Pricing Poor Students Out of an Education

Thank you for the opinion-page column "College Debt Bars Equal Access," April 29. As an undergraduate, I was saddened by the lack of economic diversity among the students. A roommate of mine - the first in his family ever to attend college - dropped out twice for lack of funds. How can we talk about education as a national priority when we are pricing a whole gifted sector out of the market? If we cut our education budget and shift the burden of these costs onto students, the poorest will remain uneducated.

If we truly care about our country and its people, we must provide a quality education for everyone. At present, we do not. Do we want a polarized society, or a society which encourages contributions from all its citizens? Where will America's poor be in a generation?

Steven Rothblatt, Los Angeles

Education: more than just information Regarding the article "To Ancient Greece Via Computer," April 29: The democratization of learning through the use of "hypermedia" is an excellent idea. However, in our zeal for providing students access to enormous quantities of information, we must not forget that information assimilation is only Step One.

Step Two, the purpose of Step One, begins later. It is creative thinking: the process of using reasoning and emotional sensitivities to enlighten understanding of the historic period or work of art or literature under consideration.

Ellen K. Wilson, Los Gatos, Calif.

Push mowers are for romantics Marilyn Gardner's column "Pulling the Switch on Power Gadgets," April 30, advocates the use of old reel-type mowers to cut lawns. I am led to reflect that her name is an irony because she is obviously not a gardener. I cut 5,000 square feet of grass once a week. I love nature, the sounds of the birds, the sunsets, the front porch; but if I had to cut my lawn with a push mower, I'd have to move to an apartment.

Only people who are not solely dependent on wood heat think chopping wood is romantic. Only people with modern kitchens think campfire cooking is poetic. There are many "modern conveniences" I would get rid of, but the power mower is not one of them.

Jeanne Galligan, Lake Worth, Fla.

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