The Expert, Francesco Schettino


The Expert, Francesco Schettino
tosb05
The Expert, Francesco Schettino

On July 5th, a two hour lecture was give at a University in Italy. It was part of a course in criminology and forensic science. The talk concerned the management of panic control. It’s not unusual to have a guest speaker. I’ve had guest speakers and have heard them in the classes I took when I was in college.

But this was different. The expert, Francesco Schettino, is famous but not for his academic expertise.

Francesco Schettino, formerly, Captain Fransesco Schettino, commanded the cruise liner, the Costa Concordia.

On January 13, 2012, the ship suffered a mishap. That night, the Captain took manual control of his vessel. Taking manual control of a 114,000 ton ship with a highly computerized navigation system may be considered unwise. He ran his ship too close to shore striking a rock which cut a gash in the hull across so many watertight compartments that saving the ship was impossible. Schettino declined to order abandon ship for about an hour even though it was obvious that the ship was sinking. As time passed, some officers and crew disobeyed the Captain and began loading life boats and evacuating passengers. This is called mutiny.

After an hour, the Captain notified port authorities that the ship was sinking and after a few more minutes ordered an evacuation. By then the ship was listing badly and it was very difficult to launch lifeboats. While the evacuation was ongoing, he abandoned ship and refused to reboard in spite of being ordered back aboard by the Coast Guard. Six hours later the evacuation was largely complete.

Thirty-two passengers and crew were killed. Sixty-four were injured and a member of the salvage team died later. However, it should be noted that the wind drove the ship back on shore where it grounded. If it had capsized and sank in the main channel, a high proportion of the more than 4,000 passengers and crew would have perished making the Titanic a distant second for loss of life.

Schettino is currently awaiting trial for manslaughter and causing the loss of the ship. He is seeking a plea deal.

The Expert, Francesco Shettino?

Is this incident ethical. It can be assumed that using those awaiting trial for severe moral failings and incompetence as an enriching experience for the young and impressionable is wrong. Why use bad examples when there a so many good, kind and successful people who could provide a better presentation? Teachers like myself have a responsibility to attend to the moral and ethical development of our students.

So, we can safely conclude that this may not have been the best person to give a lecture on panic management. Of course, it might be said that he is “experienced.” But it appears to be the wrong kind of experience.

I’m sure there are those who would treat this optimistically. I prefer satirically – like this:

There are many, many failures in many walks of life. The prisons and sometimes, asylums, are full of them. This might be considered (certainly by the instructor who invited Schettino) as an under utilized resource.

Bernie Madoff could lecture on securities and protecting your money.

Jeff Skilling could explain financial accountability.

Bruno Michel Iksil could have lectured on responsible trading.

It is a pity that this idea did not originate earlier as entire generations of criminal and financial failures have been lost to us without ever having delivered a single guest appearance before a college class.

James Pilant

The Blogger from “Why We Are Screwed” Has a Comment!!


049The Blogger from “Why We Are Screwed” Has a Comment!!

I am delighted to have found the blog, Why we are screwed. The owner/operator has very kindly given permission to use the comment below. It was made and is still attached to the blog post – http://southwerk.com/2014/05/08/higher-education-in-crisis/

Thank you for visiting my blog but please take an extra few seconds and visit my colleague at “Why we are screwed” and sign up as a follower

James Pilant

The Comment

Thanks for posting these two articles. Although I do realize that the scope of the articles were more on teaching, public funding for science and engineering research has steadily been declining for decades, but teaching and research go hand in hand. When looking at the National Science Foundation (USA) data; however, in terms of private research money available (adjusting for the Recession), things have never been better! And, job security and good salaries are in place for tenured professors in scientific domains. I’m talking about those who are typically male, 50-65ish.

