EppsNet Archive: College

New Digital SAT Seems Pretty Easy

 

https://t.co/HSdNfODnIP — Paul Epps (@paulepps) March 10, 2024 I took a digital SAT recently. I’ve got a BA in Journalism and an MS in Computer Science, so I’m very well-rounded, like a sphere. I eat standardized tests for breakfast. The English portion, or Reading or whatever they call it now, seems much easier to me. I got 800 (out of 800) on that. There’s no more “read a column and a half of text, then answer 10 questions about it.” You read a paragraph, answer one question and move on. There are no more analogies. There are no obscure vocabulary words. Math is still math, although as noted in the story, if you’re getting a lot of answers right, then they start serving you harder questions. I got 780 on the Math portion. TL;DR: It’s an easy test. I got an almost perfect score and believe me, kids, I’ve been… Read more →

Morality of Student Loan Debt

 

I saw a post on LinkedIn in which the poster shared that his son got a college acceptance letter, but the son felt guilty about how it might affect the family finances. The poster shared the following question: Parents and Students – how have you managed this experience, dealt with any guilt, and yet maintained your excitement for the incredible experience ahead of you? My answer: How did we manage the experience? We always emphasized education in the Epps household. My son worked very hard in high school, got admitted to his dream college. What would we say at that point? “Congratulations, son! As a reward for your efforts, we’re going to allow you to take on student loan debt that will haunt you for the rest of your life”? Maybe “immoral” is too strong a word for that but I have a deep negative feeling about parents letting kids… Read more →

Secretive Transgender Policies in California Schools

 

California Attorney General Rob Bonta has defied a court order by directing school districts to adopt policies that allow them to hide a student’s claimed transgender identity from parents or guardians, despite a federal judge’s ruling that such policies likely violate the U.S. Constitution, lawyers say. Bonta sent a letter to school districts across California, encouraging them to adopt secretive transgender policies. When my son was younger, my hottest hot button was “Do not fuck around with my kid.” Now that my son is an adult, I don’t know if I have a hottest hot button, but one of my hottest hot buttons is “Don’t fuck around with other people’s kids.” I absolutely believe in the right of parents to direct the education, health and upbringing, and to maintain the well-being of, their children. Do I think a lot of parents do a poor job of that? Yes. But I… Read more →

Can You Pass the Harvard Entrance Exam?

 

Yes! On the question that asks for your race, the correct answer is Black. Veritas! Read more →

Schadenfreude

 

Now that a federal appeals court has blocked the Biden student debt relief program, I have to admit that I really like to see people make terrible decisions and have to face the consequences, like taking on a colossal debt load in order to obtain a college degree with no commensurate value. I bet the Germans have a word for that. Germans have a word for everything. Read more →

USC Cardinal Divas

 

As a USC alum, I'm very proud of this. And there is no sane "backlash." Every time a black person does something, there's a "backlash," real or imagined. A couple of wingnuts on Twitter is not a "backlash." https://t.co/cbEJlRLQgj — Paul Epps (@paulepps) October 7, 2022 Read more →

A Couple of Thoughts on Student Loan Debt

 

I’ve taken out mortgage loans, auto loans, acquired some credit card debt . . . am I forgetting anything? But I’ve never acquired debt and not paid it back. It never occurred to me to do that.   Transferring student loan debt seems like subsidizing irresponsibility. What happens when you subsidize something? You get more of it.   I saw the Secretary of Education being interviewed and although I don’t remember his exact words, he seemed to blame the whole thing on the COVID pandemic. He said it was his job (or the government’s job) to make sure that people can bounce back from that and not be crushed by their student loan payments. I’d like to ask him where he got the idea that it’s the job of the federal government to make sure that citizens don’t suffer financial hardships. In the early days of our country, many people… Read more →

We Are Led by Idiots

 

