Thursday, March 30, 2017


Retirement doesn't look so bad. Growing older, after all, but not up. Flip-flops are cheap, too. From The Rolling Stone.

Jimmy Buffett to Open Margaritaville Retirement
For Parrotheads "55 and better" seeking an "active adult community" while wasted away again, the Latitude Margaritaville will open its first branch in Daytona Beach, Florida, with similar communities also in the works. 
"Inspired by the legendary music and lifestyle of singer, songwriter and best-selling author Jimmy Buffett, your new home in paradise features exciting recreation, unmatched dining and FINtastic nightlife," the Latitude Margaritaville site says. 
The $1 billion project, a collaboration between Margaritaville Holdings and Minto Communities, aims to create 7,000 homes in Daytona Beach; since announcing Latitude Margaritaville two weeks ago, the property has already received over 10,000 registrations, Minto senior vice president Bill Bullock told Good Morning America. 
“It’s going to be a very fun place,” Bullock added. “We expect our first residents to be living in the community by late summer of 2018.”

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Adult Ed 101

Money and time, the two big obstacles to higher education for adults. Tennessee is addressing the money part, to its credit. From The Tennessean.

Survey reveals why it's so hard for adults to go back to college
Money is a key hurdle for many working adults interested in higher education. 
Tuition and fees were listed as a barrier by 81 percent of the survey participants, the report said. Three fourths of respondents said they needed help finding extra money to pay for college. 
"People who are out in the workplace, they don’t have the extra money to take a class here and there,” Ward said. “That money means the difference between going to school and not going to school.” 
Ward predicted that Gov. Bill Haslam's Tennessee Reconnect proposal to make community college tuition-free for adults without a degree could "change the game" by dramatically easing the financial burden many adult students face. The report said employees also struggle with other costs, like books and transportation. 
At Schwan Cosmetics USA, one of the companies that participated in the survey, the report could represent an impetus to consider establishing new programming or fine-tuning existing policies. Schwan has intensified its focus on promoting higher education in the last year or so, and there is a longstanding tuition reimbursement program, but managers are looking to the report for some guidance on next steps.
“We still have room to grow. We don’t have a ton of people pursuing degrees,” said Laurie Morra, manager of training and development. “It helps us to look at (the report) and say, ‘What can we do to make it easier?’” 
The report said cost can still be a hurdle for employees who have to pay tuition up-front and wait for reimbursement. Morra said managers are reviewing her company's tuition reimbursement plan and considering possible adjustments, though she said nothing had been finalized. 
Previous strategies depended on employees seeking out information. But after reviewing the survey, Morra said, the company would make an effort — both independently and in partnership with the Reconnect Community — to be more aggressive in promoting higher education and offering help. 
The report is “prompting us to be more proactive rather than reactive, sitting and waiting for people to come talk to us," she said.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

One of the benefits of lacking a college degree?

You're less likely to marry. So there's that. From

Since the recession, incomes for college grads have recovered, while less-educated Americans have seen their incomes decline 3 percent, according to the Economic Policy Institute. The income gap between college grads and high school grads now stands at 56 percent, the widest since 1973, the EPI found. 
That meshes with the problems facing younger American men who lack college degrees. In 1990, more than 17 percent of men between 18 to 39 worked in manufacturing, but by 2007 that had declined to about 11 percent, Autor and his co-researchers found. Fewer job opportunities reduce “the supply of young men who would likely be judged as good marital prospects,” they noted. 
While more Americans are getting married later or even skipping marriage altogether, another trend has emerged in the last few decades: the so-called marriage gap. This phenomenon dovetails with education as college grads not only enjoy more income but more successful marriages.
College-educated Americans are today more likely to be married than their counterparts with less education, at 65 percent to 53 percent, according to the Pew Research Center. Women with college degrees are more likely to have successful marriages, with almost 8 out of 10 in marriages lasting 20 years or more, compared with just 4 out of 10 marriages for women with high school diplomas. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Look busy

This is why our vacation days go unused. We want to be overworked. The bosses won...From Paste.

Do you catch yourself complaining to your friends about how totally overworked you are? Joking that maybe you’ll have time to hang out some time in the next century? Making sure they know that you eat “sad desk salad” for lunch because you are just so swamped? Turns out you may be, consciously or not, trying to signal your social status—just as surely as if you showed off a new designer bag or bragged about going backstage at a super hip show over the weekend. Yes, apparently being a workaholic is yet another signifier of the social hierarchy that we’re hardwired to try to climb, and being busy makes you look important and high-status, in the eyes of Americans, at least. 
It used to be that leisure time was a sign of wealth and status: only the well-off could afford regular vacations, “ladies who lunch” showed off by socializing and relaxing during the day, when the rest of us poor saps were working. 
But over the past few decades, something has changed. Americans now see busyness and overwork as a sign of someone important. We admire the executive chained to her desk, the workaholic who doesn’t have time to eat right, and we not only understand when our friends are too busy to hang out, it actually improves our perception of them. And to reach this high rung on the social ladder ourselves, no matter how miserable it may be once we’re there, we either cram our own schedules full until they’re ready to burst, or we at least pretend to.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

It seems the best states to raise a family include a lot of snow and cold weather

North Dakota, New Hampshire, Vermont, Minnesota and Nebraska lead the list. The District of Columbia, Mississippi, and New Mexico are at the bottom. Tennessee is 37th, right behind Kentucky. From WalletHub.

