China: Children with low IQs get special attention from teachers with big hearts



Children with low IQs get special attention from teachers with big hearts

Shi Xiaojing came to school early on September 2, the first day of a new semester. She arrived before 7am to make sure that all preparations were done. Then she walked to the front gate of the school to greet the students.

Shi has been at the gate every school day since 2005 when she was appointed headmistress of Minhang Qizhi School, a special education facility for mentally handicapped students.

There are 202 students registered at the school, all of them are low-functioning, with IQs below 50. The average IQ of normal people varies from 85 to 115.

This year on opening day, she wore a red dress with a polka-dot shirt on top.

“I want to look bright to them,” she said.

About the same time, Binbin arrived at the school.

The bulky 20-year-old has worked as a librarian there for two years. His job on the first day was to prepare printed documents for teachers and take care of the delivery of new books for the library.

When the flag-raising ceremony began at 8 am, Binbin had just finished carrying the last box of books in. His blue shirt was soaked with sweat.

Shi walked over to Binbin.

“Look at you, all wet,” she said, patting his shoulder. “Go change into your other shirt. You know where I put it.”

Unlike other employees here, Binbin is graduate of Qizhi. He is autistic.

“He enrolled in the school the same year as I came when he was 5,” Shi said, recalling how he stumbled around as a boy. “I used to teach normal middle school kids. I had no clue nor even the self-confidence to deal with these special children.”

Children with low IQs get special attention from teachers with big hearts

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Shi Xiaojing, the headmistress of Minhang Qizhi School for mentally handicapped students, greets children in the classroom on September 2, the first day of a new semester.

When Shi first became the headmistress, she ran into a student in a shopping mall. The student yelled at her, and people around her stopped and stared. She maintained her cool and attempted to calm the student.

“Later I learned that the student’s mother was blind,” she said. “He was at the mall to help his mother with some banking business. At that moment, I told myself there is nothing to worry about. These are all just innocent souls.”

Each child has different symptoms. Many have nervous tics. Some are prone to violent fits. Most can be difficult to reach.

“There is no formula when communicating with them,” Shi said. “Each one of them is unique.”

When Shi came to Qizhi School, there were only five teachers with majors in special education; the rest were all amateurs like her. She spent all her spare time reading books and essays about special education.

Teachers at the school have felt their way through the curriculum. One of Binbin’s teachers, surnamed Wang, gradually noticed that drawing would calm the boy down during a fit of anger. So Binbin was encouraged to go to the blackboard to draw whatever he wanted whenever he became stressed.

Over time, Binbin started to understand the instructions from the teachers. More importantly, he learned to express himself in a way that could be understood by others.

“Despite their different symptoms and conditions, they share similar problems,” Shi said. “Delayed and deviant language development and poor athletic ability.”

Shi has evaluated each student individually to ascertain the best way to teach them to communicate. Throughout the years, she and her staff have published more than 350 papers on special education for the mentally handicapped.

Children with low IQs get special attention from teachers with big hearts

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Students from Minhang Qizhi School have their first class of a new semester on September 2.

The mental state of students wasn’t Shi’s only concern. She also had to worry about the mental state of teachers.

In 2006, she received a letter from a teacher.

“I think I’m going crazy,” the letter began.

The teacher’s class had eight students, five of them autistic. The young teacher just couldn’t cope.

“I immediately asked her to withdraw from the class and tried to offer her a new position,” Shi said. “But she left the school anyway, the only teacher to do so.”

Teachers face more than mental stress. Zhang Li, a physical education teacher at the school, was once bashed by a student.

“You think you are strong enough when you major in sports,” Zhang said. “But my chest ached for days.”

Such violent incidents are common at the school. Shi organized psychological counseling for all teachers and initiated lecture sessions for them on how to communicate with special students.

“Unlike many teachers in general education, who can proudly recall students who went on to become distinguished, special education teachers can never feel that level of satisfaction,” Shi said. “These students express their love and gratitude in other ways, and those ways can make you feel that all your efforts are worthwhile, frustrations notwithstanding.”

Haohao is a fifth-grade student at Qizhi. His mother died when he was only three months old. When he was one, Haohao was diagnosed with autism. He was raised by his grandparents and had never called anyone mama.

