Free writing lessons from a graduate student

It may be summer, but you should still have to try if you want to get paid. It disgusts me that even a fraction of a penny of my student fees goes to The Minnesota Daily staff. This is a feeling I get every time I pick up the paper, but last weekâÄôs opinions page was especially pathetic. The first editorial was about the RIAA âÄútaking the livelihoods of thousands of Americans.âÄù Are you aware that the RIAAâÄôs campaign against individual copyright violators has been over for more than a year? The RIAA accused about 18,000 people of stealing songs, and all but one of them either settled (for less than $5,000) or had the case against them dropped. You tell the story of the woman that refused to settle, implying she had done nothing wrong. Obviously she had, and the fact that she was arrogant enough to fight the lawsuit is funny, not deplorable. She had the option of paying for the songs, which is more than fair, but she refused. I donâÄôt see why this validates an editorial in her support years after the case was in the news. The next editorial is nearly as idiotic. I have news for you English majors: supplant and replace are synonyms. And synonyms are words that mean the same thing. ThatâÄôs enough of that. Finally, you are required to print letters from other college papers because the content of your own is far too uninteresting to promote debate. You picked a column that actually contained this sentence: âÄúThe circumstances above may be as to why Sarah Palin was literally crushed by the media.âÄù As to why? Is this a joke? You canâÄôt even steal an article that is coherent. Forget the fact that the argument was ridiculous; at least print something that is readable. What baffles me the most is that you people actually bragged at the end of last semester about increased readership. I dare you to print issues containing nothing but AP articles and crossword puzzles. Your âÄúreadershipâÄù will skyrocket. I donâÄôt think I am a cruel person. I didnâÄôt just write this to make you feel bad. But like I said, it is disgusting to think that I pay even a portion of your salary. But since you will all graduate without usable writing samples, at least karma will soon have you unemployed. Simon Gruber Graduate student