SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE


How could one issue [Feb. 15] have so many articles that were excellent and so relevant to my life that I looked for additional copies to send to family members?

An article about Peru [“Beyond Machu Picchu”] is going to my daughter, who is going there in June. An article about movie extras [“Extras! Extras!”] is going to my son the screenwriter in L.A. An article about same-sex schools [“Pink School/Blue School”] is going to my friend Jason Kamras, the 2005 National Teacher of the Year. And the article about Spanx [“The Spanx Experiment”] is going to my husband, with whom I had a discussion about their popularity for men. You mentioned my favorite book-buying site, Betterworldbooks.com, and you gave me a great idea for a tour in Napa Valley. Thanks for an excellent publication!
Karen Polansky, Carmichael, Calif.

Editor Adam Pitluk responds: You said all the right things, Karen. I feel I owe you. Do you have any lawn mowing that needs doing?


100,000 AAdvantage miles for your thoughts.

We enjoy hearing what you think about the magazine — so much so that if your letter to the editor is published in a 2011 issue, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win 100,000 AAdvantage? miles. Want a chance at the miles? Simply ?e-mail your thoughts to us at ?editor@americanwaymag.com.
A NO-BRAINER

Classrooms for the same sex [“Pink School/Blue School,” Feb. 15]? Why not? We have to take some chances and change our approach to educating our children. This is not your grandma’s classroom. It’s difficult to keep kids’ attention when the world has already captured it with iPhones, Xbox and more.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that girls and boys think differently. It starts in the beginning with the sounds a male child makes (the rat-a-tat-tats and the zoom-a-zoom-zooms). So why wouldn’t we assume that a teacher focused on getting the attention of males might be a better way?

Take the girls out of the classroom and the boys are competing against the boys. It levels the playing field and opens their opportunities to learn. I don’t teach, but I have enough experience to know that today’s classrooms are very different, and we had better try something different if we’re going to keep children’s attention and transition them to being successful adults.
Teresa Goodnight, Tulsa, Okla.

Editor Adam Pitluk responds: Fantastic analysis, Teresa! Letters like yours are exactly? why we did this story: We want there to be a discussion about how best to educate children.

AN APP APP

Thank you for featuring the new smart phone app “Tell My Geo” in your Feb. 15 edition [“Itinerary”], so the public can be informed about ways to help Alzheimer’s patients. My mom was in good health and had been newly diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s. Had I heard of that app, perhaps my siblings and I could have been quicker? to respond to my mother’s cry for help when she awoke in the middle of the night frightened and looking for a family member. My mother was taken via ambulance and admitted to a psychiatric hospital for an evaluation and later passed away from a hospital-acquired staph aureus infection.

The more information we can share and utilize to help our aging population, the better quality of life our loved ones will be given. Hopefully, this new tool will help Alzheimer’s patients avoid unnecessary hospitalizations and trips to emergency rooms.
 Maryanne Sorge, RN, FNP, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

Editor Adam Pitluk responds: Essentially the same fate befell my grandfather 10 years ago, and we’re still picking up the pieces. Thank you for your encouraging words and for the work you do.

REACHING OUT

I took Adam Pitluk’s Dec. 15 column “Apprentices and Professors” as a call to action. I decided to find out if the lady next to me on my flight was, as he stated in his column, “a corporate lawyer.” I basically repeated the text of the column as I asked, “Excuse me, are you ‘a corporate lawyer with a wealth of trial stories as well as a life story that has more valleys than peaks, as is too often the case with corporate lawyers?’ ”

I don’t know that I could adequately describe the look and expressions that the lady took on as I spoke. She responded with: “Umm, OK, that’s just really a bizarre question.” I said, “Yeah, sorry. But I was reading this magazine and … ” She interrupted me to say that the reason it was bizarre was that she happened to be a corporate attorney! When I explained why I had asked and pointed? to your column, we shared some laughs. In the next three hours, I made a new friend and learned so much about Mary from Orlando.

If your column was to prove true, the gentleman sitting next to me on my next flight would be a “Ph.D. in economics from Stanford.” Since I was headed home to Champaign, Ill., there were pretty good odds that whomever sat next to me just might have a doctorate. I felt a bit silly, but I was totally into it by the time I mustered the courage to extend my hand to the gentleman next to me: “By any chance, do you hold a Ph.D. in economics?” He simply replied “No.” After a few quiet seconds, he said, “Not in economics.” The ensuing conversation was lively and involved his extensive knowledge of “structural geology.” Steve from Champaign is a doctor of geology, and he explained much about tectonics and plate drift to me.

What an incredible day I had. I have many great memories of traveling on American. Thanks for your encouragement to add to the treasure chest of my life.
Cecil Bilbo, Champaign, Ill.

Editor Adam Pitluk responds: Probably the most surreal letter I’ve received in three years. You did what we should all do on a flight, and that’s meet someone and learn something. I sincerely believe that some of the best contacts we’ll make can be made on a plane. To put proof behind my words, my sister is getting married in July; she met her fiancé on a plane.