Readers’ Forum Jan. 19, 2007

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    Saddle up with new Congress

    The congressional Democrat majority is on the right track, with their first 100-hour list of goals. It would enhance the esteem of Republican leaders and others, to get on board, instead of resisting.

    A rejuvenated, new Congress could also create laws to bring more citizens into active American participation. New laws could: forbid use of voter-databases to select jurors, and there will be more registered voters; require public employees to pay into Social Security, and the system grows; re-affiliate with International Criminal Court, even if it means prohibiting the death penalty and enabling criminal prosecutions against Americans; and initiate a single-payer-plan (government agency) for all American Health Care.

    John Bauer

    St. Martinez, Calif.

    Creepy mustaches

    Just yesterday I approached a strange man and asked if I could pet his growing lip-love, impressed with his skill and dedication in facial hair awareness. I am not joking. We exchanged a tender moment as I stroked his so neatly groomed mustache at the entrance to the library, parting ways shortly after and me never knowing if I will see him again. I will never forget his honor-code approved hair growth as long as I live.

    So to the men who can grow facial hair, I commend you. Do it. Embrace it. Let us girls who respect your manliness see you in all of your glory. Even though some of you seriously creep us out and make us uncomfortable, I salute you.

    And perhaps we can let the honor code office start approving handle-bar mustaches, because they really make my heart melt.

    Cindy Ford

    Littleton, Colo.

    Belligerent attitude

    I read, with concern, the front page article “The Man Behind the Beard” (Jan. 18). I personally have nothing against beards or mustaches; in fact, one of the favorite men in my life has a beard and mustache. (However, he does not attend BYU.) I think what concerned me most was Mr. Spjut’s attitude.

    He seemed overjoyed to be able to, “stick it to the man.” I’m wondering just exactly what “man” he meant. Did he mean society in general, or the “establishment” (being taken to be the administration of this institution), or perhaps he referred to President Samuelson as “the man,” or even President Hinckley, who is, of course, also a “man.” (I won’t go any higher “up the ladder,” but you get my drift.)

    I’m not going to resort to the clich? of “if he doesn’t like it here, her should go to school at Berkeley,” but I think maybe Brother Spjut (and those of like mind) need some serious introspection. Brother Spjut’s arrival on campus was not accompanied by an ambush of university officials shouting, “Guess what, New Student? We have Dress and Grooming Standards here. Sorry we didn’t let you know before you were admitted. Here’s the list. Have a nice day!”

    Every applicant to BYU knows full well before coming to Provo just what is expected of him or her. In fact, they signed an agreement that they not only understand those standards, but that they will abide by them. I understand medical concerns, I understand the pain of acne, and I acknowledge waivers (by university policy) can be obtained for students who truly need to wear beards. But it sounds to me like this particular circumstance is one of antagonism, a situation of “in-your-face” rather than “cover-my-face.” The beard is not the sticking point here, the belligerence is.

    Nedra Sorenson

    Orem

    Homeschooling lessons go beyond classroom

    As a freshman at BYU I’ve come to truly appreciate my previous years in school. I was home schooled since kindergarten. I will admit it wasn’t always my favorite thing. It was hard sometimes when my friends would talk about school dances and prom. But I did have the support of a strong home school community. We had classes together that our parents took time from their work to teach us. We had dances and a yearbook. Most importantly we had the support of good people doing their best to live God’s plan.

    Not many were LDS, but everyone tried to do what was right. My senior year in high school I decided to take classes at the community college. My homeschooling prepared me to stand for my beliefs in a way that I don’t think I would have been able to if I had been exposed to that negative peer pressure earlier. I was truly disappointed when a classmate asked me to take her final for her. She knew I was religious and that I wouldn’t do it. But she kept asking. My homeschooling and religious teaching I received gave me the strength to stand up for my beliefs, something that I personally would not have been prepared for otherwise. Homeschooling is not for everyone, but it was the best choice for me. The things I learned from being home schooled reach far beyond the realm of academics. Life lessons that are difficult to learn without experiencing them were learned early, and they have helped with the struggles of living away from home and being an adult. I’m not sure yet what I’ll do with my children, but I am grateful that I was home schooled.

    Julie Theriault

    Bakersfield, Calif.

    Thanks for memories, Professor Murdock

    I hesitate to write, knowing this letter will not change a thing or anyone’s mind at BYU. This is a letter without the hope of galvanizing a change of course; I write to support a dear teacher.

    BYU will soon be losing one of its greatest professors. That sounds passive, so I’ll rephrase it. BYU is getting rid of one of its greatest professors.

    There has been some coverage in The Daily Universe about Michael Murdock and BYU’s denial to grant him continuing status. I’m sure at such a prestigious academic school such as BYU, it’s wrong to actually care deeply about the subject you are teaching, and to know all the names of the students in your large GE classes with over 100 students. To add to that, if there are numerous people taking multiple classes from you over time, you surely can’t be doing something right. Michael Murdock, you should have stopped doing those things long ago. To add to all of these offenses I guess your biggest crime would be making your students think; that seems to be taboo these days.

    I would just like to end by saying Michael Murdock is by far the best professor I have had at BYU, and he will truly be missed. Thanks, professor Murdock, for all you did and all you continue to do. I’m sure the students at your next school will benefit greatly from your teaching. I know that I have.

    Andrew Skabelund

    Provo

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