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Comments: Week of June 14, 2010


1. In last week’s cover story, Jesse Green pieced together the final day in the life of Teddy Graubard, a Dalton student who jumped to his death last year, and the ongoing struggle of the mother and brother he left behind (“The Leap,” June 7). Readers had strong emotional reactions to the piece and shared their sympathy with Graubard’s family and friends on “As someone who lost a friend to suicide,” wrote one, “I’m glad this article was printed; it could let other teens know there’s hope if they’re going through something similar.” Another wrote that “[Green’s] sensitive, empathetic, and intelligent narrative will serve Teddy’s memory the way he deserves to be remembered.” Others applauded Green’s fairness in depicting all parties: “As someone who knows through relatives the day-to-day pressures of elite Manhattan private schools, I was prepared for an article biased to blame the school. However, the author chose to write a thoughtful essay that avoided the good-guy-bad-guy syndrome so often seen in contemporary magazine writing.” There was disagreement among commenters as to whether Dalton had failed Teddy and his family. “I’m furious about the way that school handled the whole thing,” one commenter wrote. “That these spontaneous suicides are prevalent among the young should not be news to the staff, and they should have a plan for dealing with cheating, which includes not leaving the accused student alone.” Others suggested that reporting on the suicide, in any form, was in bad taste: “Whatever the causes of his death may have been, they did not warrant an investigation which has put his family and friends in more grief,” a reader who was friendly with the Graubards wrote. “Just as the Dalton community was beginning to come to terms with this child’s death your article seems to have ripped that wound open again.” “I think Mr. Green did a superb job in covering an incomprehensibly difficult topic,” countered another commenter. “No one is to blame for Teddy’s death. It was an Earth-shattering event. Teddy was undoubtedly a very special young man with amazing potential. This article pays tribute to his memory and does it justice by taking a closer look at his last few hours on Earth.”

2. Emily Nussbaum’s essay on how the final episode of Lost undercut the previous five seasons of the show (“A Disappointed Fan Is Still a Fan,” June 7) was catnip to those fans still caught in a post-finale hangover. “Thank you. I’ve been waiting to hear someone who agrees with me. It’s so nice to finally read an article that doesn’t gush about how amazing the finale was and how brilliant it is to leave the ending up to debate,” noted a commenter on “While I don’t share the same level of betrayal that she expresses, I think she makes some very good points about why some felt disappointed with season six,” agreed Washington Post blogger Jen Chaney. But there were certainly those who wrote in to defend the show. “Not everyone was disappointed by the finale of Lost,” argued reader Matt Condello in a letter. “The people who actually watched and thought and listened understood the ending and loved it, because it raised the point that in life it’s not about the questions, it’s about the connections we make with one another. Like the characters in the show, Emily needs to let go of the questions. It wasn’t a cop-out, Emily, it was everything life is.”

3. Last week Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld ranked the current best 101 sandwiches in our fair city (“Dagwood, Eat Your Heart Out,” June 7). It was praised on many of the city’s food blogs (including Midtown Lunch and Serious Eats NY, which deemed the article “epic”), but most comments were to suggest sandwiches that had been left off. Among them: “Bierkraft’s Serrano should’ve been high on the list” … “Xie Xie's 1,000-Year-Old ice-cream sandwich” … “Di Palo’s mozzarella-tomato-basil is my sandwich love” … “Roast pork with kimchee aïoli and shaved cauliflower at the Smith.

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