Daily Archives: October 21, 2008

Mile High Club

* On the flight, as we all buckled our seat belts, the woman and man in the row in front of me introduced themselves to each other. She was thin and dramatic — in her late forties, maybe, or early fifties — and she held forth, largely uninterrupted, through takeoff, drinks, the meal, and the better part of a movie, about her daughters, her vocal training, Sarah Palin’s relevance, Meryl Streep’s unwillingness to be photographed in shorts, and sundry other, equally scintillating topics.

I tried to sleep but had no luck until suddenly, inexplicably, the theatrical and very nasal voice trailed off. I opened my eyes to confirm that he’d finally throttled her, but no. The two of them were kissing. And soon their hands were shifting rhythmically under blankets.

Thirty or forty-five minutes later, the lovers were deterred by the emergence, from behind the gauzy curtain that separates first class from steerage, of a man who looked a great deal like, but was not, Al Franken. “Remember me?” he said, stalking down the aisle. “I’m your husband.”

Read the rest of Maud’s truelife extraordinary story here.

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Of Tires and College Students

Just as the No Child Left Behind Act mandates strict accountability of elementary and secondary schools, all colleges should be required to administer the value-added test I propose to all entering freshmen and to students about to graduate, and to report the mean value added, broken out by precollege SAT scores, race, and gender. That would strongly encourage institutions to improve their undergraduate education and to admit only students likely to derive enough benefit to justify the time, tuition, and opportunity costs. Societal bonus: Employers could request that job applicants submit the test results, leading to more-valid hiring decisions.

America’s Most Overrated Product: the Bachelor’s Degree – Chronicle.com

Hmm…while I agree with author Marty Nemko that college is overrated our reasons are different.  He thinks colleges need to be more like tire companies and be held accountable regarding their products. Tires — college grads, what’s the dif?  I, on the other hand, think that we can gain deep knowledge and understanding in many venues, the college classroom being just one of them.

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