WORLD-CLASS COURSES

Travel abroad, earn credit

by Debbie Callier

News Reporter

Students who want to travel but haven't finished their language requirements can do both this summer in France or Spain.

Nancy Marino, a UH Spanish instructor, will teach a group of 40 UH Spanish students in Salamanca, Spain, from May 30 to June 26. Classes will be from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., five days a week, with excursions to Segovia, La Granja, El Escorial and Avila on weekends.

The cost of $1650 per person includes meals and accommodations with Spanish families, excursions, textbooks, local tours, and medical and travel insurance.

UH tuition and air fare will be paid separately, and Marino expects the fares to cost $900 to $1,000 per person.

Classes will be held at the University of Salamanca, founded in 1214. Students staying with families has been a tradition since then, she said. In addition, students will eat three meals a day with the families, she said.

"The food is European: meat and potatoes, not spicy," Marino said, "and the dress is similar to here -- shorts and Reeboks. The weather is pleasant, cool and dry."

Each Spanish family taking part in the program will take in two students.

The French program lasts nine weeks, from May 17 to July 12, for nine hours of credit. The accommodations are set for one student per family so there is no temptation to speak English, according to Robert Shupp, program director.

Shupp has been taking students to Europe for summer programs for 21 years.

The cost of $4,200 includes room, board, tuition, air fare, train fare, texts and one regional excursion.

"It is the best way to go to Europe," Shupp said. "It's half the price of competitive programs, so students can justify the expense." The courses can apply to a minor, a major or can fulfill the sophomore-level language requirements.

The group will stay in Bourge, which has 14th-century architecture, remains of Roman walls, and Gothic cathedrals. The city is in the center of France, a two-hour train ride from Paris.

"It's a magical place," Shupp said. "Most of the political activities until the late Renaissance were there. It's where Joan of Arc convinced the French to fight the English. It is historically significant."

Both Marino and Shupp agree that total immersion in the culture and the language teaches things unavailable in the classroom, such as the meaning of word intonation and stress.

These mean different things in France than they do in the United States, and may be why Americans are sometimes misunderstood by the French, Shupp said.

The normal intonation of an American is perceived by the French as angry and sarcastic, he added.

 

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DIPLOMAS WORTH IT DEGREES A LONG-TERM PLUS, STUDY SAYS

by Jenny Silverman

News Reporter

A college degree does not necessarily mean instant employment, but don't be discouraged.

A U.S. Census Bureau study indicates that the rewards of a college diploma tend to pay off later in life.

The 1990 study found that a college graduate will earn $1,077 a month more than a high-school graduate.

However, various fields offer varying salaries. The starting salary for a liberal arts major is $20,000 a year, as opposed to $25,000 for an engineer.

"A liberal arts degree is marketable. A liberal arts degree teaches good analytical and critical thinking skills," said Cheryl Matherly, an assistant director for Career Placement at Rice University.

A 1984 AT&T study found that managers with liberal arts degrees were promoted more than their colleagues with business degrees.

Not every graduating liberal arts major winds up in a related field. "We had one graduating English major who got a job as a computer systems consultant," Matherly said.

"A properly-written resume and a knowledge of the job market is important for employment," said Carol Beerstecher of the UH Office of Career Planning and Placement.

Entering the workplace with a degree may make a job hunt less difficult, and for most people, a degree is the first step toward a good salary. However, those with a degree are not guaranteed more money than those without.

According to the 1992-93 U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, in Arkansas, home to the lowest-paid teachers in the country, the average, annual salary for educators is $21,692. Manufacturers and sales representatives, who don't require degrees, can earn from $20,000 to $50,000 annually.

Jobs that require managing physical labor pay more than a traditional, blue-collar job. A supervisor who does not need a college degree earns $560 per week.

Litigation can be a lucrative profession, provided the attorney becomes a partner in a firm.

