Category Archives: advice

Whatever you do, don’t go into debt for college

Excerpt from an interview with Ran Prieur at Boing Boing:
http://boingboing.net/2011/05/27/interview-ran-prieur.html
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Avi: What advice would you give to a smart kid in high school right now?

Ran: My first advice would be: Whatever you do, don’t go into debt for college. This is a point about college that some people don’t understand. And that is, the main thing you learn in college is how to think and act like an educated person.

If your parents both went to college, then they raised you, then you already know how to think and act like an educated person. You don’t need to go to college to learn that. If you come from a lower class family and your parents did not go to college, then college is much more beneficial to you.

People who’ve been to college and learn to think and act that way get a lot more respect in the dominant society. Just the way you say words, the way you carry yourself. So that’s a big benefit of college. You don’t necessarily have to pay tuition to do that. You could learn that by osmosis. Hanging out in a college campus.

When I was in high school, I was completely unmotivated. I did not know how to motivate myself at all. I was just going through the motions. So I went to college because college was the thing to do. It was a lot cheaper back then in the late 80’s when I went to college. My parents had some money saved up so I didn’t have to go on debt for college.

But, boy, I would not want to be a smart kid in high school right now because unless you’re tremendously good at self motivating, it can be hard for you to quit high school and not go to college and find something to do and not just crash and burn.

Maybe I would say go to community college to get your basic stuff out of the way or hang out at a college campus. If you could get a staff job at a college campus, then you can kind of get the college experience, and even take a few classes.

I don’t know. I would not want to be a kid in high school right now. The generation that is coming up now is going to have a really tough time. Be adaptable, that’s the advice I’d give.

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Filed under advice, alternative education, college, person: Ran Prieur, raising kids / parenting, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

Do Nots for parents?

Do not make your children eat greens
http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/sep/22/dont-make-children-eat-greens

Do not praise
http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2015/03/09/parents-stop-overvaluing-your-kid-you-may-create-a-future-narcissist-study-says/

*Do* love your kids unconditionally.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/11/how-this-harvard-psycholo_n_3727229.html

*Do* respect (more important than love?)
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/201208/in-relationships-respect-may-be-even-more-crucial-love
(Peter Gray, the author of this post also talks about the huge increase in narcissism and corresponding decrease in empathy that has been measured since the late 1970s LINK)

Why I’m Not Raising a ‘Good Girl’
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/galit-breen/why-im-not-raising-a-good_b_6729796.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000037

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Filed under advice, contrarian, narcissism, person: Peter Gray, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

overhangs and screens on inside

Another obvious preference in this age of increasingly common violent rain storms in New England are 2 preferences when building:

1. largish overhangs (ideally applied after doing air-sealing on exterior sheathing)
2. windows with screens on the inside (casement vs double hung)

The issue being that it’s a little annoying not being able to look out one’s windows for hours after a 20 minute 2″ rain storm because one’s window screens are soaked. Granted, it doesn’t happen that often, so not sure it’s worth worrying about too much, but if one is on the fence, it’s something to consider.

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Filed under advice, climate change, green