Monday, May 2, 2016

Seventy Two Hours

This past week in a span of seventy two hours I participated or witnessed the following on a collegiate campus (The University of La Verne):

Employer Interview Mentoring – Our College of Business & Public Management offers mock interviews to any student wishing to practice their skills to obtain internships and/or full time positions. I interviewed six students; student athletes, international students, Arts & Science majors, Business majors, all but one are currently working a part-time job. A perfect example of the diverse student body this University has. Yes, some need to work on their communication and writing skills, yes some need to understand the competition they face in the “real world” of full-time employment. But every student is committed to their education, their family, and to be active citizens in their communities.

Accounting Students Year End Banquet – The Society of Accounting Students is a mentoring, networking, community involvement organization on campus. Every year they hold a dinner to honor students for the academic and community achievements. I had the pleasure of sitting with a former student who is a third year student, and a twenty one year old student who is graduating this month who was attending the dinner with his parents and girlfriend. The parents were so proud of their soon to be graduating son, but also they were so impressed by this woman third year student  at our table, in her mid-thirties, working full time achieving academic honors, and at the same time raising three children (on her own).

Student Play “Electricidad” – After the dinner I attended our student production of a contemporary American urban tragedy embedded in East Los Angeles gang culture. This play draws on Sophocles’ classic Greek play “Electra” to explore the repetitive cycle of familial love, revenge and honor that appears throughout history from the Greeks to modern day Southern California. The best production in the many productions I have attended over the years. The nine cast members represented: international students from South America and Indonesia, a former military serviceman and an adult learner, students from East Los Angeles, Northern California, first time actors and actors going on to careers in the theatre.

Senior Day Softball Game – Our women’s softball team are Conference Champions, they celebrated their season by honoring the graduating seniors (Five) and taking two games from Chapman University. These student athletes work full time all year raising funds for their uniforms and out of state trips, in addition to their academic load they all work part-time jobs and participate supporting other student organizations on campus.

Best of The University Music Department – An annual concert performed by students and faculty celebrating the end of the year in music: the quality and talent of the students and faculty performers is second to none.

Not a bad seventy two hours in higher education.

COLLEGE CHRONICLESSIGN OF THE TIMES – The other day I parked on one end of campus and proceeded to walk to the other end of campus, approximately four blocks. I passed twenty to thirty students and every one of these students were walking and looking at their cellular phone. ABSOLUTELY no one was looking ahead and acknowledged me with a smile or hello or even a grunt (it was 9:30 am in the morning). Our students have lovely foreheads, hair styles and caps.

Perhaps we should offer a class in “Monotasking”? Monotasking, the performance by an individual of one task, and only one task, at a point in time. Monotasking can be more productive than multitasking because it allows an individual to put all their attention and focus on the task at hand.

I think multitasking is overrated.

PARTIAL PROGRESS IN ATHLETE GRAD RATES: Division I athletes graduated at slightly higher rates in 2014-15, but more teams than last year were penalized for low completion, the National Collegiate Athletic Association said this week. The overall Division I Academic Progress Rate ticked up one point to 979 last year, thanks in part to gains at less-wealthy schools and historically black colleges, as well as among football and men's and women's basketball teams. (The APR is more generous than the Federal Graduation Rate because it doesn't count transfer students as non-graduates.) But 23 teams - including several HBCUs such as Alabama State and Howard University - will be barred from postseason competition in 2016-17, up from 21 last year. And 31 are subject to additional penalties, three more than the year prior:

FIRST DAUGHTER TO COLLEGE - The President and Mrs. Obama announced Friday that their daughter Malia will attend Harvard University in the fall of 2017 as a member of the Class of 2021. Malia will take a gap year before beginning school.


University of Redlands – April 23: Jane Goodall, Conservationist and Ethologist

University of Michigan – April 30: Michael Bloomberg, Owner Bloomberg Media, Inc.

High Point University – May 7: Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State

POTUS WEEK AHEAD: On Tuesday, the President will honor the 2016 National Teacher of the Year and finalists at the White House, thanking them for their hard work and dedication each and every day in the classroom. On Wednesday, the President will travel to Flint, Michigan to the hear first-hand from Flint residents about the public health crisis, receive an in-person briefing on the federal efforts in place to help respond to the needs of the people of Flint, and deliver remarks to community members. ... In the evening, the President will deliver remarks at the Asian Pacific American Institute of Congressional Studies 22nd annual awards gala dinner.

On Thursday, the President will host a Cinco de Mayo reception at the White House. In the afternoon, the President will be joined by the Vice President, First Lady and Dr. Biden to kick off the 5th anniversary of Joining Forces and the 75th anniversary of the USO. The event, A Celebration of Service, will include nearly 1,500 service members and their families. ... On Saturday, the President will deliver the commencement address to the 2016 graduating class of Howard University in Washington, D.C. As one of the nation's top Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Howard University is recognized for its rigorous education and legacy of building lasting bridges of opportunity for young people.

