University of Idaho student’s journal from 1918 flu pandemic ‘frighteningly relevant today’

U of I student Esther Thomas was a very social lady, according to her diary. That is, until the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic shut down the Moscow campus.

MOSCOW, Idaho — While researching for an article for Blot Magazine, University of Idaho journalism student Riley Haun found a diary belonging to a young college student in 1918.

Esther Thomas was a home economics student at the University of Idaho in 1918.  According to her diary, she was a very social lady, until the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic shut down the campus.

“She writes, ‘Still nothing doing. I am almost desperate. Make some sheets.’ And then the next day, the 23rd, ‘Make some more sheets. Desperation increases. What will become of me?'” Haun read of her journal entry dated Oct. 22, 1918. 

“There’s really only one line per day that she wrote, but she packed so much feeling and snarkiness, honestly, about her day-to-day life just in the couple of sentences she writes each time.”

Haun said that during her research, she found that once the first big flu outbreak made it to Moscow, it happened within the Student Army Training Corps members on campus.

“So they quarantined the campus off from the rest of the town,” she said.

Thomas wrote about passing the time by sewing sheets for the Student Army Training Corps infirmary. Eventually, she moved on to making masks. 

“They were requiring the student soldiers to wear masks whenever they were in the barracks,” Haun said. “There was a big push. She was a home economics student so her and the other home economics students were asked to sew masks.”

As each day passed, Thomas’s diary indicated just how lonely the pandemic was becoming.

“The sentiment that she’s expressing of loneliness and boredom and cabin fever, it’s just all so frighteningly relevant today,” Haun said.

Esther’s beautiful, old-fashioned cursive handwriting looks entirely different than what’s typed on the digital pages of the Idaho State Historical Society. But the stories chronicled there of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic are just as revealing.

“And if you go through and read them one after another, you get the feeling that there was an incredible fear and uncertainty back in March.  And then there was no toilet paper. And then kids were excited to be out of school,” state historian HannaLore Hein said.

RELATED: Historical society wants you to help write Idaho’s COVID-19 history

For Haun, reading about the past is comforting. She says that it’s helping her understand that we’ll eventually make it through this pandemic, just as Esther did in 1918.

“I thought that was so relatable for right now,” Haun said. “How things seem to stay the same no matter the circumstance.”

And by knowing the past, HannaLore hopes future generations will be in a place to make better decisions.

She told us that capturing history is just as important as preserving it. That’s why the Idaho State Historical Society continues to collect stories from Idahoans, their personal accounts of

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Students begin exodus in university travel window

Bags are packed and coronavirus tests are under way; this is the week Johnny Jenkins, like thousands of other students across the UK, is finally able to go home. The 20-year-old, who is in his third year studying for his degree in politics at Warwick University, has taken two tests (to show whether he has Covid-19) organised by student services ahead of the mass departure. He had one swab on Monday and will have another on Thursday before he leaves. He’s hoping it comes back negative.



a train covered in snow


© Provided by The Independent


Jenkins is planning to make the 130-mile drive home to his family in Southend, Essex, on Friday (4 December) with his dad. It comes after a year of turmoil for university students who have faced lockdowns, fears that they wouldn’t be able to go home at all, and a narrative that they are behaving irresponsibly and are responsible for furthering virus spread.  All this, along with the usual pressures of academic life and, for many, of adapting to living away from home for the first time.

“I’m coming home as there’s no way I’m spending five to six weeks in my room alone. Staying at university was never an option for me,” he says. “I’m really looking forward to going [back].” Jenkins says all of his friends are going home this weekend and he doesn’t know anyone travelling outside of the official student travel window.  

In September, government advisor Sir Mark Walport suggested students might have to stay in halls over the Christmas period to avoid spreading the virus to elderly relatives with movement across the country. Although this was only an advisory statement, a vacuum of information to the contrary from Downing Street left many students concerned that a Christmas trapped away from mum and dad could come to fruition.  

Eventually, in early November, the government clarified that students could be able to make use of an established six-day “student travel window” to go home between 3-9 December. Universities were told to end all face-to-face teaching by this date and many set up asymptomatic testing sites to give additional reassurance to those planning to leave. But there were still questions about how many would take up the offer, and the risks of crowded public transport as a result.

