Knickers in a horrible twist in Educationland over the announcement of a three-tiered diploma system to be introduced in Rhode Island public schools.
The vivacious little cutie Deborah Gist, education commish, is pushing this idea by her bosses at the Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education, wherein high school students could put on their mortarboards and gowns and walk away with an "Honors" diploma, a "Regents" diploma, or a "Rhode Island" diploma. (There was a suggested fourth-level certificate, the "Dumber than a Quahog" diploma, but that was canned after comic artist Don Bousquet demanded $50 for every one awarded, which after some quick back-of-the-envelope arithmetic figured to come in at cost of around $50,000 a year for the state's cartoonist laureate.)
P+J do have to question the wisdom of calling the least desirable of these testaments to academic achievement the "Rhode Island diploma." We imagine the recipients of these booby prizes being subjected to taunts of "What'd you get, a Rhode Island diploma?" — quickly replacing the favored old standby, "What'd you ride to school, the short bus?" It might have provoked our Southern friends, but wouldn't calling the lowest designation in Little Rhody the "Mississippi diploma" or the "Alabama diploma" be less likely to end up a self-inflicted wound? If that wouldn't do, how about the "Pauly D diploma"? It would be more Vo Dilun-relevant and to the point. And today's 'utes, so enamored of reality TV, might even feel proud.
There is, by the way, absolutely no truth to rumors circulating that the key, final three questions for each diploma are "Who was Roger Williams?" for the Honors awardees; "Who is Buddy Cianci?" for the Regents winners; and "Who is, oh my god, like, ya know, the chick who used to be in Disney shit and like movies and all that, you know what I'm sayin', and doesn't like, wear panties and got put in rehab, you know what I'm saying' and, oh my god she's like a lesbian or something with like crazy parents, ya know what I'm sayin'?" for the would-be holders of a Rhode Island diploma.
GLAZED AND CONFUSED
MISS RHODE ISLAND 2011 Deborah Saint-Vil.
Everybody knows that nothing gets our state some envy-inciting national exposure like having a really hot-looking babe from the Biggest Little competing in the annual Miss America pageant. So it was that P+J thought that the smoldering Deborah Saint-Vil, our Miss Rhode Island 2011, would set pants on fire when she stepped up to introduce herself to the US TV viewing audience at the gala competition on January 15 in Lost Wages, Nevada.
This year's glorified cat fight required the nubile young contestants to say something their state was noted for when they took their first bow, and your superior correspondents laid back in our Barcaloungers with frozen grapefruit and Pernods in hand prepared to shout "Bravo!" and "Raymond rules!" when the pulchritudinous Ms. Saint-Vil said, "I'm from Rhode Island — the Mobsters and Lobsters State!"
Instead, in a clip that immediately went viral on YouTube — not to mention making the hit list on one of our fave-rave shows, The Soup — our gal bragged she was from the state "that has the most Dunkin' Donuts shops per capita in the nation!"