At a time when
American higher education is in a state of deep crisis, it amazes
me that the best reforms the University can come up with, after
five years of reflection, are to reduce the size of the Common Core
and to increase the College’s size. The reduced emphasis on the
Common Core reduces the distinctiveness of the University, which
is its main claim as against Howard, Yale, Stanford, etcetera.
Fairbanks, Jr., AM’70, PhD’75
in “Culling the Shots” (April/98) were the most moving images I
have seen in years and perhaps the most poignant and informative
ever to appear in a university magazine. Thanks for substance and
heft and emotions.
University of Portland Magazine
shallow as they come
I was surprised
to see your isolated quote of actress Drew Barrymore’s smugly PC
comment on the virtues of condoms at a recent campus panel on safe
sex (“Voices on the Quads,” April/98). Was there no one on the panel
to dispute her highly controversial claim?
schools have been trying this brand of safe sex for over two decades.
As the intensity and explicitness of the classroom instruction have
increased, so in direct proportion have the rates of teen sex, teen
pregnancy, abortion, AIDS, and other venereal diseases (anyone who
has lived through puberty may have a clue as to why). At the same
time a lot of money has been made by organizations who supply the
“education” on the front end and the abortions on the back end.
Yet by some strange twist it is the opponents of safe sex who are
must have been some “voices on the quads” who didn’t roll over for
Barrymore’s shallow prescription. It would have been nice to hear
S. Corbett, AB’78
cute at the U of C
We had to do
a double-take when reading “Going south, meeting cute, and T-ing
off” (“Editor’s Notes,” April/98). My wife and I have told the same
story many times. Further proof that “meeting cute” can and does
happen at the University of Chicago.
of 1985, we met at a party at the Fiji house at the U of C. Deborah
was a freshman, and I…well, I was a bit older. Anyhow, I was with
my friend Sam, and Deborah walked into the room. She made google
eyes at me, and Cupid went to work. I elbowed Sam and said, “See
her? I’m in love with her and I’m going to marry her.” That was
it. All over. Done. Finis.
There was no
bet, though. Sam, knowing my tastes, simply said, “Yeah. I can see
it. She’s your type—an SCO.”
“An SCO?” I
said, “a short, cute one.” I asked her to dance and the rest is
history. A few years later, we eloped and were married on Valentine’s
Day. Remarkably, neither of us ever studied chemistry. You can’t
meet any cuter than that!
All the parents
had left, the welcoming speeches were over; it was a beautiful autumn
afternoon the second day of Orientation Week for entering students.
I was lying in the grass perusing Nutshell Magazine in the
front yard of Woodward Court. There she was. Sitting on the corrugated
steel sculpture reading Nutshell was the 17-year-old girl
who was to be my wife.
at her, I said, “Wouldn’t it be cool to take a walk over to the
lake and along the water?” She glanced up and shook her head dismissively.
The friend sitting beside her hopped up and said she’d be delighted
to go. It wasn’t cool.
I watched and
waited. About five weeks later I sat unobtrusively at her table
at dinner and listened to her hold court with a group of friends
from Wallace about her interest in ESP. I popped over to Regenstein
the next day and read up on ESP and parapsychology. That evening
I made sure my roommate and I sat near her and, as planned, I began
declaiming about the latest research in parapsychology. I noted
her glance in my direction. I spoke passionately about my interest
in the phenomena of ESP and the burgeoning interest of the scientific
community in paranormal events. She was listening intently. I nodded
and commented that she seemed like someone who’d had some paranormal
experiences. Bait taken.
I called from
Flint to Wallace later that night and arranged our first date, a
medieval morality play, Everyman, at Rockefeller Chapel.
That Friday evening I touched her for the first time, when my right
arm encircled her shoulders in a pew in Rockefeller Chapel. It was
Alicia [Todd Rasley, X’77] and I celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary
and our boys’ 10th and 12th birthdays. I took Erika Fromm’s course
Altered States of Consciousness as an elective, but otherwise didn’t
do any further study of parapsychology. But the moment I saw Alicia
sitting on the sculpture outside Woodward Court, I could predict
This may not
fit your “cute” description, but it is heartfelt. In October 1936
I was a second-year graduate student in economics at the U of C.
