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Letters To The Editor



Oh, to be 80 again

Power in knowing

Values are Cornell tradition

Weaving a good story

Oh, to be 80 again
As usual, and expected, the current issue of the Cornell Report is great! Especially “Going home,” your View from the Hill.

And indeed, “Why did you have to tell me this?” You reminded me that in 1982, when you were graduating, I was celebrating the 45th anniversary of my graduation from Cornell. So you have turned 40? Well, I can say, “Oh, to be 80 again,” and you’re only halfway there. You may think you’ve come a long way, but you’ve got a longer way yet to go!

Thomas Wolfe was indeed right. You can’t go home again. But I believe it was Heraclitus, long before Thomas Wolfe, who said you can’t put your foot in the same river twice. It’s not the same river, as well as not the same foot. And both are not just in a process of changing. According to Alfred North Whitehead (and modern quantum mechanics, for that matter) they are processes of change, as are we all, and all that is around us.

So you are a process, a producer, and a product of change at Cornell. When you “put your foot in the river” there, you make a splash! And I for one enjoy being splashed on, along with other alums and related folk.

Also, the Report article about Diane Crowder was of special interest to me because one of the two Willamette University courses I sat in on this fall was on feminism. The term paper I wrote describes an embodiment of a dream I’ve had at least since my Cornell days—an expression of what I think are valid family values for people who think women are as capable as men and should have equal rights to utilize their capabilities—and a goal I think is worth working toward.
Roger Gillette ’37
Salem, Ore.

Values are Cornell tradition
I appreciated your coverage on handing down values. Cornell through the years has stood for values and character education. The fact that some of the college’s alumni have taken those values and integrated them into their professional work should make faculty, staff, and administrators feel their work is not lost. Values may not make for light reading or raise in the reader nostalgia for the days when one was young, but discussing values is certainly carrying on the Cornellian tradition.
Harriet Frye Heath ’49, PhD
Director, The Parent Center
Child Study Institute and Thorne School

Bryn Mawr College
Bryn Mawr, Pa.

Power in knowing
I was so pleased to read the faculty profile on Diane Crowder in the fall 2000 Cornell Report. Having studied both women’s studies and French literature with Diane, I have been deeply affected by her teachings.

She was my first professor at Cornell, and over four years and nine courses, she introduced me to much more than texts, theories, and verb conjugations. I grew leaps and bounds as a result of her confident, assertive stance. Diane models that there is real power in knowing—about privilege, poetry, history, social norms, and mostly one’s own context—and speaking from that sense of knowing.

Now, as I find myself helping students navigate their college experience, I call upon her mentoring and teaching more than I ever expected. I’m proud to have studied with Diane, and so glad to see Cornell recognize her contributions to our community.
Deirdre Rosenfeld ’96
Director, Women’s Center
Minnesota State University, Mankato


Weaving a good story
I really enjoyed reading the profile of French professor Diane Crowder in the fall Cornell Report—it was very nicely written. I love that Cornell is a community where you can talk openly about being a feminist, about being a lesbian, and about the position of women on campus. Sally Farrington-Clute’s comments about Diane’s contributions to that openness are wonderful. I was a Spanish major (as well as art and Latin American studies) and I didn’t study French, but Cornell is a small community and I have some memories of Diane. I especially loved seeing the photo of her sitting at her loom and weaving. I studied fibers with Mimi Holmes there and then went on to get an MFA in fibers at Colorado State University. Now I’m the editor of Spin-Off magazine. When I see people I know spinning and weaving it makes me feel like it is a small world and the connections are strong.
Amy C. Clarke ’91
Loveland, Colo.

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