Summer update

(I was away so long this time that I forgot my password…)

Yes, it’s that time of year to feel bad about not getting enough accomplished as time inexorably rushes towards the start of another academic year. This time, I really haven’t accomplished much over the summer. I’ve managed to help out a colleague on a project for which I’ll get no credit (not his fault; he probably won’t get much credit either). It may provide some nice student opportunities, if anyone cares. Continue reading

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Life on a silver platter

When I wrote this in my previous post:

After all, 6 times as many people who grow up in the top quartile by household income in the U.S. graduate from college as compared to those of us who are [sic; should have been “were”] bottom feeders in the bottom quartile.

I had been looking at data from the 1979-1982 birth cohort in the National Longitudinal Study of Youth from a couple years ago that indicated that 54% of children growing up in the top quartile of family income had graduated from college as opposed to 9% in the bottom quartile. Considerably later than my birth cohort, but more appropriate for recent trends. In any case, six times nine is fifty-four. Except that the true number may be even worse! Right on the cover of this just released report from those commies at the Pell Institute, they quote numbers of 73% and 8%! (The 2013 numbers they quote later in the report are actually 77% and 9%; I think the cover figure is for 2012.) Either way, it’s about a factor of 9. Although my institution skews to the high side of the income spectrum, at least I don’t see very many overprivileged rich snots – outside of the professorate anyway.

College means not being…

…a fuck up.  (At least I left the profanity out of the title.  I found this one in my drafts folder from several months ago, so I decided I might as well post it.)

One of the problems with growing up poor and with relatively few opportunities is that you really can’t fuck up anywhere along the line.  If I ever have the guts, I’m going to post a more TMI description of my childhood, but the reasons I was able to go to college were:
Continue reading