Four things teens should know about life and all that other stuff

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

* The cost for students to attend Southeast Missouri State University may go up by $6 a credit hour if the university does not secure funding for its River Campus construction project, president Ken Dobbins said in an interview with the Southeast Missourian last week. For a student taking 12 hours' worth of classes, that would mean an additional $72 per semester (from Southeast Missourian).

* Teenage girls are now using drugs, drinking alcohol and smoking as much or more than boys, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy says. The findings of the federal report show that when girls use illicit drugs, marijuana is the most commonly used substance. Marijuana is used more than cocaine, heroin, Ecstasy and all other illicit drugs combined. And for the last two years that research is available (2003 to 2004), more teenage girls than boys started using marijuana, alcohol and cigarettes (from Al's Morning Meeting, www.poynter.org).

* In a survey of more than 3,500 career and technical education students conducted by SkillsUSA, 45 percent of students surveyed noted the benefits of hands-on experience instead of just reading from a book or taking notes, saying it was the main thing that helped them the most in the classroom (from Skills USA, www.skillsusa.org).

* Ever wonder how all the roses, cards and other mushy stuff passed around today got started? The history of Valentine's Day, and its patron saint, is shrouded in mystery. The Catholic church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men -- his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured.

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