An entry-level lawyer earns $31,000 per year. A partner at a Houston law firm, Fullbright and Jaworski, earns $331,000 per year, while partners at Arent, Fox, Kinter, Plotkin and Kahn in Washington D.C. earn $255,000. A partner at the Los Angeles law firm of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter and Hampton earns $279,000 per year.

Some of the highest earners, many without college diplomas, are musicians. Last year, Bon Jovi, a five-member band, grossed $34 million, and U2 grossed $42 million in two years.

Writing, which does not require a degree, can be quite lucrative. Tom Clancy received a $4 million advance for his most recent book, <i>Clear and Present Danger<p>. Nancy and Ronald Reagan each grossed almost $2 million for their autobiographies, and Albert Goldman's biography of Elvis grossed $1 million.

 

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DUKE U. STUDY : HIGHER BEER TAXES MAY MEAN HIGHER GRADUATION RATES

by Kristine Fahrenholz

Daily Cougar Staff

A Duke University study says when beer taxes increase, college graduation rates tend to increase.

Michael Moore, a Duke University economics professor and the study's co-author, looked at the graduation rates of students leaving college in 1982 and compared those numbers to state beer taxes.

Moore found that the portion of students graduating from college increased to 21 percent from 15 percent when the beer tax jumped to $1 a case from 10 cents a case, or about 4 cents a can.

Parental education, drinking habits and family income were also considered in the study.

"We are interested in studying the effects of alcohol abuse on productivity," Moore said.

But one UH student doesn't see the relationship.

"It really depends on how much you drink," said Ron Foster, a freshman graphics communications major.

"If you're not a beer drinker, then maybe the tax could keep you from buying beer," Foster said, "but if you are, then it probably wouldn't."

"You're either going to graduate or not, regardless of the beer tax," he added.

"It doesn't make sense to me," said Bonnie Chan, a senior biochemistry major.

The beer tax in Houston is 8.25 percent. However, if the beer is bought in an establishment that has a liquor license, the tax is 14 percent, said Ramiro Villescas, auditor for the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission.

Texas raised the tax in July 1990 to 8.25 percent, Villescas said.

In 1987, the tax was increased twice, to 8 percent from 7.25 percent.

According to Kimberly Brown, a worker at the Office of Planning and Policy Analysis, UH graduated 2,498 students in 1987. In 1992, that number increased to 3,160.

That means when the beer tax increased between 1987 and 1992, the UH graduation rates also increased.

The enrollment, however, also grew between 1987 and 1992 by approximately 5,000 students.

James Smith, a UH professor of economics, said the increase of beer taxes and the rise in graduation rates were probably not related.

Chris Edwards, a junior psychology major, said, "I don't drink, but I wouldn't think increasing beer taxes would have any effect on increasing graduation rates.

"If you want to drink, you will," he added.

 

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'BATON' MUST BE PASSED

City leaders gather to commemorate Black History Month

 

by Connie Barrera

News Reporter

African American leaders spoke words of peace and hope at Houston's official opening ceremony of Black History Month Tuesday.

The ceremony consisted of speeches by prominent community leaders, such as Linda Reed, director of the UH African American Studies Program, who said, "The baton of leadership must be passed on from generation to generation" to keep the spirit of African American history alive.

Mary Francis, president of UH's Black Student Union, summed up the significance of Black History Month: "(This is) one time in the year that most African Americans just reflect, and this is a good opportunity to come together instead of being diverse."

Poet and human-rights activist Mauri Saalakhan said, "When I'm not working (in Washington, D.C.) and taking care of my family, I'm engaged in my human rights activities that embrace issues locally, nationally and internationally.

"African American History Month is a very small amount of space, time-wise, to lend toward examining the contributions made by people of African descent.

"On one hand, while it's a limited amount of time devoted to black history, it's still better than nothing," he said.

Saalakhan said now is the time when African-Americans and well-meaning people of other races can reflect "over our penchant for having these episodes in our history when we're inhuman with each other.

"We have all of these problems relating even today when we take such pride in having the technological capacity to put people in space to walk on the moon. We still have not yet found the capacity to walk on the earth in dignity and in peace," he said.

