constant air of self-congratulation…
TONE OF CONTENTION
While utterly without worth as history or policy prescription, Professor
Bruce Cumings’s conciliatory views on North Korea as expressed
in Soo Ji Min’s December/03 article, “Zone
of Contention,” do serve one valuable purpose: They remind
us how many highly intelligent and supposedly well-meaning people,
from Vice President Henry Wallace on, deliberately blinded themselves
and others to the horrific threat posed by the genocidal killer
Josef Stalin and his blustering, thieving, nuclear-armed successors
in the Soviet leadership.
I, as a Korean War veteran and an alumnus of the University of Chicago,
read Soo Ji Min’s article, “Zone
of Contention,” with great interest.
Professor Cumings’s assessment of the Korean
War and his understanding of Korean situations are most profound.
Professor Cumings is a scholar with scientific objectivity and a
gentleman with compassion and love of Korean people. I am proud
to have a scholar like him teach at my alma mater.
Wi Jo Kang, AM’62, PhD’67
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Though I did not major in science at the University of Chicago,
I read with interest Sharla Stewart’s recent article (“Immersion
Theory,” December/03) on a new method of biology instruction
practiced in the College. The intellectual high point of my own
Chicago studies—and the most fun I ever had at school—consisted
of a nearly three-year-long reading group, initiated by Leon R.
Kass, SB’58, MD’64, on the topic of ancient Greek mathematics.
At times, when after a martini I feel too content with life as it
is, I pick up a copy of the University of Chicago Magazine.
Its constant air of self-congratulation provides a never-failing
antidote. In the December/03 issue there was a piece about David
Broder, AB’47, AM’51, dean of Washington correspondents
In a survey of 200 opinion-page editors, he had been voted the “least
ideological” columnist. “Ideological,” as any
reader who can spell “cat” knows, is the perverse euphemism
for “having an opinion.”
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Thanks for the fine photo spread (“Body
Building,” December/03) on the new Ratner Athletics Center.
One thing was missing though: where is it? Maps are very helpful
for us aging alums who’ve not been back to campus for a few
ANOTHER ROUTE TO PRODUCTIVITY?
In the December/03 issue President Randel (“From
the President”) emphasized the importance of continued
investments in higher education. In reality, the U.S. invests far
too much in higher education, with 20 percent of all bachelor’s
degree holders between 25 years old and 65 years old holding non-college
level jobs, as measured by the U.S. Department of Labor.
ADDING TO THE LOCAL SYLLABUS
Re: the syllabus described in “Course
Work,” December/03. Instead of treating the fairly recent
past of Hyde Park and urban renewal as ancient history largely to
be found in newspapers, it would seem to have been more rewarding
to interview people who were there “at the creation”
of both the need and the results.
Having lived in the Shoreland for four years
as an undergrad, I believe it would be a sad shame to see it converted
into a non-University building or even sold (“College
Report,” December/03). The Shoreland may have been other
students’ second, third, or fourth choice as a dorm, but it
was my first.
NO GOLDEN GLOVE FOR US
After reading Bob Greenebaum’s letter
(December/03) pointing out the correct year in which Chicago withdrew
from Big Ten football competition (after the 1939 season), I found
a few other errors in the biographies of the Chicago Athletics
Hall of Fame inductees (October/03).
GYMNASTS AND SCHOLARS
As a reaction to the letter
from Robert Michaelson, SB’66 (December/03), I am writing
to declare that at one time there were scholar-athletes and they
were gymnasts under D. L. Hoffer. They were both because he saw
to it that they were both. As his daughter I know the time, care,
and concern he invested in all of them. He was no mediocre person
Who ever decided that it was a good idea
to start replacing the beautiful stone walkways on campus with concrete?
I say, I say: to whom shall we credit this creeping mediocrity,
this insidious, invidious abdication of aesthetic compass?
And—more importantly—who will now
join with me in renouncing it for all time and demanding a new guiding
principle for the walkways of our revered alma mater?
Jesse Scinto, AB’94
SIDER CHECKS IN
the world, one epidemic at a time” (October/03). I was
quite taken aback by the statement in this otherwise excellent article
about Dr. Gary Slutkin that, according to Dr. Slutkin, “the
dean [of the Pritzker School of Medicine] told me that I was the
first applicant from the Chicago Public Schools in many years.”
To set the record straight, I graduated from Chicago’s own
Bryn Mawr Elementary School and South Shore High School and, by
my rough calculation, applied to Pritzker (and was accepted) only
two years before Dr Slutkin. We South Siders deserve more respect
Michael H. Silverman, MD’73
THE LOGICAL IMPERATIVE
I was impressed by Professor Abbott’s address (“The
Zen of Education,” October/03). But he should not have
so completely discounted the importance of acquiring foundational
cognitive skills or the University’s role in that acquisition.
In BiSciII, we took a short subcourse in logical thinking, which
has been of tremendous practical value to me in every aspect of
my life from evaluating lawyers and witnesses to arguing with my
Milton Polin’s letter (“Disputed
Facts, Figures,” October/03) greatly oversimplifies the
diplomatic history of the Middle East when he states that “in
1922 Great Britain unilaterally severed what is now Jordan from
the original Mandate Palestine that was to become the ‘Jewish
national home.’” The British Mandate over Palestine
did call for “the establishment of a Jewish national home”
but equally for “safeguarding the civil and religious rights
of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion.”
John K. Taylor, AB’68
Fort Worth, Texas
NO SEX, PLEASE: WE'RE FILTERED
Just wanted to let you know that your January/04
UCHICAGO.EDU newsletter triggered my firm’s anti-spam
filter. I had to write to my help desk and have the newsletter released.
I figured out the problem as soon as I received it: the word “sex”
appeared three times in the first paragraph, including a link labeled
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
Two editorial gremlins were unleashed in the December/03 issue.
The first attributed a MacArthur “genius” grant to history
professor Bruce Cumings (“Zone
of Contention”); in fact, Cumings is the past holder of
another variety of MacArthur Foundation fellowship.
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