"Cheers, the little bar where everybody knows your name." But if you think you might have a drinking problem and don't want everyone to know your name, there is an alternative.

The psychology department is conducting a confidential Drinker Check-up Program for persons who may have a drinking problem. The program offers free psychological assessments to determine the serious causes of a drinking problem.

"It is for people who think they may have a drinking problem or who have been told they have a drinking problem. They are provided with objective assessments of their drinking, and the participants decide what they want to do with the assessments," said Dr. Carlo DiClemente, associate professorof psychology.

Evaluated information will enable people to make needed changes in their behavior. The assessments are not part of a treatment program, but are provided to the participants for their own use.

"The program entails a 45-minute interview, and the volunteer is asked to fill out some questionnaires. During the initial assessment, the information is put into a computer, and the feedback is approximately eight to 10 pages," said Barbara Leventon, coordinator of the UH Psychological Research & Services Center.

"Depending on the condition of the person, the feedback is either mailed to the person, or they are asked to return for a second appointment. There are follow-up telephone calls at one, three, six and 12 months, and additional packets of questionnaires are to be filled out."

DiClemente added that "The feedback will reveal one's level of drinking, how much the participant drinks compared to others, patterns of benefits and how much stress and/or family background can relate. It is an informational report for the benefit of the participant."

In addition to the confidential assessments of the participants' drinking levels, the causes and consequences of their drinking will be learned.

If you are between 18 and 60 years old and have not been treated for alcoholism, you are eligible to participate in the program.

Volunteers interested in the program, or for more information, contact the psychology department at (713) 743-8528.






Using relaxation techniques, role-playing and soft music, UH's Continuing Education center teaches languages to students.

At a demonstration June 30 in their UH Hilton classrooms, the center showed the methods they use to teach a foreign language.

"When you get your feelings and emotions involved, learning is easy," said Charlotte LeHecka, language coordinator of Continuing Education. "This method is good for people because there are so many avenues for learning."

The center's learning method is based on the work of Geogi Lazanov of Bulgaria.

"Lazanov came (to the U.S.) in 1978 and trained 16 linguists," LeHecka said. "Our program is based on that training."

The instructors use music to put students in a relaxed state.

"Music puts you in a receptive nature (for learning)," LeHecka said. "We use classical and baroque music.

"Lazanov said `classical music is to learning, what Shakespeare is to literature,'" LeHecka added.

He said when classical music is played to plants and animals, it facilitates the growing and production process.

The classes are small, and everyone participates in role-playing.

"When a class starts, each member has a different identity," said Donna Kruszewska, who teaches the English as a Second Language course. "I'm Jackie Kennedy Onassis (in class)."

Instructors keep their roles throughout their time with the program so they can keep improving on their characters, Kruszewska said.

"The students don't know my real name," she said. "They only know me as Jackie Kennedy Onassis, and they are trying to help me find a third husband."

The instructors are native speakers or have native fluency.

"The accent is important," LeHecka said. "It would be bad if a student learned a (wrong) accent.

"One time, I heard an instructor teaching with a West Texas accent, and I knew that wouldn't do (in our program)," LeHecka added.

She said between 1,500 and 2,000 people a year attend the program.

"In 1990, we started (offering classes), and they filled so fast we couldn't train our own people," LeHecka said.

Instructors go through extensive training before they can teach.

"They (instructors) have to take nine weeks of training," she said. "Then they take a beginning course and observe a master (instructor)."

When an instructor starts teaching, they are monitored 100 percent of the time in their first class, 50 percent for the second and 25 percent for the third, LeHecka said.

In the demonstration, the instructor showed that in two hours, anyone can start understanding a language. The language used was Russian. Participants played games and acted out roles. They also listened to music while Russian was read in a soft, soothing voice.

One man was so relaxed, he started snoring.

The Continuing Education program offers courses in Chinese, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Portuguese, Arabic and English as a second language.

The courses start at $265, and there are discounts when more than one is scheduled.






Back Alley's double rockabilly bill Thursday was more than enough to blow away the summer doldrums. A local band, the Road Kings, opened with their '90s-come-'50s sound.

