Mishler reponds to Leuty

Date: Thu, 14 Oct 1999

From: Michael Mishler (walrus95482@yahoo.com)

Subject: Response Barbara Leuty, eagle forum,

To: Barbara Leuty, et al.

Barbara:

I'm sure there is something I'm missing here. It seems to me that we all need a little sense-of-humor transplant, hmm??? This overheated rhetoric based on a few light-hearted comments on a website *devoted* to a forum for free, unhampered discussion of issues related to the Eagle and Mendocino College. If I had, indeed, had a *serious* concern over somebody's conduct as a duly sworn officer of the state of California, I would indeed have confronted that person, whether it was you, Michelle or anyone else. As I recall, you apologized for Michelle's behavior at the time. Was that aplology sincere? I certainly thought so when I accepted it. This overheated rhetoric reminds me a bit of the remarks of Frank Riggs on the floor of the House justifying the pepper spray daubing of two EF! activists, including my friend from an action up in Dillon Creek, "Spring." (Some of my EF! friends and other friends call Riggs Rank Piggs--his remarks at that time certainly make the nickname appropriate, at least to me.)

To be clear: I believe we are both confronted with the same problem, and it's not stuff I wrote in an apparently unsuccessful attempt at humor. That problem is the status of cc students as second-class students. In a better world, the kind presently inhabited by UC and CSU students, we would have more autonomy, both in appropriating and controlling funds, and also in sources of said funding. We would not have to be chaperoned at events such as the recent conference in LA. This in turn would help those events be more relevant and effective, as well as interesting.

All this is all the more ironic considering that as I reported in the Sept. Eagle, around 80 or so percent of MC students are re-entry students, with an average student age of 30+ What we should be discussing, openly and honestly, is how to use the undeniable presence of many students older than the traditional 18-22 or so age of college students. We all know there will be a huge influx of that age group into all California colleges in the next decade, starting in only a few years. In fact, I have heard that the there is already a trend toward younger students at MC.

Wouldn't it be a good idea to begin setting up some sort of mentoring program, not just tutoring but a loose, informal, "help the incoming students negotiate the bureaucracy" network, which could also include help in getting part-time jobs now and full-time jobs later. If it works out, maybe a statewide network could help with all kinds of transitions. Many older students have been through a lot of hard knocks, and have hard-won lessons I'm sure they would be eager to share, thus helping the next cohort coming in from High School to avoid having to learn many of these lessons in how to deal with bureaucracies the hard way.

What got me thinking about all this was how I have been able to help my daughter Teresa, now a senior at Samford U. in Birmingham, AL., deal with Financial Aid and student housing pitfalls. I hope we can work together on issues such as this. Let's find areas of agreement, of consensus, and work on them.

By the way, I'm sure you understand that we are sworn to uphold the First Amendment along with the rest of the US Constitution, and the California Constitution, as well as all the laws of the United States, including the Brown Act. There are many laws and even provisions of said constitutions, that I question. I may even have harbored less than total respect for them. Whether I respect the First Amendment or any other provision of the US or California Constitution, or any US or California law, I am sworn to uphold and defend them all.

I'll probably see you Monday too, at the Academic Senate meeting. I'll be there to cover it for the Eagle. In fact, whatever I write for the Eagle, I will be submitting to the Eagle Forum, in the absence of an Eagle website or even a MC student forum website (which would be a great idea!).

Sincerely, Michael Mishler,


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