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I read your recent article on housework and gender, and I'm confused - why do you say having a wife saves a man an hour a week? From your graphic data, that was last true in 1976, but from your text, you say it was true in 2005, where a married man is shown as working 3 hours a week more than a single man. Last time I checked, having to work three hours more wasn't a real time saver. Not to say I do my fair share of the housework, which seems to be one of your points, but I certainly do much more housework now that I'm married than I did before. So your data and my experience reflect the same truth - having a wife means more, not less, housework, although working a lower percentage of the total household housework time - which will be true until men do 100% of the housework - by that time the robot Romba will have evolved into a complete housecleaning automaton. Probably by some guy who doesn't want to do his fair share of housework.

  • Thomas
  • BA, JD
  • 1989, 1996
  • University of Oregon, Lewis and Clark Law School
  • Gettysburg

Re: Keeping Faith (April 2008): My faith was reduced to Secular Humanism while at the University. While in high school I battled my doubts in the Christian faith as an altar boy when learning about evolution in ninth grade. I finally rebounded back to the faith after rationalizing a belief held as fact among South Indian Christians.

Then, again I faced this dilemma when I took "Introduction to the New Testament" at the University. Our professor informed us of all the inconsistencies of the Bible such as how many years the Gospels were actually written after the fact, how the books of the Bible were transcribed by scribes hundreds of times over, and how much of the original text was lost in translation to other languages. All the while I reasoned that this must be much like the game "Telephone" that we all played as children in which the initial statement evolves into a completely different statement.

In addition, I found that many of my professors ridiculed religion in outward forms such as anti-abortion views and creationism to which I nearly always agreed with the professor. Up until my third year of college I viewed myself as a liberal Christian who held some serious doubts in his faith. That year Time Magazine did a piece on the belief of St. Thomas coming to India. I had held the very existence of a God and Christ on this seeming fact that had been brainwashed into my skull. Time's article showed that there was zero evidence that St. Thomas ever came to India. My faith was ruined. How could I believe anything they said if Moses could not even get the first chapter of the Bible correct? We learned at Michigan (and in high school) that Creationism is not true; Evolution is.

Now I am a proponent of the belief that Religion is the root of most evil in today's world. 9/11, the Crusades, the Holocaust, the Middle East, etc. Likewise, I question the beacons of purity in their crusade of self-righteousness. Aren't these the same people with the highest divorce rates? Atheists/Agnostics with the lowest?

Religion now boggles my mind. How can someone believe that God created the world in seven days and that the Earth is 6000 years old? Blasphemy, I say. To this day I respect the teachings of Christ and try to live up to them each and every day to the best of my ability, but I am not sure that I believe he is the Messiah or God.

Maybe, one day my views will change, it sure was a happier and easier time having religion in my life.

  • George Thomas
  • B.S.
  • 3007
  • 2007 LSA
  • Ann Arbor

It's fun to read about current word creations and comparisons to older contexts. My son's most recent soccer team went by the name ROFL Squad. The name was special in part for the need to explain it's meaning to the uninformed. When there's more discussion about these types of terms, the mystery evaporates and we can all enjoy them first hand. Thanks for the article.

  • WC Burgard
  • BFA
  • 1979
  • School of Art and Design
  • Ann Arbor

Re: Exactly how much housework does a husband create? (April, 2008): Thanks for that information. I think us guys should save women all that pain and stay single.

  • James Thompson
  • BA
  • 2001

Early classes at U-M often planted a memorial oak (Professor White's trees, April 2008), so I have been told. It would be nice to resurrect that tradition this year since commencement is on the Diag.

  • Bea McLogan
  • B.A.
  • 1944
  • LSA
  • Ann Arbor

I enjoyed reading about Professor White's trees (April, 2008), a story about planting trees but also about optimism and looking toward the future. The account of his trip to Ann Arbor at the age of 79, just to check on the trees, touched me. For those of us who just took the campus trees for granted, it's a good lesson in the long-term effects of positive decisions.

  • Chris Campbell
  • M.A., J.D.
  • 1972, 1975
  • Rackham, Law
  • Travserse City

Re: Us and Them (January, 2008): I grew up in the Irish Hills area of Michigan, which is widely known for its tourism and abundance of lakes (there are over 50 lakes within a 10 mile radius at one point.)

