NNNN Episode #26 With Journalist Matt Berg

Follow Matt on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/mattberg33?s=20

I’ve been sitting on this episode for a while now for no particular reason other than sheer laziness (and reading a couple books in the meantime)  but I’m so excited to finally release this interview with UMass Journalism’s boy wonder- Matt Berg.

Matt has an extremely bright future ahead wherever it takes him but he has already had his work featured for The Boston Globe and UMass Daily Collegian amongst others. It was so awesome to finally get the chance to sit down with him.

I don’t think it will disappoint:

Spotify:

Apple Podcasts:

https://anchor.fm/s/9f00fb0/podcast/rss

Intro song:

Slippery Slope by Yaw Amp

Outro Song:

Demise by Fellz & Cubie

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Watch: High School (1968)

Trailer:

WATCH FILM HERE

There were a lot of things that interested me freshman year that I never got around to writing about- but better late than never right?

I’m very interested in film because I look at them as a way to learn. The best films in my opinion are the ones that cause you to reflect on things in your real life. I hope to provide plenty of recommendations going forward but there is one in particular that has been stuck in my head recently because I find that some of the major themes in it are more relevant than ever today.

I agree that there’s bigger things to talk about then films but I also don’t think it’s a bad place to start so…

The film:

High School by Frederick Wiseman

The genre:

Cinéma vérité (nerd word) documentary

The context:

Wiseman serves as a fly on the wall inside Northeast High School in Philadelphia during a time when the United States was involved in the Vietnam war.

Things to consider when watching:

-Is it always best to comply with authority?

-What is truly honorable?

-Who pays the price of war?

-Were the students back then different than they are now?

-If it seems like a bad system how do we fix it? If it’s good- why?

Pat you don’t really think I’m going to get anything out of some old ass black and white film do you?

Maybe not but if you put the phone down for an hour and fifteen minutes- you just might (these kids and them damn phones!).

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P.S- #EmbraceDebate

 

 

 

 

Yale University Offers Full Video Courses For Free Online

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#BringBackBadLuckBrian2019

It’s no secret that I find the price of college nowadays to be completely absurd (hot take- I know) but up to this point I have only been able to criticize, complain, and condemn the system. As fun as it is to do so- it doesn’t help anybody.

So I started doing some digging about opportunities available online and I stumbled upon one university that is absolutely doing it right; Yale (sorry Harvard nerds).

https://oyc.yale.edu

Yale has started a program that offers (as far as I can tell) 40 university classes for free. I  think there is something special about learning in a classroom face to face but as far as the internet goes; this is as good as it gets.

I talked about dropping Geology the other day but I didn’t mention I’ve picked up PSYC 110:

For free.

I know I’m a nerd (who takes a class in their free time?) but if you’re ever bored and want to check out a course that interests you without the pressure of grades or classmate ridicule- I’d recommend checking it out.

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NNNN Episode #17 with Adam Feeney

Great conversation with Adam talking about:

-The ups and downs of his work so far making cover art

-How he got his foot in the door with some big name artists

-The creative process involved

-Thoughts on education

-Creative networking story

-Advice for people looking to start a creative venture:

Hope everyone enjoys, subscribes, and leaves a five star review (if you have any honor) :

http://anchor.fm/s/9f00fb0/podcast/rss

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Feedback Loops

I know- I’m tired on a Friday afternoon too so there will be no 2,000+ word think piece on the history of America today.

Thank God.

Just a quick little piece to pontificate about over the weekend.

*deep exasperated sigh* alright, let’s just get this over with.

Let’s talk a little bit about feedback loops.

One of the reasons I’m starting to get so fired up about about education is due to the simple idea of a feedback loop. I’m not in the mood to go about making graphs and shit so I’ll just use arrows to show it.

Personal factors -> Behavior -> Environmental influences

I was given an example in class the other day that went a little something like this:

Personal factors: student with low self esteem

Behavior: student gets bad grades

Environmental influences: teachers/parents scold student for getting bad grade

And the loop continues.

It’s a fairly easy concept to understand. Personal factors lead to certain behaviors and then those behaviors are either reinforced or corrected by environmental influences.

I think it’s ridiculous to try telling a student with low self-esteem “Hey… stop that” and expect to witness any change. Similarly, a teacher giving a student a good grade purely out of sympathy and not the quality of their work is not setting them up for the phrase we hear all too often:

The real world (which, by the way, doesn’t saying “the real world” imply that we live the first 22 years or so of our lives with some sort of distorted fantasy view of life? Sorry, I digress).

For those reasons, I think the best option for dramatic change regarding struggling students is to alter the environmental influences around the student.

If a kid is struggling in class and getting bad grades maybe the best option isn’t to scold them and say “You didn’t study hard enough” , “Try harder”, or the ultimate shitty teacher cop out of “I don’t give grades you earn them” (we know, but as a teacher you’re expected to- um- how should I say it? Teach).

Maybe the best option is to… oh…I don’t know…

Provide some positive feedback that focuses on the reality of the negative behavior  but takes into account personal factors in order to determine a method of improvement best tailored to that student going forward.

I know- it’s a crazy concept.

You might think that most schools already do this but I disagree.

The smart kids are smart and the “dumb” kids?

They’re just not trying hard enough.

A teacher doing this just one time is not going to be enough to inspire change. It has to be a daily effort for every student in their classroom.

But Pat these teachers are grossly underpaid- why should they bother going the extra mile?

Did they think education was a gold mine industry going into it?

If you’re a teacher and you’re not giving total effort to every student in your class please do everyone a favor and just stop teaching. I would hate to think that you went through all those years of schooling and got all those fancy degrees only to hand out a worksheet and scroll through Facebook the rest of class.

If I don’t say it; who will?

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