It’s hard to contemplate American public life in the 21st century and not arrive at the unhappy conclusion that we are led by idiots. The political class has lately produced an impressive string of debacles: the Afghanistan pullout, urban crime waves, easily foreseen inflation, mayhem at the southern border, a self-generated energy crisis, a pandemic response that wrought little good and vast ruin. Then there are the perennial national embarrassments: a mind-bogglingly expensive welfare state that doesn’t work, public schools that make kids dumber, universities that nurture destructive grievances and noxious ideologies, and a news media nobody trusts. — Barton Swaim Read more →

This Day in History: Apollo 11 Landing

 

On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 touched down on the moon. Pictured above, as most of you know, are Neil Armstrong on the left, Buzz Aldrin on the right, and kind of the forgotten man, Michael Collins, who piloted the lunar orbiter while Armstrong and Aldrin were on the moon. Neil Armstrong has a degree from the University of Southern California, as do I. What else do Armstrong and I have in common? Well . . . we’ve both been to the moon! OK, I lied about the moon. Maybe it’s just the USC degree. FIGHT ON! Read more →

Incitement of Violence

 

Apple CEO Tim Cook said the removal of Parler from Apple’s online store was done because the company doesn’t consider incitement of violence free speech. “We looked at the incitement to violence that was on there and we don’t consider that free speech and incitement of violence has an intersection,” Cook told Fox News anchor Chris Wallace. Yes, “incitement of violence” is the party line and Tim Cook I guess is just a puppethead. Despite the faux outrage over the Capitol riot, the virtuous left seems ok with using and endorsing violence when it suits them. Antifa has had ongoing riots in major American cities. Left-wing “protests” often include looting, smashing store windows, burning down people’s homes and businesses. An MLK Day protest in New York City this week resulted in 11 police officers injured and 28 arrests. If you try to get a conservative speaker on a college campus,… Read more →

Woke White Boy on George Washington

 

My niece was accepted to grad school at George Washington University. I had to point out that while George Washington did some good things, he was also a major slave owner and should not have a university named after him. George Washington was not woke. You think it’s not fair to hold a guy born 400 years ago to current wokeness standards? Well, you’re wrong. I wrote a letter to George Washington University to suggest that they rename it to Antifa University. Or if they want to keep the GWU initials, change it to Get Woke University. Wake up, white people! — WWB Read more →

A Couple of News Items Out of USC

 

Students from U.S. families with an annual income of $80,000 or less with typical assets will attend USC tuition-free. The Trojans cancelled the scheduled Sept. 4, 2021 football game vs. UC Davis. UC Davis is the kind of FCS (i.e., minor league) program that SEC schools love to load up their non-conference schedules with. The only three FBS schools never to have played an FBS program are USC, Notre Dame and UCLA. To me, that is a point of pride. I was very disappointed when I heard they scheduled the game and I’m glad they cancelled it. Read more →

Lowering the Trauma Bar

 

More than a hundred faculty members at Ball State University signed a letter to the student newspaper saying, in part, “We support our students of color as they deal with the trauma of these events and navigate its fallout.” The traumatic events, as it turns out, are that a marketing professor asked a black student to move to a different seat in the classroom and the student declined to move. First, why make a racial thing out of it? If my son, who is not black, were asked by a college professor to move seats, my hope is that he would would move seats, and if he didn’t want to move, he’d move anyway. Certainly there’s room for personal interpretation, but to me a traumatic event would be, say, losing a limb, or witnessing a murder. Being asked to move seats in a classroom is not a traumatic event. I… Read more →

SAT to Give Students ‘Adversity Score’

 

SAT to Give Students ‘Adversity Score’ to Capture Social and Economic Background The Wall Street Journal We’re not even done reviling everyone involved in tilting the academic scales based on students’ social and economic background when the College Board announces a plan to . . . tilt the academic scales based on students’ social and economic background. Read more →

What Can USC Students Tell Us About Inequality?