Tearing up their brief set, the Road Kings showed mainstream Houston what it has been missing.

After an excessive break, the Stray Cats came on with a basic, no frills set. Age (or extensive touring) has slowed down the band. Lee Rocker no longer stands on his bass, and Brian Setzer has toned down his stage activity, too.

Slim Jim Phantom was a different story. He kept his stand-up style of drum-playing, adding howls and titanic leaps to punctuate the music.

The Cats played very little off their latest album, but relied heavily on songs by Eddie Cocheran ("Summertime Blues") and the Bobby Fuller Four ("I Fought the Law") as well as other influences. Stopping the show with their two biggest hits, "Rock This Town" and "Stray Cat Strut," seemed to bring the crowd back 10 years. Closing out their double encore, the Cats played Rumble In Brighton but changed it to Houston.

The crowd definitely wanted more, but the rigors of touring would not allow it.

After the show, Brian came out and shook a few hands. Outside by the tour bus, the band also made themselves available for photos and autographs.

Success hasn't spoiled them yet.






A student facing a major operation is soliciting blood donations from the UH community.

Urvish Medh, a graduate student in electrical engineering, goes under the knife Thursday when surgeons remove his bladder, which has been bleeding for about eight months and will be replaced by an external tube.

Medh said he had a kidney removed in 1979, and his medication caused the bleeding. He said he is now losing two pints of blood a day.

He said UH's health insurance will cover some, but not all, of the cost of blood replacement. Each unit costs $70. Medh said those donating blood should accredit their donations to his name. Each unit donated adds $10 to his account.

Since the donor system operates by transfer of funds, any blood type may be given.

Those people interested in giving blood may donate at St. Luke's, Hermann or Memorial hospitals, GulfCoast Regional Blood Center or any Red Cross Blood Center or any Red Cross Blood Donation center.






Houston Defending Choice is gearing up to defend local abortion clinics against anti-abortion groups during the Republican convention, which will be in town starting Aug. 17.

"We certainly expect significant numbers of people who are anti-choice during the (Republican) convention, and we're going to be recruiting a minimum of 2,000 volunteers to defend the clinics," said Shelley Leavitt Nadel of HDC's Coalition Management Committee.

Anti-choice groups like Operation Rescue have publicly said they will blockade abortion clinics during the convention, Nadel said. HDC is setting up classes to teach pro-choice supporters pacifist methods to prevent these groups from keeping women away from the clinics, she said.

"They'll try to blockade a clinic or try to shut a clinic down. If they can't do that, they'll do what they did in Buffalo (New York), and that's sitting in the middle of the street and getting themselves arrested. The way they get publicity is to get themselves arrested," Nadel said.

HDC exists because the abortion providers invited them to defend their facilities and keep them open, she said.

HDC's strategy includes having bigger numbers of people to defend the clinics than those who wish to close them down. They also plan on arriving at the clinic's doors before the anti-choice supporters get there, she said.

There have been diverse groups like the Socialist Party, Republicans for Choice, and gay groups who have become involved with HDC to prove it is not merely a women's group, she said.

Katy McDonald, a UH sophomore, has defended an abortion clinic in the West Loop three times in the last two months, and plans on going to the clinics during the Republican convention because she will be needed even more to help women enter and exit them safely, she said.

"The patients won't be allowed to park inside the clinic (during the convention) because that leaves the clinic too open for attack. We will have to escort these women inside the clinic ourselves," she said.

McDonald said the anti-choice supporters try to discourage women from getting abortions by "scare tactics" and not through logical persuasion.

"They (anti-abortion supporters) harass these women and tell them that they might die if they get an abortion. A 15-year-old might hear that and end up having a kid she doesn't want because she was frightened. That's brainwashing, not persuasion," McDonald said.

There have been several men who have become involved in HDC's causes because they are affected by abortion directly or indirectly as well, Nadel said.

Mario Ballesteros, a sophomore UH student double majoring in anthropology and geology, found out about the classes last week and plans to attend them to develop strategies to help women get safely into the clinics during the convention, he said.

