Ohio bill limits school year to fall between holiday weekends, to boost tourism

Posted Thursday, April 28, 2011 12:13 PM | Contributed by Jeff

One lawmaker wants to change Ohio's school year so the state's amusement parks, resorts and tourist attractions can flourish from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Read more from The Zanesville Times Recorder.

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Thursday, May 12, 2011 4:40 PM

Just curious where you sort classwork vs. living a campus life.

The answer is "yes".

Gotta go be a soccer mom, but I'll try to expand on this later.


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Friday, May 13, 2011 5:14 AM

Jeff said:
Yeah, I'd say you chose poorly and should have transferred out. I didn't sail through many 300 or 400 level classes.

Transferring out was high on the wish list, but financial constraints ultimately prevented that.

Looking back to high school, I recall the expectations from everyone (teachers, counselors, parents) was always a 4 year degree. Other options like 2 year programs and certifications were never presented as an acceptable life choice, and heaven forbid if you didn't pursue any education past high school.

Now after a few years in the real world (working in IT) I wish I'd taken the path of a 2 year program or accreditation. I'm the only one in my department, including my boss, who has a degree, but I still feel like I'm playing catch up from time to time in terms of real helpful job experience. While I recognize that the degree prevented me from having to "work my way up" as my co-workers did, it came at the cost of several years of "real" experience, plus a decent amount of debt. In my experience/opinion, I didn't get anything out of college that would have made up for that. Clearly that kind of result is going to vary based on each individual's experience and expectations.

Obviously all of this is purely anecdotal based entirely on our individual experiences. I'm certain there's plenty of actual data out there showing that people who complete college are generally more "successful", but equating college completion with being the cause of that success is substantially more difficult.


And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

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Friday, May 13, 2011 10:24 AM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Correlation or cause - the eternal debate.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Friday, May 13, 2011 12:29 PM
Jeff's avatar

IT (hardware and networking) is really a trade school occupation, though it wasn't presented as such ten years ago. Computer science (software development and design) is more academic, but even then you can pick up a great deal in self-study. Managing people, understanding the business, researching your market, analyzing patterns and looking for process efficiencies... these are all skills you can develop in school, and I think that's where "success," if you define that as climbing the ladder and making more money, is enabled. That's not to say some people aren't just naturally prone to being good at such things, but I suspect for most people it takes education.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Friday, May 13, 2011 1:55 PM

While I was looking for a nice Zen Koan to warp a family friend's mind (she was celebrating the end of an academically challenging junior year), I came across this article, which seems appropriate:

http://magazine.uchicago.edu/0310/features/zen.shtml

And, the Koan I finally came up with (including a reflective commentary that almost makes it too obvious):

http://www.ashidakim.com/zenkoans/87threekindsofdisciples.html


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Friday, May 13, 2011 2:44 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Brian Noble said:
http://magazine.uchicago.edu/0310/features/zen.shtml

:)


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Friday, May 13, 2011 3:59 PM
Jeff's avatar

"Education is a way of expanding experience." I love that. That articulates so well what I think I've been trying to say since the first time this argument came up a million years ago.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Friday, May 13, 2011 4:09 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

What I think is best about the article is that I could pull parts from it that say exactly what I've been arguing and I could pull parts that say exactly what you've been arguing.

That whole thing makes it sound like a great resource for advancement, learning and general betterment at best and an expensive and time consuming vetting process that merely gets your foot in the door at worst.

And college is both - and everything in between.

I think the issue is that we've been arguing different sides of the same coin.


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Friday, May 13, 2011 4:17 PM
Jeff's avatar

I don't think it argues your point at all. The read I always get from you is that it's a waste of time, and adds no value. I think that speech argues exactly the opposite. There is value, it's just not what you might have been sold. That's certainly been my point all along.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Friday, May 13, 2011 4:22 PM

It was easy for me to read that article, because the hard sciences and engineering are exempt from his scorn. :-)

But, one of the best lines of the article:

"No one has ever taken 1,000 bright, ambitious young people and sent them not to college but to another, equally challenging, intellectual environment that did not involve classroom instruction, courses, or curricula. "

I believe that those 1,000 students, given four years to "get good at something" would be equally well-equipped going forward. The problem is, what institution provides the crucible in which that can happen? Nothing. Yet.