The problem we have now is underemployment for scientists say, under 50 years old in specific domains that don’t ‘suit’ private interests, and with sparse public funding, professors at the top of the pay scale are skimming off the top, leaving less available for new tenure track positions. As such, these ‘younger’ scientists can’t find suitable employment and many are caught in a never ending postdoctoral cycle, of which older generation profs can easily take advantage now more than ever (cheap labor = more publications with better authorship opportunities for the tenured prof). Not all older generation professors have the skills necessary as it is to provide students with the technology skills needed for future employment because the amount of knowledge required and technology available in computing has really been exploding in the past 10 years or so. Yet students are paying more than ever for education.

I wonder what will happen to quality of post secondary education when the older generation of professors retires in effect at the same time? There will be ever more students demanding a quality education in a breadth of subjects which is necessary to maintain a quality education (not just those that are of interest to the private sector) and there will be generally fewer top-notch academic folks around to fill the shoes of these professors.

I suspect at some point the tenure and publicly funded postsecondary systems as we know them will have to be revamped, but this is going to take years.

Higher Education in Crisis


007Higher Education in Crisis

College and University eduction is under attack while at the same time beset by internal crises. The dramatic changes in society over the last decades have changed our class makeups. The economic changes have made colleges more expensive while state and federal aid has declined. And most bizarrely, we are engaged in a debate on whether or not liberal arts education is worthwhile.

Below are two different points of view. Please visit their web sites and read their posts in full.

James Pilant

Leadership From the Ranks

http://facultydevelopmentdesign.com/2014/04/28/leadership-from-the-ranks/

Higher education also is in the midst of a crisis. Both citizenry and a growing number of work environments require the skills to navigate an increasingly rhetorical- and statistics-based world. But the social insistence on more college has expanded the number of student bodies with different needs, as well as redirected higher education’s focus to student retention and graduation rates. On one side, faculty now struggle not merely to deliver course content for diverse learning habits, but also to ensure diverse student engagement and in-depth content assimilation for an improved likelihood of continued student success. On the other side, academic professionals struggle to identify and resolve bottlenecks in the system and reach-out to previously ignored populations who could benefit from more education.

This re-imagining of higher education coincides with an economic crisis in which people need jobs and employers want higher-quality job candidates. In the face of rising student debt, students and their parents, legislators, and potential employers now question the value of higher education. Meanwhile, our computer-infused work environment demands greater technological and critical-thinking skills for even entry-level jobs — yes, even the jobs that can’t pay back the resulting debt. This conflict has resulted in new entrants in the market who then compete with at least the public colleges and universities, which have had to raise tuition to replace diminishing state funds.

From Around the Web.

From the web site, subtext2.

http://subtext2.wordpress.com/2010/06/01/higher-education-is-in-crisis/

Higher Education has, over the last year, been steadily and increasingly heading toward utter crisis. It is clear that this point has now been reached. Total cuts to university budgets will be over £1.5 billion. It is clear that the disaster set in motion by New Labour is being accelerated by the Conservative Coalition.

The Effects:

These are all stories reported by the BBC during the last five days:

Due to underfunding by Government, it is estimated that at least 250,000 university applicants will be refused a place for economic reasons. Spending cuts have reduced extra university places at a time when there has been a huge surge in demand. The number of applicants not getting a place will have doubled in two years.

Meanwhile, Colleges across Britain are suffering from the huge cuts to funding, from decreased student numbers (due in part to cuts), and from competition from new academies. Why the Conservative Coalition are investing in new buildings and new school colleges and not in exisiting facilities is certainly a cause for bafflement.

In response the Government has suggested (as did New Lab before them), condensing courses into two years. This from the party that, in recent memory, bemoaned “mickey mouse courses”. It seems, when the choice is between HE and big business, the Tories are happy to make fools of us all. UCU has emphatically voted against these “sweatshop” courses, but unfortunately that won’t stop a host of related trends, such as the move toward “distance learning”, “part-time” courses and other such thrift measures, which speak loudly of a lack of Government funding for Universities and of a lack of financial support for increasingly beleaguered students.*

As a result primarily of the financial meltdown, but also of other smaller factors – increased competition, for example – the Golden Promise that HE guarantees better employment has dissolved. At the same time that tuition fees have massively increased (and are set to increase more this year), students are finding that they are unable to find jobs. …

 

Business Ethics and Films, Assignments for this Semester, BLAW 1


waterfall amazonBusiness Ethics and Films, Assignments for this Semester, BLAW 1

Each of these assignments is worth 8 points. You are to first write a brief intro explaining the plot and including the best line from the film that you can find after the first ten minutes. You will use for the second paragraph the five sentence paragraph format found in the syllabus.

