New Here?
     
Posts tagged "The New Yorker"


From The New Yorker: Or Will They?

NewYorkerLions

Performancism 101: A Conference Breakout Preview

Here is the first of this year’s conference breakout previews–sneak peeks into what we’ll be talking about during the breakout sessions at Mockingbird’s NYC Conference April 14-16.

81Bbai6lTeL._SL1420_

Sometimes it seems like our culture sees its students as mythical creatures, glowing embodiments of youth and drive; they represent who we as a society will be “tomorrow.” Often the social structures of our student bodies reflect the structures in society more generally, and no where is this more true than in the stress-inducing standards of performance-based living. For students, achievement is identity. Sound familiar?

Students currently live in a no-fail world where any misstep feels like a plunge off the cliff of college admissions and the good life after that. A 4.0 GPA is no longer enough. To get where they (feel they) need to go, they need extracurriculars, Advanced Placement classes, awards, and honors. Consider The Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success, which encourages college-aspiring students to begin recording their achievements in an online portfolio–in ninth grade, four years in advance. One high school guidance counselor calls it an “arms race,” while over at The New Yorker, Matt Feeney declares this lifestyle as “poisonous,” saying that it not only affects students, but also parents: “I’m starting to resent the prospect of having my family life colonized and deformed by a system that, though it works through educational channels, doesn’t serve educational ends, or exacts extreme costs in exchange for a meagre educational payoff.” Ella Gonzalez, at The Huffington Post, writes: “If you happen to be entering your senior year of high school, first I’d like to say, congratulations and I am sorry,” followed by, “You are not in control of anything.” Various admissions blogs discuss suicide and the threat of it, post-rejection.

920x920Some say, fear not: admissions reforms are in the works. But as discussions about limiting extracurriculars and AP classes occupy the news, Feeney asks: “What new and more exacting model of self, in other words, will colleges be urging their teen-age aspirants to approximate?” Reform of the law cannot fulfill it, and any attempts to do so will inevitably result in the high-pressure lifestyle of what we’ve come to call “performancism.”

At this conference breakout session (2:15, Friday April 15), we are going to look at how fear and the need for control contribute to performancism, particularly among students. We’ll talk about stress and how we cope with it. We’ll point some fingers. And maybe, too, after all that, we’ll find a cure.

Pre-register here!

The New Yorker Does Narcissus

narcissus

Another Week Ends: (Crushing) Childhood Dreams, Mrs. Crews Still Loves Her Husband, "The Atheist Had It Coming," The Arts Strike Back, Belittling Big Data, Snapchatting Nudies, Forgiving Engineers, and Pleasing United Airlines

Another Week Ends: (Crushing) Childhood Dreams, Mrs. Crews Still Loves Her Husband, “The Atheist Had It Coming,” The Arts Strike Back, Belittling Big Data, Snapchatting Nudies, Forgiving Engineers, and Pleasing United Airlines

Click here to listen to the accompanying episode of The Mockingcast, featuring a brand-new co-host! 1. Last Friday The Washington Post ran a brilliantly pessimistic article entitled, “No, honey, you can’t be anything you want to be. And that’s okay.” When my son turned one, friends gifted him with an illustrated Snoopy the Dog book […]

Inside-Out on Center Stage: The Wardrobe of a Sinner

Inside-Out on Center Stage: The Wardrobe of a Sinner

Last week, The New Yorker published a brief Daily Shout titled “I Let My Toddler Dress Me, And It Led To The Destruction Of Civilization.” In this frank address from wife to husband, she describes the calamitous results of her child’s wardrobe choices for her: first, she loses her job, then the government falls, and […]

From The New Yorker

rightperson

A SuperBetter You, A SuperBetter Me: Gaming the New Self-Help

A SuperBetter You, A SuperBetter Me: Gaming the New Self-Help

In certain sectors the news couldn’t have been bigger. Yet I’m afraid it missed the mocking-orbit completely. I’m referring to the announcement back in March that Steven Spielberg would be directing the film adaptation of Ernest Cline’s 2011 book Ready Player One. After the author showed up in the Atari documentary driving a restored Dolorean, […]

From The New Yorker

MosesNY

Atticus Finch Did Not Die for Your Sins

Atticus Finch Did Not Die for Your Sins

From our friend Jeff Dean, another Alabamian who knows a thing or two about procrastination. Zing!   [Some spoilers below] You probably shouldn’t read Harper Lee’s “new” novel, Go Set a Watchman. If the book interests you as a “sequel” to her iconic To Kill a Mockingbird, you’re apt to be profoundly disappointed: the characters seem […]

Why Harper Lee Is a Prophet

Why Harper Lee Is a Prophet

The overall response to Harper Lee’s newly published novel of sketchy origins, Go Set a Watchman, has been nothing short of hysterical. This review contains spoilers, but if you’ve Googled Watchman at all in the past week, then there’s really nothing left for me to spoil: Atticus is a racist, and that’s the main cause […]

Focus Focus Focus! The Law of Attention in an Age of Distraction

Focus Focus Focus! The Law of Attention in an Age of Distraction

Here’s a sentence I never thought I’d write: You know you’re watching something good when it forces you to shelve your laptop. This was certainly the case this past Sunday evening, during the finale of a certain HBO fantasy drama. There are plenty of reasons why Game of Thrones gets such huge ratings, but one […]

Anders Breivik and the Commandment We See in the Faces of Others

Anders Breivik and the Commandment We See in the Faces of Others

By way of follow-up to yesterday’s post on the problems facing boys, if you haven’t bookmarked Karl Ove Knausgaard’s essay about mass murderer Anders Breivik in last week’s New Yorker, run don’t walk. It may not be beach reading exactly, but nothing’s more edifying than when a great writer tackles a subject that’s worthy of […]