To the Editor:

As an avid reader of the Bulletin, I didn’t want the year to end without letting you know how much I appreciated the Summer 2020 issue. The photo of Ali Keller in the Gates Greenhouse was especially meaningful for me. Many mornings I went up to the little greenhouse in Olin to take in the view of Pikes Peak and enjoy a little peace and quiet before spending the day in a biology, chemistry, or physics class. Since my class (’74) started CC with the Block Plan, I also appreciated the articles on the adoption of the plan and its flexibility.

Going forward, I’d like to suggest that at some time over the next few years you feature remembrances of the early days of the Block Plan from students and faculty who lived through them. I’m thinking especially of the classes of ’71, ’72, and ’73, which experienced a mix of semesters and blocks; as well as the class of ’74, the first to complete all four years under the Block Plan. I know there would be many interesting stories about adapting to the Block Plan — likely too many to tell.

Sometimes things went too fast. For example, when the Block Plan started, the Chemistry Department decided to fast-track biology majors, chemistry majors, and pre-meds through organic chemistry during the freshman year. That meant three blocks of chemistry in the first year, one of general chem and two of organic (for me, blocks 7, 8 & 9!). Well, that didn’t last too long.

On the other hand, sometimes things went too slowly. My first year I took an appreciation of music course. Although the textbook extended well into the “modern” era, our professor was still on the semester system and after 3½ weeks we had reached the Baroque period.

Well, that’s more than enough for now. Keep up the great work!

Mark Schlessman ’74


Editor’s note:

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Block Plan, CC has been collecting remembrances of the Block Plan. Check out the Block Plan Stories section (and add your story) at