My thoughts on the post-election nightmare

I am so sick and tired of the combative, ugly rhetoric that far-left and far-right media organizations have deployed on multiple avenues of communication.

I’m sick and tired of the divisiveness, the name-calling, the propaganda-spewing, all of it.

While it’s clear that people don’t agree with each other, that doesn’t mean we have to devolve into elementary school-level pettiness in our arguments. What has happened to the voice of reason? So many legitimate issues have become de-legitimized by ad hominem attacks and propaganda. They fail to address the real issue at hand. Not one issue goes by today without being addressed by these one-sided, agenda-bearing media organizations through tirades of anger. Emotion and opinions, not facts, guide these publications.

My frustration also extends to publications that publish biased videos with facts that are cherry-picked to support the publication’s agenda. I’m not going to mention any names because I’m sure people will start arguing with me below, saying I’m wrong. I find whichever news source that doesn’t give me a heart attack is the one that I watch nowadays. But I wish that the people who use these news outlets would stop using them.

We cannot afford to add any fuel to the flame. We must return to middle ground so we can actually have a civilized discussion for the first time since the election. It’s a pipe dream right now, but hopefully we can work towards this goal.

Interesting old history about UNT

So I found a UNT faculty member who is listed as having their office in Kendall Hall. I was like “huh?” I’ve never heard of such a hall. So I did some digging. The open space east of the BLB was the site of Kendall Hall before it was demolished to make way for the BLB, or the new home of the College of Business.

Before that, the COB was based in Sage Hall, which was called the Business Administration Building. And before TAMS was in Sage Hall, it was in Marquis Hall. Marquis Hall is now home to UNT’s International Students division, which was previously based in Kendall Hall. Interesting how the BLB displaced all of these departments.

Furthermore, I found out that Mac Park/Mac Field used to be the location of the Health Clinic before the new Chestnut Hall was built. There used to be another, older Chestnut Hall where the Rec Center now stands. Life Sciences Complex B was the former home of Masters Hall, where the Department of Chemistry was based until they got their own Chemistry Building.

Also, the Department of Computer Sciences used to be part of the College of Arts and Sciences and was based in the GAB.

Anyway, there’s a ton of interesting info that might interest history geeks like me. Check it out below!

This information was gathered from this map of UNT in 1997-1998.

Map: http://catalogarchive.unt.edu/97-98/map.pdf

UNT Map 1997-1998

Map guide: http://catalogarchive.unt.edu/97-98/mapguide.html

Pictures: http://cascampus.cas.unt.edu/


 

Buildings and Major Offices Located Within:

Administration Building

  • Board of Regents
  • Chancellor and President
  • Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Vice President for Administrative Affairs
  • Controller
  • Vice President for External Affairs
  • Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs
  • General Counsel/Attorney
  • Equal Opportunity
  • Prospective Students
  • Research and Academic Grants
  • University Marketing and Communication
  • University Planning and Institutional Research
  • Graduate Dean

Advancement Center

  • Vice President for Development
  • Alumni Association
  • UNT Foundation

Art Building

  • School of Visual Arts
  • University Art Gallery

Astronomy Observatory

  • Former Missile Base
  • North of Denton on FM 2164
  • (Locust Street)

Athletic Office Building

  • Athletic administration
  • Athletic Media Services
  • Athletic Ticket Office

Auditorium Building

  • Department of English
  • Studies in the Novel
  • Student Use of English
  • University Writing Center
  • Multipurpose auditorium

Bain Hall

Named after Dr. Wilfred C. Bain, the first head of the Music Department, 1938, and first dean of the School of Music, 1946. Dr. Bain also organized the institution’s first A Cappella choir.

  • Percussion rehearsals

Biology Building

  • Department of Biological Sciences

Bruce Hall

Completed in 1948 and named after Dr. William Herschel Bruce, who served as president of the North Texas State Normal College from 1906 to 1923.

