Mailbox Letters From You
A Refreshed Response
Congrats on the new format and content. Wow! You keep outdoing yourself.
I was thrilled to read about Steve Mitchell (“Healing in the Heart of the City,” Autumn 2010). My wife, Joleen, and I were high school leaders at Steve's church many, many years ago and he was one of our students.
Seattle City Council
Since graduating from Seattle Pacific College in 1948, I have only had an incidental and limited contact with the school. Thus it was both a pleasant surprise and a pleasure to receive an unexpected copy of Response. I have had some awareness of the school’s development and progress … but what is today portrayed in your magazine is not the school I remember from the late 1940s. The changes that have taken place over the past 60 years are certainly for the better while remaining true to the school's intent and purpose. …
Richard S. “Dick” Wright ’48
After moving through the weighty articles in the most recent Response, it was quite satisfying to turn the final page and hit the “Photo Finish” featuring Professor Emerita of Nursing Ruby Englund and the article about the lowly bedpan.
The page, a piece of art itself, looks like it came from Fast Company, The Atlantic, or other magazines that seek to both educate and entertain. The design was appropriately retro in nature, but refreshingly contemporary in its treatment of such a — shall we say — delicate subject. As for the writing, Clint Kelly did a superb job of teasing out the intrigue of what otherwise could be dismissed as uncouth, potty humor.
Congratulations on your revisions to Response. It is quite an attractive piece and nicely organized around a theme. The photos and stories tell many wonderful personal stories as well as giving a great composite picture of the influence of SPU and the work being done by faculty and alumni. … I particularly enjoyed the picture and note about Ruby Englund’s special collection on the inside back cover.
Barbara O. Korner
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, Pennsylvania
What a great, thought-provoking magazine. Every edition has some article that gets torn out and sent to a friend, leads me to a website of interest, inspires me, or simply catches me up with someone I know from within the SPU community. I enjoy it much more than my own alum publications!
The Art and Science of Healing
It takes me a while to get through an issue of Response, but that is simply because I want to read every article! The Autumn 2010 issue focused greatly on health care, and since I am a teacher, I was interested in getting a glimpse into another profession. It is amazing, though, how similar health care and education are. I became inspired by "When Doctors Tell Tales." Just as doctors need to listen more to better understand the personal story of the patient, teachers would greatly benefit from the same advice. …
When we understand parents’ dreams for their children, and when we take time to ask questions like, “What can I do to help you better understand your child's learning progress?” or “How can I support you with your child's homework?” we might be making our own work day longer, but as Volck said, “There are worse places for a doctor (or teacher!) to sit.”
Hannah Tchobanoff ’00, M.Ed. ’07
I just finished reading the Autumn 2010 Response publication cover-to-cover. As a nursing student from San Jose State University and a graduate of medical social work from Pacific Lutheran, I felt a bond with the messages shared in the series of articles on health care and medical professionals. The article by President Philip Eaton, “A Healing Way,” was especially poignant and right on point. He says that to truly deliver good health care we must have more than highly skilled and competent health care professionals; we must have a medical team that with compassion, and gentleness, and a deep savvy about the deeper dimensions of healing.
Eaton speaks a profound truth. I know this firsthand. On October 9, 2006, my twin grandsons were born prematurely at 24 weeks gestation. A full-term pregnancy is 40 weeks. These twins weighed just a pound each and were in neonatal intensive care for the first six months of their lives. The list of life-threatening catastrophes the babies battled is long. Every member of their medical team brought expert skills and competence to the job, but the ones who actually saved the lives of these babies were the ones who brought compassion to their work. The babies’ vitals would rebound when they heard the voice of a compassionate caregiver. On more than one occasion, usually in the wee hours of the night, I came across the chief of medicine leaning into the isolette and words of encouragement speaking to a critically ill baby. We will forever be grateful to these professionals for saving our babies. … This story of compassionate medical professionals is told in a book published in 2010, A Pound of Hope. …
Alumni of the Year: “Bright Lights” in Seattle
When I read in the latest Response that Scott and Pam Nolte had been named SPU's 2011 Alumni of the Year, my initial reaction was, "Of course!" A great choice.
I remember back in my SPU days, when in a class Pam and I compared notes on how the gospel of Christ could be shared in two different communication fields that represented our respective distinct career “callings.” In her case, it was drama; in my case, it was journalism. I still recall the excitement she conveyed about the world of the theater and how it could bless lives.
Because she and Scott shared that vision and persisted in it, today — about 35 years later — Taproot Theatre has survived so many obstacles and is a notably bright light in the Seattle area. …
I also must commend the Noltes for their three and a half decades of marriage. It's a wonderful example of love and commitment.
John Fortmeyer ’77
Editor and Publisher, Christian News Northwest
But the impact of the theatre program goes beyond the world of the arts. I am an ESL teacher and regularly draw on my theatre education to hone my students’ oral fluency. Kudos at this 50-year mark especially to George and Claire Scranton, the Nolte family, and James and Joyce Chapman who influenced so many like me by not only developing acting skills, but also providing encouragement and support during the formative college years.
Kirsten Axe Lund ’84
A Response Request
As a graduate of SPU, I enjoy reading Response magazine and catching up with the people and activities of the university. The content of the magazine is always enlightening and reflects SPU's special contribution to the world. However, there is rarely any mention of SPU's political science department. As a political science major, I found that the professors of the political science department made an invaluable and lasting impression on my education and career. I know the professors' instruction and insights are unique to SPU and its mission of engaging the culture and changing the world. Considering the far-reaching impacts of national and global events, the study of political science and international affairs is vital. The education I received at SPU gave me a firm foundation in these areas and I would enjoy seeing the political science department highlighted in a future issue of Response. Thank you for all the hard work you put into writing and publishing the magazine. I always look forward to reading it.
Cordelia Sinclair ’03