I want you to watch the entire film. I’m trying to teach you something of importance that will last your entire life.

Each link is to an online video of the film which is totally free. If you have a service like Netlfix or Hulu and you can get the film there that will be fine.

The question I want you to answer is listed beneath the film.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5XcNcXBSQo

My Man Godfrey

According to the film, what moral principles does Godfrey believe in? What does he say about what he wants to accomplish?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYKijBENJ78

Love Affair

Charles Boyar has two choices in the film. Which does he choose and why? You may add a paragraph explaining what you would have done under the same circumstances.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLwEUnW2BL0

His Girl Friday

The Editor (Cary Grant) often (continually) uses unethical actions to gain his ends. What is he trying to accomplish? Is he a good man?

http://viooz.co/movies/7322-persuasion-1995.html

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=persuasion&form=HDRSC3&first=1#view=detail&mid=5287835AA1093BF4C9265287835AA1093BF4C926

Persuasion

According to the film, does the heroine cravenly seek money and position? In a nation heavily influenced by neoliberalism, aren’t we supposed to use the free market to maximize our gains?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTXpC6NRHCg

Jane Eyre

What are the circumstances that make it possible for Jane to rise in social class? Do women have an advantage over men when it comes to social climbing? What does Jane want?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cf0-GsXDzI

Rebecca

Rebecca is given a place in high society. How does she adapt? Would you have made the same decisions?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmdPj_XbF30

Pygmalion

Watch the film and answer this question, would it have been better if Higgins had left her in the gutter?

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=bodyguards+and+assasins&view=detail&mid=BB73D9DDEB1B1904078FBB73D9DDEB1B1904078F&first=0&FORM=NVPFVR

Bodyguards and Assassins

This is the first of fifteen parts. It was difficult to find and I had no luck finding it in English in a full movie.

What is the difference in the motivations of the rickshaw driver as opposed to the rich merchant?

Watch the film – I’ve had partial analysis that demonstrated a lack of basic knowledge of what was in it. This is a major cinematic experience. Treat it with the reverence a great piece of film making deserves.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OY1U-a2lWH4

Cyborg She

Watch the film and answer the following question: How much does money as a goal count in our hero’s life? Is there anything more important to him?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNdh5A6MWK8

Japan Sinks

In the film, the Japanese react as a people (as a whole) to the upcoming disaster but are saved by an individual’s sacrifice. Is there a conflict between solidarity of the population and the importance of the individual? Also what if he had acted with the morals of a Wall Street Banker, shouldn’t he happily abandon his country and his friends while cashing in on the underwater salvage of Japanese treasures?

http://vimeo.com/39063669

Ninotchka

Who does best in the story, the Royalists, the Communists or the lovers?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jU9g8-a2xHo

After the Rain

Would you want to be this man or his wife? Why? What kind of person is he? Tell me, does his wife’s words explain what he is? Why or why not?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gqwXeHI85A

Father Brown, the Detective (1954)

Why isn’t Father Brown exclusively focused on stopping the theft? What are his motives in this movie? Please explain.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdrN7wsJI8w

Last Holiday

How does the pursuit of money balance out against imminent death? Listen to the lead character. What does he say? Does his view point change over time?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJKWguqabUU

Young Mr. Lincoln

What is Lincoln after? Where does his ambition take him? Watch the film and from what Henry Fonda playing Lincoln says about himself and what he wants to do, describe his ethical motivations.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMcTKNDB2TM

The Mark of Zorro

Why doesn’t our hero remain in Spain? After all, there there he has money, status, popularity and access to a high level of culture and entertainment.

Watch the film and discover from what he says, what his motives are.

From around the web.