  • Residence hall

Business Administration Building

  • College of Business Administration
  • Department of Accounting
  • Department of Business Computer Information Systems
  • Center for Information Systems Research
  • Department of Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Law
  • Department of Management
  • Department of Marketing
  • General Access Computer Labs

Chestnut Hall (named for street)

  • Environmental Ethics
  • Survey Research Center
  • UNT Institute for Behavioral and Learning Differences
  • University of North Texas Press

Chilton Hall

Named for Joshua Crittenden Chilton, who negotiated the contract with the City of Denton that established Texas Normal College and Teacher Training Institute on May 8, 1890. Served as president until 1893.

  • Adaptive Lab
  • Center for Continuing Education and Conference Management
  • Minicourse Office
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Center
  • Center for Instructional Services
  • Cooperative Education
  • School of Community Service
  • Center for Public Service
  • Institute of Anthropology
  • Department of Applied Gerontology
  • Department of Behavior Analysis
  • Department of Criminal Justice
  • Department of Rehabilitation, Social Work and Addictions
  • Department of Sociology
  • School of Merchandising and Hospitality Management
  • Media Library
  • General Access Computer Labs

Clark Hall

Named for Miss Edith L. Clark, the first dean of women, 1916-1944.

  • Residence hall

Coliseum

  • Basketball games
  • Commencements
  • Drivers Education
  • Handball courts
  • Multipurpose facility

College Inn

  • Residence hall
  • The Club at College Inn Restaurant

Crumley Hall

Named for John Jackson Crumley, president from 1893 to 1894. He is known for putting the “North” in North Texas Normal College.

  • Housing and Residence Life
  • Residence hall/Conference Center
  • Director of Business Services
  • Dining Services

Curry Hall

Named for Dr. O.J. Curry, first dean of the College of Business Administration, 1946-1974.

  • Classrooms
  • Team Labs and Tutor Labs (College of Business Administration)

Eagle Student Services Center

Named after the university’s official mascot chosen by the student body in 1922.

  • Admissions
  • Advanced Learning Center (Room 255)
  • ID Systems
  • Information Campus Operator
  • Registrar
  • Class schedules
  • Records
  • Transcripts
  • Bursar
  • Financial Aid
  • Scholarships
  • Undergraduate Admission
  • Toulouse School of Graduate Studies

Edwards Hall (named for street)

  • Emergency Administration and Planning Institute

Engineering Technology Building

  • Department of Engineering Technology

Fouts Field

Named after Theron J. Fouts who served as football coach, dean of men and director of athletics. Became football coach in 1920 and was athletic director at the time of his death in 1954.

  • Football games
  • Track meets
  • Multipurpose outdoor facility

General Academic Building

  • Academic Core Programs
  • Institute of Applied Science
  • Copy Center
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Department of Computer Sciences
  • Department of Geography
  • Department of Journalism
  • N.T. Daily
  • Department of Mathematics
  • Microcomputer Maintenance Shop
  • University Courses

Golf Course, Radisson Hotel Denton and Eagle Point Golf Club

Health Center

  • Clinic
  • Health Education
  • Pharmacy
  • Risk Management and Environmental Services
  • Telecommunications

Highland Hall (named for street)

  • Center for Development and Grant Support
  • TRIO Center for Student Development
  • Biofeedback Research and Training Lab
  • Center for Investigation of Talented Students

Information Sciences Building

  • Computing Center
  • Academic Computing
  • Administrative Computing
  • School of Library and Information Sciences
  • Science and Technology Library
  • General Access Computer Labs

Kendall Hall

Named for Dr. Joel Sutton Kendall who, in 1901, left the position of state superintendent of public instruction to become the principal [president] of the newly created state college, North Texas State Normal College, serving until his death in 1906.

  • Copy Center
  • Division of Aerospace Studies
  • International Studies and Programs
  • Studies Abroad Center
  • Intensive English Language Institute

Kerr Hall

For S. A. Kerr of Huntsville, vice-chairman of the Board of Regents, 1949-1967.

  • Residence hall

Language Building

  • Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures

Library Annex, 901 Precision

  • Technical Services

Lyceum, University Union

  • Multipurpose auditorium/classroom

Maple Hall (named for street)

  • Residence hall

Marquis Hall

Named for Dr. Robert Lincoln Marquis, who served as the president of North Texas State Teachers College, 1923-1934.

