By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Taking the blame
While one has sympathy for the Geffens over the loss of their daughter, it's a bit of a stretch to blame Professor Joe Jaynes for the death of an 18-year-old college student--even one who was physically frail and "somewhat academically and socially immature" ["A tragic trip," March 28]. Angela was an adult and responsible for her actions.
What bothers me is what passes for academic instruction in Jaynes' classroom and, by implication, throughout Collin County Community College. It's a small wonder students know little and understand less of history if their "reading assignments" consist of movies and "MTV-type videos." God forbid if they have to read a book or write a term paper in order to pass a junior college-level subject. If indeed the college president, John Anthony, supports Jaynes' version of teaching "100 percent," then there are two educators who belong in some other line of work!
Losing a child is a tragic thing. Looking for someone to blame is even more tragic. It is a disease the Geffen family is letting eat at their very souls.
Joe Jaynes sounds like a wonderful teacher. I would have encouraged any one of my four grown daughters to sign up for one of his classes. I, myself, would love to attend his class. He encourages his students to get involved, grow, and learn.
Children have to be allowed to grow and make their own decisions. Angela did just that by deciding what she had to do to pass in her class.
Please, Geffen family, mourn your wonderful lost child. Don't ruin your own lives by letting hatred eat at your hearts.
Choose or snooze
I don't understand how the Observer can say Victor Morales doesn't belong in the U.S. Senate just because he's a nice guy who drives a Japanese truck ["The unbearable lightness of Victor," March 28]. This man, who hasn't been corrupted, just wants to meet the people of Texas. The man has just as much government experience as our current senator, Phil Gramm, did before he was elected. Does one have to have a stand on changing issues? We need someone who can be compassionate and understanding and reasonable and who is willing to compromise.
Government is not a winner-take-all system. Yes, our federal government is still shut down! Victor Morales has a different attitude about government written all over him. It's time to give someone else a chance to skate or die. Plus, he's not a lawyer!
All in the watching
I have not seen the production of All in the Timing recently reviewed by P.B. Miller ["Last laugh," March 14], but as a fan of David Ives' writing, I was appalled. In almost every synopsis, Miller missed the point of the sketch, even getting the basic plots wrong. I presume that the critic merely was either too busy to actually sit through the play, and wrote a review while vaguely remembering the production from last summer, or simply wasn't facing the stage.
For example, the sketch titled "Mere Mortals" is not about looking down at construction workers, but rather about the simply irony of these rough men talking about grandeur and royalty. It attempts to expose our stereotypes of workers by juxtaposing them against what we would at first consider absurd beliefs. But the real atrocity was the description of the sketch "Sure Thing." It is not about a variety of men approaching a woman, but about one man approaching a woman. This one flub is what exposes your reviewer as falsifying his review.
And as far as the intellectual nature of the humor, please forgive those of us who appreciate something deeper than penis jokes or Jim Carrey-style hamming. Besides, it's not like one needs a Ph.D. to enjoy the plays; Hemingway, Faulkner, Milton, and Shakespeare are all high-school reading. The most obscure reference, as mentioned in the article, is the one about Philip Glass, but I am a perfect example of how one need not be familiar with someone's music to enjoy the play. At first, I thought the play was hysterical because of its look at musical conventions; now that I know a little bit about Glass, I find the play brilliant.
Rhymes with 'wit'
It's ironic that the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's revenge in the way of the article "Snoozepaper" [January 4] resulted in the Observer's becoming an even better newspaper. I regret seeing Molly Ivins' departure only because her so called "folksy wit" aptly served to let thoughtful readers realize how inane are the political viewpoints she supports.