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The [Thursday] Papers

Robbie Gould, you are this week's Worst Person in Chicago.

"Let's hope the kids can re-focus now and worry about beating Nebraska and not worry about situations that are out of their control or not in their hands," Gould said.

Or, and I'm just spitballing here, Penn State could use this as a teaching moment and start by assigning to every football player - and every student, faculty member, administrator and booster - the reading of the stomach-turning grand jury report.

*

Fired Penn State president Graham Spanier grew up on Chicago's South Side and earned his Ph.D at Northwestern.

"Mr. Spanier was born in 1948 in South Africa, the country to which his father fled to escape the Holocaust, according to a profile in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 1995," the Post-Gazette reports.

"Within a year of his birth, as apartheid came to remind his father of Nazism, the family moved to the South Side of Chicago, where Mr. Spanier's father earned a living unloading trucks.

"Mr. Spanier grew up poor, but advanced himself, working multiple jobs, earning 27 college credits while still in high school, and paying his own way through Iowa State University, where he earned an undergraduate degree and master's degree.

"The man who once envisioned himself as a mathematics major ultimately went on to earn a doctoral degree in sociology from Northwestern University in 1973."

*

From a Bristol University (of England) press release upon Spanier receiving an honorary degree:

"Graham was born in 1948 in South Africa where his family had fled from Germany. Very soon after that, they emigrated to the United States of America and Graham was brought up in the south side of Chicago.

"The family was poor and Graham remembers a challenging childhood in which there was not enough food on the table and he had to work long hours to supplement the family income.

"Even as a child, Graham recognized that the only way out of this situation was education and he worked hard academically to become the first person in his entire family network to go to university.

"He gained his bachelors and masters degrees from Iowa State University and his PhD from Northwestern in Chicago becoming a professor at a very young age."

*

From Town & Gown:

"Born in Capetown, South Africa, Graham came to the United States as an infant and grew up on the south side of Chicago in a neighborhood of working-class immigrants. His father loaded and unloaded trucks in a warehouse, and his mother was a secretary.

"[His wife] Sandy was born and raised in Iowa, where her father was a schoolteacher and her mother, who had a degree in home economics, was a full-time homemaker.

"Graham and Sandy met at Iowa State University, Sandy's parents' alma mater. Graham was working on his master's degree in sociology there, had a column in the student newspaper, and was in student government. Sandy was just starting college and first noticed Graham when he was leading her freshman-orientation session. Graham eventually asked Sandy out, and for their first date, they went to a hamburger place where customers sat in booths and ordered their meals via phone.

"Graham finished his master's degree, and the couple got married on September 4, 1971. The newlyweds moved back to Graham's hometown so he could earn his doctorate in sociology at Northwestern University. Meanwhile, Sandy finished her bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois at Chicago and then taught high school."

Illinois Law Scam
"When the University of Illinois law school announced a new early entrance program in 2008, the stated reason was to recruit top U. of I. undergraduates and give them 'the first shot at the limited number of seats' at their school," Jodi Cohen reports for the Tribune.

"But behind the scenes, now-disgraced College of Law admissions dean Paul Pless revealed another motive was at play. By admitting high-achieving students in their junior years, without a law school entrance exam, the students' high GPAs would be included in the class profile but no test scores could potentially drag down the class.

"'That way, I can trap about 20 of the little bastards with high GPAs that count and no LSAT score to count against my median. It is quite ingenious,' Pless boasted in a 2008 e-mail exchange with an acquaintance about iLEAP, the early admissions program now in its fourth year. A law school class' median LSAT scores and GPAs are key factors in influential U.S. News & World Report rankings, and documents released by the university this week show the school's preoccupation with them.

"Pless resigned Friday after a two-month, $1 million school investigation found he reported inflated grades and test scores of admitted students in six of the last seven years to make the classes appear more academically accomplished than they were. A review of the investigative file shows the intense culture in which Pless worked, one focused on improving the academic credentials of the incoming classes in part as a means to improving the already well-regarded school's ranking.

"The college's strategic plans and annual reports focused on that ranking. Pless' salary increases were tied to it. The law dean and other top officials exchanged e-mails about the benefits of different combinations of test scores and GPA medians to achieve it."

Paul Pless, you are lucky Robbie Gould opened his mouth this week.

Ad Occupied
"[W]hen a financial institution expressed interest in sponsoring a downtown bridge earlier this fall, city officials and the company worried the ad would become a target of Occupy Chicago protesters, so the deal was put on hold," a marketing exec told the Tribune.

City Hall Crime Scene
Alderman John Arena and Sherlock Holmes investigate.

Daley To Harvard
Insert tired punchlines here.

Sneedless To Say
"I admit it was hard to stomach watching the rose-red-lipsticked mouth of your accuser, Sharon Bialek, issue her statement Monday - while flicking the streaked, white-blond hair out of her eyes," Sneed writes, "while twinkling crystal drop earrings enmeshed in hair extensions (?) snaked down her shoulders."

Yeah, but this is the truest picture of unreliable media statements.

Immobile America
"Americans like to believe that theirs is the land of opportunity, but the hard facts are that children born into poor families in the United States tend to stay poor and children born into wealthy families generally stay rich. Other countries have shown more success at lessening the effects of inequality on mobility - possibly by making public investments in education, health, and family well-being that offset the private advantages of the wealthy."

- Persistence, Privilege and Parenting

Chicago's Stand-Up Debt Comic
Schtick for the times.

The Real Andy Rooney
Hating on gays, blacks and Kurt Cobain.

Earl Bennett And The McRib Are Back!
In The Blue & Orange Kool-Aid Report.

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: Schticky.



Permalink

Posted on November 10, 2011


MUSIC - The Week In Chicago Rock.
TV - Cricket vs. Brexit.
POLITICS - Trailer: Swing District.
SPORTS - Ryan Pace's Narratives Are Killing Us.

BOOKS - Chicago For Dummies.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - The Sears Motor Buggy.


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