Degrees of uncertainty | Nov. 18-20
English is great major for job skills
While the poet in the story seems like a nice guy, he doesn't represent most of the English (and creative writing) majors I know because they have all been able to find work. They hold jobs such as vice president in a software company, in banking, as Title I teachers, as social workers, as lawyers and, yes, as college professors.
English is a great major in which students learn how to think critically and creatively, how to assess an audience well and how to argue their points effectively. It is not a major for those who are not able to creatively apply the skills they learn to a variety of job situations.
While I was a graduate student in English and creative writing at FSU, I bemoaned my future difficulty finding work to a friend finishing his MBA. "You know," he said, "companies are hiring English majors and teaching them how to do business management because it's much harder to get business majors who can think and write clearly and critically."
The measure of success for English majors is not getting a job in Renaissance poetry ("get to work analyzing those sonnets!") but in the ways they use their skills in other areas.
Gregory Byrd, Clearwater
A return to science, sense and Rubio doesn't know how old the Earth is | Nov. 21
Importance of facts, reason
Congratulations on both your editorial on fluoride and the op-ed column on Sen. Marco Rubio.
It's downright frightening that Rubio sits on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, and is considered a Republican front-runner in 2016.
Your pieces are a triumph of logic, reason and the truth. These are the foundations of American greatness — past, present and, hopefully, future.
Edward Bocchino, Tampa
Middle school knowledge
Kudos to astronomer Phil Platt, who lashed out at Sen. Marco Rubio for his "fuzzy" answers to a question regarding the age of the Earth. How unfortunate that a U.S. senator not only lacks a basic understanding and appreciation for science and its relevance to our economy, but also cannot distinguish between biblical liturgy and accepted scientific facts.
As a substitute middle school teacher, I can tell you that most middle schoolers know more about the age of the Earth that Rubio does, because I have asked them that question many times. I always get a much better answer than his, "It's one of the great mysteries."
For a senator who sits on the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, you would think Rubio was as well-informed on Earth science as a middle-schooler. But apparently he is not.
Stephen Feldman, Valrico
Degrees of uncertainty | Nov. 18-20
Working my way up
I appreciated the article by Lane DeGregory following a young woman trying to find work after graduating from college.
I graduated from a prestigious college but could not find a job. I finally took a low-paying job to pay for my student loan and my rent. I left that job for slightly higher pay. I finally got a fantastic job with my work experience and my college education.
I feel sorry for college grads with high expectations as they pursue the American dream. Just getting any job in this economy is a very hard thing to do.
I hope President Barack Obama encourages companies to return jobs that have been outsourced to other countries. I also hope he does not give illegal aliens amnesty when so many Americans can't find work.
Jenny Leith, New Port Richey
As a recent USF college graduate who has struggled to find work, I am disturbed by the recent features about the New College graduates. I hope that readers will not take these graduates as representative of the culture of all unemployed/underemployed young degree holders.
There are many like me who are willing to put in the effort required to succeed, including working multiple low-paying jobs, sending out hundreds of resumes and understanding that unrealistic expectations can interfere with opportunities to grow personally and professionally.
Don't lump these New College graduates in with the rest of us.
Russell Shackle, Largo
The rotten cherry atop sleaze sundae Nov. 20, Daniel Ruth column
When Daniel Ruth joined the Times a few years back, my first reaction was: Hooray, the Times just got the best of the Tampa Tribune.
Dan proved my point in this column about the Bubba/Buckhorn fracas.
I've read Ruth for a long time, and this is his best work since the heyday of the Rev. Henry Lyons.
Keep up the good work.
Ken Lynam, Dunedin
He always relished life's small details Nov. 11, Epilogue
A fitting tribute
We would like to thank Andrew Meacham for the thoughtful Epilogue he did on Henry Brommelsick. Much like Henry, it was fact-filled, with a touch of humor.
Many family members, friends, and former co-workers commented on how they enjoyed the story and how well it captured his personality.
The Brommelsick family, Largo
Retreat from the beach | Nov. 16, commentary
Orrin H. Pilkey's article is right on. How long before we give up this foolishness of building a few feet from the water and even building on "barrier islands"? We spend millions of dollars to move sand around over and over again. Do we need to be hit in the head with a two-by-four for it to sink in? Or just another major catastrophic storm? There needs to be some sort of building restriction in place: Perhaps one "wipeout" and you are done and have to move back from the water.
G.G. Williams, St. Petersburg
Citizens' dirty laundry | Nov. 21
It is time to clean house at Citizens. Ongoing problems with this continuously embroiled group of executives show no sign of improvement. Bring in professionals to do the job that requires professional expertise. Florida taxpayers deserve better than what is being delivered by a bunch of unprofessionals.
Austin R. Curry, Tampa