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I lived in West Quad Sept 1951 - June 1952 and was there that Wonderful first day of spring '52! (Panty Raid, 1952, July 2008)What a glorious night. If you want the story of the beginning of that night contact Gil Snyders, Enginering '55 or '56.

  • David Carson
  • BBA
  • 1955
  • Ross School
  • Hartford

As a breast cancer and Hodgkin's lymphoma patient, I read with interest your brief story on Coping with "chemo brain" (July 2008) and the planned research on the cognitive function of breast cancer patients. I was troubled by the following statement: "The researchers also suspect that since not all women report experiencing chemo brain, some women may have a genetic susceptibility that makes them more sensitive to the effects of chemotherapy, including cognitive issues." Although genetic predisposition may explain some part of the uneven reporting of this condition, this statement fails to acknowledge the clear likelihood that breast cancer patients do not always report their concerns about cognitive function (due to fear, ignorance, or because they simply are not asked about such changes by their clinicians) or that, although reported to a clinician, these reports are not taken seriously or are treated as unimportant because they relate to a complaint not directly impairing treatment of the cancer.

During my multiple rounds of chemotherapy for breast cancer (1995) and Hodgkin's lymphoma (2001 to 2007, including an autologous stem cell transplant and an allogeneic bone marrow transplant), I repeatedly sensed cognitive changes, including diminution of recall and overall reduction in the speed of my cognitive function. I am a practicing attorney for whom high level cognitive function is an integral part of my work, and I have little doubt that these changes were real. For someone whose body appears to be out of control, such changes in intellectual function are disconcerting at best. My physicians (both nationally recognized clinicians at major cancer centers) did not completely dismiss my concerns, but the person who took me most seriously was a psychiatrist friend from my congregation who examined the medical literature and confirmed that what little information there was at the time (primarily in childhood leukemia patients) showed cognitive changes associated with chemotherapy. Although my friend's findings did not resolve the changes in my cognitive function, I did find even this small amount of information reassuring: even if my body seemed out of whack, I wasn't going crazy. Thus, the research on "chemo brain" cannot come too soon for breast and other cancer patients. Hopefully, part of that research will result in a name for that condition that is descriptive but not pejorative.

  • Catherine Copp
  • AB, JD
  • 1975, 1978

I was surprised (but not really) by the article that said people who had undergone chemotherapy had cognitive difficulties. I had an experience similar to the one described in the story and I know others who did, too. (Are they looking for volunteers for the study?)

  • Mary Hendricks
  • A.B., Ed.
  • 1875
  • Education, 1975
  • Ypsilanti

Re: Coping with "chemo-brain" (July 2008): When I was going through chemotherapy at the age of 43, I could not remember what happened 3-4 hours earlier or what day of the week it was, I could not carry a tune (I'd been singing all my life), had no nurturing feelings or any feelings at all when holding a baby, and I could not concentrate on anything.

Since our brains are part of our physical body, and the rest of the body suffers horribly during chemo, it makes sense that brain function is also affected. After chemo, it was really fun to watch all my feelings and mental sharpness come back! I was so happy when I felt cuddly feelings for babies again!

Many women try to "tough out" chemo and keep going to work. But sometimes you hear the real story later - almost causing car accidents driving to work, making mistakes that cost their employers lots of money, or collapsing at work and being taken to the hospital, for example, are things I've heard about first hand.

The idea seems to be to "show" the cancer that it can't stop you, change your life, or get the best of you as though it were a mean nasty person instead of cells dividing in your body.

My idea was to lie on the couch and let the drugs go to work and not strain myself. I knew this would be the only time in my life when I had the perfect excuse to watch TV all day and do nothing. I was too sick to go to work with the amount of drugs I was getting for Stage II breast cancer, too weak to hold up a book, and had no intellectual capacity for the duration.

Anyway, I'm still here after 15 years and my brain did return to normal after chemo!

  • Terry Carnes
  • BGS Comp Sci/Comp Graphics
  • 1983
  • LSA
  • Seatle

Chrisler arena? Am I missing something here? Is there an in joke I'm not a part of? Please please tell me I've lost my mind. Google says: Did you mean: Chrysler arena?

  • Alan Matthews

Re: War Movies During Wartime: My perception is that all of these movies have an anti-war theme, or at least that the intention is to show America as a flawed society. With the exception of the left-wing "Hate America" crowd, NOBODY wants to see that.