Jo Grady, university and college union general secretary, said at the time that the short period left “little room for error”. There were also concerns raised about the restriction causing a premium on ticket prices (although train operators did waive fees for students looking to move pre-booked tickets). Only now will the country see the plans put into practice.

Jacob Bush, 20, who is at the University of Liverpool studying communication and media, is also hoping to go home to his family in Sheffield on Friday. Like Jenkins he is getting a lift home from his parents – his brother is also studying in Liverpool so they will car pool home together. Christmas is particularly important to Bush because it

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Some Ann Arbor hotels offering winter semester rates to University of Michigan students

ANN ARBOR, MI — The University of Michigan has canceled housing contracts for the winter semester for all but a certain number of undergraduate students to limit the number of students on campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But there is another option students affected by this action will have.

Some hotels, such as the DoubleTree by Hilton Ann Arbor North, the Graduate Ann Arbor and the Ann Arbor Regent Hotel, are offering student rates for the winter semester.

All three are offering single- and double-occupancy rooms. Tyler Glombowski, a sales manager at the DoubleTree, said single rooms start at $1,500 plus tax per month, and double occupancy rooms are $2,000 per month plus tax.

Those rates tend to be a little bit more expensive than UM’s housing contracts because of housekeeping and extra amenities that students wouldn’t get in dorms, Glombowski said. It’s also a month-to-month contract, so if students wanted to move after one month, they are able to do so, Glombowski said.

Rooms at the DoubleTree include a microwave, refrigerator, desk, TV and Wi-Fi, as well as on-site laundry and fitness facilities. Officials are considering sectioning off two floors for students and having a dedicated meeting spaces where students could study and hang out, Glombowski said.

“The whole point of going to college is to get that college experience… so with our hotel and our proximity to campus, I think we’re in a great location,” Glombowski said.

Rooms at the Graduate Ann Arbor are about $100 per night on average, but rates could vary based on occupancy, cleaning frequency and other elements, according to Jason Nelson, general manager.

The Graduate has offered student rates in the past, and the hotel will be accommodating students next semester within the recommendations set by local and government health officials, Nelson said. More than a dozen Graduate hotel properties are offering similar options for students across the country, Nelson said.

“Our goal is to create a safe and distanced housing option for students who are familiar and comfortable with the Graduate Ann Arbor experience.,” Nelson said. “We are grateful to be able to provide safe and healthy spaces for students during what has been an incredibly difficult and non-traditional school year for all.”

The Ann Arbor Regent is also offering single and double occupancy rooms that include breakfast and free parking, according to Kathy Hitchings, director of sales and marketing. The Regent declined to provide information regarding the cost of rooms.

UM was not aware that hotels are offering rooms to students and does not support the effort, according to UM spokesman Rick Fitzgerald. The university is encouraging students who can access their classes remotely to remain at their permanent residence next semester, Fitzgerald said.

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First-of-Its-Kind Dual Enrollment Program Enables Xceed Anywhere Students to Earn University of Pittsburgh Credits

WESTON, Fla., Dec. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — When Faith, a Florida high school student, learned she could earn college credits from the University of Pittsburgh from the comfort of her own home and at no cost to her, she couldn’t wait to sign up.

“I was excited to hear that I will be able to take a college-level course in a subject I like and earn credits toward my first year in college,” Faith said. “I’m looking forward to taking Psychology and I’m happy Xceed Anywhere is giving me this opportunity.”

Faith is a student at Xceed Anywhere (XA), a private virtual school for students in grades 6-12 known for its innovative, personalized and flexible educational model. Through a new dual enrollment partnership with the University of Pittsburgh and Outlier.org—the first of its kind in the country—11th and 12th grade students at Xceed Anywhere can earn college credits, online, in a timeframe that aligns with their schedules. The cost is included in their tuition.

