I am the first person to admit that I’m an insensitive jerk, but the next person who says “trigger warning” to me is going to get sucker-punched. Oops, I should have put a TW on that: violence. OK, is going to get a serious talking to about the relationship between the Real, the Symbolic, and the Imaginary (TW: Lacanian theory may cause headaches). I insist that there is a difference between an act and its representation. Let me put it this way: A character in a novel who beats his wife or a sociological study of domestic abuse is not the same thing as getting beaten. It demeans and diminishes real trauma to argue that consuming literature, art, history, and social science is an act of violence.
Demeaning teachers, suggesting that “those who can’t do, teach,” or asserting that classroom teaching is a waste of an Ivy League degree—all of these statements foster a diminished valuation of education as a whole, and ensure that smart, talented college grads will look to use their skills elsewhere.
Through years of drug addiction, I did considerable damage to myself, resulting in heavy bouts of depression and anxiety. For years, I relied on antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications to keep me in a somewhat balanced state, but after cultivating a dedicated meditation practice I eventually found myself at a place where, under doctor supervision, I was able to taper off the medication and no longer needed it.
The Harlem Hellfighters
1, Men of the 369th Infantry who won the Croix de Guerre (highest French military honor). In front row from left to right are: Privates Ed. Williams, Herbert Taylor, Leon Fraitor and Ralph Hawkins. In rear row are Private H. D. Prunes, Sgt. D. Stormes, Private Joe Williams. Private Arthur Menly and Corp. Taylor. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/369th_Infantry_Regiment_(United_States)
2. Movie poster advertises ‘Our Colored Fighters,’ a WW1 recruiting documentary on the all-black 369th Regiment nicknamed the ‘Harlem Hellfighters,- http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/blacks-military-uphold-u-s-ideals-battling-rights-article-1.1256674
3. In the trenches, war photography, - http://www.albany.edu/history/HIS530/HarlemProject/Documents_Fish.html
4. The Hellfighters during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, U.S. Army - http://www.history.army.mil/html/topics/afam/aa-art-2.html
Will Smith’s production company, Overbrook Entertainment, has signed on to produce the film adaptation of the graphic novel inspired by the true story of the African-American 369th Infantry Regiment.
U.S. public school teachers are the sixth highest paid teachers in the world, according this January 29, 2014 UNESCO analysis (p. 254) that adjusts wages by domestic purchasing power so you can compare different currencies and countries more fairly.
Arizona State University, like many colleges across the United States, has a problem with students who enter their freshman year ill prepared in math. Though the school offers remedial classes, one-third of students earn less than a C, a key predictor that they will leave before getting a degree. To improve the dismal situation, ASU turned to adaptive-learning software by Knewton, a prominent edtech company. The result: Pass rates zipped up from 64% to 75% between 2009 and 2011, and dropout rates were cut in half.
But imagine the underside to this seeming success story. What if the data collected by the software never disappeared and the fact that one had needed to take remedial classes became part of a student’s permanent record, accessible decades later? Consider if the technical system made predictions that tried to improve the school’s success rate not by pushing students to excel, but by pushing them out, in order to inflate the overall grade average of students who remained.
These sorts of scenarios are extremely possible.
Read more. [Image: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters]
When I decided to stop writing about five years ago I [sat] down to reread the 31 books I’d published between 1959 and 2010. I wanted to see whether I’d wasted my time. You never can be sure, you know. My conclusion, after I’d finished, echoes the words spoken by an American boxing hero of mine, Joe Louis. He was world heavyweight champion from the time I was 4 until I was 16. He had been born in the Deep South, an impoverished black kid with no education to speak of, and even during the glory of the undefeated 12 years, when he defended his championship an astonishing 26 times, he stood aloof from language. So when he was asked upon his retirement about his long career, Joe sweetly summed it up in just 10 words. “I did the best I could with what I had.”
Because education = jobs (as well as income and social mobility, not to mention quality of life), it seems to me preposterous to talk responsibly of any real “equality of opportunity” without also talking about extinguishing this nation’s method of financing K-12 education—the property tax. Seldom has such an insidious joke been perpetrated on the Great American Majority, and especially the poor: while upper-middle- to upper-class public schools are showered with loot derived from their affluent physical surroundings, others must make do with the limited resources derived from quite limited “estates,” which are limited, in large part, because of earlier-limited educational opportunities.