Dr. Dean’s Sabbatical of Regeneration

Much like young Zonker Harris, I too have been on something of a sabbatical.  It was not a planned sabbatical, it sort of snuck up on me.  In fact, I only realized I was on a sabbatical a few weeks ago.  I was having dinner with some professor friends, one of whom was applying for an actual teaching sabbatical.  During this discussion of the process is when I had the epiphany.  “Ive been on sabbatical,I announced, pointing eagerly at my chest!  Weve noticed,they replied in unison.  How is it they noticed?  I hadnt noticed.  I hadnt even known Id been on sabbatical until just then. Prior to this dinner I just thought I was being distracted.

Whats been distracting me?  My own advice.  Actually a piece of my own advice.  Its a piece of advice I give every edition of Hacking College you can still buy a copy.  Its a piece of advice I give in the performance by the same name.  Its a piece of advice I give privately all the time.  Most of you have attended college as a means of getting a better job and more money.  My advice is not to be dependent on that job or career.  Jobs and careers come and go especially now and more so in the future.  What you want is multiple streams of income, multiple projects of interest going at the same time.   

Its common knowledge that I have several projects going on all the time.  For much of the last decade Hacking College has my main project of interest.  This might be the longest any one project has held the majority of my energy and attention.   A few years ago, though, it became clear to me that one of my little side projects deserved more attention.  So I gave it more attention.  The more attention I gave it the more interesting and rewarding it became.  Slowly, without my actually noticing it, the little side project became my main project.

To be honest there is a bit of denial built into that last sentence. It
s not that I didnt notice.  Its more honest to say that I actively worked at not noticing this process was happening.  Like I said, Hacking College is the longest I have done anything,  And the prospect of ending it or even not doing it full time was something of an existential crisis for me that went something like this:   Ive gotten very comfortable being the Hacking College version of Dr. Dean.  And I like that guy.  I like him a lot.  If Im not that guy, who am I?  Whos this other guy, this new regenerated Dr. Dean?  Is he still called Dr. Dean?  These and other existential questions are still being sorted.

 Part of this sorting has meant weaning off Hacking College.  I sought out less speaking.  I posted less to this blog.  I spent way less time on Facebook.  None of this was by design.  It was more like that the regenerated Dr. Dean and his exciting new project kept demanding more time which I gleefully gave.  Also, and there may be a bit more denial going on here, I didn’t think anyone would notice. Apparently, some of you have noticed and are concerned for my well-being. Fittingly, this was brought to my attention by a former student.  All is very well with the regenerating Dr. Dean.   I deeply regret causing anyone a moment of needless concern for me. 

 I am sorry I have dropped off the face of Facebook — actually I dont miss Facebook.  People, I miss.  Facebook, I dont miss.  Regenerated Dr. Dean is not into social media and very much into Internet privacy/anonymity.  To that end, there may come a day when I leave social media entirely but that day is not on the immediate horizon.  Until that day, I will try to make a more regular effort to check in on Facebook.  There are also a few things I would like to improve in a new edition of Hacking College that I may get to this summer. The book is in a good place and with minimal care and feeding every so often can now continue for some time.  This blog however will be whenever I get around to reworking the site.  

Speaking?  Yeah, about that.  Lets face it, all iterations of Dr. Dean LOVE working an audience. Hacking College is such a perfect project for me because I get to research, write, build multimedia and perform.  All my favorite things, all the creative gifts I was born with, expressed in one tidy package.  I have no intention of letting that go entirely.  If we can work it out,  Ill still come speak. Personally, I have always felt I could rock a commencement address.

I have always tried during a performance to express my deep gratitude to the schools which have brought me in to speak and the individuals in the audience who have given me their time and attention. So one more time, I do thank you. 

 So that’s the story of my sabbatical, or regeneration, or sabbatical for regeneration.  Oh I like the sound of that, the sabbatical for regeneration.Oh wait, this is it:  Dr. Deans Sabbatical of Regeneration ;) 

More Parents Use Retirement Accounts to Pay for College

Some families dip into their retirement accounts to help pay for college. A Sallie Mae and Ipsos survey of 1,601 college students and parents of undergraduate students found that 7 percent of families took a withdrawal from a retirement account to help cover college costs in 2014, up from 5 percent in 2013.  More @ USNews.

What's your priority?  Your priority is both.  Wealth comes through savings. The very very special savings never to tap is your retirement savings.  You are not just speaking those saved pennies but all the other pennies it may accumulate.  

Just say no to this idea, 

A.S Degrees: A Coming Trend In College Education

One of the world’s largest automakers has stepped into the fringe of American education. Volkswagen has imported its German-style apprenticeship program to the U.S., and American labor officials hope it might become a model.

“It’s a totally different mindset. It’s a totally different culture,” says Ilker Subasi, who heads the Volkswagen Academy on site at the company’s Chattanooga plant.  More@MarketPlace

Don't Send Your Kid to the Ivy League

Money Quote:
"I should say that this subject is very personal for me. Like so many kids today, I went off to college like a sleepwalker. You chose the most prestigious place that let you in; up ahead were vaguely understood objectives: status, wealth“success.” What it meant to actually get an education and why you might want oneall this was off the table. It was only after 24 years in the Ivy Leaguecollege and a Ph.D. at Columbia, ten years on the faculty at Yalethat I started to think about what this system does to kids and how they can escape from it, what it does to our society and how we can dismantle it."

More @ The New Republic 

The Starbucks Tuitional Deal Is Not As The Media Advertised It

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ASU "said that, for each third- or fourth-year student, it would provide College Achievement Plan scholarships of $2,420 per semester, based on a student enrolled for 12 credits. Prices vary for ASU Online’s degree programs, but that CAP scholarship would cover about 40 percent of the cost of several of the lower-priced programs. Depending on their financial need, students could also be eligible for need-based university grants of up to $1,000 per semester, plus Pell Grants and other government student aid."  More @ The Chronicle of Higher Education   

 It's still not a bad deal and more corporations should help their employes is this sort of way.


Who Gets To Graduate?

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Here's a hint:

"When you look at the national statistics on college graduation rates, there are two big trends that stand out right away. The first is that there are a whole lot of students who make it to college — who show up on campus and enroll in classes — but never get their degrees . . . The second trend is that whether a student graduates or not seems to depend today almost entirely on just one factor — how much money his or her parents make."  More @NYTimes

The wonks in training at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government will soon be exposed to the 99%: Checking Your Privilege 101

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"The wonks in training at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government will soon be subjected to a new and touchy-feely line of inquiry: Checking Your Privilege 101. In response to growing demand from student activists, administrators committed Friday to adding a session in power and privilege to its orientation program for incoming first-year students."

GASP!!!!  A whole session.  One session.  Good luck with that Harvard.
More@NYMag