With a production advertised as “Not suitable for children, mothers, or the faint of heart,” the Saint Mary’s College Theatre Program’s spring production will be the ballyhoo burlesque women’s translation of “Lysistrata.” Mark Abram-Copenhaver, Saint Mary’s College theatre professor, said “Lysistrata” is a comedic account of one woman’s determination to bring an end to the Peloponnesian War. “It is a combination of burlesque, circus, ‘Looney Tunes,’ and stand-up comedy,” he said. Abram-Copenhaver said the piece was written by Aristophanes and was originally performed in ancient Greece. The main character, Lysistrata, persuades the Grecian women to withhold sexual privileges from their husbands in an attempt to negotiate peace. In the process, the women provoke a battle between the sexes in a male-dominated society. Abram-Cophenhaver said “Lysistrata” was the perfect choice for a women’s college because it is, and always has been, a women’s play. “All of the actors on stage will be played by women, or women in masks imitating the behavior of men. That’s part of the fun,” he said. “It makes light of men and men and women’s relationships.” Additionally, a play from ancient Greece gives the audience a different experience than a modern play, he said. Those watching the play gain an understanding of the culture of the time period it was written. “When the audience laughs at a joke, they are essentially laughing at a joke from 2,500 years ago. Even though it was a different time, it links us all together,” Abram-Copenhaver said. Senior Elizabeth Carian, who plays Lysistrata, said her character instigates events in the play. She said rehearsing antics for the performance is always enjoyable. “We’ve been rehearsing since mid-February and have really come together as a cast,” Carian said. “Everyday at rehearsal we discover something new, something outrageous or something hilarious.” Abram-Copenhayer said while the performance is engaging, is not family-friendly entertainment. “This play is naughty. It always has been and was written to be risquÃ© and bawdy,” he said. “It is not for kids.” Performances will take place in Little Theatre, Moreau Center for the Arts, at 7:30 p.m., March 29 through 31 and at 2:30 p.m. on April 1.
Photo: Dan Rahn Quality child care revolves around the children. Photos: Dan Rahn • The quality of child care matters. Children in high-quality care aren’t as aggressive and tend to have higher language and thinking skills than children in lower-quality care.Smaller adult-to-child ratios are better. Your child’s care provider needs to be sensitive and responsive to children and child-centered in their beliefs.The care system should revolve around the children. The child’s needs should be top priority. The best settings are ones that provide stimulation and teach a child how to solve problems.• Hearing language helps build language. By reading, singing and interacting with your children, you help them develop language skills. Watching a lot of television can possibly lower your children’s language skills. So be careful of the amount of time they spend in front of the TV.• Parents play the most important role in a child’s development. If children receive loving care at home, they’re less likely to show problem behavior in school or child care. A parent who is warm and responsive to a child’s needs, who spends time interacting with him or her and who sets consistent limits is an important asset for any child.When the study was first released, one of the investigators recommended that parents and especially mothers cut back on their work outside of the home.Other researchers have since stepped forward, saying that his recommendations were not based on the study’s findings but on his personal beliefs. Positive interaction with providers is an important part of quality child care. Many parents have no choice when it comes to placing youngsters in child care, Bales said. What they can do is be conscious of the quality of care their child receives. When a national study found children in day care more likely to show signs of aggression, much of the media coverage depicted child care as a breeding ground for violence.But Diane Bales, an Extension Service child development specialist with the University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences, thinks the study findings weren’t as cut-and-dried as the media portrayed them.”The quality is the biggest concern,” Bales said. “Look for a child care where the workers are open with parents. It’s also good when the providers want to know about a child’s likes and dislikes and then respond to those needs.”The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development study involved 1,300 children. Researchers found that about 17 percent of children in child care more than 30 hours a week show signs of aggression.Many Positive EffectsBut that percentage isn’t particularly high, Bales said. And it isn’t different for children in child care than for all children. So it’s not certain that the aggression is related to the child care. And some of the study’s findings suggest that high-quality child care has many positive effects on children.Many U.S. parents send their kids to child care every day. So it’s important to focus on the positive things, Bales said, that can be gained from child care and ways it can be improved.When evaluating their child’s care, she said, it’s important for parents to remember the study’s findings:
There has long been a tension in higher education between full-time, tenure-track professors who have dedicated their lives to research and teaching, and part-time adjuncts, who typically take up teaching as a secondary career and don’t receive health or retirement benefits.From 1975 to 2009, the proportion of part-time faculty in U.S. higher education institutions increased from 24 to 41.1 percent, a trend the American Association of University Professors calls “the establishment of a subordinate tier of faculty members.”The number of adjuncts is high at USC, too — 33 percent of university faculty are part-time and have no tenure or tenure-track designation.A New York Times book review published in April describes adjunct professors as “holders of advanced degrees who are lured in by the prestige of college teaching, hired on a piecework basis, paid low wages and shut out of academic decision-making.”But Martin Levine, vice provost for faculty affairs, said that description does not typically apply to adjuncts at USC.“Many of these people have very active careers of their own,” Levine said. “They usually have marvelous experience and … are delighted to come in and work with students.”Organizations such as the American Association of University Professors condemn the increase in adjunct hires because they say it means more doctoral graduates are shouldering the burden of teaching without possibility for tenure.That ranking of positions has traction in English, according to Margaret Russett, a professor and chair of the English department.“A tenure-track job is the gold standard,” Russett said. “That’s what one would prefer, all things being equal.”Technically, USC’s English department employs no adjuncts; the division is between tenure-track and non-tenure-track full-time faculty, a practice Russett said the university encourages other departments to adopt.Many students do not realize that “adjunct” designates just one type of non-tenure-track faculty who do not have a long-term contract with USC. Other titles include lecturer, visiting professor and research professor, all of which the university can confer without offering the salary and benefits typically afforded to tenure-track hires.The tenure-track job as the “gold standard” is true in English, as well as most social science and humanities disciplines. But Sofus Macskassy, a professor who recently moved into a full-time position at the Viterbi School of Engineering’s Information Sciences Institute, said computer science and technology Ph.D. graduates are often indifferent to the tenure race.“[Computer scientists who take adjunct professorships] just keep their foot in the door, they get their secondary income, they get to keep [on top of] what’s going on in the research community,” Macskassy said.For years, Macskassy willingly worked as an assistant adjunct professor in computer science while holding a research position at a startup company. Though he always aimed to become a full-time professor, he also saw the industry-and-academia combination as ideal for recruiting outstanding students into the profession.In the computer science department, Macskassy said, adjuncts “don’t have any responsibilities. You can teach if you want to and you can do research if you want to, it’s basically an association.”Ted Ancona, an adjunct instructor of music industry, said the music school hires many instructors from outside to teach just one instrument. Ancona was himself a classical music recording engineer for KUSC when the university asked him to step in and teach a class about his niche specialty.“If you know everything about history you may focus on that, but in the cinema school or electronics or music industry, there’s a lot of development in the field you’re not caught up with [being in academia],” Ancona said.Adjuncts have been recipients of the prestigious Teaching and Mentoring Awards granted by the USC Parents Association, Levine said. The shame of not being tenured might change as tenured jobs disappear.“I don’t think this phenomenon [of tenure decline] is going to go away, and we’re all going to have to adjust to it,” Russett said.