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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mail Bag

    Columnist misses purpose of university education
    I read Laura Donovan’s piece (“”Older UA students elicit mixed emotions,”” Sept. 16, 2008) with a sense of disappointment and outrage. Basically she sought to explain to us that she and her peers were embarrassed by the existence of the older student in their classes. Is she also made uncomfortable by other minorities on campus? Handicapped students? Religious minorities? Racial minorities?

    Perhaps Laura is too young to understand that the purpose of a university is, above all, to provide the widest possible education to the widest possible public. How would she respond if her mother, or even her grandfather, wanted to go back to school to earn a degree? It is true that some older students are more vocal in class, but a good teacher should be able to control this. If something in the older student’s life experience is relevant to the question posed in a class, must that student be silent?

    One day Laura will be old and may then realize a desire to return to the university to earn a graduate degree. It would be interesting to know what she would write then.

    Michael Schumacher, M.D.
    music senior

    Columns should be of higher quality
    As a graduate and older student (26), I was completely offended by the article written by Laura Donovan and can only imagine how alienated much older students feel after reading such blatant intolerance. I am writing this letter to the editor because I would expect a higher standard of quality of editorials in the Daily Wildcat.

    How did such a generalizing, uneducated article make it past your desk? I understand that Laura is young and probably still adjusting to the real world after high school where she spent time with students her own age. The university is for higher learning, equal opportunity and multicultural understanding. Age is a part of that multicultural understanding. Laura’s sweeping generalizations are damaging to not only her career, but also the reputation of the university as a world-class institution.

    There are plenty of older students in my class, and their wisdom is not something younger students should overlook. If they make you feel uncomfortable then you should still be in high school. When you enter the workforce, do you think you’ll be working for people that are only your age? Grow up and stop spreading intolerance and ignorance. I would hope that Laura is recommended to take a class in either socio-cultural studies or basic multiculturalism 101. Please read your articles a little more carefully before you publish them.

    John Shadeck
    art graduate

    Columnist’s article proves she didn’t do her homework
    This old chick is raising her hand to disrupt the class. Laura Donovan’s article seems to try to prove that the non-traditional students present in class are a problem, that we make the traditional-aged students “”uncomfortable”” and that as older students, we need to understand that for some reason.

    Quoting Donovan, “”they need to understand why other students may not interact with them”” makes the mistake of assuming us old folks expect youngsters to “”interact”” with us, or that we feel “”out of place”” to begin with. The silence that follows a question is just as frustrating, and traditional students are just as outspoken and misunderstood. In writing an article that neither interviewed an older student or professors as to their feelings regarding older students, Donovan proves my point: regardless of age, only if you do your homework should you speak up in class.

    If traditional-aged students can’t be “”expected to change (their) instinctive reaction to someone who seems out of place,”” is it then safe to assume anyone who speaks out in class, looks a bit different and has little in common with the person who sits next to them can expect to be considered “”out of place””? Or did I just describe every person who fills a seat in any institution? Perhaps the difference between being an adult and being “”technically an adult”” is tolerance, acceptance and respect, not just simple courtesy.

    Samantha Bivens
    English junior

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