Better Feedback in Just 19 Words

"I'm giving you these comments because I have very high expectations and I know that you can reach them." In this Pinkcast, Dan looks at Daniel Coyle's book "The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups". In the book, Coyle highlights a large study of teachers giving feedback to students where it was found … Continue reading Better Feedback in Just 19 Words

A Choice I Made as a Nine-Year-Old Determined My Career Path

Who would have known that a decision I made as a nine-year-old would have predicted the career I have chosen for the past 33 years. When I was about nine-years-old I discovered that I liked swimming, and with my parents' encouragement, I joined the local swim team. I think back then swimming was a more … Continue reading A Choice I Made as a Nine-Year-Old Determined My Career Path

Is This the Best Grade School Performance Ever?

Every year, Cannes Lions explores the value of creativity in branded communication: from product and service development to the creative strategy, execution, and impact. Since I'm such a fan of commercials, I always look forward to seeing what the winning ads were from the Festival. The winning ad in the Film Lions category was a … Continue reading Is This the Best Grade School Performance Ever?

Getting Better at Asking for Help

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down And I do appreciate you being round Help me get my feet back on the ground Won't you please, please help me - lyrics from Help! by the Beatles Unlike the Beatles, most, if not all of us, avoid asking others for help. There may be several … Continue reading Getting Better at Asking for Help

How to Lie with Statistics

I'll never forget a presentation I made several years ago during an Open House event at Villanova. The event was geared towards high school seniors and their parents who were visiting the campus for the day to learn more about the school. I had volunteered to give about a 15-minute talk about the advantages of … Continue reading How to Lie with Statistics

Math for Social Justice

I wish the Wall Street Journal had turned on comments for this article. In today's paper, the Journal had a brief description of a textbook titled "Mathematics for Social Justice: Resources for the College Classroom". The description was copied nearly verbatim from the online bookstore of the American Mathematical Society (AMS). Here is the full … Continue reading Math for Social Justice

To Bee or Not To Bee

Spelling bees bring back good memories for me, and I've written about my experiences before. I remember spending the summers after sixth and seventh grade going to our school's convent and sitting on the porch with retired Sister Miriam and practicing my spelling for an hour a day. I'm sure that's nothing compared to what … Continue reading To Bee or Not To Bee

“Life Is Good” Co-Founder Delivers Inspirational Commencement Speech and a Few Well-Thrown Frisbees

Villanova University was blessed to have Bert Jacobs, co-founder of the Life is Good brand, as its commencement speaker this past weekend. Bert started selling t-shirts with his brother John out of a van back in 1989. But as their web site points out, it was not very prosperous. They lived on peanut butter and jelly, … Continue reading “Life Is Good” Co-Founder Delivers Inspirational Commencement Speech and a Few Well-Thrown Frisbees

Wisdom from 400 A.D. (in less than 400 words)

It was graduation weekend at Villanova, which meant there was a good chance one of the speakers was going to quote St. Augustine. A couple of the people did mention my favorite quote attributed to Augustine (at separate commencement events, fortunately). Here is the quote (at least one translation of it): Always be dissatisfied with … Continue reading Wisdom from 400 A.D. (in less than 400 words)

I Just Completed My First Coursera Course, and All I Can Say Is Wow

A few weeks ago I signed up for my first Coursera course - Introduction to Probability and Data, and today I was informed that I had successfully passed the course. The course is part of a five-course Certificate, Statistics with R Specialization (R is a computer language focused on statistical analysis); The other four courses … Continue reading I Just Completed My First Coursera Course, and All I Can Say Is Wow