Working from home (copy)

Letter writer Trinity Dearborn argues that since students are going through a global pandemic, professors and Iowa State should be more compassionate and supportive.

This letter previously contained incorrect information about online classes and the pass/fail policy. This letter has been updated with the correct information. The daily regrets this error.

It is ridiculous that students are expected to function and perform at the same level that we did before entering a global pandemic. Many of us have been sent home to less than ideal environments (and that’s being light), having to pick up full-time jobs, having to deal with internet or technology issues and generally dealing with the collective traumatic experience of living through a global pandemic.

Where are professors' compassion and support? Where is Iowa State’s compassion and support? ISU is doing the worst at refunding students out of all three regent schools. Why can’t activity fees be refunded? How is that fair when we are unable to use those resources? How am I paying for full price when I am not getting a full education? Why are our professors giving more work than ever and grading harsher than ever?

Is living through this difficult time not a good enough reason? I have a wonderful professor who is excusing any assignments that don’t get turned in; they understand how difficult of a time this is for many students.

Yes, some students might take advantage of the policy to just not do work, but I can guarantee the majority that use it genuinely are struggling and this is a huge relief.

Are you matching this level of compassion and support? I have friends going hungry because they can’t afford food. I have friends forced to go back to abusive homes. I have friends having mental breakdowns almost everyday because of classes. What are you going to do about it? 

I am tired, scared, have lost almost all motivation and still I have the spite, anger, concern and worry to write this. What am I to do when my life needs to come before classes but it can’t without negative consequences?

Opinion Policies

Opinions expressed in columns and letters are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Daily or organizations with which the author(s) are associated. 

Feedback policy: The Daily encourages discussion but does not guarantee its publication. We reserve the right to edit or reject any letter or online feedback. The goal of the opinion section is to spark civil public discourse by publishing opinions based on facts that articulate an argument. The merit of a piece's ability to further public discourse, among other factors, will be considered when determining if a piece is publication worthy. 

Letter to the Editor Submission Link

(35) comments

Steve Gregg

Toughen up, snowflake. The Greatest Generation went to Iowa State during the Great Depression without a whimper while the Lamest Generation whines about studying from home. You have it easy and you don’t realize it because you’ve been pampered all your life. Stop complaining, buckle down, and get to work.

Trinity Dearborn

Would you care to actually have a dialogue about this instead of posting a rude comment with only vague advice that doesn’t actually mean anything?

Steve Gregg

Dialogue away, Trinity. My remark means exactly what I said. Whining about mild impositions makes you look like a generation of weenies. When adults encounter obstacles, they buckle down and overcome them. When children encounter obstacles, they give up and pitch a crying fit. Whiny complaints like this make your generation look like pouty teenagers not ready to be adults. Grow up.

Trinity Dearborn

I’d be down to have an actual conversation about this instead of a public discussion. Please feel free to email me.

Steve Gregg

Listen up, kiddos. My generation is TOUGH. I never CRY or TALK ABOUT MY FEELINGS. I don't need to PROCESS them like a NORMAL HUMAN. Instead, I wake up every day at 5 A.M. and talk crap to some college kids that live HALFWAY ACROSS THE COUNTRY. My obsession with this website is NORMAL and HEALTHY. My inability to accept that other people see the world differently is COOL AND GOOD. And YOUR inability to just let me say what I want makes YOU whiny babies. I HAVEN'T FELT THE TOUCH OF ANOTHER HUMAN IN SEVEN YEARS AND I'M HANDLING IT VERY WELL.

Jeremy Jorgens

Steve, I agree whole heartedly.

Steve Gregg

With whom?

Jeremy Jorgens

With yourself, sir. While the virus affects everyone and is certainly not a good thing, the response of the author of this post is, as you mentioned, extremely weak and immature. We cannot baby ourselves and expect the world to be handed to us.

Steve Gregg

In that case, Jeremy, I recognize you as a gentleman and a scholar of the first rank.