From the web site, Media Ethics in the Morning.

http://mediaethicsmorning.wordpress.com/2014/03/07/ethics-goes-to-the-movies-how-to-succeed-in-business-without-really-trying/

Despite being released over 40 years ago, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying provides a humorous, musical commentary on ever-present ethical issues that arise in the workplace such as corporate greed and dishonesty. J. Pierpont “Ponty” Finch works as a window washer in New York City when he comes across a book that teaches “the science of getting ahead in business.” As he works to climb the corporate ladder following the rules of the book, Finch finds himself in situations that require acting unethically just for the sake of a promotion. At one point he even goes so far as to dishevel his desk and appearance to look as though he had been working all through the night.

We put to question the integrity of the book right from the get-go when it claims that “education, intelligence and ability” help some go far in life, but “thousands have reached the top without any of those qualities.” Finch walks into the offices of the World Wide Wicket Company in pursuit of any possible job. Through some simple name-dropping, he lands a spot in the mailroom. Right away, Finch deceives his boss by being over-the-top complimentary. As soon as the opportunity arises (through pure luck and random mishaps, as the majority of his opportunities do), Finch throws some coworkers under the bus and goes behind their backs (one of whom is Bud Frump, the nephew of the company’s president, J.B. Biggley). As Finch is granted the promotion to head of the mailroom, his boss states, “your generosity and thoughtfulness may have proven a good thing for you,” to which he replies, “well… ethical behavior always pays, Sir.” As exemplified here, there are in fact many cases where some of the dialogue greatly contrasts the actions taken by Finch. Later in the film, a different boss reassures him that “if you work hard and keep your nose to the grindstone, there’s no telling how far you can go in this company.”

Syllabus Content Warning


Japan-Nuclear-EmergencySyllabus Content Warning

I’d never thought about this until I saw Angus Johnston’s post on his blog, Student Activism. I use the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire as an example of the need for regulation in the business environment. It’s pretty graphic and I warn the class verbally before using it. But this might be better. I could include a warning and then list the documentaries that students could have trouble with.

Mr. Johnston says he could use some feedback on this issue. If you are a teacher, please go to his web site and give your advice.

James Pilant

Content Warnings and College Classes |

The New Republic has a story out mocking and condemning what it describes as a trend toward the use of mandatory “trigger warnings” in college classes.

I don’t have time for a full post on this subject right now, but as I said on Twitter a few moments ago, while I’ve never given a trigger warning by that name, I do make a point of mentioning to  my students at the start of the semester the fact that my courses sometimes address horrific and difficult subjects. Beyond that, I spend a lot of time thinking about how I prepare my students for traumatic material in class, and about how I present that material. Classrooms can be traumatizing environments, and it’s appropriate for professors to consider how to ameliorate that possibility.

After I logged off of Twitter, I got to thinking about whether it would be appropriate for me to address the subject of potentially traumatic subjects in the syllabus, and what an attempt to do so might look like. Here’s what I came up with:

“At times during this semester we may be discussing historical events that may be disturbing, even traumatizing. If you ever feel the need to step outside before or during one of these discussions, either for a short time or for the rest of the class session, you may always do so without academic penalty. If you ever wish to discuss your personal reactions to this material, either with the class or with me afterwards, I welcome such discussion as an appropriate part of our coursework.”

That’s just a very early first draft. I don’t know for sure that I’m going to incorporate this into syllabi going forward, but it’s a whack at the problem at least.

I’m interested to know what y’all think, and to see other examples, if you know of any.

via Content Warnings and College Classes |.

From around the web.

From the web site, Classically Inclined.

http://lizgloyn.wordpress.com/2014/01/21/the-classical-pedagogy-of-trigger-warnings/

So, I was putting together my syllabus for Roman Literature of the Empire recently, which is the half-unit course I’m currently teaching to the first year students. It is going to be awesome – we have Livy, Ovid, Lucan, Petronius and Seneca, so I get to spend some time with my favourite boys talking about my favourite things. However. I had decided that for Ovid, if I was going to get the students to read some of his love poetry, I needed to have a lecture titled Why Ovid Is Problematic.