  • Human Resources Department
  • Institute of Petroleum Accounting
  • Internal Audit Department
  • Payroll
  • Texas Academic of Math and Science TAMS
  • NT Institute for Educators on the Visual Arts

Masters Hall

Named for W. N. Masters, long-time head of the Chemistry Department for North Texas State Teachers College.

  • Department of Chemistry

Matthews Hall

Named after Dr. James Carl Matthews, who served as the first dean of the School of Education, first vice president of the teachers college, and president of the university, 1951-1968.

  • Academy for Research and Professional Development
  • Child Development Laboratory
  • College of Education
  • Department of Teacher Education and Administration
  • Department of Technology and Cognition
  • Center for Higher Education
  • Center for Parent Education
  • National Center for School-to-Work Transition
  • Center for Study of Educational Reform
  • Texas Center for Educational Technology
  • General Access Computer Labs

Matthews Annex

Named after Dr. James Carl Matthews, who served as the first dean of the School of Education, first vice president of the teachers college, and president of the university, 1951-1968.

  • Child and Family Resource Clinic
  • Maturational Assessment Clinic

McConnell Hall

For Dr. W. Joseph McConnell, president of the teachers college and the state college, 1934-1951.

  • Residence hall/Texas Academy of Math and Science (TAMS)

Men’s Gymnasium

  • Weight room
  • Intramural basketball and volleyball
  • Women’s volleyball
  • Indoor soccer

Missile Base

  • Astronomy Observatory

Music Annex

  • Opera Rehearsal Hall
  • Recording Technology

Music Building

  • College of Music

Music Practice North

Music Practice South

Oak Street Hall (named for street)

  • Stafford Art Gallery
  • School of Visual Arts ceramics and photography program

Opera Hall

  • Faculty/Staff Fitness Program aerobics
  • Print Research Institute of North Texas

Physical Education Building

  • Faculty/Staff Fitness Program
  • Department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion and Recreation
  • Recreational Sports

Physical Plant Complex

  • Main Office
  • Key Control
  • Recycle Services

Physics Building

  • Department of Physics
  • Radiation Safety Office

Power Plant

Quad 2

  • Storage facility

Radisson Hotel Denton and Eagle Point Golf Club

  • Professional Development Institute PDI
  • Conference facility
  • Golf course

Science Research Building

  • Biochemistry
  • Department of Materials Science

Scoular Hall

For Dr. Florence I. Scoular, first dean of the School of Home Economics, 1946.

  • Texas Fashion Collection
  • School of Visual Arts fashion design and fibers programs

Smith Hall

Home of Station KNTU, located in the family home of J. W. Smith, business manager of the normal college and teachers college.

  • KNTU Radio

Speech/Drama Building

  • Department of Dance and Theatre Arts
  • Theatre Arts Office
  • Ticket Box Office
  • Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences
  • Speech and Hearing Clinic
  • Department of Radio, Television and Film
  • NTTV

Sports Medicine/Fitness Facility

  • Varsity sports training
  • Weight training

Stovall Hall

For Dr. Floyd Stovall, who served as director of the English Department and first dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in 1946.

  • Department of Dance and Theatre Arts
  • Dance Office
  • Department of Counseling, Development and Higher Education
  • Counseling and Human Development Center
  • Faculty/Staff Fitness Program – weight room
  • Center for Play Therapy

Sullivant Visitor Center

For Carroll Sullivant of Gainesville, member of the Board of Regents, 1961-1978. (open 24 hours)

  • General university information
  • Police Department
  • Parking Office

Tennis Courts, East

Tennis Courts, West

Terrill Hall

Named for Menter B. Terrill, president of the private North Texas Normal College from 1894 until it became a state normal college in 1901.

