Letter: STEM's limitations apparent in In Focus column

March 20, 2014 

I chuckled at the irony inherent in the juxtaposition of the two In Focus columns featured in the March 9 Tri-City Forum. I am not a fan of STEM, precisely because of what I saw in Dave Bond's column. I say this intending no offense toward Mr. Bond. I believe he is an outstanding educator running a very good school district; I fervently agree with the theses in his column regarding teacher evaluations. But if we swallow hook, line, and sinker the STEM premise in Tom Yount's adjacent column, all our writing might sound Mr. Bond's. His style is cogent and rhetorically sound, but possesses no grace or melody and thus little passion. It is suggestive of a world where we would listen to scales instead of sonatas.

I lay claim to no special expressive talent myself, but know enough to discern a paragraph illumined by lightning bugs instead of lightning. We must grasp Shakespeare and Twain and Cather or all our writing will sound like a procedure manual. I'm not sure STEM advocates get this.


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