September 23, 2013

Letters to the editor: USM should keep physics major

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Students of the hard sciences play a big role in the state’s future.

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I don't see the budget issue of the courses having too few students a good enough reason to eliminate part of the intellectual muscle of the college.

As a retired Southern Maine Community College faculty member, who supervised the academic support program, I am aware of the curriculum offerings at SMCC, some of which are offered mostly for transfer students.

For instance, liberal arts students have an opportunity to take calculus I, II and III as part of their associate degree electives.

Calculus I classes generally fill up because it is required in some programs, but SMCC offers sections of calculus II and III with only six or seven seats filled so students can take and transfer these credits.

The science and mathematics curriculum has really taken off since SMCC became a community college. I hired some of these students as tutors because they had excellent math and science skills. The University of Southern Maine should be trying to recruit these students into the hard science programs at its college.

The Baxter Academy for Technology and Science charter school, which just opened this fall, is focusing on STEM curriculum (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

As Baxter develops its 11th- and 12th-grade curriculum, USM should be working with Baxter to give students an opportunity to take college level STEM-related courses, which include physics, while they are still in high school.

Those students could be taking upper-level physics courses by their second year of college. This could be a great recruitment tool.

Don't cut the major; fill it.

Joyce E. Leslie

Peaks Island

Cartoonist was right about Planned Parenthood services

In the Sept. 15 edition of the Maine Sunday Telegram, you reprinted the Aug. 25 cartoon by Steve Meyers regarding Planned Parenthood.

A reader wrote that she wanted to correct a false statement conveyed in the cartoon.

Mary Rose Pray of Wiscasset asserts that Planned Parenthood does not provide cancer screening. She is the one who is writing the false statement. Planned Parenthood provides Pap tests, breast exams and cervical screenings.

These are very specific cancer screening tests. The broad range of other exams for women's general health that are available through Planned Parenthood may identify other cancer concerns.

Shame on the Maine Sunday Telegram for emphasizing Ms. Pray's error by adding the headline, "Cartoon misstates services Planned Parenthood offers."

Martha Rogers, R.N.

Camden

Don't ask doctors, nurses to work too-long shifts

Why are we letting hospitals get away with having doctors and nurses work 16 and more hours a day? Have you ever tried it yourself? You forget things, make mistakes, etc., etc.

Look what happens when you try to drive when you are that tired -- it's worse than dope.

Who wants someone like that taking care of them when their life depends on it? Keep this in mind next time you have to go into a hospital.

Rodney Davis

Biddeford

Maybe Maine needs to put new sign on the turnpike

So, I read that all the members of the Public Utilities Commission, as well as the public advocate, who have to decide on a new contract for Poland Spring water, have connections to Poland's parent company, Nestle ("For regulators and Nestle Waters, conflict by the gallon," Sept. 1).

And I see that uninsured motorists are responsible for a couple hundred accidents in Maine every year ("Uninsured drivers pose physical, fiscal hazards," Sept. 1). Oh, and there are those drivers with multiple OUIs who are still on the road, causing injuries and deaths.

And then there is the political cartoon about our potty-mouthed governor who has, on multiple occasions, made Maine the "talk of the nation."

Perhaps it is time to take down all those welcoming signs that tout Maine as "the way life should be."

Larry Ryan

Kennebunkport

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