Frank Bruni, like the colleges he writes about, begs the question when he maintains that the challenge is "giving young Americans the best and most useful education."
The presumptions are that educators, employers and politicians -- not to mention students -- know what education is best and useful, that what is best and useful will always be such, and that only the young need best and useful education. Undergirding these presumptions is an anachronistic goal: Prepare the children of elite to rule, and leave everyone else to toil. All of this is dubious, at best, in the 21st century.
There has been a lot of rhetoric about "lifelong learning," yet we run through four years of taking courses within a major, graduate at 22, and think we're prepared to succeed. This approach fails the young and old, alike.
Let's jettison the presumptions and rhetoric. Let's rethink higher education as a continuous process, something that is always done but never finished. Let's make the goal to enable every person to achieve her or his greatest potential and personal fulfillment, regardless of place in society or point in life.
What would college look like if that were it's mission?
I have worked as an advocate in our community for various causes since 1985. Never have I worked alongside such a stellar, all-star group of volunteers as I did with the St. Peter's Episcopal School "Mad Men" Auction. Talk about a talented, passionate group of folks. Truly our parents are, in large part, what makes St. Peter's such a special school.
Additionally, I am incredibly thankful to the outpouring of support from our community's businesses, both large and small. Chattanooga is surely one of the most generous cities, and I am so proud to call it my home.
Special thanks to my co-chairwoman, Leonora Williamson. She is a gifted fund-raiser a pleasure to work with on any project.
In the April 24 edition of the Times Free Press, Clay Bennett's editorial cartoon shows a church marquee declaring, "Intolerance Is Intolerable." Sounds good, but funny thing is, Bennett seems pretty intolerant of views and opinions contrary to his own.
ROBERT J. TAMASY
Letter writer made poor generalization
To the letter writer who wrote that our government "keeps its citizens in line with ignorance, fear and hate." Are you a citizen? Then how would you know what you're talking about? If you do know what you're talking about, then why do you think nobody else does?
That's the trouble with generalizations and labels -- they don't make good arguments.
BOB MILLER, Signal Mountain
Tennessee taxpayers supplied all of the subsidies and the incentives for helping the manufacturing companies associated with VW and Wacker to locate in this area for creating jobs?
Why are the county politicians, our U.S. senators and the Chamber of Commerce interfering in trying to influence the contracts made between these companies and their workers? Why do the Republicans not want the U.S. workers to get the best wages and benefits possible?
CARL BRACKIN, Georgetown, Tenn.