In the past few weeks, Ballesteros, who is a member of the National Organization for Women, has been to the abortion clinic on the West Loop to stop anti-choice supporters who now try to prevent women from entering the clinics, he said.

Many of the anti-choice people who frequent the West Loop clinic carry signs displaying headless fetuses or severed embryo heads, he said.

"When women come into the clinics, I try not to look at them for a lot of reasons. One reason is to respect their privacy. Also, I would get so upset when I'd see the torture on their faces because people would yell at them and call them murderers," he said.

At the West Loop clinic he defends, anti-choice supporters in the past cut electrical wires and also glued the locks of entrance doors with liquid cement, he said.

"They cut these wires at night. I just hope they don't cut the electricity during the daytime when a woman might be having an operation," he said.

Wesley Fryar was one of the leaders at an HDC meeting in the Jewish Community Center when Patricia Ireland, national president of NOW, visited there a few weeks ago, he said.

"We basically teach the people not to be violent, but to expect violence. When you're out there on the lines in front of a clinic, you're there for one reason: to protect a woman's rights and get her safely inside the clinic. We don't want to be thrown in jail," Fryar said.

He added that the clinics now need about 2,000 people a day to ensure that women will not be prevented from entering a particular clinic. In past times, Fryar said anti-choice supporters usually outnumbered pro-choice supporters at the clinic he defends. He has been called anti-Christ and a Satan worshipper by people picketing the clinics, he said.

Sometimes Fryar and his fiancee were harassed so much that he believed either both or one might be physically harmed by demonstrators when they were in front of the clinic, he said.

Fryar has been protecting clinics for two months, and it is "something I will continue doing as long as I have to because it is a risk worth taking," he said.

There will be a training session on July 12 at 1 p.m. in the Houston Room of the University Center, he said. Starting July 11, training sessions will be held every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Allen Parkway Village Community Center.






It was 10 minutes past curtain time, and the audience was restless. Someone -- probably under four-feet tall -- started a massive clapping campaign which quickly spread across the UH Wortham Auditorium. This group wanted some magic -- and fast.

It soon appeared in the form of O'Leary, the spunky lady leprechaun, who uses magic pots to brew up fun for three Irish children and enough soup to save an entire village from starvation.

The Magic Pot and the Leprechaun, which premiered July 1 at Wortham Theater, is the second of three productions in the UH Children's Theatre Festival.

The story, set in Ireland during the great potato famine of the 1850's, was adapted from a traditional Irish fairy tale by Bren Dubay, with decidedly feminist undertones.

O'Leary, played by Rebecca Byars, has all the best lines:

"It takes both male and female to run this world," she says, in a brogue that would make Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman weep. "Everyone knows that, except the males."

Byars, a member of Stages Company for a year and a half, said she likes using her mime and dance skills in children's theater.

"I love it because you know what the kids are feeling. They're such willing participants in the experience," she said. "It's neat to look out and see them go `Aah!'"

Because of her magic dust and her pixie attitude, O'Leary was a favorite character.

"I liked the leprechaun because she showed up the most," said 7-year-old Hayley Henkes.

"Did that magic pot really cook?" asked 4-year-old Jake Henkes. Sure Jake, don't you believe in magic? Jake nodded his head vigorously.

Courtney Puffer, 4, and Alyssa Henkes, 3, both said they enjoyed the part where O'Leary "turns into a witch." 9-year-old Brandon O'Quinn agreed it was fun.

Actually, it's the garb of the Lynch Castle ghost that O'Leary dons in order to save young Kathleen Fitzgerald, her mother and her two friends from the evil English landlord, Sir Reginald.

Kathleen is played by Monique Maley, formerly of Stages and the Alley Theatre. Children's theater, she said, sometimes means she gets cast in more interesting roles.

Linda Ewing, who plays Peg, her mother, said she also enjoys a younger audience as long as the play isn't talking down to them. Ewing's husband, Jeff Baldwin, portrays Sir Reginald.

Was the play a hit?

"I liked all the parts," said 5-year-old Elizabeth Cecil. Outside, under the oak trees, 17-month-old Francisco Barquero couldn't be bothered to give his opinion. He was too busy squealing at the squirrels who came down to collect the Fruit Loops he was offering.






