SL 809

This afternoon, I fled the house to grab some quality writing time at one of the few tables still available at the local Barnes and Nobel cafe. I was taking notes on a book about 18th century schools for “feeblemindedness.” Truly fascinating. Besides the fact that they used fun words like “morons,” “defectives,” and “abnormal,” some of those schools don’t sound terrible. I’ll write it up for you soon.

Two of my favorite politics questions of the day: Did BLM, AOC, and socialism hurt the Democratic Party down ticket? Will we ever get Trump out of the White House?

I am completely addicted to the instagram accounts of the British Royal Family. I love their long princess coats, their wrinkly faces, and their solemn processions. Not in those accounts, but in the gossip blogs, Prince Harry was really upset not to be a part of the latest procession – he wanted someone to lay a wreathe for him as part of Remembrance Day, but the court people told him that he wasn’t a working royal anymore, so… no…. — so he and his wife staged something by themselves in LA and called in a professional photographer to watch them looking sad.

The top books of 2020 lists are starting to come out. Fun!

A few days ago, I wondered why colleges like Drexel email us marketing information every day, sometimes twice a day, but we get nothing from the local community college. Dean Dad answered my question.

8 thoughts on “SL 809

  1. With a senior and junior in high school, we’re on the receiving end of a blitz of marketing from colleges. After looking at so many of these, I’ve realized how difficult it is for colleges to break through the noise.

    Additionally, it’s also clear to me why so many low income students end up undermatching. The process is so difficult to navigate (even for us – and my husband and I both work in higher ed), and for many of the higher end privates and even flagship state schools, it’s – fill out this form to have your application fee waived. So kids are faced with paperwork on top of paperwork. But lots of the lower ranked schools make applying free and they put this and scholarship money their front and center recruiting materials.

    Our zip code also includes low income communities, so we get information from organizations trying to match low income students to better schools, but (see above), their recruiting gets lost in the noise. Pair that with your recent story about the lack of guidance in public schools (100% on the mark – our guidance to student ratios are right on the mark for what is recommended, and our kids’ counselor has been useless), and it’s a recipe for disaster.

    I don’t know how you fix this, but it’s clear the system is not functioning well.


  2. “A few days ago, I wondered why colleges like Drexel email us marketing information every day, sometimes twice a day, but we get nothing from the local community college”

    Community colleges are different in different states in terms of who they serve, but one thing I’ve heard from people who work at our local community college is that increasing enrollment for them does means they have to do more with less, since more students do not mean more funds.


  3. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but Dean Dad is wrong about just about everything but the paltry marketing budgets.

    It’s very easy to keep digital ads confined to a county. It’s easy to target different audiences with different messages via display ads or email. And there is nothing to stop community colleges in a state from advertising as a block. Big glossy four-color brochures may not be the best choice for institutions without big budgets, but how many of those don’t end up in the trash within minutes of arrival?

    I suspect there’s no real incentive to market – are community colleges looking to grow? Attract more kids right out of high school instead of after the disastrous freshman year at an expensive school? Is there funding for growth? Their modest tuitions can’t cover costs, can they?


  4. Totally agree about the marketing info, but Community college reps tell me that their admission numbers are down and they are very worried. They expected that more kids would go there, rather than virtual four-year colleges, but that didn’t happen.

    Sending out emails cost almost nothing. I’m sure that colleges like Drexel paid the College Board for our email address, but I bet the community college could get them for free from the local public schools. I would welcome that information. But they don’t. I think it is because nobody at the community college is rewarded for doing a good job. They don’t give a shit.


    1. “They don’t give a shit”


      So not true. I can name at least three who care, though I can’t tell whether they are rewarded for it.


  5. Most of the words that annoy Laura were not originally offensive. They become offensive because the underlying reality they describe is unpleasant. I have seen the same thing happen with “retarded” in my lifetime: originally a polite word to replace older words like “moron,” which was itself originally a scientific term coined at the dawn of psychology, it became a childish insult, and fell into disfavor among well-mannered people. Eventually, children will start insulting each other by saying, “You’re neuroatypical,” and a new term will have to be invented for that.


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