Letters: College Tuition, 'Braid,' Sharing

Listeners respond to our stories on college tuition, the videogame Braid and sharing.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:

Time now for your e-mails. And first, some comments on a story that we heard Monday about two Pennsylvania teenagers who spent the summer trying to find money for college.

MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

One of them ended up with a scholarship from the state's Board of Governors. The other, Marlo Johnson, fell short of her goal of covering the $38,000-a-year tuition at Susquehanna University. So, as NPR's Claudio Sanchez reported, she enrolled in community college.

CLAUDIO SANCHEZ: She's given up her dream of attending Susquehanna University, but like always, Marlo's looking on the bright side.

BLOCK: Well, I do have enough to pay tuition, thank God. $1750 each semester, so I'm covered for the year.

SIEGEL: Well, some of you didn't like the way that sounded. Theresa Smith is a community college instructor from Bryan, Texas, and she writes, the tone of the story indicated that this was not a good solution to her problem. She goes on, to me, community colleges epitomize one of the great aspects of our democracy. We're there giving a chance to students who do not have the money for the more expensive major universities, and we also offer students who may not have performed to their best abilities earlier another chance.

BLOCK: Video gamers among you had praise for our story on Braid, that's the new Xbox game with an unusual premise. It's about a man who is trying to figure out why his romance fell apart.

SIEGEL: Josh Norman of Nashville writes, even before you said which video game you were talking about, I knew what it was. I recently downloaded this game and was amazed at its beauty. Thanks so much for the story, as it gives more merit to the idea of video games as art.

BLOCK: Finally, yesterday, we also brought you a story on sharing, how the behavior is learned and its place in modern society. In that story, political scientist James Fowler of UC San Diego brought up some common phrases from this week's Democratic National Convention.

BLOCK: Everyone deserves an equal opportunity. We're the party that shares. We're going to make sure that no one is too rich and no one is too poor. Over and over again, egalitarianism permeates politics.

SIEGEL: Well, Emily Chanley-Wright(ph) of Beloit, Wisconsin, wrote to say that our story conflates sharing with a system of coerced redistribution.

BLOCK: She writes, in the words of Raffi, whose song started your piece, it's mine but you can have some. With you, I'd like to share it. The song does not say it's yours, but I will take it because someone else deserves it more. Chanley-Wright concludes, no matter what we might think of coerced redistribution, good or bad, it is not the same thing as sharing.

SIEGEL: Well, share your thoughts or redistribute them with us. Go to our Web site, npr.org, and click on Contact Us at the top of the page.

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