UV Letters

President Trump Uses The Wrong Word (As Usual)

Feb 9, 2018
By now, most Americans are used to President Trump using words that, if not inappropriate, are quite wrong. It's clear he's a far cry from his idol, the Great Communicator, what with speeches that are varyingly at a 4th grade vocabulary level or read off the teleprompter at a protracted pace.
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Making Apprenticeships Work

Feb 4, 2018
It seems like everyone's talking about apprenticeships. Apprenticeships were the Trump Administration's first postsecondary education initiative; in June 2017, President Trump signed an executive order aiming to use apprenticeships to train five million Americans...
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Unsafe At Any Speed? Seatbelts For Online Learning

Jan 26, 2018
In early January I received the sad news that a college friend had passed away at the untimely age of 46. Although I've never mentioned him in this Letter, I've been tempted on many occasions.
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Education Dogs

Jan 12, 2018
The most surprising thing over Christmas break wasn't that 10 in-laws came to stay at our house, nor even that they stayed for an entire week. Instead, it was something I read...
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Debt-Free in '18

Dec 29, 2017
This song from 1989 always comes to mind during the holidays. First, because I have a strong memory of listening to this album - Blind Man's Zoo - one Christmas break while doing primary research for my college senior thesis in economics (an econometric comparison of the American and Canadian university systems). But more important...
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A Better Lecture

Dec 15, 2017
Despite what I sometimes hear in the Bay Area, the set of things that technology makes more useful is not equal to the set of all things. In other words, there are things that don't become more useful simply from digitization.
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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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