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Teaching and learning. Juli Wright's first year of teaching first grade at Gladstone Elementary on the near west side was overwhelming, according to Elizabeth Duffrin, writing in Catalyst (September). "There were two big surprises. One was that so many children came to school without knowing letters, colors, numbers or even which end of a book to open. The other was the student mobility at Gladstone. 'If you lost one, within the next couple of days you would always get one more and sometimes two. Of my original roster of 30, I probably kept 15 by the end of the year. It was crazy.'" Wright has since taken a job selling school date books and planners, which "allows her to work with educators, but with two big advantages--more freedom and pay based on productivity. 'It's not like teaching, [where] if I worked hard, I got paid the same as the person who was doing a horrible job.'"

Newspeak. As of September 24, according to a press release, the Chicago-based American Bar Association's Commission on Advertising has been renamed the Commission on Responsibility in Client Development.

Boom! Chicago City Colleges chancellor and former college wrestler Wayne Watson, interviewed by Glenna Ousley in N'digo (September 16-22): "In wrestling you have to be aggressive, you have to be creative, you have to be decisive. If you're going to make a move to do something to someone and to take someone down, you can't have second thoughts about it. You have to make a decision and you execute it. Boom! Same thing in this office."

Oh great, now I can't afford tickets to a game that happened 15 years ago. According to a press release, the price of a ticket to Michael Jordan's first University of North Carolina college basketball game, auctioned by Sports Investments International in September, was $1,335.

At 92 percent ready, Illinois state government is 22nd among states in its degree of Y2K preparedness, according to a September 15 report by the stateline.org news service. Alleged to be 100 percent prepared are North Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Least ready for the new millennium is Alabama, which reported just 42 percent of its "mission-critical" computers to be compliant.

We'll have no damn swearing in this town. According to a September 1 Associated Press report, a 17-year-old bicyclist in Bridgman, Michigan, could face up to 90 days in jail for swearing in front of a minor--a 16-year-old girl--in July.

News flash! A crime that doesn't affect mostly poor people! "Affluent communities like Naperville often are the most susceptible to computer crime because of the preponderance of computers in the homes," writes Aurora Aguilar in the Compiler (Summer), newsletter of the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, about the suburb's four-year-old Internet-crimes unit. "Naperville is an upper-middle-class city where many children have unsupervised on-line access."

They can do it. The on-line "Progressive Review" reports (September 8) that the Smithsonian is selling World War II Rosie the Riveter "We Can Do It" T-shirts labeled "made in Honduras" and "assembled in Jamaica."

At the end of 1998 about one adult in 40 worldwide used the Internet weekly at work or at home, according to a recent press release from Computer Industry Almanac Inc. in suburban Arlington Heights. In North America the figure is better than one in 4, whereas in the Middle East and Africa it's around one in 400. By 2005 the almanac estimates that worldwide use will be up to one in 10 (or 717 million users), and the Middle East and Africa will have almost caught up to the 1998 worldwide average.

"Decreases in a state's welfare benefit levels are associated with large increases in child neglect, and with small decreases in physical abuse," write economists Christina Paxson and Jane Waldfogel in a new National Bureau of Economic Research working paper released in September, "Work, Welfare, and Child Maltreatment." "Holding income fixed, the children of women who work are at greater risk of maltreatment than those who do not," which implies that "moving women off welfare rolls into jobs that do not pay more than welfare could harm children"--except the ones who aren't being beaten.

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