Mean Professor Tells Student to “get your sh*t together” | Things Doanie Likes

One of the perks of the job.

xxxx, get your shit together. Getting a good job, working long hours, keeping your skills relevant, navigating the politics of an organization, finding a live/work balance…these are all really hard, xxxx. In contrast, respecting institutions, having manners, demonstrating a level of humility…these are all (relatively) easy. Get the easy stuff right xxxx. In and of themselves they will not make you successful. However, not possessing them will hold you back and you will not achieve your potential.

This is straight out of the Marcus Aurelius playbook. One of my favorite passages from Meditations comes in Book 5:

Display those virtues which are wholly in your own power–integrity, dignity, hard work, self-denial, contentment, frugality, kindness, independence, simplicity, discretion, magnanimity. Do you not see how many virtues you can already display without any excuse of lack of talent or aptitude? And yet you are still content to lag behind.

Mean Professor Tells Student to “get your sh*t together” | Things Doanie Likes

Cato Unbound » Why Online Education Works

Very interesting perspective. I like this bit on lectures and attention spans:

Online education can also break the artificial lecture length of 50–90 minutes. Many teaching experts say that adult attention span is 10–15 minutes in a lecture, with many suggesting that attention span has declined in the Internet era. A good professor can refocus the attention of motivated students over longer periods. Nevertheless, it is clear that the standard lecture length has not been determined by optimal learning time but by the high fixed costs of traveling to school. Lower the fixed costs and lectures will evolve to a more natural level, probably between 5–20 minutes of length—perhaps not coincidentally the natural length of a lecture is probably not that different from the length of a typical popular music track or television segment.

Cato Unbound » Why Online Education Works

The Cost of Higher Education — Crooked Timber

Suppose you wanted to go live at a luxury resort for four years. You’d expect that to cost, wouldn’t you? (No one is going to write an editorial raging about how if you wanted to live at Club Med it would cost you at least $50,000 a year – probably more.) So why are people surprised that it costs a lot – really a lot – to send a kid to college for four years? College is the sort of thing that seems like it should cost a lot: beautiful buildings on nice land, nice gym, nice green spaces, expensive equipment, large staff that have to be well-paid because they provide expert services. If you want to be puzzled about something, figure out how and why it was ever cheap, not why it costs now.

The Cost of Higher Education — Crooked Timber

Envisioning a Post-Campus America – Megan McArdle – The Atlantic

Tenured academics has worked a great scam. They’ve managed to monetize peoples’ affection for regional football teams, and their desire for a work credential, and then somehow diverted that money into paying academics to work on whatever they want, for the rest of their lives, without any oversight by the football fans or the employers.

In addition to enjoying this nice little zinger, definitely read her 12 hypotheses about the college system in the wake of distance-learning disruption. Good stuff.

Envisioning a Post-Campus America – Megan McArdle – The Atlantic

Oh you have a dream? You should pay a lot of money for that dream and maybe at the end of a lot of debt you’ll be better at that dream.

Annie Clark on education at Berklee College of Music. Another take in an earlier interview:

At some point you have to learn all you can and then forget everything that you learned in order to actually start making music.

I think a lot of people, if they’re not careful, can err on the side of the quantifiable and approach it like an athlete. Run that little bit faster, do that little bit more and think you’re being more successful. But the truth is that a lot of times it’s not necessarily about merely being the best athlete, it’s about attempting a new sport.

Leveling the field: What I learned from for-profit education—By Christopher R. Beha (Harper’s Magazine)

This is a fascinating funny/sad inside look at for-profit education. [$]

The first chapter of our textbook, Your College Experience, was entitled “Exploring Your Purpose for Attending College,” and that’s where we would begin. It seemed strange to me that a credit-bearing college course should be dedicated to telling students why they should go to college, but the entire first-year sequence turns out to be an almost surreal riff on the socialization process of higher education, where secondary characteristics of college graduates become the actual subjects of the courses.

Leveling the field: What I learned from for-profit education—By Christopher R. Beha (Harper’s Magazine)

Confessions of a Prep School College Counselor – Magazine – The Atlantic

Certainly, I understood why students who had worked so hard and done so well would want to go to schools like Harvard and Princeton, but many places seem to be prestigious simply because student fads and crazes have made them hard to get into. Brazenly capitalizing on the whims and passions of teenagers seems a questionable practice for institutions dedicated, in part, to the well-being of young people.

Confessions of a Prep School College Counselor – Magazine – The Atlantic