If you don't like the Pack Shack, don't go thereI have...

LETTERS

November 02, 1997

If you don't like the Pack Shack, don't go there

I have finally run out of patience for reading article after article about various groups trying to legislate or harass the Pack Shack adult video store in Ellicott City out of existence.

It seems to me that it would be very easy to accomplish this task and the store could be gone by Christmas.

How? Just don't go there!

If no one from the community found the need to purchase any of the Pack Shack's merchandise, the store would go out of business quickly and quietly, and we would all be free of this problem.

I wonder if the adjacent Dunkin Donuts is enjoying any additional business from folks who park there and walk across to Pack Shack, not wanting to have their cars spotted in an adult video store parking lot.

Susan Boyer

Ellicott City

Looking for diversity in all the wrong places

After years of reading Sara Engram's Opinion Commentary pieces, I find she always comes across as the epitome of good.

Thus, you find yourself playing the bad guy when disagreeing with her. Her acknowledgement in Baltimore magazine as one of the city's most brilliant merely adds to the difficulty in arguing.

First, I wonder where she comes up with all the individuals in need of assistance. She always finds the most oppressed.

As for her Oct. 26 column on a dyslexic man seeking to pass the bar exam, "Reconciling the letters of the law," she notes that Robert Mueller does just fine on the test given double the established time, but flunks with only time and a half.

It would seem to me that many SAT and LSAT test-takers would do considerably better if given more time. After all, it's not how much you actually know, but how fast and accurately you can apply it under current rules.

FTC When I was a senior in college, I don't remember whether my reading comprehension was tested. If it was, I never found out how I ranked.

Ms. Engram mentions the California bar. Is that the only bar exam which Mr. Mueller attempted?

To support her side, she brings in a Harvard professor. How much more status can you ask for! Ms. Engram comes to the astonishing conclusion that, "in any classroom, students will learn best in different ways." That's like saying the smaller the class, the better the learning. Sort of obvious.

She goes on, "The same child who is stumped by the multiplication tables can sometimes master them easily when she learns them as a song." Amazing. Of course we can't bring in the Baltimore Symphony, but songs work at least for a few lower grades. Also some of these basics might be tried at home also.

Then we get the approach that everyone is smart in some way. The old cliche that each of us is capable of learning, with the word "learning" undefined.

In addition, we learn that "We've all heard of whiz kids who had so much trouble getting along with other people they could never hold a job." I would tend to allow for a few of the less swift as having their won work-related problems.

Ms. Engram then notes that there is an "endless supply of examples of those lackluster students who went on to make millions of dollars or rise to leadership positions." At least she didn't mention someone who made a lot of money, although she could mention many professional athletes. As an example she cited Winston Churchill, well known among today's youth.

Quoting her further, "We talk a lot about the value of diversity in business and in life." A couple of my examples would be the number of blacks in the National Hockey League and the number of Asians in the National Basketball Association, or the number of women in either.

The example of symphony orchestras shows that diversity is of importance. There you find most minorities, as well as both genders, all of whom worked hard and competed to determine the most qualified.

There is just one factor which counts: ability. Obviously, these are unusual examples but their employment is determined by their performance. Their salaries ain't bad either.

I would agree that Mr. Mueller deserves to be brought into the fold in his struggle to become a lawyer, but I strongly disagree with Ms. Engram's arguments and examples on how to treat intelligence, skills, ability and diversity in today's world.

Singling out individuals is not the answer. For every Mr. Mueller, there are hundreds of Maryland kids who are functionally illiterate.

These are the ones who need real help.

R. D. Bush

Columbia

News so nice Sun printed it twice

Isn't it bad enough we have a half-year of television reruns? Now, we have newspaper reruns in just two days.

I was astounded to see page 8B on Oct. 23 in The Sun in Howard, a page identical to 8B on Oct. 21. Couldn't you even redistribute the articles to different pages to, at least, make us think they were news?

Herbert K. Thompson

Ellicott City

'Buy low, sell high' is bad for Columbia

Re: "Rouse proposal seen as threat to property values," The Sun, Oct. 15.

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