A movie that celebrates America — that I might see. I think that "Saving Private Ryan" was a movie that did just that. That's why it was a success.

  • Peter Chinigo
  • MBA
  • 2005
  • Ross
  • Portage

Re: War Movies During Wartime: War is, at its most basic premise, an "us against them" proposition. And all of the "us's" believe they are doing the right thing and want to win.

Most of the films released recently seem to have more of a leaning towards "us" as being in the wrong, and wanting to quit as soon as possible as opposed to winning.

At heart, the American masses like a winner and want to be right.

Go figure.

  • Jim Call
  • BGS
  • 1979
  • LSA
  • San Diego

Your War Movies During Wartime article (June 2008) was interesting and it was helpful to have the personal view from a Vietnam veteran. Hollywood made financial progress in Vietnam War movies by hitting on the theme of US soldiers murdering other US soldiers ("Apocalypse Now," "Platoon," "Full Metal Jacket," etc). For Iraq the same theme appears in the Desert Storm stories "Courage Under Fire" and "Jarhead," though for "Jarhead" it is accidental friendly fire. For the current Iraq War they have moved to US soldiers murdering and raping civilians and torturing the enemy. Maybe you should compare those themes with the movies of World War II. It could provide some help in understanding why people are turned off.

  • Jeff

When you are discussing war movies (War Movies During Wartime, June 2008) you cannot ignore what I feel is the great anti-war ever made: "All Quiet on the Western Front." And then there was the famous movie in which Kirk Douglas was a French colonel. Forget the name but the film was unforgettable. "The Longest Day" also was a memorable film about WWII.

  • Barnett Laschever
  • B.S.
  • June 1950
  • LSA
  • Goshen

Enjoy MI Today. The photos of the peonies were stunning. Thanks

  • Chester R. Steffey
  • Bach Arch, Master Arch
  • 1954,1957
  • A&D, Rackham
  • Sierra Vista

War movies made by filmmakers who denigrate American warriors while disdaining America are indeed a hard sell during wartime (War Movies During Wartime, June 2008). Indeed, filmmakers of the modern ilk fail to comprehend the necessity to fight evil and oppression.

Mr. Beaver needs to go back a bit further than Vietnam, when the "America is Evil" movement captured the soul of Hollywood. ar movies of the '30's and '40's that celebrated valor and victory where indeed well-received, else John Wayne would have remained an obscure Marion Morrison.

Where are the films that show courage, and compassion? Who will make today's "Battle Hymn"? There are a thousand Deacon Hess stories that can be told about our men and women in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, but an out-of-touch Hollywood sees soldiers as lobotomized robots who would renounce their calling if, as the scarecrow of the "Wizard of Oz," they would only find a brain.

America rejects today's "war movies" rightly as thinly disguised propaganda by those with an anti-American agenda. After all, America knows its sons and daughters, and know that Hollywood, well, lies.

Respectfully,

  • Walter J. Kuleck
  • M.A., Ph.D.
  • 1976
  • ISR
  • Cuyahoga Falls

While I enjoy receiving Michigan Today in my email, I am routinely disappointed that there is never any news from the Flint or Dearborn campuses. These are also a part of U of M, not imitators. It is as if those campuses are treated like unloved stepchildren. True, the research and sports are in Ann Arbor, but the students and alumni of Flint and Dearborn have as much spirit and support as their Ann Arbor counterparts. So how about it, Michigan Today, are you willing to talk about the ENTIRE university?

  • Samuel Morris
  • BA
  • 1993
  • UM-Flint
  • Orlando

I believe Professor Beaver missed a major point concerning recent movies about war in Iraq and Afghanistan and the war on terror (War Movies During Wartime, June 2008) — these movies portray America in a bad light. Americans are beaten over the head in the major news outlets about how bad America is and how we are to blame for all of the world's problems; they aren't going to pay money to view the same drivel on the big screen.

Americans are proud of their county — they see America as a shining city upon a hill. President Kennedy once said, "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty."

Do these recent movies inspire Americans? Do they focus on positive events? Do they show our support for liberty as President Kennedy spoke? Do they show our love of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Sadly, the answer to all of these questions is no.

  • R. Yentsch
  • B.S.
  • 1990
  • LSA
  • Crystal Lake

Ms. Ray is NOT AT ALL the first to use the word "delish" (Eating words, May, 2008). In fact it's been around for over 40 years, maybe more. It is most definitely not a new word. Please do your research before you publish.

  • Ben

I'm surprised that "e-v-o-o" is attributed to Rachael Ray (Talking about words: Eating words, May, 2008). I feel certain that I've heard it used on other TV food programs before Ray was on the air.

Beside that, I would expect it to be written EVOO (or E.V.O.O.), since it is an acronym for a word phrase. I think the appearance of new acronyms tends to happen more frequently than that of new words. It's easy for anybody to take a common phrase and reduce it to a string of initial letters. I wouldn't put EVOO in the same category as the other words you mentioned in your article. The others are actually words, of sorts, while EVOO is not.

  • Lance E Sloan
  • B.S. in Computer Science
  • 1994
  • U-M Flint
  • Ann Arbor

The video about commencement (May, 2008) was outstanding and I thank you for sharing it. What a superb idea to hold the graduation in the Diag - a lot of work, but very impressive. It is great to be a Wolverine, even in Buckeye Country. I represent the "Go Blue" spirit very well!!! Michigan memories last forever.

  • Elizabeth Pressprich Norpell
  • B.A.
  • 1947
  • Education
  • Granville

I belatedly read your article about dating in 1943 at U-M (Feb, 2008). The County was "dry" when I arrived in Sept 1940 and until I left in Dec 1942 - assume it was still dry in 1943....it made a big difference in student behavior and social life.

  • jack g sahn
  • BA 46, MBA 47
  • 1946, 1947
  • ls&a, busines
  • lake success

Read the article about the first band leader-George Olson, who went onto 1920s dance band fame. I noticed the response article was from his son, George E. in Fort Lauderdale. Is there any chance that you could either give me his email, or have him contact me. My great uncle, George Henkel Jr. played in his father's orchestra. I am trying to find out some historical information, and am wondering if he might be able to help me. Thanks so much. Marianne

  • Marianne Ruess
  • Portland

The article on brain-training (April, 2008) would have been more interesting and understandable if it had included an example of "brain training" or the "training exercises designed to improve...working memory." What is "working memory"? What test is being referred to in "direct practice of the tests themselves"? All in all, a very frustrating article. It seems to presuppose some knowledge of the research. You can include more helpful information, without dumbing-down the article.

  • mduffey@peckshaffer.com

What specifically were the fluid intelligence exercises? It would seem that active memory exercises with current events and research news would have a similar effect.

  • Nader Ajluni
  • B.S.
  • 1981
  • B.S., 1981, LSA
  • Johnston

Having watched the video of graduation on the Diag (April, 2008), I wish that I had had the same opportunity. I can think of no better place to have graduation. Mine was in Crisler, and was pretty sterile. I would come back to Michigan just to attend a graduation ceremony on the Diag. How about a 40th reunion graduation for the class of '70?

  • John
  • BS
  • 1970
  • Edu
  • Jacksonville

Thank you for sharing the video of the preparations for and some views of this year's spring commencement exercises. Last year, when I heard that the U-M was planning to hold graduation at "our neighbor's house" (Eastern Michigan's stadium), I wept for the thousands in the Class of 2008. I felt they were being robbed of an experience I had the thrill of experiencing twice.

Thank you, U-M, for reconsidering. Thank you for choosing what perhaps was the best alternative. Thank you for making every effort to make graduation such a special day for the Class of 2008.

Go Blue!

  • Jennifer Igawa
  • B.A., M.A.
  • 1985, 1986
  • LSA, Rackham
  • Kamakura

When one's creative juices fail to satisfy the thirst of a search committee, it is a crushing blow to one's self esteem. I dedicated a lot of brain power to find a mascot for the U-M Flint. My choice: The Loch Ness Monsters!, which is totally unique among the nation's colleges and universities. And, in short conversation, the U-M Flint teams can be called "The Flint Lochs!"

  • Dale R. Leslie
  • M.A.
  • 1971
  • Rackham
  • Ann Arbor

Oh, yes now I know, why don't you put additional info on this brain exercise article (April, 2008). it would be interesting to see how we (60 & up) can increase our abilities...

  • Mike McCullough
  • MSIE
  • 1970
  • Rackham
  • MT. Carmel

I brought my daughter to check out U-M over her high school spring break while the Diag was being prepared for graduation (Once in a lifetime, April, 2008). It was amazing to imagine graduation in the true heart of campus. Thanks for sharing the video so we could see what the reality looked like -- What a lucky class!!

