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Summer 2003


Book Request
Your article “The Rhythms of Prose” (summer, 2003), was well done, so well done that I am now interested in reading Jonathan Wilson’s books. Please send a list of titles and publishers.

Dr. Kenneth Fried, A51, D48, K51
New Canaan, CT
Point of Contention
I sincerely hope that the quotation by President Lawrence Bacow from his meeting with the Boston Chamber of Commerce on the economic impact of Boston-area academic institutions was taken out of context (“Report Highlights University Impact,” summer, 2003). President Bacow was quoted as saying, “While the Midwest may produce cars and steel, and the South may produce textiles, paper, and citrus, we produce brains, new ideas, and new technologies.” Not only is this an insult to higher education institutions across the country, it implies that the manufacturing and farming industries do not produce any of the “brains, new ideas, or new technologies.” Growing up and attending college in New England, I am well aware of the elitist attitude on education in the region, but I was shocked and disappointed to see it so clearly delineated in my alumni magazine. This quote should not have been printed, and I’m sure that alumni living and working in communities across the U.S. will agree.

Demia Sundra, J96
Decatur, GA
An Issue of Grammar
There’s no doubt President Bacow is a success—he’s ubiquitous, photogenic, and scholarly. His “running journal” on the Boston Marathon could have used editing (“Marathon Brings Out Jumbo Spirit,” summer, 2003), especially if Tufts Magazine prints excerpts: “Seeing the Prudential Center for the first time coming down Beacon Street was a great sight.” I’m reminded of the scene where the Statue of Liberty lumbers down Fifth Avenue to free New York from evil in Ghostbusters II.

Jim Haviland, A60
Pembroke, MA
Questions of Education
After reading “Transformative Education” (summer, 2003), I’m compelled to ask: Will our schools—and universities—ever stop merely SCHOOLING and start EDUCATING? Most schools, and indeed most colleges, are well-meaning but basically coercive places where passive and deferential students practice the “art of transient storage.” The result: Miserable basic skills and a dislike of reading as virtually all subject matter is HAPPILY forgotten just as soon as summer rolls around. Another result: “The best and the brightest” of Vietnam fame, who could not think, ask the right questions, or challenge the conventional wisdom. The solution: HELP kids keep on learning with the enthusiasm and efficiency of any preschool child by stimulating, demonstrating, and encouraging while abolishing that infernal/demeaning/scary/boring Prussian-derived, factory-oriented game called Teach ’em, Test ’em.

Dr. Robert E. Kay, M57
Philadelphia, PA