Anyone who doubts that star power is driving Broadway these days need only check the current box-office figures. A Raisin in the Sun, a revival of Lorraine Hansberry’s 1959 classic, is a sellout — thanks largely to its movie-star leading man, Denzel Washington. Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck’s Depression-era warhorse, is another hot seller, helped by a starry cast headed by James Franco and Leighton Meester, formerly of the hit primetime soap Gossip Girl. Stars have also given a big box-office boost to two more upcoming revivals: Daniel Radcliffe in Martin McDonagh’s The Cripple of Inishmaan, and Neil Patrick Harris, as a German transsexual in the rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch.MoreBook of Mormon Cleans Up at the Olivier AwardsBenedict Cumberbatch to Play Richard IIIMen Charged With Toppling Ancient Rock Formation Avoid Jail Time Huffington PostHere's An Updated Tally Of All The People Who Have Ever Died From A Marijuana Overdose Huffington PostTweet & Eat: How Your Favorite Stars are Celebrating Passover People
But the stars aren’t drawn only to retreads. Will Eno’s new play The Realistic Joneses, an enigmatic, plot-free encounter between two suburban couples, both named Jones, would most likely never have come to Broadway (and certainly would have been more of a trial to sit through) if it weren’t for its expert quartet of well-known stars — Marisa Tomei, Toni Collette, Michael C. Hall and last year’s Tony-winner, Tracy Letts. By the same token, a little more star power might have helped Bullets Over Broadway, Susan Stroman’s enjoyable but less-than-dazzling new musical based on Woody Allen’s movie. Nearly every cast member (Zach Braff as the nebbishy playwright who gets a gangster to back his Broadway show, Helene Yorke as the mobster’s no-talent girlfriend, Marin Mazzie as the show’s diva star) seems a step down from the more distinctive actors (John Cusack, Jennifer Tilly, Dianne Wiest) who brought the characters to life on screen.Popular Among Subscribers The Rise of Fake Pot Subscribe Common Core Sparks Parent RevoltBarbara Brown Taylor Faces the Darkness
It’s easy to be cynical about Broadway’s fixation on stars, but their presence has been been mostly good news this spring. I was not looking forward to another go-round with A Raisin in the Sun — last revived on Broadway just 10 years ago, with Sean Combs, and also revisited in the 2011 Pulitzer Prize-winning play Clybourne Park. Moreover, the casting of Denzel Washington, as Walter Lee Younger, the chauffeur whose dreams are dying in the crowded Chicago apartment he shares with his family, seemed so obvious that I had to check the theater websites to make sure he hadn’t done it already.
He should have done it already. Washington, at age 59, is now a couple of decades too old for the part. The script has been adjusted to boost the character’s age from 35 to 40 (and the fit actor can plausibly pass for it), but the already broad age gap between Walter and his college-age younger sister (played by a young-looking Anika Noni Rose) is now almost untenable; she looks like his daughter.
Yet Washington quickly dispels the reservations. His commanding voice and magnetic physicality envelop the stage: he seems ready to burst out of the Youngers’ already cramped apartment. And yet he doesn’t overwhelm this admirably even-handed play: director Kenny Leon gives all the well-chosen actors— especially LaTanya Richardson Jackson, as the intrepid family matriarch, and Rose, as her acerbic daughter —their chance to shine. But it’s the play that shines most: the definitive depiction of the black experience in mid-century America, as relevant and powerful as ever. The chance to see the leading African-American actor of his generation finally take it on, even a few years late, seems both fitting and essential.
Of Mice and Men, the play that Steinbeck adapted from his 1937 novella about a pair of itinerant farm laborers in California’s Salinas Valley, is not as often revived (it was last seen on Broadway in 1974, with James Earl Jones in the role of Lennie). But it seems even more a part of our collective consciousness: its story of a tragic friendship as resonant as a Biblical fable, its snapshot of Depression-era migrant workers part of the American grain. As with Raisin in the Sun, revisiting it seemed more like a duty than a chance for fresh insights.