APPLE DISAPPOINTS - From the iPod to the iPhone to the iPad, Apple created more than a decade's worth of new gadgets to fuel its historic growth. But the technology company's dazzling 13-year run of quarterly revenue growth ended on Tuesday - a casualty of Apple's already immense size, weakness in key global markets like China and the lack of another hot product to pry open the wallets of customers. Apple ... said ... that revenue for its second fiscal quarter ... declined 13 percent to $50.6 billion as sales of its flagship product, the iPhone, fell, with little else to take its place.

Nearly half of the smartphones sold in the United States are iPhones, and Apple may be reaching the saturation point among potential customers in other developed countries. Rival smartphone makers using Google's Android operating system continue to challenge the company with powerful, less expensive devices. Over all, Apple sold 16 percent fewer iPhones in the quarter compared with the same quarter last year.

CARL CANS APPLE – Carl Icahn: We're out of Apple, and it's China's fault," via CNBC: "Billionaire investor Carl Icahn told CNBC on Thursday he has sold his Apple position as the tech giant's stock continues to shed value after disappointing earnings. 'We no longer have a position in Apple,' Icahn told CNBC's 'Power Lunch,' noting Apple is a 'great company' and CEO Tim Cook is 'doing a great job. Chief executive Tim Cook is probably one of the most competent operations executives in the industry but is clearly not a technology visionary. Apple needs another Steve Jobs to reinvent itself otherwise it will join the ranks of HP and Compaq.

GOOD READ - DAVID BROOKS, "If Not Trump, What? How to heal a crisis of solidarity": "The leaders of the Republican Party are ... going down meekly and hoping for a quiet convention. They seem blithely unaware that this is a Joe McCarthy moment. People will be judged by where they stood at this time. Those who walked with Trump will be tainted forever after for the degradation of standards and the general election slaughter.

"The better course for all of us - Republican, Democrat and independent - is to step back and take the long view, and to begin building for that. This election - not only the Trump phenomenon but the rise of Bernie Sanders, also - has reminded us how much pain there is in this country. According to a Pew Research poll, 75 percent of Trump voters say that life has gotten worse for people like them over the last half century.

"This declinism intertwines with other horrible social statistics. The suicide rate has surged to a 30-year high - a sure sign of rampant social isolation. A record number of Americans believe the American dream is out of reach. And for millennials, social trust is at historic lows. Trump's success grew out of that pain, but he is not the right response to it. ...

"We'll probably need a new national story. Up until now, America's story has been some version of the rags-to-riches story ... I don't know what the new national story will be, but maybe it will be less individualistic and more redemptive. ... We'll probably need a new definition of masculinity, too. ... The traditional masculine ideal isn't working anymore. It leads to high dropout rates, high incarceration rates, low labor force participation rates. This is an economy that rewards emotional connection and verbal expressiveness. ...

"We'll also need to rebuild the sense that we're all in this together. ... Maybe the task is to build a ladder of hope. ... Trump will have his gruesome moment. The time is best spent elsewhere, meeting the neighbors who have become strangers, and listening to what they have to say."

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Chris Krich …famous mentor, Cloris Leachman (90) Malibu, CA; Willie Nelson (83) Austin, TX.

GDP CHEAT SHEET - Via Hamilton Place Strategies:

CHINESE INVESTMENT IN U.S. SOARS - Chinese investment in the US hit a record $15bn last year and is set to reach twice that this year despite calls for greater scrutiny and growing political sensitivities in Washington, according to a new report. ... The study by the National Committee on US-China Relations and the Rhodium Group, which tracks foreign direct investment in the US, is an attempt to promote China's growing role as an investor in the US.

The committee, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, hosted the Chinese table tennis team for a visit to the US in 1972 that formed part of the 'ping-pong diplomacy' that led to the restoration of diplomatic and trade relations with China under President Richard Nixon. ... At the end of 2015, more than 1,900 Chinese-affiliated companies were operating in the US across more than 80 per cent of its congressional districts and employing some 90,000 people, according to the report.

CHINA GROWTH SLOWEST IN SEVEN YEARS - China's economy grew 6.7 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, meeting expectations and at its slowest pace in seven years, although other indicators show the slowdown in the world's second largest economy may be bottoming out. .. Analysts had expected gross domestic product (GDP) to grow 6.7 percent, easing slightly from 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter and marking the slowest rate of growth since the first quarter of 2009, when growth tumbled to 6.2 percent.

China's economy grew 6.9 percent in 2015, its weakest rate in a quarter of a century. Analysts expect the economy will lose more momentum this year, forecasting growth will cool to 6.5 percent even if Beijing ramps up fiscal spending and cuts interest rates again.

