Category Archives: College Fun

“A Scholar & A Gentleman: EMU student leader’s next step is Harvard Law School”

A loyal reader suggested I post this story/EMU press release:  “A Scholar & A Gentleman: EMU student leader’s next step is Harvard Law School.” It’s about Nino Monea, an EMU senior who was also the former student body vice president and who is off to Harvard next year.  Good luck to him, though I’m still curious what’s the deal with the controversy about the latest student government elections?

Dang, I say shave it….

From The Ypsilanti Courier comes “EMU student puts 14-inch beard on the line for charity.” Here’s a quote:

After growing it out for the past 20 months, Eastern Michigan Student Ryan Huntington is putting his 14-inch beard on the line for charity.

After joining the EMU Residence Life American Heart Association Heartwalk team this year, Huntington had the idea to use his beard to raise money for the American Heart Association. Huntington is letting the EMU community at large vote with their money on whether he should shave his face completely bare for the first time in six years or keep growing out the whiskers for another 12 months.

“A lot of people have done ‘Save It or Shave It’ events before. I thought it was a great idea for charity,” Huntington said. “Of all the ones I found online, I probably have the largest, most obnoxious beard to be put on the line.”

I have to say just looking at this picture makes my face itchy. Either way, I hope Ryan earns some money for a good cause.

“Eastern Michigan football coach Chris Creighton insists ‘these guys aren’t losers’”

From mLive comes “Eastern Michigan football coach Chris Creighton insists ‘these guys aren’t losers.’” Here’s a quote from the opening paragraphs:

There’s a difference between people who have been losing, and losers. After four months on the job and 14 days of spring practice, new Eastern Michigan football coach Chris Creighton, who inherited a 2-10 team, insists the Eagles are the former.

“There’s a difference between losers and winners who have been losing, and these guys aren’t losers,” Creighton said. “They’re not, and that’s an important reality.”

Seems like there should be something there about how winners never quit and losers never win or what have you. Anyway, there’s also a practice scrimmage of some sort going on today at 4 pm that’s free.  I’ll be gardening (hopefully!), but it seems like it’d be a beautiful day to watch something like that.


“Legendary comic artist Art Spiegelman to speak at EMU”

I’m actually going to this event tonight; as promoted in mLive (and I assume other places), “Legendary comic artist Art Spiegelman to speak at EMU.”

Art Spiegelman, one of the most celebrated and accomplished comic artists ever, will give a multimedia presentation at 7 p.m. on April 10 in Eastern Michigan University’s Pease Auditorium.

The presentation, entitled “What the %@$*! Happened to Comics” will focus on the history of comic books and their influence on society, and Spiegelman will be available to autograph books following the presentation.

A couple of interesting things to watch for with this:

  • That “%@$*!” is supposed to be “fuck,” so expect lots of naughty words and the like regarding said history.
  • Spiegelman is notorious for smoking EVERYWHERE, including during talks like this. In the photo of him at the mLive site, he’s got a butt going. I saw a similar talk he gave at EMU way back when– maybe ten years ago?– and he smoked the whole time. It’ll be interesting to see if some EMU wonk tells him to put that cigarette out in Pease.


“March Gradness” has some interesting results

Busted brackets all around, I guess I’m technically still in the lead in the annual final four tourney, but I think if Florida wins its way into the final game, Claire is going to end up taking the title. Stay tuned.

But I wanted to share today an interesting piece from mLive that I guess appeared originally in Bridge Magazine, “March Gradness: An NCAA bracket built on grad rates, not victories, produces a different winner – and only one team actually in the Final Four.” A quote and another link:

Here’s how it works… Same schools and pairings as this year’s NCAA men’s basketball championship. But to survive and advance your school has to have the better student graduation rate for all full-time students.

There were a few “overtime” games in March Gradness – tie scores between schools with equal graduation rates. In those cases, African-American grad rates were used as a tiebreaker. Our data came from the Integrated Post-Secondary Education Data System. We used the published six-year graduation rate for full-time students. And special thanks to the technology company Vertex, which publishes a nifty NCAA bracket each year which we adapted to the purpose of March Gradness.

You can download a PDF of the results here.

When I first read this/looked at this, I thought they were talking about graduation rates for basketball players, which would have been interesting stats to see; rather, it’s for the university as a whole. By the way, according to the resource used for this article, EMU’s overall six year graduation rate is 37%.

Student Center in blue for autism awareness

That’s kinda cool….

“Student claims college instructor spent months teaching class the ‘wrong’ course”

I learned about this via InsideHigherEd:  “Student claims college instructor spent months teaching class the ‘wrong’ course,” as reported by KHOU in Houston, Texas. Here’s a quote:

HOUSTON — For college students, a straight-A average is a crucial building block on the road to success, but imagine having that average jeopardized because of a teacher’s mistake.

That’s what Lauren Firmin claims happened in her Fall 2013 semester at Lonestar College- University Park in northwest Harris County.