The staff cuts and elimination of eight academic programs at UH-Clear Lake this past year may foreshadow the future of other UH campuses.

"We will go through our own comprehensive evaluation this fall to set goals for 1992," UH President James Pickering said.

The Clear Lake academic programs cut are theater/dance, criminal justice, medical technology, public management, general studies, and process-monitoring and control at the undergraduate level. At the graduate level, educational futures and higher education/college teaching were cut.

Most of the programs stopped accepting new students about a year ago. Only those students with declared majors in the discontinued programs were allowed to finish.

The theater/dance program has just stopped accepting new students this summer.

Because students graduate or leave their programs, the population in the cut programs is decreasing. This means Clear Lake will not need as much faculty. Changes include the elimination of one vice president, four associate deans and about 35 staff workers, cuts which will provide $860,000 for underfunded departments. Also, the university may be able to offer faculty salaries with merit awards instead of state-mandated, across-the-board, 2 percent raises.

The university has 11 other programs to cut if funding problems continue.

State schools are undergoing many changes required by the Legislature. During the last legislative session, university budgets were cut by 3.2 percent, and more is predicted for next summer.






UH is constructing two new parking lots on the corner of Cullen Boulevard and Elgin Street which will add close to 600 parking spaces by August 31. The parking lots, which were approved by the Board of Regents in their last meeting, are expected to help the perennial problem of parking for the more than 24,000 students who receive parking permits each semester.

The parking lots currently overflow during the school year by about 200 students during peak parking hours, said Gerald Hagen, manager of parking and transportion. "These spaces should help meet immediate demands," he said. "We're extending one existing lot where Del Taco used to be by 60 spaces, and we're constructing another lot entirely, which will contain 480."

"This is the best we can do to provide parking right now," said Hagen. "We obviously can't provide more convenience without building multi-level lots. There's no other university land we could use that would be close."

Hagen said parking was usually available in the out-lying lots, but that convenience was a concern of students; they all wanted to park next to campus.

Hagen added that the parking lots would relieve congestion near the architecture and athletic buildings. "The north and west sides of campus are the most congested, and we're hoping this will help."

The State Coordinating Board for Higher Education approved construction of three lots for UH, but the school decided to delay the third lot, said Hagen. "The school is going to look at overall future developments and improvement, and then decide how best to use the land."

The third lot would have been across the street from entrance one, and would have contained about 800 spaces, said Hagen.

The Elgin lots' construction is now underway, at a cost of $717,268, according to the Board of Regents' report.

Future parking on campus will be affected by new development and construction, including the new building being planned for the music department. The building, scheduled to be finished by 1995, will be built on top of existing parking lots next to the theater building on campus, and new parking will have to be considered, said Hagen.






Since the spring 1992 semester, four new staff physicians -- an internist, a surgeon and two radiology residents -- have joined the staff of the UH Health Center.

Dr. Charles Heider, who has specialized in internal medicine for over 35 years, joined the staff April 1. A graduate of Baylor Medical School in Houston, he completed his internship at Jeff Davis Hospital.

Heider served his residency in internal medicine at Hahnermann Hospital and Medical College in Philadelphia before returning to Houston in 1964. Before coming to UH, he practiced at the Sun Valley Medical Clinic in southeast Houston, often pulling 24-hour shifts with Medicare and Medicaid patients.

Even though orthopedics and x-ray services are limited by scheduling and personnel shortages, Heider said he thinks the center is doing a great job with the resources it has.

After receiving his master's in surgery in Kanpur, India, Dr. Deepak Vij came to the U.S. in 1975 to complete his residency. At Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, he served as a trauma surgeon in critical-care medicine.

From 1983 to June, 1992, he practiced surgery at Trinity Medical Center in Brenham. After the recent salt-dome explosion there, Vij said he treated numerous burns and injuries caused by the blast. Before that, he said, farm and auto accidents were the standard fare of the emergency room.

Although he is primarily practicing general medicine at the clinic, Vij's expertise will also be used in emergency cases.