“You can imagine how surprised we were when Haohao came home and told us things about his ‘mama’ headmistress,” said Wang Tongfen, Haohao’s grandmother. “Though he is autistic, the headmistress noticed his craving to perform and express himself.”.

Wang and her husband are both over 80, and they worry about what will happen to their grandson when they are gone.

“Unfortunately, most mentally handicapped children have to stay at home after they leave school,” Shi said. “What we have to do is to create a future where they can find their place in society.”

Children with low IQs get special attention from teachers with big hearts

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

The students of Minhang Qizhi School gather on the playground to attend the flag-raising ceremony.

Since 1993, when Qizhi School first opened, more than 300 students have graduated. Only a small proportion of students managed to find stable jobs.

“Many of them had worsened conditions after they left, and there was no choice but for them to remain at home,” Shi told Shanghai Daily. “Even though my job has won me titles and awards, those things don’t matter as long as these children and their families are still struggling to make their way in life.”

The situation is improving. Of the 20 students who have graduated since 2017, about half have found jobs.

During the summer break, Shi said she visited the now online celebrity Menggongfang Café, where most of the staff are mentally handicapped. (Read Shanghai Daily’s story about the café on

“It is a good sign that the public is now paying more attention to the plight of the mentally handicapped,” Shi said. “Yet I keep thinking that we can do more than simply offering jobs to a handful of these young people.”

Shi envisions other workplaces where special students can work for a few months to learn useful skills and learn to blend in with society.

As she outlined these plans to a Shanghai Daily reporter, Binbin returned, with his shirt changed.

“Are you doing an interview?” he asked. “Please make sure mama headmistress looks pretty in the photos.”

Shi bent over in laughter, and Binbin laughed too.

Jordan’s State Teachers Hold Open Strike



Jordan’s State Teachers Hold Open Strike

Sunday, 8 September, 2019 – 09:00
Jordanian protesters hold Jordanian national flags as they chant slogans during a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century”, after the Friday prayer in Amman, Jordan, June 21, 2019. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed
Amman – Mohammed Kheir Al Rawashda
Jordan’s public school teachers’ union called for a strike on Sunday in demand for a pay increase. This follows news of the government tying state teachers’ raises to career variables–performance gauges set by the ministry of education–which the union vehemently rejected.

The strike will continue to be held despite ongoing dialogue between the union and state, sources told Asharq Al-Awsat, stressing that the union is in debate for a series of escalatory actions should their demands remain unmet.

Well-informed sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that union official Nasser Al Nawasra refused a government offer and maintained the union’s demands for an unconditioned pay increase to all state teachers.

“There was an agreement on this with the government, but the government backtracked on its commitment,” teachers’ union spokesman Noureddine Nadim said in a statement Thursday.

Nawasra told AFP that public school teachers were “the lowest-paid public officials.”

“I’ve been teaching for 24 years, and my salary doesn’t go above 760 dinars ($1,070)” per month, al-Nawasra said.

The teachers’ union was established in 2011 and includes about 140,000 members. Organizers of the demonstration in the capital, Amman, said the government has yet to deliver on a 50 percent wage increase agreed upon in 2014.

It is worth noting that the streets of Jordanian cities saw mass protests last year over spiking consumer prices.

The government said in a statement that it is committed to dialogue with the teachers but that classes should not be interrupted and performance must improve.

Early on, during the teachers’ sit-in, the government arrested 49 teachers who were later released on bail on Thursday.

Government circles accuse Islamist in Jordan of egging the union on for the strikes by several associates.

“We respect the teachers and we salute their role and their mission, but the 50% increase demanded by the union will add JOD 112 million ($158 million) to the state budget,” Ministry of Education spokesman Walid Jallad said in a statement.

China: New rules for middle schoolers



New rules for middle schoolers

Local middle school students have to complete 136 hours of social investigation and 80 hours of voluntary labor in their eight semesters, as well as 32 hours of vocational training and 24 hours of safety training in emergencies, according to new regulations released by the city’s education commission and two related authorities.

The regulations on social practice of middle schoolers in Shanghai will take effect from September.