The class she had enrolled in and thought she was taking was an ‘Intro to Chemistry’ course, a study of the basics of the science.

Yet this student with a 4.0 grade average found herself unexpectedly struggling with the material.

“I was getting 40’s on every test,” said Firmin. “I studied as hard as I could, did everything in my power to try.”

Then, shortly before the class’ final exam, Firmin claims teacher Thao Shirley Nguyen admitted something.

“She told her mistake in class to all of the students,” Firmin told the KHOU 11 News I-Team.

And the mistake: “She was teaching general chemistry, another course, all semester.”

I’ve had students who came to the first day of class and realized they were in the wrong place, but I’ve never seen that last longer than about 24 hours. Teaching weeks of the wrong class seems like a new low-level of epic fail.


“These U.S. Colleges and Majors Are the Biggest Waste of Money:” What does this mean?

A couple of loyal readers have sent me a link to this The Atlantic article (or maybe just web site post), “These U.S. Colleges and Majors Are the Biggest Waste of Money.”  I’m not sure I am understanding the argument here, but to point out the part where EMU’s name surfaces:

Here are the degrees (i.e.: specific majors at specific schools) with the lowest 20-year net return, according to PayScale. They are all public schools: Bold names are for in-state students.

A couple of semi-random observations:

  • This doesn’t mean that EMU is overall a “bad deal” and/or that all majors are in this $120K hole that they’ve calculated. In fact, if you see this entry on the web site about EMU, it’s not that bad.  It’s probably not surprising that on average EMU alumni make less money than U of M alumni, but it’s not horrible by any stretch of the imagination. And I think it’s likely a better deal than people with just a high school degree.
  • Mark Maynard has a good post on his blog about this; given the headline, “EMU makes the Atlantic’s list of “U.S. Colleges and Majors that Are the Biggest Waste of Money”… and it’s total bullshit,” you can probably suggest his take on this. Among other things, it seems like kind of goofy to talk about this in relation to an art major since there aren’t a lot of people coming to major in art who are in it for the money.
  • I think what’s more troubling here is that the way that this kind of dubious and/or highly skewed research gets reported by the lazy-assed mainstream media as “fact nuggets” easily consumed and often repeated. So for example: of you look at this page on the “return on investment” on the PayScale site, you’ll see that all of the top schools on that list are essentially institutions where engineering and related fields– the number one school is Harvey Mudd College, which is a very competitive institution where most of the 784 or so students are majoring in stuff like engineering. In other words, what this report really suggests that students who major in stuff like engineering and computer science and technology-oriented fields make a lot more money on average than students who major in art or education or social work. Like people didn’t already know that.
  • I have degrees from both Virginia Commonwealth University and Bowling Green State University (though not in Education), and I teach at EMU. I guess I’m a three time loser!

“The Wurst Challenge: the magic of giant sausage brings the community together, quality arts programming to kids, and the nation’s attention to Ypsi”

From Mark Maynard comes “The Wurst Challenge: the magic of giant sausage brings the community together, quality arts programming to kids, and the nation’s attention to Ypsi,” which is a recap of the sausage eating contest/fund raiser that featured EMU President Susan Martin. I was out of town this past weekend at a conference, but I have to say I wish I was there and I might try to make it next time– if there is a next time.

In fact, I have a suggestion for Maynard and the folks at the Wurst Bar and the folks who benefited from this fundraiser, FLY Children’s Art Center: make it a “pro-am.” One of my many fascinations is with the weird world of competitive eating, and, believe it or not, there is indeed a professional circuit out there. So what I’m saying is have the fundraiser you just had, but have a truly professional version too. If they did that, I’ll bet you’d get several folks who actually finish that sausage.

Anyway, congrats on raising the money for a good cause and a good PR move for EMU to participate, too.

Two (and a half) for the road: CIT and a couple of Mark Maynard posts

I have to get out of town for this conference, but I had to mention two (and a half) other things/suggestions for further reading:

First, from our friends over at Eagle Totem comes “EMU Wins Basketball Game, Loses the Internet.” Basically, the Emus won it’s basketball game in the CIT last night in front of a crowd of 373 fans. One of the players sent out some negative and not well-worded “tweets” about the whole experience, and that appears to have received more attention than the game itself. mLive has the story here, too.

And what the hell is the “CIT?” And is this the sort of “post-season play” that is entitling Rob Murphy to a bonus this year? If you ask me, this is a waste of time and money on all fronts– zero to negative PR value/visibility issue for EMU, it takes students out of the classroom for no good reason, it costs us money we don’t have, etc., etc.

Second, Mark Maynard has two posts of interest: “EMU venturing into the community, making damn good videos,” which is about a video made by the office of Campus Life about the Ypsi Food Co-op, a video that I would agree is very well done.  The other post is “Participants in Thursday’s Wurst Challenge already raise $3,624 for Ypsilanti’s FLY Creativity Lab, aim for even more,” which is an update on the sausage eating contest that will feature EMU President Susan Martin. I’ll be out of town, but it looks like an event worth attending and/or donating to.