Letters to the editor of the Boston Globe Magazine

College admissions, racial identity, and misbehaving pets pique readers’ interests.

An Examination of College Crunch Time

The [college admissions] process is as daunting as authors Beth Teitell and Ken Mandl make it, and there are folks who do take it to an extreme (“A Diagnostic Manual of Admissions Afflictions,” October 27). I’m on my third and thankfully final go-round with this process and have seen parents exhibiting all of these behaviors (and worse). I’m guilty of a few myself!


posted on bostonglobe.com

I haven’t laughed so hard reading something since Dave Barry’s “Year in Review.” A+ with extra credit.

Ray Hodgdon


Back when I was thinking about going to college, I applied to three schools (without parental guidance or site visits), and got into all three. It never occurred to me, based on my SAT score and high school transcript, that I wouldn’t. The current process, which begins at kindergarten, has created a generation of students on anti-anxiety meds and parents riddled with the problems illustrated in the article. Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin are merely the public faces of an endemic problem.



posted on bostonglobe.com

Excellent piece! My son is a Newton South senior and his brother a freshman at Arcadia University in London, awaiting his January Brandeis spot. How true!

Jayne Lewis


I understand what the authors are trying to do, but the joke is not funny. Why are riffs on psychiatric diagnoses necessary for this article? I work as a clinical psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, performing psychological and neuropsychological evaluations for clinically and culturally diverse children. Obsessive compulsive disorder, phobias, elimination disorders, psychosis, panic disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, agoraphobia, and catatonia deserve our clinical attention, care, and compassion — not our laughs.

Hillary Hurst Bush


A Look at Racial Identity

I am the product of two different races and have encountered the same thing that the Perspective author, Karina E. Cuevas (“I’m Black. My Siblings Aren’t. What People Need to Know About Latinos and Diversity,” October 27), has experienced, from both races. I don’t “look” 100 percent like either race — I am too dark for one and too light for the other. I am very proud of both sides of my heritage even if some people are surprised by it, and I don’t deny either side. Sadly, “cosmetics” are the first thing people see and use to identify you. It has nothing to do with genetic makeup or being proud of your heritage.



posted on bostonglobe.com

Sad indeed. My daughter is from another country (adopted) and at 10 years old, she tells us what she “wishes” she was. “Cosmetics” be damned — it doesn’t define you and it takes a strong person to not let it define you. We have a lot of work to do in our family and in this world to overcome the self doubt and societal judgment that’s thrown on our children.


posted on bostonglobe.com

The author says: “My mom had already cursed Mr. Tonato out. And she had every right to do so” [for asking if the author’s brother was adopted] . That [response] is equally as bad as the behavior she cited — cursing people for ignorance only creates a deeper divide. Cuevas wrote a thought provoking and deeply personal article, that is the best way to educate.


posted on bostonglobe.com

Confronting A Pet Peeve

Thank you to Miss Conduct for her words of wisdom for dog owners (“Put a Leash on It,” October 27). I like dogs OK but I’m not what you’d call a dog lover — they are a breed unto themselves. The two favorite refrains of dog owners that I don’t particularly admire are: “I am in complete control of my dog . . . Fido, NO!” And “My dog would never do that . . . Fido, NO!”



posted on bostonglobe.com

I’ve found that dog owners are very good about restraining dogs when I say I am very allergic. Perhaps instead of trying to explain non-medical reasons for not wanting a dog to jump on you or lick you, a white lie would be more effective. It’s stupid that you might have to lie, but it might save time and trouble.


posted on bostonglobe.com

I’ll offer no excuses. I just don’t like dogs. I don’t want any dog jumping on me or sniffing me. I just say “Please keep your dog away from me.” Most dog owners comply. A few say “My dog is fine” or “He won’t hurt you.” I repeat “Keep your dog away from me.” I’m not going to claim an allergy or a fear of dogs. I’m just going to express my need. I’m not a monster. I’m outgoing and friendly. I’m just missing that animal-loving gene.


posted on bostonglobe.com

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