According to the regulations, the social investigations organized by schools include students’ visits to patriotism education centers, revolutionary historical and memorial sites, bases of city’s major and important projects, bases of national defense, science and technology and agriculture, and natural reserves for exploration and research.

Voluntary labor refers to their participation in school or community activities like sanitation, greenery, civilization promotion, services to the disabled, the elderly and children.

For vocational training, schools should organize visits to vocational schools. Safety training includes escape drills in emergencies such as fires and earthquakes and from buses.

The regulations emphasize that each middle schooler should at least visit a patriotism education center once and do voluntary labor in three positions.

The students’ social practices will be recorded on an online platform and later be evaluated as part of their comprehensive quality.

Meanwhile, venues providing social practice opportunities for students should supply good education resources and develop courses and programs suitable for middle school students.

China: Job fair aims to make Shanghai home for global young talent



Job fair aims to make Shanghai home for global young talent

Job fair aims to make Shanghai home for global young talent

Chen Huizhi / SHINE

Foreign and Chinese students at the job fair in Shanghai

Job fair aims to make Shanghai home for global young talent

Chen Huizhi / SHINE

A student finds out about job opportunities at the fair.

Over 800 Chinese students studying at universities overseas and foreign students studying in Shanghai attended a job fair in the city on Wednesday.

The 11th “Shanghai Career Fair” held by the government in cooperation with universities in the United States, the UK and Canada, seeks to attract more young people to work in Shanghai under the banner of “Make Shanghai Your Home.”

The city’s human resources and social security bureau said that 12,700 Chinese who had studied overseas had obtained a Shanghai hukou, or residence, last year, 33 percent more than in 2017.

Students from Cambridge University, Imperial College London, London School of Economics, Columbia University, the University of Chicago, Stanford University, UC Berkley, UCLA and Toronto University, met over 60 companies based in Shanghai at the job fair where over 1,000 jobs were on offer.

Rich Carruthers, deputy director of the careers service at Imperial College London, said Shanghai had become a hub for global talent to work and the college was honored to be a part of the talent exchange.

“People say that innovation happens in a right time and a right place, and I believe our students here are making a wise move in choosing Shanghai as their career destination,” he said. “Shanghai is opening its arms, welcoming them and making the city a hub gathering overseas talent.”

Carruthers said feedback from students who attended past events was all very positive.

Chen Yu’ang, a Ningbo native who’s doing a master’s degree in international health management in the UK and who has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the US, said he was looking at jobs mainly in the consulting industry.

“Shanghai has great cultural offerings and has a lot of career opportunities as the entire economic landscape of China is promising,” he said.

Zhu Di, from Hangzhou, a sophomore studying electronic engineering in the UK said Chinese companies are keen to attract Chinese graduates with an overseas background while Chinese students like her tended to return to China to work.

“Take the UK, finance might be more emphasized in its economy, but for students of technology, China is the future because the country is so much pushing for science and technology development,” she said.

Piao Song, recruitment director of Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica of Chinese Academy of Sciences which had a stand at the fair, said Chinese students and professionals with an overseas background are welcomed for their international scope, and out of patriotic feelings they were willing to return to build their own country too.

“Shanghai has competitive talent policies and perhaps more and better career opportunities,” she said. “Our scientists as principal investigators who lead research groups that get generous support for their projects, which probably wouldn’t be available elsewhere.”

Also at the fair were foreign students studying in Shanghai. Elmira Safarova from Russia, a master’s student at East China Normal University.

Safarova, who has been living in China for five years and is fluent in Chinese, said she’s currently interning for a software developer in Shanghai on a mobile app targeting foreign students and helping them work towards higher levels in the HSK test for Chinese language proficiency in non-native speakers.

“There are many possibilities here, and for students with a language background it would be even better if we continue to study other subjects such as finance and business,” she said.

In previous fairs, over 5,000 students had met with employers, and a great number had found jobs in Shanghai, according to the human resources bureau.

Over 160,000 Chinese who had studied overseas have been working or starting businesses in Shanghai, it said. The number of companies they founded exceeded 5,200 with starting funds of over US$800 million.

The bureau said an even larger job fair will be held in November.

