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High Life / A WEEKLY FORUM FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS : Chia Pets Get No Respect as a Yule Gift

December 27, 1990|BETH KLEID

Not everybody takes Chia Pets seriously, as evidenced by responses of about 160 students and teachers at Corona del Mar High School to a random survey by Ashley Johnson, a 14-year-old freshman at the school.

Though 65% said they would give the red-clay, green-sprouting sheep, dogs, cats, bears and trees as gifts rather than give nothing at all, 52% said they would consider it a joke if a good friend bestowed one upon them as a present.

Just over 46% of those surveyed said they would not want a Chia Pet as a gift, while 38% said they would. And if they did receive such a present, 63% said they would actually grow it, while 17% said they would give it back the following year.

And how would parents react to such a gift from their teen-age sons or daughters? Respondents said 29% of them would take the Chia Pet as a serious gift, 15% would ask for a real present, and 57% would just laugh really hard.

College tuition continues to increase faster than inflation--as it did throughout the '80s--according to an annual College Board survey of 2,822 colleges and reported in the December issue of NEA Today, the newspaper of the National Education Assn.

From June, 1989, to June, 1990, the overall inflation rate was just under 5%, while average bills for tuition and mandatory fees increased 8% at private four-year colleges and 7% at public four-year colleges.

The upside: In both kinds of institutions, tuition increases were 1 percentage point less than the 1988-89 increases--the first such drop since 1984.

Musician Frank Zappa doesn't view the possibility of having a new high school named after him as a compliment. Zappa's name is among 132 under consideration by the Antelope Valley Union High School District board for its new school, set to open in 1995.

"Considering the sorry state of education in California, it would be more appropriate to name a high school after Ronald Reagan than to name it after me," said Zappa, a 1958 graduate of Antelope Valley High School.

"The future isn't what it used to be."

--Variously ascribed

"The future is much like the present, only longer."

--Dan Quisenberry, former

major league baseball pitcher

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