Wow, this kid is going places. A High School student nails it:
November 14, 2013
October 23, 2013
“A second component of Champlain’s undergraduate education comes through its required ‘Life Experience and Action Dimension’ program, which has two parts: (1) some real-world education, emphasizing financial literacy and sophistication (developing a budget, making sense of credit cards, understanding how employee benefits work and why they’re important, etc.) and job skills (marketing oneself, negotiating business contracts, and developing skills in interviewing, networking, etc.); and (2) a community-service element that puts students to work helping Burlington’s needy and simultaneously broadening cultural awareness and a sense of engaged citizenship.”
October 6, 2013
The only thing is that these numbers are about 20% higher than when this video was made… four years ago.
September 30, 2013
“It’s time to revive old-fashioned education. Not just traditional but old-fashioned in the sense that so many of us knew as kids, with strict discipline and unyielding demands. Because here’s the thing: It works. … Studies have now shown, among other things, the benefits of moderate childhood stress; how praise kills kids’ self-esteem; and why grit is a better predictor of success than SAT scores.”
September 20, 2013
“You can aspire to and achieve greatness no matter who you are and no matter your stage in life. This sounds extraordinarily like a cliché, but do you really believe it? Contrary to what the movies would have you believe, in the book, Bilbo was 50 years old when he set out on his adventure. (So was Frodo, in fact, in Lord of the Rings.) He had ‘little to no magic,’ and ‘didn’t like to be called audacious.’ He was a thoroughly middle-aged fellow who had no interest in spicing up his life. He lived comfortably, ate and drank much, and enjoyed his cozy home. He even said, ‘We are plain, quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner!’
And yet, Bilbo ultimately becomes the hero of our story. He often complains and longs for home, but he keeps pressing on. He even gets to a point where he can feel the desire for adventure calling out from within him. We’ve written about the importance of taking full advantage of your 20s, but the potential of your middle and elder years shouldn’t be squandered either. Will you be an empty nester or retiree with a quiet, comfortable life? Or will you say ‘yes’ to whatever adventure or dream is trying to make itself heard from within your spirit? When you feel yourself trying to say that you’re not the kind of person to start your own business or that you’re too old to travel the world, harness your inner Bilbo Baggins. Say yes, take the first step outside your front door, and keep on going.”
5.Imagine your life as a story. Not too long ago, we even had a guest post about this — our life is a journey, and a heroic one at that. Imagine yourself sitting down with your grandkids and telling them the story of you. “Well, I made some money, bought a few cars, sat around and watched TV for a few hours every night, and that’s about it.” Pretty boring, isn’t it? Now imagine that you can start hours worth of stories with, “I explored…I traveled…I fell in love…I fought and won…I overcame…I sweated…” Not only would the story be better, but you likely would be far more satisfied with the course of your life.
J.R.R. Tolkien agrees. “Now it is a strange thing, but things that are good to have and days that are good to spend are soon told about, and not much to listen to; palpitating, and even gruesome, may make a good tale, and take a deal of telling anyways.” He is saying that a life of good ease is a boring one. It’s often what the American dream aspires to, but the reality is that personal growth, and even enjoyment, are things that come out of some kind of challenge. Whether it’s huffing and puffing and groaning your way up a mountain for the view at the top, or getting laid off and finally realizing you don’t want to be in a cubicle anymore, joy is often found after a bit of trudging. Don’t shy away from challenge. Embrace it, and know that someday it’ll make for a great story.
September 6, 2013
“For some colleges, the future includes massive open online courses (MOOCs) that can free up students struggling to balance academics with work and also reach an exponentially greater number of learners. Other institutions reject the digital approach altogether, stressing hands-on experience over more theoretical coursework.
There’s no real suggestion that either online or experiential learning should completely replace the brick-and-mortar campus experience, which still provides students important opportunities for socialization and collaboration. The goal, experts say, is for colleges to blend crucial elements of the campus experience with new approaches, striving to capture the best of both worlds for students increasingly priced out by the cost of a traditional four-year degree.”
This is great news for those recent high school grads who want to fight back against the rising cost of higher education. It’s even better for those of us who just really, really enjoy learning and want to take advantage of the knowledge but don’t necessarily need the piece of paper. Yay technology!
August 27, 2013
“As a society, we tend to shrug off such findings. We’re not surprised that learning is unpleasant. We think of it as bad-tasting medicine, tough to swallow but good for children in the long run. Some people even think that the very unpleasantness of school is good for children, so they will learn to tolerate unpleasantness, because life after school is unpleasant. Perhaps this sad view of life derives from schooling. Of course, life has its ups and downs, in adulthood and in childhood. But there are plenty of opportunities to learn to tolerate unpleasantness without adding unpleasant schooling to the mix. Research has shown that people of all ages learn best when they are self-motivated, pursuing questions that are their own real questions, and goals that are their own real-life goals. In such conditions, learning is usually joyful.”
August 26, 2013
“We are the Culture of Death, the Culture of Nothingness. Miley Cyrus is but one small consequence of it. Go onto a college campus on any Friday night and you’ll find thousands of other consequences behaving in a fashion pretty similar to Miley’s VMA performance. Every once in a while we catch a glance of ourselves in the mirror and recoil in horror because, as it turns out, being a society without any sense of discipline, decency, character, and self respect, really isn’t as cool as we might have imagined.
I’m not trying to turn the Miley Cyrus molehill into a proverbial mountain, but I am saying last night’s horror show didn’t happen in a vacuum. We are generally an oversexed, amoral civilization, and this is the sort of spectacle that sort of civilization produces. Pretty simple. People often seem troubled when a young woman acts so sexually desperate, but then many of those same folks will lash out with mockery and derision anytime someone suggests — GASP! — self control as an alternative. “
Read the whole thing.
August 21, 2013
I wish I had seen this 23 years ago when I was just starting out. I probably wouldn’t have listened to it. I definitely wouldn’t have understood it all. But as I heard him speak now I just kept nodding my head over and over and over again. It’s all true.
If you’re a recent (or soon-to-be) graduate in the arts, I implore you to give this twenty minutes of your time. The man speaks truth.
August 11, 2013
“The cost of resistance to the campus barbarians may not have been the only factor. Resistance requires a sense that there is something worth defending. But decades of dumbed-down education have produced people with no sense of the importance of a moral framework within which freedom and civil discourse can flourish. Without a moral framework, there is nothing left but immediate self-indulgence by some and the path of least resistance by others. Neither can sustain a free society. Disruptive activists indulge their egos in the name of idealism and others cave rather than fight.”
August 9, 2013
“We, as a society, mandate that all children must be in school until 16, and we must provide educational opportunity to the willing until 18. If there’s an IEP in place, that age can go as far as 21.
A school in which I used to teach was failing. Is failing. Has always failed. Our staff was more than 50% non-traditional teachers. We had a strong core of Teach For America and Teaching Fellows – neither of which pull in your regular ‘he who can’t? Teaches’ anecdotes. Most of us were ‘wanting to help where we can’ folks. We couldn’t make a dent in that school. The only reason that the 60% of the kids who bothered to show up daily even came to school was for the 2 free meals and the climate control. We needed a force of 15 security people to keep the kids IN CLASS. They had no desire to learn. They did not CARE if they failed. I never, ever had kids who started at my school as 9th graders and had enough credits to be juniors by their third year. Most didn’t even have enough credits to be sophomores. And this was when summer school was free!”
Reason #517 that I’m not a (traditional) teacher. It’s distressing to see the system failing so badly. And the problems in K-12 are starting to creep like a cancer into higher ed.
It is also distressing to see the same old arguments trotted out and the same old battle lines drawn up. Many times, as this writer reports, the solution is not “pour more money into the system”. Nor is it any of the other trendy solutions du jour that we hear about (head start, universal day care/preschool, free lunches, after school programs, etc, etc, etc). These may be okay to address certain local problems, but more and more they are just band aids that cover the wound while the infection festers. They don’t solve the core issues. And finally those core issues have become much too big and endemic to just plaster over while we pat ourselves on the back and move on. What’s to be done?
Certainly I think the home schooling movement is doing something to address the issues. We have several friends who home school their kids and Erin teaches many home schooled kids in her piano studio. I just asked Erin and she said that, universally, the home schooled kids are better socialized, better educated, more respectful, harder working, etc. The problems- 100% in her anecdotal case- come from the traditionally educated kids. I’ve met and had lengthy conversations with her home schooled set and I would class them not as “kids” but as “little adults”. They know how to think, reason, respond, engage. It’s really striking.
