Commentary: College Is worth It If Done Right

first_imgCommentary: College Is Worth It If Done RightMay 17, 2018 By Abdul Hakim-ShabazzIndyPoltics.Org I was at my favorite downtown Indianapolis watering hole Saturday night having a scotch and cigar when I struck a conversation with one of the servers who told me she had met a former student of mine. As some of you might be aware I teach, part-time, at Ivy Tech Community College and the University of Indianapolis. The server told me that she mentioned she worked at Nicky Blaine’s and the student asked her if she knew me. She said yes. He then proceeded to tell her that when he first took my class (speech) he couldn’t stand me. Big shocker. He thought I was arrogant and worse, hard. However, as the class went on through the semester he realized what he was learning was about more than giving speeches. It was being a more effective communicator. And the skill sets he picked up from that class (organization, research, self-confidence, knowing your audience, persuasion) made it a lot easier for him to go into his current field. The student sent his best.I bring up this story because as many students, young and old, walk across the stage this month, they should keep in mind that what you learn in college goes far beyond what’s taught in a classroom. There is a big debate in the country about the value of college and whether it is worth the debt that some students incur when juxtaposed to the positions waiting for them when they graduate.I think that is a fair discussion. I think we have put the misleading narrative into too many people’s heads that everyone needs a four-year degree. I have three degrees and have taught college for nearly 15 years, and I will be the first one to tell you not everyone needs a four-year degree. However, I will argue that in the 21st century, everyone needs some type of post-secondary education beyond high school. Whether it is a four-year degree, associates, certification, to make it in the 21st century, knowledge and critical thinking are currency.And when college is done right, students walk away with the critical thinking and reasoning skills that will do them well in their personal and professional lives. And here’s another reason why a post-secondary education is so important.A recent report concerning jobs and the economy showed that for every person in this country who is out of work, there is a job available. That’s right there are now as many jobs open as there are unemployed. MarketWatch reported that according to the latest data from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, there were 6.55 million job openings in March. In March, there were 6.59 million unemployed, meaning there are 1.01 unemployed workers for every job.To put this in perspective, during the 2008 recession, there were 6.67 unemployed people for every one job. Of course, the big challenge is filling those spots.Marketwatch also reported that a separate survey from the National Federation of Independent Business found that 88% of companies hiring or trying to hire reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. I am willing to bet my box of cigars and comic books that most of those people out of work don’t have much education past a high school diploma if that much. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for those with less than a high school diploma is near twice the national average. I’m just saying.So, is college worth it? I think, like anything else, if it’s done right it is. However, I don’t think we should confuse college with a post-secondary education. We should encourage all students, and adults for that matter, to continue learning because in the 21st-century knowledge is not only power but currency.FOOTNOTE: Abdul is an attorney and the editor and publisher of IndyPoltics.Org. He is also a frequent contributor to numerous Indiana media outlets. He can be reached at [email protected]Print Friendly, PDF & EmailFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Fighting the flu at less than full strength