Asylum Weimer

If a grown person is here to bully Trinity for sticking up for exact what they deserve as a PAYING student at ISU I at least want to correct your inaccuracies. As a historian I’d like to immediately callout how The Greatest Generation went “without a whimper” during the Great Depression, when tax revolts were happening in 1932 quite often. Hunger marches and small riots were also happening constantly at this time and into the mid 30s, so just real quick want to remind you that you’re wrong and any quick google search will display that. Also if you think “studying from home” is the only problem right now, I’d also like to remind you that people are dying. Covid19 is killing so fast right now and if you think that isn’t going to effect student life and education, then that’s a you problem that you seem to be projecting on to a student just asking for the things they deserve. I’d also like to mention how Trinity pointed out students being in severe situations where they could be being abused or hungry right now, and you still call that “complaining”? Do you care about your fellow humans so little that you think a student starving or being treated terribly at home just needs to work harder? And doesn’t even deserve their money back for things ISU isn’t even using right now, like activity fees? Maybe we’re “snowflakes”, but it just sounds like you’re a bad person

Rena Smith

Hey Steve, just because those before us suffered does not mean we are "snowflakes" for venting our frustration. The fact that someone expresses their feelings has upset you to the point that you decided to comment this shows a distinct lack of empathy. Please enjoy the rest of your day, Mr two first names.

Steve Gregg


You are certainly correct that I lack empathy for your Snowflake Generation, as legions of adults do. However, you are wrong that I am upset. Rather, I am a critic pointing out the flaws of your generation, specifically your assumption that you lack any agency in your life, that any problem in your life must be solved by somebody else. Never yourself.

You know, the Greatest Generation suffered through a Great Depression and fought a World War in it. They stopped the Holocaust and dealt with Japanese who beheaded captives, mass raped women, and even ate their hostages. A couple generations before that, a tough as nails generation fought the Civil War and freed the slaves. Before that, settlers staked out their farms in the Midwest. One friend of mine said his great great grandfather lived in a cave hand dug in a river bank for two years before his farm was ready for his wife.

Your complaint is that you must go to college online at home in your pajamas. Oh, the horror, the horror!

Stop making fools of yourselves with all this weenie whining. You have it easy.

Rena Smith

Once again, you are saying others aren't allowed to experience frustration because people in the past have suffered. Instead of actually addressing my argument you just doubled down on the same point, and continue onward with some dicey and racists comment about the Japanese. New flash! the greatest generation also committed war crimes, you just don't care about it because it doesn't defend your hyper-nationalist narrative. Also a pandemic with mass death is slightly more stressful than staying in home in our pajamas. P.S. "weenie whining" is objectively the most boomer insult I've ever heard.

Rena Smith

P.P.S. The Greatest Generation also interned Jewish DP in the very same camps they were liberation from, American GI's of WWII mass raped women in allied countries, and the Civil war was defended by half of that same generation. Stop promoting a nationalist view of history, snowflake.

Emmy Jorgensen

Thanks for sharing your opinions, thoughts, and feelings! I think it's healthy to be able to express your feelings and it's totally ok to deal with them in a way that doesn't include "pushing them down". The best way to deal with emotions is to work through them, so I'm proud of you for being able to do that through this article! Life is tough right now, and I truly think we're all going to be more resilient after this. When you reveal that you're struggling and someone's reaction is anger or being disrespectful, that says a whole lot more about them than it says about you. Keep your head up!

Steve Gregg

Emmy, in fact it is unhealthy to spend your time blubbering about your problems. The best response to problems is actions. Instead of crying until your blouse is wet, sit down and write a list of actions you can take NOW that will move you to a better place. Do at least one of them today so you can go to bed on the offensive. Keep working the list until things have improved. That will put you far ahead of those who spend all their time weeping and ranting.

To be blunt, wallowing in your bad feelings is a distinctively female way to react to problems. It is a feeble and ineffective way to deal with problems. Men fix their problems. You should try acting like a man if you ever want to crawl out of your emotional hole.

