Dr. Manella’s letter of October 28th does indeed go a long way in illustrating what has gone wrong with the American educational system. Since the university feels it incumbent to hire a professor who actually puts into public print phrases such as “got politicized … got democratized … umpteenth … get hold …,” it achieves respectability since it appeared in print (need I go on), obviously the laxity of education has reached a crisis level. If a professor can denounce the system, the students and his peers in such an unprofessional manner, one must certainly question his credibility as an instructor.

Like you, Dr. Manella, I too was a student during the 1960s, but unlike you, I was not a guest of a foreign nation and since I did not have the benefit of financial aid or scholarships by means of inflated grades, I was unable to stay in school or return until recently.

To say that I or any other student has not worked for an education is grossly unfair … in fact, sir, it is a downright misconstruction. Many students work full-time. All students must work to pass exams—we must learn something or we fail the course. I am certain that there are thousands of us who would immediately transfer if we could find that Fairy Land where we don’t have to learn anything in order to earn a degree. Where is it? In the economics department?

We all deplore what is currently being called the “crisis in education” yet all of us are also well aware of that saying, “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” I truly think most of us are attending NIU because we wish to be part of the solution. Please sir, rethink your charge. Students can only learn what is presented to them in a clear, cohesive, literate manner. If you think your students are imbeciles, perhaps you should look to your own heart first. I know some of your students, and they are not imbeciles.

Perhaps what disturbs me most in that rambling diatribe is that as a guest of our nation who has chosen to remain and partake of all the good things that a DEMOCRATIC EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM has to offer, you choose to bite the hand that feeds you. In addition to the problems you have with the current crop of students, you seem to have some problems with your peers, and insults to them, my dear sir, are way out of line. NIU is truly blessed with the overall quality of its faculty and staff.

As a student of political science, I was curious to know why you considered democracy and education to be self-contradictory. Actually, I just used good ole Dan’l Webster to confirm what I (a product of the American educational system) had learned in grade school. As words, democracy and education have absolutely nothing to do with each other. As a concept, democracy and education support rather than contradict each other in that in this country, each individual fundamentally believes in the right to as much education as he or she can economically and intellectually handle. That means that those with disabilities, either economic or intellectual, also have a right to an education and we do believe in helping them achieve their goals.

Since you appear to be unhappy with the way you mind things, perhaps you should consider giving your job to one of those educated individuals who are seeking a meal and return to your native land where no doubt its citizens will be more appreciative of your munificent enlightenment.

Randi S. Gross

Political Science