University of Rochester

Rochester Review
July–August 2010
Vol. 72, No. 6

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Making the List . . .

I enjoyed your cover story on “101 Things to Do before You Graduate” by Dana Hilfinger ’10 (May-June). Fun, creative, room for alumni to debate. Just the kind of thing the magazine should do more of.

As a former CT editor, I was pleased to see No. 33 (“Write an editorial for the Campus Times”). And since one of my fondest college memories is going traying with friends from the International Living Center who had never seen snow before, I liked No. 30 (“Tray down the hill behind Susan B. Anthony halls”), too. As a prefrosh, a concert featuring the YellowJackets helped me to fall in love with Rochester. So No. 31 (“Tap your toes to an a cappella concert”) definitely has earned a place as well.

Well done!

Rachel Dickler Coker ’96
Apalachin, N.Y.

I loved Ms. Hilfinger’s list of 101 things to do before graduating. The list brought back such a flood of memories that I ended up counting 23 things that I had done between 1949 and 1953—admittedly with a few name changes because of differing circumstances.

I have no clue as to whether Nick Tahou is a person or a restaurant, but then, Dana probably never walked across the river to get one of Jim’s White Hots. Yes, I served on the Boar’s Head Dinner committee, frequently fell asleep in the Welles-Brown Room, dozed on the balcony of Rush Rhees, and picnicked in Highland Park every spring. I hosted “Uncle Stacy’s Bedtime Hour” on Sunday nights on WRUR, wrote a bunch of articles for The Campus and also served as editor of the 1953 Interpres. I sang with the Glee Club in Strong Auditorium and once at Eastman Theatre with the Rochester Philharmonic.

I never painted the tunnel under the Quad, but was a sometime user of the steam tunnel that permitted late-night access to the nurses’ dorm—no need for them to sign in or out! As manager of the basketball team, I saw all of the games both home and away—anyone remember “Tom Hoffman ’50” releasing pigeons from under his raccoon coat? Jim Armstrong ’54, ’65 (MA), Bob Place ’54, and Bill Secor ’53 used to beat me up on a regular basis when the team was short of players at practice. Our guys used to have a lot of conflicts with labs and stuff—at halftime of a losing effort against Calvin Murphy and his Niagara bunch, Lou Alexander told the boys not to worry: “You could beat ’em at physics.”

I parked my car inside Fauver stadium (under the stands) and therefore never got a ticket. Actually, I had a key to Rush Rhees (a Deke legacy) which permitted a number of late-night visits to the walkway around the top; carillons still give me a chill. I miss those Saturday night parties in the Deke house basement where everyone actually sang college songs. And we knew all the words. Do students sing anymore? And I didn’t see mention of those Friday night “Rousers” with the huge bonfires on the list. Are they gone too? What about the flag rush or the tug-of-war?

My suggestion for No. 102 would be to repeat the adventure of Coke Dales ’51 and Bill Ceckler ’51 who cemented a toilet to the Alpha Delt chimney. But then that probably would not be politically correct in today’s world—and certainly not Meliora.

Stacy Stevens ’53
Yarmouth, Maine

As parents of Carol Fern Simonson Culhane ’73, ’78W (MA), we visited her on Parents’ Weekend in late October 1969, taking her favorite mince pie and a sheet cake to celebrate her birthday.

Her father, Nelson Simonson ’47, then a commander in the U.S. Navy, was about to depart for duty in Vietnam. The pie was consumed at dinner in the dining hall, and the cake left for dorm consumption. Assisting in eating the pie was Nelson Wester ’71, ’73S (MBA), a cousin who was called from the dish room to help celebrate. Said cake pan was to come home at Christmas, but it never made it! The illustration in the article confirms Carol’s excuse.

We, as a family, have many fond memories of Rochester and its campuses.

Caroline Davis Simonson
Wernersville, Pa.

. . . and Checking it Twice

Even though I graduated 25 years before Dana Hilfinger ’10, I shared many of her Rochester experiences. However, here’s one experience that she didn’t mention: Being a “guinea pig” in a medical school “cold study.”

When I was at the U of R between 1980 and 1984, there were frequent ads in the Campus Times requesting students to participate in “cold studies.” A friend of mine had highly recommended the experience as a way to acquire some extra spending money, and I finally enrolled in one in my junior year. The study started in October of the academic year when I was inoculated with a cold vaccine (or a placebo). Every few months I had to visit the Medical Center to have my nose washed out with saline. The nose washes were necessary for the study but were rather uncomfortable.

