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Northwestern welcomes letters from readers. We reserve the right to edit all letters.
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“On the Bush Beat”
Rebecca Zeifman’s article, “On the Bush Beat,” contains an error. It states that Rudolph Giuliani lost “his bid for the Senate” to Hillary Rodham Clinton.
In fact, Mrs. Clinton defeated Congressman Rick Lazio. Giuliani never officially declared his candidacy for the Senate and withdrew his name from consideration (because he was fighting prostate cancer) before a Republican nominee was named.
Susan Jordan (WCAS73, GSESP74)
Sen. Clinton won over U.S. Rep. Rick Lazio, an obscure Long Island congressman who became the Republican nominee after Mayor Giuliani began treatment for prostate cancer and decided to drop out of the race less than six months before the election.
As a postscript, only after publication of Giuliani’s 2002 best seller, Leadership, did it come out how debilitating his cancer treatments were. An accurate recollection is important because Clinton stands for re-election next year, and among mentioned Republican challengers is — you guessed it — Rudy.
I feel compelled to point out a few inaccuracies in Rebecca Zeifman’s otherwise excellent article on New York Times reporter Elisabeth Bumiller.
In the references she made to President Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” visit to the USS Abraham Lincoln, the President donned a U.S. Navy, not U.S. Air Force, flight suit; he did not fly a fighter jet onto the aircraft carrier but an S-3B Viking, which is a twin-engine logistics/sub hunter/refueling jet aircraft; and he made his speech before a crowd of cheering sailors, not soldiers!
William O. Glass Jr. (J76, Nav76, GJ81)
The Wisdom of Robert Harris…
Thank you for the extraordinary article on Robert Harris [“Teaching to the Choir,” summer 2005]. Writer Anne Taubeneck successfully captures the man’s true genius as both a musician and a humanitarian.
One more personal story — I auditioned for the University Chorus at the start of my junior year. After performing just a few measures of an Italian art song, Harris told me I had a pretty voice and asked why I had not auditioned earlier. I explained that my transition to college life had not gone smoothly and that my time management skills were sorely lacking, to which he replied, “Perhaps if you had been singing all this while, things would have worked themselves out.”
I took his wisdom to heart, never looked back and continue to perform with University-based and community groups 15 years later. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to perform for and with the masterful Harris.
However, Harris’ greatest gift to me was the realization that lifelong passions — such as music — are just as much necessities as good grades, good salaries and good health.
Karen McSorley Osborn (WCAS92)
… And About That Notation
I truly enjoy looking through (and even reading) Northwestern magazine. In fact, I occasionally steal design ideas for my own magazine.
My Northwestern degree, however, is a master of music with a major in piano, and somehow I’ve never gotten past feeling irritated when I see music-oriented design with notes going the wrong way — tail up when it should be tail down, notes facing the wrong way, flats going after a note instead of before, a key signature that doesn’t particularly make sense, a fermata over absolutely nothing, etc. Your “Teaching to the Choir” article has ’em all and then some.
It makes me wonder why the designer bothered with silly things like five lines for a staff instead of three or six?
I’m just curious to know whether Robert Harris saw the formatted spread. Perhaps I’m the only one who grows disturbed looking at music dyslexia.
Maybe I need to get a life.
Beverly Foster (GMu72)
Loss of Lake Shore Center
I was saddened to read of the planned closing of Lake Shore Center [“University to Close Lake Shore Center,” News on Campus, summer 2005] on the Chicago campus.
As a student at University College (now known as the School of Continuing Studies), I spent many happy moments in the basement pool of the Lake Shore Center building, particularly during those awkward hours between the 5 o’clock end of the work day and the 6:30 start of most UC classes.
The handsome pool, with its colorful tiles depicting Romanesque figures was truly my haven on many cold, dark evenings in the city. I regret that current and future students and swimmers will lose the opportunity for a welcome respite from the challenging demands of work and school, a challenge with which many SCS students struggle.
It was certainly an outlet that meant much to me, and greatly enhanced my time at Northwestern.
Jennifer McKevitt (SCS96)
Check the Map
In “Living the Ideal Life” [News on Campus, summer 2005] you refer to “the cycle of violence in Iraq and Palestine.”
If you consulted a map, such as the one by secondary education publisher Holt, Rinehart and Winston, you would see that there is no country named Palestine. From 1920 to 1948, the British Mandate of Palestine comprised what is now Israel, the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jordan. [The mandate officially came into force in September 1923.] It was among several former Ottoman Arab territories placed under the administration of Great Britain by the League of Nations at the end of World War I.
Ilene Rosenblum (J06)
Editor’s note: The word Palestine is still used today — in the New York Times and Washington Post, for instance — to describe not a physical country but a region, granted with imprecise boundaries, along the Mediterranean Sea. Here is the Encyclopedia Britannica definition — “area of the eastern Mediterranean region, comprising parts of modern Israel and the Palestinian territories of the Gaza Strip (along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea) and the West Bank (the area west of the Jordan River).”
Remembering Ben Baldwin
I read with great sadness your notice that Ben Baldwin, retired Medill journalism professor, had passed away [In Memoriam, News on Campus, summer 2005]. I am one of many who will forever count Ben as a great mentor and friend. After I was drafted midway through my graduate program at Medill, Ben kept in touch with me while I was in Vietnam and encouraged my return to Northwestern. He taught me what it means to be a professional and made me proud that I chose journalism as my life’s work. I shall never forget him.
Larry Maloney (GJ71)
Backlash on “Coming of Age”
It is truly amazing that two of the three letters written to the editor missed the point of the whole article. One reader chastised the editor by saying that practically the entire issue was devoted to Northwestern’s black studies program.
I counted: the story ran on 10 pages of the 64-page issue. The reader obviously was not a math major. The other reader wanted to appeal to expand the curriculum of Latino-based study programs because there are few such programs and especially because Chicago is home to the third-largest population of people of Mexican descent.
Neither reader seems to understand that the exploration and expansion of African American studies, like the work done in the wonderful department at Northwestern, has increased the study of other minority groups, including women.
I guess they were not paying attention. I did and thank you editors. Just when I thought racial tolerance was making headway…
C. Michelle Titus Everett (C87)
Correction: In the Close-up on Karen Emerson Thomson (G73) (“Giving Voice,” Alumni News, summer 2005) we misprinted the name of one of the Literature for All of Us poets. Leslie Hernandez, not Leslie Hernan, penned the poem “Revolution.”