As more and more people migrated to the Irish Hills from such areas as Toledo and Detroit to purchase cottages on the lakes, we referred to such people as "lakers." I'm unsure of how the word was coined, but it was a reference to "city people" who come out to the Irish Hills for the weekends during the summer to enjoy the lakes, many of whom would party, throw beer bottles in the lake that we would cut our feet on while swimming, and then depart on Sunday afternoon, leaving a trail of garbage for the year-rounders to contend with after they'd gone. Not all lakers were this way, but certainly enough to warrant the stereotype.

  • Drew Jarvis

Frank Beaver wrote a nice piece about Dudley Nichols (The Talkies' first great screenwriter, April 2008). However, next time, please spell Ms. Hepburn's first name right - it's Katharine.

  • Theresa Marsik
  • BS
  • 1994
  • CEE

I think the PSID Housework study (Exactly how much housework does a husband create?, April 2008)is a unfortunate piece of research politicized by the conclusions. I don't mind that the same variables show trends in households over time - to the extent that they really are the same variables. What gets me is the definition of housework, in a condition of ever-changing technology and behavior relations. I just not sure that people could consider the word "housework" as the authors define it, everywhere and anywhere standard at a time. Instead, what they have is a complicated index of activities. I think it lacks "construct validity," in other words. When that happens it's easy to say that that set of activities were chosen for the index to prove a point, which is ... bias.

Last night I fixed a serious problem with our kitchen faucet. This is hardly sour grapes because I like working around the house. But there are serious measurement issues here, serious enough to skew results, maybe even to change signs, and I'm not sure at all why the subjectivity? Is this for notoriety?

Signed, A Spouse,

  • Patrick W Cardiff
  • MAE
  • 1990
  • LSA
  • Arlington

The Talkies' first great screenwriter (April, 2008) was a very interesting article. I recognize many of the movies Dudley Nichols wrote the screenplay for. I'm usually trying to catch the author or the story.

  • Ileana Chandler
  • no
  • 2
  • Oakland Community

My faith was definitely tested while I was at U-M (Keeping Faith, April 2008). However, I do believe it was my close proximity to home that kept me grounded as to what was right and wrong. True, it was over 25 years ago, but I can't imagine things have changed that much.

  • Lisa Rendon
  • Sociology
  • 1986
  • LSA
  • Saginaw

Re: Keeping Faith (April, 2008): I did lose my religious faith at U-M -- but it was 1969 and I was a graduate student. I've always been a bit slow. Another belated development was my returning to the (RC) church several years ago after having trouble with Buddhist type meditation and realizing I needed some additional structure and support to attain a degree of enlightenment. More power to those who can meditate clean without a tinge of religiosity. I couldn't do it.

  • Jim Lein
  • MSW
  • 1970
  • Social Work
  • Minot

Re: Exactly how much housework does a husband create? April, 2008: I must not have learned how to read a graph while I was at the university. I know it's a small graph, but it looks to me that the increase in the amount of housework done by married men versus single men was greater than the analagous increase for women. Also from the graph, I don't see how it can be said that having a wife saves a man from an hour of housework a week when the bar for married men is longer than that for single men. Could the colors of the bars be mixed up?

  • Frank Callis
  • 1977

Levi Thompson or Clean Energy Engineers: I am very much interested in upgrading my car to get better gas mileage and I would appreciate it very much if you could look this article over and let me know if this is a ggod project. www.savegasusewater.com Oliver S Voegtline olivervoegtline@yahoo.com

  • Oliver S Voegtline
  • Voegtline
  • S
  • Marquette

Just a quick email to let you know that I enjoyed Frank Beaver's article about his favorite courtroom films. I am a UM grad, twice over: Residential College 1971 and Law 1975. My first employment after law school was in Marquette, as assistant and chief assistant prosecutor, and I was fortunate to try many felony cases in the circuit courtroom where "Anatomy of a Murder" was filmed. It is an absolutely gorgeous courtroom, one of the most beautiful I've seen in my 32 years of trying cases in many different counties around Michigan. One fun fact, unknown to most, involves a scene in the movie where Jimmy Stewart and his side-kick are in the courthouse, open a door just down the stairs from the courtroom, and enter the "law library." In the real courthouse, the door leads to a men's room, and the library scene was filmed at the public library in Ishpeming. I have a short book called "Anatomy of a Motion Picture" by Richard Griffith, published in 1959, about the filming of the movie, with lots of local photos. Old timers in Marquette remember the filming fondly, as Otto Preminger and his cast (what a great bunch!) treated the locals with respect and without "Hollywood airs." The book is classic, and the movie did it justice.

