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DECEMBER 2003
Volume 96, Issue 2
 

GRAPHIC:  Also in every issueLETTERS
Upon what meat have you fed that you can…

Irreconcilable differences

I was disturbed to read such an inaccurate, uncritical (in the U of C sense), and politically biased article about the research of Linda Waite (“Healthy, Wealthy, and Wed,” October/03) by Amy M. Braverman. First, the story makes no distinction between the results of the research for men and for women. But the survey actually shows that while men are better off whether the marriage is happy or unhappy, women suffer greater ill effects and ill health when a marriage is unhappy. For a woman, then, getting out of a bad marriage may be a healthier choice.
[ more ]


Right about the lawyer

Rachel Morton’s article, “Rural Route” (October/03), about attorney Peter Langrock, AB’58, JD’60, was right on the mark. Peter is a very highly regarded lawyer here in Vermont, for reasons that go beyond all those the piece brought to light. He is a person of great skills but also a good man.
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Wrong about the geese

I’m sure a number of people have pointed out that Kady the English setter (“Rural Route,” October/03) is barking at Canada Geese, not Canadian geese, but not many know the story of the government research project to discover why these geese fly in a V formation where one side is almost always longer than the other. Could there be an aerodynamic principle applicable to airplane flight? After a yearlong study by engineers, the report came back saying that the reason one side of the V is longer is that there are more birds on that side.

Sally Morris Petrilli, PhB’48
Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin


“Aims” address hits the mark

Thank you for printing the “Aims of Education” address given by Professor Abbott for first-year students (“The Zen of Education,” October/03). Rarely have I read anything so well-done. I congratulate him on providing both the students and me with such a memorable view of what education can be, especially at the U of C.
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Law & education

I was sufficiently charmed by the sociologist Andrew Abbott’s “Aims of Education” address to tape on my office door the excerpt explaining why a good education is useless to most lawyers. After a few days, however, I decided that he had overstated the case. In my own practice, which centers on trial-level constitutional litigation, I often draw on analytic skills, which at least seem directly related to my undergraduate education in, for instance, mastering enough detail about “bivariate ecological regression” to cross-examine experts on the topic; working with historians and even sociologists to present a persuasive picture of complex topics to a court or jury; and, more broadly, cutting through fairly complicated hogwash and sophistry to articulate the “correct” side of the argument.
[ more ]


Athlete, yes; scholar, no

Most people are interested in connecting with the past, but our view of the past must be clear-eyed. A “Hall of Fame,” such as the new Athletics Hall of Fame (October/03) at Chicago, implies that its honorees are worthy of emulation. However, some members of this hall were far from being models for the scholar-athlete.
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That was the year that was

I’m surprised to see that no one corrected the misstatement in Lester Munson’s fine article about the splendid new Hall of Fame (October/03). On page 45 he states, “…marked by the death of big-time football in 1935 when Robert Maynard Hutchins withdrew the University from the Big Ten.” My recollection is that it occurred in 1939, after the football season, during the Christmas holidays. Better check it out while some of us old geezers are still around.

Bob Greenebaum, AB’39
Highland Park, Illinois

Greenebaum is correct: Chicago withdrew from Big Ten football in 1939, several seasons after Jay Berwanger, AB’36, won the Heisman.—Ed.


News she can use

I have had a lifelong love affair with magazines and journals of all kinds, and judge a title’s utility by how many pages I end up tearing out of a particular issue (of my personal copy, of course). I harvested four pages from the October/03 issue—the “Not So Random Acts of Kindness” chart for my parish priest, a children’s literature title to read out of “Alumni Works,” the “In Stereo” piece on the Polkaholics (great for holiday gift giving?), and the announcement on the Alumni Photography Contest. Keep up the excellent work of entertaining and informing your readers.

Dodie Ownes, AM’86
Golden, Colorado


Have they heard the mockingbird?

I have just read Catherine Gianaro’s fascinating article, “Pop starlings and their melodies” (“Investigations,” October/03). I don’t know whether I have something to tell the scientists that will aid their research or something that they already know and have long since dismissed.
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The curser, not the cursed

In “To Sleep, Perchance” (“Chicago Journal,” October/03), Sharla Stewart refers to “Ondine’s Curse” of central hypoventilation as a curse placed on Ondine to “stay awake in order to breathe.”
[ more ]


Fueling the future

President Randel’s column, “How will the world meet its energy demands?” (October/03) is disappointing in two respects: factually and in terms of the future of energy research at the University. Carbon dioxide need not be produced when using electricity from wind or sun to produce hydrogen (except in producing and installing the wind- or sun-power apparatus.) Nor would a hydrogen distribution system be necessary.
[ more ]


Old school ties

From “Curing the world, one epidemic at a time” (“C. vitae,” October/03): “...the dean told me that I was the first applicant from the Chicago Public Schools in many years.” Wrong. I attended Kate Star Kellogg Grade School and Morgan Park High School, both Chicago Public Schools.

J. Curtis Kovacs, AB’63, MD’67
Sun City, Arizona


Old school songs

Regarding the letter in the October/03 issue chiding certain classes and persons for putting down other colleges and universities: What has happened to people’s sense of humor? I know I am an “alumna emerita” and thus totally out of step with the current scene, but it seems to me that the good-natured poking of fun at other institutions we enjoyed in the late 1940s was rather innocent enjoyment!
[ more ]


No place like the shoreland

The October 17 Maroon reports that the housing office is considering closing Shoreland Hall as an undergraduate dormitory, to be replaced by a new dorm south of the Midway. I was shocked to read of this possibility. I cannot emphasize too strongly how regrettable such a decision would be.
[ more ]


Lost department mourned

It was with great sadness that I read of the untimely death of Rebecca Barr, AM’61, PhD’68 (August/03). I had the privilege of working with Becky in the University of Chicago reading clinic. Becky was a worthy successor to Helen M. Robinson and Helen K. Smith, previous directors.
[ more ]


Small type, big mistake

Your typeface is way too small. Please look into this. If you need a little research—no cost—let me know. Ever since I X’d out of the U of C in 1951, I have cringed, positively cringed—I can write ’49 Harvard but only “X” by U of C!
[ more ]


Board members sought

The University of Chicago Alumni Association is seeking nominations of alumni to serve on its Board of Governors, a 25-member group that sets policy for the association and advises the University on matters of interest and concern to alumni.
[ more ]


Department of corrections

In “If not the Higgs, then what?” (Investigations, October/03) the three “generations” of particles were misidentified. There are three generations of quarks (top and bottom, up and down, and charmed and strange) and three generations of leptons (the electron, muon, and tau and their corresponding neutrinos). In “C. vitae” (October/03) illustrator Richard Thompson should have been credited. We regret the errors.


The University of Chicago Magazine welcomes letters on its contents or on topics related to the University. Letters must be signed and may be edited for space and clarity. We ask readers to keep correspondence to 300 words or less. Write:

Editor, University of Chicago Magazine,
5801 S. Ellis Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637

E-mail: uchicago-magazine@uchicago.edu


 


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