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Bright and Brief

May 10, 1987

CHICAGO (AP) _ Moms of the pupils at Near North Montessori School got cookbooks for Mother’s Day featuring recipes from the children themselves.

Like this one for pumpkin pie, from 4-year-old Devin Bader: ″First you put a half of butter. Then, first pumpkin, and then dough. Then put it in the oven for six minutes, and then it is done.″

Jamie Abelson, 4, gives detailed instructions on cheeseburger size. ″Mix it up, cut little pieces so people can eat it, and so their mouths can get over it,″ Jamie said. ″If it were whole, and they tried to eat it, their mouth would get real fat.″

Elliott Hood, 5, thinks peas are easy.

″It’s made out of it already,″ he said. ″You cook it with a pan. You put the pan on a stove, on a hot, hot stove. You cook it for a little while.″

Teacher Wendy Knapp interviewed the children, ages 3 to 6, at the private school last week, had a secretary type the results, and sent the cookbooks home Friday.

″They seem so grown-up to me day in and day out, then when I reread what they dictated, I realize how young they are,″ Knapp said. ″It’s ... amazing how they perceive life. It’s just so genuine and so simple.″

″When I read them the cookbook, they really giggled and giggled,″ she added.


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A retired English teacher who returned to her studies because she didn’t want to ″stay at home and crochet doilies″ is set to become the University of Minnesota’s oldest Ph.D. recipient ever. She’s 80.

″I like the challenge of learning. It goes on forever,″ said Gwendoline Reid of Crystal, who will be awarded her doctorate in speech communication on May 29.

Miss Reid entered the doctoral program in 1981. Last month, an academic committee gave final approval to her 411-page dissertation, ″Winston S. Churchill’s Theory of Public Speaking as Compared To His Practice.″

Robert Scott, chairman of the speech communication department, said he still remembered his first meeting with Miss Reid, who received her bachelor’s degree nearly 60 years ago and retired from English teaching in 1970.

″I expressed some surprise that she would be seeking a Ph.D because obviously she was not going to enter a new profession. She said, ‘Regardless of what you might say, I prefer not to stay at home and crochet doilies,’ ″ Scott recalled.

″She’s so peppy,″ said Karen Musolf, a classmate, describing Miss Reid as ″the little engine that could″ who ″keeps us all young.″

As for the future, Miss Reid isn’t sure what she wants to do. She said she may travel or take up oil painting.

″I’m looking for the next challenge,″ she said.

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