Steve Gregg

Trinity, I’d be happy to have a public discussion with you for all to see right here. It’s good to air all sides of an issue and this is the perfect place for it.

Ricardo Martinez

Steve Gregg – excuse me mam but have you reflected on your words. You talk about the greatest generation not realizing that they are responsible for how things currently are – Maybe if the “greatest generation” was allowed to have feeling they would have raised their children better and continued cycles of inequality. More so, have you acknowledged you privileges before you tell people they have it easy. Do you not see that when you say “Whiny complaints like this make your generation look like pouty teenagers not ready to be adults” you do not seem like an adult. What do you gain by your initial post? It just seems interesting that you are saying “toughen up, snowflake” yet you seem to be the one with hurt feelings. I have to ask what are you afraid of?

Steve Gregg

Ricardo, your comment is full of false assumptions. The Greatest Generation catapulted America into prosperity. The average American income is about $50,000. The average income that places you in the top 1% of income in the world is $29,000. That places most Americans in the top 1% of income earners in the world. Good job, Greatest Generation!

Claiming that anyone who disagrees with you is “privileged” and therefore their opinions don’t count is Stupid Political Correctness. Your bad judgement continues with your claim that anyone who disagrees with you cannot be an adult, that they must be afraid. You argue like a punk.

I can tell you from a lifetime of experience that whining does not improve your circumstances. Facing your problems and working them methodically is the way to resolve them. Emoting solves nothing. Claiming that emoting is the answer is feeble-minded and effete, the result of an easy and pampered life that has never suffered the slightest shock.

Quit blubbering and get to work making things better for yourselves. In short, toughen up, snowflake.

Claire Daly

I agree with you wholeheartedly. Part of us being the “whiny” generation is because we have the highest rate of mental illness and I find it belittling to jump on the train to call our generation “whiny” when you don’t know anyone’s story. Right now a lot of kids have been forced back into unhealthy homes. Some kids are starving. Kids grades are suffering because the majority of these classes weren’t meant to be online. I say to keep your head up because you know your truth and people who don’t understand will probably never get it.

Claire Daly

I agree with you Trinity. I find it belittling to call our generation “whiny” even though they don’t know half of the story. Our generation has one of the highest rates of mental illness and to call us whiny is ignorant. I know so many people who have had to start doing full time work while doing classes that aren’t meant to be online. I’ve had to comfort people during their mental breakdowns. Many kids have had to go back to less then stellar living situations. So Trinity, I think you need to hold your head up because some people will never get it.

Steve Gregg

Claire, you are another whiny kid who reflects poorly on your generation of whiners. The proof of your whiny-ness is presented by yourself and the original poster. You are not only whiny but have no self-awareness to boot.

Please spare me how horrible it is to work full time and go to school. I held a full time job and went to grad school at night for years, like many other people. Cry me a river over taking classes online, cream puff.

Stop whining and ranting and get to work. There is no disadvantage that does not bring hidden advantages. Online classes and quarantine give you more time to crack the books. Do so.

Jim Cleeg

Good opinion piece except the line "what are you going to do for us?". You will learn in the world after college that no one will do anything for you. ISU is not your mother. The question really is...what are you going to do for yourself?

Steve Gregg

Well said, Brother Cleeg. If you can’t handle minor problems in college, the real world is going to pounce on you like a Doberman on a hamster. Quit boo-hooing and take command of your life.

Rena Smith

I would respectfully disagree, in paying tuition and attending ISU, we are functionally customers. If we are unhappy with our service, I think it is reasonable to ask what will be done in response.

Steve Gregg

Thinking that you are the boss of your university and that it should cater to your needs is one of the profoundly wrong assumptions of your generation.