But one insight is that James Franco, in his Broadway debut, can hold his own on stage. The polymathic actor/writer/director/Instagram celebrity has played everything from James Dean to Spider-Man villains, but his scruffy cool and restless intelligence often seems like a throwback to the 1930s; one could imagine him replacing John Garfield in Group Theater productions of Clifford Odets. As George, the companion and caretaker for the kindly, feeble-minded Lennie (played with touching, if rather familiar, gentle-giant oafishness by Chris O’Dowd), he steps easily into Steinbeck’s world: a cynical victim of an economic system stacked against him, clinging to a doomed friendship out of pragmatism, loyalty and something like love.
Anna D. Shapiro’s crisp, unfussy production reminds us what an expert piece of stagecraft Steinbeck created. Each minor character is sketched in a few brief, vivid strokes; the Depression-era sense of social injustice is muted but unmistakable; the march toward tragedy perfectly paced and inexorable. A few paragraphs ago I called the play a warhorse. But cheers for this production, and the Hollywood star who helped make it happen, for letting a new audience rediscover it as a moving masterpiece.
The theme song of the classic arcade game Super Mario Bros. is played using 48 wine glasses, two pencils, and a frying pan in this video produced by Dan Newbie, a computer science student and filmmaker. Sounds like the perfect trick to learn for future dinner parties.
Facebook confirmed Thursday it removed the page of a radical preacher from Australia who reportedly used social media to encourage terrorist acts, The Guardian reports.
Musa Cerantonio, a Muslim preacher from Melbourne, was using his Facebook page to urge followers to kill American politicians. Cerantonio posted in December, for example, that “if we see that Muslims are being killed by tyrant leaders of the U.S.A. then we must stop them with our hands. This means that we should stop them by fighting them, by assassinating their oppressive leaders, by weakening their offensive capabilities etc [sic].”
The removal of his page comes after academics at London’s King’s College found that Cerantonio was among the most “liked” preachers among western jihadists who’ve traveled to Syria to fight. That finding came after researchers analyzed for more than a year the social media behaviors of 190 Syria-based Western fighters fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The Guardian claimed another radical preacher from the U.S., Ahmad Musa Jibril, has twice praised the deaths of British Muslim fighters killed in Syria on Twitter. Jibril reportedly deleted his account after the researchers published their report.
- “Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday he hoped not to send Russian troops into Ukraine but didn’t rule it out, accusing the Kiev government of committing ‘a serious crime’ by using the military to quell unrest.” [WSJ]
- “Ukrainian forces engaged pro-Russian separatists Thursday in what appeared to be the most intense battle yet in the restive east, killing three militants and wounding 13 after what the Interior Ministry described as a siege on a military base in the southeastern city of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov.” [WashPost]
- “Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Geneva Wednesday evening to prepare for four-party talks with European, Russian and Ukrainian officials…Although the president did not definitely say whether Russia would face further sanctions if the meeting failed, he said, ‘What I’ve said consistently is that each time Russia takes these kinds of steps, that are designed to destabilize Ukraine and violate their sovereignty, that there are going to be consequences.’” [CBS]
- Russian Economy Worsens Even Before Sanctions Hit [NYT]
- NATO’s Back in Business, Thanks to Russia’s Threat to Ukraine [TIME]
- “Rescuers fought rising wind, strong waves and murky water on Thursday as they searched for hundreds of people, most of them teenaged schoolchildren, missing after a South Korean ferry capsized more than 24 hours ago.” [Reuters]
- “Democrats are dying to have Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius enter the Senate race in Kansas.” [Hill]
- ObamaCare is on a winning streak [National Journal]
- The Tea Party Radio Network [Politico]
- Prettier in Print
- Cover: Barbara Brown Taylor Faces the Darkness by Elizabeth Dias
- Shinzo Abe: The Patriot by Hannah Beech
- Should U.S. Colleges Be Graded by the Government? by Haley Sweetland Edwards
- Putin Ups Ante in Ukraine by Michael Crowley
- The Return of Mediscare by Joe Klein
- Mercado of America by Sam Frizell
- Cleveland Clinic’s New Medicine by Alexandra Sifferlin
MoreMen Charged With Toppling Ancient Rock Formation Avoid Jail Time Huffington PostHere's An Updated Tally Of All The People Who Have Ever Died From A Marijuana Overdose Huffington PostPeople Interview for World's Toughest Job in Delightful Video with a Twist PeopleSI.com's 2013-14 NBA awards: Durant wins MVP Sports Illustrated'Of Mice and Men': EW stage review Entertainment Weekly
This post is in partnership with Inc., which offers useful advice, resources, and insights to entrepreneurs and business owners. The article below was originally published atInc.com.