THE FIFTH ESTATE - L.A. Times owner wins auction for The Orange County Register, Press-Enterprise at $56 million: After a marathon, contentious auction that started Wednesday morning and went deep into the evening, Tribune said its $56 million cash bid was the winner over Digital First Media, publisher of the Los Angeles Daily News and Long Beach-Press-Telegram, and an investor group headed by Rich Mirman, CEO of Freedom Communications, owner of the Register and Press-Enterprise.

STATE OF THE MUSIC BUSINESS - What The Numbers Tell Us: The music industry is now a digital business, deriving more than 70% of its revenues from a wide array of digital platforms and formats. ... In 2015, digital music subscription services reached new all-time highs, generating more than $1 billion in revenues for the first time, and averaging nearly 11 million paid subscriptions for the year. ... The consumption of music is skyrocketing, but revenues for creators have not kept pace. In 2015, fans listened to hundreds of billions of audio and video music streams through on-demand ad-supported digital services like YouTube, but revenues from such services have been meager-far less than other kinds of music services.

LAKE WOBEGON, A new "Prairie Home Companion - The popular public radio variety show ... is set for some changes as ... Garrison Keillor prepares to retire and mandolin ace Chris Thile of the bands Punch Brothers and Nickel Creek gets ready to step in as its new host.

THE MAP -- Clinton allies quietly shape general-election map: By hoarding ad space in battleground states, they hope to keep Republicans on defense, no matter who is their nominee: The 2016 electoral map being drawn by pro-Clinton forces, according to ad reservations and interviews with high-level strategists and pollsters on both sides of the aisle, begins with a core group of familiar presidential swing states at the center of the fight - Florida, Ohio, New Hampshire, Nevada, Iowa, Virginia, and Colorado - with roughly a half-dozen other states on the periphery.

Those other states - which include Wisconsin, New Mexico, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, all perceived to be leaning toward the Democrats, and North Carolina, where the GOP is likely to begin with an edge - are thought to be competitive, though not yet at the point where they stand likely to flip their 2012 presidential vote in November. ... Clinton's allies are for now putting their money on the traditional battlegrounds - not the rust-belt states where Trump insists he can steal Democratic votes, or traditionally red, but diverse, states like Arizona and Georgia where Clinton's allies say she'd have a better shot with Trump as the GOP standard-bearer.

HOW STUDENTS MIGHT VOTE: As the 2016 candidates look for ways to woo young people, Tufts University's National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement is out with a new analysis of how 7.4 million college students voted - or didn't - in 2012. Only 45 percent of eligible student voters cast a ballot when President Barack Obama was re-elected, and those who were eligible to weigh in for the first time voted at an even lower rate of 40 percent. Women and black students voted at the highest rates (48 percent and 55 percent, respectively), and many voted absentee, early or by mail.

- "While college students are voting in higher numbers than young people overall, these data show that there is still significant potential to increase voting and political learning on campuses, particularly with regard to first-time voters," says Nancy Thomas, director of Tufts' Institute for Democracy & Higher Education. "In 2016, universities can and must do more to build the type of campus climates that not only reduce barriers to voting, but increase students' motivation to participate."

SPORTS BLINK -- Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira and Savannah Guthrie to Host the Opening Ceremony of the Rio Olympics Friday, Aug. 5 on NBC: From the Parade of Nations to the lighting of the Olympic cauldron, Matt, Meredith and Savannah will guide viewers through the spectacle and pageantry that only occurs when the world comes together at the Olympic Games. Rio 2016 will be Lauer's 11th Olympics for TODAY, and his fifth in a role on the primetime Opening Ceremony broadcast. Vieira works her third Opening Ceremony for NBC. Guthrie, in her third Olympics for TODAY, makes her NBC Olympics debut in Rio.


Major League Baseball Game of the Week: Saturday May 7, 2:10 pm ET; Fox – Washington Nationals (17-7) at Chicago Cubs (17-6), two hottest teams in baseball at Wrigley, Cubbies win 5 – 3.

Season to date (43 -23)

DRIVING THE WEEK - Indiana votes Tuesday and could bring the GOP race to an end while further expanding Hillary Clinton's lead over Bernie Sanders ... Milken Conference here in L.A. brings together lots of members of Congress. I'll moderate a panel with Sens. David Purdue (R-Ga.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) among others this morning and another with US Trade Rep Mike Froman this afternoon on TPP ... April jobs report on Friday expected to show a gain of 203,000 down from 215,000 in March.

Next week: Another try at do you have a Darth Vader at your work? Credit line and words of the month.

Until Next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA

May 2, 2016

CARTOON OF THE WEEK –Shannon Wheeler, The New Yorker

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