Philadelphia in January 2014 was the phone call she received informing her that she had been elected to the ALA Executive Board. She was sure that it would be a call telling her she had not been elected. In her conversations with me leading up to that meeting as she prepared her candidate’s presentation and biographical form, I kept assuring her that she would be elected because she offered the range of experience and knowledge as well as a keen intellect that would make her a significant asset to the board….

We librarians all develop long-term friendships we would never have had but for our involvement in ALA. I have lost the best of my ALA friends and one of my best friends ever. It hasn’t really sunk in yet. I am just one of many who misses her.

Sarah M. Pritchard:

I still remember exactly the first time she and I met: It was about 1981 or 82, and I was a young reference librarian at the Library of Congress, newly appointed as their first women’s studies subject specialist. I had been compiling the first LC reference guide to resources in women’s studies, when one day this woman patron came up to the desk to request a pass to the stacks. I just happened to be on duty, and people who wanted stack passes needed to consult a librarian; the patron had no idea who I was or what was my own area of expertise. She was filling out our form and indicating why she needed to browse the stacks (and not just request books based on the catalog entries), and I looked over and saw what name she had written, and exclaimed, “Oh, are you *the* Gail Schlachter?” Because I already had identified her book about financial aid for women as one of the sources I was listing in my guide. We immediately became great friends; she often joked with me later how secretly flattered she was to be “*the* Gail Schlachter!”…Your mother was a truly smart, caring, interesting person; she and I shared many stories of our lives, families and jobs over the years. She was always supportive, encouraging, confiding, optimistic, inquisitive. I moved around the country (including out to California for a while), and always caught up with her at ALA meetings; it will be sad indeed not to see her at our conference in SF this June.

Laura McClanathan (emailed to my sister Sandy):

Words cannot express how sorry I am about the loss of your mother, Gail. I was absolutely shocked by the news and heartbroken for your family. I have been thinking about her every single day and the generosity and warmth she showered on me as a Fellowship recipient. She will remain a steadfast inspiration throughout my program, and throughout my life. Though I didn’t have a chance to get to know her as well as I truly wanted to, when we did meet (such as the moment at ALA last summer when she threw her arms so wonderfully around me), it was magical. I felt she was someone I had always known, and that she really saw in me my love of not only reference work, but excellence in service and hard work. Thank you so much for helping me find her that day. Seeing the two of you together, such incredibly powerful and dedicated women, is a moment I won’t forget. Her Fellowship has not only inspired me but it has rewarded me in ways that I hope to be able to give to others. Gail and I were in the midst of an email exchange to find a time to talk about my first class using the Fellowship, and I was excited to tell her about my plan for a thesis but didn’t have a chance to tell her. My thesis will be dedicated to her.

K.G. Schneider:

…feeling drenched in grief and wishing I could just spend a few minutes with her again, even in one of those charmless windowless conference rooms where Gail spent so much time so patiently, so cheerfully sharing her gifts with others. Just to watch her walk up to me and tell me how happy she was to see me. Just to see her smile, as bright as the sun, and listen to her wise and funny comments on all things LibraryLand. Gail had the gift of making every person she encountered feel special and welcome and the smartest kid in kindergarten. She was smart and witty and kind and beautiful and entirely her own person. She had a heart the size of our galaxy, and so many of us will miss her.

Gail was way above soba noodles and special shoelaces. Gail was that sort of person that if you knew her even slightly, she was more than equal to the best oysters on the half-shell you ever had, or that special dress you will remember forever. She had the knack for saying things so kind, things I so needed to hear at just that moment, that I would fold her comments into a small square and tuck them forever in my heart. Gail was powerful and astute, but I don’t know if she fully realized how much she meant to so many people.

Richard Moore:

Gail was always the most alive person in the room. She’s the one I went to when I needed a dose of happy to get through the day. Every time I saw her at a conference she said hi and asked about family. That smile, mentioned by most people here, was a great dose of warmth constantly on loan to anyone who needed it. I loved Gail. I am in tears.

Scott Ebrahimi:

I told my daughter we meet many people in our lives. Some of those people are nice, smart, kind and some are not.. Then [there] are those few people, if you are lucky enough to meet who are rare gems, and we treasure them… They are the ones that set the bar… I told her of how your mom started, was self made, disciplined, loving, well educated and in a time when it was even more difficult for women to get ahead, she lead the way. Your mom is what dads dream their little girls can grow up to be.

