TOPICThe article "Untamed Sands," which appeared in...

A HOT

September 18, 1994

A HOT TOPIC

The article "Untamed Sands," which appeared in the Sun Magazine July 17, was overall an excellent piece. Missing from the article, however . . . are two significant points. . . .

One is that the sand being pumped onto the beach is not the same as the sand formerly there, it is browner and coarser. This may seem trivial, but walking across it on hot days can be a very painful experience. The old white sand did not blister the feet as this will. I know this to be true because I have been a longtime visitor to the beach (since the 1950s) and don't recall ever seeing people sprinting across the white sand to escape the intense heat.

The other is that the new sand appears to have destroyed just about all of the marine life that once thrived in the littoral zone of the beach, and that is an ecological disaster. It may return if beach rebuilding ceases, but that will probably take a very long time.

John S. White.

Stewartstown, Pa.

A HAND FOR DANCER

Editor: Bouquets to Glenn McNatt for his story (Reggie Thomas, the expert hand dancer -- Sun Magazine -- 8-14-94). This article brought back memories of the exciting jitterbug contests held in the Madison Square Garden in New York.

Too many of us are not aware that a person can enjoy the pleasure of tripping the light fantastic . . . even if you are not a pro. For me, ballroom dancing is a pleasant form of therapy. Whenever I enter a studio, I feel as though I am in a wonderful world beyond.

Attention Reggie Thomas: My friends and I hope that you will be invited to display your talent on public television.

Joseph Lerner

Baltimore

MISLEADING 'TRUTH'

Editor: As a recent Hopkins graduate, I was excited to see an article written by a fellow student being published -- until I read it. Then I was embarrassed. Perhaps Mike Gluck did not miss his parents when he was an entering college freshman. However, it is inappropriate that he translate his experience (or else his narrowsighted view of others' experiences) into the sweeping generalities published in his essay in the Sun Magazine of 8/14.

To pose Gluck's insight as the "truth" to parents is disheartening and misleading. As a member of the Office of Residential Life Staff at Hopkins for two years, I met and worked closely with members of two consecutive entering freshmen classes. In addition, I have my own freshman experience to draw from. I feel very qualified to set the record straight: The majority of freshmen miss their families and homes terribly though they may not admit it to their new college friends, to their families or to themselves. In seeking a personal individual identity, the first reaction of the "entering" freshman is to establish that they like being on their own and can survive without their family.

Part of "not missing parents" is a self-reassurance and also a protection to the parents. Nobody wants to worry their parents by expressing that they're having a difficult time away from home. Maybe if Gluck were part of the RA staff which he thinks is "paid a lot" of money for their services, he would understand the entering freshman's psyche a little better.

P.S. Another correction to Gluck's "truth" is necessary: RA's are paid nothing. They are given free room and board, which is minimal compensation for the time, effort and dedication that is required by their position.

Sari K. Uricheck

Laurel Springs, N.J.

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