Passion and purpose–in short, doing what you love–can be difficult to find. Some people search forever. Some gain remarkable skills and talents only to think, I’m great at this. So why don’t I feel successful? Others, even after building successful businesses, suddenly think,Hold on. This is just not me.Popular Among Subscribers The Rise of Fake Pot Subscribe Common Core Sparks Parent RevoltChristians and Tyrants
Though we would all like to be happier at work, at times it’s easy to miss the work-we-love forest for the irritation trees. So I asked Dharmesh Shah, co-founder of HubSpot (No, 666 on the Inc. 5000 in 2013) and a guy who has spent a tremendous amount of time thinking about doing what he loves and creating a company his employees love, how he knows he loves his work.
See what you think. Though some of the following may not be true all of the time, when you love what you do, many should be the case much of the time. There’s a results chart at the end, so keep track of how many apply to you:
1. You don’t struggle to stay disciplined; you struggle to prioritize. Your problem definitely isn’t staying busy and on task. Getting going isn’t an issue. Your problem is you have so many things you want to do, you struggle to decide what to do first.
2. You think, I hope I get to… instead of, I hope I don’t have to… When you love your work, it’s like peeling an onion. There are always more layers to discover and explore. When you hate your work it’s also like peeling an onion–but all you find are more tears.
3. You don’t talk about other people; you talk about the cool things other people are doing. “I hear Chad just invested in a startup. What are they working on?” “I can’t believe Angie won their business back; I’d love to know how she did it.” “Cecilia developed a new sales channel. Let’s ask her how we can best leverage that.”
When you love your work, you don’t gossip about the personal failings of others. You talk about their successes, because you’re happy for them (which is also also a sign you’re happy with yourself.)
4. You think about what you will say, not how you will say it. You don’t have to worry about agendas or politics or subtle machinations. You trust your team members–and they trust you.
5. You see your internal and external customers not as people to satisfy but simply as people. You don’t see customers as numbers. They’re real people who have real needs. And you gain a real sense of fulfillment and purpose from taking care of those needs.
6. You enjoy your time at work. You don’t have to put in time at work and then escape to “life” to be happy. You enjoy life and enjoy work. You feel alive and joyful not just at home but also at work. When you love your work, it’s a part of your life.
7. You enjoy attending meetings. No, seriously, you enjoy meetings. Why? Because you like being at the center of thoughtful, challenging discussions that lead to decisions, initiatives, and changes–changes you help make happen.
8. You don’t think about surviving. You think about winning. You don’t worry much about your business failing. You’re more worried about your business not achieving its potential. And you worry about whether you’re making as big an impact as you can. Those are good worries.
9. You’re excited about what you’re doing, but you’re more excited about the people you’re doing it with. Why? They’re smart. Passionate. Confident. Funny. Dedicated. Giving. Inspiring.
10. You hardly ever look at the clock. You’re too busy making things happen. And when you do look at the clock, you often find that the time has flown.
11. You view success in terms of fulfillment and gratification, not just money. Everyone wants to build something bigger. Everyone wants to benefit financially. Yet somewhere along the way, your work has come to mean a lot more to you than just a living. And if you left your business, even if for something that paid more, you would miss it. A lot.
12. You leave work with items on your to-do list you’re excited about tackling tomorrow. Many people cross the fun tasks off their to-do lists within the first hour or two. You often have cool stuff–new initiatives, side projects, hunches you want to confirm with data, people you want to talk to–left over when it’s time to go home.
13. You help without thinking. You like seeing your employees succeed, so it’s second nature to help them out. You pitch in automatically. And they do the same for you.