But here is one that might:
http://techcrunch.com/2011/04/10/peter-thiel-were-in-a-bubble-and-i...education/

I was also having this discussion with a colleague yesterday. My daughter (who is 12) has announced that she wants to be an engineer, and she wants to go to MIT. So, what about the relative merits of, say, a MIchigan Tech education vs. an MIT one, as an in-state resident? I don't know anyone who would tell you, all other things being equal, that Michigan Tech is the "equivalent" of MIT. But, the MTU degree will cost approximately $82,000 in today's dollars for tuition, room, and board. MIT would cost approximately $200,000. Which is a better return on investment?

It's not at all clear. But, if you asked 100 people on the street, 99 would tell you it is abundantly clear, and MIT is the answer.

This also relates to a discussion I was having on another board with a mom who was furious (FURIOUS) that her middle-school daughter's excellent county-league softball team was being beaten by a slightly better softball team, but that slightly better team had an ineligible player from another county. She was appalled, and demanded resolution.

My reaction: who the hell cares? It's middle-school softball. To me, the winning bit is not the important bit. It's all the other bits that revolve around sports: fair play, exceeding the limits you assume you are bound by, facing adversity with dignity, etc. etc. etc. And, I realized that this puts me squarely in the same class of "old-fashioned" with the Amish with their curious distaste for electricity. Because NO ONE in any upper middle-class town worries if their kids are learning stuff and trying hard. They care if their children are WINNING. Who's first chair in the orchestra? Who won the math competition? Who's softball team is the best in the county?

To me that *can't* be the standard of "success" and happiness. Because if it is, it means that most people, by definition, can be neither "successful" nor happy.

Finally, I return to the Zen Koan of this article:
"... we should not want education in order to use it for something besides itself in the present." If you really get that, you are Enlightened.

(In other words, resist the temptation not to read the whole thing. The good part is the bottom 1/4 or so.)

Edited to add:

I think the issue is that we've been arguing different sides of the same coin.

I suspect you didn't read it all the way through. ;)

Last edited by Brian Noble, Friday, May 13, 2011 4:25 PM
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Friday, May 13, 2011 4:59 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Jeff said:
I don't think it argues your point at all.

Of course you don't. :)

The read I always get from you is that it's a waste of time, and adds no value. I think that speech argues exactly the opposite. There is value, it's just not what you might have been sold. That's certainly been my point all along.

I conceded that point long ago. It can add value.

I think it confirms that it's entirely possible to go to college and get little of real value out of it beyond a piece of paper. Which is what I've said from day one.

Brian Noble said:
I suspect you didn't read it all the way through. ;)

Actually, I read the last bit with the greatest interest.

But, one of the best lines of the article:

"No one has ever taken 1,000 bright, ambitious young people and sent them not to college but to another, equally challenging, intellectual environment that did not involve classroom instruction, courses, or curricula. "

I believe that those 1,000 students, given four years to "get good at something" would be equally well-equipped going forward.

And that's essentially been the other bit of my argument.

I believe that college isn't the only path to this 'betterment' - but it's the only one the system (and by system I mean world at large) seems to rely on.

I'll repeat myself here:

That whole thing makes it sound like a great resource for advancement, learning and general betterment at best and an expensive and time consuming vetting process that merely gets your foot in the door at worst.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Friday, May 13, 2011 5:01 PM
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Friday, May 13, 2011 8:50 PM

You missed my other bit though---there is no obvious "crucible" in which those 1,000 smart kids could be pushed and challenged.

This brings me back to my original koan, which sums up the entire thing:

87. Three Kinds of Disciples

A Zen master named Gettan lived in the latter part of the Tokugawa era. He used to say: "There are three kinds of disciples: those who impart Zen to others, those who maintain the temples and shrines, and then there are the rice bags and the clothes-hangers."

Gasan expressed the same idea. When he was studying under Tekisui, his teacher was very severe. Sometimes he even beat him. Other pupils would not stand this kind of teaching and quit. Gasan remained, saying: "A poor disciple utilizes a teacher's influence. A fair disciple admires a teacher's kindness. A good disciple grows strong under a teacher's discipline."


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Friday, May 13, 2011 9:21 PM
Rick_UK's avatar

Is this going to be discussed on the podcast? I can feel a long episode coming on... :-)


Nothing to see here. Move along.

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Friday, May 13, 2011 10:53 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I hope not, Rick. This is the kind of crap best left to type.

Jeff and Carrie would gang up on me anyway. :)

Brian Noble said:
This brings me back to my original koan, which sums up the entire thing:

You're getting too Zen for me, Professor.

All I know is that after discussing this at length on our personal blogs, facebook and here I still have no reason to believe that you can't just pay the money and put in the time and walk away with a degree. Thus making you a 'better' prospect in the real world...simply because you put in that time and money and not because you took anything useful, meaningful or bettering from the process. In fact, I believe it more now than ever. The refrain seems to be that you get out of it what you want.

