UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO / Spring 2010
[counterpoints]
Letters to the Editor
Spring 2010

Details Great and Small

USD Magazine is always outstanding, but this time I simply must mention and congratulate you on the photography. The portrait photos by Tim Mantoani and others, which reveal such character; the little boy by Susan Graunke, with every hair shining and even the knitting on the shirt underscoring the tenderness of the photo; and the incredible photograph of Elizabeth Olinger by Richard Wood, with all the detail of grass and old wood and dog’s fur were truly wonderful. The magazine always makes me proud to have been associated with USD.

— Alice HayesFormer USD President

 

Hard Work So Worth It

I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading the most recent editorial in USD Magazine (“When Nothing is Easy, ” Fall 2009). I could relate 100 percent to everything from being the smart kid, to going through those insufferable teenage years where putting any value on your education takes the back seat, and then being truly inspired in college. However, this article wasn’t just about re-igniting the mind, this was about working hard and how wonderful it feels to accomplish your goal.

I read this to our oldest daughter who is in graduate school, and also to another daughter who is an undergrad. I too, felt inspired to finish some unfinished tasks in my life. Thank you for the inspiration and the wonderful reminder about studying and working hard, and the sweet reward of doing so.

— Jennifer MacLaggan

Every Little Nuance

A word of thanks to Nathan Dinsdale for the excellent article concerning Juan José Alfonso (“Wide World of Deportes,” Fall 2009). He has captured my former student’s personality and speech patterns right down to the commas and ellipses.

Although years may pass before we educators hear how well a student has succeeded in the “real world,” not once have we doubted, not once have we lost faith in them. We merely regret how conditions do not permit us to tell them personally of our pride.

Thanks to your article and this response, at least Juan will have no doubts concerning his former mentor — or is it taskmaster? — in French and journalism.

— Paul Reed Arigan

Dedication Pays Off

I enjoyed Dr. Malachowski’s “point of view” (“That Eureka Moment,“ Fall 2009). Just as Dr. Williams influenced Dr. Malachowski, I would like to point out that Dr. Malachowski has undoubtedly influenced many of his students — including myself — to work hard and realize our potential. I was one of his “over 100″ research students that passed through his laboratory; it’s hard to believe he’s been there 25 years. I would bet a lot of money that nearly all of his former “researchers“ are successful today, no matter what field they have chosen. I am constantly amazed by the high level of success of so many USD graduates around the globe in the arts, sciences, medicine and more.

My experience with organic chemistry led me to be a research assistant with Dr. M. After USD, I worked as a chemist for a year before I went into medicine. Although I did not stay involved in chemistry, the hard work required to succeed in organic chemistry helped me get through graduate school and residency. I recall classmates frequently asking me how I was able to do well in a class like organic chemistry when they struggled. Though some of them thought I was really bright, I think they were wrong. It was really just hard work and dedicating time to learning the material; these developed into habits that have helped me for 11 years in podiatric medicine and surgery.

In studies of true expertise, researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number: 10,000 hours. I would take a guess that Dr. M. probably has spent more than 10,000 in his lab and classroom!

Dr. Malachowski deserves some props, and USD is lucky to still have him!

— Greg Still, DPM ’91

Opportunity Knocks

I was so pleased to read the article about Nick Yorchak (”Just a Click Away,” Fall 2009), since he is my son! As a USD alum myself, I am hearing from my fellow classmates who also saw and read the article.

One of the keys to Nick’s success after graduation was his internship while at USD. We hope more USD students will take advantage of the opportunities that internships can offer them.

— John Yorchak ‘78