Gender-neutral Bosch?

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the most recent issue of the Spark. I’m writing with a minor comment regarding the “Ask Anonymous” section at the end of the issue. In the response Anonymous Bosch provides Bullied, the author begins by questioning why readers seem to assume that he is male. However, at the top of this page, the text encourages readers to send questions to “Anonymous” and “we’ll give him your query.” I just wanted to point out this minor detail that may explain why readers are assuming a “Mr. Bosch” rather than a “Ms. Bosch.” Perhaps a change to the wording of this text will avoid future gender assignment for Anonymous Bosch.

James Los ’13
East Lansing, Mich.

Crystal clear

crystalCourtesy of SnowCrystals Inc., used with permission

Maybe you remember that morning, quite a few years ago. It was early spring; the snow was gone, but the flowers had not yet appeared, and the leaf buds on the trees had just barely begun to show. I arrived for my early morning class to find the Knollcrest campus shrouded in fog. There was just a hint of breeze from the north, hardly a whisper. The temperature was just below freezing, and the trees and shrubs were glorious white in their coats of frosting, awesome beyond words.

On the tips of the branches on the north sides of the shrubs and trees, however, there was no white hoarfrost, but crystals of perfectly clear ice, beautifully symmetric six-sided crystals. They were somewhat like the one pictured at left but with perfectly flat surfaces, and, of course, attached to the branches. The larger ones were about one inch across and about one-tenth of an inch in thickness.

I stood in awe and wonder at the beauty and design in this little bit of God’s artistic handiwork. In retrospect, my response should have led me to dash back home to get my old Argus C-3 camera and to take lots of close-up photos to preserve the images on film. But that’s not what I did. I met my class and spent the entire class time indoors. By the time I got back to look, the fog had dissipated, the air had warmed and the magic was gone.

Do any of the readers of this story remember that morning? Did you, perhaps, show better sense than I did and take photos of the frost-coated trees and shrubs and, I hope, some close-up photos of the ice crystals? I would be forever grateful if I could have copies of such photos. But if not, I’ll have to be content with the images in my memory, as long as memory lasts, of that magical, misterious morning on the Knollcrest campus.

Clarence Menninga ’49, Calvin geology professor emeritus
Grand Rapids, Mich.

More kudos for Rhonda

I’d like to add to Warren Boer’s remembrances of Rhonda Berg, who was not only wont to wander out of her director’s office but to ask casual questions of students wandering in the stacks. I think I was assisted by both Warren and Rhonda on a paper I wrote on St. John of Chrysostom for Dr. Gordon Spykman during spring break of ’84. Please pass on my best wishes to a wonderful team of research librarians. Nowhere else have I been treated so humanely, with dignity and respect by people who know the heritage and its implications.

Kathleen Van Arragon Broer ’84
Waterloo, Ont.

Reading list addition

Thanks for the Redlands, Calif., issue (spring 2014). Speaking of California, I believe East of Eden has been referred to as a retelling of the book of Genesis. Some of those corresponding with Spark [on origins] might enjoy reading John Steinbeck’s story.

Paul DeWaard ’75
Redlands, Calif.