Rena Smith

When did I saw I was the boss? Don't change my argument to fix your narrative. I said students MAY be viewed as customers which had unsatisfactory service. If someone next to you has a burnt meal at a restaurant and ask for a manager are you going to start calling them a snowflake and "whiners"? Also stop grouping together an entire generation. You are complaining that we are entitled but you believe you have the authority to demean the entirety of my generation, roughly 2 billion people. Notice how I've been addressing you and not the entirety of the overly-sensitive boomers that have one foot in the grave?

Steve Gregg


Thinking of students as customers is a destructive view that destroys universities. It infers that your professors must cater to you instead of holding you to their own academic standards. It infers that classes that deliver facts you don’t like are burnt meals which can be sent back and exchanged for classes that change the facts to the fiction you prefer. That is how colleges have inflated grades over the last twenty years so that half of you get As, at least in liberal arts classes. That is how classes, even math, have been politicized into political correct gibberish. Pandering to students as if they were customers is how whole swathes of the liberal arts majors have turn into political indoctrination rather than education.

I know this is hard to believe, but education and fast food are different. Fast food is fun and full of sugar to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Education, by contrast, is difficult and full of unpalatable facts that don’t go down easy. Physics is not french fries. Metallurgy is not a cheeseburger. Organic chemistry is not a chocolate milkshake.

Toni McGill

Everything Trinity said absolutely makes sense. Schools should not be expecting students to function in classes and act like things are normal when things are not. We are in a pandemic and we should be expecting more from so many people who are treating it lightly. And to anyone who is saying this generation is “soft” or “a snowflake” is just using this rhetoric to insult a generation that is working to be more progressive and thoughtful to each other. Nobody is being “weak” in expressing emotion, concern, and calling out these issues. It’s strength. It’s power. It’s finding a voice and using it to do good and ignite change. And if anything I have found a lot of people who are not taking this seriously are boomers. We should all, especially now, be able to be empathetic and supportive of one another. It’s a scary time, and people are dying. We should not be going in comments and calling people “snowflakes” for calling out a school that is not taking proper action to look out for it’s students. So what will they do for students should be the question we are asking. We should be asking that of many people in power right now.

Steve Gregg

Toni, in case you were wondering who was saying the Snowflake Generation was soft and weak, it was me.

Progressive politics is racist, sexist, and socialist. If you adopt them, you will create a divided and impoverished society that is engaged in a war of all against all. Progressives are putting the pedal to the metal to drive the nation off the cliff. Progressive politics is one of the many intellectually defective traits of the Snowflake Generation which makes me think we should just toss your generation into the shredder and start over.

Fortunately, I know that a Great Awakening lies before you when you reach thirty and get jobs (except for the Women’s Studies grads), where you will begin to glimpse Reality and realize how foolish all that stuff You Really Believed when you were sophomores, plotting how to improve the world in all night bong sessions in the dorms. Bills, a mortgage, a family, and a baby has a way of cutting through the sophomoric nonsense of the radical politics of college.

Elaina Beck


I definitely agree with your points. I have seen several comments calling your generation lazy or entitled, but I think now more than ever we're seeing the grit and tenacity of gen z. Students your age have been forced to adapt their entire lives, work and school included, because of a pandemic of which they had no control over. Asking for even just a little compassion is not something you should be ashamed of. We are dealing with something most living generations have not seen before, and professors not changing their expectations at all does seem to be counterproductive. Professors expecting students to turn in the same quality or quantity of work during these trying times clearly shows a disconnect between professors and students. This disconnect will no doubt have severe consequences on students, be it from physical or mental exhaustion.

Steve Gregg

Elaina, living generations have experienced a disease as bad or worse as the coronavirus every few years. China has been sending us new outbreaks of swine and chicken flu every few years because half of China is dirt poor, so they sleep with their livestock to stay warm, transmitting new diseases between animals and humans. You would know this if your generation knew anything that happened more than twenty minutes ago.

When you encounter a problem, you can waste your time emoting about it or solve it by acting. If you solve your problem, you won’t need to emote about it, unless you’re a woman who lives to wallow in emotion about their problems, as so many women do.