To help companies and students reach each other, the bureau said it planned to introduce a website called “Shanghai Overseas Talents.”

The bureau said it will continue to support returnees to settle in Shanghai and relax the requirements for overseas talents to obtain a residence permit for overseas talents, while expanding the scope of financial support for them.

10 Most Educated Countries



10 Most Educated Countries

For most countries, the average education level of the population can be an indicator of its financial stability and literacy rates. It can even contribute to how healthy the country is overall. With all of this in mind, do you know which countries rank as the most educated in the world? While you might be able to guess a few, there may be some countries on the list that surprise you. Here are the top 10 most educated countries, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.



Credit: querbeet/iStock

Luxembourg comes in as the smallest country to make the list. The country has only around 615,70 residents. Luxembourg is a landlocked country, surrounded by Germany, France, and Belgium. According to the OECD, 87% of adults between the ages of 25 and 34 have completed at least a secondary education (compared to the OECD average of 84%). Also, 54% of residents in this age group have completed at least some level of higher education. Maybe this has something to do with why Luxembourg comes in as the wealthiest country in the world.



Credit: Zarnell/iStock

It probably comes as no surprise that Norway ranks among the most educated countries. The European nation consistently ranks high for various quality of life factors, including healthcare, environmental awareness, and overall happiness. Colleges in Norway are tuition-free, which gives citizens greater access to higher education. The rate of adults with higher education has been increasing in Norway, and the country saw a 5% jump from 2007 to 2017. In 2017, 48% of adults aged 25 to 34 had some level of tertiary education.



Credit: scanrail/iStock

Another country with free education, this Scandinavian nation ranks among the most educated in the world. It’s not just Finnish residents that can take advantage of the free education. Non-native residents can get free schooling, as well. The Finnish education system is a stark contrast to that in the United States. Some key differences are that Finnish children receive 75 minutes of recess every day (as opposed to 27 minutes in the U.S.), there is no mandated testing until the age of 16, and most teachers stick with the same group of students for at least five years. It’s no wonder Finland has been ranked as the happiest country in the world for two years running.

Category IconCulture

Daily trivia question

Test Your Knowledge!

What does Honolulu mean in English?

PLAY!Plane icon



Credit: PhotoAllel/iStock

The land down under just barely misses the top five when it comes to the percentage of adults who have a higher education. An impressive 52% of adults between the ages of 25 and 34 have completed higher education courses. The country also ranks among the highest level of citizens who have a bachelor’s degree or higher. This is despite how Australia has some of the highest tuition rates in the world.

United States of America

United States of America

Credit: Sean Pavone/iStock

Public opinion on the state of the education system in the United States varies, depending on who you ask. The country is known to have an unbelievable amount of student debt, and tuition continues to be on the rise. On the other hand, the United States has some of the best universities in the world and is one of the world’s strongest powers. So it’s probably not surprising that the U.S. comes in smack dab in the middle of the top 10 most educated countries. The U.S. Census estimates that 59% of adults have completed some college.

United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Credit: alex_west/iStock

One thing that sets the United Kingdom apart from other countries is its focus on early education. The country sees high enrollment levels for young children. Education is a top priority for citizens as reports have shown a direct correlation between education level and pay. In fact, one study found that residents with upper education earned on average 48% more than their peers without upper education. The United Kingdom is home to two of the oldest universities in the world, the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge.

South Korea

South Korea

Credit: GoranQ/iStock

South Korea places high demands on its students. Consequently, the country has a high number of adults with upper education. When it comes to students graduating from secondary school, Korea ranks number one. 98% of citizens graduate from secondary education. South Korea also ranks number one for attaining tertiary education, with nearly 70% of its residents completing some higher education.



Credit: FredFroese/iStock

The education system in Israel is different from those in most of the world, but it still ranks as one of the best. In Israel, most schools are divided by the student’s faith. It is also not uncommon for schools to include weapon training. Because of its strong focus on education, the country has more university degrees per capita than any other country in the world. According to the OECD, nearly 25% of all residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher.



