Letters to the Editor Summer 2018

Women in Graduate Science (Charlie Litchfield, University Communications)

Still a Feminist, Still Hoping for Change

President Schill’s comments in support of women [“The Women of the Moment,” OQ, Spring 2018] reminded me of some of my unpleasant experiences while attending and graduating from the UO in the 1970s. I came from a very small rural Oregon school (graduating class of 22 students). There had been high school valedictorians that had flunked out of the UO, so I took the safer road by attending Lane Community College, then attending UO for a year, and then getting a degree from OSU that was not available at the UO. I came back a few years later and got a bachelor of science in computer science and business.

Being a feminist was a new concept during the 1970s, and I was one. Being from a rural area, I was naïve and didn’t understand that business was considered a male field. I wasn’t into the idea that women couldn’t take what they wanted in college. I was one of about four women in most of my business classes, with 20 to 30 males. I was told repeatedly by the males that I was denying a seat that a man should be sitting in. The professors were equally, but not quite as vocal, about their disdain for women in their classes. There were even men that told me women didn’t have a place in college because they just didn’t last in jobs due to getting married and having babies. It was more like 1870 than 1970. Due to my rebellious nature, I didn’t quit and went on to experience #MeToo moments at jobs, interviews, and a failed Army reserve career (they decided I couldn’t be promoted because I didn’t have battlefield experience). And even in retail stores where old men felt they could grab young women. Eugene must have been a men’s empire during the 1970s. I left for Seattle in 1979.

The computer science major was a different experience. It was new and there wasn’t a designation of a male or female field yet. That changed sometime in the 1990s when it was determined to be a male field.

I’m happy to see the UO has changed for the better over the years. I continue to be a feminist and can only hope that society continues to improve its treatment of women.

Sherry Wysong, BS ’77 (computer and information science)

Woodinville, Washington


Harmonic Convergence at the Hult

It was great to see Stan Micklavzina featured in the last issue for his role in the wonderful production of “Tesla,” the multimedia production performed at the Hult Center in January. It would have been even greater to see more acknowledgment of the brilliant young UO faculty members of Harmonic Laboratory who created and produced the event: Brad Garner, John Park, BA ’03 (multimedia design), Jeremy Schropp, PhD ’11 (music composition), MMus ’12 (intermedia music technology), and Jon Bellona, MMus ’11 (intermedia music technology). Keep us posted for future events from Harmonic Laboratory.

Helen Park, BA ’74 (Asian studies), MEd ’90 (curriculum and instruction)

Eugene, Oregon


Grateful Memories Outside Autzen

Reading that Dead & Company would play Autzen this summer brought back good memories. My husband and I (both grads of 1982), were lucky enough to see Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead the summer of ’87, and the Robert Cray Band with the Dead the summer of ’88. The music and experience was unforgettable. The parking lot at Autzen Stadium was transformed into a village of tents, music drifting through the crowds, with little fires burning everywhere as a smoky haze rose above the Dead Heads in tie-dye dancing and selling their wares. Everyone wore a smile on their face. Now, as I return to Autzen for football games, albeit sporting “a touch of gray,” the parking lot is a different scene. However, everyone still has a smile on their face.

Elisa M. deCastro Hornecker, BA ’82 (international studies)

Portland, Oregon


Corrections:

In the Spring 2018 issue, the title of the book Roadside Geology of Oregon (second edition), by Marli Miller, a senior instructor in earth sciences, was misprinted. Also in that issue:

  • The credit for the image of alumnus James Ivory on page 16 should have gone to Amanda Garcia of University Communications.
  • Finally, OQ acknowledges, sheepishly, that in a mention in Class Notes, Mount Kilimanjaro was erroneously placed in South Africa, not Tanzania, East Africa.