Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

High Marks

I think this summer ’20 issue is the best one you’ve done in the entire 61 years that I’ve been receiving the magazine. High marks for content of the feature articles!

Ann Swan Couch ’59, Fairport, N.Y.

A Historical Artifact

I just received, and tore through, the summer ’20 issue of Wellesley magazine. What an incredibly powerful collection of thoughts, articles, and interviews. I feel as though I was reading a historical artifact. A very significant undertaking by the magazine staff, for certain. Thank you so much for all of your contributions to the magazine, and to this issue in particular.

Kit Watters Rosewater ’11, Albuquerque, N.M.

A Splendid Magazine

I just received the summer edition of @Wellesleymag. Reading it through, I don’t know whether to smile or cry. It is so heartwarmingly splendid.

@shlokes (Shloka Ananthanarayanan ’08), Via Twitter, New York

Proud of My College

My latest issue arrived in Switzerland this week with a shorter delay than usual. I was delighted to receive it not too long after U.S.-based readers! I haven’t finished reading the current issue yet, but the message from Timothy Peltason brought me to tears over breakfast this morning (“What We Wish for the Class of ’20”). I am so proud of my Wellesley community for the myriad ways they have helped one another in the time of COVID-19, and I thank you for your excellent reporting on those endeavors. Keep up the great work!!

Emily Leidner Strahler ’07, Hasliberg Goldern, Switzerland

College During the Pandemic

I took my summer ’20 issue of the magazine on vacation with me last weekend and so enjoyed reading it. I thought you did a really wonderful job of giving a sense of the campus and how students, faculty, and staff adapted with the onset of the pandemic. It must have been so much work to pull that all together, but I wanted to let you know there is one happy alumna out there who appreciates the effort!

Julia Hanna ’88, Acton, Mass.

Soaking in Wellesley

I always love getting @Wellesleymag in the mail, but this one felt especially poignant today. A moment of respite as I soaked in the photo of the tower inside the back cover before putting it down.

@_with_a_c (Catherine Gooding ’19), Morgantown, W.Va., Via Twitter

Articles About Wellesley

Thank you so much for sending magazines to me. It is one of the best things I read now, and I love so much articles about new buildings, new professors, new subjects, and complete dependability.

Nancy Appel Baler ’51, Yarmouthport, Mass.

A Favorite Poet

I had wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed Catherine O’Neill Grace’s article about reading Emily Dickinson in a virtual Wellesley classroom (“A Solitude of Space”). Dickinson happens to be one of my favorite poets (of course). A number of years ago, my eldest son took my husband and me on a trip to Amherst especially to visit her home and immerse ourselves in her aura. Catherine’s experience, recounted so disarmingly, resonated in my soul.

Gretchen Rous Besser ’49, Morrisville, Vt.

In Class with Emily

My summer ’20 magazine arrived yesterday, and I looked through it immediately. I stopped to read the article by Catherine O’Neill Grace on auditing a class on Emily Dickinson (“A Solitude of Space”). How I envy her for auditing that class! I have been teaching myself to write poems for the last 10 years or so, mostly by reading other poets and extrapolating what I especially admire in their writing. I have picked up Emily Dickinson poems so many times, rereading some favorites, like “I’m Nobody,” and loving her ability to pack so much into a few well-chosen words.

I am writing, though, to say how beautiful Catherine’s own writing is in this article. There’s something easy and inviting about her style, what she chooses to include—from her childhood memory of a poem to words from the teacher, to the unexpected interruption of COVID-19 and its unexpected gifts of insight from Emily Dickinson, too. I was with her all the way, wanting to slip into class beside her that first day, and delighting in the discovery of “There is a solitude of space,” words I had never read, and will enjoy thinking about over again and again in these days of imposed solitude. Thank you so much to Catherine for sharing her experience with all of us.

Nancy Walker Benjamin ’63, Chapel Hill, N.C.