Credit: ke/iStock

It may be hard to believe, but Japan does not come in at the top spot when it comes to education. Though the country is world-renowned for its education levels, it falls just short of number one. The amount of tertiary schooling comes in at a staggering 60% for adults between the age of 25 and 34. While the country has one of the highest percentages of adults expected to complete a bachelor’s degree, it has one of the lowest levels for doctorate degrees. Just 1% of its citizens are expected to attain a doctorate.



Credit: DenisTangneyJr/iStock

Canada just barely edges out Japan when it comes to adults who will complete some amount of college. A whopping 60.9% of Canadians between the age of 25 and 34 have completed some level of college, whereas that number is 60.4% in Japan. There seems to be some level of correlation between education level and happiness because Norway, Finland, and Canada all ranked among the happiest countries in the world.

10 U.S. Colleges With the Most Students



10 U.S. Colleges With the Most Students

Which U.S. colleges have the highest number of undergraduate students? Using data from the 2017 enrollment of ranked schools, U.S. News and World Report compiled a list of the colleges with the highest undergraduate enrollment. Read on to discover which 10 schools made the list.

Michigan State University

Credit: EQRoy/Shutterstock

Undergraduate Enrollment: 38,996

Located in East Lansing, Michigan, Michigan State University is home to the Spartans. Part of the Big Ten Conference, one of the oldest Division I collegiate athletic conferences in the country, MSU is renowned for its top sports teams. One of the biggest games of the year is its annual match-up against The University of Michigan, in which the two schools duke it out for possession of the coveted Paul Bunyan Trophy.

The University of Texas at Austin

Credit: f11photo/Shutterstock

Undergraduate Enrollment: 40,492

The University of Texas at Austin is an impressive school in both size and stature. Its urban campus is comprised of 437 acres and it offers more than 100 undergraduate degrees for its large population of students. It’s also a selective admission process, with only 40% of applicants gaining entrance to the school. Known for its popular Greek system and diverse student body, this top Southern school also has seven museums and seventeen libraries spread across the campus.

Broward College (FL)

Credit: Holly Guerrio/Shutterstock

Undergraduate Enrollment: 40,754

Located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Broward College is a regional college with highly affordable tuition. Not only was it named one of the Top Ten Community Colleges in 2018 by the Aspen Institute, but it was also named one the most affordable colleges in Florida. According to U.S. News, in-state tuition costs $3,537 for the 2018-2019 academic year, which makes it a great option for Florida residents.

Pennsylvania State University — University Park

Credit: trekandshoot/Shutterstock

Undergraduate Enrollment: 40,835

Known to most as “Penn State,” Pennsylvania State University — University Park has a top reputation for academics and athletics. The school boasts over 70 fraternities and sororities and 1,000 clubs and organizations for students to enjoy in their free time.

Arizona State University — Tempe

Credit: Nagel Photography/Shutterstock

Undergraduate Enrollment: 42,427

Although Arizona State University — Tempe has a long-held reputation as a “party school,” this stereotype is not set in stone. For example, ASU notably did not make Princeton Review’s Top 20 List of Party Schools, which took into account use of alcohol, hours spent outside of the classroom and the popularity of each school’s Greek system. Regardless of its party school status, ASU does have some of the most undergraduates in the country on its large Tempe campus.

Liberty University (VA)

Credit: The Old Major/Shutterstock

Undergraduate Enrollment: 45,754

Liberty University, a private Christian university in Lynchburg, Virginia, was founded by Baptist minister and televangelist Jerry Falwell in 1971. Boasting a campus of more than 7,000 acres, the school offers on-campus and online degrees, with over 280 online programs available to its large population of students.

The Ohio State University — Columbus

Credit: aceshot1/Shutterstock

Undergraduate Enrollment: 45,946

Outside of academics, sports are a huge part of campus life at The Ohio State University — Columbus. Home to the Ohio State Buckeyes, the school’s football team is also part of the NCAA’s Big Ten Conference. The university’s football stadium, affectionately called “The Shoe” has been likened to the Coliseum of Rome. Costing over $1 million dollars to build in 1922, the Shoe seats 100,000 football fans during a home game.

