Sam Hall Kaplan has long been a favorite of mine, but I did have to pay attention to those letters from education advocates challenging his opinions outside his area of expertise (Letters, May 27). Well, Robert Bruss did the same darned presumptuous thing!
Before I challenge Bruss, allow me to mention that for some years I counseled students at both UCSB and Stanford counseling centers. Now, back to Bruss: A 19-year-old "wannabe" real estate agent wrote in hopes of support for his desire to leave college. Instead, Bruss sided with the student's father, pontificating "if you quit college, you probably won't want to go back to complete your education."
Recent news reports have made the point that a large percentage of college enrollments nowadays is made up for "returning students" who re-enroll after employment, traveling, marriage and parenthood took them away from their education for varying periods of time.
In the old days, students used to worry that they would be "out of practice" as returning students and that the younger ones would put them to shame. Now most people (not Bruss) are aware that the older ones learn better on the whole because they are there to learn and not so distracted by athletics, the need to be popular or vague yearnings to sidestep parental domination.
If the parents will just back off and let the young person "knock around" for a few years . . . both generations would probably be better satisfied with the long-term results.
BETTY K. BRANCH