Thank you for David Brittan’s exciting story about Lisa Amatangel, J93, and her quest to scale the highest mountain on each of the seven continents (“Mountains Beyond Mountains,” Winter 2013). It was not only well written but inspirational. I shared it with my son and his wife, and they may be sharing it with the students and staff of the local Montessori school that my ten-year-old granddaughter attends. (My granddaughter is well on her way to being one of those people like Amatangel who “hate to do anything for which they have not thoroughly prepared.” I am not encouraging her, however, to be a mountain climber.)
I just wanted to say thanks for the wonderful, inspiring article “Mountains Beyond Mountains.” I’ve worked in the psychology department since 1989 and probably have met Lisa Amatangel at one time or another through her years as a psychology major. All I can say is—amazing! And I thought climbing the stairs at Massachusetts General Hospital was an accomplishment.
What a story! I feel Lisa Amatangel’s life sends this urgent message to others who are considering new adventures: Please don’t wait. My spouse and I waited, and now health issues will prevent us from much of the travel we had planned on for retirement. If you take nothing else from the tale of Amatangel’s climbs, please realize that whatever you dream of doing, you can do it, somehow, someway, but you must do it now.
A PIVOTAL WAR I read with interest Sol Gittelman’s Think Tank article on the approaching Great War centennial (“The Sleep of Innocence,” Fall 2012). This perceptive piece reminds us of the important role World War I played in setting the stage for the upheavals of the extremely violent twentieth century.
As the diplomat and historian George Kennan said, World War I was the “seminal tragedy” of that century. Many of the most intractable global political, diplomatic, social, and economic issues facing us today can be traced back to it.
At Tufts, I majored in history and political science, with particular emphasis on the American experience. I was preparing for my career with the U. S. Foreign Service, which lasted some thirty-two years. But my constant preoccupation since before graduation has been World War I. I hope that Professor Gittleman’s piece will help my fellow Tuftonians focus on the meaning behind the World War I centennial and the lessons to be learned therein.
GOOD READS When I’m done reading Tufts Magazine, I always forward it to my father. He frequently responds by calling me up to talk about it—he raves about it. Lest you think he’s just a university parent, fanboying, I’ll mention that we also receive, via my younger brother, another alumni magazine, of which he is openly disdainful. “It’s just not as good as the Tufts one,” he’ll say wistfully.
I have to say I share his enthusiasm. The Winter 2013 issue was particularly dear to my heart, as it contained articles that touched on Denali, my namesake (“Mountains Beyond Mountains”), and Amherst, Massachusetts, my hometown (“Amour in Amherst”). There was also a piece by Nan Levinson, my former professor (“Make Art, Not War”). So what I really want to convey to you is thanks. I enjoy the magazine tremendously.
I just received the Winter 2013 issue of Tufts Magazine, and, with rotten weather predicted to start momentarily, I sat down, thumbed through it, and thoroughly enjoyed it. The Editorial We column (“Open Diary”) was very clever and entertaining indeed. Further, the article “Mountains Beyond Mountains,” about Lisa Amatangel, was truly a fascinating account.
I have always loved the idea that Tufts’ mascot is Jumbo the elephant, and I especially enjoyed the elephotos in the Winter 2013 issue of the magazine. They made me think of the Elephant of the Bastille, a statue that existed in nineteenth-century Paris. In Victor Hugo’s Les MisÚrables, Gavroche, the street child, uses it as a shelter.