These days too many people (my feelings, not stats or anything) just want that degree, that piece of paper that sys they're better, because this is what 'we're supposed to do' to be successful. Too many are caught up in the process and the real meaning is lost. It's not the going to college that makes you successful, it's the bettering of yourself while there. I say each year more and more people are 'just going' to college.


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Friday, May 13, 2011 11:42 PM
Jeff's avatar

Assuming for a moment that you could make that generalization about "too many people," I would agree with the Abbott speech that to some degree, the selection bias of who goes to school in the first place leads to a high percentage of those finishing a degree as truly getting an education. That only 60% of people who begin a degree finish it reinforces it.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Friday, May 13, 2011 11:56 PM

"Education is a way of expanding experience."

What a bunch of liberal sounding gobbly goop. What does it even mean. Is it only education in formal educational settings like colleges/universities that expands experience or all types of education? The former sounds pretty arrogant and elitist (not to mention simply not true). The latter doesn't help much in providing true value for college educations beyond education in general that we all acquire as we move through life.

Brian Noble said:
"No one has ever taken 1,000 bright, ambitious young people and sent them not to college but to another, equally challenging, intellectual environment that did not involve classroom instruction, courses, or curricula. "

I believe that those 1,000 students, given four years to "get good at something" would be equally well-equipped going forward. The problem is, what institution provides the crucible in which that can happen? Nothing. Yet.

True. But does it have to be an institution? Thiel isn't proposing one as I understand it. Its not clear that those 1000 smart kids actually need any crucible at all to succeed. At least not all of our smart kids or even pretty smart or somewhat smart kids (all of whom we are now directing to college). And how much will the big and subsidized business of post-secondary education resist any attempts at finding other options?

It's not at all clear. But, if you asked 100 people on the street, 99 would tell you it is abundantly clear, and MIT is the answer.

I talk with more and more people today who have the cherished pedigrees (Ivy League, MITs, Wharton, Stanford, etc.) who say that they would not take the same route today. And they also have either guided their kids to different routes or are intend to do the same when the time comes. They are looking at it from a cost/benefit point of view. I would look at it as a matter of what doors MIT opens which Michigan Tech does not (and I think in reality its fewer doors than certainly folks in the MIT admissions office would like to admit and most of those 100 people on the street -- whatever street it is -- would admit as well) and whether those doors are even relevant to the given student.

I think the U of Chicago speech should be read by every person who is applying to any college. And it should color the debate on our current system of encouraging and subsidizing education.

Last edited by GoBucks89, Saturday, May 14, 2011 8:32 AM
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Saturday, May 14, 2011 12:28 AM
Jeff's avatar

GoBucks89 said:
What a bunch of liberal sounding gobbly goop. What does it even mean. Is it only education in formal educational settings like colleges/universities that expands experience or all types of education? The former sounds pretty arrogant and elitist (not to mention simply not true). The latter doesn't help much in providing true value for college educations beyond education in general that we all acquire as we move through life.

Wow, really? I feel like you haven't read any of the links or read any of the conversation. Every thing you're asking was addressed.

But does it have to be an institution? Thiel isn't proposing one as I understand it.

VC's paying smart kids to start businesses isn't an institution? Do you know what happens when you take VC money?

They are looking at it from a cost/benefit point of view.

I'll go on record as saying that's a piss-poor way to look at education. It gets back to Brian's point about worrying more about winning than, well, anything else. I wouldn't trade in my college years for anything, and the ROI in financial terms was not high. But I got to figure out some of the basics of life in a relatively low-risk and safe environment. I prolonged the time where I had to "grow up." I even figured out how to drink without throwing up, and what women really like.

There's the irony about much of this discussion is that Gonch and such suggest that real life or some other "crucible" could be easily useful for training one for work and success. Maybe it's not even the right question. I mean, that's what the Abbott speech was really arguing anyway, right? That what people are sold in terms of the value of college isn't the right reason to go. I guess I've always known that in the first place, and perhaps I take it for granted.

And it should color the debate on our current system of encouraging and subsidizing education.

I can't get behind that. I think the conversation already focuses too much on college as job prep. I always thought the loftier goal of college was to make people better humans. Better humans by extension are more successful (in a more abstract definition).


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Saturday, May 14, 2011 8:41 AM

It is simple math for me. In my field I make much more money and have far greater opportunities WITH a degree than without.

