You can learn a lot of things online, but one thing I would have had trouble internalizing if it weren’t for Princeton is that I’m not the best. There are people out there who pick up material faster than I do, people who analyze situations better than I do, people who communicate more clearly than I do. I had thought everyone at Princeton learned that.
I don’t remember the opinions that so disheartened Meaghan Byrne ’10 (Inbox, February issue), and I’m not going to look them up — that isn’t the point. I probably agreed with some parts and disagreed with others. When someone says something, and I disagree, I find it most productive to push until we agree, one of us accepting the other’s side. Ms. Byrne decided who was right and dismissed the “older alumni” as racist. That ends the conversation; you will never listen to someone you consider old and racist, so they have no reason to try to convince you of anything. If you want all people to be respected, a good start is respecting all people.
For the record, some of my professors (indeed, some of my favorite professors) likely fit Ms. Byrne’s definition of “fossils.” I hope none of them read Ms. Byrne’s comments, but if they did, and they read this, they should know I still hold them in very high esteem!