2017’s Best & Worst States to Raise a Family
Raising a healthy, stable family sometimes requires moving to a new state. And the reasons are often similar: career transitions, better schools, financial challenges or perhaps a general desire to change settings. 
But wants and needs don’t always align in a particular state, which might offer, for instance, a low income-tax rate yet subpar education system. Consequently, a family must make unnecessary sacrifices — the kinds that are easily avoided by knowing which states offer the best combination of qualities that matter most to parents and their kids.

Source: WalletHub

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Social notworking

We no longer have to live with unanswered questions. Remember when we had to dig out the encyclopedia? When we could buy encyclopedias at the grocery store as an incentive to shop? O brave new world, / That has such people in 't! I suggest you try calling in sick to work with one of these--like nomophobia. From The Week.

5 new brain disorders that were born out of the digital age
1. Nomophobia
Some people are afraid of spiders. Others, heights. Or maybe you're unreasonably fearful of clowns. The list of phobias is long, and researchers recently added one more: In 2012, the world learned of "No-Mobile Phobia" or "nomophobia" — the feeling of panic one has upon being separated from one's phone or tablet. In one U.K. survey, 73 percent of respondents felt panic when they misplaced their phone. And for another 14 percent, that panic spiraled into pure desperation. 
But the research into this new fear is so new, it's hard to say conclusively whether nomophobia is good or bad for our long-term health. "Maybe the nomophobic have higher quality relationships," Piercarlo Valdesolo speculates at Scientific American. "Maybe the nomophobic have greater life satisfaction. Maybe they have more successful professional lives. Or maybe I should admit this is wishful thinking and try to detach from my device for a while."

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Tennessee Reconnect

Pushing for adults to be able to attend community college for free. I've heard little opposition to it. From

A Republican governor from a deep red Southern state has emerged as an unlikely leader of the free tuition movement, winning converts across party lines by emphasizing the need for a better-trained workforce.
Now Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is pushing his state to become the first to make community college free to almost every adult. 
Liberals and conservatives remain divided about how much taxpayer money should go toward ensuring more people graduate college. But a critical shortage of skilled, qualified workers is building rare bipartisan consensus that government needs to push harder to educate today’s workforce.
“The free college movement has gained support from the left and the right, albeit for different reasons,” said Thomas Harnisch, director of state relations and policy analysis for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. Liberals see free college as a social justice matter that benefits low-income students, he said, while conservatives see it as a way to bolster the workforce without significant spending.
Tennessee made history three years ago when Haslam pushed the passage of an education bill offering free community college to new high school graduates, a first in the country. That same legislation made state technical schools free to all residents, no matter how long ago they graduated. 
Former President Barack Obama’s attempt to pass a similar federal program was a non-starter with Republicans in Congress, but several states followed with their own variations and more are considering them. 
Haslam now wants an expansion – one that would make Tennessee the first state to offer free community college to nearly all adults without a post-secondary degree or certificate. The proposal still has to pass the state’s Republican-dominated legislature, but the House and Senate speakers have said the measure is expected to sail through.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

You mean Kindergarten Cop

Doesn't accurately portray how teachers work? I'm shocked. Shocked. Could the documentary discussed in the interview below, Teacher of the Year, be the only movie that really looks at a teacher's responsibilities? From The Atlantic.

How Pop Culture Misrepresents Educators
Andrew Simmons: The movie may critique the Hollywood hero-teacher narrative, but doesn’t Angie come across as the kind of teacher that a teacher should emulate? 
Angie Scioli: To suck the public in, you give them that narrative, which establishes my moral authority as a “good” teacher. Then in the second part of the movie, you learn that half my fourth-period class is failing, my value-added test scores are terrible, and the event I organized, Pridefest, is not a success. You think, “Wait, I thought she was a good teacher.” The public has been fed a media narrative that a good teacher is the hero teacher. Once that’s established, it’s more powerful to find out it’s not going all that well in some aspects. The audience hopefully realizes it’s more complicated. 
Simmons: Movies about teachers also don’t show teachers grading papers—as Angie does—for six hours on a family road trip. But that’s part of a real teacher’s life. The second half of the movie even shows Angie constantly reflecting on those challenging and disappointing experiences and trying to think of new approaches. Will non-teachers just see this as the humanizing of a hero? Or will they see it and think, “Wait, she is a great teacher, and not in spite of the stumbles, but because of how she responds to them?” 
Rob Phillips: I’m hoping it creates dialogue in which people question the monolithic, unrealistic expectations of the hero and the “hack narratives” and instead have a nuanced discussion about what teaching is. Angie is, on any day, both successful and unsuccessful. It is one thing to say and another to see. That makes it hard to ignore.