The riots in Los Angeles could have been prevented, according to Saalakhan. The explosion that took place in L.A. "was not just about Rodney King; it wasn't just about that verdict that came out of Simi Valley, California -- It was the trigger. The ingredients for that explosion were present and had been present for a long time. The conditions for a similar explosion exist all over America."

"Black History Month," he said, "should serve as a reminder for those of us who don't read and study history every day. It should be a life-long practice."

The Daily Cougar will publish two special issues during Black History Month: Tuesday, Feb. 9, and Monday, Feb. 22.

 

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ASSAULT CHARGES REJECTED

by Michica N. Guillory

Daily Cougar Staff

A female student's allegations of sexual assault in the Moody Towers were not accepted by the district attorney's office Thursday.

The student alleged that a man she signed in as her guest on Jan. 28 sexually assaulted her.

Though police knew the man's identity, he was not arrested because the assault wasn't confirmed. Arrangements were made for him to talk to UHPD.

"We took statements from both individuals to the D.A.'s office," said UHPD Lt. Helia Durant. "(The D.A.) felt there were insufficient grounds to send the case to a grand jury."

According to a UHPD spokesman, the student had met her guest only recently.

"The two may have just met within that week," said UH spokesman Eric Miller.

Despite the allegation, Moody Towers Area Coordinator Juanita Barner said she doesn't consider the incident a problem.

"Security in the towers is better now than it has been in years," Barner said. "That was a situation we can't control -- when someone asks someone to their room."

An investigation by UHPD was subsequently dropped.

 

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THE CEMETERY CLUB POSES GRAVE SITUATION

by Gram Gemoets

Daily Cougar Staff

The Cemetery Club is touchy-feely trash -- Geritol Generation junk.

Adapted from the hit Broadway play, it is supposed to be a comedy involving three wealthy, Jewish widows and their search for meaning after their bereavement of their husbands' deaths. It is meant to be jolly and lively and quick, but, in a nutshell, this plot stinks. Made in the time-tried mold of Fried Green Tomatoes, this Geritol Generation flick is a dud.

Doris Silverman (Olympia Dukakis) is everybody's scolding conscience. Heaven help her pals, Lucille Rubin (Diane Ladd) and Ellen Burstyn (Esther Moskowitz), when they forget the anniversaries of their husbands' deaths. Though Doris has the wit of a stand-up comedian, she considers herself a pious widow.

Lucille is entirely another story. With her heavy make-up, teen-age clothes and pompadour hair, she resembles a 19-year-old trying to redefine her life. However, the men in her life don't catch the definition.

Although she's the dim-wit and the butt of most of the dialogue, Lucille harbors a secret. After all, this is the kind of movie that requires one to weep, then laugh, followed by more weeping and laughing. The most I could muster was a resounding yawn.

The newest widow in this group, Esther, claims she was supremely happy for the 39 years she was married. It is Esther that threatens the club's wise-cracking tranquility by getting involved with Ben Katz (Danny Aiello).

The Cemetery Club opens in general release today. If it is to succeed at all, it must depend heavily on one-liners, but <i>The Golden Girls<p> it is not. For all the sarcasm in the dialogue, there is very little wit. Unlike others of its genre, The Cemetery Club has no redeeming qualities at all. Instead, it attempts to blatantly copy other coming-of-age-when you're-over-the-hill films.

The film is so obvious in its method, so unsurprising in its situations, that most people will want their money back after the first 10 minutes.

Despite the script's problems, the players manage attractive performances. Although the characters come across as slightly vulnerable, the contrived plot is blind to honest feelings and emotions.

Any attempt at humor comes across as cliche. In this case, it is not the players' fault for their less- than-average characterizations. In this case, the blame rests on screenwriter Ivan Menchell.

Although the film boasts itself as an "honest tale about upper-class Jewish life," it puts aside any reality in order to cash in on laughs.

For example, the garish wedding scene at the end would make a Catholic marriage spectacle seem dowdy. There are certain times when you wonder if these dissimilar individuals would even be friends in real life.