“This unique opportunity with the University of Pittsburgh and Outlier.org further extends our mission of building learning plans around our students’ needs, passions and goals,” said Dr. Brent Goldman, founder and CEO of Xceed Anywhere and Xceed Preparatory Academy. “Our students will graduate with credits from one of the top research universities in the country. This is a value-added benefit we are giving our kids.”

“The University of Pittsburgh has a long history of providing opportunities for high school students to gain college credit as they work to complete their high school diplomas and advance their long-term goals. Pitt’s College in High School is one example of our existing efforts—and we are excited to further expand our outreach nationally through Xceed Anywhere,” said University of Pittsburgh Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Ann E. Cudd.

Xceed Anywhere students will take their courses through the University of Pittsburgh’s partnership with Outlier.org, which was just named one of TIME’s Best Inventions of 2020. Created by MasterClass co-founder Aaron Rasmussen, Outlier.org is an online education platform working to increase access to quality college education for all and reduce student debt. The virtual learning platform features immersive courses, cinema-quality video and interactive exercises that are just as effective as in-person classes. Courses are taught by engaging professors from leading universities such as Columbia, Yale, Duke, NYU, MIT, Cornell and University College London and include Calculus I, Intro to Astronomy, Intro to Psychology and Intro to Statistics.

“As a former dual-enrollment student in high school, it was formative in building my confidence in my ability to do college-level work,” said Aaron Rasmussen, founder and CEO of Outlier.org. “Part of our mission is to increase access to quality college-level courses for students worldwide, and I’m excited about giving this opportunity to students at Xceed.”

Betty Norton, Head of School for Xceed Anywhere, agreed, stating, “Our students are poised to have a competitive

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Columbia University students threaten to withhold ‘exorbitant’ tuition costs next semester citing ‘economic depression’

More than 1,400 Columbia University students are threatening to withhold their tuition payments next semester, claiming the “exorbitant” fees are exacerbating their financial hardships in the midst of the coronavirus-related economic downturn.

Collectively, they have signed a petition calling on school leaders to “alleviate the economic burden on students” by reducing the cost of attendance by 10% while also increasing financial aid by 10%.

Students are also pushing for officials to offer grants in replace of the school’s work-study program so students will “automatically” be given that portion of their financial aid rather than paying it off through “work-study, summer jobs, or other means,” according to the petition.

CORONAVIRUS-AFFECTED COLUMBIA, PACE STUDENTS SUE FOR TUITION, HOUSING COSTS

Tuition rates alone, which amount to over $30,000 per semester, “constitute a significant source of financial hardship during this economic depression,” organizers wrote, adding that the Ivy League school in New York City is one of the most expensive universities in the nation.

However, school officials confirmed to FOX Business that undergraduate tuition this year was frozen in response to the pandemic and remains at $58,920 for the 2020–2021 academic year.

Columbia University, located in the north end of Manhattan (iStock)

Still, students argued the “financial burden posed by high tuition costs and student debt” is greater than ever before due to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent economic recession.

Earlier this year, Columbia announced that all undergraduate classes would be conducted remotely because of the pandemic, which students argued is even more reason to slash the cost.

“We are calling for a tuition reduction partly because of the challenges, equity issues, and diminished educational quality entailed by remote classes,” organizers wrote.

AS MORE COLLEGES STAY ONLINE, STUDENTS DEMAND TUITION CUTS

The organizers also noted that fellow institutions such as Princeton University have already reduced tuition by 10% for all undergraduate students during 2020-2021 whether they are on campus or learning remotely.

However, combating the high cost of tuition, “should not come at the expense of instructor or worker pay” the students argued. Rather, it should come at the expense of “bloated administrative salaries, expansion projects, and other expenses that don’t benefit students and workers,” according to the petition.

PRESTIGIOUS WILLIAMS COLLEGE TO CUT TUITION, REQUIRE CORONAVIRUS TESTS FOR FALL REOPENING

“The mission of our tuition strike is to make Columbia work for the needs of its students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of the surrounding community,” Townesend Nelson, one of the petition’s organizers, told FOX Business.

In doing so, Nelson says they hope to “inspire and empower students and working people across the country to take direct action to improve their lives.”

