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The August issue finally hit
the correct stride to appeal to most of us who are beyond
academic or athletic competition. You took notice of why
an alumnus died. Also, sincemost of us are non-achievers,
unpublished, and unheralded, it heartens us immensely to
feel our college now admits taxi drivers, dorm janitors,
and farmers helpers among its graduates. Even a horse masseuse!
The diversity is fascinating. Oberlin has come of age to
actually boast of these student/alumni pursuits, rather
than to brag about how many books, awards, medals, and fellowships
its instructors, students, and grads have garnered.
My point: democracy needs humanities-educated,
capable, curious, health-oriented workers to survive, literally
survive. We need an American society where taxi drivers
don't rape and/or rob nubile, college-age female passengers
or the elderly. Dorms and institutions need clean, safe
buildings, cared for by ethical, thorough caretakers. Organic
and natural farming, which uses biological pesticides and
fertilizers as much as possible, needs all the help Oberlin
Co-op students can offer. The healthy survival of our country's
children depends on a non-synthetic, chemical-free, sustainable
It is encouraging to know that Co-oppers
help a 70-plus year-old farmer with his harvest, just as
it was nice to read that my Oberlin successors played at
the St. Petersburg Palace for the ghost of Nicholas III
and also a live Russian audience. Most of all I envied the
London program students hiking in Dartmoor. Hooray for diversity!
Connie Goldsworthy Schwarzkopf
I know that corrections are to be regretted,
and corrections to corrections even more so. But speaking
as a colleague (I'm the entertainment editor at The New
York Times Syndicate), I think that one is justified in
On page 53 of
your August issue, a correction summarizing the history of
the Gilbert & Sullivan Players ends: "The group continued
to flourish until 1975, after which student theater was no
longer allowed to use the Hall Auditorium main stage."
A reasonable reader might conclude from
this that the group no longer flourished thereafter. As
you probably know from occasional coverage in your magazine,
however, this is not the case.
The Players did indeed dissolve
in the 1970s, but was reestablished in 1981 (I had the
honor of being one of the new edition's founders). Since
then it has performed continuously for 18 years, performing
primarily in Wilder Hall (and also in July 1996 under
my own direction at the International Gilbert & Sullivan
Festival in Philadelphia), and is well on its way to matching
the original group's 26-year run.
I have had the pleasure of seeing
several of the group's productions in recent years, most
recently "The Gondoliers" in Spring 1999 (revived for
Commencement as well), and can report that it seems to
be flourishing as much as ever. "The Yeomen of the
Guard" was staged this fall, and I daresay it was
It would be a pity if your readers,
especially those with Gilbert & Sullivan Players affiliations
of their own, were led to believe that this long-standing
Oberlin tradition had ended in 1975.
Garden City, NY
I very much enjoyed Adam Kowit's article
on the Oberlin co-ops and local food in the August issue.
I was at Pyle Inn from 1951-1953, serving as assistant
buyer and manager the second year. I was also a member
of the short-lived Oberlin co-op
mini supermarket. It's great to see how the co-ops have
flourished at Oberlin. By the way, I'd love to have
the recipe for that roasted veggy quiche.
So would we. I'll work on it.
Let me see if I understand this...Oberlin
College has a long history and tradition of helping
the Chinese people. Many persons have gone to China
as missionaries or volunteers--religious and otherwise.
In 1900, The Boxer rebellion,
led by some of the Chinese people, resulted in attacks
on Christians and "Europeans" (non-Asiatics). Some of
the Oberlin workers in China were killed by the Boxers.
At Oberlin, people who mourned the loss
of their friends in China raised funds and erected a
memorial in the memory of their deaths. A hundred years
later, present students and administration are attempting
to denigrate the memorial, which they cannot understand.
Oberlin administrators support free political expression
of all students, without judgement, and did not intervene
in this case.
Behalf of the Wordsmiths
Referring to Sandra Ward's letter in
the August issue, the word Professor Bongiorno used
on her term paper must have been "supererogatory," meaning
"observed or performed to an extent not enjoined or
required," according to my Webster's Collegiate. I could
not find her version, "superogatory," quoted in her
letter, in any of several dictionaries I consulted.