Letters: Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Lesson, Not in Books

To the editor: A great article by I’isha Gaines — “Buy-Back Blues,” (May 16, 2007). There is very little justification for pimping these “books” onto college students, who are already paying too much for their uncertain future. As with the industry of student loans, it is sheer greed to exploit the uninformed while they are at the vulnerable moments of learning about life. However, there is a lesson to be learned by the student, who I suppose is in the business of learning lessons: If you are in a course where the critical portions of the text (specified by the instructor) are outdated every three years or so, ask yourself, who is the chump? Do you really think that paying too much for that so-called “book” is going to help you get a job someday? Yeah, at Wal-Mart. Which is where your professor probably ought to be working — there but for the grace of God. Michael Pellecchia Lee, NH Editor’s note: Former Fort Worth jazz musician Michael Pellecchia contributed music reviews to Fort Worth Weekly and worked at Harcourt Brace — then a major publisher of college textbooks. Teen Highs and Lows To the editor: I picked up a Fort Worth Weekly at the library this past Friday. Finally, someone exposes that horrid Headbangers Ball (“Drunk High,” May 16, 2007) for what it is: an excuse to dress like sluts, get drunk, and drug, all in the name of charity. For years I have been begging parents to boycott it by not allowing their kids to go. I believe our Fort Worth kids and parents can do better than this. Linda Bobo Fort Worth To the editor: I recently read “Drunk High” by Jeff Prince in Fort Worth Weekly, and I am thankful that there are other people out there who see what I have seen for years. I am a Fort Worth teacher who has seen first-hand students of all ages who are drunk or high on something readily available. I am young — I graduated from a small, local high school in 2002, and let me tell you, it was cool to be drunk/high at school. It was appalling then, and I wasn’t one to participate. This could have been because the party house was across the street from my home, and I had to endure years of loud, destructive, idiotic partying and its effects, including damaged cars, hurt or killed animals, etc. Not a pretty picture, and hearing about it at school — how cool it was, you just had to be there — just made me so angry, and it still does. I went to college here in Fort Worth, presumably a “Christian” school, and was truly surprised to see this kind of behavior regularly in a place I thought would be more of an educational institution than a party scene. I was wrong — to be active and social in college, which I wanted to be, I learned that drinking (and lots of it) makes you cool, helps you make friends in a new place, and helps you meet men. Multiply this by 10 when you pledge membership in a sorority. Now there is a story! Sorority and fraternity boozing is historic. Whenever, wherever, for any reason. Football tailgate parties: Get wasted before the game, then drink more during the game, then go to an after-party. It is amazing the degree to which alcohol plays a part in the culture of the “college experience.” (I experienced fewer drugs socially in college than I did in high school.) And it doesn’t stop there. Before the age of 21, alcohol is a Pandora’s box of fun. Once you turn 21 and can actually buy it in public, there are practically no limits. Having finished college, I thought I had gotten away from that kind of environment, but more and more I am seeing it in the middle-school students I teach. Middle school! I work very close to my hometown, and once you think you are away from it, you find out it is happening next door. It is a sad, disturbing phenomenon, one that I am not sure how to address in the classroom, and one that I know has been many years in the making and will go on for many more. Thank you very much for addressing this issue. There are so many people out there struggling with this topic — parents, teachers, friends, neighbors ... and writers. Beverly Peplinski River Oaks To the editor: Good article on the teen drinking. After reading it, I had to find my Bailey Junior High letter jacket and go sneak some Seagram’s from my parents’ house! I was a few years behind writer Jeff Prince (Arlington High School ’85) but yes, life was all about playing quarters at lunch and where the keg party was on Friday night. Fun times. Robert A. Lively Mansfield

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