That said, I know there are people in other fields who don't have college degrees who will make more than me...and I'm fine with that.

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Saturday, May 14, 2011 9:46 AM

Jeff said:
Wow, really? I feel like you haven't read any of the links or read any of the conversation. Every thing you're asking was addressed.

There is also another explanation. Rather than saying I didn't read the links (which I did) or the coversation as a whole (again which I did), why not just view is as the case that I just don't agree with much of it?

I agree that its answered in the speech. Just seems to me that your quote ignores those answers (or at least skews them in favor of education only coming from formal higher ed) which is the reason I posited the question. Some of the most education people that I know never attended a day of college, and some of the least educated people I know have college degrees.

VC's paying smart kids to start businesses isn't an institution? Do you know what happens when you take VC money?

Maybe I should have said traditional institutions of higher learning or even formal institutions of learning. And clearly what Thiel does with the smart kids will be nothing approaching what traditional/formal institutions do. Which is the point.

I'll go on record as saying that's [looking at it from a cost/benefit point of view] a piss-poor way to look at education. It gets back to Brian's point about worrying more about winning than, well, anything else. I wouldn't trade in my college years for anything, and the ROI in financial terms was not high. But I got to figure out some of the basics of life in a relatively low-risk and safe environment. I prolonged the time where I had to "grow up." I even figured out how to drink without throwing up, and what women really like.

My specific cost/benefit analysis statement wasn't in connection going to college or not going to college. It was in the context of spending $200k on college or $75k on college. All of the experiences that you list can be gained from lesser colleges (or even without going to college at all). And prior to getting married and having kids, you are living in a pretty low risk and safe environment so college isn't unique there. I didn't grow up until I had kids (someone whose life would be screwed up if I screwed up) though my wife sometimes debates whether I have even grown up yet. But if you have figured out what women really like, it seems to me you can ditch the Microsoft gig and can just move to writing a book and retiring a multi-millionaire. :)

In addition, the cost/benefit analysis isn't all about $$. Folks I know take into account the intangibles as well (not as easy to plug into a spreadsheet but still can be evaluated). Thats in addition to looking at salaries/benefits and the possibility of using money saved on the pedigree degree for grad school or for a house.

There's the irony about much of this discussion is that Gonch and such suggest that real life or some other "crucible" could be easily useful for training one for work and success. Maybe it's not even the right question. I mean, that's what the Abbott speech was really arguing anyway, right? That what people are sold in terms of the value of college isn't the right reason to go. I guess I've always known that in the first place, and perhaps I take it for granted.

I am not going to put words into Gonch's mouth or anyone else for that matter. But to me the point of the discussion has been we should re-evaulate our current approach with respect to post-secondary education. There are a lot of folks going into college with expectations that align with the first half of that speech who are disillusioned when the graduate. They should better understand what they will get out of the experience before they enter. Most will probably go anyway. Some will pick another path. Problem right now is we don't have a lot of other paths. And there are a lot of jobs that require college degrees that don't require one in reality simply because they can (and in the current environment do not need to pay any more).

I can't get behind that. I think the conversation already focuses too much on college as job prep. I always thought the loftier goal of college was to make people better humans. Better humans by extension are more successful (in a more abstract definition).

Color doesn't mean dominate. Right now our view of subsidizing college is largely based on college being job prep. But to the extent its making "better humans" the analysis should change. And we are currently at a place in our history where we can't afford everything so we need to evaluate that which we can afford and that which we can't. And one of the most important educational aspects where we fall down miserably right now is in terms of finance/economics education. Everyone seems to be shocked that we subsidize the heck out of education for students and then the costs skyrocket.

And none of what I wrote here or otherwise should be read to imply or mean that we should gut our post-secondary educational system or the funding thereof. College/universities do serve and should continue to serve a very important role in our educational system. But with unemployment/underemployment numbers where they are and large numbers of college grads moving back home with mom and dad, I don't think a little more focus on job traning/prep would be a bad thing.

Last edited by GoBucks89, Saturday, May 14, 2011 10:21 AM
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Saturday, May 14, 2011 10:52 AM
Jeff's avatar

A lot of your response follows the pattern that A doesn't equal B, so we should change "our" approach to college. If by approach you mean emphasis, I'm not sure I agree. Knowing smart people without degrees and dumb people with is kind of a straw man. There will always be a curve, a range of impact, as there is with anything.

That even dials me back to a bigger question. Is college really that over-emphasized? I've been out now for 16 years, so I really want to know. I thought we were still just trying to get people to finish high school.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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