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Letters

Readers express appreciation for Doug Hodgkin and alumni in service.

Hodgkin’s Influence

Reading the sidebar on Professor of Political Science Douglas Hodgkin (“Our Man in Lewiston,” winter 2000), brought back my first Bates memories. In 1968, we were the last class subject to hazing (and many Bates traditions), which caused a few like me to desperately seek out safe havens. One of mine was volunteering that fall to campaign for a young Professor Hodgkin as a sacrificial Republican candidate for the Maine House of Representatives. Going door to door in the older sections of the city, where the population still spoke Canadian French and where being a Republican was a mortal sin, was quite a first exposure to politics. My recollection, albeit hazy (too much time at the Blue Goose), is that Professor Hodgkin finished first among the Republicans but, alas, far from victory. Nevertheless, that experience, and Professor Hodgkin’s never-say-fail enthusiasm and belief system that you can make a difference, steered me to major in government at Bates and to pursue a career in the public sector.

Indeed, the irony is that almost 30 years after graduating, I now find myself in a new public sector position as a Republican in a historic Massachusetts city with a deeper and richer Democratic Party tradition than Lewiston in 1968. It just shows that Professor Hodgkin’s optimism and persistence never wear thin among those of us who embraced his unswerving belief in the political process and government.

John R. Zakian ’72
via e-mail

As a Capitol Hill staffer (in the office of Congressman Richard E. Neal, D-Mass.), I enjoyed the article about the Bates GOP contingent. Although I am a Democrat, it is great to learn how many Batesies are down here. I would also like to mention that Professor Hodgkin was the first person to open my eyes to politics. He was my advisor and turned me toward a political science major during my sophomore year. I loved every politics class I took and have Professor Hodgkin to thank for it. I wish him all the best.

Ryan J. Kelly ’94
via e-mail

Paying the Price for Us

Kudos to Bates Magazine for finally having a cover article about Batesies in the military. I remember reading an article from Bates Magazine my father sent me while I was in Army Ranger School regarding student protests of on-campus recruiters. Over the years, I have read little in Bates Magazine regarding our military alumni. Servicemen and women pay the price every day that allows us to have academic discussions in Lewiston, Maine, on global conflicts and the use of military force in the world. I salute Lt. Cummings, his family, and all Batesies who are serving or have served this country in uniform for making the daily sacrifices that allow the rest of us to enjoy the lives we have.

Gary Gerlach ’81
via e-mail

I was very pleased to read your article on Sara ’89 and J.J. Cummings ’89. I have been married to a U.S. Army Ranger since 1991, and my military family consists of my husband, Ed; son, Patrick; and daughter, Karen. A liberal arts education certainly prepares you for the wide variety of people and places you live, and for the hard work of maintaining the military lifestyle. Thanks again for remembering those who serve their country, and their spouses.

Susan Melrose Yurek ’87
via e-mail

Maid at Bates

Maid service?! What’s this about maid service at Bates, and for “generations” no less (On & Off Campus, winter 2000)? I spent and wasted four years of my life in Smith Hall, and if there were any maids, they sure weren’t vacuuming floors and making beds. I cleaned up after two sloppy roommates and stepped over empty beer cans from party hounds throughout my Bates “experience.” My long-suffering parents will be thrilled to know their hard-earned dollars went toward cleaning up after some pampered Batesies on a more privileged side of campus!

Edward Callaghan ’70
Fairbanks, Alaska

Bates Belief Affirmed

I read President Harward’s latest column (“Neither Foundry nor Mint,” winter 2000) with great interest. His words regarding a liberal arts education confirmed my belief that such an education is indeed valuable.
The model that has the student as consumer is disheartening. Such an outlook devalues both the student’s education and the educator’s approach to teaching. So it is with great appreciation that I find confirmation in Bates’ commitment not to encourage the consumer model.

My two sons are beginning their second year at Bates. For them, Bates has been everything that President Harward’s column proposes. They explore; they question; they are challenged; they take responsibility for their education; they are engaged within the community. Last September, they arrived at Bates with these qualities already intact. Bates is giving them four years of an environment that nurtures and encourages these qualities. I thank President Harward for that, and for affirming my belief in a liberal arts education.

Karen Pangallo P’03
Salem, Mass.

Berkelman Unbound

In the winter Letters section, Bill Dill ’51 asked readers if they remembered Bobby Berkelman’s list of the qualities of good writing.

Here is some input for a reconstruction of Professor Berkelman’s list of tips on how to write.
General tips:
1. Be concise.
2. Make clear what you mean – and what you do not mean.
Fiction tips:
1. Make sure you know what to do with the author (first person, third person, unseen see-er, etc.).
2. Make sure you know how to handle time (present, past, future, flashbacks, etc.).
Hopefully, a complete compendium can be published.

Jay Curry ’61
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

In a coming issue, Bill Dill will share thoughts on Berkelman’s legacy as one of Bates’ most-remembered, and often most-feared, teachers of writing. – Editor

To Our Letter Writers

We welcome letters of approximately 400 or fewer words. Letters may be edited for style, grammar, length, clarity, and relevance to College issues and issues discussed in Bates Magazine.
Please address letters to the editor to Bates Magazine, Office of College Relations, 141 Nichols St., Lewiston, ME 04240, or e-mail magazine@bates.edu.


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