Why? Because it’s not pedagogically responsible to set students loose on the Amores and the Ars Amatoria without explicitly talking about sexual violence and rape. There is a darker side to our witty, playful poet that does need to be talked about, and students need to be given the tools for thinking about these difficult issues. This is, in part, what my article handling teaching the Metamorphoses in the classroom addresses. I had to think quite carefully about how I structured that lecture and what I do with it – I want to talk about the romanticisation of rape in terms of the Sabine women, the abuse of power as it appears in the two Cypassis poems, the violence against the female body as it appears in the two poems about Corinna’s abortion, and the problems of consent and its absence that some of the Amores pose, which feels like a well-structured progression through the issues posed by this sort of writing with some concrete examples.

I have, of course, yet to face the issues involved in actually preparing the lecture. My problem when I was constructing the syllabus was how to make it clear that the content of this session could be disturbing for survivors of rape. What is the pedagogy of the trigger warning on the syllabus?

My Extra Credit Film Assignments for BLAW 1


foolMy Extra Credit Film Assignments for BLAW 1

Each of these assignments is worth 8 points. You are to first write a brief intro explaining the plot and including the best line from the film that you can find after the first ten minutes. You will use for the second paragraph the five sentence paragraph format found in the syllabus.

I want you to watch the entire film. I’m trying to teach you something of importance that will last your entire life.

Each link is to an online video of the film which is totally free. If you have a service like Netlfix or Hulu and you can get the film there that will be fine.

The question I want you to answer is listed beneath the film.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5XcNcXBSQo

My Man Godfrey

According to the film, what moral principles does Godfrey believe in? What does he say about what he wants to accomplish?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYKijBENJ78

Love Affair

Charles Boyar has two choices in the film. Which does he choose and why? You may add a paragraph explaining what you would have done under the same circumstances.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLwEUnW2BL0

His Girl Friday

The Editor (Cary Grant) often (continually) uses unethical actions to gain his ends. What is he trying to accomplish? Is he a good man?

http://viooz.co/movies/7322-persuasion-1995.html

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=persuasion&form=HDRSC3&first=1#view=detail&mid=5287835AA1093BF4C9265287835AA1093BF4C926

Persuasion

According to the film, does the heroine cravenly seek money and position? In a nation heavily influenced by neoliberalism, aren’t we supposed to use the free market to maximize our gains?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTXpC6NRHCg

Jane Eyre

What are the circumstances that make it possible for Jane to rise in social class? Do women have an advantage over men when it comes to social climbing? What does Jane want?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cf0-GsXDzI

Rebecca

Rebecca is given a place in high society. How does she adapt? Would you have made the same decisions?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmdPj_XbF30

Pygmalion

Watch the film and answer this question, would it have been better if Higgins had left her in the gutter?

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=bodyguards+and+assasins&view=detail&mid=BB73D9DDEB1B1904078FBB73D9DDEB1B1904078F&first=0&FORM=NVPFVR

Bodyguards and Assassins

This is the first of fifteen parts. It was difficult to find and I had no luck finding it in English in a full movie.

What is the difference in the motivations of the rickshaw driver as opposed to the rich merchant?

Watch the film – I’ve had partial analysis that demonstrated a lack of basic knowledge of what was in it. This is a major cinematic experience. Treat it with the reverence a great piece of film making deserves.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OY1U-a2lWH4

Cyborg She

Watch the film and answer the following question: How much does money as a goal count in our hero’s life? Is there anything more important to him?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNdh5A6MWK8

Japan Sinks

In the film, the Japanese react as a people (as a whole) to the upcoming disaster but are saved by an individual’s sacrifice. Is there a conflict between solidarity of the population and the importance of the individual? Also what if he had acted with the morals of a Wall Street Banker, shouldn’t he happily abandon his country and his friends while cashing in on the underwater salvage of Japanese treasures?

http://vimeo.com/39063669

Ninotchka

Who does best in the story, the Royalists, the Communists or the lovers?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jU9g8-a2xHo

