Autumn 2008

Cover of summer 2008 issue


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I am a ten-year-old kid about to go into fifth grade. My mom attended Emory University. When she showed me the article about Mark Bauerlein’s book (“Dumb and Dumber?,” summer 2008), I was offended. Some news for you: you are threatened by the new technology. Mr. Bauerlein claims most kids don’t read. I am a hardcore gamer, yet I read avidly. In fact I know many kids that read a lot too. I’ll bet when you were inside watching television as a kid, your parents were saying that would turn your brain into mush too. If Mr. Bauerlein would embrace new technology, instead of being threatened by it, he might not think of us as the dumbest generation.

Aidan Rowan

Son of Jeanne Harnishfeger Rowan 89C

Nashville, Tennessee

Kudos to Professor Mark Bauerlein for having the courage to reveal the unvarnished truth in The Dumbest Generation, and though his critics have been vocal, they must confront the classic quod erat demonstrandum. His book could be considered a corollary to the sobering 1983 report, “A Nation at Risk,” which emphasized that education in the U.S. is being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity. Arguably, Bauerlein has taken this report to a new level in which “mediocrity” may be replaced with “ignorance”—spawned in part by a generation many of whom are unable to read with a significant level of comprehension. Reading, coupled to adequate intellect and motivation, is a cornerstone for learning and in the absence of learning, ignorance obviously prevails. Thomas Jefferson stated, “If a nation expects to remain ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” Bauerlein’s timely book should be a wake up call for parents, educators, and Generation Y if this generation is to avoid the loss of freedom wrought by ignorance and consequently relegated to perpetual enslavement in the dependency class.

Dale E. Hunt, Professor Emeritus

Atlanta, Georgia

I did not find the report on the criminal activities of Oxford students (“Zany Zebra Caper,” summer 2008) related to the trespass and theft of property on a private landowner’s farm the least bit amusing. Nor did I find the title captivated the gravity of the “prank.” The zebra in question was subjected to stress without the permission of the owner. As an owner of livestock, I would prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. Funny pranks in the annals of colleges I am familiar with include dismantling inanimate objects (wagons, automobiles) and removing them and reassembling them in places of note such as buildings where assembly occurs. Those crimes may be forgiven, but they are crimes against property. State law varies, but in Tennessee, livestock is property. Dooley never stooped to this level of degradation. And that is not supposed to be a joke.

Elise LeQuire 70C

Maryville, Tennessee

I was delighted to find the article “Body of Knowledge” in the last edition of Emory Magazine and immediately read every word. For years now I have been interested in this alternative to traditional burial practices. Having been a science teacher in Georgia’s public schools with a love of the study of the human body, I realize the need for this type of donation. Your article handled what could be a cold and morbid topic with such warmth and care. It also gave me the lead I need to arrange to donate my body. Thank you.

Betty Rackley

Fort Valley, Georgia

What a wonderfully informative article “Body of Knowledge” was in the summer issue of Emory Magazine. I graduated from the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing in 1978. Participation in the gross anatomy lab was included in our curriculum at that time. I have told my family for years that I wanted to donate my body to the Emory anatomy lab because of the priceless education I received there. The article perfectly described my desire and the reasons for such—feelings that are quite difficult to express about this emotional topic. I am attaching the article to my will—all questions answered!

Anne Shirah Dykes 78N

Monroeville, Alabama

I have read with great interest your article in the summer 2008 issue of Emory Magazine concerning the ultimate donation. For some time now I have considered offering my body to my alma mater, but had no idea where to start the procedure, nor whom to contact. While discussing this article with a friend who is not an Emory alumnus, he expressed a desire for me to look further into the procedures for him also.

Olin C. Pound 59B

Eastman, Georgia

“Body of Knowledge” (summer 2008) was written with such warmth and gave ineffable dignity to this gift. It was not about death, but about life continuing on through learning. The two young medical students pictured at the monument in Decatur Cemetery especially touched my heart; this picture captured all of my reasons for becoming a body donor earlier this year. Thank you for giving me an insight into the reality of what body donation means to medicine and to students.

Edith Bradford

Clayton, Georgia

Write to us

Has something in Emory Magazine raised your consciousness—or your hackles? Write to the editors at Emory Magazine, 1762 Clifton Road, Plaza 1000, Atlanta, Georgia, 30322, or via email at We reserve the right to edit letters for length and clarity. The views expressed by the writers do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or the administrators of Emory University.

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Autumn 2008

Of Note