Walt:  --

>In reply to Mary Jenness's and Maggie's assertion that no student ever came
>to college to flunk out:

Huh?  I'm stymied -- when did I (Maggie) say this?  Without belaboring the
issue, I wished only to point out that esteem, given - received -
self-generated, is relevant when learning.

As for the rest -- Undeniably, some students come to college for the wrong
reasons.  It may very well be that some students are looking to be
motivationally struck by "the Light" when they are slouched over a desk in
a basic writing course. And, then again, some students who least expect it
are life-changingly inspired by an off-hand remark a professional makes.
I'm always surprised when a past student reminds me of something I said
several years ago.  For me, it was a contextual comment; for them, it had
the elan of a proverb.  Funniest is when I hear my long-gone parents' home
wisdom recalled as an epiphanic moment for my students. You know, Walt, if
you influence just one person, you may change many.

You also said:

>When after learning all of the above depressing info I ask, "Why did you
>come to college?" They typically answer, "For the scholarship." To the tune
>of $3,000/yr. on average per student, the majority of whom did not meet
>standard admissions criteria, and the majority of whom will be continued on
>scholarship for at least 5 semesters (if not the full 5 years) despite
>their failure to meet the stated 2.5 GPA minimum.

Colonialist seeding?  The grand edifaces that grace our cities stand atop
the ruins of stone and stick hovels, etc.  Did your parents not expect more
for you -- more of you?

You also said:
>Now do you better understand my disillusionment with programs similar to
>the one in which I am mired, which purport to help students who have
>historically been denied access to higher education?

Is your disillusionment that change is so slow to come?

And finally you said:

But, please do not
>misinterpret my statements as racist or elitist; I simply want each and
>every student, regardless of race, gender, or socioeconomic status to take
>responsibility for her/his success and failure and to cease and desist with
>"helping" programs that only perpetuate the current malaise where
>individuals are stripped of personal responsibility to make the mark or not.

Agreed!  But who measures success or failure and how?  This is a case of
the dog biting its tail.  I have another bit of cracker-barrel wisdom for
you:  When my son worried about how slowly he was learning music some years
ago, my husband answered:  "Do you know more than you did last year?"  My
son responded, "yeah, a lot more." My husband answered:  "Just think how
much you'll know this time next year!"  My son plays five instruments

Our students' brains are like cars.  There are classics, race cars,
jallopies, junkers and wrecks.  We don't make cars here; we fix 'em.  We
tune 'em up, charge batteries, call in specialists when the wiring is not
right.   I really love fixin'!  I never forget for a moment, however, that
I don't own the car.

Maggie Piccolo, Learning Specialist
Learning Resource Center, Rutgers, The State University
231 Armitage, Camden, New Jersey  08102
(609) 225-6442   [log in to unmask]
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