That’s not to say that the traditional system is totally a failure. We have some neighbor kids who go to the local public school. They’re fun, respectful, intelligent, and overall good kiddos (hi Amy and Ryan!) and we like them a lot. They give me hope that at least the local system hasn’t fallen apart yet and I’m glad to see them succeeding. But when the general system becomes as bad as the writer above notes (and read the whole thing for more sorry details) then we’ve really gone past a dark and dangerous point in our society.
Does everyone need to be educated? What’s the minimum level of education that should be required of a good citizen? Should everyone go to college? Shouldn’t everyone be able to read and do basic math? What if they (and, importantly, their parents) refuse to cooperate to get them to these minimums? I don’t know the answer to these questions, but I suspect that we’re going to soon see what happens to a society that lets itself become so educationally bifurcated. It’s not going to be pretty.
August 4, 2013
“Testing firms are offering new ways to measure what students learn in college. Their next generation of assessments is billed as an add-on – rather than a replacement – to the college degree. But the tests also give graduates something besides a transcript to send to a potential employer. As a result, skills assessments are related to potential higher education ‘disruptions’ like competency-based education or even digital badging. They offer portable ways for students to show what they know and what they can do. And in this case, they’re verified by testing giants.
More significantly, they mean that someone other than the degree-granting institution is certifying competence. Institutions have incentive to be lax regarding their students; external certifiers not so much. Then, at some point, people might start asking why you need the degree, when you’ve got the certification.”
July 15, 2013
“Historically, a university’s library has been the heart of the college, and that shows up even looking at a simple campus map. Here at Baylor, Carroll Library (now home to the Texas Collection) housed the university’s academic collection in Burleson Quadrangle, the traditional center of campus, from its construction in 1902 until Moody Memorial Library opened just down Fountain Mall in 1968.”
July 3, 2013
I just finished listening to the 18 hour long Great Courses course on the development of Human Languages. Fascinating, riveting stuff! Prof. McWhorter gave the lectures and is extremely knowledgeable with a goofy, engaging sense of humor. Really good stuff.
I just started in on the 48 lecture (24 hours!) Great Courses series “The History of Western Civilization”. Loving these Great Courses!
June 27, 2013
The power of modern medicine. This is really amazing and worth the 4:00.
June 26, 2013
“The Los Angeles Unified School District will use a state grant to train teens to promote ObamaCare to family members. Covered California, the state’s health insurance exchange, announced grants of $37 million on May 14 to promote the nationally unpopular law.
LAUSD will receive $990,000. The district listed as a primary outcome for its project, ‘Teens trained to be messengers to family members.’”
Because this is such a good use of our educational resources and tax dollars, you know.
Perfect (unintentional) double entendre toward the end of the article.
June 23, 2013
June 19, 2013
In the digital economy, we’ll soon all be working for free – and I refuse | Suzanne Moore | Comment is free | The Guardian
In the digital economy, we’ll soon all be working for free – and I refuse | Suzanne Moore | Comment is free | The Guardian: “We cannot all be freelancers for ever. Freelance work, like interning, is fine if you have the funds to manage without a regular income. That is, if you are already wealthy. But the digital economy operates as a kind of sophisticated X Factor. Someone will make it, sure. For more than 15 seconds even, maybe. But most won’t. This is why Lanier says the internet may destroy the middle classes, the people who can’t outspend the elite. And without that middle group, we cannot maintain a democracy.
He sees musicians and artists and journalists as canaries in the mineshaft of this new economy. Who will pay them? ‘Is this the precedent we want to follow for our doctors and lawyers and nurses and everybody else? Because, eventually, technology will get to everybody.’”
Interesting thoughts. I don’t agree with them all, but I think she’s on a general right track.
June 12, 2013
Over 113 Years, This Home Library Has Grown to 35,000 Books – Neatorama: “Three generations of Johnsons never set out to collect ‘rare books.’ Instead, they collected books that fell within their diverse areas of interest — from Plato, to law, to economics, to India, to archeology, to Sanskrit. Not everything in the collection is a 300-year-old scholarly tome. The museum has mystery novels, Jackie Collins’ steamy tales of lust, small books designed to fit into the pockets of GIs during World War II and tawdry novellas Richards calls ‘bodice rippers.’ Many of the older books are in Latin or Greek — or both, on facing pages — and date from the 16th and 17th centuries. The best digital searches, Richards said, show that some of the books are only cataloged at one or two libraries in the world”