Blame it on the Hollywood executives, whose love of profit forsakes art. They seem to relish the formula picture so much that they can't stop remaking Fried Green Tomatoes . This genre does have its audience though. Some old ladies probably can't wait to cash their social security checks to plop their money down for this one.

The makers of The Cemetery Club should, themselves, qualify for a pension. Then this kind of old-age, touchy-feely garbage will disappear.

 

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COOGS LOOK FOR ELBOW ROOM

by Heather Ellis

Daily Cougar Staff

If three's a crowd, the third-place slot in the Southwest Conference must be busting at the seams with four teams.

The Texas Lady Longhorns and the Texas Tech Lady Red Raiders might be holding onto first and second place in the SWC, but Houston, Texas A&M, Baylor and Southern Methodist are fighting for elbow room.

Houston continues its SWC quest Saturday, hosting the Texas Christian Lady Horned Frogs at 7 p.m. at Hofheinz Pavilion.

The Horned Frogs seem to have taken residence in the basement of the SWC with an 0-6 record. They are the only team yet to post a conference win at the midway mark of the season.

Saturday, the Red Raiders dished out a 111-65 walloping to the Horned Frogs on the Frogs' turf. As they enter Hofheinz, the Horned Frogs can expect more of the same from the Lady Cougars.

Houston captured both games from the Horned Frogs last season and lead the series 17-2. UH holds a five-game winning streak over TCU and, historically, has won every home game against the Lady Frogs.

The Cougars will look to their senior support staff of Andi Jackson and Margo Graham to lead the Cougars past the Horned Frogs. In the Cougars' victory over Rice Wednesday, they combined their talents for 23 points.

Texas Christian will rely on seniors Rachel Hesse and Andrea Boris, who average 10 points apiece. The two guards run the court effectively for the Horned Frogs.

 

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NEW RECRUITS TO MAKE HUGE IMPACT

by Adam King

Daily Cougar Staff

The Baylor Bears won this year's unofficial Southwest Conference football recruiting race, signing 14 Texas Top 100 prospects during Wednesday's national signing day.

Don't try to convince Houston head coach John Jenkins of that, though.

"We're up there among any of the other schools," Jenkins said. "History proves that if you go back five years ago and look at the Top 100 in the state, you're going to find maybe a 10-percent success rate, which is really a catastrophic figure."

Jenkins said his recruits will make an immediate impact in bolstering the Cougars' chances to make a run at the conference crown. Twenty of the 27 players Houston signed are on defense.

And this class will have a greater impact as far as player skill and depth next year, more than any other school in the league, Jenkins added.

He admits that some of the more prominent players Houston tried to recruit got away, such as blue-chippers David Maxwell, a 6-3, 240-pound linebacker from Waco Midway, who signed instead with Texas A&M, and defensive lineman Johnny Golden (6-5, 245) of Alvin, who signed with Rice.

Yet, Jenkins said the team's needs for defensive linemen and linebackers were met, mostly with junior-college players who figure to take a starting role.

"Billy Milner will figure into an immediate playing capacity," said Jenkins of his 6-8, 295-pound offensive lineman from Southwest Mississippi Community College. "And certainly those that are junior-college guys, because of their maturity, (will start)."

Other projected starters include junior-college defensive linemen Colin Scrivener (6-6, 275) from Winnipeg, Canada, and Mike Meux (6-2, 285) from Fresno, Calif.

Jenkins said he also expects defensive linemen Otis Grant, a 1992 signee from Willowridge, who is enrolled at UH-Downtown; James Puckett (6-4, 290) from Tampa, Fla.; and Bruce Thompson (6-5, 315) from Fort Worth Wyatt to contend for a starter's spot.

"What transpired with us last year was we had a real critical depth problem, especially in the game against A&M where we lost 38-30," Jenkins said. "Had we had just one or two of these defensive linemen we got now, they could have been the difference."