Again, thank you for the article.

  • David Peterson
  • RC, Law
  • Cadillac

Bravo for the Great Plate (March, 2008)! The "food pyramid" was horrible replacement for the Four Food Groups.. The Great Plate promotes a healthy balance of food packed with nutrition, instead of the empty calories the food pyramid promoted. Our youth have learned very little about proper nutrition. The Great Plate is a wonderful visual teaching tool that almost anyone can emulate. I believe this will promote a healthy life style, while teaching people what is important to put in their bodies.

Congratulations on this great plan. I hope it is adopted nationally.

  • Kip Garwood-Tull
  • MPH
  • 1981
  • Public Health

I realize the knee brace to generate electricity (March, 2008) is probably not fully developed, but I couldn't help but wonder how much energy my two dogs and I might generate on our daily 1-hour hikes. Would a dog version be feasible? Is there additional information available on use by humans?

The technology of this knee brace is still being developed, and a version that is light-weight enough for everyday use is still in the future. Technically, the device could be adapted for animal use, though we know of no plans to do so. As to future human use, we will have to wait while the engineers improve the technology--and, hopefully, find a way to bring it to production. --Editor

  • Lynn Piecuch
  • BSE
  • 1986
  • EECS
  • Indianapolis

Re: Talking about movies: Courtroom dramas (March, 2008). I have been a trial lawyer since gradating from the Law School in 1971. In my old firm we had often talked about holding a Trial Lawyer's Film Festival. "Anatomy of a Murder" is my favorite, and a large part of why I became a lawyer. My father encouraged me to see the movie in 1959(?) even though it was "unrated" by the Cathloic Legion of Decency because they could not figure out how to deal with the issues presented.

  • Edward Butt
  • JD
  • 1971
  • Law
  • Frankfort

After reading Dank (March, 2008) several times, I was still unclear as to its meaning. So I will refrain from using it for the time being.

However, I do remember the verb "to jane." It meant to hang out with, associate with your friends and essentially do nothing. As in: "What did you do this afternoon after school?" Reply: "Nothing, I just janed around."

Sadly, I don't use the term anymore. At my age I don't really have a place to jane. And I too busy keeping up with the new generations. As you can see, I'm reading MICHIGAN TODAY instead of janing around!

  • Elizabeth S. Ramsdell
  • B.A.
  • !960
  • LSA
  • Winnetka

Keeping track of slang that is not your own is a tough assignment, and I applaud Professor Richard W. Bailey for taking it on Dank, March 2008.

Seeing some of the newer words, and recognizing they've been in circulation for a while, I wondered: Is the speed in which slang is disseminated, embraced by youth, and then discarded increasing? Will "dank" be so 2008, even as soon as 2009?

  • David Holzel
  • B.A.
  • 1980
  • LSA
  • Montgomery Village

Frank Beaver, I remember from when I read it in the 1950s as a child that it was a minesweeper, not a destroyer that Queeg captained (Courtroom dramas, March 2008).

  • Stephen Diamond
  • J.D.
  • 1968
  • law
  • chicago

As a lover of words and one who recognizes their power to influence, I always cringe when I see "suffragette" used instead of "suffragist." (The mighty suffragette suffragist cookbook, March 2008). The first ending is demeaning; the second explicitly defines the activity without insult. So I of course cringed when I read the brief cookbook announcement. When will we become sensitive enough to honor those women who dedicated themselves toward insuring women's right to vote?

Your comments are duly noted and appreciated; several readers sent similar letters, and we've made the change. --Editor.

  • Eleanor H. Beiswenger
  • B.A., M.A., Ph.D
  • 1964, 1966, 1969
  • LSA
  • St. Louis

Of all the great writers who count themselves as alumni of U-M, Jim Tobin is among the most gifted (Fraternity War, March 2008). As a FIJI, he knows what he's talking about when it comes to fraternity trials and tribulations. Great work Brother Tobin!

  • Rob Smyth
  • BGS
  • 1979
  • LSA
  • Chicago

Since when does a premiere research University publicize its campus security ranking from a survey by Reader's Digest magazine? In 2007, the U-M also touted an extremely positive health care provider evaluation from U.S. News and World Report, who was soundly criticized for its methodology in an annual review of U.S. colleges and universities. What's next, an evaluation of LSA by the Police Gazette? I'm for credible measurements, but let's ask the renown U-M Survey Research Center to participate rather than rely on two grocery-aisle magazines.