 

Well, according to the New York Times, some USC students jet to Bali for spring break, while some of their classmates work overnight shifts to pay for books! Instead of inequality, think of it as diversity. So now it’s a good thing! The Times for some reason writes USC as U.S.C., even though nobody does that. I’ve noticed the Times always measures life outcomes in terms of money, like that’s the only possible criterion. What ‘s so great about jetting to Bali anyway? What are you going to do, lay on a fucking beach? There are 50 beaches within two hours of USC. It’s the same sun up in the sky. You’re the same person with the same problems in Bali as you are here. You jet to Bali, you jet home, absolute waste of time. Read more →

The Moral Compass Oscillates

 

Following up on the college admission scandal . . . Now that we have faces and names, sums of money, and details on specific subterfuges, the level of anger, shock and indignation is much higher than I would have expected regarding what I thought was already taken as a truism: that parents with money and influence can get their kids into colleges that they couldn’t get into on their own merits. Everyone also knows that students are routinely admitted to colleges based on various forms of diversity rather than on academic achievement. Moreover, virtuous Americans agree that tilting the system in this way in favor of academically unqualified individuals is a good thing. I would have thought that the moral question is whether it’s right to tilt the admissions process at all based on non-meritorious criteria such as demographics, including the demographic of having rich parents. If everyone agrees that… Read more →

Are We Agreed That Rigging the College Admissions Process is a Good Thing?

 

Outraged parents are filing lawsuits in the college admissions scandal . . . One parent, Jennifer Kay Toy of Oakland, believes her son Joshua was not admitted to some colleges because wealthy parents thought it was “ok to lie, cheat, steal [steal?] and bribe their children’s way into a good college.” She has therefore filed a $500 billion lawsuit (sounds reasonable) accusing 45 defendants of defrauding and inflicting emotional distress on everyone whose “rights to a fair chance at entrance to college” were stolen through their alleged conspiracy. Not reported: where (or if) Joshua is actually attending college, or which colleges Ms. Toy thinks he would have been admitted to if not for the aforementioned skulduggery. There are also students filing suits, alleging among other things that their degrees have been devalued by skepticism over the validity of the admission process. I think these lawsuits founder on at least a… Read more →

Student Loan Debt Sets Record

 

U.S. Student Loan Debt Sets Record, Doubling Since Recession — Bloomberg What happened to parents saving up to pay for college? Is that not a thing anymore? I don’t find it morally defensible to encourage a kid to incorporate academics into his or her life from an early age, to emphasize the importance of education, then when the kid is admitted to college to say “Congratulations, here’s your student loan application. Have fun paying that off till you’re 60.” Read more →

Spot the Fake News: Students Call For USC Professor To Be Fired

 

A professor at the University of Southern California has come under fire after sending a reply-all email last week to the student body stating “accusers sometimes lie.” “If the day comes you are accused of some crime or tort of which you are not guilty, and you find your peers automatically believing your accuser, I expect you find yourself a stronger proponent of due process than you are now,” Professor James Moore wrote in the email. “Accusers sometimes lie.” Nearly 100 students reportedly attended a rally called “Times Up for James Moore” on Monday in protest of Moore — who is tenured — demanding that he be fired. — Students Call For USC Professor To Be Fired For Saying ‘Accusers Sometimes Lie’ | Daily Wire Nearly 100 students! Not mentioned: USC has 44,000 students. A more accurate way to frame this would be “Out of 44,000 USC students, 43,900 understand… Read more →

They Submitted Fake Papers to Peer-Reviewed Journals — Here’s What Happened Next

 

Three writers produced 20 intentionally outlandish academic papers and submitted them to the best peer-reviewed journals associated with fields of scholarship loosely known as “cultural studies” or “identity studies” (for example, gender studies) or “critical theory.” Seven of the papers were accepted for publication and seven more were still under review when the authors elected to end the experiment. Their point would seem to be that scholarship in these fields is based less upon finding truth and more upon attending to social grievances. Just about anything can be published, so long as it falls within the moral orthodoxy and demonstrates an understanding of the existing literature. The authors summarize their methodology as follows. (I’ve inserted the material in brackets from elsewhere in the article, which you should look at in its entirety because there’s too much good stuff to summarize.) What if we write a paper saying we should train… Read more →

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