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By Charles Lam
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Steve Lowery's "CSULB Revisited" was hilarious, sad and painfully true (Back to School, Aug. 27). I had the pleasure of registering late recently at Cal State Long Beach because I'd just had back surgery. Naturally, they don't give a rip what your excuse is; they charge you a $25 late fee regardless.
Last semester, they put my records on administrative hold pending some bullshit writing-proficiency exam that I forgot to take. So they prevented me from registering last semester (spring '99), which set me back a whole semester. After all was said and done, I found out I could've registered anyway—I just had to file all the right bullshit paperwork.
It's wonderful attending a school of 30,000, where they sell you a hunting license for a parking place for $63! The availability of classes for evening students is a complete joke. I already have seven years' experience in my industry—automotive information systems—and many of my peers agree that the education I will receive at CSULB will be virtually worthless. That really disturbs me. It's all I can afford (barely), it's all I have, and best of all, it's convenient. But it's also like being put through a meat grinder.—William Morrison, Huntington Beach
Lowery got out of CSULB just what he put into it: not a damned thing. And whose fault is that? I also spent my college years at the Beach, and I have fond memories of the chili fries in the snack shop, benders at the Nugget, walking up Hard Fact Hill and getting that good parking space. But I also spent my time working on the Union Daily and Daily Forty-Niner newspapers; serving a year on the student senate; doing volunteer work for various boards, committees and organizations; attending women's basketball games and other sporting events; and (God forbid!) actually learning something. I can still quote cases from my law of mass communications course, and my women's studies classes and professors helped me define who I am as a person, a feminist and a citizen. I even picked up a thing or two from some of my general-ed courses.
Is CSULB a big, impersonal place? It can be. But is it the waste of space Lowery describes? No way. I thoroughly enjoyed my years at CSULB. I learned much and am proud to be an alum. Perhaps Lowery's problem then was the same as his problem now: a shitty attitude.
Go Beach!—Vicky Hendley, Editor,American Association for Higher Education Bulletin, Washington, D.C.
Oh, please: Is Margaret J. Soos using the OC Weekly as a forum for writing material for a B-movie ("With Friends Like These," Aug. 27)? Now I know why this magazine is free: you can't get anyone to pay to read such trash. I'm the mother of a sorority member from Cal State Fullerton, and I take offense to a number of the outright lies I found in this article. My daughter's sorority and the other sororities on campus take pride in their fund-raising efforts for their individual charities. They are proud of their strong scholastic program and high grade-point averages.
How dare you cast insults on all sororities. I'm suspicious of a source that will not identify herself, the sorority or even the university. For shame on creating an atmosphere of fear and suspicion toward all sororities.—Linda Schmidt, Orange
When I was in college in the late '70s, Greek organizations were not popular. During that time, the Greeks had a hard time recruiting pledges, mostly because of hazing. As far as wanting to join because you would have "connections" in the corporate world, that's a lot of bunk. You develop connections through hard work and getting to know the right people.
Margaret, sorry that you had to endure the rough hazing, but to me, it's not worth it.—Mike Morales, via e-mail HEY, MEAT HEAD!
Re: "Meat's" letter about the Aug. 20 Hey, You! (Letters, Aug. 27):
The article wasn't about driving carelessly; it was about the fact that this guy had a "Honk If You Love Jesus" sticker, and when someone actually honked, he didn't take a very Christian attitude toward the person. The main theme of the article was "hypocrisy," how one man promotes a certain way of beliefs yet acted the total opposite when a misunderstanding happened on his behalf. But I see it happen all the time—the truck with four different Harvest Crusade stickers on the window that runs stop signs. The soccer-mom-driven van with the Jesus fish swerving in and out of traffic to make it to a soccer game, or the yuppie with a "Real Men Love Jesus" sticker driving in the carpool lane when he's the only one in the car.
Meat felt he had to tell us that the victim was a crappy driver, and he felt he had to give us driving tips. Hey, Meat, try reading the article before opening your big mouth. Orange County will thank you for it.—Denise Dork, Publisher, Dork Magazine, Huntington Beach