Aristotle declared there to be three primary causes to outcomes. The Efficient (natural), the Formal (momentary, explainable), and the Final (root) cause. Every year countless students start and abandon a formal college education. Each case is unique and should be treated as such when working with an individual student. However, when attempting to design policies and retention tools across the broader student body, we need to find some pattern in the sea of disparate circumstances that cause students to leave and not return. This is one scenario in which data science can help, if used correctly.
A formal education is great. but it is not the only way to learn. So long as you can read and digest information, you can learn. So read what you are interested in and let those topics organically lead you from one subject to another. You will learn naturally without pressure to keep up with a curriculum. This approach is known as Interest Based Learning. Many home schoolers are familiar with this style of learning but it is atypical for all other styles of formal education. I wasn’t home schooled, but can see how this environment is great for picking up and diving deeper into new subjects.
Worse Before Better. Sometimes that is how things work. After last week, I am pretty sure we are experiencing that process right now. Eight years of progress seems completely halted by the last two weeks. We have to remember that before those eight years we were stuck in a quagmire of progress as well. So, with after a big deep breath, we must step back and look at the big picture and reflect. Take whatever strength we can from the wisdom of hindsight and use it to fuel the fight ahead.
#AlternativeFacts! That’s what it comes down to. If that’s the case, expect a vary heated, contentious and challenging four years. I encourage anyone not living in an Orange Clown imaginary world. Don’t be shy, question every bigot, coward and regressive zealot you come across. Pick a single issue and focus the conversation on them having to put validate their views against facts and a myriad of perspectives. Be hyper vocal, present and vigilant about everything happening around you locally. These four years will be a marathon and not a sprint. Travel and explore and share your multi-cultural interactions. We’ve seen backwards slides like this in history before, and we know, that the courage of those who see the truth will eventually light the way for all.
To be silent in the face of Evil, is to be a conspirator. Everyone is dealing with this post-election mess in their own way. I still can’t process though people who remain silent in the face of just outright lies and misinformation. Then again, seeing people go crazy and get lined up for Playoff Football, I fully understand. We just don’t value truth, facts and progress above the distractions in our modern lives. If people were equally as passionate about social issues as they are about NFL controversies, we problem wouldn’t have the education, healthcare, transportation and socio-economic problems we have today. Everyone will come up and say something when they see that team logo on your hat, but stay silent when crazy orange men insult civil rights leaders. I have started to remind people during our “Football” conversations what is really important, so they don’t let a game get to their heads.