Letters: Berea College; Ruth Stone; 'Moves Like Jagger'

Melissa Block and Guy Raz read emails from listeners about a report on Kentucky's Berea College, Melissa's remembrance of Vermont poet Ruth Stone, and the other person responsible for that mega-hit earworm "Moves Like Jagger."

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It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.


And I'm Melissa Block. It's time now for your comments. First, about a story we aired yesterday on Kentucky's Berea College.

RAZ: We reported that students at Berea don't pay tuition and, for many of them, it's the only way they can afford to go to college. Rosalee Bishop(ph) of Indianapolis enjoyed the report and had this to add.

As a parent of two graduates of Berea, I'd like to clarify free tuition. All the students work.

BLOCK: And she's right. Berea requires all students to work 10 to 15 hours a week on campus or in the community. Amy Hutchinson graduated from Berea College and on NPR.org, she posted a sample of some of the jobs she did as a student.

RAZ: I worked everywhere I could, she writes - the woodcraft building, Boone Tavern, the Log House Craft Gallery. I was a janitor in my dorm, a teaching assistant, and I worked at the child development lab. I learned so much there.

BLOCK: On to another story now - my remembrance of Vermont poet, Ruth Stone.

RUTH STONE: My mahjong eyes weep when the sky weeps, when color fades, but it is the alphabet, neat, succulent, fresh slants of light on the cave wall.

BLOCK: Ruth Stone died earlier this month at the age of 96. Here's how she described the physical sensation of creating a poem.

STONE: It would be like it was off at a distance, but it was coming like a train, you know, coming toward me. And I would run into the house to try to find paper and pencil to write it down. You know, it was like almost automatic.

RAZ: Well, that feeling sounded familiar to Alex Chalmers(ph) of Norwood, Massachusetts, a self-professed computer geek. He writes this. A handful of times, I have experienced that eerie but exciting sensation of anticipating that a technical solution to a thorny problem is about to surface from deep within my brain. It will then take a short while and some effort to translate that feeling into a useful design. What I feel coming may not be as meaningful as fresh slants of light on the cave wall, but the process does feel mystical.

BLOCK: And, finally, the story behind this chart-topping earworm.


MAROON 5: (Singing) You want to move like Jagger. I got to move like Jagger. I got to move like Jagger.

RAZ: I talked with Adam Levine of Maroon 5 about their hit song, "Moves Like Jagger," and we appeared to have invited the wrath of listener, Janet Gannon(ph).

BLOCK: Curse you, ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, she writes from Topsham, Maine. Curse you for putting "Moves Like Jagger" in my head. It's all I can do not to dance my way through my day.

RAZ: But several of you, including Ian Shiff(ph) of Thousand Oaks, California, had something else dancing in your heads - a question. Shiff writes this. In your interview with Adam Levine about the song, "Moves Like Jagger," you said it was the first time he collaborated, but you never mentioned who he co-wrote the song with.

BLOCK: No, we didn't. But now we will. Songwriter and producer, Benny Blanco, real name Benjamin Levin.


MAROON 5: (Singing) And it goes like this.

RAZ: Send us your comments about anything you hear on the program at NPR.org. Just click on Contact Us at the bottom of the page.


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