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From the President

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College students get carded

The bad thing about any contest-from the august awarding of Nobel Prizes to television's latest quiz show, The Weakest Link-is that not everyone can be a winner. It's a lesson that most of us learn early in life. We get over it. We suck it up. We try, try again. And, once we're out of kindergarten, we're usually self-composed enough to congratulate the person who comes out on top.

PHOTO:  Seth Endo, AB'01This spring when the Magazine ran a contest for graduating College students, asking them to write on what they'll remember most about their Chicago experience, we focused on the winner: we'd print the essay that we liked best, and that would be that. Indeed, "Picture This," in which Seth Endo, AB'01 (right), explains his ingenious memory aid, appears in the feature, Picture this.

We forgot that-as a mom or dad regularly reassures a toddler with a bruised ego-not winning is not the same as losing. And so all of the nonwinning essays contained at least one image, thought, or paragraph that caught our attention. Here are two we wanted to share.

Jessica Longo, AB'01, an English language & literature concentrator from Laguna Niguel, California, remembers fondly the "Night We Swam in the Law School Fountain": "Everyone stripped down to their undergarments, except for me. I kept my jeans and shirt on. We were splashing and singing and screaming, thoroughly happy for once in our angst-ridden first-year lives. The next thing we knew there was a bright light shining on us.… A voice boomed out, 'I can see you.' We tried harder to be invisible. The voice spoke again, 'I can see you. Send me your leader.' Since everyone else was so scantily clad, I was forced to be the leader. Sopping wet, I plodded over to the cop car, trying my darndest to look innocent and like I was not sopping wet.…"

The story has a U of C ending. It was spring, the officer himself had been young once upon a time, and he issued not a ticket but a benediction: "Well…go on being silly."

For LeAnne Laux-Bachand, AB'01, an English language & literature concentrator from New York City, the Quads are in the details. Describing her daily walk from campus to Breckinridge, a soon-to-be-closed dormitory at 1442 E. 59th Street, she notes, "On warm spring afternoons I loved navigating the throngs of Lab School kids congregating around the playground and ice-cream vendors. After International House events I could overhear a variety of languages as clusters of people spilled onto the sidewalk.… In the fall, soccer lessons and their requisite orange cones occupy much of the Midway. At Halloween, Harper Avenue prides itself rightly on its elaborate decorations (one house boasts cardboard tombstones on its front yard, carrying inscriptions like, 'I Told You I Was Sick').

"Movies at Doc and the annual Folk Festival are just down the street, and when the bagpipers practice in the yard behind Ida Noyes you can hear the warbling strains as you walk home.… Of all of these features, though, I love the passing trains the best-soybean oil and corn syrup in rattling tank cars, blue and gray Metra cars coming and going from downtown, and the orange South Shore line headed to and from Indiana. Many of the rooms in Breckinridge would shake slightly with the passing of every train, and it felt like we were somewhere important, a stopping point, and a destination."


In its April/01 "Investigations," the Magazine chose to illustrate the article, "Sex Sells a Second Time," with a photograph of only one of the two researchers involved. That choice may have given readers the impression that Edward O. Laumann and Robert T. Michael are not equal coauthors of Sex, Love, and Health in America (Chicago, 2000), and we regret the error.-M.R.Y.

  JUNE 2001

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Children's Crusader
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Life begins at 33.8
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Picture this

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