Vee Friesner Carrington:

Gail was a remarkable person and a guiding light to many librarians. She was a pioneer in an important segment of the profession. She knew no strangers at ALA.

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I also wanted to include this Facebook post from my niece Leah:

Grandma Gail, you have always inspired me to reach for greatness. Your generosity and kindness have been a guiding force in my life. You have never failed to make me feel special and that I am capable of changing the world. It has been an honor to be able to call myself your granddaughter, and I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better grandmother. Thank you for supporting me through every important moment of my life. I know you are worried about missing out on the rest of my life, but I promise you’ll be with me every step of the way. You will not be forgotten. I love you, and you will always remain in my heart.

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Also, I’ve posted her 2 page resume that she used when running for the ALA Executive Board.
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We will be celebrating Dr. Gail Schlachter Hauser’s life on May 17 in Los Altos Hills. Click here for details and to RSVP.
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Blog Posts About Gail Schlachter Hauser’s Death

* My First Mother’s Day Without My Mom (Gail Schlachter Hauser 1943-2015)
* Signs That My Mom Is Still Thinking of Us (Gail Schlachter Hauser, 1943-2015)
* My Mom’s Idea of a “Really Good Day” (Gail Schlachter Hauser, 1943-2015)
* Initial Reflections on Losing a Parent (Gail Schlachter Hauser, 1943-2015)
* My Mom Died: Gail Schlachter Hauser, 1943-2015

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My First Mother’s Day Without My Mom (Gail Schlachter Hauser 1943-2015) http://blog.ericgoldman.org/personal/archives/2015/05/my-first-mothers-day-without-my-mom-gail-schlachter-hauser-1943-2015.html 2015-05-11T17:08:54Z
Sutter Club, Sacramento, December 2013

Sutter Club, Sacramento, December 2013

I know Mother’s Day is supposed to be about moms, but please indulge me as I describe it from a son’s perspective. As a Jewish son, Mother’s Day has always been a difficult day. After all, Jewish babies start out on day 1 owing a debt for our mother’s sacrifices giving birth to us. After that, it’s a lifetime of catch-up trying to compensate for that guilt, but every day I kept incurring new guilt-inducing moments even as I tackled the accumulated deficit. For every great successful moment in my life, a few days later we’d be back to “why don’t you call or visit more often?”

Viewed in this light, Mother’s Day was the yearly Super Bowl of Guilt. The official day of reconciliation for all the things I hadn’t done as a son that year. My mom was very clear what “gift” she wanted for Mother’s Day. Flowers? No. A nice meal? No. Chocolates? Well, yes, but that was a trivial token. Every year when I’d ask she wanted for Mother’s Day, she would say, plainly and firmly, “CALL YOUR MOTHER!” Preferably every day, multiple times a day. My haphazard and episodic phone-calling frequency Did Not Cut It.

Just to make sure the guilt dagger was firmly lodged, my mom would then remind me that I would miss calling her when she was dead. As I instinctively reached for the phone last night, having that involuntary moment of panic that I had somehow forgot to call my mom on Mother’s Day, I grudgingly muttered that she had been right.

When my mom’s book of life closed, so too did my ability to redress my guilt. With each Annual Judgment Day Mother’s Day, I could always over-optimistically promise to myself that I would do a better job as a son next year. Now, with my mom gone, my oeuvre of “work-as-a-son” is irreparably complete. And that leaves me to forevermore ponder the unanswerable question–of course I could have done more for her, but did I do enough for my mom when it counted?

Perhaps that takes too narrow a view. I can no longer tell my mom directly how I appreciated her, but I can honor her memory, and everything she taught me, through my future actions. And knowing that she can no longer directly evaluate my conduct perhaps raises the stakes even higher for me to make the right choices.
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We will be celebrating Dr. Gail Schlachter Hauser’s life on May 17 in Los Altos Hills. Click here for details and to RSVP.
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Blog Posts About Gail Schlachter Hauser’s Death

* Signs That My Mom Is Still Thinking of Us (Gail Schlachter Hauser, 1943-2015)
* My Mom’s Idea of a “Really Good Day” (Gail Schlachter Hauser, 1943-2015)
* Initial Reflections on Losing a Parent (Gail Schlachter Hauser, 1943-2015)
* My Mom Died: Gail Schlachter Hauser, 1943-2015

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Signs That My Mom Is Still Thinking of Us (Gail Schlachter Hauser, 1943-2015) http://blog.ericgoldman.org/personal/archives/2015/05/signs-that-my-mom-is-still-thinking-of-us-gail-schlachter-hauser-1943-2015.html 2015-05-07T15:52:21Z April 2015, Los AltosIt’s comforting to think of my mom’s soul watching over us and sending us occasional signs or reminders of her love for us. On the day of my mom’s burial service, I noted three unusual “coincidences” that might have been signs from her:

1) My mom repeatedly told me that she wanted the song “(I Had) The Time of My Life” played at her funeral. While we plan to play it at her memorial service, we didn’t plan to play it at her actual burial service. As we drove to the burial service, you can guess what song came on the radio. Now, it’s a well-known song, but the timing was striking given the song’s age. Still, the fortuitous timing meant that indeed we enjoyed the song at her funeral. (Enjoyed, of course, is euphemistic: I immediately burst into tears when the song came on the radio).

2) My mom always said she felt cold, but the temperature at her burial service was a sizzling 95 degrees–an unusually hot day for the LA Basin in April.

3) As we drove home from the service, we crested a hill and saw the setting sun as its disk was just touching the horizon. Seeing it through so many atmospheric layers, we could glimpse directly at the sun’s disk for a few moments at a time. It was the widest, fattest and most beautiful sun I can recall seeing. The bottom eighth of the disk was distorted by the atmosphere in a way that made it look vaguely like the sun was “smiling.” So what I chose to see was my mom’s bright face smiling at us–as she always did–as her way of sending her love.
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We will be celebrating Dr. Gail Schlachter Hauser’s life on May 17 in Los Altos Hills. Click here for details and to RSVP.
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Blog Posts About Gail Schlachter Hauser’s Death

* My Mom’s Idea of a “Really Good Day” (Gail Schlachter Hauser, 1943-2015)
* Initial Reflections on Losing a Parent (Gail Schlachter Hauser, 1943-2015)
* My Mom Died: Gail Schlachter Hauser, 1943-2015

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My Mom’s Idea of a “Really Good Day” (Gail Schlachter Hauser, 1943-2015) http://blog.ericgoldman.org/personal/archives/2015/05/my-moms-idea-of-a-really-good-day-gail-schlachter-hauser-1943-2015.html 2015-05-05T15:56:02Z April 2015, Los AltosMy mom filled out an advance healthcare directive before her death. We didn’t need to use it, but the fact we had it provided us (as loved ones) great comfort that we wouldn’t have to guess about my mom’s preferences.

One of the directive’s questions asked: “If I Were Having a Really Good Day, I Would Be Doing the Following…” I’d like to share how my mom answered it:

- reading newspaper while eating breakfast
– letting the dog out; walking the dog
– checking email on the computer
– making business calls; talking on phone to my children
– working on business and home projects
– eating frozen dinners (cooking in microwave)
– running errands (going to the grocery store)
– taking long hot showers

Even though these tasks may sound pedestrian, this is in fact what my mom genuinely loved doing on a day-to-day basis. Nothing would make her–or us–happier if she could do these just one more day. So perhaps this list reminds us that, when compared to the alternatives we inevitably face in life, an average day filled with ordinary tasks still could be a Really Good Day after all.
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We will be celebrating Dr. Gail Schlachter Hauser’s life on May 17 in Los Altos Hills. Click here for details and to RSVP.
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Blog Posts About Gail Schlachter Hauser’s Death

* Initial Reflections on Losing a Parent (Gail Schlachter Hauser, 1943-2015)
* My Mom Died: Gail Schlachter Hauser, 1943-2015

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Remembering Greg Lastowka (1968-2015) http://blog.ericgoldman.org/personal/archives/2015/05/remembering-greg-lastowka-1968-2015.html 2015-05-04T17:52:39Z On the same day I lost my mom, I also lost a close colleague: Greg Lastowka, a law professor at Rutgers-Camden Law School. Greg was one of the leading Internet Law scholars in the world, and our paths crossed countless times. I always enjoyed seeing him in person and exchanging emails with him, and I’ve cited his works many times. More recently, we bonded over having our respective lives rocked by cancer.

