Letters (Page 2)

Letters (Page 2) McGill University

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ALUMNI QUARTERLY - winter 2008
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Home > McGill News > 2000 > Summer 2000 > Letters > Letters (Page 2)

Just too busy

The 80th anniversary issue has a lot of interesting information, but the layout and confusion of typefaces make it very difficult to read. Unfortunately, there is a fad for graphic artists to want to make a magazine look like a computer screen, when one of the advantages of the written word is that it invites more leisurely perusal. (The quote from Cyril James on page 27 is only too apt a negative commentary on what you are presenting.)

If this were a computer screen, one could click on the individual items for further information, but since it isn't, it is a jumble. If you flip through, the pages look like nothing but ads with little or no text. And one of the advantages of the kind of education we received at McGill is that we did learn to read in more than sound bites. We hope.

Sally H. Sheehy, BSc'60
New Canaan, Conn.

Ed. note: In the article referred to on Cyril James, he speculated that reading could be a lost art by the year 2000 and that education might be carried out "entirely by visual aids and radio." He had an inkling of the future, certainly, because he talked of long-distance chess games transmitted via colour TV, and McGill will soon offer a number of programs online.

The Anniversary Issue was conceived as a scrapbook, full of photos and mementos of each era. Compressing eight decades into 28 pages unfortunately left little room for depth.

Date debate

Not being a McGill graduate myself, I am not in a position to question the logic of someone who is. However, reading the letter concerning what constitutes a decade, I felt rather uncomfortable. I thought that when I had reached the age of ten years, I had, on that exact day, been on this earth for exactly ten years. The first day of the first year of Jesus Christ on this earth would have been for Him and for us the same. After 365 days He was one year old, after 3650 (3652?) days, He was ten years old, ready to start His eleventh year or second decade.

So, I am firmly convinced that the 1st of January 2000 was the day that the 21st century started, 2000 years having been completed on the 31st of December 1999.

J. F. Beckman
(father of two McGill grads)
via fax

Inspiring airman

Reading about the remarkable success of the 1957 student production, My Fur Lady, prompts me to write to you about one of its composers, Galt MacDermot. As you report, he studied arranging at McGill and rose to considerable fame by writing the music for Hair and subsequently won a Tony Award for his score for Two Gentlemen of Verona.

The 71-year-old Montreal native has appeared at Carnegie Hall many times and is still performing. Most recently he was the star attraction at a Nashville concert, playing piano selections from a repertoire produced over 50 years.

But he has also played less publicly over the years at Montreal's Fulford Residence, where his mother lived until her death in 1994 and his aunt, Sara MacDermot, who will be 100 next January, is one of the oldest residents. Many an afternoon MacDermot would slip quietly into the living room to play for his mother, his aunt and others who were fortunate to be within earshot. In September, MacDermot will appear in a Cabaret Evening in Montreal to benefit Fulford Residence, whose officers include McGill grads Susan (Luke) Hill, BCom'61, Mary Jane (Whiting) MacDonald, BScN'62, and Sheila (Campbell) Robertson, BSW'84.

Anyone wishing to catch his performance can call (514) 933-7975 for information.

Ian McLachlin, BEng'60
Montreal, Que.

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