The Under-Graduate, Cheating Confessions

UC-Santa Cruz students disrupted a campus job fair that included military recruiters. According to the Santa Cruz Sentinel, more than 200 student anti-war protesters stormed the Stevenson Event Center, "shouting and banging on windows and demanding that military recruiters in the corner of the room leave."

The noisy sit-in ended after an hour of chaos and tension when military representatives vacated their posts. Student protesters hugged each other happily after administrators allowed them to hand out information on alternatives to military careers and agreed to a meeting to discuss future job fairs.

The protesters got exactly what they wanted.

At the high school level, students are choosing public military schools, reports the New York Times.

The academy is part of a growing trend, in Philadelphia and other cities, of military schools that are part of the public school system, most of them in low-income areas with black and Hispanic residents. Two more public military academies are scheduled to open in Philadelphia in the next two school years, and student interest is already overwhelming. According to Col. Russell Gallagher, director of Philadelphia's Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, some 2,000 applicants have applied for 125 spots for September in the city military academies.

Chicago now has three public Army-oriented high schools with more than 1,600 students, and officials plan to open a public naval academy in September. The city also has eight military academies within regular high schools.

I think the Times is right in saying parents and students are seeking "an orderly, safe academic environment."

Lifelong Learner

Johnny Lechner, 28, is an 11th-year senior at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He's planning to come back for a 12th year, even though he's already got 100 more credits than he needs to graduate and is paying double tuition, known as the "slacker tax."

Lechner says he went to college to "discover who I was." The Wisconsin State Journal explains:

Turns out he's someone who likes to sleep in, play basketball, write songs and party two or three nights a week.

"I've fallen into some sort of a comfort zone here," he said. "I think deep down inside I have a fear of getting into the next phase of my life."


His middle-class parents pitched in financially for the first two years. Now he owes $30,000 in student loans but otherwise pays as he goes, using money earned as a waiter at the Janesville Olive Garden.

. . . His major has zigged and zagged over the years, with stops at health education, theater and communications. He even tried women's studies.

"I think they'll end up kind of balling it all together as a liberal studies major, with a lot of emphasis areas," he said. He hopes to one day work with troubled youth.

Lechner, who has a B average, doesn't have to start paying back his college loans till he graduates.

Cheaters' Helper Doesn't Prosper

Newsweek publishes the confessions of a “tutor” who wrote high school and college term papers for lazy, rich kids.

For three-hour workdays, the ability to sleep in and the opportunity to get paid to learn, I tackled subjects like Dostoevsky while spoiled jerks smoked pot, took naps, surfed the Internet and had sex. Though some offered me chateaubriand and the occasional illicit drug, most treated me like the help. I put up with it because I feared working in an office for $12 an hour again.

Cheating for others ruined her self-esteem, she writes, with eloquent self-pity. Well, that's too bad.

It amazes me that parents will spend $75,000 in high school tuition and $120,000 for a private college, and then pay even more to ensure their child doesn't learn anything.

Pre-school Tutors

Tutors for pre-schoolers? It's the latest thing, says the Christian Science Monitor.

Natalie Bloomster spends two afternoons every week with her tutor, reviewing the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic.

There's nothing very unusual about this arrangement -- except for the fact that Natalie is only 5 and not yet enrolled in school.

Some kids are ready to learn academic skills at a young age. But paying a tutor has to bring on the pressure.

Susi Scholl is confident that enrolling her 5-year-old daughter, Erica Mendel, in a tutoring program at the Skibby Learning Center in Newport Beach, Calif., has made a huge difference in her academic preparedness.

"She is a very bright child but she took a huge leap forward with [tutoring]," says Ms. Scholl. "Within a month she was adding and subtracting three-digit numbers and now she is learning fractions."

Scholl, who pays $45 for each 30-minute tutoring session, says she believes tutoring is an investment: Not only is Erica thriving academically, Scholl hopes the extra instruction will give her daughter an edge when she applies to private school.

Soon all the kindergarten applicants will be multiplying fractions.