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

Sue Coleman is a one trick pony whose single agenda item is promotion of racial diversity. It is long past the time that she should focus on the quality of education provided at The University for all students of all racial and ethnic backgrounds. It is very dispiriting to witness the steady decline in The University's academic ranking while Coleman blindly pursues her personal agenda where ever in the world it takes her at Michigan taxpayer expense.

  • Robert L Blackburn
  • BSME, MBA
  • 1961, 1962
  • Engineering, Business
  • Spring Lake

I checked out the PDF version of the Great Plate guide to healthy eating so I could read it better. What I didn't see addressed was combination meals such as casseroles’. How do they fit on the Great Plate?

The MHealthy staff writes: Combination foods such as lasagna, tuna noodle casserole, spaghetti and meatballs, and chili with beans, do not fit into one food group and cannot easily be divided on your plate. Some of these foods do not include many vegetables. Make sure these foods fill only half your plate so you have room for plenty of vegetables for the other half. You can also add more vegetables to these dishes.

  • Georgia Reum

As an out of state student at my undergrad school (Penn), I found the fraternity (Fraternity war, March 2008) to be a warm "home away from home," where I formed friendships with a diverse group of over 100 brothers. Much later, my daughter had a similar experience as an out-of-state student at Michigan, finding her sorority to provide a community of friends from diverse backgrounds. As an alumnus who travels back to Ann Arbor for many football weekends, I enjoy the enthusiasm and school spirit displayed at the fraternity/sorority pre-game parties - it is an important part of the game day experience.

In comparing the fraternities/sororities at Penn and Michigan, I found the "rush" system at Penn to be fairer, as it lasted the entire Fall semester, rather than being crammed into the first few weeks of freshman year. This led to far fewer surprises about who was going to be invited to join and who was not. On balance, I still see the Greek system at Michigan to be a positive force for the University.

Dave Riddell

  • Dave Riddell
  • MBA
  • 1975
  • Business
  • Glenview

The reference to suffragettes in the story about the right to vote for women (The mighty suffragette cookbook, March 2008) is ironic. Suffragettes was a derogatory term used by those opposed to suffrage. Those in favor of women's suffrage referred to themselves as suffragists.

  • John L. Sobieski, Jr.
  • J.D.
  • 1970
  • Law
  • Knoxville

If you take a look at your slideshow (The mighty suffragette cookbook, March 2008), you may notice that the term "suffragette" is not used. With good reason. In fact, that was the derogatory term coined by the opponents of woman suffrage to diminish and belittle the women who wanted to vote.

In English, "-ette" as a suffix tends to denote something small and weak.

The term the women and their supporters used was "suffragist." The suffix is one who promotes an end.

By using "suffragette" in your article, you have unknowingly chosen sides, and you have chosen the side that was in the wrong.

By the way, I owe it to LSA that I know this. The women's rights movement in the 5 years after the Civil War was the focus of my History Honors Thesis.

  • Ellen Dannin
  • BA, JD
  • LSA 1975, JD 1978
  • LSA, Law
  • University park

The current Michigan Today periodical has a Michigan heritage article about the manners of courtship in 1943 (How to date women - 1943, Feb 2008). Coincidentally I had just re-read a Michigan Today article dated March 1995 Vol.27 No 1. It was titled "The Suspension of Jam Handy". Jam Handy was my grandfather. As a 17 year old freshman he was also a campus reporter for the Chicago Tribune. He wrote about an Elocution class with Prof. Thomas C. Trueblood describing it as "a course in lovemaking" and said "Trueblood had dropped on bended knee to demonstrate how to make an effective proposal of marriage." He sent his article to the paper. It was published along with a cartoon which was obviously very embarrassing to Trueblood and U-M President James B. Angell.

Handy was immediately suspended for a year; and never returned to any university.

Today I read the 1943 article with a smile, as U-M students were being advised about proper courtship. Timing is everything isn't it?

Grandfather did not graduate; however, he became a two time Olympic medal-winner and a world pioneer in the commercial use of film.

The Handy family papers were purchased by the U-M Clements Library.

  • Susan M. Webb
  • B.A., and M.A.,
  • 1961, 1963
  • Novi

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