  • Center for Study of Work Teams
  • Department of Communication Studies
  • Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies
  • Department of Psychology
  • Psychology Clinic

University Services Building

  • Central Receiving
  • Claims Accounting
  • Travel
  • Payroll
  • Printing Services
  • Property and Inventory Control
  • Purchasing
  • Office Supply

University Union

  • Center for Cultural Diversity
  • Counseling and Testing
  • Information, tickets, check cashing
  • Lyceum
  • Mail Room (Intercampus mail)
  • Placement
  • Post Office Substation
  • Student Activities and Organizations
  • Student Association
  • Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Dean of Students
  • Disability Accommodation
  • Student Employment
  • Syndicate
  • Union Arts Center/Graphics
  • UNT Bookstore
  • University Program Council

West Hall

  • Residence hall

Willis Library

For A. M. Willis of Longview, member of the Board of Regents, 1965-1983, serving as its chairman from 1969 to 1983.

  • Main Library
  • Music Library
  • Archives
  • Oral History
  • Rare Book Room
  • Government Documents
  • General Access Computer Labs

Wooten Hall

For Benjamin Harrison Wooten of Dallas, chairman of the Board of Regents, 1949-1969.

  • Faculty Senate
  • Department of Political Science
  • Center for Economic Development and Research
  • Department of Economics
  • Department of History
  • Institute of Applied Economics
  • Department of Public Administration

Historical information about building names provided by James L. Rogers, Professor Emeritus of Journalism

Why MyWikis will no longer interview prospective employees

This post applies more to my personal life than the events of my company, so I’ve decided to write about it here on my personal blog. That being said, according to the title of this post, it has led to changes within my company.

You may think that I spend every single living hour outside of academics on MyWikis. This simply isn’t the case. Aside from MyWikis, I have plenty of things to do. (To be honest, I originally was  extremely passionate about MyWikis’ mission, which is why I founded the company of course, but five years puts a heavy toll on your passion. Today, I’m not as fired up about MyWikis as I was five years ago. And that’s okay! So I spend it somewhere else.) Two days ago, I started up a Bukkit server. Recently, since I’m a student too, I’ve been studying for some upcoming tests. I’ve been going to college admission information sessions too, so I can get an inside scoop on college admissions. And yes, college essays. Plus, did I mention I’m doing paid summer research for ten weeks at UNT? Yeah, my plate is loaded. I’ll admit to that.

I also founded the TAMS Cybersecurity Association, so I have lots of work to do in order to prepare this club for the upcoming fall semester. The reason I decided to found it was because of a lack of focus on cybersecurity-related topics in the TAMS community. Furthermore, being rejected from every single club and organization’s officer positions to which I applied resulted in my freedom to pursue something else. Since I wasn’t bound to an existing club, I decided to bring unfulfilled passions to share with everyone at TAMS. But from my experiences of being rejected, I was humiliated by the gruelling interview process. The questions being asked, as well as the surprise tasks that we were asked to perform, resulted in this said humiliation. I really had to sell my soul for these interviews, to show my passion for these clubs (and yes, they were true passions). Until they said, “nope, we don’t think you’re good enough compared to others.” Awkward.

Did you see something wrong with the fact that I was setting up a Minecraft server? Yeah, I’m bored. Let’s be honest. I’m not exactly pleased with the idea of studying for a test, then going to do research for 10 weeks, right after I finished a gruelling semester. My company? I love it, but I can’t spend all day on it at this point. I mean, I guess I could, but it’s not as good as—working on a fresh idea that has potential.

So I called up some of my friends who were working on a project that was just that. Previously, I worked with one of them on an open source project. It no longer exists today as a service, but I didn’t regret a second of developing it. And it was so. much. fun! My expectation was that I could hop on as a part-time contributor. These friends of mine gave me a formal interview at Starbucks, akin to the extremely triggering experiences I had at TAMS club officer interviews. Okayy… I knew the route this was going, with my luck. Sure enough, the interview process turned out to be the final nail in the coffin instead of the cherry on top.

In case you don’t know how hurt I was by the overall TAMS officer selection process, below is an excerpt I’ve taken from that article.

Through all of the assistance and leadership that I have shown this year, I have been stabbed in the back by every opportunity. Nothing seems to matter anymore. Apparently, I am an annoying, unqualified, “blacklisted” student that nobody likes and nobody wants to be a leader… Whenever I compare TAMS to the outside world, I see how I can make a true difference in real life, where my assistance is not only appreciated, it’s rewarded. I consistently contribute my time with a non-profit, and unlike TAMS clubs, they don’t treat me as if I were utter shit.

I’ve since come to the realization that the interviews given for TAMS and this opportunity to contribute to a project (free of salary) were humiliating. To be exact, I realized this twice: when I left Starbucks and when I received the email that I was not welcome to help because of my preexisting commitments.

Interviews are humiliating.

It felt like an initiation where I was asked to humiliate myself. For fraternities, that’s called hazing. I don’t know what it’s called in this case.

When you open up, when you are interrogated, when you are asked to share things too personal and too meaningful to you, and then to see them all dusted away as if they were nothing, you are humiliated.

Furthermore, friends don’t conduct formal interviews with each other. These things are mutually exclusive. Or so I thought? When I asked friends to join my company and help out (and paid them—remember I didn’t ask for a single cent from this new venture), I never put them through a formal interview process. Sure, I knew them, but I didn’t even question their true proficiency in what’s required to work in my company, and they ended up doing their job very well. I have now realized that I don’t need to interview someone to get a good sense of how suitable they are for a job.

Realizing how destructive and dehumanizing interviews have been, I have decided to completely eliminate any form of interviewing for MyWikis jobs. That’s right. Starting now, I am not going to even ask for “your worst quality and your best quality,” which is an absolutely bullshit question. I don’t give a crap about that. Everyone has them; no need to embarrass ourselves. I do know, however, that someone will do a good job if they’re qualified. And I’ll figure that out through an objective, fact-based simulation of how someone handles their job and communicates with others. Oh, and I’m not going to have people humiliated by having “surprises.” Applicants will have ample time to prepare before they enter the simulation. And that’ll be their training if they are hired, which they will, because they will be capable.

One last thing I forgot to mention: keeping talent on retainer means giving flexible work times, which is exactly my company’s policy on work. Matthew McConaughey might be a professor at UT Austin, but he isn’t working there full time. Yet UT respects his talents and gives him free reign over how he manages his time while bettering his students and the community overall.

See here for an update to our recent job posting: https://www.mywikis.com/jobposting-2017-05-11

In order to determine fit within our current company, you will be asked to complete a MyWikis-administered simulation where you will collaborate with others.

As a result of our recently-implemented No Interview Policy, we will not interview you for this job.

I am extremely serious and conscious about how people are treated, even if I’m not able to develop a harassment-fighting AI. As I once said in a TAMS seminar, humanity cannot be automated. That’s why I place more emphasis on ways humans can improve their behavior and attention to emotion, not just how a machine can do so in a regulated way.

I hope the elimination of any form of formal interviewing in the MyWikis job application process will reduce humiliation—a form of harassment. Destiny’s ironic.

Continuing to master the art of free Gogo Wi-Fi

Note: This is an updated post of something I wrote almost a year ago. I have since learned more about the art of free Gogo Wi-Fi. Enjoy this updated edition:

There are many things you can do to get free inflight Wi-Fi without having to shell out your money. Some are unethical and others are customer freebies. Anyway… let’s get to it.

1. Via T-Mobile

As a T-Mobile US customer, you just need to input your phone number into the special T-Mobile landing page and you get an hour of free Wi-Fi.

Here’s the catch: you don’t need to be using this on your T-Mobile phone. You just need to have a T-Mobile phone number with Wi-Fi calling used once. To avoid pissing off your family member or friend also on a flight and using T-Mobile, just use the phone number of someone not on the flight (and yes, it works!)

How would you get this to work on a laptop? Simply download an extension on your browser that changes the user agent to one of a phone, then visit airborne.gogoinflight.com and you’ll see the “Only for T-Mobile customers” plan appear. Click on it and authenticate as usual. It truly works.

After you have authenticated, you can return back to a normal desktop user agent and Gogo won’t notice. All should be well.

Actually, this part does not work anymore. Gogo has added enhanced detection of whether a device is a mobile device or not. In fact, this might even detect which carrier you use. So be careful.

If you have a rooted Android or a jailbroken iPhone, you can simply change your MAC address and do this again with another phone number after the free hour of Wi-Fi has passed. Clear cookies to be safe. Sneaky, but yes, it should work.

(Also, sometimes the T-Mobile free hour of Wi-Fi will continue working past one hour of use. This usually happens for me.)

2. SSH Tunnel

If you own a server (VPS or Raspberry Pi at home works), be sure to allow SSH to run on port 3128. For some reason, Gogo allows traffic to pass through port 3128 without authentication. You can repurpose an SSH connection to become a VPN of sorts, by using an SSH tunnel.

For me, setting up an SSH tunnel is trivial, so I recommend you check out this article below:

https://infosecdc.blogspot.com/2015/12/bypassing-gogo-in-flight-for-free.html

Essentially, you connect to SSH using -p 3128 and -D [whatever port number you want locally], then in your browser or OS settings, enable SOCKS proxy with the address of 127.0.0.1, port [whatever port number you want locally].

School meal shaming

Every day, after a morning of learning, students are eager to relax, eat, and chat with their friends. The last thing that needs to happen is for their warm, comforting plate of food to be tossed in the trash because their accounts were depleted of money—at absolutely no fault of their own. For some students, this experience can be humiliating and traumatizing, especially because this wasn’t their fault and they’re being punished for it.

Once a student receives their meal in the serving line, they expect the food to be theirs after they get done paying for it. And rightfully so; who would expect their food to be thrown away every single day? Nobody. Yet, when one day, money inevitably runs out in an account, the nightmare becomes reality. What was supposed to be theirs is now yanked away and turned into food for swarms of buzzards. In other words, their food is effectively stolen from them in front of others, and there’s nothing kids can do about it. Even though they didn’t pay for their food yet, it was supposed to be theirs. If you snatched the last $50 4K TV at Walmart on Black Friday but then someone else took it before you paid for it, wouldn’t you be pissed? In fact, many people get into fights over this. Search it up on YouTube. Yet kids aren’t going to fight with the lunch servers because they’re weak and powerless to appeal. This leads to them being traumatized after receiving an “alternative meal.”

What a tragedy. Remember that the financial responsibility of a student’s food should be on the parent. Any parents who can’t pay for their child’s meals will usually put their kids on free/reduced cost meals. So, meal “shaming” really only happens for those kids who don’t qualify for free/reduced meals, meaning their parents CAN pay, but they probably forgot to. And it’s not the parents who are shamed for forgetting to pay for their child’s meal; it’s the child.

At the same time, schools try their best to remind the parents to pay. Schools usually handle food through a for-profit corporation, and it is their right to make their money back. If one of their customers can’t pay, the corporation can’t be expected to send them free food. Yet, this is kids who don’t even earn any money we’re talking about. What ends up happening is that the student is caught up between the school and the parent, leading their hot meal to be thrown away and being humiliated instead of their parents being reminded. And I bet if some parents saw their kid’s meal being thrown away, they’d kick the lunch servers’ asses. Clearly, if kids are being treated like crap just because their parents aren’t there, this establishes that humiliation is NOT an acceptable way to “remind” parents to refill their child’s bank account.

Not to mention that if these for-profit corporations are trying to earn as much money as possible, then how on earth is throwing away food economical? I know they can’t serve this food again due to health regulations, but it boggles my mind why they can’t let these kids keep their meals. Say a student doesn’t get their lunch account topped up for many consecutive days. Still more money is lost from throwing away the unbuyable meal and giving a replacement meal than simply allowing a child to keep their meal. Not to mention how environmentally unfriendly and wasteful this practice is. And guess what? Parents still have to back-pay for all the alternative meals. Why not just let them back-pay for a regular meal?

One proposed solution I heard from someone else: Let the kids find out if they’re getting a hot meal or not BEFORE they go into the lunch line, not knowing if they will have enough money or not. That way, their food will not be taken away from them and they will still be reminded to tell their parents to add money to their lunch account. Personally, I still don’t like the fact that an alternative meal is given. This alternative meal is one of the catalysts for shaming. It needs to go. Let the children keep their meal, for goodness sake. They’re children. I hope that’s enough said to end school meal shaming.