  • Sara (Jaffe) Juster
  • BA
  • 1985
  • LS&A
  • Omaha

GO BLUE !!! I wish that forty years ago my commencement had been on the Diag (May 2008). Beautiful, nostalgic, ceremonial, and personalized, and indication that academic achievement is different from sports It's about time that the "Harvard of the West" did it right like the Harvard of the East.

  • Blanche M. G. Linden
  • B.A.
  • 1968
  • LSA
  • Ft. Lauderdale

I love this article about Keeping faith (April, 2008). My experience at the Art School seemed devoid of the opportunity to gain faith-based objectives. It was definitely a place where your faith needed to be entrenched, and at the time mine was not. I am glad to hear that Campus Crusade for Christ is there. I hope this continues to grow and the stigma that belief in Christ is not founded on intellectual concepts. One needs only to read Ravi Zacchariah to find intelligence and Christianity do go together. U-M can only benefit from God's Grace. The void of humanity on campus in the mid 80's was to me a symptom of neglect of faith. As a whole our country after 9-11 has become more aware of the need of God's Grace. This article gives encouragement for a new generation of U-M graduates.

Congratulations! May God Bless the school.

  • Sharon English Lutz
  • B.F.A.
  • 1985
  • Art
  • Tampa

Re: Keeping faith (April, 2008): Does Michigan allow a professor or student to question Darwinian theory without fear of loss of job or failure to achieve tenure or receipt of failing grades? I would think that a college environment would allow free discussion and questioning of theories, including Darwinian theory. Or have prominent atheist scientists stifled the discussion and questioning of all theories except those that they espouse?

  • Ann Trichilo
  • B.A.
  • 1965
  • Education, Math

Re: Keeping faith (April, 2008): I cannot begin to say how much I appreciated my experience at UM-Flint and two brief semesters at UM in Ann Arbor.

I must note that I had no bitter experiences with any professor in either school. I was very outgoing in my Christian and charismatic faith, but found that students either were accepting of me or tolerated me without being offended.

I was so tremendously blessed to be active in the Chi Alpha Christian group on campus. This provided a great deal of support for me and left me with Dear Friends whom I will never forget. Chi Alpha was an outreach of the Assemblies of God to the secular campuses. Gregg Glutting was our campus pastor in Flint and Joe Sasyc was our Ann Arbor campus pastor. They were great!

My faith was strengthened at the University of Michigan and, I think, not only by Chi Alpha, but by the educational experience in Math-Computer Science as well. I viewed my studies as a matter of faith, also, and profited from them in many ways.

I thank God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ for the education and ministry which he has given me since leaving the University (Bible School, a Master's in Christian Counseling, a Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry, and seventeen hours of work toward the Ph.D in theology). U-M helped prepare me for this beautifully.

  • Min. Mark C. Robison, KPC Deacon
  • B.S.
  • 1986
  • UM-Flint -- Math
  • Virginia Beach

Re: Keeping faith (April, 2008): My faith journey was strengthened and broadened through my excellent experience at University of Michigan through Campus Ministry. I was involved in the Campus Ministry program at the First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor for 4 years. Opportunities for involvement are vast on the Ann Arbor campus. I participated in and later facilitated several Inter-faith Trialogue Series. Students from the major 3 monotheistic religions met regularly to discuss differences, similarities, stereotypes, and just life on a regular basis. On a campus so diverse and complex, it was refreshing for me to experience new ideas and challenges to my faith. I took several religion courses including some textual criticism courses. Ralph Williams's course (The Bible as English Literature) was one of the best courses I took.

Having faith is a dynamic and deeply personal journey. Having doubts is part of having faith--it isn't a tangible, hardcopy, static object, although sometimes people misuse what they call their faith as if it were an object (that they want to hit you over the head with). Many people forget that God, faith, and religion are not the same thing. Religion and how one bears witness to her/his faith is a personal human construct deeply based in history, culture, and tradition. For people of faith, God is above and beyond what humans can imagine or divine. If you are looking for ways to deepen your faith journey in whatever tradition, there are plenty of ways to do this at the University of Michigan.

  • Kristen
  • B.S., Ph.D. Candidate
  • 1996
  • SNR&E
  • Highland Park

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