UV Letters

Sweep Away The Skills Gap

Dec 1, 2017
When I came to the U.S. for college, I was clearly in the minority. Not just because I was Canadian and my roommates made fun of how I pronounced house, mouse and couch. But also a minority among Canadian male students: only a handful of us weren't there principally to play hockey.
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Stranger Things

Nov 17, 2017
This song by 80's one-hit-wonder The Icicle Works plays over the end credits of Chapter (episode) 7 of Netflix's smash "Stranger Things 2" - an homage to 80's culture about the monsters that are unleashed when helpless children get hurt. Season one was about a child of divorce - Will Byers of Hawkins, Indiana - who gets trapped in...
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Desirable Difficulty

Nov 3, 2017
We're losing too many great musicians. Last year it was David Bowie, Glenn Frey, and Prince. So far this year: Chuck Berry, Tom Petty, and Fats Domino. But in my home country of Canada, none of these greats hold a candle to a musician we lost last month, although...
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Money Changes Everything

Oct 20, 2017
It's going to take a lot more than football for colleges and universities to regain popularity. In fact, spending more on football will probably make the problem worse. What will it take?
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The Climate Is Changing For Free College

Oct 6, 2017
One of the most important lessons I learned in college is that labels matter a lot. Sophomore and junior year I dated a girl whose last name was Hong and who had the unfortunate habit of writing "HONG" with a black Sharpie in big block capital letters on literally everything she owned. Every book...
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Sim City

Sep 22, 2017
Last weekend I went on a long bike ride by the beach with my 11-year-old son Leo. As I was struggling to keep up, I passed a man lying in the grass next to the bike path pointing with both hands to his very yellow socks...
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College And The War On Expertise

Sep 8, 2017
Last week I took my three boys on an end-of-summer trip to Yosemite and rediscovered that when you're together non-stop, you really get to know what fun and quirky people your kids are becoming. For instance, my youngest, six-year-old Zev, often seems lost in the world. He's easily confused about days of the week and the time of...
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Generation iPhone Hits College

Aug 25, 2017
One of the best comedy sketches about higher education is a Saturday Night Live gem from 1984 about Winston University. In the sketch, Billy Crystal plays an admissions officer visiting a high school class. While the teacher is in the room, the pitch is plain vanilla to the point of boredom: "This is the science...
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Born On Third Base, Thinks He Hit A Triple: The Problem With College Admissions

Aug 11, 2017
When America's elite universities encounter a challenge, there's a proud tradition of establishing a seemingly judicious, impartial process - but one with rules that actually pre-determine winners.
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Forget Connecticut

Jul 28, 2017
My 11-year-old son Leo has a strange new obsession: the state of Connecticut. It started with a school project but has evolved to ordering Connecticut license plates online, a new favorite baseball team (the minor league Hartford Yard Goats...
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