***

I first encountered Greg in the early 2000s. We exchanged emails about his work on Intel v. Hamidi, an online trespass to chattels case, where he helped his client prevail despite long odds–and established a key legal precedent in the process. Around that time, doing research for my own paper, I discovered Greg’s student note on search engines and trademark law, “Search Engines, HTML, and Trademarks: What’s the Meta For?” It was a thoughtful and well-crafted work that demanded a serious response, and I always loved the title’s pun.

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Greg’s paper with Dan Hunter, The Law of the Virtual Worlds, was a massive hit that ranks in the top 250 most downloaded papers ever at SSRN. It’s a paper that I and many other professors aspire to write: a thoughtful and provocative treatment of a cutting-edge topic just as the topic was exploding in the literature. Greg continued the discussion at the high profile blog Terra Nova, a site I secretly envied (so much so that I added a virtual worlds category to my blog as a nod to trendiness).

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Greg attended prior Internet Law Works-in-Progress conferences but couldn’t attend the 2015 event at SCU. He was on our minds, though. Attendees signed a “thinking of you” card and left video messages for him. It was a small way for the Internet Law community to send good wishes to another community member suffering major health troubles.

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Because of my wife’s health, I don’t travel very much any more. However, a business trip took me to Philadelphia last October. When my meeting ended unexpectedly early, I had a couple of extra hours in Philadelphia. This gave me time to visit Greg at his house in Swarthmore before heading to the airport. It was a lovely Fall day, and we sat outside on the patio enjoying a light breeze, watching his cats and talking about health (his and my wife’s), careers, the state of legal education and more. Physically he didn’t look the same, but his mind was sharp as ever. It was an ordinary social visit, the kind we might have had in better times–even though we might not have made the time because there always seem to be more pressing priorities. I had hoped our visit wouldn’t be our last, though I feared it would be, and I soaked up every detail so the memories would remain strong.

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Others have described Greg as a “mensch” and a “gentle man,” and I think those are perfect descriptors. Greg kept an even keel in everything he did, but his calm demeanor masked a great intellectual fire raging below. Seeing that fire extinguished, especially so prematurely, is tragic for me and all of us. I’m saddened by his death, and I’m sending my love and sympathy to Carol, Adam, Daniel and all of Greg’s family.

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Other remembrances:

* Greg’s self-written obituary
* Rutgers Today: Rutgers Law Professor, Internationally Recognized Cyberlaw Scholar Dies of Cancer
* Derek Bambauer
* James Grimmelmann
* Dean John Oberdiek

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Details on the Celebration of Dr. Gail Schlachter Hauser’s Life http://blog.ericgoldman.org/personal/archives/2015/05/details-on-the-celebration-of-dr-gail-schlachter-hausers-life.html 2015-05-04T15:47:42Z April 2015, Los AltosDr. Gail Schlachter Hauser died tragically and unexpectedly on April 27, 2015. On May 17, 2015, 4-6 pm, we will celebrate her life at Congregation Beth Am (Los Altos Hills) in the Beit Kehillah Room. Although the EventBrite system refers to “tickets,” no tickets are required to come. However, please RSVP so we can get a rough headcount for seating and catering. You can RSVP here.

Initially we called this event as a memorial. However, we quickly realized that we intended something more festive and celebratory, so we’ve retitled it a celebration. “Business casual” attire would be the most appropriate choice; no need for formal wear.

We would treasure your photographs, artifacts, anecdotes and war stories. Please let us know what can be shared publicly, and with respect to photographs, we’d appreciate your help identifying everyone in the photo. Email any items to Eric Goldman (egoldman@gmail.com) or bring hard copy items to the celebration.

Please no flowers. Contributions may be sent to the Gail Schlachter Memorial Fund at the American Library Association, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611 or online.

If you are going to the American Library Association’s 2015 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, we anticipate having another memorial/celebration there on Sunday, June 28.
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Blog Posts About Gail Schlachter Hauser’s Death

* Initial Reflections on Losing a Parent (Gail Schlachter Hauser, 1943-2015)
* My Mom Died: Gail Schlachter Hauser, 1943-2015

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Initial Reflections on Losing a Parent (Gail Schlachter Hauser, 1943-2015) http://blog.ericgoldman.org/personal/archives/2015/05/initial-reflections-on-losing-a-parent-gail-schlachter-hauser-1943-2015.html 2015-05-03T17:44:36Z April 2015, Los AltosMy mom was a survivor. She always seemed to overcome every challenge she encountered. So when I dropped her off Monday morning for a routine biopsy that the doctor said had a 1% mortality rate, I never imagined she would be in the bottom 1%. I feared what the biopsy would say, the recovery time she faced, and how her health conditions would add more complexity to her already overly complicated life. But I didn’t see any reason to talk about anything other than the future, because I would see her in a few hours.

