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When we think of summer school, two things immediately spring to mind.

First, there was that totally not awful 1987 "Summer School" movie, starring a pre-"NCIS" Mark Harmon and a pre-chunky Kirstie Alley.

Secondly, it was where your friends at the Weekender spent a considerable amount of our collegiate time, matriculating and sweating our asses off.

You see, we were never the type of students to make the Dean's List. Unless, it was the party list kept by Dean, our buddy from Chem class. Even then, it was a crap shoot because this particular Dean was a knucklehead.

Didn't matter. Your friends at the Weekender were always able to track down the gnarliest parties with or without an official invite.

Since summer's just around the corner, we are thrilled to share our scholastic knowledge with the next generation of scholars.

Here is the Weekender's guide to staying cool at summer school.


Stuff the school left out of their brochure. A private Franciscan Roman Catholic liberal arts college, Briar Cliff's most famous alumni might be 6-foot, 8-inch Panamanian basketball great Mario Butler, who is definitely not the same person as former NFL corner back, whose name is also Mario Butler.

Best near-by place to suck down a chili dog: Our hearts broke when we heard that George's Hot Dog Shop, a famous 1419 Hamilton Blvd. was closing after a nearly 40-year run. Fortunately for BCU students, Coney Island at Marketplace, 3013 Hamilton Blvd., also makes a primo chili dog, is actually closer to school and will, hopefully, stay open in the near future.

Where can you observe a bird of prey without getting your eyes pecked out: Located at 4500 Sioux River Road, the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center is the home of Skye, an American kestrel; Scarlet, a red-tailed hawk; and Olaf, a barred owl. All three birds of prey seem docile in that we-can-kill-you-but-we-won't sort of way. See them if you dare.


Stuff the school left out of their brochure: Best known as a community college that offers associate degrees and certificate programs, WITCC also has one of the nicest disc golf fields in the area.

Best place to get a workout: While WITCC boasts the fancy Robert E. Dunker athletic center, the Robert Kiser Building is actually where you'll see more sweaty people. Anyone who has ever looked for a classroom in the Kiser building know it is very easy to get lost.

Where to drink plenty of healthy (and unhealthy) beverages: We really don't know what makes certain coffees organic or not organic, but Stone Bru Organic Coffee (4243 Stone Ave.) happens to be a caffeinated fave of ours. For times in which we don't wanna be so "woke," we'll head over to Jim's Lounge, 4505 Stone Ave.

MORNINGSIDE COLLEGE, 1501 Morningside Ave.

Stuff the school left out of their brochure: Morningside offers a huge number of food items in its Wikert Dining Hall, surprisingly tasty fast food fare at its Mustang Grill and quality coffees and teas at its Spoonholder Cafe, which is located inside the college's learning center. Because of its locale, we always thought the name "spoon holder" came from literature. It did not. A spoon holder is just a spoon holder, we discovered.

Best place to indulge your inner nerd: College is where many of us let go of the indulgences of youth and decide to start acting like an adult. Oh, who are we kidding? We're still geeky and House of Heroes (4006 1/2 Morningside Ave.) is where we get our vintage comic fix. Wanna spend your inheritance on the old X-Men comic your mom threw away 10 years ago? Chances are you'll find another copy at House of Heroes.

Eat like a street person: Well, not literally like a street person. During the lunch hour, every Thursday, mobile restaurants (aka food trucks) park inside the parking lot at the Morningside branch library at Peters Park. Hankering for authentic Mexican food? Then, hit up Daga's on Wheels. Want quality fare with unusual ingredients? Check out Coffee & Nosh.

See, summer school won't be that bad if you know where to go. Will you make the Dean's List? Maybe. Will you know where to get the best burrito, Chai tea and chili dog? Definitely. Priorities, people, priorities!


Food and Lifestyles reporter

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