Thank you very much, Richard K. Rein, for picking up on my “crazy idea” of online learning as a potential general practice in your editorial column of February 28.

As you know, modernity came about by lots of “crazy ideas” which, at their introduction were considered “crazy” by many convention-bound citizens of the time, including, for example, the “crazy idea” of a “government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

Looking up the definition of “crazy” in the dictionary, I see that “crazy” as an adjective comes in two different meanings:

(1.) as insane, deranged, demented etc., and

(2.) as “extremely enthusiastic,” passionate about, enamored of, devoted to, etc. etc., like “mad about Harry.”

So I trust that the “crazy” you used for general online learning was meant as in the second category, while the “crazy” for the arming of teachers came under the first one.

For the benefit of those who, like I, also have no idea which form of “crazy” applied to the various scenarios of your column on guns in the school, maybe you could clear this up in some future Richard K. Rein thinking-out-loud column. I’m sure they’ll be read, since according to my experience and feedback received over the years, your personal comments are always the first and most read part of U.S. 1.

That’s IMHO, because they are always original and often introduce a new perspective on whatever the issue. So maybe if the second definition of the word is applied, it’s because “Richard K. Rein” comments are “crazy,” and that’s of course what people are looking for in the news. Gratefully yours,

Win Straube

Richard K. Rein responds: I do agree that your “crazy” idea is in category 2 above, not category 1, which is a pretty good description of the arm-the-teachers movement. I would offer a further thought about “crazy,” which is this: I’ll bet lots of people in rural America centuries ago thought it was crazy to send their kids off to a one-room school miles away from home.

And thanks to Win Straube, a long-time reader of U.S. 1, for his kind words about my personal column (which appears on page 34 of this issue). My work does sometime seem crazy, even to me. After more than 33 years (off and on) of cranking out columns for this paper I sometimes hope I can just live up to the lyrics of the old Paul Simon song: “Still crazy after all these years.”

Snow Alert: As this issue of U.S. 1 goes to the printer the Internet is chattering about the imminent snowstorm coming our way. For reports of the inevitable closings and postponements, follow us on Twitter: @princetoninfo. We will be tweeting and retweeting like crazy.

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