Summertime, and the grading is easy
The stampede of student athletes up Figueroa Street from USC to Los Angeles Trade Tech College nearly two miles away drew curious attention during summer school registration at the downtown community college last June.
Among those signing up were three 300-pound Trojans linemen, including one with academic troubles at the university. There was also the beefy linebacker son of television's "Incredible Hulk" and a succession of strapping athletes, among them millionaire ex-USC receiver Keary Colbert of the Carolina Panthers.
They all wanted the same class — a shortcut around the tough advanced foreign language courses required at USC.
Joining them was a USC song girl famous on the Internet in a photo of her appearing to cheer for the wrong side in the 2006 Rose Bowl — along with members of the USC women's basketball, volleyball and water polo teams. And others from men's basketball, baseball and track.
....In June, the athletes were looking for Senora Rose Mary Ross, 73, a grandmother and Spanish instructor with an engaging teaching style and a generous grading philosophy — suddenly so popular that she had to take on two classes at once.....
Like many other community college courses, her five-unit classes qualified for transfer to USC and cost a fraction of the university tuition — $141 at Trade Tech compared to about $5,500 two miles south.
And there was plenty of additional motivation."Those USC kids told me, 'If I took this class at USC, I'd get a D.' All of them said that," Ross said. But she is not apologetic.
"I've never given an easy grade in my life," she told The Times in a recent interview. "You come to my class and work, and I see you want to learn, I'll give you an A. I see some lazy ass, coming late all the time, acting like he doesn't care, I won't give him an A. I'll give him a B."