Pop Quiz / Reading List: May-June 2003

Writer: 
June 1, 2003

 

Pop Quiz

 

We asked several students: What are your plans for the summer?

Mary Grimley, a rising senior, is working with babies. "I'm here at Duke doing research in the Infant Perception Lab." The lab explores infants' perception of and actions upon objects. At the other end of life, Ruby Lekwauwa, who will be a junior, will attend Wake Forest University to study geriatric depression and insomnia. "I think depression is really interesting, and I didn't really know much about it in geriatric populations (wherein it has slightly different symptoms). I think internships are the best way to learn, much better than just reading. But I'll have to make some money; I'll probably be working at the mall, too."

Jeremy Kim, Kevin Waldrep, and Jon Weiss, all rising juniors, should get to know one another; they're all taking classes here for the summer. Weiss says he just wants to get requirements out of the way. Waldrep, an economics major, says, since he was going to be around anyway, he figured, why not study organic chemistry? Kim, an engineering student from Korea, is in summer school, he says, because "I don't like to waste time."

Also a rising junior, Vijay Varma, an English and African American studies double major, is going to Tanzania. "I don't know what I'm going to do there, yet. But I'm definitely going." Ernest Adimora-Nweke Jr., who is from Nigeria and is entering his junior year, is spending a summer in the Hamptons. "I'm a camp counselor at the Boys and Girls Harbor. I'll be working with foster kids from Harlem and Long Island doing arts and crafts, water sports, all kinds of stuff."

A couple of students are planning to hang out in the woods. Says Leslie Jantarasami, a rising senior, "I'm working in an ecology laboratory in the Nicholas School of the Environment doing research on nitrogen recycling in the Duke Forest." Elizabeth Daryberry, a graduate student in biology, is "doing field research in the central Rocky Mountains in Nevada."

Sophomore to-be Mimi Zhang's summer break may not be long enough. I'm writing some short stories and I have an interview for a teaching job with the Kaplan Test Center in San Diego, where I live. Plus I want to learn how to play drums. And piano, I need to practice that, too. And then in July I'm off to England for a six-week Duke in Oxford program. Then back to teach a house course on Arthurian legends. Other than that, I'm just going to chill out."

Reading List

We asked several professors for their picks of the best book on war.

Ted Triebel, a Vietnam veteran, visiting lecturer in public policy studies, and former Pentagon official whose last post was as the Navy's Head of Western Hemisphere Plans and Policy Branch, recommends Waging Modern War by Wesley K. Clark, general and former supreme allied commander in Europe. His book focuses on the conflict in the Balkans, specifically U.S. and NATO military operations in Yugoslavia and the Kosovo campaign in 1999. "It reveals the complex nature of modern war--a war driven by technology, international law, twenty-four-hour news coverage, and constant public scrutiny all within a highly political coalition environment. As General Clark states, 'this is how we won, seen from the cockpit of strategic command.'"

Says Maureen Quilligan, chair of the English department, "my favorite book on war is Milton's epic, Paradise Lost. He called war 'tedious havoc.' I first read it during the Vietnam War in the midst of student strikes at the University of California at Berkeley and first taught it at Harvard University during another student strike. It wears well."

For Alex Roland Ph.D. '74, history professor and a marine in the Vietnam War, "the most important question in military history is 'Why do people fight?' More important, why do they soldier on when they have once encountered the horror of combat?" No one, says Roland, has come closer to answering these questions than J. Glenn Gray, author of The Warriors: Reflection on Men in Battle. "Gray was a philosopher who received his draft notice in World War II in the same mail that brought news of his Ph.D. being awarded by Columbia University. He served four years as an intelligence officer in Europe. Fifteen years after the war, he returned to Europe to talk to former allies and enemies, review his own letters and diaries, and ruminate on his experience. The result was an honest, eloquent, insightful meditation on the horror and allure of war."

" What's the opposite of 'embedded journalism'? " asks Steve Schewel '73, Ph.D. '82, visiting assistant professor of public policy studies and founder and former editor of the Durham-based Independent. "Try Michael Herr's Dispatches, a gonzo journalist's Vietnam truth, the war on speed--funny, angry, strange, violent, and very personal. It's how we dropped 110,000 tons of bombs to defend Khe Sanh and left it empty one month later. It's taking bullets through the underside of a chopper. It's chaos, killing, and dying in Hue; the inside of a body bag; the slogan on a Marine's helmet: 'Hell Sucks.'"