Weathering The Storm

After One Of The Worst Weeks Ever For Stocks, Hopes For A Quick Economic Recovery Are Fading. What Consumers Do Next Could Cause-- Or Avert--A Recession.

A Mom For Massachusetts

When Jane Swift ran for lieutenant governor of Massachusetts in 1998, she faced tough questions that had nothing to do with her record. How's that morning sickness?

How Safe Is Your Job?

Pink Slips Are Suddenly Flying Again, As Employers Show A New Willingness To Cast Off Workers At The First Hint Of Trouble. Why This Wave Of Layoffs Is Different, And What Workers Can Do To Prepare For The Worst.

A Recession, Virtually

If the U.S. economy were a patient in a hospital, its doctor might be admitting it for close observation.This week's release of the gross domestic product figures for the fourth quarter showed the economy growing at an anemic 1.4 percent, the lowest growth rate in five years.

Jack Welch Goes Surfing

General Electric chairman Jack Welch doesn't have a little black book. Instead, he keeps two enormous black binders--GE's operating manual, filled with reams of minutiae about company operations--on his credenza.

What's A Shopper To Do?

When it comes to the slowing economy, Ellen Spero isn't biting her nails just yet. But the 47-year-old manicurist isn't buffing, filing or polishing as many nails as she'd like to, either.

Anything Jack Can Do...

Jack Welch wanted everything to be perfect. The celebrated chief executive has spent 20 years turning General Electric into America's most admired company, and as the clock ticked toward his retirement next year, the race to succeed him had become the most closely watched CEO sweepstakes in history.

Scouting A Dry Campus

They are stories that make every parent's heart ache. On Nov. 10, University of Michigan sophomore Byung Soo Kim celebrated his 21st birthday by trying to drink 21 shots of whisky.

A Ph.D. Hits The Road

For more than a decade, Pleun Bouricius spent summers prepping for classes as a doctoral student and lecturer at Harvard University. But last August, after a fruitless, four-year search for a university teaching job, she began a different course of study, at the United Tractor Trailer School in central Massachusetts.

Not The Retiring Kind

When Harvard business School instructs students on how a company should choose a new CEO, professors use a favorite case study: General Electric's famous face-off in the late '70s.

There's Just No Substitute

It's 6 a.m., and Piper Haywood is dialing for subs. She and her colleagues at Chicago Public Schools Substitute Teacher Center place 2,200 subs a day--and their job is getting tougher.

Failing Grades: A Small College Hits The Skids

Mattie Pontecorvo should be a walking advertisement for Trinity College of Vermont. For the last two years she's thrived at the tiny women's Roman Catholic college: class president, resident adviser, campus tour guide and all-round Trinity booster.

The Making Of A Fad

Elementary schools have long been the perfect place to study how contagion spreads. So let's focus our microscope on Palisades Elementary Charter School, just west of Los Angeles.

Waterworld

For the people of Gloucester, Mass., it's an eery sight, akin to a ghost ship. Floating dockside is a 72-foot boat christened the Andrea Gail, a Warner Bros.-owned replica of the local fishing vessel that sailed into a storm with a crew of six in October, 1991--and never came back.

When Teachers Are Cheaters

This spring has been a season of embarrassment for the nation's public schools. In suburban Potomac, Md., an elementary-school principal resigned last month after parents complained their children were coached to give the right answers on state tests.

Dot-Coms To M.B.A.S: Help Us!

Last month an envelope arrived at the office of Air Force Capt. A. J. Leone. The enclosed orders had nothing to do with the C-141 aircraft Leone helps fly.

'Mr. Welch Is In A Meeting'

For more than a decade, General Electric chairman Jack Welch has reigned as a management god. And at his right hand, in a cubicle a few steps away, sits Rosanne Badowski, his executive assistant.

Dot-Coms Invade The Dormitory

Ohann Schleier-Smith and Greg Tseng, both juniors at Harvard College, don't look like outlaws. But when they had to buy a $112 textbook called "The Fundamentals of Statistical and Thermal Physics" from Harvard's bookstore for a course last year, a rebellion was born.

College Online

Nicholas Jimenez leads a complicated life. As an executive with Computer Associates, he's lived in three countries in five years. Right now he's in So Paulo, Brazil, but "I don't know how much longer I'll be here," he says. "One year?

'It's All About Acceleration'

A few weeks ago Antoine Sorice and six other would-be entrepreneurs had nothing but a top-secret draft of a business plan. The 32-year-old Frankfurt consultant is a cofounder of Snacker.de, a still hush-hush Internet portal and e-commerce platform soon to roll out in Germany.

Waiting For The Gavel To Fall

They are the business world's greatest rivalries. Coke and Pepsi. McDonald's and Burger King. And at the high end of the food chain, Sotheby's and Christie's.

Poison Ivy: Campaigns On Campus

As break-ins go, it wasn't exactly Watergate. One afternoon last December, in broad daylight, Harvard College junior John Burton entered the unlocked office of the college's gay-rights organization.

The Boom Generation

George Papson will never forget his "Black Friday." That was the day in March 1982 when the 49-year-old machinist was laid off, a casualty of the deepest recession America had experienced since the 1930s.

A Vital New Role For An Old General

Imagine a movie script featuring an aging CEO who runs a media giant. In the opening scene, his company is bought by a hot Internet company with a young chief of its own.

Living The Self-Help Life

Some people dabble in self-help. Kristen Kurowski is immersed in it. During afternoon breaks she stares silently at the lake outside her office, a relaxation trick she picked up at a recent seminar.

The Internet Brain Drain

Few newspapers cover the high-tech world better than the San Jose Mercury News. Its Internet-savvy reporters regularly break stories and win awards. But lately their expertise has become a liability.

Barbarians At The Rx

William C. Steere Jr. hardly looks like the kind of guy to spoil a wedding. But last week Steere, the dignified chairman of drug giant Pfizer, acted out one of comedy's oldest plot twists: breaking up a happy couple just as they reach the altar.

Yogurt Goes Tubular

It's lunchtime at a parochial school in Brookline, Mass., and the third graders are chowing down. Amid the tuna sandwiches lies a new treat: tubes filled with squeezable, wildly flavored yogurt.

The Big Score

Inside Chicago's top-ranked Whitney Young High School, the posters started appearing last December. LET'S BE #1! GIVE IT 110%! Usually this sort of rah-rah propaganda supports the basketball team, but this campaign by the principal had a different aim: urging kids to score high on the Illinois Goal Assessment Program, a standardized test that students would take in February.

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