February 18, 1989

Hello, Ryan!

Happy Valentine's Day, a little late. Did you do something nice
for Heather?

Something very momentous occurred this week. I was reading my
Psychology book and there was a chapter about the effects of drugs on
consiousness. The book talked about all different kinds of drugs:
cocaine, mariuana, etc. When it got to the part about drugs that
require needles for use, it mentioned AIDS. I didn't think too much
about it at first, but then I realized that this was the first time I
had seen AIDS get a mention in a textbook. Well, I thought this was
pretty important. I mean, sure we talked about AIDS in school back
in 1983-4 (my Sophomore year Biology class). But it wasn't in the
textbook. For that part of the course, the teacher had to get
different bookets for the class to read.

So, I'm all set to tell my professor how important I think this
is. I go into class and we're seeing this video thing about using
different resources for our term papers. The narrator is explaining
that some topics we may choose to write about are very current, and
they will be listed differently in the reference books. The example
she uses is AIDS. I looked around the room at the others in the
class and they're all taking this in like it's very normal. No one
laughed the way we did back in highschool biology. AIDS was a
perfectly logical topic do to research on. (Yes, I'm very sorry to
say that I laughed way back in 1984. I never thought that AIDS would
be something I would have to care about. We laughed because the
people who were getting it were gay and we were stupid and laughed.
I hate how stupid I was, Ryan. If those kids in that class ever knew
what I've been doing now, they wouldn't believe it. I feel like a
reformed criminal or a born again Christian. You are a great
teacher, Ryan.)

Wait, it gets better...

A friend of mine is on the Smith debating team. They have a
tournament today and she had to come up with topics to debate. They
can do any issue they can think of. So we're coming up with the
usefulness of SATS (I hate those tests. I guess you must be
getting ready to take them soon, huh? Don't panic. They actually
count for zilch. I'm in college - I know these things! It's more
important if you get pretty good grades and do interesting things. I
think having a TV movie made about your life falls under that
category.), financial aid for college, abolishing the drinking age.
And then I said, should kids with AIDS be in school (I wonder where I
got that)? Miranda thought that was a great topic. So she goes to
her debate meeting and proposes the topic. They all think it's
totally wonderful. But then the head person says that they can't
debate it. It's status quo and you can't do status quo things - ie,
things that are already happening. In other words, it's perfectly
normal to find a kid with AIDS in school with everyone else. Ryan, I

Aren't computers
neat? Think my
professors would
like to read a
paper printed this



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This letter is miscategorized, as it is not an international letter. The sender is from Massachusetts.