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Relative to the recent spate of student queries, I am reminded of Isaac
Asimov's plaintive wail over "teachers" at every level requiring students to
"Write to an author and ask them a question or find out how they get ideas"
Uncle Ike started out trying to reply to the poor little waifs--only to find
that this merely generated more of the same. Some days he would get bags of
mail, none of which offered to do anything for *him*--only demanding that he
pay attention to the sender's wants.
He tried sending postcards explaining that, much as he might like to, he
could not possibly reply to such mail and still write anything else. More
incredible still (but like the recent episode on this list) he even got
nasty mail about it from "teachers" offended by his "selfishness" and
"unwillingness to help the next generation."
The students of the Findley school are doubly cursed in that they not only
appear to be learning how to be inconsiderate of others (such as the
denizens of this list) but also to think that people objecting to that
rudeness are themselves rude. If they in fact learn this lesson it will
hobble them for the rest of their lives.
A "teacher's" desire to use the list for nothing other than his/her own
purposes is no more valid than any other spammers or advertisers desire.
These people seem to have been raised to think that their desire to sell you
something or obtain something from you is of paramount importance and to
hell with what you want or why you're here. They are the people who walk
into a room, fire up a smelly stogie and say "It's a free country, why don't
you go outside if you don't like it!"
We don't owe that "teacher" or the students any apologies. We do ourselves,
the students, and the rest of humanity a disservice if we simply allow such
ideas to go unchallenged.
John Gear (catalyst -at- pacifier -dot- com)
The Bill of Rights--The Original Contract with America
Accept no substitutes. Beware of imitations. Insist on the genuine articles.