In the fall of 1993, when there was no natural gas, water, or electricity [in Sarajevo], the favorite joke going the rounds was this: Whats the difference in Auschwitz and Sarajevo? In Auschwitz, they had gas. I heard that joke more than 50 times from more than 50 different people. Christopher Merrill, director of the International Writing Program, noting the power of black humor to relieve pressure in times of great political crisis (USA Today, Oct. 5).
At some level we all see ourselves in the stories about people who have lost loved ones. John Harvey, professor of psychology, looking into the heart of the anxiety and sadness following the September 11 attacks and finding empathy there (Los Angeles Times, Oct.7).
You have to take criticism gallantly. You have to remember that its intended in good faith, it can be useful if you make it useful, and you dont owe it anything. Marilynn Robinson, professor in the Writers Workshop, offering sage advice to her writing students (Iowa City Press-Citizen, Oct. 8).
[Osama] bin Laden is not the spokesperson for Islam any more than Jerry Falwell is a spokesperson for Christianity. Reza Aslan, visiting professor of religion, promoting a better understanding of Islamic people rather than blanket mistrust (Iowa City Press-Citizen, Oct. 9).
Unless health insurance is made more affordable, the number of
uninsured Americans is likely to continue growing over time. Mary
Sue Coleman, University president, reporting the findings of a National
Academy of Sciences committee she cochaired (Washington Post, Oct.