CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 4, 1999
The fact that only one in four California students knows how to write (Sept. 29) comes as no surprise to those of us who as graduate student teaching assistants had to grade thousands of freshman essays and exams. However, before you drop the buck on the desks of primary and secondary school educators, consider the following: It is not unusual for university professors (in the UC system, no less) to announce to their students that "writing doesn't count" in calculating their final grades.
May 21, 1988
After attending the premier Arena Football League game at the Sports Arena with 10,000 rabid fans, I couldn't help but wonder what the Major Indoor Soccer League kingpins must be thinking. Here the L.A. Cobras open their doors for the first time and in pour 10,000 people. The Lazers probably haven't drawn 10,000 fans in a month. Clearly, the writing is on the wall for the Lazers and the MISL. It's time for them to join the Aztecs and the NASL in that big, deflated soccer ball in the sky and allow the Arena Football League to replace them as the springtime sports option.
October 11, 1987
One of the finest pieces of writing that has graced the Travel Section in many years is the one under Vacation Memories Sept. 13. "When father and son shared a walk along the steep cliffs of life," by William C. Brisick, brought back vivid memories of 1974 when my wife, who recently passed away, and I shared a small apartment in Rapallo, which we used as a base for many sorties in our camper. We traveled to various parts of Europe and North Africa, from Copenhagen to Fez, and from Edinburgh to Budapest.
February 25, 1996
Los Angeles Times columnist Peter H. King has been honored with a 1996 distinguished writing award by the American Society of Newspaper Editors. King and three others were selected from more than 500 journalists by a nationwide panel of media professionals. He and the other winners will receive $2,500 prizes in April at the society's annual convention in Washington D.C. "Pete King's column is a marvelous guide to the Golden State and its fascinating folkways.
July 23, 1988
In my original letter (Saturday Letters, July 9) I tried to suggest that, being primarily a producer, Steve Bochco might have had a legitimate reason to vote for the contract offer but that he did his position a disservice by aligning himself with the Writers Coalition. Therefore, I was startled by his response--the entire thrust of which seemed to be that in the past five years he has had more writing credits than I. Well, once again he's mistaken, but this time I see no reason to give him the benefit of the doubt.
April 17, 1986
I note with some concern David Haldane's article, "Cal State Long Beach Students Assail Graduation Essay Exam" (March 31 reprise of earlier story in Long Beach section of The Times). My concern is not with students' criticism of the exam, per se, nor their desire for a more detailed evaluation (although this may or may nor be justified); it is with the attitude of students expressed in the quote from Stacey Schwartz: "I'm not going to be a writer, I (want) to be a psychologist. This is garbage."
November 7, 1990
Your column "Maiming the Message Is Only Half the Danger" (View, Sept. 19) might be subtitled "Cliches, Ill-Thought-Out Assertions, and Timid Fears by a Cowardly Writer." The whole article is a mass of mush about the alleged ruination of civilized writing caused by word processors. If you were still teaching English you could send one of your Freshman Comp kids to do a library search on the topic and, assuming the kid could do research, you would be presented with a list of more than 250 similar articles, an average of about one per week for the past five years, on the same subject, and all like yours, sans substance and full of vague, dumb fears.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 23, 2001
Re "Science and the Art of Storytelling," Opinion, June 17: Russ Rymer states, "Never has our dominion over nature been as spectacular as it is about to become, and never before will nature have reduced us to such spectacular inconsequence." This may seem like a minor semantic point, but if mankind is not of nature, what are we? Alien non-binary chopped liver? Rymer alludes to the waning influences of religion and politics on our collective consciousness, but is it not Judeo-Christianity that posited that man was somehow separate from nature (and separate as well from the third player, the creative source of the universe)