LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Re: ‘Remember What It Means to Be a Student’

To the editor:

In “Remember What It Means to Be a Student,” Colton Poore ’20 writes, “Over the past three years, I’ve felt that I’ve had my desire to learn sucked out of me with memorization, regurgitation and prayers of scoring at least the mean.” This is a result of a culture that prioritizes the measurable over the meaningful. I usually have a blue shirt on. The shirt is clearly blue. However, as a professor, if I told Cornell students that my shirt is red and then gave them a test with one question on it — “What color is my shirt?” — 95% would answer, without hesitation, “Red,” regardless of whether I am speaking one-on-one, in a small group or in a large auditorium (just ask my students, advisees and anyone else who would be around to watch). I would tell them that we are here to teach them how to observe nature and to develop the courage of their convictions to explain their observations and conclusions using reasoning.