I was sitting in on Professor Jacob Viner’s famous and forbidding
course, Economics 301, which I had had the year before but wanted
to review. On the first day, leaving the classroom, I saw a young
girl sitting in the back row looking very puzzled. I said to her,
“Is this all Greek to you?” She said it was, and I undertook to
explain it to her. Ten weeks later we were engaged to be married.
After not-quite 60 years of marriage, she died last year. I will
always be grateful to the U of C for those 60 years.
car, will marry
I don’t know
if my husband and I met as cute as Harry and Sally, but we certainly
did meet in a similar way. If you know the plot of When Harry Met
Sally, in fact, you already have our own story line. Two U of C
students who’d never have gotten together otherwise share the proverbial
“gas and driving” to the East Coast, have fun and adventures on
the way, and end up stuck together for life. Unlike Meg Ryan and
Billy Crystal, however, it didn’t take us years of on-again, off-again
to begin serious nesting.
the time the movie came out, in 1989, I was finishing up a master’s
paper in political philosophy. Summer was coming and I needed a
break from Greek verbs and the Iliad and the Odyssey, so I put up
a note on the Reynolds Club ride board, right over New England,
that I’d split driving and gas to get to Northhampton, Massachusetts,
where one of my college friends was a student. Months went by—my
notice drew no takers. Until one day in mid-summer, when some guy
called and said that he wanted to attend a scientific conference
in New Hampshire and had seen my notice. Was I still game?
Indeed I was,
although a little bit wary of driving 15 hours with some fellow
I’d never met. This fellow, a Ph.D. candidate in physical chemistry,
came over to my apartment to introduce himself and endured the scrutiny
of my neighbors, several of whom I’d recruited to pop in on various
pretexts to check out this guy—whose name was Britt—prior to our
trip. He passed the test, and we departed for New England in his
Put a political
philosopher together in a confined space in 90-degree weather with
a physical chemist and what do you get? In our case, lots of laughter,
bespeaking a shared sense of humor; conversations in German, which
we’d both dabbled in; and a long-suppressed desire to see Niagara
Falls, which we indulged. We even took the little boat out underneath
the thunderous Falls.
Upon our return
to Hyde Park, we promised to get together for a Cubs game before
the summer was out. We never did make it to Wrigley Field, but nine
years and a beautiful daughter later, we’re still together, and
still enjoy telling our “how we met” story. The ride board in the
Reynolds Club: our matchmaker!
back at the MSTP
of Chicago Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) is now more
than 30 years old. A Look Back, published by the program, highlights
significant accomplishments of those years and is a summary of current
positions and career outcomes of the MSTP graduates.
Since the program
began, 146 trainees have graduated with both M.D. and Ph.D. degrees.
Of these, 39 percent are in residency or fellowship programs for
advanced training; 42 percent hold academic appointments in clinical
or basic science departments at major universities; 7 percent do
research at NIH, at national laboratories, or in industry; and 10
percent are in office- or hospital-based practice. Two percent are
deceased or not active in biomedical research or clinical activity.
update our records and are particularly interested in our grads’
current professional activities. If you would like a copy of A
Look Back, please call 773/702-9755 or e-mail us at jackie@
prufrock.bsd.uchicago.edu. Include your current position and
M. McKissack, AM’70
U of C Medical
Scientist Training Program
we have found four U of C plates dated 1932. They are in excellent
condition. We’d be happy to have the plates find a good home. Interested
purchasers could contact me at 203/655-0048 or by fax at 203/655-7761.
Janet W. Evans
invites letters on its contents or on topics related to the University.
Letters must be signed and may be edited. Write: Editor, University
of Chicago Magazine, 1313 E. 60th St., Chicago, IL 60637. E-mail: