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American elite colleges: In a state of ‘complete failure’?

Jenn Sheppard:

Interesting…”if you look at someone who went to Princeton, someone who got into Princeton but didn’t go, and even someone who just applied to Princeton, they end up making the same amount of money because what matters is the kid, not the school. I just wish more people knew that. Still, there’s no question that in terms of prestige and access, going to the best school matters.

Originally posted on Fortune:

It’s rare that academics stir up this much excitement.

Former Yale English professor William Deresiewicz kicked up an awful lot of hullabaloo earlier this year when an article he had written went viral. Its title will help explain: “Don’t send your kids to the Ivy League: The nation’s top colleges are turning our kids into zombies.”

In the article, which was published by The New Republic this summer, Deresiewicz characterized Ivy League students as competitive hoop jumpers who—as adolescents—had been so programmed to try to meet the sky-high requirements of top-tier institutions that once they were admitted and arrived, they simply sought out the next hurdles to clear. They gave more thought to padding their resumes than choosing their coursework and wound up on a conveyor belt into careers on Wall Street or in consultancy.

In his recently published book Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and The…

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In threes

I’m teaching my Journalism students how to structure a news story by utilizing the Rule of Three. Bad (or good) things happen in threes. Why, they want to know? That’s just how it is, I tell them.

The Rule of Three is a writing principle that suggests that things that come in threes are inherently funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than other numbers of things.

To prove my point, I’ve had three bad things happen to me recently. The first was hurting my hand in my race three weeks ago. It still hurts! The second was my kickstarter breaking off before my next race in South Carolina. I drove all the way there (and had my suspension serviced the Friday before) for nothing! [Note: Not really nothing. I put on my journalist hat and started taking pictures, instead.] 

My teammate #9 where I should be starting next to her!

My teammate #9 where I should be starting next to her!

Someone actually snapped a photo of me taking pictures! (Mariah Lacy Photo)

Someone actually snapped a photo of me taking pictures! (Mariah Lacy Photo)

The third bad thing was throwing my back out while sneezing last week! I could literally not believe this one…but if you’ve ever seen or heard my mother sneeze, you feel my pain. Just one powerful sneeze sent me screaming to the floor where I remained with my dog licking my face.

It’s been a week since the last bad thing happened, so I’m assuming I’m good for a while. I’m looking forward to racing this weekend in Gainesville if my hand can handle it, of course. I would hate to enter a race that I know I couldn’t win.

I’m also looking forward to three good things happening since my friend Deborah and I decided to start our own race team, and we already have a name! We’re planning to hit most, if not all, of the out-of-state National Enduros next season, which could take us anywhere from Colorado to Missouri. Stay tuned…

9 tips to land your dream job

Jenn Sheppard:

Since the fall semester started last week, I’m reminded why teaching is my dream job, however sitting around in my pajamas all day working on the computer was nice this summer.
I’m happy to be back in front of my students who make each day interesting just by showing up to my classes.

Originally posted on Fortune:

Ah, the dream job. Just as work has been reshaped by technology and globalization, so too have our professional fantasies. While jobs atop the corporate ladder haven’t totally lost their luster, more and more Americans are seeking work-life balance. And now that leaner, recession-tested firms are hiring again, they’re looking for something different too. Given the new landscape, we asked a few ­experts—­career coaches, headhunters, and recruiters—to weigh in with their best, most relevant tips for today. The old rules still ­apply—network, network, network!—but here’s the latest on how to land that ideal job, whatever it may be.

1. Define what you want
JOB.1[3]Before you network, and certainly before you step into an interview, know your goals and what you’re dreaming to do. That sounds like a no-brainer, but our experts say the No. 1 mistake job seekers make is not being able to articulate what kind of job they…

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Ultimate highs and lows

Seat bouncing of some sort...

Seat bouncing of some sort…

I lead my race yesterday from just after the start to a few miles after turning the third lap when I crashed for the first and only time in more than 35 miles and injured my left hand. In all, I averaged 19.9 mph and 188 bpm – my heart rate peaked at 201 after the 1-hour mark.

Check out the details, here: Hare Scrambles #1 by no1jenn at Garmin Connect

Trying to keep up behind #311A.

Trying to keep up behind #311A.

Highs and lows

I lead my race yesterday from just after the start to a few miles after turning the third lap when I crashed for the first and only time in more than 35 miles and injured my left hand. In all, I averaged 19.9 mph and 188 bpm – my heart rate peaked at 201 after the 1-hour mark.

“there is a tendency for people who are more spiritually focused to ignore, avoid, or dismiss their bodies. Similarly, many individuals are entirely ensconced in the carnal realm and pay no attention to the needs of the soul.”

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R.I.P. Robin Williams

Jenn Sheppard:

We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer: that you are here; that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?

Originally posted on Fortune:

Robin Williams died Monday, an apparent suicide, at age 63.

He started his career doing stand-up, got his big break on ABC’s Mork & Mindy, was best known for his work in Hollywood (Good Morning, Vietnam,Dead Poets Society,Hook,Aladdin,Mrs. Doubtfire and The Birdcage), won an Academy Award for Good Will Hunting, and also took home two Emmys, four Golden Globes and five Grammys.

But the last time we heard his voice was in Apple’s “Your Verse” iPad ads, reading Walt Whitman to his students in a clip from Dead Poets Society.

Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter at @philiped. Read his Apple [fortune-stock symbol="AAPL"] coverage at fortune.com/ped or subscribe via his RSS feed.

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