THIRD CULTURE KIDS
“The Brain in the World” (Winter 2010) should draw the attention of the so-called “Third Culture Kids,” a term coined by the sociologist Ruth Hill Useem. TCKs are those who have spent significant developmental time in a culture other than their birth culture, but are not immigrants or refugees. They are the children of diplomats, missionaries, military members, scholars, or business folk. Their sense of cultural identity is often a blend of two or more cultures. They might prove an interesting population to study. Because TCKs’ parents are usually from a single shared culture, studies involving TCKs might help, as Michael Blanding writes, “determine exactly where genetics ends and culture begins.”
Your article “2012 or Bust” (Winter 2010) touches on a concept essential to biblical Christianity. The term apocalypse, which means an unveiling or revelation, has been distorted by secular culture. The Book of Revelation applies the term to Jesus Christ, not just as a historical figure, but as a living man with a concrete political future distinct from the Church. Because the Book of Revelation also describes future disasters, the term has taken on a pejorative connotation: that of massive, worldwide disaster. In reality, apocalypse refers to the core of Christian hope, not just the return of Christ, but also the resurrection and glorification of all believers.
Boston had an “end-of-the-world” experience in 1844. William Miller, a Baptist preacher, determined that the apocalypse would occur on October 22, 1844, a date referenced in the Jewish Karaite calendar. Back then, the Millerite sect of Christianity had thousands of adherents in the Northeast and a somewhat imposing granite church in Boston’s Scollay Square. On the appointed day, the adherents gathered for the end of the world and the Second Com-ing. But it proved to be a routine day, which came to be known as the Great Disappointment. The Old Howard Theatre later occupied the church building, and its performances of vaudeville and striptease shows sullied the minds of generations of delighted New England adolescents, one of whom was me.
Congratulations on a great magazine. It is consistently interesting and engaging. I especially enjoyed Rebecca Kaiser Gibson’s article “Fugitive Soul” (Fall 2009) about the Tufts poet Deborah Digges. Soulful and inspiring. Keep up the good work.
Your Winter 2010 edition is one of the most interesting issues of a magazine that I have seen in a long time. Really current items! Keep up the good work.
I would like to commend you on the wonderful Winter 2010 issue of Tufts
Magazine. I sent copies of the article “Beyond Plymouth Rock” to good friends who live on Cape Cod. I read many articles over and over.
Your Winter 2010 issue was wonderful. Special kudos to Professor Sol Gittleman on his article “Apocalypse When?” It was almost like a class!
Having just returned from Cambodia, I read “Cambodian Diary” (Winter 2010) with great interest. My husband and I completed a two-week Habitat for Humanity build outside of Hanoi, and then traveled to Phnom Penh to meet a child we sponsored through the Sharing Foundation. Our three-year-old girl amazed us with her poise and personality. We were touched also by a country that, though exceedingly poor, is struggling to assist so many of its less fortunate, from street kids to AIDS sufferers to land mind victims. We congratulate Susan Rothstein on her work with Children of Hope and her success-ful grant application.
I have been generally impressed with Tufts Magazine. What I cannot understand is how you can publish an edition (Winter 2010) without any coverage of intercollegiate athletics. Sadly, it has been clear to many alumni for decades that athletics remain purely an afterthought instead of a fundamental part of an undergraduate education, not to mention a proven linchpin of broad-based alumni financial support.
Professor Sol Gittleman’s provocative discussion of millennialism (“Apocalypse When?”, Winter 2010) contains two glaring errors. Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote the novel Uncle
Tom’s Cabin, not “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” The hymn writer was Julia Ward Howe. A second error: When David Koresh defied the assault of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, it was late spring 1993, not 1991. Janet Reno, President Clinton’s attorney general, had just been confirmed, and this was her “baptism by fire.”