Steve Gregg

“Rena Smith: P.P.S. The Greatest Generation also interned Jewish DP in the very same camps they were liberation from, American GI's of WWII mass raped women in allied countries, and the Civil war was defended by half of that same generation. Stop promoting a nationalist view of history, snowflake.”

Rena Smith, The US Army kept Jewish people in their former camps because there were no better options at the moment. The same camp run by the US Army is very different than when run by Nazis. For example, the US Army gives former prisoners food and medical treatment while the Nazis starved Jews and worked them to death. I talked to a former resident of the camps who told me how overjoyed she was along with all the others when the US military liberated her camp. She talked about all the food and how they had dances with the GIs. The Nazis never danced with their Jewish prisoners.

The US GI’s of WWII never mass raped women. The Japanese and Soviets did, but not Americans. That’s simply a lie told by a traitor.

And, yes, the Union soldiers did indeed go forth to defend the nation and end slavery. They had it harder than you in your jammies at home.

Your comment is particularly foolish, a product of the warped and dishonest Howard Zinn false history your generation has been indoctrinated in, not educated.

Rena Smith

I do not wish to continue into any further discussion, as it seems you believe the current study of history is indoctrination. That being said, I will be corrected your misinformation for others that read these comments.

I do not wish to compare the U.S. soldiers to the Third Reich, as it is not meaningful discussion. That being said, the U.S. did not treat Jewish DP's properly. I wanted to omit Harrison's summary due to this comparison, however, it would be dishonest to remove the point I disagree with. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, speaking on The Harrison Report: “Accompanied by Dr. Joseph J. Schwartz, director of European operations of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), Harrison visited 30 DP camps in Germany and Austria, focusing on the situation of Jewish DPs. His report, completed in early August 1945, offered scathing criticism of the DPs' treatment...Summing up the conditions faced by Jewish DPs, Harrison wrote ‘. . . we appear to be treating the Jews as the Nazis treated them, except that we do not exterminate them.’”1

Onto the second point, I have found no evidence that the report was "written by a traitor". I have, however, found an article written by The Guardian that states: "Indeed, secret wartime files that were made public in this country only in April 2006 disclosed that GIs committed 26 murders, 31 manslaughters, 22 attempted murders and more than 400 sexual offences, including 126 rapes in England, during 1942-45." This is in reference to a book by Robert Lilly, a sociology and criminology professor of Northern Kentucky University, titled "Taken by Force: Rape and American GIs in Europe in World War II"2

I also would like to correct your misunderstanding of my point on racism. I did not say that acknowledging tragedies like those at Nanjing is racist. I was stating how calling demonizing Japanese soldiers while defending European and American soldiers shows a clear bias in your information and understanding. This bias is seemingly based on race, which would, by definition be racism.

I also have no knowledge of Howard Zinn's influence on my education. Neither do I see how it would be a problem if it was nor do I see how you would be qualified to dismiss the American education system.

You are clearly hoping for a "good versus evil" conflict in your knowledge of WWII, and it is clearly demonstrated in your bias. Sadly, the truth is not that easy, none of the powers in WWII were perfectly moral in their conduct. Granted the Third Reich was especially evil in their actions. The argumentation you are using is a demonstration of the nationalistic bias in your education, suggesting you are the one that is 'indoctrinated'. Your oversimplification and dismissals of the tragedies of both Jewish DP's and the woman of Europe are dangerous and blatantly false. I appreciate your time in responding to my posts, however, you seem out of touch with reality and I do not see a meaningful continuation to this discussion.



Steve Gregg

Rena Smith, if you think that the Japanese did not behead captives, mass rape women, and ate their hostages, then you are ignorant of history. Even worse, and typical of your generation, you claim that accurately stating what our enemies did in WWII is racist, because every fact you don’t like to hear is racist, isn’t it, snowflake? Your generation can’t handle the truth.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.