first_img Chance for advance warning in search-based tracking method Study confirms vitamin D protects against colds and flu Everywhere you look, flu Daily or weekly dose had greatest benefit for those with significant deficiency Related On top of the flu Better late than never on vaccination, expert says Public health experts waiting for this flu season to peak will have to wait a while longer.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “flulike illness” is currently widespread in all states except Hawaii and Oregon, and by at least one measure — the percentage of outpatient hospital visits— this season has matched the pandemic of 2009, when a new virus spread around the world.“Most of January, and frankly most of this month to date, most states in the U.S. have reported high influenza activity,” said Tim Uyeki, chief medical officer for the Influenza Division of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. “We don’t typically see that, all at the same time, for so many weeks in a season.”This year’s flu has been deadly for more than 60 children, including a 6-year-old in Haverhill this week. Experts who gathered for a discussion at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health stressed the importance of vaccination. Though the effectiveness of this year’s shot against the dominant H3N2 strain appears to be low, the vaccine protects against other strains. In any case, some protection is better than none, the panelists agreed.“If you don’t get a flu shot, it is 100 percent ineffective,” said Alfred DeMaria, medical director for the Bureau of Infectious Disease at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.DeMaria reminded healthy young people who may feel they don’t need the vaccine that they can spread infection to vulnerable populations, including the elderly, the sick, and the very young.Other panelists were Marc Lipsitch, a professor of epidemiology and director of the Harvard Chan School’s Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics, and Yonatan Grad, assistant professor of immunology and infectious diseases.As science works to develop a universal flu vaccine, research should also be directed to improving the existing vaccine, Lipsitch said. That can be done by better utilizing technology to improve estimates about which virus will spread in the coming season, a judgment made six months in advance that determines the components of the flu shot.“That is one [area] where we can do better and it’s just a matter of improving the tools we have,” Lipsitch said.Another step would be to tweak the vaccine in order to improve the vigor of immune responses, which determines the level of protection the shot conveys. A third measure, Lipsitch said, would be to switch from the current method of growing the virus in chicken eggs to a cell culture-based system, which could be faster and less likely to promote unwanted changes in the vaccine virus.“If we can chip away at the issues of duration of immunity, breadth of immunity, strength of immunity, and speed of production, I think all of that will lead in the right direction,” Lipsitch said.While other panelists agreed that the current vaccine could be improved, Uyeki noted that flu shots, though imperfect, still prevent millions of cases of disease each year.Local public health officials are not standing still in their campaign to get people vaccinated, DiMaria said. Pharmacists in Massachusetts have been given approval to administer vaccines, he said, towns hold vaccination clinics, and campaigns go where vulnerable populations live, such as senior housing. In addition, a campaign targeted at health workers has proven effective, with more than 90 percent vaccinated today.Increased funding for research is important if the vaccine is to improve, panelists agreed, and Lipsitch suggested one possible source. The U.S. recently resumed funding research to enhance flu viruses in the lab to understand how they become dangerous pandemic strains. Lipsitch said the avenue of inquiry worries him, because it raises the specter of a release into the population with little immune protection.“In my view, [it] really puts us at risk of a dangerous accident without much helping our flu preparedness,” Lipsitch said. “There’s a real misallocation of priorities away from things that keep us safe.”last_img read more

Diahann Carroll Out, LaTanya Richardson Jackson In for Raisin in the Sun

first_img78-year-old screen icon Diahann Carroll has withdrawn from the upcoming Broadway revival of A Raisin in the Sun midway through rehearsals, with LaTanya Richardson Jackson now taking over the role of Lena Younger. Interestingly, 64-year-old Jackson is only five years older than leading man Denzel Washington, who will play her son, Walter Lee Younger.The Kenny Leon production of the Lorraine Hansberry masterpiece has skewed older in its casting from the start. At 59, Washington is more senior than Broadway’s previous Walters, 34-year-old Sean Combs in the 2004 revival and 32-year-old Sidney Poiter in the 1959 original. And in the role of Lena Younger, Phylicia Rashad was 55 when she earned a Tony in the revival and original star Claudia McNeil was only 41 when she originated the role opposite Poitier!Jackson, who is married to screen and stage star Samuel Jackson, was seen on Broadway in the 2009 revival of August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Off-Broadway credits include Love, Loss and What I Wore, For Colored Girls…, Elliot Loves and From the Mississippi Delta. In addition, she has dozens of film and TV credits.A Raisin in the Sun will start performances on March 8 at the Barrymore Theatre, with opening night set for April 3. The limited run is set to end on June 15. In addition to Washington and Jackson, the cast features Tony winner Anika Noni Rose and Oscar nominee Sophie Okonedo, who will make her Broadway debut as Washington’s wife, Ruth.Get your tickets now for this one. No, seriously! View Comments Diahann Carroll Show Closed This production ended its run on June 15, 2014 Star Filescenter_img A Raisin in the Sun Related Shows LaTanya Richardson Jacksonlast_img read more