NEAL CONAN, HOST:
It's Tuesday, and time to read from your comments. We talked last week about why college costs so much. Elliot Wilcox emailed: I work at a public college in Minnesota, and we've not had a raise in years. The main cause issue in public higher ed is that states across the country have dropped the allocation of tax dollars by vast amounts, and now students have to pay the difference with higher tuition.
Heather Lanier(ph) in Lebanon, Ohio, added: Not too long ago, my husband and I tallied all our undergraduate and graduate school loans, which in total was $75,000. I'm a visiting professor, earning in the low 30,000s, and he's a priest earning just 40,000. We've chosen altruistic professions, doing what we love, but we go to sleep worried about how we'll ever pay off the debt with our low-paying professions.
We also had the chance to talk with Mark Kelly, the husband of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, about their history, her recovery and their book together, "Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope."
We heard from a number of listeners who shared the difficult experience of traumatic brain injury, including Richard Lyn-Cook in Houston. I was shot in the right parietal region 20 years ago while on Christmas break as a sophomore at Yale University. I was initially fully paralyzed, except for my right arm. I still have a limp, but otherwise I'm OK. I can empathize with the difficulty Representative Giffords faces and will continue to face. Because of my injury, I have a deeper level of empathy for patients than I otherwise would have. I think this has made me a better physician. Hang in there, Gabby.
As the last U.S. troops prepare to leave Iraq, we talked on Thursday about what was achieved and what was lost. I read from one email that began: How easily we forget the events of 9/11. Todd in Iowa complained: Despite having corrected guests and callers on some fairly minor points earlier in the segment, you left unmolested this tiresome and grievously misguided implication that Iraq had anything to do with 9/11 attacks.
Finally, we heard from Teresa Jaquetta(ph) in Muncie, Indiana, after our conversation about the videogames worth buying this holiday season. As a 23-year-old woman, I am pumped about games targeted toward my gender. Games that customize characters like "Skyrim" allow me to have a character I can relate to more. You want to feel like the character you're playing, which I think has turned off most of my female friends from playing games more targeted for men.
If you have a correction, comment or question for us, the best way to reach us is by email. The address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please, let us know where you're writing from and give us some help on how to pronounce your name. If you're on Twitter, you can follow us there @totn, or you can follow me @nealconan, all one word. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.