Thursday, May 12, 2005

Read on, Macduff!

The feedback from the InsideHigherEd.com story about yours truly is overwhelmingly positive. Thank you all for the support, the thoughtful comments and even the criticism. It took some persuading by a good reporter/editor to get me to out myself in a national publication, but the results were better than I ever could have hoped. The story is skillfully written, fair, thorough and provocative. An A-plus.

Over the past 24 hours I have read and answered long email letters from students and professors at Purdue University, from a young writer in Germany, from a kindred spirit at my old alma mater in San Antonio and from many other teachers, readers, parents and students coast to coast. The encouragement keeps me going.

Even "Hot Pockets" got in touch, the first and only of my old academic colleagues who's done so. (Not counting my fellow adjuncts, who've been aces all the way.)

My favorite bit of feedback came from the student who accused me of "discrimination" against the wealthy. She didn't appreciate my attitude toward thin, beautiful young Ashleys. This writer equated it with racism.

Come to think of it, I guess the rich have been unfairly segregated by society. All their lives they've been forced to ride at the front of the bus. They live in gated communities designed to restrict their freedom of movement. Their clothes are tagged with identifying logos -- little Polo players and crocodiles -- that tell the rest of us who and what they are. Their children attend separate schools (and wear uniforms!). Where is Amnesty International? Why isn't the UN working to liberate these rich people and let them mix freely with the rest of us?

The rich may be an oppressed minority, but given the current White House administration's compassion for the over-privileged, I'm sure there's someone in Washington willing to take up their cause. Maybe they could organize a Million Billionaire March that begins at the Dallas Country Club and ends in the parking lot at Neiman Marcus.

More later. I'll post some of the comments shortly. And there are lots of new stories to come. Next up: "Andrea has a nervous breakdown."

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