After the Rain

Would you want to be this man or his wife? Why? What kind of person is he? Tell me, does his wife’s words explain what he is? Why or why not?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gqwXeHI85A

Father Brown, the Detective (1954)

Why isn’t Father Brown exclusively focused on stopping the theft? What are his motives in this movie? Please explain.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdrN7wsJI8w

Last Holiday

How does the pursuit of money balance out against imminent death? Listen to the lead character. What does he say? Does his view point change over time?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJKWguqabUU

Young Mr. Lincoln

What is Lincoln after? Where does his ambition take him? Watch the film and from what Henry Fonda playing Lincoln says about himself and what he wants to do, describe his ethical motivations.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMcTKNDB2TM

The Mark of Zorro

Why doesn’t our hero remain in Spain? After all, there are many women there and he has plenty of money.

Watch the film and discover from what he says, what his motives are.

 

A Great Teaching Web Site!


31A Great Teaching Web Site!

I came across this while cruising the web. Professor Steffens has the class turn in their work as comments on his topic. I read some of the student work and enjoyed it. I wanted to quote some for my posts but I wasn’t sure how Professor Steffens would feel about, you know, professional courtesy.

This is a great teaching method and it’s a fun read to see what the students can make of current journalism.

James Pilant

http://econ1051.wordpress.com/

Economics for the School of Journalism

Extra credit for spring 2013

Economic news is everywhere, and your job is to find it and relate it to our Hubbard and O’Brien text.

Find an article in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal or USA Today. You can find these articles on line.  Summarize the article and relate it to our text. You can see what other students have done as a guide. We’re looking for four-five paragraph posts. Each post is 3 points, and you can do 4, for a total of 12 points!

All you have to do is find your article, write about it, with a link and make sure I know your pawprint!  I left a few from last semester to show you the way…To Post — just type your comments into the REPLY window at the end of the other posts…

Prof. Steffens

From around the web.

From the web site, Real-world Economics Review Blog.

http://rwer.wordpress.com/2014/01/24/teaching-economics-new-developments-in-economic-education/

In 2001 French economics students petitioned their professors for a more realistic and pluralist teaching of economics. Since then, several books have been written on how to teach pluralist economics, including John Groenewegen’s Teaching Pluralism in Economics (Edward Elgar, 2007); Edward Fullbrook’s Pluralist Economics (Zed, 2009) and Jack Reardon’s Handbook of Pluralist Economics Education (Routledge, 2009). A new journal exclusively devoted to discussing how to implement pluralism in the classroom – the International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education – was founded by Jack Reardon. And several global organizations- the World Economic Association, the Association of Heterodox Economics, besides the International Confederation of Associations for Pluralism in Economics, for example – have emphasized the need for changes in economics curriculum.

Considering this background, this blog welcomes all the attempts that emphasize the need for further changes in teaching economics.

Academic Freedom and Online Classes


Academic Freedom and Online Classes

Jerry Brown
Jerry Brown

A Governor’s Attack on Academic Freedom – Ethics Sage

This blog first appeared as an article on February 18, 2013 in The Chronicle of Higher Education. It challenges California Governor Jerry Brown’s recent intrusion into the process of academic freedom. Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2013-14 budget for California intrudes on academic freedom in a way that could harm the 23 campuses of California State University and the 10 campuses of the University of California—but the impact of his attempt to control academic decision-making threatens every public college and university in the country.

Putting aside for the moment the fairness of Brown’s proposed $250-million increase for both the CSU and UC systems, and an additional $10-million to each one to develop online courses, the governor’s budget attempts to dictate how the increased funds should be spent. That is a violation of academic freedom, the bedrock of colleges and universities.

Universities exist to promote the public interest, not to further the interests of individual professors, the institution as a whole, or, in this case, the governor of California. The public interest is not served by Brown’s inserting himself into education decision-making.