14. You don’t think about retirement, because retirement sounds boring…and a lot less fulfilling.
15. Your business is a business you would want your children to run. There may be aspects of your business you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy, much less your kids: insufferable customers, unbearable employees, difficult working conditions, uncertain long-term prospects.
If you would say to your child, “No, I would never want you to have to deal with that,” why do allow yourself to continue to deal with that?
Naturally, you want your kids to be happy. You also deserve to be happy. List the problems and then fix the problems.
How many of the above statements apply to you and your business?
If you said:
0-4: You need to find a line of work. Life is too short.
5-8: You don’t hate your work but don’t love it either. What can you do differently?
9-12: You really enjoy your work and the people you work with.
13-15: You are deeply, madly in love with your work! (And your friends are jealous!)
The first of China’s big 2014 IPOs arrives on U.S. shores Thursday. Weibo, a Chinese social network that allows people to post real-time messages of up to 140 Chinese characters, will list on the Nasdaq with shares priced at $17. The company will be valued at $3.46 billion and raise around $285 million in the offering, figures at the low end of the company’s IPO pricing range and far below analyst expectations earlier this year. The performance of the Beijing-based startup could portend the trajectory of both Chinese stocks and the overall tech sector, which has seen a precipitous decline on Wall Street in the past month.MoreJoe Biden’s First Selfie Is Just AwesomeThe New Cop on the Beat May Be a BotMen Charged With Toppling Ancient Rock Formation Avoid Jail Time Huffington PostHere's An Updated Tally Of All The People Who Have Ever Died From A Marijuana Overdose Huffington PostPeople Interview for World's Toughest Job in Delightful Video with a Twist People
Weibo is a subsidiary of the Chinese Internet company Sina and is partially owned by the e-commerce giant Alibaba. Like Twitter, the website has become a digital water cooler where both ordinary people and celebrities gather to discuss events. It’s become a key resource for following news events in China, like the crash of an Asiana Airlines flight in San Francisco in July and the trial of former Chinese politician Xilai Bo in August. Weibo boasts 144 million monthly active users, making it more than half the size of Twitter.
Though initial reports indicated that Weibo would ride the coattails of Twitter’s successful November IPO to a valuation of as much as $7 billion, a confluence of factors have thrown some cold water on the company’s stock. The tech sector in general is has been on a slide for the last several weeks as investors abandon so-called momentum stocks, including Weibo’s parent company Sina. The first Chinese business to go public this year, an IT training firm called Tarena, has seen its share price drop more than 20 percent from its IPO price.
Weibo also faces its own, very specific set of challenges. The social network is heavily censored both by the Chinese government and the company itself to remove content that attempts to mobilize people toward political action. Such censorship could reduce user activity in the future. It also puts Weibo at a disadvantage against Tencent’s WeChat, a messaging service for smaller groups of people that allows people to more easily communicate away from the government’s prying eyes (though WeChat was hit with its own round of censorship last month). Weibo has also racked up more than $250 million in losses over the last three years, though it finally turned a small profit in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Still, it’s possible that with expectations now lowered, Weibo will shine. Investors have a keen interest in companies that target China’s quickly growing Internet population, which is expected to reach 800 million by 2015. The company is also linked to Alibaba, which is prepping a heavily anticipated IPO that could be be the largest for an Internet company since Facebook. Weibo will be a bellwether of the market’s appetite for both Chinese startups and tech stocks as a whole.
Fast food chains generate the vast majority of their revenues during the lunch and dinner hours. So why does it seem all the industry’s biggest players care about lately is breakfast?MoreYour Grilling Season Budget Just Went Up in SmokeSocial Media Is Bringing Back Chain Restaurant Menu Items From the DeadMen Charged With Toppling Ancient Rock Formation Avoid Jail Time Huffington PostHere's An Updated Tally Of All The People Who Have Ever Died From A Marijuana Overdose Huffington PostAmerican Idol: Jena Irene and Alex Preston Rule the Night People
It’s been a nasty couple of weeks in the fast food world. Not due to any new “pink slime” type scandals, but thanks to an increasingly aggressive, in-your-face ad and social media showdown between Taco Bell and McDonald’s. The war is all about breakfast, and it kicked off when Taco Bell featured Ronald McDonald—actually, a whole bunch of guys really named Ronald McDonald, not the McDonald spokesclown—in a commercial giving Taco Bell over-the-top endorsements for its new breakfast.Popular Among Subscribers The Rise of Fake Pot Subscribe Common Core Sparks Parent RevoltChristians and Tyrants
McDonald’s countered by enticing the morning crowd with a promise of free coffee for a couple of weeks, followed up more recently by the launch of the McGriddle as a tempting new pancake-wrapped alternative to Taco Bell’s waffle-wrapped breakfast taco. The battles have continued on with braggy Tweets and more ads, and while plenty of smack has been talked, there’s something contrived about all of the bickering. Both of the combatants involved, of course, are well aware that they both stand to benefit thanks to the attention showered upon them.
