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Open Forum

Bates Magazine welcomes letters of 300 words or fewer. Letters may be edited for style, grammar, length, clarity, and relevance to College issues and issues discussed in Bates Magazine. Mail or e-mail letters to Editor, Bates Magazine, Office of Communications and Media Relations, 141 Nichols St., Lewiston ME 04240.

Zen and the Art of Short Term
The Summer 2006 issue had to be the ’70s issue. From the cover to page 60 we enjoyed all of it, especially the new design. As I was on the five-year plan myself, I remain in firmly implanted in the classes of 1977 and 1978. Just ask Marcus ’77 or Jill Bruce — or even Dean Reese, for that matter.
 No SAT requirement since ’84, no new core curriculum educational requirements since Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was printed, yet Batesies remain a breath of fresh air in the rather stuffy environment we are all too often forced to live and work in.
On page 6, Dean of the Faculty Jill Reich seeks “quality” in Short Term. But remember Robert Pirsig: Quality manifests itself in two types, dynamic and static. It’s a given.

Steve Dosh ’78
Pahoa, Hawaii

Corlett Comment
It is surely a sign of the times when a self-described left-wing ideologue, William Corlett, can be awarded a prize for “teaching excellence” (“Shifting from Neutral,” Summer 2006). His clever self-justification of this pedagogical aberration notwithstanding, teaching is (and must be) precisely the antithesis of such overweening propagandizing. If any further evidence is needed, I will wager there is not a single other professor on campus indulging in equally stark right-wing political chest-thumping. With all the diversity at Bates, why is only political diversity in such short supply?

Tom Holzel P’01
Boston, Mass.

Going Global
As participants in the student-initiated Short Term project on globalization (“Who Sews, Who Reaps?” Summer 2006), we can report that this year’s edition again challenged students to examine critically the complex facets of globalization — positive, negative, and ambiguous — while remaining aware of its real ramifications. At Bates, we are encouraged to “take responsibility for our own learning,” and this Short Term pushed us to define our interests and collectively organize a curriculum. Our time in Nicaragua, after intensive background study at Bates, cemented everything. We were able to put a human face to everything we read and to every viewpoint and argument we studied. We thank all who supported us, especially the College Key for its Incubator Fund grant.

Amanda Harrow ’06 Erin Reed ’08
Hopkinton, Mass. Pembroke, Mass.

 


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