Sub Makes a Class Debut Despite Crowded Conditions

--When William J. Bennett talked to high school juniors about the Redskins-Cowboys football rivalry, rock concerts and Op-Ed page articles, he wasn’t just shooting the breeze. It was the U.S. secretary of education’s way of using contemporary acts to shed light on the Federalist Papers. Like millions of American children and thousands of teachers, Bennett was back in the classroom to usher in the new school year. But with 13 television cameras in the rear, photographers on the sides and several dozen newspaper and radio reporters elbowing for space in between, the scene inside Washington’s Banneker Academic High School classroom was even more hectic than the usual opening day clamor. Bennett will teach in six more classrooms from St. Louis to San Jose over the next fortnight. The former college philosophy professor doffed his jacket, rolled up his sleeves and loosened his tie in the steamy classroom. With humor and a lot of coaxing, he got his charges to translate a Federalist Paper into their own words. The students gave the substitute teacher high marks. “The interaction was a little slow today because he’s new, he’s a sub,” said student Joseph Razza, 16. “But otherwise, (it) was pretty good.”

--Pioneer heart transplant surgeon Christiaan N. Barnard will join the staff of Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City next year. The South African, 62, has arthritis and no longer can be a principal member of transplant teams.

--Country singer Willie Nelson, one of the catalysts behind the Farm Aid concert this month, hopes the money raised by the benefit will go toward low-interest loans to farmers. But Nelson said that concert organizers will meet with farmer representatives today at Hoffman Estates, Ill., to make a final decision on how to distribute the money. “People have to figure it out who are smarter than me,” said Nelson after a performance Monday night. The star-studded 12-hour Sept. 22 concert will feature more than three dozen rock, country and blues entertainers, including Bob Dylan, Neil Young, the Beach Boys, Kenny Rogers, Alabama, Kris Kristofferson, Tom Petty, Waylon Jennings, Eddie Van Halen and Loretta Lynn. More than 78,000 tickets were sold for the concert at the University of Illinois’ football stadium at Champaign.