The University of Chicago Magazine April 1996
Return to April 1996 Table of Contents

When students get nervous about finding jobs aftergraduation, Career & Placement Services Director Bob Riesman (see ourinterview on page 12) tells them to count their attributes: U of C students, hesays, tend to be analytical thinkers, self-starters, hard workers.

Oh, yes. And excellent writers.

We certainly found that last point to be true among a rather randomly selectedgroup of undergraduates we E-mailed recently. For this issue's photo essay ondorm life, starting on page 16, we asked several students if they'd take amoment to describe the photos taken of them.

In her reply, Susanna Gellert, below, focused on the bookshelves above herdesk: "For four months the top shelf of books sat in various piles about thefloor of my room. Then Jay Erimus (the male figure in this photo) decided thetime had come to save them from mold and cockroaches: one warped board, sixbricks, and the entire reading selection of Common Core Humanities: GreekThought and Literature later, a bookshelf was born!"

A second-year resident of Burton-Judson, Gellert added that, generallyspeaking, she "like[s] things to remain in order: clothes folded in drawers,bed sheets folded down, CDs in their proper cases. The bookshelf, on the otherhand, has been given special dispensation. It is always a mess; the very lawsof physics are defeated by their precarious positions. The life of a U of Cstudent, summarized in three bookshelves."

In her response to our E-mail, Francesca Parker, above--a second-yearBurton-Judson resident--described the hallway she shares with her MatthewsHouse roomies as a metaphor for relationships: "Parts of it were planned overthe summer (such as the wall on the right covered with paper, which allows foran ever-changing mural), but much of it has been spontaneously generated out ofour interests and neuroses. We decided, for example, that the holidaydecorations--which remained up far past the intended holiday simply because noone took them down--added an aesthetically pleasing element of absurdity, andthey have since been left to accumulate.

"The hallway is, in many ways, the arena of our friendship: It is both atribute to the fruits of our joined efforts, and the manifestation of thoseattitudes that joined us in the first place. It is, then, both a place to comelook at from the outside...and a place for us to come home to. The hallway isconstantly evolving--there's always a chance that, on reaching our floor,someone has added a decoration, taped up an article to share, or left somethingout to eat in the hallway. As such, it's a comforting kaleidoscope of ourever-mutating plans for world domination."

World domination? And we thought they were worried about finding jobs.

In our February feature on Law professor Bernard Meltzer's work for theprosecution team at the Nuremberg Trial, we inaccurately wrote that Meltzer was"in charge of pre-trial investigations of several German leaders." Meltzerconducted, but was not in charge of, those investigations.--T.A.O.

A slight deviation in our masthead: "Issue editor" Tim Obermiller is pinch-hitting for Mary Ruth Yoe, currently acting director of the Alumni Association. Just in case you're looking for a name to send those letters to the editor we so enjoy receiving.--T.A.O.

Go to:Return to April 1996 Table of Contents