Why college isn’t for everyone

Today, college is promoted by high schools as the panacea to the deficiencies of recent high school graduates (or grad-to-be’s). Don’t know what to do? Go to college. However, this fallacious precedent has dangerously misled many students into doing something that does not develop the skills they will need in the workplace. In some cases, several years of one’s life and hundreds of thousands of dollars could be wasted if college does not turn out to be what that person needed to advance their career.

Perhaps two hundred years ago, only very few people—the brightest intellectuals—would attend college. This is the way it was meant to be. College is an academic environment devoted to studying and research. Today, however, this core mission is blurred by frat parties and various students attending college “just because.” This shift of focus from academia to spring break at Panama City Beach has caused students to waste several years of life somewhere they don’t want to be, accumulating large piles of student loans in the meantime.

While the encouragement for more students to pursue what they want to learn and go to college regardless of conditions seem beneficial, and they can be very beneficial to those who are truly interested in the experiences of academia, there are also many students who would be better served at a technical school.

Before I dive in to better serving technical careers, I do want to emphasize that certain people are better suited to a liberal arts education, such as one that includes the humanities, social sciences, natural/pure sciences, and applied sciences, than to a technical careers education.

But does an aspiring carpenter necessarily need to know how to analyze the Iliad? Not really. What they do need to know is how to work with wood, which isn’t something that colleges offer and perhaps something that most high schools don’t allow students to focus the majority of their time working on.

In fact, go into any high school today and try to find posters in the hallways on how to become a welder, or a carpenter, or a mechanic. A policeman, a fireman, a paramedic. You won’t find anything of the sort. Meanwhile, hallways will be plastered with SAT and ACT sign-up dates. This leads to many high school students knowing when the next SAT is and going to a typical local college somewhere, instead of knowing when to apply for culinary school or learning how to sautée a filet mignon perfectly.

In Germany, specialization starts before our high schools would even start. Students are sent to whichever school they are most well suited for. Some people are just going to become great mechanics. But teaching them high school biology isn’t going to help them. In fact, they shouldn’t even be going to college, because you won’t find a single mechanic class, let alone major, in any doctoral-granting four-year university, a place where many undecided adults end up if they decide to go to college. Mechanics need to focus on how to fix cars, and where better to learn that than a specialized technical school? Yet, these undecided adults default to going to college, which doesn’t offer anything relevant for them.

Unfortunately, most of our public high schools only allow for students to dip their feet in the water for these technical jobs. Even then, CTE classes are considered “electives,” meaning want-to-be chefs will have to gruel through The Great Gatsby and using the law of sines to calculate the distance between the top of a cell tower and two people standing next to them before they can concentrate on perfecting their filet mignons. These things are great to know… for other people. But for these people, it’s wrong!

We should start promoting and teaching technical education more prominently to those who want to go into skilled work instead of condemning them to find the area under a curve. In fact, I don’t even think most English majors do that.

And the most important thing that everybody should learn: life skills. Regardless of whether someone should go to college, a technical school, or simply find a job, they all need to learn how to manage money, how to raise a family, how to cook, how to maintain houses and cars, etc. Have I been taught this? Nope, because I didn’t have the time to take a family and consumer science class (formerly known as home economics).

We need to change our priorities in the educational system. Let’s stop sending everyone to college. I know it sounds good to educate everyone, but after high school, there’s no need to educate everyone with the same “core curriculum” anymore. To start, send more people to community college. Better yet, send them to specialty technical schools instead of community college. Let them learn what they need to know. Let college students learn family and consumer sciences so we aren’t stuck with cooking ramen in our dorms. And no, this doesn’t mean supporting Betsy DeVos’s “school choice,” because that’s the wrong kind of school choice that students should be able to make. Lead students to their personal path—let them take the road less travelled.

McKinney ISD Salary Records 2016-2017

Under the Texas Public Information Act, I requested McKinney Independent School District’s salary records of its employees. The data includes hire date, gender, annual salary, location, and job description.

I have uploaded an unmodified version of the file that McKinney ISD sent me, except for the file name. It is available as an Excel spreadsheet. Please let me know if you need it in another format by contacting me through my email address, i@jeffw.xyz.

https://clearcloud.mywikis.net/files/jeffrey//McKinney%20ISD%20Salary%20Records%202016-17.xlsx