Dumpy Barbie isn't really needed"When I grow up, I want to...

Letters

November 29, 1997

Dumpy Barbie isn't really needed

"When I grow up, I want to be like a Barbie doll." Suffice it to

say I have never heard these words uttered by my 9-year-old daughter or any of her friends.

I have never found Barbie to be in the least bit threatening. But apparently a group of insecure, so-called feminists do.

Enough said. Mattel is no dummy. This hype will most certainly guarantee that the proposed new Barbie with the dumpy look will sell like hotcakes to those of us who (ahem) still collect toys.

She's certain to disintegrate in an early mid-life crisis, head to divorce court with Ken and be worth many dollars more years down the line.

Ginny Larsen

Baltimore

Kindergarten is learning, not play

The Nov. 18 article, ''Turning little ones into able readers,'' made the following statement:

''Those children who were in kindergarten last year at Lyndhurst attended for only a half-day, and it was playtime.''

As a kindergarten teacher at Lyndhurst Elementary I was very disturbed about that comment.

In kindergarten, the children learn beginning reading skills with a phonics and whole language program.

Some children became readers, while the others built a foundation for reading. The curriculum also included math, social studies, science, music and art.

The children do engage in ''playtime,'' which we call ''exploration,'' for a portion of the day. During exploration, many skills are being reinforced.

My kindergarten children last year were hard-working and well-behaved students who were more than ready for the challenges of first grade.

Kindergarten may have been considered playtime many years ago. Today, however, kindergarten is a grade where children are engaging in active learning.

Ilene L. Schwartz

Owings Mills

Kennedy myth ripe for debunking

Perhaps the reason Seymour Hersh has written a book derided as "shoddy" by many critics (The Sun, Nov. 18) is because Mr. Hersh, like many Americans, is weary of the Kennedy myth and "Camelot," and would like to lay it to rest.

The press has given us more Kennedy than any of us can reasonably be expected to take, even those who may like the man and his family. It is interesting how the press will beat up even on one of its own who strays from the party line.

First, let us not forget that the Kennedy election was hardly a mandate. The man won by a margin of barely 100,000 votes, one of the lowest in modern history.

In his less than one-term presidency, he failed miserably with his Bay of Pigs invasion and gave us such legislation as letting married men avoid being drafted to fight in Vietnam.

While there were high points, many of his policies and programs were fundamentally flawed.

Given the excesses of the Kennedys, nothing Mr. Hersh wrote in his book is unbelievable, and is corroborated by at least some source.

The media that say his book lacks factual data are the same media that tell us the Kennedys are America's royal family.

When did Americans ever vote on that?

I wouldn't rush into judgment that Mr. Hersh didn't get it right.

Gene Edwards

Eldersburg

Pub Date: 11/29/97

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