Tag: education

Economists Agree, ‘Our Economy Needs More English Majors’

According to The Washington Post, fewer people are majoring in English than ever before, despite the fact that enrollment in higher education is at an all-time high.

 

 

This is likely the result of the United States’ turbulent economy, and a rising need for job security. Right now, more people are choosing to study STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), for the sake of a career path. More often than not, people believe that studying STEM leads directly to getting a good job more often than studying anything related to the humanities. Or, at the very least, college students fear the idea of a useless, $40,000 degree.

 

Image result for Robert Shiller
Image Via Town Hall Seattle

 

However, Robert Shiller, economist, author, and Nobel Prize winner, believes that English majors are more necessary to our struggling economy than ever before. In his new work, Narrative Economics, Shiller argues that the ways people talk about markets, and the stories we write about them, can have a huge impact on markets themselves.

 

 

For example, Shiller cites the phrase “anyone can be a homeowner” as a key contributor to the housing bubble. He writes:

“Traditional economic approaches fail to examine the role of public beliefs in major economic events – that is, narrative. Economists can best advance their science by developing and incorporating into it the art of narrative economics.”

The Washington Post cites several other economists with opinions similar to Shiller’s, but the most damning evidence comes from The National Center for Education Statistics. Data from this source shows that while a computer science major might make more money than an English major directly after graduation, English majors ages 25 to 29 had a lower unemployment rate than both math and computer science majors in 2017.

 

Image via ClickUp

 

On top of this, English majors tend to have skills that are less affected by the passage of time, than those who major in anything related to science or technology. The Washington Post’s Heather Long explains:

“After about a decade, STEM majors start exiting their job fields as their skills are no longer the latest and greatest. In contrast, many humanities majors work their way to high-earning management positions. By middle age, average pay looks very similar across many majors.”

 

Image via Inside Higher Ed

 

So, feel free to show your dad this article the next time he complains about your degree in medieval literature. You’ll be grateful for it in your forties!

 

 

 

Featured Image via Medibank

5 Uncursed Howl’s Moving Castle Memes

This is the point where I confess that Howl’s Moving Castle is my favorite Miyazaki movie by far. They’re all good! But I connect with Sophie on a deeper level. If you’ve yet to read the book, get ready to have the experience of the movie turned up to eleven. Sure, it’s not as soft or as serious, but believe me when I say you will not miss it. Obviously the movie is iconic, but the book characters are on a whole other level. Thanks for coming to my ted talk. Here are some memes.

 

That’s Growth

Image via Pinterest

Who doesn’t want to be very very old? Sure, hypothetically the curse is a punishment, but Sophie clearly finds it as liberating as I would. Meek little Sophie Hatter starts breaking into magic houses and bullying demons. Talk about a glow up. In the book, Howl tries to lift Sophie’s curse, but her own magic keeps it in place. It really goes to show they’re a good match. She’s ridiculously stubborn and he’s just ridiculous. Still, we stan, and I think we can all relate.

 

It’s What he Does

Image via DeviantArt

This might be the hottest take I’ve ever seen. Of course he bites her hair. It looks like stardust! And what does Howl do to stars? Eats them. You’d think he’d learn his lesson. Unless you’ve seen the movie, read the book, or heard about literally any of his choices. Learn his lesson? This is a man who literally will not stop ghosting immensely powerful witches and then running away. The mistakes are endless. She looks surprised here, but I don’t think anything can surprise Sophie anymore.

 

It’s a Different Vibe

Image via WhiteSmilingBeauty

I’m not going to get all ‘the book was better’ on you because I absolutely adore both, but book Sophie is an honest to god force of nature. When she gets mad she kills an entire garden. It’s sort of the spiritual opposite of Howl’s slime meltdown, I guess, because it’s productive, but still absolutely ridiculous. Just talk about your feelings instead of throwing dramatic magic everywhere! You guys are too powerful to be this messy.

 

Metamorphosis

Image via Pinterest

Sure, education is important, but at what cost? What is it about just going to class that ages me fifty years? I can’t be alone. Maybe it’s the fluorescents, maybe it’s learning, maybe it’s the fact that I’m too lazy to wear my glasses at home, but there’s a sharp contrast. I don’t even need a witch to curse me. Just tell me I have sixty pages to read in two days and I wither like the witch of the waste trying to climb the stairs. Stay strong, and don’t use school mirrors.

