Thank you for changing the conversation about college life ("Young and Sober," 4/11/2014). No one knows what young people in recovery go through in their pursuit of sobriety and education like the person in recovery. How a person becomes addicted, whether it's a disease or choice, and even where a person acquires an addiction are questions ripe for debate. What recovery options are available when a person wants to get well is a conversation we are all capable of having without debate. The dialogue moves us to solutions, which inspire wellness exponentially.
The University of Wisconsin may have a reputation as a party school, but there is good reason to believe the work being done to change how people get well and get smart in Madison will one day be documented in the American Journal of Medicine. Don Draper, a binge-drinking Mad Men man of perspective, said what the college presidents might embrace: "If you don't like what people are saying about you, change the conversation." Well done, Maggie Ginsberg-Schutz and Isthmus. You changed the conversation.
Tom Meyer, Founder, Aaron's House
A true Christian
The piece on Eldonna Hazen, the minister at the First Congregational Church, was absolutely lovely ("You Are Welcome Here," 4/18/2014). She represents everything that Christians are supposed to be -- loving, accepting and concerned about the most vulnerable among us. I'm also reminded of something a gay man once told me. When someone came to know him first as a person, then learned he was gay, it made all the difference in the world, rather than seeing him first as a member of a group who, because he was different, was somehow threatening.
Here's hoping, in time, everyone becomes what I think of as a true Christian -- someone who rejoices in all loving relationships and who cares for those in our community who've fallen on hard times.
Denise Beckfield, Verona
Ruth Conniff: While I completely support your right to express your opinion about Wisconsin's virtual schools, you need to get your facts straight ("The Sharks Are Circling Madison Schools," 4/11/2014). eAchieve Academy is chartered by the school district of Waukesha and is not affiliated with any private, for-profit school management company. K12 Inc. operates Wisconsin Virtual School in the McFarland school district.
eAchieve Academy is a public school, and the public funding we receive goes to support our public school students and pay our public school teachers and staff.
Christopher Schulteis, Logistics and marketing manager, eAchieve Academy"Wisconsin, Waukesha
Ruth Conniff replies: My column contained no errors of fact, and I did not suggest that eAchieve is part of K12.On the larger point: Saying your virtual school is a "public school" and therefore not part of the story about siphoning funds out of regular bricks-and-mortar schools is pure sophistry. No one used to expect that their local public school dollars were going to these virtual academies. Now they are spreading like a virus thanks to changes in the law.