Letters to the Editor Autumn 2021

Oregon Quarterly Autumn 2021

Whitelaw Fueled a Lifelong Fascination

I read in Oregon Quarterly that Professor Ed Whitelaw had passed away. Add me to the scores of students whose time at UO was transformed by his teaching. Decades ago, I took his introductory class and found his presentation so completely captivating that I enrolled in another of his classes, then another and so on, until I discovered I was only a couple classes shy of a minor in economics, so I took those as well. Although I didn’t pursue a career in the subject, his lectures established for me a lifelong fascination for economics, for which I entirely credit the remarkable Professor Whitelaw.

Kimberly Robinson, BA ’88 (international studies)

Sammamish, Washington


No Substitute for Hard Work

My advice to those looking at going to college (“Boosting the Burnout Generation,” spring 2021): parents need to be setting a good example of money management and be setting aside some money; kids need to work and set aside money; kids need to get good grades and high SAT scores. The dumbing down of SATs or eliminating them is not helpful toward rewarding work and developing successful, good employees. Our society has taken away many opportunities for work for kids, and what a mistake! Kids willing to work long, hard hours can work for the state forestry or USFS on the fire lines and make good money, much more than working at most entry-level jobs.

Choices have consequences. You chose to go into debt. Quit whining and get to work paying for it. I didn’t advise my kids to acquire any debt, except a house. Get a car you can truly afford, pay off credit cards in full every month, or tear them up. I wish our economy was based on such responsible money management and that our government opposed public debt. That is the real risk these young adults can’t control with self-discipline when it comes to their financial well-being.  

Granella Thompson, MMus ’78 (music education)

Weston, Oregon


Sprinting Past the Summer Sprinklers

It was great to read the Quarterly again after a long hiatus and have a window into some of the interesting and important things now occurring on campus.

On a lighter note, I wonder if there are any other old Ducks who attended summer sessions in the ’50s or ’60s who remember the large lawn in the center of the campus that was watered during the day by large sprinklers on a timer.

In order to avoid walking all around the edge of the lawn to get to class, you could save time by dashing diagonally across. Of course, the objective was to make a “dry run,” only possible if your timing was perfect and you were sure-footed. Otherwise, you ended up “all wet.”

Robert Gilman, MEd ’60 (education)

Fernandina Beach, Florida

We want to hear from you. Submit your letters by email to quarterly@uoregon.edu, at OregonQuarterly.com, or by mail to Editor, Oregon Quarterly, 5228 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-5228. Published letters may be edited for brevity, clarity, and style.