My mom was 72, so it’s not like we hadn’t contemplated her mortality. It’s something she was fully aware of. With each passing birthday, she would marvel that she was still here, that she had made it to see age so-and-so. Yet, still, the suddenness of her death makes it especially hard to process. It doesn’t feel like it was her time to go. Not now, not this way. It makes no sense. She didn’t even live longer than her parents, one of the few goals in her life she didn’t accomplish.

After we told my daughter about her grandmother’s death, my daughter asked if grandma’s soul would come back to visit her. Sidestepping the heavy theological implications, I told her that if she listens carefully, she’ll hear her grandma’s voice in her thoughts. At least for me, this is why my mom will never leave me. As clearly as if she were standing in front of me right now, I can hear her encouraging me, praising me, occasionally chiding me. I can hear her telling me that it wasn’t her time to go, but at the same time I can hear her telling me that she had the time of her life.
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We will be celebrating Dr. Gail Schlachter Hauser’s life on May 17 in Los Altos Hills. Click here for details and to RSVP.
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Blog Posts About Gail Schlachter Hauser’s Death

* Initial Reflections on Losing a Parent (Gail Schlachter Hauser, 1943-2015)
* My Mom Died: Gail Schlachter Hauser, 1943-2015

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My Mom Died: Gail Schlachter Hauser, 1943-2015 http://blog.ericgoldman.org/personal/archives/2015/04/my-mom-died-gail-schlachter-hauser-1943-2015.html 2015-04-28T17:34:24Z April 2015, Los AltosI’m devastated to report the death of my mother, Dr. Gail Schlachter Hauser, yesterday at the age of 72. She died unexpectedly during what we thought would be a routine biopsy. She is survived by her husband Stuart, her children Eric and Sandy, her son-in-law Jay and daughter-in-law Lisa, and her grandchildren Hayley, Leah, Jacob and Dina. Her death comes as a shock, and it leaves a huge hole in many communities–and in our hearts.

My mom was an extraordinary woman. After a difficult divorce, in 1971 she started a new life with little money and 2 small kids. She went on to make major contributions to the library field over a half-century, culminating in a position on the American Library Association (ALA) Executive Board. After a decade as an academic librarian, she moved into self-publishing financial aid guides full-time. She published dozens of different titles, including her landmark works the Directory of Financial Aids for Women and Directory of Financial Aids for Minorities, titles that gave help–and hope–to populations that needed it most. We’ll never know just how many people benefited from her financial aid guides, but it means a lot to us to imagine the many lives that these works changed. In addition to her professional accomplishments, Mom was a shrewd real estate investor. She did all of this while raising two kids as a single parent.

My mom constantly put the needs of others before her own. I’m sure we’ll hear many stories of librarians, publishers and others whose lives she touched and improved. Please email or send me your remembrances, anecdotes and war stories, and please let me know if I can share those comments publicly. Our apologies in advance that this is a hectic time and we may not be able to respond promptly.

Although I could recount many personal anecdotes of ways she prioritized my needs, I’ll share just one. Last year I told my mom about Lisa’s lung cancer diagnosis. Without hesitation, my mom told me that she wanted to move from Sacramento to our neighborhood so that she could help out our family. This move was extremely taxing on her, but her desire to help us trumped the substantial personal and financial cost she incurred. Her untimely death especially stings because she had only just completed most of the move logistics, yet we won’t get to enjoy the benefits of having her so close.

Despite the many challenges she faced in life, Mom would often talk about how she “had the time of her life.” She wanted us to play the song at her funeral, so I’ll share it with you now:

Please no flowers. If you wish to donate in her name, we have set up a memorial fund at the American Library Association in accordance with her wishes. Contributions may be sent to the Gail Schlachter Memorial Fund at the American Library Association, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611 or online.

The burial service will be private, but we will have a public memorial service on the afternoon of May 17 at Beth Am in Palo Alto. [UPDATE: You can find more details about the event and RSVP here.] We also hope to celebrate her career at the ALA Annual Meeting in San Francisco in June.

