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[Susan notes: This is a great letter. You'll know how great it is if you read the Scientific American article. My harangue included with no extra charge.

FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting) makes the point that they get press in the NY Times, et al when people write individual letters on issues FAIR is working on.

So write a letter to Scientific American!]

Submitted to Scientifici American but not published

To the editor

When one exposure is enough

The idea that we remember things better when we retrieve them more frequently from memory, as claimed in "Building The 21st-century Learner," (July 15) applies only to facts and concepts that are irrelevant to us. When a fact or concept solves a problem that is of genuine interest, one exposure is enough. That's why this poem is nonsense:

Do you love me?

Or do you not?

You told me once.

But I forgot.

Let's stop worrying about better ways of getting students to master material that is irrelevant to them. Let's make school more intellectually compelling.

Stephen Krashen

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