A walk on the lighter side
In the daily education news, there's a generous helping of vouchers, standards, and other weighty topics, but, as any parent or teacher knows, local issues are often more mundane. From flowers to bake sales, here's a sampling from last week:
Want to make a teen's day with flowers? Don't send them to school. At least not in Seattle, where bouquets, teddy bears, and balloons have been banned by three high schools.
"We would have florists deliver bouquets, or balloons, or cookies, or message grams," says Inglemoor High School principal Vicki Sherwood. "It was a constant barrage."
One flower service has reported the ban cost it $300 during the first week of classes.
In Grandville, Mich., schools have also placed a ban - on homemade treats at school events. Only commercially produced, prepackaged baked goods will be allowed during school parties.
While board members could not cite an example of a student sickened by homemade treats at school, they noted that several elementary school teachers felt ill after a staff-appreciation dinner where parents provided the food.
Tired of studying English or history? BBC News reported that Steve Lockwood has graduated from Anglia Polytechnic University in Cambridge, England - with a degree in harmonica playing.
He took up the mouth organ 15 years ago as a teenager, and practices five hours a day. He decided to study for a degree so he could pursue the instrument "to its limits," he told the BBC.
He cites the work of Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, and Sonny Boy Williamson as his inspiration, and says he is now considering studying for a master's degree in harmonica performance.
It's not just students who can be hip, as Kent State University President Carol Cartwright, in Kent, Ohio, has demonstrated. She is shown on the new school calendar wearing a leather jacket and sitting on a Harley-Davidson.
"I think it's fun and will capture people's imagination," says Ms. Cartwright, who has been university president for 10 years.
This year's homecoming parade also marked the seventh year that Cartwright and her husband rode in the parade's Harley unit.
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