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March 11, 1992 - Image 22

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-03-11

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Basic skills don't seem so basic anymore
By BOB FAHEY with new college faces.
Salem State Log, Salem State U. The Clif behind Cliffs Notes _The SAT verbal average his an all-time low
of 422 in 1991. SAT officials say more
Reading, writing and arithmetic, long You're making an honest effort at T.S. Eliot, but it seems every students were tested last year and thus
considered the essentials, have become so sentence is like literary cheesecake - a meal in itself. And you're slumped the average, but that cannot hush
rusty for many college students that alreadystuffedfromatwohoursofBeowulf the manydoomsayers in academia.
professors speak o penly of appalling In 1958, book company manager Cliff Hillegass had a hunch Bad writing is "a product of what's coming
student ability. that students needed something to help digest the tough chunks of out of high schools," said Joe LeBlanc,
And with national standardized test reading that often crossed their desks. Thus, Cliffs Notes were adviser to the Northern Essex Community
averages dropping, many educators are born -and so was the controversy. College Observer, a top-rated student paper
scrambling to find a solution to students' Are the notes, which sell 5 million copies a year in more than 30 in Massachusetts. "We're seeing the schools
problems and their apathetic approach to countries and comprise about 80 percent of the notes market, Cliff Hillegass crumble right in front of our eyes."
the basics. mere accessories to laziness? "I won't say that they've resulted in In math, some students and professors
But many students san reading stinks. The more reading or less reading, but they've resulted in more understanding of what'sbeing even joke of their incompetence, said
older generations can sing the praises of read," Hillegasssaid. Temple U. Professor John Allen Paulos,
"one-on-on e co mmun iaca tion with the Many professors use them and recommend them to students, while others see only red author of "Innumeracy: Mathesmatical
author" all they want, but reading is just too when they notice the yellow and blackbooks in their classrooms. Illiteracy and Its Consequences." "While
lonely for man students, they say. Ironically, peeved professors gave his struggling business its first real shove toward illiterates are ashamed of their inability to
And i t shos, said Salem State's Paul success. "The people who did the ads were the teachers who would get up and say, 'And I read, innumerates often take a kind of pride
Chevedden, an assistant history professor. don't want to see any of those yellow and blackbooks."' in their mathematical ignorance," lae said.
"As a teacher, you read articles (about Now Cliffs Notes are an educational staple. BobFahey, SalemState Log, Salem State U. Lackluster teaching is partly to blame for
reading aversion), but you don't believe it math's tedious, sterile image, according to
until you ask the questions of your own thought Columbus landed in the Western discussion, so the required reading became Mart Lindquist, president of the National
class," he said. Hemisphere after the year 1500, and 42 a rite of passage, not homework. Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
In one of Chevedden's classes, no one percent could not place the Civil War in the "Those teachers inspired her," said Cliff "We probably haven't moved into the
could name the capital of China, so le, correct half century. Hillegass, founder of the still-controversial twentieth century. Much of what we've been
slackened and asked for the capitals of The vapid world of television, the nation Cliffs Notes. "I think students read, usually, teaching is passe... and drill-like," she said.
Mexico and Canada. His students fared no murmurs, has eclipsed the challenging because at some stage they've had a teacher Salem State accounting Professor Doug
better. world of books. who was really inspirational." Larson said of his generation, "We consider
He said reading could close those But Stacey Passman, a recent U. of Students' spelling is something Salem it important to do more things in the head."
knowledge gaps. Wisconsin graduate, finds reading no chore State English Professor Richard Elia is afraid What's spooky, he said, is that many
"It's kind of shocking," Chevedden said. at all. to test. A composition student wrote the accounting students rely on their calculators
"You have to switch gears." "I'm really engaged by books," she said. word "tuff" to mean "tough." In his 22 years to provide things like 10 percent of 100, and
The still-infamous resultsof a 1989 Gallup "You're with all oftheseother people." at Salem, he said, "I've never seen it this some freshman canon ot recognize one
survey show that students had better upshift. Passman said some fiery professors made bad." percent in decimals because calculators only
One-fourth of U.S. college seniors sure she and her classmates savored class And writing probably will not improve require pressing "1" and a percentsign.

From the publishers of U.The National College Newspaper

AH 19 V Concrete Blues 1
MARCH 1992 VOL 2


Movers and Quakers neips
students move their 'stuff'


Daily Pennsylvanoiaon, U. of Pennsylvania
Every' college student has "stuff."
You know, clothes, books, computers,
posters, plants, waste cans, lamps, sheets,
And every fall and spring, thousands of
students partake in the arduous task of
moving that stuff across the countrv and into
their dorm rooms.
What do you do as a college student who
has too much stuff to mail home and too
little to rent a moving truck? NhIarton senior
Mitch Weisman, co-owner of Movers and
Quakers Inc., a Penn service that picks up
belongings from home, packs it into boxes,
delivers it to individual dorms and even
carries i to rooms, sass you call him.
"Mitchell and I recognized a need for all
college students because we had the need
ourselves," said co-o wner Eric Linsn, a
Wharton senior. "We were able to develop a
service, which alleviates headaches for
students and parents."
During their freshman year at Penn, Linn

and Weisman, both Chicago natives,
realized they did not know how to bring
their things home.
Instead of spending money to mail their
belongings home, Weisman and Linn
decided to rent a truck. And after
discovering that other Chicago natives
needed away to transport their belongings
home, the two decided to rent extra space in
their truck to about 10 other students.
After making a small profit, the two
decided they had stumbled onto a business
opportunity. "The genesis of Movers and
Quakers Inc. was not thinking of it as
business," Weisman said "But we found a
niche in the market."
The next fall, Movers and Quakers Inc.
moved 16 students back to campus, and
Weisman and Linn decided it was time to
They needed someone to coordinate a
southern moving route, and that's when
senior Josh Olshansky became the third
partner of the moving company.
Students who use Movers and Quakers
(Quakers being the name of Penn's mascot)

Not only has Movers proven to be a cash cow for Linn, Olshansky and Weisman, but now the
three Wharton business school students can apply classroom principles to their company.
spend hetween $65 and $125, depending on hecasase nnnly a small aaoount nof capital was
hooc mucho staff stey are noosing and hots far needed for start-up costs. "We made a fesw
Movers has so hasal is. dalars at first, aud we have heen in she hiack
They can move she stuident with a few since the heginning," Weisnman said. - ____
hoxes and a duffel hag, as well as she student "It's a fantastic opportunity," Linn said.
ntithftirniture froma studio apartment. "We make money, learn a Ens, and apply INS IDE o yo Ie Ih h n e op I h y ar's Os as - Pa 1
The husiness wtas nant difficult no estahlish wh'at we learn in she classroom."

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