Florida International University

Credit: Felix Mizioznikov/Shutterstock

Undergraduate Enrollment: 47,586

Founded in 1971, Florida International University offers a unique college experience for its diverse set of students. This urban university is divided between two campuses, Modesto A. Maidique Campus in West Miami-Dade County and the Biscayne Bay Campus in North Miami. It was also ranked #100 in the U.S. News Ranking of Top Public Schools, a notable accomplishment for such a young university.

Texas A&M University — College Station

Credit: Tricia Daniel/Shutterstock

Undergraduate Enrollment: 53,065

Founded in 1876 as an all men’s agricultural and mechanical college, Texas A&M is now a co-ed, public institution. Students at A&M are nicknamed “Aggies” and with over 50,000 of them in undergraduate programs, it’s clear that everything is bigger in Texas. The university also has a campus located in Doha, Qatar, where 500 Aggies are enrolled, according to U.S. News.

University of Central Florida

Credit: Jillian Cain Photography/Shutterstock

Undergraduate Enrollment: 56,972

Although the University of Central Florida is based in Orlando, this massive university has 10 regional campuses across the state. And according to an Aviation Week Workforce Study, UCF has produced the highest number of graduates to be hired by aerospace and defense companies. But with such a large amount of undergraduates studying engineering and computer science at UCF, it should come as no surprise that many of these students go on to do well in their fields.

The Most Beautiful College Campuses in America



The Most Beautiful College Campuses in America

College campuses are an important point of pride for most universities, often representing decades of planning and construction. A college campus’s design can be an opportunity to display different architectural styles and a chance to blend libraries, lecture halls, and student living quarters with the natural surroundings. Here are some of the most beautiful college campuses in America that demonstrate both modes.

St. Olaf College

Credit: Vaxen /

Location: Northfield, Minnesota

St. Olaf College sits on a 300-acre campus known as “The Hill,” which is adjacent to a restored wetland and woods and is surrounded by native tall prairie grass. The campus itself is home to many magnificent maple trees and a wind turbine that provides about a third of the university’s power needs. The campus consists of over 50 buildings, 20 of which were designed to complement one another by Edward Sovik, an architect who also taught as a professor of arts at St. Olaf until his death in 2014.

The most famous building on campus, the Old Main, was designed over a century ago, in 1877. Both the Old Main and the nearby Steensland Library are gothic-style buildings and are on the National Register of Historic Places.

Florida Southern College

Credit: Jillian Cain Photography /

Location: Lakeland, Florida

The highlight of Florida Southern College’s 110-acre campus is the extensive collection of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings spread across the grounds. There are 10 Frank Lloyd Wright-designed structures in total, giving Florida Southern College the largest collection of the architect’s work in the world.

The first building constructed, Annie Pfeiffer Chapel, was dedicated in 1941. The concrete, geometric exterior of the building is complemented by striking colored glass that allows beautiful shades of light to enter the building. The collection has been deemed so significant that the entire campus was named a historic district on the National Register of Historic places.

University of Washington

Credit: cpaulfell /

Location: Seattle, Washington

The University of Washington’s 703-acre campus is located within the city limits of Seattle. Despite its urban setting, however, the university features some of the most striking natural backdrops of any college in the country. The snow capped peaks of both the Cascade and Olympic Mountains are visible from campus, and on the best days, Mount Rainier sits framed by the magnificent Drumheller Fountain.

Mountains are not the only element that make the campus so visually appealing. Douglas firs are omnipresent across the campus, and the central quad is flanked by cherry blossoms in the spring. Landmark buildings are also in no short supply, such as Suzzallo Library, which features a 35-foot stained glass window, and Denny Hall, a French Revival style building that served as the center of campus when the university moved to its current location in 1895.

Berry College

Credit: Rob Hainer /

Location: Mount Berry, Georgia

Berry College in Mount Berry has the largest contiguous campus in the world. The college is spread over 27,000 acres of lawns, fields, forests, and all of Lavender Mountain. The massive campus is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream and includes over 80 miles of trails that students and guests can hike, bike or horseback ride on. Don’t expect to be alone, however. The campus is also home to an estimated 2,500 deer and a migratory population of swans.

The college itself consists of stately English gothic-style buildings alongside decorative fountains and pools that are designed to reflect the structures.

