Monday, January 28, 2008

Mc(Social Mobility)

UK: McDonald's dishes up diplomas to go

The headline makes it sound like people are getting diplomas for flipping burgers, but actually three companies including McDonald's will actually be developing their own courses and university admissions-level examinations. Here's another report with more of a view towards the economics of employment.

Another article
goes more in depth on how it will actually work (and dutifully reports the new, cringe-worthy monicker, "McQualifications"). McDonald's employees will receive high school credits for their job experience that might help them get into a university. However, McDonald's, Flybe (an airline), and Network Rail (a rail company), are developing educational programs as well - not only training to work as a cabin crewmember or manage one's own fast food restaurant, but also in such things as engineering. It is still uncertain whether universities will accept these credits.

The key term in this program is "social mobility," as used by McDonald's officials in Britain: I think there's the general idea that working at a fast food franchise is as far down the employment ladder as you can go, especially since it's where you start in high school when you have no qualifications and just want some part-time cash. Part-timers of course begin their ascent as soon as the summer's over, or they graduate, or they just find something better. Now hopefully they won't be the only ones with this chance to climb.

Also according to the last article, something not quite like this exists in the US:

In the United States, McDonald's offers courses in restaurant management that can be transferred for credit at traditional colleges and universities through its training facility, Hamburger University. But a spokeswoman for McDonald's USA said there are no current plans to launch a high school-level program like the one in Britain.
It seriously is called Hamburger University, by the way. At least it's a step up from McQualifications.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

"Prineceton [sic] U. Student Charged"

Article yesterday afternoon about a Princeton student's mishaps under the influence of alcohol. Sad news, but must we pry so? Is it our business what trouble people get into (or don't) when they've been drinking? Moreover, is it really anyone's business what school this student goes to? The comments to this article are quite harsh. I detect a note of jealousy.


Monday, January 21, 2008

Remember, constant vigilance!

Some of us received this suspicious looking email in our inboxes. It unsurprisingly turned out to be a malicious fake. Here are some of the things wrong with it:

A- "Account Verification process"- aside from the fact that the "p" should probably be capitalized, I've been here for three years and never heard of this.

B- Oh, come on, first off, OIT already knows our passwords, and if they needed us to verify any information at all you'd expect them to do something a little more high-tech than this.

C- Considering the importance of our webmail accounts, that's very threatening languange. It's the sort of thing you'd expect from a chain letter. In any case, you get to keep your webmail account for a few months after graduation, it seems doubtful they'd erase all of your information after only 48 hours.

D- Punctuation is funny.

There are other strange things about this email, like how there's no actual email address.


Friday, January 18, 2008

Where has all the Gothic gone?

And really, what's going to happen to the Dinky and the Wa? I think that's what everyone really wants to know...

So after looking at Steven Holl's website, it seems highly likely that the new arts neighborhood will not be built in Gothic splendor. Alas. Let's just hope that the new arts center doesn't end up looking like MIT's Simmons Hall. Apparently it's a dorm. It's also apparently inspired by a "sponge"...

Actually, that looks a lot cooler than I remember it looking in person. As I recall it was an eyesore and my friend wouldn't stop complaining about it. (He took me to see it specifically to complain about it.)

Now, in other much more exciting news...
It seems that J. K. Rowling will be speaking at Harvard's commencement this year. Part of me is insanely jealous of my friends in Cambridge, and part of me is really skeptical. I love Harry Potter as much as the next insane person who got paid her brothers to wait in line so she could be one of the first people to buy a copy of the seventh book when it came out at midnight (I was number five...), but having read some of her interviews, I'm not entirely sure what she'll be like as a speaker. Whereas I know exactly what Colbert is like as a speaker. He's pretty funny.

Still, the ultimate question poses itself:


Princeton does look an awful lot like Hogwarts... Though maybe it'll look less like Hogwarts once the new arts neighborhood goes live.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

But it's not April!

Have to admit that my heart almost stopped when I read this headline in the Prince:

Besting Harvard and Yale, U. to go free

Alas, a good number of hopes and dreams were crushed a second later when my brain came to the only logical conclusion: "Oh wait, it's the joke issue!" Sad, but true. Easy come, easy go, I suppose... [1]

Also, since she apparently stole Nassau Hall (I haven't been outside yet, but I hope it's been restored to it's proper place by ACME), I thought I'd share this video from Be warned though, it's violent and people are pottymouths. This is Carmen Sandiego all grown up.

[1] Cf. the Nassoon's Princeton Is Free.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

And there goes Yale!

Following on the heels of Harvard's well publicized increase in financial aid, Yale too has decided to change it's financial aid policy. It's too late on the night before Dean's Date to really give you an intelligent review, but the article can be found here. This announcement also coincides nicely with Professor Grafton's opinion piece in the Prince.


Monday, January 7, 2008

On the first day of reading period, my true love gave to me...

Things I have done in the past two hours:
Check e-mail (at least four times)
Check Facebook (twice for long periods)
Eat Pizza
Open textbook
Text message

Things I must do before the day ends:
Read at least one chapter
Begin revising paper
Check to see if there's any news on Britney!!!!!

Just kidding about the last two.

I really need to read.


Saturday, January 5, 2008

Reporting live from the New Hampshire primaries

Two Daily Princetonian staff writers are on the ground in New Hampshire, covering the campaigns before the pivotal primary next Tuesday. You can read their blog here, or check the feed above. Yesterday they snapped photos at events for John McCain and Barack Obama.

Princetonian Staff Writers Matt Westmoreland '10 (l.) and Kate Benner '10 (r.) with Republican Presidential Candidate John McCain (c.).