Simmons: What is the “hack narrative?”

Phillips: In film, Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Someone who knows the material but not how to perform. Someone who doesn’t care. Someone invested in a union or a teacher group, which are maligned in films. They are always a barrier, like with [Erin] Gruwell’s department head in Freedom Writers. Or when Jaime Escalante is trying to teach calculus [in the 1988 film Stand and Deliver]. 
Jay Korreck: In movies, the veteran is always the hack and the new teacher, in contrast, is a hero.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Save the Date!

Tennessee Alliance for Continuing Higher Education

East Regional Conference
Friday, May 12, 2017

Make plans now to attend the 2017 East Regional Conference on the ETSU at Sevierville campus.

2025 Red Bank Road
Sevierville, TN 37876

More info to follow on speakers. Conference check-in will begin at 9:30 a.m. Eastern.  Morning pastries, juice/coffee, lunch and afternoon snacks are included in your $25.00 registration fee.  The conference will conclude by 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Happy National Proofreading Day!

National Proofreading Day is observed each year on March 8th.  This day was created to bring  awareness to the importance of proofreading.

National Proofreading Day promotes mistake-free writing. Make all your writings and documents make a positive and professional impression by proofreading them carefully.  

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

From the "it seemed a good idea at the time" file

Maybe don't name a bill after someone who supports pedophilia. I wonder what will happen when Conservatives protest a liberal speaker on campus? From 

A bill that would stop speeches from being canceled at public universities due to protests is getting some heat Tuesday. 
Representative Mike Stewart wants the so-called Milo bill to be withdrawn. 
“We in the state of Tennessee do not need to be naming bills after people, celebrating them, for promoting pedophilia, racism, negative behavior toward women,” said Stewart. 
The bill is not actually about Milo Yiannopoulos but is in response to what happened at the University of California-Berkeley. The former Brietbart columnist was supposed to give a speech there, but protesters flooded the and things turned violent, so it was canceled.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Renaissance Child Enrichment

 East Tennessee State University's 
Office of Professional Development Presents:
Renaissance Child Spring Enrichment Program
March 13-17
Daily sessions from 8 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
Children ages 6 to 12  

Spring-related arts and crafts will be offered, as well as field trips, including visits to WCYB News Center and Bright's Zoo.

Each child should bring a bag lunch daily and wear "paint-friendly" clothing.

To register, CLICK HERE,  
or call 423-439-8084 or email

For further information,
contact Betsy Cunningham 
at 423-439-8084 
or email at

Enrollment is limited. 
There is a $160 fee, with a $15 discount for 
ETSU students and employees.

Renaissance Child 
Spring Enrichment Program
March 13-17
Daily sessions from 8 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
Children ages 6 to 12  
For more information and to register, 

For disability accommodations, 
call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at 423-439-8346.

East Tennessee State University's
Office of Professional Development
Box 70559
Johnson City, TN  37614-1707
423-439-8084 (local)
Website - Click Here

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Tennessee HBCUs visit the White House

A nice moment, even if bumbled by Betsy DeVos. From The

Leaders from three of Tennessee's historically black colleges and universities traveled to Washington D.C. this week for a series of meetings in which President Donald Trump and other federal officials pledged to support the institutions. 
TSU President Glenda Glover, interim Fisk President Frank Sims and LeMoyne-Owen College President Andrea Lewis Miller were among more than 60 HBCU leaders to converge in the nation’s capital on Monday and Tuesday for the meetings. Sims described them in an email as “quite productive,” even though they were somewhat overshadowed by controversial remarks by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. 
“Our goal as a group was to share our collective concerns with President Trump and his executive leadership directly responsible for educational funding and policies that impact our institutions,” Glover said in a statement. “We hope the executive order represents a real commitment to historically black colleges and universities which makes HBCUs a significant line item in the President's budget. What HBCUs need is funding, and this is precisely why we made the trip to Washington.”

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Haunted by student loans

Who knew your social security could be garnished for student loan debt? Under the radar is right. From CBS MoneyWatch.

One of the growing threats to a comfortable retirement -- other than not saving enough -- is being hobbled by college loans in your seventh decade.  
Although student debt mostly flies under the radar for retirees, it has become a problem because debt collectors can garnish Social Security payments. 
According to a recent study by the Government Accountability Office, this debt can force retirees dependent upon Social Security into poverty.
Since college loans can be discharged in court only in cases of serious disability, they can follow you the rest of your life. That’s also the case for those who co-sign for debt. Parents and grandparents who want themselves or family members to earn a college degree can get trapped in student debt during their most vulnerable times. Doing the right thing can be a financial disaster.    
College loans taken on by older Americans have nearly quadrupled in the past decade, reports the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Parents and grandparents have assumed about $67 billion of this debt, most of it held by those over 60. Some 40 percent of these borrowers are in default, the highest nonpayment rate for any age group.