|December 13, 2013||Higher Education?||no comments|
|December 11, 2013||Imperfection||no comments|
|December 09, 2013||The Continuing Quest For the Perfect Yoga Pant||no comments|
|December 06, 2013||For the Honor of Greatness||no comments|
|December 04, 2013||Making Every Day Count or What You See Is What You Get||no comments|
|December 02, 2013||A Perfectly Imperfect Practice||no comments|
|November 29, 2013||It's A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood||no comments|
|November 27, 2013||The Supersized American Turkey||no comments|
|November 25, 2013||Who is Jane Franklin Mecom?||no comments|
|November 21, 2013||An Untimely Death||no comments|
Finishing this semester at Carlow makes me wonder about the state of higher education in the United States. It seems that the cost of college is too high and the quality of education too low with little hope for any kind of meaningful reform. Is a college education really worth the expense?
Public four-year colleges reported a 2.9 percent increase nationally for in-state tuition and fees with a large variation by state. In 2013-14, published tuition for in-state students at University of Wyoming was $4,404 while at our Penn State-University Park it was $17,926. Pitt is comparable raising costs 3.2 percent for 2013-14, bringing tuition and fees to $17,100.
Four-year private institutions had a 4.5 percent increase in 2012-13 and an 8.5 percent hike the year before. Carlow’s tuition for full-time undergraduate students is $25,200 per semester, an increase of $980 over last year.
Most students use grants, loans and scholarships. For the current academic year with the average published in-state tuition of $8,893; the average net price paid by the student is about $3,120. Part of the affordability problem today is that family incomes have fallen even as prices for colleges continue to rise.
It is an improvement to see ratings that go beyond selectivity and nice facilities to targeting student aid to those who need it most, greater increases in public funding and better guidance to help students navigate complex decisions.
It’s near impossible to locate funds and it’s demanding to re-pay the debt, but it is also the most individually empowering experience our country has to offer. Education adds increased marketability, hands-on tools to weather adversity, an expanded view of the world and a strong sense of self-pride not to mention critical thinking and reasoning skills that will last a lifetime. In the end, a true example of dollars and sense.
Imperfection actually turns out to have an element of beauty. The universe has more of one type of matter than another. Things are basically unequal. If this inequality did not exist, we wouldn't have a universe. It is this lopsided falling-into-something that makes beauty; this imperfection itself is the basis of beauty. So the thing that plagues us- our imperfection- turns out to be a basic element of joy. Don't be frightened on it. It is the ride of your life.
There was an article in today’s New York Times about the newest form of hot yoga. Hot yoga has never had any appeal to me, but in the article I latched onto the line: students wearing recycled-bottle-cap capri pants can chaturanga on recycled-tire floors between vine-covered recycled denim walls.
I have been frantic to replace worn-to-death old navy yoga pants Maybe recycled-bottle-cap pants are the answer?
Each pair of pants recycles 18 to 30 water bottles.
I’ll let you know. I ordered a pair!
I'm just finishing my middle period now, at 76. I'll be beginning the late period soon. David Hockney
Featuring 398 works made since 2002, David Hockney: A Bigger Picture runs through Jan. 20 at the De Young Museum in San Francisco.
147 of the 398 were produced on an iPad. Hockney's iPhone art began in 2008. It fits comfortably in the pockets he had sewn into his jackets for his sketchbooks. A rotating group of about 30 friends, curators, dealers and writers regularly receive his artworks by email.
How To Respond To Your Personal Suffering from Page 90 of Polishing The Mirror by Ram Dass
Here is a brief checklist of some ways to approach your death:
Live your life consciously and fully. Learn to identify with and be present in your soul, not your ego.
Fill your heart with love. Turn your mind toward God, guru, truth.
Continue with all of your spiritual practices: meditation, mantra, kirtan, all forms of devotion.
Be there for the death of your parents, loved ones, or beloved animals. Know that the presence of your loved ones will remain with you when you are quiet and bring them into your consciousness.
Read about the deaths of great saints, lamas, and yogis like Ramana Maharshi.
If there is pain at the time of death, try to remain as conscious as possible. Medication for the pain offers solace but dulls your awareness.
To be peaceful at the time of your death, seek peace inside today. Death is another moment. If you’re not peaceful today, you probably won’t be peaceful tomorrow.
It is an extra big Thanksgiving for turkeys this year.
Mark it down: in 2013, the average weight for American produced turkey crossed 30 pounds for the first time. At least based on the January to October numbers for this year, we're talking about an average weight of 30.47 pounds.
That's a remarkable increase in average size. Go back a little further, like I did in 2008, and you see that we didn't hit 15 pounds until the 1930s. In 1960, the average weight of a turkey was just 16.83 pounds. Even in 1985, it was only 20 pounds, and we didn't hit 25 pounds until 1999.
And we owe it all to artificial insemination.... Read the entire article here.
If you want to have a fascinating look at early American life, read Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin by Jill Lepore. Jane Franklin Mecom was Benjamin Franklin’s younger sister. There were 17 Franklins in all. He was the youngest son and six years older than she. Pregnant at sixteen, Jane, was forced to marry the mentally and financially unstable Edward Mecom. She spent most of her life in Boston confined to a tiny house filled with difficult children taking in boarders to make ends meet.
Ben was brilliant, startling, and adventurous. He taught himself excellent handwriting and prose composition. He moved to Philadelphia and by 1748 at the age of forty-two, was the most important paper merchant in the entire colonies. In 1751, when Benjamin's book Experiments and Observations on Electricity was published, Jane, forty-one, was pregnant with her twelfth child.
Jane held her pen awkwardly and spelled poorly. Jane documented the births and deaths of her family in a slim handmade paper book made from rags, sewn with flax thread and written with ink made of boiled oil mixed with soot. Of her twelve children, she recorded the deaths of eleven.
As Benjamin Franklin rose further to fame and fortune, Jane sank further into poverty. In 1765, her husband died leaving her deeply in debt. His entire estate, assessed at $67, placed his family among the poorest in Boston. Jane continued to supported two daughters and two grandchildren through her boarding house.
Benjamin wrote many letters to Jane during his lifetime. Few of her letters to him survive. Yet, Lepore does a great job creating an authentic rich account of an ordinary woman’s struggle during the time of our nation’s founding. Jane had a difficult life but she was strong and despite all odds, she endured.