On offense, Jenkins said the addition of linemen Milner, Mark Gray, Jack Hansen and national Top 100 lineman Marcus Vidrine will bolster the loss of center Kevin Bleier and left-tackle John Morris.

The new linemen, coupled with blue-chip wide receivers Isaac Bell of Nacadoches and Joey Mouton of Port Arthur, give Houston the quality players needed to replace the veterans lost when Bleier, Morris and receivers Tracy Good and Freddie Gilbert graduated.

"Last year, we had the nation's leading offense in passing, and I expect to pick up right where we left off," Jenkins said. "It's our full intention to be contenders."

After two consecutive 4-7 seasons that included heavy recruiting on offense, Houston's extra surge of defensive talent will seek to stem the flow of a school-record 35.1 points and 412 yards a game given up by last year's team.

Most of the offensive team from last year will be returning, so expect Jenkins to concentrate on getting the defense ready.

Houston's 1993 schedule is a back-breaker, with games against Southern Cal, Michigan and Texas A&M on the road.

 

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TRACK TEAM HITS GROUND RUNNING

by Jason Ramirez

Daily Cougar Staff

The Houston Cougars' track season is in full swing, and judging from last week's meet, assistant coach Howie Ryan said the Cougar runners will have reason to smile this year.

Houston travels to Baton Rouge Saturday to participate in the Purple Tiger Invitational at LSU.

"I was very pleased with last week's meet," he said. "Our runners looked extremely impressive out there."

However, Ryan was also quick to point out it might take a few more meets before the Cougars start to gel.

"Because it's early in the season, it will be awhile before we can actually get the feel of what we are looking to do this year," he said.

Ryan said Sam Jefferson and Michelle Collins have legitimate shots at being candidates for All-American this year.

"Last year, Michelle won the NCAA's 200-meter run, and she qualified for the 60-meter this past weekend," Ryan said. "We are counting on Sam to bring home the same honor this year as well."

Collins will also try to qualify for the NCAA meet in the 200-meter this weekend when the Cougars meet LSU.

Saturday, the Cougars competed with LSU, Alabama, Southern Methodist, Texas and Texas-El Paso, walking away with some top honors.

The men's two-mile relay team took second. Members on the relay included juniors Jefferson, Jim Reagan, Shedric Taylor, David Gates and sophomore Paul Lupi.

Individual awards went out to Jefferson and Collins, who prevailed in the 60-meter run in their respective divisions.

 

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HIT AND RUN

by Ryan Carssow

Daily Cougar Staff

With the sun nearly gone and the air cold, the Cougars finally defeated the Texas Southern Tigers, 20-4, Thursday afternoon.

Houston improves to 3-0 for the season and TSU drops to 0-1.

Although the game dragged on four hours, it was truly over after four innings.

Left fielder Brian Blair and center fielder Phil Lewis combined to lead a team-wide offensive explosion that left five TSU pitchers wondering how their fastballs and their ERA's had grown so fat.

The Tigers' pitchers combined for 10 walks, three wild pitches and four hit batsmen. They allowed 19 hits and 15 earned runs in eight innings.

The two, three and four spots in the Houston lineup provided most of the damage.

The six different players occupying those spots in the game combined for 12 hits, 11 runs, two home runs and five stolen bases.

Blair, a junior, was a perfect 4-for-4 with a home run, five runs and four RBIs. Lewis, a senior, added another home run, two runs and three RBIs, going 3-of-4.

"We got good hitting from the top of the order," said Houston head coach, Bragg Stockton. "We stole some bases and made some things happen with the bunting game."

The TSU batters seemed just as overmatched as the pitching staff. The Tigers could only come up with four runs on five hits off Cougar pitching.

Freshmen pitchers Jason Fojt, Greg Lewis and Paige Findley all had impressive outings in their first college appearances.

"Each one of them had a better second inning," Stockton said. "That's typical of someone's first time out there."

Despite his pitchers' success, Stockton is quick to point out that the TSU batters are no pushovers.

"I think TSU will win some games this year, " Stockton said. "They swing the bats -- they'll score some runs."

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