The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, November 12, 1998, Page 4, Image 4

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Erin Gibson
Cliff Hicks
N ancy Christensen
Brad Davis
Sam McKewon
Jeff Randall
Bret Schulte
We are
the world
Hurricane survivors
desperate for aid
Last week, Hurricane Mitch swept
through Central America and annihilated
everything in its path. Now the world is in
a race against time to save the survivors.
Entire villages were wiped out.
Honduras and Nicaragua have lost
virtually all their crops. Central American
economies have been crippled, and it will
take years for them to recover.
An estimated 10,000 are dead, and the
number is rising. About 15,000 are still
missing and believed to be dead. Three
million people, about 10 ‘percent of all
Central Americans, are now homeless.
International rescue services are wor
ried that without proper medicine, food,
clothing, shelter and transportation the
people of Central America are susceptible
to epidemics of disease and starvation.
Without a global effort to help the
Central American people, even more lives
will be lost.
It is pretty safe to say most of us will
never face that kind of crisis. We will never
know what it is like to lose our homes,
family members or everything we have
ever worked for. We will probably never
have to face the frustration of having
everything we own destroyed by a random
act of nature.
We can’t control nature. But we can
help those whose misfortune we have been
lucky enough to escape.
The Environmental Resource Center
and the Agribusiness AgEcon Club have
started a rescue relief drive. Donation bar
reis nave neen piacea in tne Nebraska
Union and the Nebraska East Union. The
groups are hoping to receive enough
canned foods, clothes, blankets and medi
cine that they can make an immediate ship
ment to Central America. To lessen the
cost of shipping, they have asked the
National Guard to take the items. They
also need volunteers to help take donated
items to their warehouse. The drive will
run until Nov. 20.
The American Red Cross is also taking
donations, but primarily needs money.
They plan to use monetary donations to
buy supplies from the surrounding coun
tries not devastated by the hurricane, rather
than ship supplies. This will allow them to
get supplies to the disaster areas faster and
bolster the surrounding economies.
Donations can be sent to the Lincoln
chapter of the American Red Cross at:
P.O.Box 83267
Lincoln, NE 68501
Contributors must indicate they want
the money to go to the Central American
relief effort.
Donations to the American Red Cross
can also be made via its Internet site at or toll-free phone
number (800) Help-Now.
Editorial Pelicy
Unsigned editorials are the opinions of
the Fall 1998 Daily Nebraskan. They do
not necessarily reflect the views of the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, its
employees, its student body or the
University of Nebraska Board of Regents.
A column is solely the opinion of its author.
The Board of Regents serves as publisher
of the Daily Nebraskan; policy is set by
the Daily Nebraskan Editorial Board. The
UNL Publications Board, established by
the regents, supervises the production
of the paper. According to policy set by
the regents, responsibility for the editorial
content of the newspaper lies solely in(
the hands of its student employees.
Letter Pdlcy
The Daily Nebraskan welcomes brief
letters to the editor and guest columns,
but does not guarantee their publication.
The Daily Nebraskan retains the right to
edit or reject any material submitted.
Submitted material becomes property of
the Daily Nebraskan and cannot be
returned. Anonymous submissions will
not be published. Those who submit
letters must identify themselves by name,
year in school, major and/or group
affiliation, if any.
Submit material to: Daily Nebraskan, 34
Nebraska Union, 1400 R St. Lincoln,
NE. 68588-0448. E-mail:
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Academic bulimia
_Interaction between professors, students enhances learning
JOSH WIMMER is a senior
news-editorial major and a
Daily Nebraskan colum
Sometimes, I’m not very excited
about going to class.
None of you can relate, I’m sure.
Admittedly, this is frequently my
own fault I mean, I’m sure I’d be
more excited about class if I got to bed
before 6 a.m. on a regular basis.
But it’s not just me. I’m sure none
of you can relate to this, either, but -
some of the professors here could do a
better job.
borne ot them are boring.
Some of them don’t seem very
interested in teaching us.
Their modus operandi is pretty
standard: They stand at the font of
their classrooms for 50 minutes and
read from the notes they’ve used for
years. They never solicit questions,
comments or discussion from us, their
pupils. „ ,
It’s like, they have this informa
tion, and they think it’s their job to
recite it to us as quickly as possible, so
that we can recite it right back on our
And at the same time, they expect
us to remain interested in what they’re
telling us.
Why should I - or anyone - stay
awake to hear someone recite a shop
ping list of terms and concepts, none
of which is even remotely explored in
detail? „ .
Isn’t that what reading textbooks is
We pay good money to attend a
university that wants to be recognized
as one of the finest academic institu
tions in the country.
And I want instructors who care
about keeping us interested in what
they’re teaching.
Believe me, I understand that
some of the responsibility for keeping
us interested in a class lies with us, the
But it seems to me professors who
can’t present information in an inter
esting, thought-provoking manner
aren’t succeeding at their jobs.
Folks like that shouldn’t be profes
sors. They should be researchers, plain
and simple.
And anyway, I’m not asking for
much. I’d just Idee it if professors
would hit a point, explain it concisely,
and then say, “What about you guys?
What do you think?”
I mean, not so long ago, one of my
professors was running through a
chapter’s worth of information, breez
ing through about six concepts that I,
with my silly little mind, thought
deserved more than two minutes of
our time.
And then, before immediately
moving on, the professor said, “I don’t
know what your opinion about this is
Well, then ask us, for Chrissakes.
Maybe some of our professors
don’t care about our opinions. Maybe
they think of us as idiot peons with
nothing to contribute.
Or, more likely, maybe they don’t
think there’s time to discuss the con
cepts we run across in class. Three or
so hours a week certainly isn’t a lot of
But once again, what’s the point of
spending those three hours on infor
mation we can get from books?
If we’re not getting the opportunity
to use our brains in class, what kind of
education are we paying for?
I don’t think a little interactivity is
too much to ask for from our instruc- i
Maybe when they were in school,
it was standard for their teachers to
recite and for them to absorb and
regurgitate. Maybe they could do that. j
But we kids today, we grew up
with television and Nintendos. Our
attention spans are short; we like to
We grew up amidst nostalgia for
the tumultuous ’60s. We were taught i
that authority figures - policemen,
politicians, professors - don’t know it
And more important than either of ,
those points, a lot of us know we could
go get good, decent-paying jobs with
out what we learned in History 101,
because that’s not going to be worth a
piece of cat poop. '
Perhaps that sounds like a cop-out.
Unfortunately, it’s reality.
u uui piuicssuis arc genuinely
interested in instilling in us a love for
their subjects, then they need to do
more than just throw facts in our faces.
To be fair, a lot of professors do a
good job. They assign reading and
devote class time to discussing that
assigned material.
Those professors’ efforts are
stymied mostly by their aforemen
tioned colleagues, who don’t make
reading a necessity, which leads to stu
dents getting used to sliding by.
Nevertheless, they press on. They
want to know what we students have
to say. When they lecture, they ask
questions instead of making state
And, if some of us still aren’t inter
ested in what they’re teaching, at least
they’ve done their part No one can
say they don’t care about their students
or their subjects.
Yikes. Would that all of our facul
ty were like that.
Maybe then we’d be getting our
money’s worth.
And maybe we’d all be more excit
ed about going to class.
“Everyone has an opinion...
share yours.” 1
Apply to be a Daily Nebraskan columnist. j
Applications available at the DN - Due Nov. 17th
- ' — <