Fall 2018

Letters

A Word From Our Readers
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WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS
I could not resist reading the stories about Tufts as a sports powerhouse “Jumbos Rising,” (Spring 2018), and I was especially interested in “Caution to the Wind,” the piece on the sailing team. Back in 1966, my fraternity, Zeta Psi, had a sophomore named David Curtis who had been mentioned in one of those Sports Illustrated articles highlighting young athletes. That same year, he and two other Zeta Psi members headed the sailing team as it competed for the McMillan Cup in Annapolis. Tufts was seeded last. Imagine our surprise when Curtis came back to the fraternity house late at night and reported that he, and Tufts, had won! It was the beginning of a Tufts tradition of excellence in sailing.

I also participated in athletics at Tufts, although less so once I began to focus on getting into medical school. In 1965-66, I swam four hundred yards fast enough to beat our team’s record. Too bad I didn’t do it in a race, which would have allowed me to get credit. As for sailing, my history consists of taking a small boat out on Mystic Lakes during senior week in 1968. Someone yelled at me for getting in the way of their race. I got out of the way as fast as possible.

ROBERT HALLETT, MD, A68
LUFKIN, TEXAS



It’s a shame that the issue went to press before the men’s swim team wrapped up their record-setting year. Much of their success can be credited to great leadership and great coaching (from NESCAC Coach of the Year Adam Hoyt). It’s also worth noting that the team triumphed despite having the most antiquated facilities on campus. 

ROBIN BRIENZA, A18P
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA




PROFESSORIAL PLUMAGE
After I scanned the table of contents for the Spring 2018 issue, I found myself immediately turning to the article about commencement regalia “Regale Us” by Anna Miller. I was glad I did. There, in academic garb, was someone important to me: Associate Professor of Political Science Pearl Robinson, my favorite professor at Tufts. She is the reason I majored in political science. It is so satisfying to know that although the “thread has worn out” of her commencement regalia, Professor Robinson looks well.

MICHAEL C. FORTH, A81
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK



Regale Us” was terrific. What a wonderful way to introduce some of the faculty.

CAROL SCHNEIDER, J68
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA




POTENTIAL FOR ABUSE?
Document and Protect” (Spring 2018) describes a free app called Whistler that Raphael Mimoun, F15, executive director of the nonprofit group Build a Movement, has launched to keep activists and the data they gather from harm. My opinion is that Whistler is a terrifying innovation. I can imagine that spy networks, criminals, or sexual predators might be happy to have a protected multimedia gallery hidden in their phones. I hope that the app has safeguards.

INA ASHER, BSOT71
MERION STATION, PENNSYLVANIA



Raphael Mimoun responds:
Safeguards would likely involve monitoring Whistler users. But if we do that, we inevitably open the door to authoritarian governments and criminals wishing to do the same. In many countries, users could be arrested, beaten, or killed as a result. We have therefore decided that even we, the makers of Whistler, must not be able to know who is using the app and to what end.




TUFTS AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE
Always Ahead of Its Time” by Sol Gittleman (Spring 2018) brought back memories of the 1970-71 academic year, when my fellow chemical engineering major Bob Steeves and I decided to teach an Experimental College class in motorcycle mechanics. We got the mechanical engineering department to sponsor us, and the geology department came through with a ground-level classroom in North Hall. The course was a great success and fun for all, and that ground-level space meant we could bring motorcycles into class more easily. Our apologies to the geology department for the oil stains on the floor.

CARL MANIKIAN, E72, EG74, D77
EAST HAMPSTEAD, NEW HAMPSHIRE



As Carl suggests, our motorcycle mechanics course was a hands-on affair, but I’d like to add that we did include more traditional classroom work, too. We covered the physics of braking systems, two-cycle versus four-cycle spark ignition engine dynamics, and frame geometry, among other subjects.

ROBERT STEEVES, E72
SACO, MAINE