We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Thursday, July 24. 2014
A few reasons. First, my younger son loves sports and sports analysis. Statistics were something he followed from an early age. My older son did not. Secondly, my older son had different teachers and slightly different math programs. These programs mimicked the comedian's schtick:
I had an extremely difficult time helping him learn his math based on the program offered by his school. I was unable to learn the principles they were making him learn, how could I provide any assistance?
My younger son's experience, on the other hand, engaged a teaching method similar to that mentioned in the first four paragraphs of the article. He was using life experience and discussion with friends to learn the basics. The math program he was taught was significantly different from his brother's, the methods similar to those I from which I learned (I know the way I learned math was different from public school kids - my Catholic school was outperforming other local schools on standardized tests for years).
Ultimately, it's important to realize math is the basis of logic and reason. A deficiency in math skills may go a long way to explaining why so many Americans think they can get something for nothing from the government. Common Core may have fine intentions, but its implementation is a disaster, and is heavily politicized. It is unlikely to solve the issues it is designed to fix.
Wednesday, July 23. 2014
Few kids would turn down an Ivy scholarship, but, after your first job out, you are on your own and nobody cares about it anymore except for you and your narcissistic needs. Done right, wonderfully life-enriching, speaking as an older Dartmouth fellow from the era when your Ivy BA meant something; many things, really. Lots of social signalling and networking, because everybody likes a Dartmouth lad (or lassie). Those were the good old days when elitism gave you a leg up in the sport of life. Clubs, jobs, friends, grad school, social acceptance, deals, etc. Of course, being a Col. or above in the US military offered similar perks. Respect.
It reminds me of the oldie, "Don't send my boy to Harvard, the dying mother said, Don't send my boy to Harvard, I'd rather see him dead, but send him to Columbia, or better yet Cornell, but as for Pennsylvan-i-ay I'll see him first in hell."
He begins, In the spring of 2008, I did a daylong stint on the Yale admissions committee...
Tuesday, July 22. 2014
Thursday, July 17. 2014
A Conservative case: The case for allowing these debts to be erased via bankruptcy.
Makes some sense, as long as that doesn't get dumped on the taxpayer. Of course, having a bankruptcy on your credit report will not do much for your future prospects.
Tuesday, July 15. 2014
It's not so much the drinking that bothers me - it's that he was not doing his job and it sounds like he still is not. For him, it's all about him. I would not want this jerk "teaching" my kids anything. Since I am sure he is in a government teaching union, he can't be fired.
Related, Narcissistic Personality
Monday, July 14. 2014
Wednesday, July 2. 2014
It's bogus to compare nations, really. It's apples and oranges. In America, K-12 has tons of immigrants who are not yet acculturated and do not have excellent English. And when it comes to college, America aspires to send everybody there, not just the scholarly. Why? Don't ask me. A credential I guess. Thus it makes no sense to compare with places like Finland or Singapore, or places like the UK with high bars for university entry and without mass-market schools.
As Schneiderman asks, How good are American universities? How can you tell?
The main NYT article is Americans Think We Have the World’s Best Colleges. We Don’t.
Tuesday, July 1. 2014
I recently had a conversation with a multi-multi-millionaire who recently sold his second business start-up at age 43.
He is a humble guy, good golfer. He told me that he was advised that he was not "college material" - and "I am not", he says. "I am not a scholar, not intellectual, not very smart but I am energetic, and strong on practical and common sense. I learned my math at work because I had to." He became an apprentice (I can't say in what area) and in ten years owned a rapidly-growing company with 130 employees and two warehouses.
He told me his future plans too, but I want to keep it short and confidential.
Anyway, it raised the question for me: What is "college material"? Or is that term obsolete?
Monday, June 23. 2014
Wednesday, June 4. 2014
It's not as if the country had been begging Washington to tell them what to teach in school. Nobody asked for that. If the federal gummint thinks that we the people are retarded, then they should consider their own election.