 

Slime Icon

Image via Rebloggy

True story, every day for about a month I walked past a closed popup, but it’s banner was still outside and described it as ‘a slime experience’. Who would want that? Howl, apparently. I’ve had some hair dye gone wrong, and I’ve been dumped, but never have I flooded my entire living room and half of Porthaven. He just hired Sophie, she just got everything clean, and now he pulls this? Still, it’s one of the most memorable scenes, and characterizes Howl pretty powerfully without any explanation needed.

Featured image via Ameno Apps 

Suds and Stories—Tackling Literacy at Laundromats

Laundromats across the country are taking on an unexpected cause—childhood literacy. Several organizations are connecting libraries to laundromats and holding free book-shares and storytimes for low-income neighborhoods.

The incentive is to boost literacy among children whose community libraries are defunct or overcrowded and under-resourced. Now children are learning the joy of reading somewhere their families frequent, without the added hurdle of library fines and fees.

These programs work through a myriad of methods, with some of them equipping parents to read to their children while waiting, hosting librarians for a book-reading, distributing and lending books, or even setting up Wi-Fi hotspots to relay educational content.

According to NYU Steinhardt Professor Susan B. Neuman, these spaces significantly increased the time kids spent on literacy activities that bolster school readiness. Her study found that on average, the children spent 47 minutes enthralled with books, drawing, writing, and singing songs.

 

Storytime at Bubbleland Laundromat. Image via Chicago Public Library

 

Notably, the parents expressed that they were patrons of the laundromat for its program, and their children looked forward to laundry day. Given that the ages between birth and five are crucial to brain development, these few hours can have a great impact on a child’s educational trajectory.

In another study on an NYC initiative, one disappointing finding was that while the children flocked to the reading spaces, the parents were not always actively engaged in the learning.

Family involvement is key to the program’s success. The study found, however, that with librarians added 30% of parents eventually participated; this speaks to the idea that more funding may raise effectiveness.

Among the many laundry laundromats that have spread across the country, a number are sponsored by the Laundry and Literacy Coalition (LLC)—a partnership between the Clinton Foundation’s Too Small to Fail (TSTF) and the Coin Laundry Association’s LaundryCares Foundation.

Spokane Public Schools Turn a Cold Shoulder to Librarians

Remember your favorite school librarian?

In Spokane, Washington, future students might grow up not knowing what a librarian does.

Two weeks ago, the Spokane, Washington Public Schools superintendent announced that librarians in public schools will be laid off before the academic year begins again in the fall, although the libraries themselves—generally very large rooms with hundreds of books and programs and resources that students need assistance navigating—will remain.

 

Library

Image vIA eLLA’S lIST

 

Students will still have the opportunity to visit their school’s library, even if there’s no one to help them use it. As for library services, teachers will be expected to perform the librarians’ old duties—in addition to being teachers—while their students are visiting the library, according to The Spokesman-Review.

Just to be clear, school librarians often have degrees in library science and have been thoroughly trained in the instruction of research applications that library patrons have the option to use. The void left by a mass-migration of trained school librarians cannot be filled by giving the keys to teachers who already have full-time jobs outside the library.

 

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Librarians are not guaranteed replacement positions in the public school system once they have been ousted from their jobs, although some librarians with suitable experience might be placed as teachers in the schools and communities that need them most. 

Specifically, the district’s choice to cut librarians out of the budget comes after the announcement for a $31 million deficit for the year; generally, across the country, more and more school districts are eliminating librarian positions, and more librarians are switching to part-time work. 

 

Library Closed for Budget Cuts

 

 

Another recent article from The Spokesman-Review claims public schools with more low-income students will be hit far harder by the layoffs than schools which serve more middle-and high-income families; in other words, more librarians will be removed from communities where students are already receiving subsidized school lunches, and from which librarians and other school faculty are leaving en masse for ‘better’ schools and neighborhoods.

Teachers are seeing salary increases with the elimination of librarians, with some employees receiving a 10-15% bonus.

 

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons.