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Letters: Learning from life in the fields

May 07, 2013

Re "A field day — not," Column One, May 3

Hector Becerra's article on his day as a farm worker picking strawberries reminded me of a similar article I read many years ago on complaints that immigrants were stealing jobs from American vegetable pickers. In the article, none of the Americans in these jobs lasted very long.

The complaints were the same then: aching backs and muscles. And the complaints about immigrants today are also the same.

Let's have a guest-worker program and reduce the number of illegal immigrants in this country.

Andrew Ko

San Marino

As a high school math teacher, I've often wished that some of my reluctant scholars could spend a day picking strawberries.

When my husband was in high school in Pennsylvania, he had a summer job picking strawberries. His parents weren't field workers. His mother was a college graduate. His father was a machinist originally from England.

The strawberry-picking experience solidified his decision to attend college. He received a scholarship for his undergraduate work and later received another scholarship that allowed him to complete a doctoral degree in electrical engineering.

His work in the fields gave him a great appreciation for the hard work that field workers do — and for the value of a college degree.

Sarah E. Adams

Rancho Palos Verdes

Becerra's article on the physical strains of the immigrants who toil in the fields picking strawberries indicated a deeper appreciation for the mental and physical strains placed on these workers after he had spent a day trying to keep up with them.

I wonder if the students at Susan Miller Dorsey High, who were quoted in a separate article on Friday about local reactions to the first openly gay athlete active in a major U.S. sports league, would have a similar experience if they participated in a sports program with openly gay players.

Ruth Kramer Ziony

Los Feliz

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