Letters to the Editor

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Bio Sci Degree
I was struck by the article on the struggles of completing a science degree.
Midway through my junior year, I was convinced that I would never make it through to the day I would receive a degree in physics. I was learning things 150 years old and struggling with them, how would I ever make it?
Today, I’m a graduate student in physics, and I’ve managed to master a large chunk of difficult science.
The critical idea I was missing was that science is hard.
Yes, that’s right children, science is hard.
Anyone can do it, but you have to really want to.
Self-motivation is the key word. That’s what med schools want to see, and that’s what research advisors want to see.
If you can’t understand the research project, can’t do the homework or don’t understand the point of some lab exercise, you should WANT to figure it out, not complain about it.
I would think that it is true of any major; that if you don’t want to do the work, you shouldn’t be in the major.
As a TA, I got tired pretty quick of hearing people complain about doing lab work and homework assignments which they felt would not be useful later in life.
The point of all the work you’re doing here is so that later in life, when you come across problems which are NOT solved, you will have the flexibility of mind and determination of spirit to see the problem through to its solution.
That’s applicable to every aspect of life, in any profession you care to choose.
Brett Goldsmith
Graduate School of Physics

Albertson’s Strike
I recently read the article, ‘Employees Strike for Health Benefits’ (Oct. 20), and it did not delve into specifics of the strike.
When it quotes, ‘The companies believe ‘it is reasonable to ask employees to share in a very small portion of that cost,’ asking weekly fees of $5 for individuals and $15 for families,’ it failed to mention that Safeway, Albertsons and Ralphs also want to cut the health coverage by 50 percent.
As a worker for Vons, I would be willing to pay $5 dollars per week to get at least 90 percent, and my co-workers would be willing to do the same.
Not only are we striking for health benefits, we are also striking to preserve tenured employee’s pensions, to prevent second class workers from taking our jobs and to save the meatcutters’ job.
There are employees who have worked over 10 years and, they are looking forward to receiving their retirement pensions once they retire.
Now, if the new contract from Safeway were to take in effect, the tenured employees would lose all their pensions that they worked for.
If Safeway got their way in hiring second class workers, it would instruct the managers to find any way to fire tenured employees, so if an employee slips up, then he or she is fired immediately, and his or her job would go to the second class worker.
Safeway, Ralphs and Albertsons would also want to deliver pre-cut meat, meaning that it would eliminate at least 7,000 meatcutters.
Here are sites that gives the specifics on why we are striking:
http://www.ufcw324.org/2003strikepage.html
http://www.ufcw324.org/strikefacts.pdf
http://www.ufcw324.org/2003factsheet1.html
Please shop at Stater Bros or Gelsons for the time being.
Paul Pak
Electrical Engineering

Proposition 54
While your article was correct in stating that Prop 54 didn’t receive enough coverage by the media, I think that the authors of the editorial didn’t understand the initiative enough either.
Prop 54 would not have banned all race related statistical information, as you stated, for anyone who read the initiative would know that there were exemptions for medical research, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, consent decrees, federal funded programs, prisons, law enforcement and any other exemptions that two-thirds of the state legislature and the governor see fit.
The medical research would have exempted all ‘[o]therwise lawful classification of medical research subject and patients …’
While proponents and opponents clashed over whether this exemption was a broad one or a narrow one if there was a court challenge the intent of the initiative would be determined by referring to the what the proponent of the initiative intended.
The proponent, Ward Connerly, made it clear that the medical exemption was meant to be a broad one and not the narrower one that the opponents claimed.
Also Prop 54 would NOT have gone into effect immediately, but rather on January 1, 2005.
Prop 54 much like Prop 53 were both victims of ignorance of the voters and not an educated rejection of those initiatives.
Shawn Augsburger
History

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