Dear Mz. Geiselman,

Thank you for revisiting higher education’s ‘dirty little secret’ in your recent Salon article. As a veteran of the community college basic writing classroom, I feel compelled to thank those who zap and spank those who sap the energy of teachers or learners attempting to swim with the sharks.

It is admittedly disheartening to witness, semester after semester, the growing number of almost made its. It is dispiriting to hear public and private citizens bemoaning the condition of our schools and colleges without lifting a finger, ballot question, or tax to improve either. But it is our job to uphold the banner of possibility whether the winds of change are blowing in our favor or against us.

The necessary schizophrenia of teaching (and parenting) in the political, historic and classroom contexts would be our undoing were it not for an indispensable appreciation of the absurd and an immigrant’s sense of humor.


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