Although the Chicago Public Schools have an average dropout rate of 44 percent, some schools, such as Roberto Clemente High, have a rate of nearly 75 percent. Yet not far from Clemente, Pedro Albizu Campos High, an alternative school, loses only 25 percent--in spite of the fact that it takes in primarily kids who have dropped out of or been kicked out of public schools. Albizu Campos, a member of Chicago's Alternative Schools Network, and eight other ASN schools will sponsor the first annual Spring Youth Conference, Alternatives at Work, today from 9 to 3 at the Quality Inn, 1 S. Halsted. It's free. For more call 728-4030.
Simon Bolivar helped win independence for Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela, and had hopes of unifying these countries into a Pan-American state. But popular opinion turned fiercely against him, and in 1830 he resigned as president of Colombia. The Pan American Council, in celebration of Pan-American Day and Bolivar's dream, will hold a free flag-raising ceremony at 1 at the Plaza of the Americas, 430 N. Michigan. At 1:30, the council will host a luncheon at Monday's Restaurant, 401 N. Michigan. Call 878-6692 or 248-1789 for reservations; $17.50.
Last year Governor Jim Thompson commuted the sentence of Leslie Brown, who had admitted she'd killed her husband. Brown's defense had been straightforward; she'd endured her husband's abuse for years. Brown's lawyer, Margaret Byrne, a part-time instructor at Loyola University whose law practice focuses on battered women, presents Domestic Violence and the Courts, a free seminar at 3 at Loyola's Crown Center, 6525 N. Sheridan; 508-2934.
About a year ago Illinois Bell agreed to lower its rates by $85 million in order to comply with the Tax Reform Act of 1986. Now it wants to up its rates by $50 million, most of the jump at the expense of residential customers. Consumers will have a chance to speak out at the Illinois Commerce Commission's only Chicago-area public hearing at 10 today at the State of Illinois Building, 100 W. Randolph. It's free and anyone can speak. For more call the Citizens Utility Board at 263-4282 or 1-800-222-2822.
Before 1960 Uptown residents were primarily of Jewish, Swedish, and Irish descent. Now it's probably the most diverse neighborhood in the city, with ethnic groups ranging from Appalachian whites to Hmong tribesmen. The area has a large black population and pockets of Central Americans, Vietnamese, and other Southeast Asians. The fourth annual Taste of Uptown, a benefit for the Peoples Church, features a bazaar, international foods, and live entertainment from noon to 3 at the church, 941 W. Lawrence. A $5 donation has been requested. Call 784-6633.
"Jews did not go like sheep to the slaughter," says Lisa Derman, who, as a teenager, joined the underground resistance and who is now on the board of the Holocaust Memorial Foundation in Skokie. There were many Jews who fought against the Nazis, the best-known example of which may be the uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto, where for four weeks in the spring of 1943 they held off the German army with only a few rifles, handguns, and homemade bombs. The Mid-West Jewish Council's 46th annual Commemoration of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising features journalist Sondra Gair, who will speak starting at 1 at Mather High School, 5836 N. Lincoln. Admission is $1. Call 274-0570.
"I don't believe that there is only one true answer to any great human question, I believe there are many answers," writes Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty, a professor at the University of Chicago, in her new book, Other Peoples' Myths. O'Flaherty will argue against the back-to-basics and Judeo-Christian-values solutions to problems in our schools proposed by Allan Bloom--the author of The Closing of the American Mind who also teaches at the U. of C.--in a talk at 2 today titled The Re-Opening of the American Mind: A Humanist Approach to Religious Pluralism. The talk will be given in the Carlson Auditorium, National College of Education, 2840 Sheridan in Evanston. Admission is $3. Call 386-9100.
Few filmmakers have had as much impact on the avant-garde film scene as Canadian Michael Snow, whose 1967 work, Wavelength, is probably one of the most frequently discussed "structural" films. Snow's So Is This, a 1982 film that focuses on the relationship between reading texts and watching films, and the recent Seated Figures will be shown at 7 in the auditorium of the School of the Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson. Admission is $3, free to seniors, students, and staff of area colleges. Call 443-3711.
On the new TV series Nightingales, one of the lead characters began the season paying her way through nursing school working as an exotic dancer at a nightclub. In HeartBeat doctors and nurses are almost inhumanly dedicated. In China Beach the principal character is a nurse who is obsessive and probably drinks too much. Nightingales, HeartBeat, China Beach: Will the Real Nurse Please Stand Up? is the topic of the Nurse Scholar Lecture sponsored by the school of nursing at Saint Xavier College and Sigma Theta Tau, the nursing honor society. The lecture takes place at 7:30 PM in McGuire Hall, 3700 W. 103rd St. Admission is $5. Call 779-3300, ext. 390.
Saul Bellow will give this year's Helen Harris Perlman lecture, an annual lecture given by someone whose work is "devoted to the understanding and betterment of the human condition." Bellow's talk, "An American Jewish Writer," will be at 3 PM in Mandel Hall, 5706 S. University Avenue. It's free. Call 702-8360 for more information.
When dealing with funders, many arts organizations--especially small neighborhood groups--become intimidated by the bureaucratic process, especially when it comes to presenting budgets. Developing the Budget, a workshop sponsored by the Chicago Office of Fine Arts, aims to make getting arts funding easier for local agencies. Participants will learn how to format a budget, how to estimate costs and expenditures, how to identify the various components of a budget, and how to highlight important details. The workshop will be held at 5 in meeting rooms 1 and 2 of the Public Library Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. Register at 744-6630; $5.
Jim Carroll chronicles his life--everything from his addiction to heroin to his sexual journeys--with the verbal sophistication of poetry and the visceral power of rock 'n' roll. His Basketball Diaries, poetry and prose about his days as a high school star, was widely praised, as was his collection of poems, Living at the Movies. He also had a radio hit, "People Who Died." Carroll performs his music at 10 tonight at the Cubby Bear, 1059 W. Addison. There's a $10 cover. Call 327-1662.
William Shakespeare's 154 sonnets deal with a variety of subjects, including a dark but unfaithful lady with whom Shakespeare was in love, a rival poet, and time and its ravages. Most are addressed to a young man, probably his patron the Earl of Southampton, to whom two of the sonnets are dedicated. On the occasion of the bard's 425th birthday, Loyola University sponsors today's free sonnet marathon. Volunteers will take turns reading sonnets 1 through 50 from 1 to 2:30, sonnets 51 through 100 from 2:30 to 4, and sonnets 101 through 154 from 4 to 5:30. The location will be the Kerwin Conference Room in Damen Hall at 6525 N. Sheridan; 670-2820.
Earlier this year, Sun-Times theater critic Hedy Weiss did an overview of the local scene and managed to miss the existence of Latino Chicago Theater, which was founded almost ten years ago. In response, LCT ran a curt ad that detailed its season of plays by, about, or of interest to Hispanics. Now they're doing Roosters, an original play about machismo and family life. Show time is 8 PM, Thursday through Sunday at the Firehouse, 1625 N. Damen. The show runs through April 23. Tickets are $10. Call 486-5120.