Following the end of the school year, my fellow “subjects” and I checked into Highland Hospital where, during our five-day residency, we were fed copious amounts of food, played endless games of cards with each other, and ate ice cream on the roof of the hospital. Unfortunately, we also had our noses washed about four times a day (including in the middle of the night).

I have fond memories of the cold study because I remember that it was a warm, sunny week in May and I really had a great time hanging out with my fellow guinea pigs. In addition, I was generously compensated by the medical school researchers and didn’t even come down with a cold!

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to recall this unusual Rochester experience.

Esther Racoosin ’84
Ithaca, N.Y.

In your list of “101 Things to Do before You Graduate,” you omitted:

1. Explore the roof of the student union, standing 25 yards above the brick floor.

2. Find that your cans of beer froze on your dorm window ledges.

David Epstein ’71, ’72S (MBA)
Potomac, Md.

Go to Sal’s and have a swimmer! That’s the classic “bird” with LOTS of Sal’s hot sauce.

It wasn’t a good week if I didn’t have a bird.

Dean DeJong ’86, ’87 (MS)
Sammamish, Wash.

Great List!

I counted 55 things on the list that I had done. (Not sure all of those places existed when I was at UR.) Not on your list:

Grocery shopping at Wegmans.

Having beverages loaded into the trunk of your car at Southtown Beverages’ drive-through.

Waltz at the Viennese Ball.

Sunbathing on “Holli Beach.”

Coffee at 3 a.m. at the Dunkin’ Donuts on Mt. Hope.

Thanks for the dose of nostalgia!

Jennifer (Jeff) Ingalls Bowie ’91
Salem, Mass.

Diversity of Diversity?

I was struck by the lack of diversity in the photo of the nine participants at the University’s conference on diversity (“Building an Inclusive Community,” In Review, May-June): eight men, one woman; six whites, three blacks/African-Americans; zero younger than 40.

This does not bode well for a conference on building an inclusive community. I can only hope that there were other participants at the conference from other ethnic backgrounds (for example, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, etc.), and there were more women and some younger people.

Of course, race, ethnicity, gender, and age are not the only forms of diversity, and I am not suggesting that simply having women and men of different ethnic backgrounds and ages equals a diverse and inclusive community. However, it is ironic that a conference on diversity appeared so non-diverse. Perhaps this is why the conference was needed.

Sharon M. Lee ’75
Victoria, British Columbia

Editor’s note: The photo that we used to accompany the story on the first University-wide diversity conference featured the members of a panel discussion who were asked to talk about issues of diversity based on their experience as University, business, and municipal leaders. The conference also featured small group discussions involving members of the campus community as well as other large group sessions. As we noted in the story, the conference was designed as an annual event to facilitate discussions of diversity.

Disc Detectives

Editor’s note: On page 35 of the May-June issue, we featured a photo of students playing Frisbee on the Eastman Quadrangle during a spring day in the early to mid-1970s. We asked if any alumni recognized the students or who could help place the photo in historical context.

The guy in the photo going for the Frisbee is Harold (Hal) Rosenberg ’72. I don’t know anyone else in the photo. He was one of my roommates junior and senior years. The picture could not be later than 1972 as we graduated in ’72.

Jon Tomar ’72
Gaithersburg, Md.

We caught up with Rosenberg, who confirms that he’s the male student jumping for the Frisbee in the photo. The identity of the female student remains a mystery.

Love of Languages

I enjoyed the article about creating the language for Avatar (“Avatar of Language,” March-April) I enjoyed the movie as well. I have to wonder, however, if movies could be the medium of preserving at least some knowledge of dying languages.

What if the energy and resources applied by the movie industry to create new languages was used to preserve or record dying or extinct languages from around the world? A thousand words of a dying language seems a marvelous legacy, especially if the fans pick it up and make it their own.

Barbara Rich ’88
Bend, Oregon

Editor’s note: While not the same as the work of Paul Frommer ’65 to create the language for the blockbuster movie, Rochester faculty members are working to catalog some native languages in northwestern Canada that are in danger of disappearing. For more, see page 10.

Department of Corrections

In our story about noted illustrator Jane Marinsky ’73 (“Drawing Readers In,“ Alumni Gazette, May-June), who collaborated with her daughter Leah Sharpe on the new children’s book, The Goat-Faced Girl, we failed to note that Marinsky’s daughter, Rebecca Sharpe ’85, also is a Rochester alumna. We apologize for the oversight.

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