Sunday, May 25. 2014
He would get the brownshirt treatment today
Dear graduates: Don’t follow your dreams (A commencement speech for the mediocre) - The brutal truth is that most people can't pay the bills by "living their passion." So what can we do instead?
We are all mediocre, but in different ways.
Admiral McRaven says - First thing to do: make your bed! Good, useful lessons from the boss of the USN Seals. "You will fail often." That is true:
Saturday, May 24. 2014
Choice Schools Work Better Than Public Schools
Related, re Newark and Zuckerberg: The Problem with Top-Down Education Reforms
Thursday, May 22. 2014
It's time for a new free speech movement on the campi.
Sunday, May 18. 2014
There is no single form of higher ed. It's a topic about which I have posted a number of times: Seven Competing Views of Higher Education
It's a good, brief summary. I wouldn't use the word "competing," though. "Coexisting" captures it better.
Seven Competing Views of Higher Education
Seven Competing Views of Higher Education
Wednesday, May 14. 2014
It's been a hot topic in recent years. You might imagine that all young males are beasts and barbarians, but they are not. Are they horny? Of course they are, terribly and sometimes painfully so, but in Christian countries rape is still one of the most serious crimes and everybody knows it.
I agree with this: Victims of Campus Rape Should Dial 911.
Being a student is no immunization from law.
Thursday, May 8. 2014
Saturday, May 3. 2014
Thursday, May 1. 2014
Achieve proficiency with something, then move onward like merit badges. That would certainly appeal to most kids, I think.
At Mead, Stuff Learned Trumps Time Served
Tuesday, April 29. 2014
Monday, April 21. 2014
I have come to think that it's not so much about ideology and abandoning the canon of mankind's works over the past 10,000 years, but it's more about marketing to the kids. It's disgusting, and it saddens me.
If the U of C were in Big Ten football, they could and probably would keep their core and their soul. They are selling their soul for a bowl of lentils. It's greed.
More Decline in the U. of Chicago Core
Wednesday, April 16. 2014
Tuesday, April 15. 2014
The otherwise-useful article concludes with the notion that "government could do more."
I have no idea what government has to do with it. After the basics, most lines of work are learned by apprenticeships and "practice" of various sorts. Just consider auto mechanics, cooking, gunsmithing, machine-tooling, law, medicine, bond sales, garden design, preaching, playing music, carpentry, jewelry design, flower arranging, cattle-raising, horse-grooming, dog training, leather-working, road-paving, politics and sales in general, fashion, etc., etc., etc. The list is endless.
I am very much in favor of the term and concept "apprentice," but I don't know what the heck government has to do with it. Why do so many people have this reflex that "government ought to do something"? As if it could.
People can figure these things out on their own.
Thursday, April 10. 2014
Walter Russell Mead:
The Coming Reformation of Higher Ed - See more at: http://www.mindingthecampus.com/originals/2014/04/walter_russell_meadthe_coming_.html#sthash.7AxYNmjI.dpuf
But who would design that exam, Prof. Mead? I'd be willing to do it, but then higher ed would "teach to the test."
My BA test would include things like (for examples) Calculus, Physics and Physical Chemistry, Plato, Econ, the Ming Dynasty, John Locke, molecular Bio, Michelangelo, one or two languages, basic Law and Civics, basics of Engineering, Geography and Geology, Roman history, Sophocles, Bach's music, the Bible, and Augustine. Plus an essay on a random topic during the exam.
The degree would mean something, if done my way, and separate the slackers from the scholars. Could kids pass it? Well, how about just a score on it, then? But who would care? It doesn't take a fancy degree to sell software or bonds, to write code, or to make Chai Latte.
Wednesday, April 9. 2014
At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the proportion of international students in graduate electrical engineering programs is 52.5 percent and, in computer science, 35.3 percent. At Stanford, 56 percent of graduate electrical engineering students and 43.7 percent of graduate computer science students are international.
Monday, March 17. 2014
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