While the petition also calls for halting construction projects in Harlem to further investment into the safety of Black students and West Harlem residents, the cost of tuition has been a recurring focus for students.

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Behind screens and in hospitals, South Korea students sit college exam amid coronavirus

SEOUL (Reuters) – Nearly half a million South Korean students took university entrance exams on Thursday, with COVID-19 students sitting in hospital and others separated by transparent screens.

South Korea is battling a third wave of coronavirus infections and authorities have taken strict steps to ensure all students can safely take the test, deemed a life-defining event for high school seniors to win a degree that could help land a good job.

Police and school officials guarded some 31,000 test venues across the country, which in normal years are usually filled with praying parents and cheering squads distributing hot drinks and snacks.

“It’s my second test, and I just wanted to get it done despite the risks of contracting the coronavirus. That’s all I was thinking about coming here,” Jeon Young-jin, 19, told Reuters in front of a test venue in Seoul.

Of the 491,000 applicants, 45 confirmed COVID-19 patients sat for the test at designated hospitals, while special rooms were provided to help another 616 who were in self-isolation. Almost 65,000 did not show up, marking the highest-ever absence rate at 13.2%, the education ministry said.

Proctors for the confirmed and suspected cases were required to wear protective equipment and collect exam papers in plastic bags and wipe them before handing over to the staff outside.

At a high school in central Seoul, students lined up for temperature checks and disinfection before entering the venue, and transparent barriers were installed at all desks, according to video released by the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education.

Won Seon-hun, father of a high school senior, said he had not even had a meal with his son over the past week though he minimised outside activity due to coronavirus concerns.

“My wife bought all the groceries online, and I never went out except for work – no friends’ gatherings, just staying home,” Won said after sending off his son.

The test is a major event in South Korea, with businesses and the stock market opening later than usual to reduce traffic for test-takers, while flights from airports are suspended for a brief period during a language listening test.

The annual exam came as South Korea grapples with a resurgence of coronavirus outbreaks, with the number of daily cases hovering around 500 over the past couple of weeks, a level not seen since March.

The government has tightened social distancing curbs, and declared a two-week special anti-virus period ahead of the exam.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) reported 540 new cases on Friday, including 516 domestic infections and 24 imported.

Authorities were vigilant as more than 81% of the locally transmitted infections, or 419, were from the capital Seoul and surrounding areas, a record high since South Korea confirmed its first case in January, KDCA data showed.

The country’s total tally rose to 35,703, with 529 deaths.

Reporting by Hyonhee Shin, Soohyun Mah, Daewoung Kim and Minwoo Park; Editing by Michael Perry and Angus MacSwan

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Covid-19: University students not dropping out despite disruption

By Sean Coughlan
BBC News family and education correspondent

student Covid tests

image copyrightAndrew Milligan

image captionStudents have been getting Covid tests this week ahead of going home in the “travel window”

The number of students dropping out of their university courses across the UK has been lower this term than in previous years.

Despite the pressures of the pandemic and campus lockdowns, figures from the Student Loans Company show a fall in those leaving this autumn.

About 5,500 students withdrew from courses, compared with 6,100 last year.

The figures have been released on the day that the “travel window” opens for students to go home for Christmas.

The lower drop-out rate reflects the lack of any better alternatives this year, suggested Nick Hillman, director of the Higher Education Policy Institute think-tank.

“What else are you going to do? You can’t travel and it’s hard to get a job,” he said.

“It’s not been as good a year as normal for students, but there are still lots of positives,” Mr Hillman added.

Nine-week gap

But many students heading home this week will not be returning to their universities for another nine weeks – as the government in England announced a staggered start to next term, with some students not back until 7 February.

image copyrightReuters
image captionStudents have been asked to take two tests three days apart ahead of travelling

The plan, to avoid a surge of students and the risk of spreading coronavirus, will see students returning over five weeks in the new year – with most courses starting online before a return to in-person teaching.

  • Mass testing for students gets under way

  • Two Covid tests for students and then leave in 24 hours

The first students returning from 4 to 8 January will be for hands-on, practical courses which are difficult to teach solely online – which will include medicine, nursing and dentistry; sciences which need to use laboratories; or music, dance and drama.

