Letters to the Editor

Tiny type and tiny omission
I enjoyed the Spring 2003 edition of the Bulletin and have two comments.

One: The print is hard to read in the articles. I think it is too fine and too small. It does not encourage reading.

Two: The article on Quarry Chapel would have been greatly enhanced had it described where the chapel is situated. A map would have been an excellent addition.

Otherwise, good job.

--Roger Whiteman '51

Editor's note: Quarry Chapel is located on Quarry Chapel Road, approximately two miles from Gambier. The type size in the Bulletin has been increased by half a point.

Thoughts on depression
In an era when, for much of the public, souls seem enriched by ownership of spiffier SUVs and heroic figures are rockers, rappers, and jocks, "Depression: What it Means for Higher Education" (Spring 2003) was a powerful testament to just who are the real honest-to-goodness heroes in our society.

How splendidly the counseling staff in Gambier seems to be toiling, helping those wise enough to realize clinical assistance is not a plague but a virtue. The key measure of the center's success is embodied in one line of the article: "[Students years ago] didn't want to be seen going to counseling. Now they're beating the side door down because they don't care."

Our real heroes travel incognito. They give of their time to good causes. They donate blood. They nurture others. They volunteer at hospitals and other places where suffering abounds. They give freely of their time and energies when asked to help. They are the salt of the earth. They are what civilization has been built upon.

"Neither the lords nor the Shogun can be depended upon to save the country and so our only hope lies in grass-roots heroes," wrote Yoshida Shoin Zenshu.

It is only our intellectual or emotional stupidity that prevents us from recognizing these grass-roots heroes. We are too mesmerized with glamour and glitz; too little with substance.

-- John E. Hartman '47

It was such a pleasure to read "Depression: What it Means for Higher Education" (Spring 2003). We are on staff at the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), and we thank you for bringing attention to this growing problem. DBSA is the leading patient-directed national organization focusing on depression and bipolar disorder. With more than nine hundred support groups across the country, a vital publications schedule of educational brochures, newsletters, and press releases, and a highly interactive Web site, we feel as though DBSA can be an important resource for the Kenyon community. Visit our Web site at http://www.DBSAlliance.org or call 800-826-3632.

-- Sarah Schwenk '01
--Emily Van Hook '01
via e-mail

I left Kenyon at the end of my junior year, never to return.

I suffered from depression in high school but did not really know it until I was diagnosed my sophomore year at Kenyon. I took a semester off and returned to Kenyon, but things would never be the same. I was lucky that my parents did support my decision to seek help, and I took a much-needed three-year hiatus from collegiate life. Two years ago I completed at a local university the bachelor's degree in political science I had begun at Kenyon.

Your piece on depression in the Spring 2003 Bulletin ("Depression: What it Means for Higher Education") helped me revisit the pain and confusion, and take some solace in knowing that so many others go through the hardships of mental illness.

Thank you for having the courage to cover this topic with depth and understanding. I still remember exactly what my Kenyon counselor told me about facing depression: "Depression can really be a positive thing; it's your brain's way of telling you that the old ways of coping with situations are not working anymore, and it's time to change."

I still receive the Bulletin. It makes me happy to look at pictures of what I pretend is my alma mater and remember my days along Middle Path.

--Rebecca Kerman (would be) '98
via e-mail

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