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Academic 'Free Spirit'

May 10, 1987

I read with interest the article about David Florey, a C-average student, who scored highest at the U.S. Academic Decathlon in Dallas. ("C Student Who Makes the Grade" by Larry Gordon and Jeannine Stein, May 1).

It is not surprising to learn that this winner is known as a "free spirit," one who does his own thing, one who refuses to lock himself into the regimentation of our vast educational system. Those potential geniuses who faithfully follow the stultifying regulations of large institutions soon lose their motivation, their dreams and imagination--necessary tools to break out from the mold.

I commend David Tokofsky, who recognized this 17-year-old John Marshall High School senior despite Florey's reputation, and encouraged him to participate. Many teachers would have prohibited him from competing because of his known disdain for grades or regular attendance.

TRUDY WYNER

Los Angeles

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