To the Editors:

"Half-Assed," the title of Judah Isseroff's bi-weekly opinion column, appropriately characterizes Isseroff's recent endeavor to criticize the validity of his fellow students' study abroad experiences.

The article advances a spurious notion that Bowdoin students require four full years on campus to develop an "indelible compass that will facilitate our traveling later in life."

In so doing, it denies the mature outlooks that many kids already possess by their junior year.

Isseroff seeks to woo his readers with a steady stream of ineffective platitudes. I answer in rhetorical turns that express not an individual's abstracted remonstrations, but rather communicate observations from personal experience.

As a student currently abroad (and even while home at Bowdoin), I am never "force-fed" academic experiences: rather, I seek them on my own.

Immaculate cities never emasculate me: indeed, they challenge me to reconcile my own views with those of their inhabitants.

Isseroff's assertion that "a trip to one of the world's preeminent cities disintegrates our fragile sense of purpose" denies a fundamental goal of a Bowdoin education: "to be at home in all lands and in all ages."

Time abroad, if utilized to its greatest advantage, instills the worldliness that Bowdoin seeks in its graduates.


Alex Porter '12