Sunday, July 26, 2009

Trusting Kids in College?

This is the time again that parents are sending their kids away to college. There is an article in Stanford Farm Report about how some students are not resilient enough for dealing with college life.

"Unlike previous generations, young people often speak with their parents several times a day. And while family closeness is usually a positive force , it can come with a downside. Administrators at Stanford and elsewhere describe a level of parental involvement that often limits choices and has altered the cultural norms of college life.

That includes parents who insist on choosing their child’s area of study and then show up to negotiate his or her salary after graduation. Parents who ask to be informed about course deadlines because they’re sure their kid will forget without their reminders. Parents who call the dean’s office at 10 a.m., desperate because they haven’t been able to reach their son or daughter that morning: would someone please run over to the dorm and wake their scholar?"

The whole article is available at

Sunday, July 19, 2009

"Success is a Gift"

I just finished reading a very interesting book called "Outliers: The Story of Success". The author, Malcolm Gladwell, takes a unique look on external or community factors contributing a person's success. He suggests that successes are a form of accumulated advantages. Successful people are given extraordinary opportunities to practice more in their fields. Some important points include:

  1. Once IQ is above 120, IQ no longer correlates with success.
  2. Serious success in any area requires at least 10,000 hours of effort.
  3. Growing rice instills a culture of hard work for Asian students.
  4. Public schools work. Summer vacation is failing students.

The stories of Bill Gates and the Beatles make all these points convincing and memorable. I am glad to be able to justify all the homework my boys did every summer which has likely improved their chance to succeed :-).