Last weekend, my mom told me about her dream for her last ALA council meeting. She wanted to raise her hand and say that she had a “point of personal privilege.” (She was adamant that Robert’s Rules of Order allowed such things). She was then going to thank ALA for the experiences she had, and then–in her own words–“boogie” away dancing from the microphone. So that is how I’ll choose to remember my mom’s death: she dropped the mic and boogied on outta here.

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Q&A With Student Newspaper http://blog.ericgoldman.org/personal/archives/2015/04/qa-with-student-newspaper.html 2015-04-20T19:10:53Z I did an email interview with The Advocate, our law students’ newspaper. I tried to have some fun with it. The Q&A:

1. What is your favorite summer memory to date?

The summer when I got my first real six-string. I bought it at the five-and-dime and played it ‘til my fingers bled.

[UPDATE: My wife said students wouldn’t get this joke because it’s too dated a reference, and I already had one student confirm that.]

2. What was your favorite course from law school and why?

My most memorable graduate school course was taught by investment banker Michael Milken. Milken earned $550M in 1987, so my peers and I aspired to be just like him—until he went to jail. After Milken was released from prison, in Fall 1993 he taught a UCLA Business School course called “Corporate Finance, Financial Institutions and Investments.” The course sparked nationwide controversy and was repeatedly lampooned in the Doonesbury comic strip.

The class had kickoff and closing dinners just like investment bankers do when they are working on important deals. At the closing dinner, all of the students got commemorative Lucite plaques reprinting 12 pearls of wisdom that Milken wanted us to remember. For example, Concept #6 says: “The 1980’s was a time of giving.”

I still have the Lucite plaque in my office. Drop by and check it out.

3. Which character(s) from literature and/or film do you most identify with?

I’ve always aspired to be the “Joe Cool” version of Snoopy, but I’m actually more like Woodstock. I also identify with Mr. Spock from Star Trek TOS. He’s logical, loyal, acerbic, dedicated to his job, a vegetarian, and played by a Jewish man.

4. What is your favorite source, (news / journal / legal blog / other) for keeping current with the law?               

For legal news, I rely heavily on TMZ and The Onion. I also read The Advocate and my own blog.

5. What would you do with a time machine?

I would patent it! But I’m not sure I would actually use it. In the movies, time machines always seem dangerously finicky.

6. What was your favorite summer job that you had while in law school and how did you get it?

During my 1L summer (1991), the legal market was in a recession—not as severe as now, but still bad. I applied to over 100 firms in the major metro areas throughout the western United States and generated a giant stack of rejection letters.

As summer drew nearer, I needed to change search strategies. I tried to find markets where I could be more competitive—such as markets where smart people wouldn’t want to go. In retrospect, the solution was obvious: smart students don’t want to spend their summers in the desert, where it’s hotter than heck.

Armed with this insight, I sent out three resumes to law firms in Palm Springs. I immediately got three interviews.

I got hired at a small tax and litigation firm in Palm Springs. I got paid less than I was making before I went to law school. The temperature repeatedly topped 120. I lived 1/3 of a mile from the office, but I still arrived at the office sweaty and gross. I didn’t really love the legal work.

On the plus side, eventually I married the boss’ daughter, so the job turned out great.

7. What is your favorite concert that you’ve attended?

I’m not much of a concert-goer. I even avoid going to my kids’ school performances.

8. If you could sit down for dinner with any Supreme Court Justice, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

If I had a time machine per Q5, I wouldn’t be limited to just one! But if I had to pick only one, I would enjoy having dinner with Justice Evelina Qirjako of the Albania Supreme Court. I believe she has written some interesting opinions (although I’m not sure because I can’t read Albanian).

9. What do you consider to be the most important development in your field over the last 5 years?

The collapse of student demand for legal education is pretty significant. I’ll also note the changing demands of legal employers, who used to prize smart generalists who lacked well-defined career plans but now prefer hyper-focused specialists.

10. How do you unwind?

My family situation doesn’t leave me with much downtime any more. However, in my limited free time, I like to think about ways to make my final exams harder for my students. I find my stress level reduces as I come up with innovative ways to ratchet up the stress for students. It’s like a principle of stress conservation.

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See the full interview in context (page 4).

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