Archive for November 4th, 2003

Worst Taste in Music Award

ø


The lawyer for a man convicted of shooting and killing a policeman
apologized on Monday for singing the Bob Marley hit "I Shot The Sheriff" as
he was leaving the courtroom.

Despite the apology, the Quebec Law Society has opened an disciplinary
investigation against defense lawyer Christian Gauthier, while the Montreal
police union is planning to make a formal complaint.

"I
shot the sheriff, but I swear it was in self-defense," the lawyer
sang while pacing a corridor."It’s the story of my client," he
replied when a journalist warned him that his performance had been
caught on tape.

from
Excite News

Strange-looking Males Beware

ø


Casual dating can be dangerous — a study of spiders shows female
wolf spiders will eat strange-looking males that try to mate with them,
but spare and even hook up with familiar-looking males.

"The female is using earlier experience that is going to affect her
mate choice later," Hebets said in a telephone interview. "It
is reasonable to expect that is a common thing in other animals."

Hebets worked with Schizocosa uetzi spiders, commonly known as wolf spiders.
They have an elaborate courtship ritual in which males arch their brown
or black forelegs and vibrate their bodies.

from
Yahoo

Foreign Student Flow Dries Up

ø

This
is a story that affects the Dowbrigade directly, as the education of
foreign students has been our professional focus going on 25 years now.
Since 9/11, the panorama has been grim.

Here at Boston Universities Center for English Language and Orientation
Programs, our enrollment has been cut in half as visa restrictions have
been tightened and students have been frightened away by xenophobic rethoric
and regulations. We have lost virtually all of our Middle Eastern students
(surprize), previously our second biggest geographic concentration (after
Asia).

ESL programs like mine have been caught in a Faustian compromise. When
the new visa policy tightening control on foreign students was instituted
shortly after the 9/11 attacks, American higher education freaked out,
because a significant percentage of US colleges RELY on foreign students
to make ends meet. Most of the imports pay full tuition, and get no grants,
scholarships or loans, making them prime customers for the higher ed
industry. The less-than-Solomonic solution instituted by the new Homeland
Security folks was to continue the relatively easy visa issuance policies
for degree-granting college and University programs, while making things
very difficult for non-degree granting institutions like cooking schools,
hairdressers institutes, flight schools (duhh!), tractor-trailer training
institutes and other like-minded paragons of academic integrity commonly
found on matchbook covers but which, under the old regulations, were
just as able to grant the coveted I-20 Student Visas as august Harvard
University.

Unfortunately, most English as a Second Language programs, even ones
integrated into major American Universities like my own, do not grant
degrees, and therefore were lumped in with the tractor-trailer schools.
As a result we have seen enrollement, teaching hours and income dwindle
rapidly. Many long-time professionals in the field (like the Dowbrigade)
are hanging on for dear life, cutting budgetary corners, canceling services
and subscriptions, leaving bills unpaid, and hoping things would loosen
up soon.

Well, it looks like we better start sending out slews of resumes again,
to places like Australia, China and Iraq, where I understand they are
looking
for qualified teachers of English. Check out this just-relaeased study
from the Institute of International Education.

A new study says the number of foreign students attending U.S. colleges
increased by less than 1 percent in 2002-03 — the lowest growth rate
in seven years. It’s just the latest piece of evidence that international
students are shying away from the United States because of tough immigration
rules.

The Institute of International Education said tightened visa procedures
enacted after the 2001 terrorist attacks, which have delayed the entry
of many foreigners into the United States, contributed to the low growth
rate.

Foreign students started experiencing delays entering the country in
the wake of the terrorist attacks on Washington and New York, as the
federal government responded to calls for tighter domestic security.
One of the September 11 hijackers held a student visa.
U.S. schools want foreign students both for the revenue they bring in
— the IIE said international students spend up to $12 billion annually
between tuition and other expenses — and their contributions to academic
research.

Educators here and abroad say it appears overseas schools are benefiting
from the U.S. crackdown.For instance, the number of Chinese students
enrolling in British institutions rose by over 36 percent this year,
according to the United Kingdom’s
Universities & Colleges Admissions Service. Enrollment of students
from India in British colleges increased by 16 percent.

Australia showed similar increases.

from CNN