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December 02, 2008


Brad Jolly

That's a nice story, John. It's also a good reminder of our responsibilities as uncles, fathers and other "silverback" roles that we have in our extended families.

It probably will not surprise you to learn that I had a very different experience with my courses in the humanities and social sciences, but the details are not relevant in this context.

Thanks again for the reminder of our responsibilities to our younger relatives.

A Higgins

Nice Post!

Connie Masson


I always enjoy your blog posts and your writing style. We all would be lucky to have Uncle Edmond's in our lives, wouldn't we? I have a daughter in college right now who was lucky enough to know what her passion was and knew what she wanted to pursue: video post production. I hope that my other two daughters are as lucky when they enter college in 2011.

Reading your post was certainly a contrast to Karl Fisch's recent post in The Fisch Bowl: http://thefischbowl.blogspot.com/2008/12/lets-stop-preparing-kids-for-college.html . You probably have already read it, but I thought I'd mention it, in case you haven't. Interesting reflections.

I still believe that a college education is a must. I know you can make it without it, but I also know from ten years of experience in college and three degrees, how much I learned from the experiences. Nothing could replace them!

Happy Holidays!

Brian Herman

I went the "more practical" route and got my engineering degree. My 3 favorite classes were NOT Electromagnetic Field Theory, Data Strucutres, nor Differential Equations.

My favorite classes were Art History (101), Sociology (101), and Psychology (101)

While the first 3 classes trained me how to solve problems, it was the latter 3 that taught me how to THINK. It turns out that critical thinking and appreciation of the world around me have been far more useful tools in my engineering career than my deep understanding of spanning trees and wave propagation in a vacuum.

The value of education shouldn't be measured by techniques mastered and rules memorized. Rather, teaching a child to think for herself should be the measure of our success.

Connie Masson

Thank you John for the article you attached. Here is another one by the principal of New Vista: http://chronicle.com/free/v53/i34/34b01801.htm?ccn

Interesting thoughts and concepts. I still believe we all need a college education - not just for learning and maturing, but also because our American system has made it that way. When surveying the want ads for decent (even less than decent) paying jobs today, it seems that 99% require a college degree. So you need one just to even be considered. Unfortunately, the "system" has made it necessary.

I do believe that preparing all high school students to be able to enter and succeed as a freshman in college is a good way to insure that all high school graduates will be better prepared to be successful in life no matter what path they choose.

Thanks for all that you do.

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