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Letters to the Editor, Dec. 6

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What women want

While Miss Arkansas Pageant executive director Kelly Bale (Nov. 15) is casting about for reasons girls are not as interested in the contest, perhaps she might want to rethink her statement about the contest offering the opportunity to meet “the man of your dreams, or ... someone who will be your future boss.” Most of the young women I know have ambitions to be the boss. She's right though; women do like to take care of themselves. However, “taking care of themselves” today does not mean spending $10,000 for the privilege of shopping around a small town country club for a man.

Dana F. Steward

Sherwood

ASU mascot

So the die is already cast, and the message is clear. It doesn't matter whether you studied at or even played for Arkansas State University. Neither your opinion nor mine matters — not unless our names can be associated with the word “millionaire.”

Since it is a foregone conclusion that the name Red Wolves (or some variation thereof) has been chosen by the governor and the Northeast Arkansas GOB (Good Ol' Boy) Network, why do they even bother going through the motions of these committee meetings?

It is a shame that such a bland and generic mascot seems to have been chosen for ASU. I get the feeling that the UA might have had second thoughts about the razorback hog when considering that as a mascot way back when. I also get the feeling that when the Razorback Nation looks back, they applaud the fortitude it took to make that decision.

So I ask, where are the folks who would give us a unique and marketable and unforgettable name, too. A great name like the Hellbenders? The political correctness should end at caving to the NCAA by abandoning the mascot that has served so long and so well.

As it stands today, I gladly travel to Denton and Austin and other venues within a few hours of the DFW Metroplex to support ASU athletics and cheer on my team. If you hand me a Red Wolves T-shirt, I'll appreciate your understanding and hope you'll forgive me when I sadly hand it back. I still have Joe on a couple of shirts for nostalgia purposes.

Because, you see, my original degree was from ASU. So naturally the Indians have always been my team — through thick and thin. But my master's is from TCU and while a Horned Frog can't come close to topping a Hellbender, it has so much more character than a Red Wolf.

Keith Merckx

Fort Worth

Loretta Lynn disappoints

I am writing to express my own disappointment in the recent Loretta Lynn concert in Little Rock — as well as the disappointment of the three others in my party who attended this performance.

As you may have heard, the concert was quite short, and what there was of the show was mainly singing by people other than Ms. Lynn. Between the lengthy (and truly bizarre) stage banter and various relatives stepping in to sing, this was hardly “an evening with Loretta Lynn.” Our group very nearly spent more time in the parking garage waiting to exit the concert than at the concert itself.

This is hardly my first concert — yet it is the first one I have ever felt compelled to write and complain about. Ms. Lynn made several references to being hoarse and not being able to sing. If this was truly the case, the concert should have been postponed. Have Ms. Lynn's concerts in other cities been cut similarly short?

Stephen Koch

Little Rock

Happy in Fouke

Thanks for your coverage on the Tony Alamo compound in Fouke. You did a really good job. I'm glad you were able to get inside and see for yourself.

Sherry Potts

From the Internet

No lottery

As to legalizing a lottery here in the state we have to watch out for the come-ons of lucrative chances that lure us into a false sense of good government. When our civilization stoops to man's greed in order to try to raise our standards of education and intelligence, we are going nowhere fast.

Sarah E. Lodge

Little Rock

Tests don't teach

I see where the interim Little Rock School Superintendent Linda Watson is excited about the new and improved program called Tech Teach System that will ensure improved test scores. Bless her heart, at least she is honest about it. No pious prating about improving education, just test scores. Our children seem doomed to continually be sacrificed on the altar of the testing industry. Like every other institution in America, public education has been hijacked by unscrupulous money-changers who are making enormous profits off our children as they fall further behind other developed nations.

The testing service industry is now an estimated $2.3 billion a year enterprise with just five big companies controlling 90 percent of the revenue. Our children are being inundated with more and more tests while meaningful education diminishes. So, let's see, we'll have another bevy of consultants (who couldn't survive an actual classroom if someone put a gun on them) drawing huge salaries come in and work miracles. Naturally, the parents will have to assist in this new and improved method so when it fails, the parents will become the ever-ready scapegoats because they did not prepare properly.

When are we going to learn that programs don't teach, teachers teach. Whatever happened to the old tried and true method called hands-on-standing-at-the-blackboard-teacher-interaction method. You cannot substitute teacher involvement with slick, glossed over, phony instructional methods. Shoving hundreds of loose-leaf sheets in front of children who have not been properly instructed will not help them learn. Either we are in the business of educating or we are in the business of testing. We have to decide.

Maybe I am being pessimistic, but being a former teacher who has seen it all, this appears to be just one more new and improved method to be dumped on the scrap heap among 50 others that have failed. Why are we so shocked and appalled when our children do not know the capitals of our states or cannot find a country on a map? We must get back to teaching and stop this insane obsession with testing if our children are to compete.

Sara Carmichael

Little Rock

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