Spring Summer 09

Editor's Note

Magnet School

I first stepped foot in Hyde Park in September 1993 to study English literature and felt I had arrived at my intended destination, only after a long detour. A Michigan native, I’d applied to and seriously considered Chicago for college—the unglamorous seriousness of the place, and maybe the gargoyles, spoke to me—but gave in to wanderlust and the chance to live in a different part of the country for a while.

Then, between college and graduate school, I worked for a publishing house in New York City. When the company happened to sign a book by the great Chicago teacher, critic, and onetime College dean Wayne Booth, AM’47, PhD’50, I ended up working closely with Booth as his editor’s assistant—a privilege and a real pleasure. He kindly encouraged my ambition to go back to school, even writing a letter of recommendation. Chicago was again exerting its pull. (When I arrived, Booth, ever the gentleman, treated me to an insider’s lunch at the Quad Club, instantly multiplying my sense of belonging by several times just when I felt most outside.)

Life has a way of working out how you thought it might, but with a twist. My life in graduate school was marked with no small wistfulness about the tough Core education that was now going on around me, which I might have had. That was not to be, but I eventually taught in the College, and now I edit this magazine. Apparently they let you do that even if your own requirement-free college education blithely skirted major disciplines like economics and philosophy—and am I glad for it.

With this issue, the Core’s masthead boasts the name of someone who did go to the College, not just someone who still wishes she had: associate editor Carrie Golus, AB’91, AM’93. Carrie’s name will be familiar to readers of the Core, which featured her work in each of its first four issues, and of the Magazine, where she has written for seven years and is a contributing editor. We welcome her alumna’s perspective and her facility in getting distinguished faculty into silly T-shirts.

And with this issue of the Core, our fifth, and the beginning of our third year, we have a request. We’d like to hear from you. What types of articles exert their pull on you? What do you want to see more of, and what less? Are there aspects of campus life we’re missing? Do you know of alumni who have a good story we should look into? We’ll run a formal reader survey in the near future, but in the meantime, we hope you’ll drop a note. Send your thoughts to me at ldemanski@uchicago.edu or at the address on the masthead.—Laura Demanski, AM'94.

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