Scripps College

Credit: Lure Photography / Wikimedia

Location: Claremont, California

In contrast, the Scripps College campus covers only 37 acres, but the school handles that small space masterfully. Scripps is in Claremont and was designed in a beautiful Spanish Revival style according to a master plan devised in 1926 by English born architect Gordon Kaufman. The wonderful architecture is complemented by grapefruit, kumquat, and orange trees throughout campus, and a blooming rose garden adds even more color. These unique elements helped put Scripps College on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.

6 classic books you didn’t read in high school



6 classic books you didn’t read in high school

Classic novels are par for the course when it comes to required reading in high school. To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, The Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath, and almost anything by William Shakespeare come to mind when most people imagine “the classics.” But hidden gems—books penned by renowned authors and recognizable names—often slip through the cracks.

Here are a handful of classic books worth your time that you likely didn’t read in high school.

Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley

Credit: Natata /

Author Aldous Huxley is most famous for his oft-quoted, forever-relevant novel Brave New World. Although that book’s praise and dissection are hard to ignore, it’s Huxley’s first novel, Crome Yellow, that often slips past readers.

Crome Yellow was first published in 1921 and serves as a timely satire following a number of characters and stereotypes of the era. A synopsis from Goodreads:

On vacation from school, Denis goes to stay at Crome, an English country house inhabited by several of Huxley’s most outlandish characters — from Mr. Barbecue-Smith, who writes 1,500 publishable words an hour by “getting in touch” with his “subconscious,” to Henry Wimbush, who is obsessed with writing the definitive “History of Crome.” Denis’s stay proves to be a disaster amid his weak attempts to attract the girl of his dreams and the ridicule he endures regarding his plan to write a novel about love and art.

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Credit: @shitsheread / Instagram

Becoming unstuck in time has turned into a modern pop-culture trope, but the concept is often traced back to Billy Pilgrim’s conundrum from the Kurt Vonnegut novel Slaughterhouse-Five. First published in 1969, the book is etched in history as an essential read, but it’s not a novel that likely made every high school required reading list. A synopsis from Amazon:

Centering on the infamous firebombing of Dresden, Billy Pilgrim’s odyssey through time reflects the mythic journey of our own fractured lives as we search for meaning in what we fear most.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Credit: @handmaidsonhulu / Instagram

Now a critically-acclaimed television seriesThe Handmaid’s Tale is Margaret Atwood’s novel of a dystopian world in which women are forced to live as concubines within a fundamentalist dictatorship. A synopsis from Goodreads:

Offred is a handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now…

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostyoevski

Credit: Blincov / iStock

Fyodor Dostyoevski’s novel Crime and Punishment was first published in 12 monthly parts in 1886 and later collected into a single volume. The author’s second full-length novel after his exile to SiberiaCrime and Punishment is an examination of troubled human psychology in the face of moral dilemma. The book is considered a classic by any definition, but the dense, deep dive into the human psyche likely wasn’t part of primary and high school reading lists. A synopsis from Goodreads:

Raskolnikov, an impoverished student living in the St. Petersburg of the tsars, is determined to overreach his humanity and assert his untrammeled individual will. When he commits an act of murder and theft, he sets into motion a story that, for its excruciating suspense, its atmospheric vividness, and its depth of characterization and vision is almost unequaled in the literatures of the world.

Hell’s Angels by Hunter S. Thompson

Credit: @hunter_stockton_thompson / Instagram

Hunter S. Thompson made famous the gonzo style of journalism—subjective, biased reporting in which the reporter is often part of the story. Thompson’s novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas sits on many bookshelves alongside authors like Jack Kerouac or Ken Kesey, but it’s Hell’s Angels that stands apart as something uniquely gonzo-esque.

Hell’s Angels was Thompson’s first published novel, going to print in 1966, and it’s often cited as the work that defined the author’s style as well as his infamous persona. A synopsis from Goodreads:

In the mid-60s, Thompson spent almost two years living with the controversial Angels, cycling up & down the coast, reveling in the anarchic spirit of their clan, and, as befits their name, raising hell. His book successfully captures a singular moment in American history when the biker lifestyle was first defined and when such countercultural movements were electrifying and horrifying America.

Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon

Credit: @ambientkid1 / Instagram

Thomas Pynchon’s novel Gravity’s Rainbow made TIME Magazine’s list of the All-Time 100 Novels published since 1923, and it’s a book that often defies succinct definition. A synopsis from Amazon:

Winner of the 1973 National Book Award, “Gravity’s Rainbow” is a postmodern epic, a work as significant to the second half of the 20th century as Joyce’s “Ulysses” was to the first. Its sprawling, encyclopedic narrative and penetrating analysis of the impact of technology on society make it an intellectual tour de force.

School reading lists always skirt hidden gem classics

Credit: thomaguery / iStock

It seems like every year a new tally of banned books from school reading lists makes the news. The Catcher in the Rye is still praised and hated. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer gets edited and re-edited over and over. Fahrenheit 451 continues to turn up the heat in and out of classrooms. Skirting around classics for one reason or another is a timeless practice, and the novels listed above are only a few of the classics you may have missed during your high school literature class.

Eastern Kentucky University Researchers Studying Copperhead Snakes In Their Area



EKU researchers studying copperheads in the Gorge


RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) — They’re a common snake found throughout the state. The copperhead snake is one that shows up quite often, especially across eastern Kentucky. Their habitat is best suited in these areas.

“The forest, the plateau, and mountains provide underground retreats. The forest has lots of organisms for them to eat and cover, and leaf litter that they blend in with,” said Dr. Stephen Richter, an EKU biology professor.

Richter is heading a research study in the Gorge area that’s aimed at learning more about copperhead snakes, their habitat, and how to minimize human-snake interaction. The group captures these snakes, insert a microchip, track their movements and collect data. Then, the snakes are recaptured.

“We learn about population size, body, growth-rates, sex ratios, just basic biology,” said Richter.

It’s this information that researchers can make areas of high human activity less attractive for copperheads. Richter says we just have to be more alert with our surroundings.

“Watch where you’re walking. If there is a downed tree over the trail which happens quite a bit, do not step directly over it, step on it. Look on the other side before you do. Just not putting your hands and feet where you cannot see and stepping too closely to an object where they might be hiding for cover,” said Richter.

Richter sais this is a joint research effort that involves EKU, the U.S. Forest Service, The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources and the Louisville Zoo.

Black Sea Adventurers Plan Reed Boat Trip to Egypt



Black Sea Adventurers Plan Reed Boat Trip to Egypt

Friday, 5 July, 2019 – 11:30
A team, led by German explorer Dominique Goertlitz, assembles a 14-meter long reed boat in the town of Beloslav, Bulgaria, July 3, 2019. Picture taken July 3, 2019. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov
Asharq Al-Awsat
Adventurers are getting ready to set off on a 3,000-km voyage in a reed boat to test a theory that ancient Egyptian merchants used such as vessels to travel as far as the Black Sea, Reuters reported.

A crew led by German explorer Dominique Goеrlitz is planning to leave the Black Sea port of Varna next month, then try to island-hop around the Aegean and cross the Mediterranean to Alexandria.

The boat Abora IV is still being built in the nearby town of Beloslav, with the help of two members of the Aymara ethnic group from Bolivia – Fermin Limachi and his son Yuri who have flown in to share their expertise using the fragile material.

According to Reuters, Goеrlitz said the Ancient Greek historian Herodotus had cited even older sources suggesting Egyptians “sailed into the Black Sea, to get precious materials they could not find in the Eastern Mediterranean”.

The accounts were supported, he said, by the discovery of Egyptian remains around the Black Sea.

Other members of the Aymara group, who live on Lake Titicaca high in the Andes, were involved in earlier Abora expeditions to other destinations and helped Norwegian writer Thor Heyerdahl, who crossed the Pacific in the “Kon-Tiki” balsa-reed raft in 1947.

Big Fat Tourist

Spreading the Love of Travel

Plying Through Life

Travel Stories and Other Adventures

My rebellious world

an awareness blog on social causes

Experimental Expats

An Early Retirement Leap of Faith

Firsty Chrysant

The Blue Chrysant Park ~ 파란 크리산 공원

I'm Un~nerved

Just a brown girl traveling the world trying to make something beautiful

%d bloggers like this: