Duke University Alumni Magazine

What are the implications of the arrest by British authorities--for human-rights violations--of Chile's General Augusto Pinochet?

The tragedy of my country was that we could not put the murderers and violators on trial. That is the pact we have signed, the consensus we have reached. Our ambiguous freedom depended on coexisting with the dictator's shadow and more than his shadow, with his presence as a senator for life in a senate that he himself closed down.

I cannot predict if Pinochet will be released or if he will stand trial, whether this sets a precedent and warns all dictators to be wary or whether this becomes just another brave yet failed attempt to globalize justice as finance and communications have been globalized. Whatever the outcome, this faraway act of justice, rather than a form of meddling in our internal affairs as Margaret Thatcher has suggested, should be considered a gift to Chile, a unique opportunity to face our common future, which Pinochet had hidden from us.

In one sense, of course, the fractured antagonistic zones of my country have become more intransigent than before. Pinochet's followers, used to having their way, in love with their own invulnerability, are furious and threaten retaliation. The victims feel

vindicated and, after decades of suffering, will not give an inch in their demands. And the buffeted government tries to mediate and is pressed from one and the other. And yet my hope is that this

turbulence may be transitory and will be replaced by maturity. We should be able to withstand the spectacle of Pinochet's trial, the very trial that we are witnessing at this moment, as he stands accused in front of the eyes of all mankind.

It should be a cleansing experience, the start of what could be a healing of my nation, a real rather than a sham reconciliation.

--Ariel Dorfman, a Chilean writer, is Walter Hines Page Research Professor of literature and Latin American studies (excerpted from the Los Angeles Times and the Evening Standard)

"In the popular mind, the Exodus story is still one of the cornerstones of the biblical narrative. I'm thrilled they made this movie about it. The Exodus narrative is important, and I think people who see the movie will go away thinking and asking questions about it."
-- Religion professor Eric Meyers, who, with his wife, religion professor Carol Meyers, advised DreamWorks during the production of The Prince of Egypt

"Our highest priority in Arts and Sciences is to recruit a number of outstanding senior (full and associate) professors to replace the losses in the humanities, with particular emphasis on rebuilding the English department."
-- Provost John Stohbehn, in a report called "Duke University at the Millennium"

"I think that as a college population, there is definitely a lot of risky behavior going on, and people don't necessarily take safety precautions."
-- Trinity junior Alexa Panagoulis, who organized for World AIDS Day a week's display in the Bryan Center of sixty-four panels from the NAMES Project's AIDS Memorial Quilt, acknowledging the lack of AIDS awareness on campus

In December, while most people were in the throes of holiday shopping, Duke undergrads were in the middle of final exams.
We asked an unlucky thirteen: How many hours of sleep did you get last night?

"Six and a half hours, which is less than I normally get. I woke up early for an exam. When exams are over, I'll go out to lunch with some good friends, then just pack my car and go home. But if I'm too tired, I may just stay here, which I have a feeling is going to happen."
--Evan Goldstein, Trinity senior

"I got a lot of sleep--nine hours. That's a lot more than usual. Monday, I had two papers and an exam, so that was crunch time. Now I have only one more exam."
--Paolo Barolat, Trinity senior

"Six hours--I just couldn't fall asleep. I stayed up too late the night before, studying for engineering."
--Adam Bodily, Trinity junior

"I was studying until three, then I was up by 6:30 to start studying again for my exam at nine."
--Kristen Hamdan, Trinity sophomore

"I think I got about five and a half hours. I had to be at work at eight a.m. It was ugly."
--Matt Walker, Trinity senior

"Last night was a good night. I got nine hours because I didn't have anything today. My next exam isn't until Saturday."
--Michael Gribble, Trinity sophomore

"I finished exams yesterday. I just had fun last night because it was my first night off, and I spent it just wasting time because everyone else still had work. If you had asked two days earlier, I would have told you two hours."
--Teddy Shih, Trinity sophomore

"Six hours. If I don't sleep, I don't function."
--Colette Alvis, Trinity senior

"I went to bed around five, and got up at ten. Yesterday was a good day. My boyfriend got three hours, and one of my really good friends got a half-hour. My exams are over, so I was helping my boyfriend study."
--Janna Elphinstone, Trinity sophomore

"Last night I went to bed at three and woke up at eleven because I have no more finals. But the night before, I only got three hours of sleep."
--Jen Field, Trinity sophomore

"Last night I got eight hours because I finished exams. It felt wonderful--I didn't sleep at all the night before."
--Melissa Carder, Trinity junior

"Three hours. I had been procrastinating all week due to my imminent departure next semester. I was lured into spending time with those significant people in my life with whom I will not have daily contact next semester."
--Amanda Feldon, Trinity junior, going to Duke in L.A. in the spring

"Five hours. I'm going to jump for joy when this exam is over."
--Jamie Auslander, Trinity frosh

--compiled by Jaime Levy '01

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