Letters to the Editor
Spring 2009

Chill Inducing

I got goose bumps reading Julene Snyder’s “London Calling” article in the most recent issue of USD Magazine (Fall 2008).

In 2005, I was one of a handful of students studying Plays in Production with professors David Hay and Cynthia Caywood. The article took me right back to that wonderful experience, where every day held a new fascination and the next lesson was just a tube ride away. The program did not have a community service aspect when I attended it; I am so glad that the students are getting to experience yet another facet of that wonderful city while serving as impressive ambassadors for our school and our country.

I saw eight shows while I was in London; under Professor Hay’s rating system I deemed most of them to be “very good,” but I would categorize both my experience there and this article as “exceptional.”
— Rhiannon (Annie) Toth ‘07

Ambivalent Reaction

As someone who’s been a part of the Jamaica program since the very beginning, I’m writing in reference to the story “Stir It Up” (Fall 2008). I feel conflicted about the way the selections from the students’ essays portray the program and, even more so, all that we have been able to accomplish down there. There’s sort of a “woe is me”/negative sense to the words.

In my opinion, Tim Mantoani’s amazing photos tell a much better story than the essay excerpts. The photos portray the joy, the community, the love of life, the students’ service; a message that’s almost contradictory to the way that the essay excerpts portray the program. Even though it’s crucial to highlight such issues and provide a voice for them, I still feel we should be positive about what we’ve done down there and present it in a more optimistic light. After all, you can’t help the world better itself (or Jamaica, for that matter) in just three weeks.

Still, it’s awesome to see such a story in USD Magazine. Even though I’m feeling conflicted, I’m definitely appreciative of the press. There’s no such thing as bad publicity, right?
— John C. Egan ‘08

Lasting Influence

I want to second the sentiments of Paul Bain ‘01 regarding John Bowman in your latest issue (“Letters,” Fall 2008). John was my English teacher at St. Augustine (Saints) in the mid-‘60s — sophomore and senior years, I believe. There were two or three others who also inspired me at Saints, but Mr. Bowman was the one who influenced me to take English as my major at USD.

I graduated in ’73 — the same night he got his master’s, by the way — and along with my parents, he gave me a lifelong love of reading. I probably would have gone on to teaching if not lured to a job with the State of California In 1977. I may yet substitute teach if I can ever afford to retire.

One quirk I picked up from Mr. Bowman was the habit of always having a pen and notepad handy. He used to tell us to keep them by your bed in case you got a brilliant idea in the middle of the night. I haven’t yet but still have the tools ready just in case. Oh, and John still comes to our class of 1966 Saints reunions and looks great.

Our eldest daughter, Meridith, fell in love with USD when I showed her around and she graduated with a pre-law major in 2005. She just finished up at USF Law and we’re waiting on her bar results.
—Tom Miller ‘73

First Class Photos

I just wanted to let you know how beautiful the latest issue of USD Magazine is. The photography that was captured in this issue for the international focus is second to none. I particularly appreciated seeing Joanna Cole’s simply gorgeous photo from her adventure in Liberia (“Change the World, Transform Yourself”). The brief write up regarding her time with Mercy Ships was also compelling. Again, nice job! You should feel very proud.
— Coreen Petti,
Assistant Vice President,
Marketing and Strategic Partnerships