Other subjects, such as English or history, would be taught online at the start of term, with students back between 25 January and 7 February.

Students will be offered two lateral flow Covid tests when they arrive back – similar to the process for their departure.

image captionMomoh will be getting Covid tests and then heading home to Manchester

Momoh Suleman, studying social work at the University of Bradford, is sympathetic to the need for the delayed start – although wants something to be arranged about paying rent when he won’t be there.

“It’s the best idea to keep our families safe,” he said, and on balance he said it was right to have a staggered return if it reduced the risk of infection.

He is having two Covid tests this week before getting the train home to Manchester – and can’t wait to see his family, having decided it was safer not to see them during the term.

“I didn’t want to

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Students will have staggered return to university over five-weeks



a group of people sitting at a table: MailOnline logo


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Students will face staggered returns to universities after Christmas in a bid to prevent a spike in cases, it has been revealed.

Hands-on courses, such as medicine and performing arts, will return as normal in January.

However courses which can be taught online, such as English and history, will stay online until at least January 25.

Some students will not return to campus until at least February 7, according to the BBC.  

University students will be offered Covid tests following the end of lockdown in England yesterday, before having a six-day window to travel home for Christmas under the government’s evacuation-style plan.



a man drinking from a wine glass: University students will be offered Covid tests following the end of lockdown in England yesterday, before having a six-day window to travel home for Christmas under the government's evacuation-style plan


© Provided by Daily Mail
University students will be offered Covid tests following the end of lockdown in England yesterday, before having a six-day window to travel home for Christmas under the government’s evacuation-style plan

Students will be offered two lateral-flow Covid tests when they arrive back.

The move has been welcomed by some university chiefs, including leader of the University Alliance group, Vanessa Wilson, who said the move provided ‘clarity’ over next term, the BBC reports.

Universities Minister Michelle Donelan also said the plan would ‘enable a safer return for all students’.

Students are currently undergoing tests to allow them to return home this Christmas. 

They will take the swabs between November 30 and December 6. A travel window is now open to students to allow them to return home. It is hoped the plan will reduce the risk of transmission.

Universities in England have been told to switch from in-person teaching to online classes by early December and then set staggered departure dates between December 3 and 9 to allow families to be reunited.

Jo Grady, the University and College Union general secretary, earlier this month highlighted the tight timescale for a mass movement of people, adding: ‘Allowing just a week for around one million students to travel across the country leaves little room for error.’



a man standing in front of a crowd: Students are currently undergoing tests to allow them to return home this Christmas. They will take the swabs between November 30 and December 6. Pictured: People carry out asymptomatic testing using lateral flow antigen at a test centre at Edinburgh University ahead of students being allowed to travel home for the Christmas holidays


© Provided by Daily Mail
Students are currently undergoing tests to allow them to return home this Christmas. They will take the swabs between November 30 and December 6. Pictured: People carry out asymptomatic testing using lateral flow antigen at a test centre at Edinburgh University ahead of students being allowed to travel home for the Christmas holidays

The Government said Covid-19 tests will be offered to as many students as possible before they travel home but the establishment of testing capacity will be a ‘massive undertaking’, an executive dean at Durham University said earlier this month.

Students will have enough time to complete the self-isolation period and return home for Christmas if they test positive for the virus before the travel window.

Students who are told to self-isolate because one of their housemates has tested positive will be able to complete the isolation period away from university if they test negative for coronavirus.

Durham University earlier this month launched a pilot project for rapid Covid-19 testing – including identifying those who might

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Students will have staggered return to university over five-week period

Students will have staggered return to university over five-week period after Christmas to avoid Covid surge – with thousands paying rent on halls despite not being on campus until February 7

  • Hands-on courses like medicine and performing arts to return in early January
  • But courses such as English and history to remain online until at least January 25
  • Some students will not return to face-to-face lessons until at least February 7 

Students will face staggered returns to universities after Christmas in a bid to prevent a spike in cases, it has been revealed.

Hands-on courses, such as medicine and performing arts, will return as normal in January.

