- Richard Rodriguez at the Sesquicentennial symposium on "Migration: Past, Present, and Future" (pg. 26)
- "Fellow citizen," one freshman's journey to a naturalization ceremony (pg. 32)
- Scenes from the naturalization ceremony (pg. 32)
- "The Future of Catholic Periodicals"—a panel of editors discusses (pg. 40)
- Bishop Robert McElroy's talk on "The Challenge of Catholic Teaching on War and Peace in the Present Moment" (pg. 42)
- Peter Fallon at the Greater Boston Intercollegiate Undergraduate Poetry Festival (pg. 48)
- "Mile 21: The day after," scenes from the April 16 Mass for Healing and Hope (pg. 10)
- "Anniversary moments," capturing the range of Sesquicentennial events (pg. 32)
- Close-ups of early diplomas (Holy Cross's and Boston College's) and the University's current one (pg. 13)
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“On nursing,” “Irish eye,” “Greetings, from Ten Sleep,” “Suspended,” “The man who knew,” “Knowing more”
As an alumna of Boston College’s school of nursing, I was delighted to see Amy Sutherland’s article “Rookies” (Winter 2010) on the realities of being a nursing student in today’s health care environment. I’ve always considered being a nurse a privilege and after 38 years of practice still love what I do. Not everyone has the right to assist human beings at their most vulnerable. Every day I know that my colleagues and I have made a meaningful difference in somebody’s life.
So, you can see why I was dismayed when in the same issue I read the prologue entitled “The Shadow” by Ben Birnbaum portraying Florence Nightingale as “strategically manipulative” (“she signed herself ‘deputy inspector of hospitals,’ a pure invention”), among other descriptors. Although never holding a formal position in government, Nightingale was a formidable influence on society’s health, first in England and Europe, today throughout the world. Without data, there can be no analysis, and Florence’s attempt to make order out of chaos is evident in her book Notes on Nursing.
The Connell School of Nursing sets its students on the journey to being nurses and not merely technicians, toward taking care of the whole person and utilizing critical thinking skills. It’s an art. I am proud the tradition continues.
Cecilia McVey ’72
Great article! Overall, being a nursing student at BC was more challenging for me than law school later was. After a 10-plus-hour clinical, I usually grabbed a chicken sandwich at Lower before hitting the books to prepare for the next morning’s quiz or exam. Sleeping five hours a night Monday–Friday during my junior and senior year was definitely not because I spent too much time at Mary Ann’s.
Now that I teach a nursing class, I realize how devoted our clinical instructors were to their students and patients—to those patients we cared for and those we would encounter in the future.
Kathleen M. Kearney ’00
How fortunate the BC nursing students are to have Stacey Barone as their teacher.
Ellen Norton, P’13
It was wonderful to see an article on the CSON experience. As a graduate practicing in an ICU setting, the student nurse years still come back to me. Giving my first bed bath to a patient who apparently died during her bed bath—it went uphill from there! After 45 years in nursing, I love it and know we make a huge difference to our patients.
Eileen McLaughlin ’64, P’88, ’93, ’97
Nursing is a newly discovered profession for men, and I am sorry I did not know about it earlier in life. At age 83, I volunteer one day a week as a nurse in the Salvation Army retirement home, with my wife who is 73.
Gilbert L. Wells, JD’58
How wonderful it was to see Bobbie Hanvey’s photographs (“Homefire“) in the Spring issue. I’ve had a great time exploring the rest of the collection available online. I’m currently working on an MA degree at Queen’s University Belfast, and will be starting my Ph.D. there in September. Northern Ireland is more than a province scarred by wars and bombs; it is also an amazing center for artistic life and a melting pot of cultures and traditions. Hanvey captures its unique essence.
Megan Minogue ’07
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Greetings, from Ten Sleep
To Matthew Morris ’09, author of “Ten Sleep, Wyoming” (Fall 2009): I graduated from Boston College in 1948, and received an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1950. (My father, Fred E. Maguire, Sr., was the baseball coach at BC from the late 1930s through the 1940s.) I now live in Casper, Wyoming, and have been through Ten Sleep many times. My family and I have hunted deer and fished about 30 miles south of there since 1977. It is truly gorgeous country.
Fred E. Maguire ’48
In the Fall 2009 BCM, the cuneiform tablet on page 44 (shown with other antiquities from the Burns Library) is upside down. This is a common display mistake. Unlike our writing system, in which we justify script along an underline, the Sumero-Akkadian cuneiform script was kept orderly by suspending the signs from an “overline.” It was, however, written from left to right, like our own script.
The writer is assistant professor of Old Testament in the department of theology. Below is the tablet, ready for reading.
The man who knew
As a former auditor in both the military and industry, I was intrigued by the story in the Fall 2009 issue “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” by Dave Denison. Harry Markopolos was not an auditor or an accountant, but an extra sharp financial analyst.
Joe Carroll ’53
Re “Drug of Choice” by Gene M. Heyman (Fall 2009): I am a recovering alcoholic and addict, have an MS in substance abuse counseling, board certification in intervention, and a résumé that, according to the courts, makes me an expert on addiction.
It is easy to blame one’s genes for this disease, but having the gene only predisposes you to addiction. Social acceptance of use and the widespread availability of legal and illegal drugs, including alcohol, have resulted in many people without a family history being equally vulnerable to addiction. Oxycontin, for instance, doesn’t require you to have a family history of addiction to make you dependent on it. Everyone who takes a drug of this sort will become physically addicted in time.
We have one death every 28 hours in Palm Beach County from prescription medications alone; this does not include alcohol, heroin, or cocaine. These drugs don’t care if you have the gene. Knowing more about the physiological aspects of addiction is helpful in prevention.
Michael E. Walsh ’85
West Palm Beach, Florida
Editor’s note: On March 1, 2010, as BCM was coming off the presses, the Supreme Court announced it would not, after all, be providing a decision in the case of the Uighur men detained at Guantanamo Bay, for which law professor Daniel Kanstroom had submitted an amici curiae brief endorsed by 67 immigration and constitutional law professors. (See “Prior Knowledge,” Winter 2010.) The Court noted that since the Uighurs had brought suit, “each of the detainees at issue in this case has received at least one offer of resettlement in another country. . . . No court has yet ruled in this case in light of the new facts, and we decline to be the first to do so.” According to Professor Kanstroom, “the Court’s ruling is understandable in light of new facts.” However, he continues, “these issues will recur, and it is unfortunate that the Court has declined for now to resolve these very compelling and fundamental questions while allowing the government to continue to detain people at Guantanamo Bay who present no threat to U.S. national security. This case is about the fundamental limits placed by law on Executive power to imprison people for long periods of time on government-controlled territory. The Court’s delayed resolution leaves the legal regime dangerously unclear.”
Corrections: “Life Plan” (Winter 2010) contained reporting errors derived from an inaccurate third-party account of Landen Williams’s conversation with Portico students. The corrected article, which deletes comments attributed to Mr. Williams that BCM has determined were not made by Mr. Williams. Also, in “Homefire” (Winter 2010), the cause of the fire shown on page 38 is, in fact, unknown.
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