Show and tell

Frank Wicker

Since my retirement a year and a half ago, I’ve had much more time to follow the news from Iowa State, and I can’t help but wonder what happened to the original concept of Veishea. It was a chance for high school students to determine whether or not Iowa State could provide the education for their career choice.

Judging from the articles and opinions expressed in the Daily, current thinking seems centered around how big a beer bust it can be.

There seems to be a student contingent bent on making Iowa State a rival for the University of Wisconsin at Madison as one of the nation’s largest party schools.

Conditions have changed in the last half-century, but the purpose of the university is still the education of young people.

Veishea was, and should be, a chance for high school students interested in electrical engineering to throw switches and twist knobs to make things happen; for potential agriculture students to attempt cattle judging or crop planting; for the musically inclined to sing in a chorus or play with the ISU Band; for budding civil engineers to look through a transit; for chemists and physicists to do experiments; for possible journalists to follow the development of a news story from the event through its appearance in the Iowa State Daily; and for everyone to ponder the earth’s movement and telling time via the Foucault pendulum.

I was gratified by the recent Daily article about the formation of a committee to examine the future of Veishea. I hope they, and most students, will turn their focus toward a show-and-tell education for high school students and away from the party aspects of the spring festival.

Frank Wicker