In 1979, when the minimum wage was $2.90, a hard-working student with a minimum-wage job could earn enough in one day (8.44 hours) to pay for one academic credit hour. If a standard course load for one semester consisted of maybe 12 credit hours, the semester’s tuition could be covered by just over two weeks of full-time minimum wage work—or a month of part-time work. A summer spent scooping ice cream or flipping burgers could pay for an MSU education. The cost of an MSU credit hour has multiplied since 1979. So has the federal minimum wage. But today, it takes 60 hours of minimum-wage work to pay off a single credit hour, which was priced at $428.75 for the fall semester.
Hyak II at the Vancouver Aquarium had a fascination with pictures and drawings of orcas:
"His eye was one inch away from the six-inch glass, and the illustration was pressed against the other side. We were very close to each other
I would have him for thirty to forty minutes between the shows. He would stay submerged for five to six minutes, surface to breathe, then drop right back down to the window to see what I would show him next.
Hyak had no interest in images of houses, airplanes, horses, cars, or trucks, things he could not relate to at all. But show him a salmon or other orcas, he would study the picture minutely.
It was interesting that word of all this got out. Sometimes when I arrived, there would be groups of school kids with their drawings of killer whales held up to the glass, with Hyak swimming window to window looking at what they were showing him. The word spread and people would come with pictures to show Hyak.
Rather than only coming to see the whales, they would bring something for the whales to see.”