Letter from John Z. Bowers to Joshua and Esther Lederberg
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1962-10-01 (October 1, 1962)
Bowers, John Z.
Courtesy of Joshua Lederberg.
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So much of the Pacific Ocean has flowed beneath us--and the China Sea--that I hardly know where to begin. I tried to contact
you when we were in San Francisco in June but Josh was out of town and Esther was at home baking a cake. We had a grand voyage
except for 3 1/2 days in Hong Kong which threw me into complete [...]. Our six weeks in Manila were most pleasant. The
youngsters swam, played tennis and [...]. [...] was entertained right and left--I [...]! After interviewing 60 medical students
we developed a questionnaire and learned many interesting things about the medical students--most of which was "news"
to the faculties. The students are young, about 20 percent are in medical school because their parents told them to be a
doctor and they are taught in English but live in the dialect. About 50 percent of the students are female. If the present
trend continues the Philippines will be enthralled by a race of Amazons in 50 years. Pharmacy, Medicine and Law are becoming
female professions--and the girls are attractive. Fancy hair-do's, spiked heels. Chanel #5 and a stethoscope are incongruous.
We moved on to Japan on Sept. 1. Our home is classical Japanese and our knees ache and our bodies creak from squatting on
the floor. Imogu is taking an intensive course in Japanese--6 days a week and I have been working with the faculty in revising
the curriculum and talking with medical students. We like the Japanese as you did--and our reception has been delightful.
Jack (the oldest boy) is at the International
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Christian University in Tokyo and is living with a Japanese family--and no English. I will begin interviews with Japanese
students week after next I have found the business of the Comparative Anatomy of Medical Students to be most interesting.
Our other two children are five day a week boarders at Kobe and we are finding the tranquility of the week days with no children
to be delightful. But we are glad to see them when they come home. Josh you will be tickled to know tat when Jack was interviewed
for University admission he gave his career choice as--genetics--I am delighted. Drop us a line. We think of you--and miss