Please continue to publish letters such as the one from Merton L. Bland (“More Grammar Goofs,” fall 2010). I am disappointed that a linguist would reject rules outright rather than embrace the delicate balance between usage and rules. But we can disagree about such things (and many other things)—that is the very purpose of education, intellectual inquiry, conversation, and a forum such as the university. What is appalling about Mr. Bland’s letter is not his willy-nilly rejection of rules and tradition but his illiberal spirit, expressed in his enjoiner that you “not publish letters” containing material with which he disagrees (“he disagrees with”?). Shame on you, Mr. Bland. I’m glad Mason Spirit published your letter. Even if you are wrong…especially if you are wrong!
Nikolai G. Wenzel, MA Economics ’05 and PhD Economics ’07
Hail to the Other Chief
This interview with Provost Stearns was an anomaly (“Making the Grade,” fall 2010). As an alumnus of four universities including Mason, I don’t remember seeing an article about the provost except to introduce a new one. [The provost] is, I think, one of the most exciting and highly influential positions at any university. Thanks for re-introducing him!
A striking thing about the interview was its candor. For 10 years, I have been principal of an urban public school, and his is the first interview I have read that acknowledged that bitter personnel disputes are rare but difficult. Wow! All too frequently, messages from leaders are so massaged, filtered, and micronuanced that they lack meaning. I have read this article twice so far. When I return to the Washington, D.C., area, if Provost Stearns is teaching a seminar on issues in leadership, I am taking it!
Reggie Robinson, MEd ’95
Calling All Pep Band Alumni
I am in the process of gathering information for the Green Machine and would like to reach out to alumni to find out more about the history of the pep band before the Final Four in 2006. The group has a good grasp of its history since Dr. Michael “Doc Nix” Nickens became director, but stories and artifacts of the pre-Doc Nix era have been difficult to come by. This is because these memories and wonderful stories are organic and stored in your brains!
For this history project, we are seeking game memorabilia, photos, video, articles, most memorable performances, band director names, information about and/or photos of old uniforms, and especially real stories from your days in the band.
With this information, we hope to create a historical “scrapbook” on the band’s website. To participate, please go to georgemasongreenmachine.com/about-us/history-project .