"We are fortunate in not seeing many cases here," he said.

Both Dr. Sara Rupp and Dr. Jani Widjaja, who joined the center July 1, recently completed their internships at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. They are serving at the center for a year before completing residencies in radiology.

Rupp begins her residency at Hartford Hospital in Connecticut in July, 1993, following the model of an uncle who is also a radiologist. It's the diagnostic and visual aspects of the field that appeal to her, she said.

Widjaja said he sees a definite difference in the patients he sees at UH and the ones he saw in Galveston.

Students tend to be more concerned with their health and seek treatment sooner, he said, than the low-income patients that came to UTMB.

Born in Indonesia, Widjaja came to El Paso with his family when he was 14 years old. Widjaja also has a brother in medical school, and his mother is a nurse in El Paso. Several of his aunts and uncles are also in medicine, but his father is an auto mechanic.

"A car doctor," he said.

Humans and cars are pretty much the same, he said, adding that it's all diagnostic.






"I was Laverne for five seasons, and I hated it," said Penny Mrshall in a phone interview from her home in Los Angeles. Marshall became one of the highest-paid females on television in the early '80s, earning almost $60,000 an episode.

"That kind of money seemed like a lot at the time, but it's nothing compared with what Roseanne Arnold is taking in," she said.

The idea for Laverne and Shirley stemmed from Marshall's recurring role on Happy days. ( Happy days also inspired Mork and Mindy and the unforgettable Joannie Loves Chachi.) Laverne deFazzio made Marshall a star.

Everywhere I go, people come up to me and ask if I want a milk and Pepsi, my old character's favorite drink. And thanks to syndication, I'll be Laverne for a very long time."

Laverne and Shirley's successful run ended abruptly in the early '80s. Marshall's sidekick Shirley (Cindy Williams) stormed off the set, never to return.

"I have absolutely nothing to say about Cindy," Marshall sharply replied when asked about her one time co-star.

Today, Marshall has risen beyond her Laverne image. As a Hollywood director, Marshall's name is synonymous with profits.

In 1988, Marshall took the industry by storm with Big, starring Tom Hanks. The picture was one of the most successful that year.

However, the film did have its drawbacks. "Big was big. Big budget, big star, big problems.

Hanks was Warner's first choice to play Batman that year, and he almost dropped out of Big. But then along came Michael Keaton, and the rest is history," Marshall said.

Marshall is now pushing her latest film, a baseball comedy titled A League of Their Own. The film boasts an all-star line-up, including Tom Hanks, Geena Davis and Madonna.

"It's weird, every time I work with Tom, they're filming another Batman flick."

"League, like Big, was riddled with problems. Marshall admitted that producation was slow, and the picture almost wasn't mad4e.

"Debra Winger origiannly had the Davis part when we started, then she dropped out. Somewhere, probably lying on the cutting-room loor, there is a scene with Madonna and Debra tossing a ball around."

The filming started on July 10, 1991, and was very slow in the making. League has been ready for distribution since early fall. However, columbia Studios wanted to release the picture in the summer with the hopes of targeting a younger crowd.

It has been said that Madonna was cast to appeal to this younger crowd and captialize on the draw of her name. Marshall tended to disagree with this. After all, Madonna's last films have been duds.

"It really is a small part (Madonna's), but she wanted it for the experience. However, Madonna is a total professional, always know her lines, always on time," Marshall said.

League is the second in a three picture deal Marshall signed with Columbia back in 1990. Awakenings, with Robert DeNiro and Robin Williams, was the first and another comedy, Calender Girl, is set to be released early next year.

"I have my own production company called Parkway Productions. We currently have Jason Priestly (Beverly Hills 90210) under contract to do a couple of films with us," Marshall said.

Priestly stars in the upcoming Calendar Girl.

Marshall hopes that League will do well at the box office. "Columbia and I have had good luck so far, and I hope it continues."

Success has also followed Marshall's director/brother Garry Marshall, who has a small part in League.

"Garry directed Laverne and Shirley and also the '89 hit Pretty Woman, which made Julia Roberts a star."


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