A Governor’s Attack on Academic Freedom – Ethics Sage

Online education has its uses. I teach online classes myself. But to mandate that colleges and universities devote certain resources to this is silly. It appears that the “very serious” people, the “villagers,” the Washington elite, etc., have decided that online education is a wonderful way to cut costs and is roughly equal to regular classroom education. It isn’t. It’s a different kind of animal. It takes different teaching methods and different student attitudes to work. It is not applicable to every field and endeavor. It’s limitations and advantages are not yet fully understood. Using it as a broad means of cheapening education without enough experience in its use is madness.

The processes of education in Western civilization have taken many centuries to develop. However, there are more than a few people who want to throw all those centuries of educating the “whole” man away and replacing it with the fastest, cheapest vocational training possible. Didn’t Rick Scott explain the logic …

Spending money on science and math degrees can help Floridians find work and provide a return on taxpayers’ investments, Gov. Rick Scott said today in an interview on “The Marc Bernier Show” on WNDB-AM in Daytona Beach.

Scott said Florida doesn’t need “a lot more anthropologists in this state.”

“It’s a great degree if people want to get it. But we don’t need them here,” Scott said.

“I want to spend our money getting people science, technology, engineering and math degrees. That’s what our kids need to focus all of their time and attention on: Those type of degrees that when they get out of school, they can get a job.”

Actually, we need whole human beings who can appreciate civics, art, architecture, literature, history, etc., those subjects that develop judgment and intellectual power. Those people are effective citizens.
So, let’s keep academic decision making at the college and university level.
James Pilant
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A Challenge for My Students


A Challenge for My Students (and other faculty should they so desire!)

img15_thMy students are well aware by this time that I am a mystery buff. I love solving television mysteries and real life ones as well. The video below is from You Tube and it features a Miss Marple mystery. These are my favorite mysteries because you have all the clues you need to solve it by the time she arrives at the explanation. I haven’t solved all of the Miss Marple stories but certainly more than 2/3rds. This one beat me.

So, my challenge is, “Can you solve the mystery before our heroine explains the outcome?” You are, of course, on your honor not to cheat. So, don’t be going to one of those spoiler web sites or reading the novel before watching the program. You can do what I like to do in these cases which is to pause the film and think about the evidence at hand. Television watching appeals to the unconscious more than the conscious and if you just let it flow, the “little grey cells” (another Agatha Christie character) never get to operate at full power.

This exercise builds your power of reasoning and deduction known by the classic word, ratiocination.

If you solve it,  make a comment and I will post the winners later.

James Pilant

P.S. I am going to give you a clue that I did not have. I did not figure out the murder because I could not conceive that the murderer(s) could be so evil. And I was revolted when I found out what had been done. jp

Agatha Christie’s Marple: S1E1 – The Body In The Library – YouTube

 

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A Business Etiquette Video for My Students


A Business Etiquette Video for My Students

Business Etiquette – SCPD CBA CSULB – YouTube

One day, I discussed with the class my idea for teaching upper class communication skills to the business students. They asked me to go further with it, so here is the first video in what will be a series discussing the social class skills necessary for business success.

James Pilant

Gary Cooper
Gary Cooper – Upper class mannerisms.

From around the web –

From the web site, IndiTech’s Blog:

Realize that online networking is similar to real life networking. In real life networking, you make connections one person at a time. The same is true for online networking. Don’t be seduced into thinking that you can create meaningful relationships with a lot of people at once, simply by posting updates about what you do.

A better approach would be to consider the online social networks as tools to provide you more access to more people, from the comfort of your home or office, while realizing that the basic relational skills when making a connection remains comparable to both online and offline. In other words, meet a lot of people, but meet them one by one.

From the web site, Quite Continental:

I think the best way to start a business is to look at what you love and think about how you can formulate that into a plan. It’s important to ask questions, always take calculated risks, and develop the ability to recognize an opportunity when it presents itself.There are no failures if you learn from the mistakes you made along the way. I think a bit of self-reflection always helps to build the foundation of a company and let it take shape. Passion, Hard Work, Kindness, Generosity and patience are definitely some of the key factors in making something successful.

It is always important to remember that a business is built in a series of blocks or stages. Slowly but surely it all comes together over time.

 

 

 

 

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