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          A letter to Ann Landers, and a sequel

      During the latter half of the 1990's the advice columnist Ann Landers was very busy denouncing "sex on the internet",  on-line pornography, marriages breaking down because one of the partners met someone else on the internet.
      And I was having some eye trouble and being grateful that I had had a student a few years earlier who had suffered declining vision and then gone blind while he was my student -- so I knew a lot about adapting computers for low vision.
      Somehow these combined to motivate me to writre Ann Landers, defending the internet. The letter was about handicapped students and computers, and I wrote to Ann Landers, "I know you don't usually publish names and addresses, but there are probably parents out there who don't know their kids can go to college, or don't know where to start asking. Feel free to include my name and address."  She did, and both I and the University of Memphis got a lot of followup correspondence about college opportunities for handicapped students. This letter may have done more direct good for specific individuals, and for the university, than any dozen of my abstract technical papers.
      It had an interesting side effect. While noone had ever called my mother to say they'd seen one of my technical papers, on the morning this column appeared, about fifteen friends called her before breakfast, from all over the country. In her eyes, I'm a great success.
     And one of the students I wrote about wrote a followup, for his church's bulletin, which they posted on line. So for awhile at least, an internet search on "Edward Ordman" and "Jesus Christ" turned up a unique hit; finding such pairs is a popular sport among some people.  To see the letter to Ann Landers and the student's reply,
   Click here to see a cached version of that page.

(C) Edward Ordman 2002

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