However courses which can be taught online, such as English and history, will stay online until at least January 25.

Some students will not return to campus until at least February 7, according to the BBC.  

University students will be offered Covid tests following the end of lockdown in England yesterday, before having a six-day window to travel home for Christmas under the government’s evacuation-style plan.

University students will be offered Covid tests following the end of lockdown in England yesterday, before having a six-day window to travel home for Christmas under the government's evacuation-style plan

University students will be offered Covid tests following the end of lockdown in England yesterday, before having a six-day window to travel home for Christmas under the government’s evacuation-style plan

Students will be offered two lateral-flow Covid tests when they arrive back.

The move has been welcomed by some university chiefs, including leader of the University Alliance group, Vanessa Wilson, who said the move provided ‘clarity’ over next term, the BBC reports.

Universities Minister Michelle Donelan also said the plan would ‘enable a safer return for all students’.

Students are currently undergoing tests to allow them to return home this Christmas. 

They will take the swabs between November 30 and December 6. A travel window is now open to students to allow them to return home. It is hoped the plan will reduce the risk of transmission.

Universities in England have been told to switch from in-person teaching to online classes by early December and then set staggered departure dates between December 3 and 9 to allow families to be reunited.

Jo Grady, the University and College Union general secretary, earlier this month highlighted the tight timescale for a mass movement of people, adding: ‘Allowing just a week for around one million students to travel across the country leaves little room for error.’

Students are currently undergoing tests to allow them to return home this Christmas. They will take the swabs between November 30 and December 6. Pictured: People carry out asymptomatic testing using lateral flow antigen at a test centre at Edinburgh University ahead of students being allowed to travel home for the Christmas holidays

Students are currently undergoing tests to allow them to return home this Christmas. They will take the swabs between November 30 and December 6. Pictured: People carry out asymptomatic testing using lateral flow antigen at a test centre at Edinburgh University ahead of students being allowed to travel home for the Christmas holidays

The Government said Covid-19 tests will be offered to as many students as possible before they travel home but the establishment of testing capacity will be a ‘massive undertaking’, an executive dean at Durham University said earlier this month.

Students will have enough

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Boston University students who came up with “(Expletive) It Won’t Cut It” slogan go national

Boston University students who came up with a provocative public health campaign amid the coronavirus pandemic soared to the national stage Wednesday — as they were front-and-center at a CDC emergency response event about the virus.

BU students who launched the “(Expletive) It Won’t Cut It” slogan on campus presented at CDC’s webinar that explored using social media at colleges to promote positive health behaviors related to COVID-19.

The campaign garnered a lot of interest when BU filed a trademark for the slogan with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office — and it even caught the attention of national leaders at the CDC.

“(Expletive) It Won’t Cut It” was one of four public health campaigns from colleges across the country chosen to present at the COVID-19 emergency response webinar, and it was the only initiative fully run by students.

“This is a dream for us. We would have never thought that we were noticed by the CDC as students,” said Hannah Schweitzer, one of the students to work on the campaign. “This is crazy.”

The webinar brought together representatives from colleges and universities — including BU, Pennsylvania State University, Georgia State University and Xavier University of Louisiana — to learn more about how social media has been leveraged to promote positive health behaviors related to COVID-19.

The BU student campaign covers the importance of wearing masks, hand washing and coronavirus testing. The campaign also explores how to talk to roommates about staying safe during the pandemic, reassessing the party lifestyle, mental health, and how to have safe sex in a COVID-19 world.

It’s key for a student-run campaign because students don’t trust institutions, Schweitzer said.

“Only 7% of Gen Z puts a lot of trust in people of power. They’re going to take everything coming from BU with a grain of salt,” she said, later adding, “The solution is a campaign by students for students… students aren’t trusting the institution right now, but they’re going to take advice from their peers.”

The slogan helps spark a reminder for students to make safe choices at different decision points each day — because saying “(expletive) it” to responsible protocols won’t keep students on campus, they said.

The BU group during the CDC webinar put up the following campaign message: “Let’s call students out on their bull(expletive) and remind them that saying ‘(expletive) it’ to small rules can lead to big consequences.”

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