More on Emily

I want to say much I enjoyed Catherine O’Neill Grace’s article about Emily Dickinson in the summer ’20 issue of Wellesley (“A Solitude of Space”). Although the class in person sounded good, too, I think studying Emily’s poems in this time of solitude—while still connecting with the teacher and the other people in the class—would be a wonderful experience. “I’m nobody! Who are you?” was also the first poem I remember as a poem that really spoke to my feelings. I found it in an otherwise-unmemorable story in Seventeen magazine, when I was about 13 or 14.

Ellen Jaffe ’66, Toronto

So Full of Possibility

I love Catherine O’Neill Grace’s story, “A Solitude of Space.” Exactly why reading Emily feels so timely and full of possibility these days. Even after months of studying her, there’s still so much left to explore.

Caroline Walsh-King ’20, Atlanta

A Delectable Piece

I just wanted to say that I love the essay by Lisa Scanlon Mogolov ’99 in the latest magazine (“The Unplanned Voyage”). To date, I have read it three times—unheard of for me as I am always in a hurry to attack the next items on my list—and I am repeatedly thrilled by the courage of that spunky 7-year-old bike-onaut in the parking lot without his training wheels. Congratulations on this delectable piece. For me, it is a rare treat.

Judy Finman ’57, Pepperell, Mass.

The Summer ’20 Cover

What a stunning photo on the cover! Thank you for a thing of beauty as well as inspiration.

Elizabeth “Libbet” Dunlop Richter ’66, Chicago

Remembering a Wonderful Class Secretary

I saw in the summer ’20 issue that Jane Dewey Alcock ’43 died in April. I had been dreading seeing this news, and your email address is the only place I can think of to express my sadness! I did not know Jane or her family in real life, but her column has been my favorite for many years and was the first thing I would turn to, even before my own class notes. I so enjoyed hearing about her adventures with her poodle, Indy, her valiant attempts to contact classmates for news, and her observations of life. She was an inspiration for how to age well with curiosity and openness to the world. The magazine will be far emptier without her presence.

Robin Schacht ’96, London

In Praise of Puzzles

I received the print copy of my summer ’20 magazine earlier this week and have read as far as “From the Editor” and the reflections on puzzles. Assembling jigsaws is a favorite family activity, and it is something we have done in all of the places we have lived and traveled. For me, in addition to the editor’s point about how puzzles come together on flat surfaces, I can envision the strands of time and geographical locations as the warp and weft of a rich tapestry. Thank you for instantly weaving all that together for me, metaphorically speaking.

Rachel Yung-Hsin Wang ’88, Amherst, Mass.

Making a Difference on Climate Change

When Wellesley magazine arrives with other mail, I always read it first. The issue is always beautifully designed, the content varied, and beautifully written. So many talented graduates contributing in their areas of strength. So many Wellesley graduates everywhere who are making a difference starting in their communities.

I was particularly touched by “Dawn Chorus Dimeundo” (spring ’20), to be reminded that so many dedicated individuals and organizations still are determined to slow the disappearance of a magical, integral part of our ecosystem. In 1962, 6 million copies of a book published in 30 languages, Silent Spring, managed to ban DDT in the U.S., but failed to convince us that “if humankind poisoned nature, nature would poison us.”

In our conflicted democracy, voters can’t make up their mind. The world is warming dangerously, its ice is melting precipitously, and needed and wanted species are disappearing from nature’s intricate web. But ingrained ideas of freedom know no bounds. In our country, blessed with abundance, it should be easy to do with a little less affluence to save our world. I’m now counting on politics. I pay very close attention and vote my values.

Martha “Dede” Gummere Little ’50, Baltimore, Md.

Of a Feather

I always read most of the magazine—after the class notes, of course—but in the spring ’20 issue the Endnote essay (“The Thing With Feathers”) just grabbed me—lovely and realistic and caring! Thank you!

And I have just one word regarding the diminution of birds (“Dawn Chorus Diminuendo”): crows. Here in Westchester, a part of Los Angeles, that is true. We used to have songbirds and pigeons, doves, starlings, etc., but not now.

Linda Sherman Spitser ’60, Los Angeles

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