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June 6, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Neil Gaiman has a message for graduates: “Make Good Art.” That's the point of his stirring 2012 commencement address at Philadelphia's University of the Arts, widely disseminated across the Internet, which is like David Foster Wallace's “This is Water” for a different generation, a call for self-expression and the courage to invent your own life. These, of course, are classic tropes to share at a graduation; I think of the 2005 Stanford University commencement at which Steve Jobs warned , “Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.” And yet, Gaiman's speech is inspiring not because it offers any cautions, but rather because it eschews the whole idea of caution, suggesting instead that it's in our best interest to break - or even better, to ignore - the rules.
June 6, 2013 | By Devin Kelly, Los Angeles Times
In 1920, Columbia University received a gift of more than half a million dollars from a longtime resident of Des Moines. Six days before her death, Lydia C. Chamberlain, a wealthy divorcee, had created a trust meant to finance a fellowship for Columbia graduate students. At $750, the first Lydia C. Roberts Graduate Fellowship - reflecting her maiden name - covered Columbia's tuition and living expenses. But Columbia hasn't touched the trust in years, because the money is entangled in what officials say are impractical and illegal restrictions from a bygone era. Under the terms of the trust, a recipient had to be an Iowa-born graduate of one of the state's colleges or universities, and not planning to study law, medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry or theology.
June 5, 2013 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON - Part-time college student Ray Jose arrived at Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin's office this week with an overriding goal: To convince the West Virginia Democrat to back off his proposal to stiffen the educational requirements in the Dream Act section of the bipartisan immigration bill. The Dream Act is among the more popular, and less contested, parts of the Senate immigration overhaul - a provision that would allow young people who were brought to the United States as minors to receive green cards more swiftly if they serve in the military or attend college.
June 3, 2013 | From KTLA News
Students at Santa Monica High School are on a mission to get President Obama to come to their graduation.  A group of seniors posted a video on YouTube in hopes that the president would see it. The video highlights the school's accomplishments and features different students pleading with the president to make an appearance. This will be the school's 100th graduating class. The graduation is scheduled for this Sunday at 5 p.m. the school's Memorial Greek Theater. The video had over 1,300 views on YouTube, and the hashtag “#getobamatothegreek” was gaining momentum on Twitter and Instagram.
May 31, 2013 | By Devin Kelly
A fight that broke out after a kindergarten graduation in Cleveland on Friday -- reportedly over spilled punch -- escalated into a brawl that led to eight arrests, authorities said.      Families had gathered at Michael R. White Elementary School, a K-8 school, to celebrate the kindergarteners' promotion to first grade. About 11 a.m., a call came in reporting a large fight with shots fired, said Cmdr. Wayne Drummond of the Cleveland Police Department. Officers arrived to find people fighting in front of the school.
May 31, 2013 | Sandy Banks
I stuffed my purse with tissues for my trip to San Francisco last week. I expected to be a teary mess as I watched my youngest child walk the stage at her college graduation. But I didn't get weepy because I didn't get to see it. The commencement at San Francisco State was oddly anticlimactic, long on accolades for administrators and professors, but short on praise for students who'd clawed their way to graduation through years of cutbacks and chaos. Seven thousand students earned degrees, but most of them skipped the free stadium ceremony and bought tickets instead for their private departmental celebrations.
May 31, 2013 | Michael Hiltzik
What do Leon Panetta, Marc Morial and Corinthian Colleges have in common? Good question. Panetta and Morial are among our most distinguished public servants. Panetta earlier this year concluded a stint as secretary of Defense, one of a string of high-level government posts under Presidents Obama and Clinton, preceded by 16 years as a California congressman. Morial served two terms as mayor of New Orleans and is now chief executive of the National Urban League, a leading civil rights organization.
May 30, 2013 | By Diane Pucin
Andy Enfield, USC's new basketball coach, got good news over the Memorial Day weekend: Katin Reinhardt of Dana Point, who played in high school at Mater Dei, said he was coming to USC from UNLV. Reinhardt averaged 10.1 points for the Rebels, fourth-best on the NCAA team. UNLV Coach Dave Rice told Las Vegas media that Reinhardt "said he feels his best opportunity to play in the NBA is to play more minutes at the point guard position. Katin would have had an opportunity for minutes at the point, but I've never guaranteed anyone they will start or play a certain number of minutes.
May 30, 2013 | By Nicole Sperling, Los Angeles Times
He may only be 18, but Nick Robinson can teach you how to skin a rabbit. The trick to the gruesome procedure, the young actor learned while filming the new indie movie "The Kings of Summer," comes at the start - cutting away at the rear flap of skin right above the ankle. "That's the hardest part," said Robinson. "Once you get past the legs, it's just like taking off a sock, a very sticky sock. It's gross. " Separating a dead animal from its hide may have proved Robinson's Bear Grylls-style survival skills but that was a minor difficulty compared with the rest of the challenges Robinson faced on "Kings of Summer," his feature film debut.
May 26, 2013 | By David A. Lehrer and Richard J. Riordan
On May 19, President Obama gave a commencement address at Morehouse College , a predominantly black men's college in Atlanta. His words and message were forceful, timely and uniquely befitting the first African American president. The president said what few others could say and still be considered politically acceptable. He debunked the notions of victimization and impotence so pervasive in talk about race, religion and ethnicity today, and encouraged the young black grads to "strive to do what's right … [to]
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