President Obama wants the government to start rating colleges and universities, and one administration official said it would be no more difficult than evaluating kitchen appliances.
BEIJING -- The young man approached with an air of furtive urgency, covering his mouth with his hand. "Please can you tell me," he asked, "what happened in 1989?"
There's a movie I really love called Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It's about a fictional procedure that erases people's painful memories in an effort to help them move forward in their lives after experiencing a trauma. The film is very artistic and lovely, focusing on a couple who breaks up and both have their memories of each other erased, only to eventually find their way back to each other in the end.
WASHINGTON -- Former President George W. Bush once said, rather proudly, that he didn't read newspapers.
I learned early that being female was not a blessing. My father, a farmer who wanted all boys, had nine girls and only two boys. His first wife had nine children before she died, five little girls in graves. Few children grew to adulthood in those days. When my mother and father married and had two more children, I remember hearing my mother often tell my brother how proud my father had been to have another son, never mentioning pride in relationship to his final girl.
I didn't like the military very much while I was growing up. I could chalk that up to being a pre-teen and early teenager during the Vietnam years when -- quite unfortunately -- this country didn't treat its vets very well. I think I also didn't deal well with authority figures since I grew up kind of scrawny and was bullied a bit as a kid.
After six years of peeling back layers of our corrupt state government, nothing should surprise us. And yet Judge Manning's ruling was still a shock -- it didn't seem possible for a judge to shut down a grand jury investigation into alleged corruption by the Speaker of the House and argue that Harrell's staff and colleagues on the House Ethics Committee must first decide if he has committed a crime.
Thousands of days, all those filled with clouds, rain, snow or sunshine, have passed since that time yet the lesson sticks stubbornly to my heart.
I never aspired to possess wisdom. In fact, mere mortals would never achieve such a goal. I did want to be educated, something that was usually denied for females. Few females went to college; the meager funds were for the males in the family. Even today, many men do not want their wives to work outside the home. The need for two salaries has made two occupations a necessity. Of course, in modern times, women still have their female occupations to do in "off duty hours." I learned that if I could not be male, I had better become educated ...
As you know, the city of Camden is focusing on tourism -- figuring out ways to entice people to visit our historic city. There's a lot of competition out there; everyone understands that tourists spend money, don't pollute and point others in our direction if they have a good time.
WASHINGTON -- Just when you thought American higher learning couldn't get any more ridiculous, along come demands for warning labels on provocative works of literature.
This is what I often hear after meeting someone new and they discover I'm an arborist. Sometimes I'm stumped on the trees' problem or what the homeowner perceives to be the problem, but most times able to assist them. If you have a tree in your yard or on street-side, perhaps you've wondered about a particular tree thing. If so, here is Part 1 of some common tree questions I receive.
One of my responsibilities at the newspaper is to go out each week and do the "Sidewalk Survey" feature we run each Wednesday. Just in case you're not aware of it, let me explain. I find six random people around town and ask them one opinion question. There are no right or wrong answers; it really is their opinion. If they're willing to answer, I get their name and town of residence and take their photo. That's where I lose some of them. A lot of people are willing to answer a question, but some balk when ...
Graduation time is upon us and there's such a buzz of excitement in the air. High school and college students are collectively gearing up for the next stage in their life and emotions are strong. I have to say, I'm particularly glad that I'm not graduating from anything this year.
First, let's be honest with ourselves. For most of us -- especially us white, urban, middle-class folks -- when we hear people talking about the overall poor quality of education in our state, we conjure up images of the Corridor of Shame, i.e. black, rural and poor.
On the Maine island where Wife Nancy and I spend time, Church of Our Father sits nestled among the hills near a small harbor called Hulls Cove.
When elected officials from different South Carolina cities meet to discuss economic development, the oft-heard cry is, "Let's work together!" The energy in these conversations is palpable, even though it's not yet clear how we can partner. For that reason, at the Municipal Association of South Carolina's (MASC) annual meeting in Charleston this July, its Achievement Awards were particularly exciting. If we can do nothing else, from city to city, we can learn from each other's ideas and borrow courage from one another's progress.
Family. You hear a lot about the importance of family, but do you really put that into practice? Think about your own household. I don't know what goes on at your house, but I do know that people are really busy these days, trying to fit everything they can into their lives. Unfortunately, something they may forget to include in their lives is each other.
NEW YORK -- Something strange happened here this week: Lots of workers who've never done so before got the right to call in sick. And that's a good thing.
Hey, y'all! I am Jim McGowan. I am the most recent addition to the award-winning staff of the Chronicle-Independent. I can only hope to live up to their high standards. It will not be easy. I will be the Localife editor and cover the education beat.
A federal nutrition program that places new restrictions on snacks and beverages sold in schools also provides an opportunity for some fresh thinking about school fundraisers.
I remember once I was giving a presentation about important conservation properties in the Piedmont. I showed photos of the incredible rock formations on a particular property and happened to mention their age in an effort to describe their grandeur. Afterwards, I was confronted by an indignant man who told me that the age of rocks cannot be known. He accused me of making those figures up out of thin air. Surprised by his vociferous tone, I told him I was sorry to have upset him. While not a confrontational person, I am a teacher, and I began to politely ...
WASHINGTON -- "Checked the tax code," wrote a friend who's engaged to a woman from a low-tax country. "Unfortunately, marrying [my fiancee] does not entitle me to a tax inversion like the big U.S. companies are getting. Thanks for nothing, IRS."
Their histories, accurate and complete, are lost to time and buried with them and those who knew them. I wish I knew more for their stories would read like a page-turning novel.
OK, OK, yes I'm talking Star Trek again, but hang on, this is really more about newspapers than Star Trek. All right, maybe 50-50.
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