the right audienceThank you for Walton
Collins's informative article, "Teachable
Moments," about the North Kenwood/Oakland (NK/O) Charter School in the
August/02 issue. As a charter school supporter, however, I had the following concerns:
(1) the school does not seem to service the students whose education is most in
jeopardy (the percentage of low-income students is below the average for city
schools and there is a dramatic difference between NK/O students and those in
the Chicago Public Schools regarding discipline problems); and (2) although the
school's student body seems to be predominantly African American from the pictures,
there was no indication that the African American heritage was included in the
curriculum. I do agree that the Jewish Holocaust must be taught, but then so must
be the African American. Every concept illustrated by the former can be taught
by the latter. Neither should be forgotten.
one-sided it falls off my bookshelf."
While enjoying George McElroy's reminiscences
about his youthful encounter with the Great Bookies ("Great
Men of the Great Books," August/02), I was startled to see Richard McKeon's
confrere, Ronald Crane, identified as the holder of two U of C degrees granted
in the 1940s.
I found "The
Business of Reflection" (August/02) to be an interesting and well-written
article about Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, but I was disappointed
in the banner caption proclaiming that Justice Stevens is a jurist "without
the number right
While I'm glad that the Magazine recently
won an award for its writing excellence, I was most disappointed to find major
factual errors in "Keeping
Their Religion" (August/02) as to the number of Muslims in the United
Many thanks for the article about
Richard Shweder's project on the way Muslim Americans seek to adapt to U.S. culture
their Religion," August/02). But please note that no matter what a woman
does, she cannot be Islamic. The correct adjective is Muslim.
I was chagrined to come across
the summary of Richard Shweder's study
of American Islamic communities - at least those portions of the summary that
reveal how ignorant Shweder's education has left him. No doubt Shweder believes
he is taking a brave stance in support of forcible women's circumcision and the
Taliban's brutal suppression of Afghani women, all in the name of "multiculturalism."
Jay Berwanger was a fine fellow and
a terrific athlete but certainly not "the University's original football
description clearly belongs to Walter Eckersall, who was born in Woodlawn and
first showed his sports brilliance at Hyde Park High. Robin Lester's book
Stagg's University describes Eckersall as "the most acclaimed intercollegiate
athlete in University of Chicago history and a consensus all-time all-American
quarterback." (See page 55 et seq.) He was also a terrible student.
J. Whitney, X'49
I received an e-mail yesterday detailing a number of
quite vicious anti-Jewish incidents which allegedly took place at the University
quite recently. These include: a Jewish senior being told by a University-appointed
preceptor that he couldn't be bothered reading her B.A. paper because it focused
on topics relating to Judaism and Zionism; fliers in a dorm posted to publicize
a pro-Israel rally defaced with obscenities; professors of Near Eastern Languages
and Civilizations who suggest there can be no legitimate Zionist perspective for
the birth of Israel; in general, a growing air of frantic hostility toward Israel,
Israelis, and Jews in general; and jokes about Auschwitz on a humanities department
The controversy over the Western Civilization
course is an opportunity for serious educational discussion. As head of the American
Council of Trustees and Alumni, which coordinated the statement by Saul Bellow,
Mary Ann Glendon, David Riesman, and other distinguished scholars questioning
the change, I was disappointed to see President Randel defend it with arguments
that seem disingenuous and insulting ("From
the President," June/02).
the wrong note
I just got to the June/02
issue of the U of C Magazine. In it, there is an article called "Chicago:
Campus of the Big Ideas," where a number of symposia are described. I
must take issue with #8,
Art for Art's Sake.
In reading the June/02 issue, I saw a report on the revival
of the Festival of the Arts ("College
Report: The arts for art's sake") in which there was a reference made
to a social science professor, "Meyer Gerhardt." I suspect this is a
garbled reference to Gerhard Meyer, a wonderful and distinguished teacher, an
economist by training, a Christian socialist, and a lifelong friend of the theologian
Re: your June/02 article on "The
End of Consulting as We Know It," I nearly choked on my green tea when
I read the quote from consulting firm Accenture's Mary Tolan: "Accenture
is less focused on classical strategy studies and more on shareholder value creation;
how to double the client's share price, where the breakaway strategy for the firm
is. We tend to form very close relationships with senior-level executives and,
taking their ideas, accelerate their ability to implement them and get results."
Unlike many other publications, the Magazine tends
to assume an intelligent readership. It is clearly scrupulous in the facts it
presents, perhaps aware that its readers are only too ready to pen letters in
response. It is also a forum in which alumni can present their own points of view
and debate those of their fellow alums in an atmosphere of respect.
is why I was appalled to see the Magazine report the political content
of an alumna's news as fact, when it belongs squarely in the realm of fantasy.
In the June/02 "Letters,"
the editor apologizes for passing on the myth that people of the Middle Ages believed
the world to be round, and yet the same issue propagates a modern fallacy that
East Jerusalem is located in Palestine. ("Class News, The Schools, 1990s").
You gotta be kidding me. As one friend put it, "Duh!
That's university." "I'll drink to that," the other replies. Drinking
at the U of C is really no different than anywhere else. When I entered the University
in 1995 there was much talk about a report that students at Chicago drank more
on average than anywhere else. Trips to other colleges and universities sometimes
seem to corroborate this, but that is mostly because I used to drink more than
my fair share. A lot of us did. Now living next to the largest university in the
country (with the largest Greek system), there is less trouble made about drinking
than I ever heard at the U of C. This makes me think that Zane Spiegel's letter
August/02) is another case of classic Chicago whining that is so rampant on campus
The editors committed two errors in
the August/02 issue that Magazine readers did not write in to note. We failed
to credit photographer Lloyd DeGrane for his portrait of a Muslim American schoolgirl
page 7), and, in a caption for "Teachable
Moments" (page 23), we misidentified Marvin Hoffman, curriculum director
for the North Kenwood/Oakland Charter School. We
regret both errors.