Note from the editor
Athena Perrakis
July/August Issue


ear Readers,

This has been an especially busy and exciting month.  We hope 
that you will enjoy the contributions of our writers, who have 
dedicated themselves to the topic of education in its various 
forms.  Now that summer has officially arrived and most faculty 
and students are away from campus enjoying a semblance of vacation, 
the staff of AE Extra has decided to combine the July and August 
issues, and return to the task of editing your submissions in 
September.  Please continue submitting pieces for consideration 
to me, at aperrakis@aol.com, throughout the next two months.  We 
are in need of material for the September and October issues, 
especially in the area of fiction.  For now we have removed the 
fiction column until more submissions are received.  Flaunt your 
creativity by sending us some of your stories and poems, so that 
we can share and promote your talent!

Special thanks this month to Meredith Larson, who has served as 
an assistant to Ben, Peter and me throughout the month.  Her piece 
on grammar pedagogy should invite many responses and initiate 
discussion among our readers who are involved in the instruction 
of writing and composition at secondary and post-secondary 
institutions.  Justin Ober, a contributing editor to Extra, has 
presented an update on his experiences in Sydney, Australia.  We 
thank him for continuing to support our publication while he 
studies abroad - that's commitment!  Walli Weitz and Faith Womack, 
graduate students in education at USC, have shared their course 
syllabi with us for our ongoing faculty syllabi column.  Please 
submit your syllabi so that we can maintain the column in future 
issues!  Maureen Connolly offers a look at the lighter side of 
higher education, in her review of a book designed to highlight 
the humorous side of college.  Peg Tittle's essay on academic 
elitism takes a very realistic look at the politics of higher 
education.  Jody Platt analyzes technology's role in literacy, 
while Phil Brocato examines the role of dialogue in tutoring 
sessions.  His application of Bakhtin renders clear and accessible 
the somewhat dense theory of dialogism.   Last, but certainly not 
least, Zinaye Tadesse, my student last spring at USC in Writing 140, 
offers her personal insights on higher education.  Zinaye was 
educated in South Central Los Angeles before entering USC as a 
freshman last year, and her story is inspiring for those of us who 
enjoy hearing about students who truly beat the odds.  As ever, we 
solicit your feedback on this month's selections.  Send any comments 
or questions to me, via e-mail, so that I can share them with our 
readers in September.

Extra special thanks (no pun intended) to Peter and Ben, our webmaster 
and faculty advisor/personal counselor/number one supporter, for lots 
of behind the scenes work on our site and publication this month.  
You two are the best.

Another update: For the next issue a bright, new assistant editor joins 
us - Kyle Banker.  Stay tuned to learn more about him as he edits and 
contributes to our September issue.

Before I close, let me tell you about a conference I attended just 
yesterday at USC, titled "Higher Education for a New Century: 
Partnerships, Productivity, Performance."  The conference continues 
today and tomorrow, with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. among the numerous, 
distinguished guests and speakers.  I found many of the panels 
informative and useful, especially those on tenure reform in higher 
education and school-to-college programs designed to bolster college 
enrollment rates among "at-risk" populations.  For the next few 
issues I plan to write two separate pieces: one detailing the role 
of graduate students in tenure decisions, as faculty age and are 
replaced by less expensive "freeway-flyer" adjuncts; another will 
highlight my experiences next month as I teach English to 8th grade 
students at El Camino College - part of a school-to-college program 
designed to improve retention for this population of "underprivileged" 
students.  I became involved with the program, called "Early Start," 
almost by accident, at the request of a colleague who taught part-time 
with me at the college a few years ago.  I am eager to help promote 
the idea of college enrollment to these particular students, 
especially since many of the presenters at yesterday's conference 
indicated that 8th and 9th grade students are the most likely to drop 
out of high school in the United States today.  Maybe I can make a 
small difference with the 75 students I will teach throughout July.  
Wish me luck!

I wish you, as always, a pleasant and productive summer.  Please keep 
us informed of your interests and concerns so that we can continue to 
meet the needs of our readership.  We exist to help you teach and 
learn more productively.

Sincerely yours,

Athena

30 June 2000