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Letter to the Editor: Choate Controversy
sue lascala nurse practicioner at da
December 15, 2009

It was a relief to come to the Health Center tonight, at the end of Choate Day, and find only two students in our beds. Finally the swine flu is winding down and we are seeing fewer sick kids. I took report from the evening nurse and she left for home. Then I made a cup of coffee, and before starting the night’s tasks I decided to read the November 11 issue of The Scroll that was sitting on my desk. What a treat! It was delightful to read about present students who hail from faraway places, and alumnai who are finding their way in the world.

Their stories intersected nicely with the email I’d read just before leaving home. My son, an ’03 grad, is on an atoll in the South Pacific at the moment, and will soon be in Hawaii where he will continue his work with honeybees. Cool stuff from Deerfield students, past and present.

All of that good feeling melted away, however, when I turned to the last page of The Scroll and read the text in the eye-catching orange square in the lower left corner: Why We’d Rather Be Here Than Choate. Yuck. I was transported as a reader from the pride of accomplishment in Anne Jamison’s story, and the world-experience of Gabor Gurbacs in his, to reading comments calling Choate students sucking parasites. Really. Who are the “disgusting creatures” in this story? Where is the class act?

As a staff member and the parent of an alum, I found the tone and the sentiments inane and disappointing as well as just plain embarrassing, and I have to question the editorial decision-making process that chose to run this feature.

Rivalries are fun, and playing off one another’s perceived weaknesses is a long tradition. But where is the clever word play and humor of bright Deerfield students? This square of text transformed a proud issue of The Scroll into a common tabloid. Diminishing their rivals by listing the reasons they “hate” them makes the Deerfield commentators look small-minded and mean. I felt sad as I placed my issue in the recycling bin.

Susan LaScala, MS, RN-C,

Family Nurse Practitioner

Deerfield Academy Health Center