What’s somewhat overlooked amid this colorful smackdown is that the players are fighting about a meal that has traditionally been something of an afterthought for fast food—but that has taken on enormous importance lately.
It’s not just Taco Bell and McDonald’s duking it out over breakfast. As Nation’s Restaurant News summed up earlier this year, Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Jack in the Box, and sister chains Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. have all stepped up their breakfast game recently, rolling out new marketing campaigns and introducing new menu items. Likewise, Businessweek took note of White Castle’s new Belgian Waffle breakfast sandwich, which is available not only in the morning like you’d guess, but after midnight for the chain’s celebrated late-night munchers.
Why does it seem like breakfast has become the most important meal of the day among fast-food competitors? Why is it that the traditional marquee battlegrounds, lunch and dinner, seem to have taken a step back in terms of fast food priorities?
The answer is simply that throughout the fast food world, lunch and dinner sales have been flat for years, while breakfast sales have climbed steadily—up 4.8% annually from 2007 to 2012, according to The Motley Fool. Meanwhile, the food and beverage research firm Technomic just reported that fast food “burger chains have finally reached maturity” in the U.S., with minimal or nonexistent growth it terms of both sales and number of locations.
When it seems impossible for fast food outlets to increase sales during lunch and dinner, and it also seems impossible or at least infeasible to create more fast food franchise locations, there’s still one way to boost sales—and that’s to pull in more customers into existing restaurants at times other than the usual lunch and dinner periods. These other “dayparts,” as they call them in the business, include the post-dinner time, which has gotten a push with late-night menus and greasy “craver” snacks, and, of course, breakfast.
“This decade, visits to restaurants have slowed, and especially during the recession they declined for two years—but the morning meal was the bright spot,” said Bonnie Riggs, a restaurant analyst for NPD, which released a study earlier this year indicating breakfast sales increased 3% in 2013 across the entire restaurant industry, according to QSR Magazine. “It continues to grow strongly while the other dayparts are not.”
And why has breakfast been the anomaly? The frantic, on-the-go, no-time-to-cook nature of modern life is one reason. The Egg McMuffin-unemployment connection offers another explanation, showing a correlation between fast food breakfast sales and the jobs market. Basically, the theory holds that more people swing by the drive-thru in the morning when they actually have jobs to drive to—and when they’re jobless, there’s less reason to get out of bed, let alone feel compelled (or financially able) to fork over cash for a prepared morning meal.
What’s interesting is that the post-recession era has been notable in that the unemployment rate has declined, and that a disproportionate number of the jobs created lately have been low-paying gigs. Both of these factors actually bode well for restaurant breakfast sales because 1) when people have jobs, they’re more likely to eat breakfast out of the house on the way to work (see above); and 2) breakfast is the most affordable meal to eat at a restaurant, so it’s more within reach of today’s typical low-wage worker.
“It’s the cheapest meal you can get at a restaurant outside of a snack,” said the NPD’s Riggs. Among consumers, demand is high and rising for a fast, inexpensive restaurant breakfast, so it’s understandable that so many players in fast food want to win the battle for this growing, increasingly important time of day. “Those who are best able to meet consumers’ wants and needs at that daypart are the ones that will win market share.”
Flipping through the thin pages of a dictionary, it can be hard to imagine the humans who actually put the thing together, deciding how each word would be defined and discovering how it trickled down through history. It is likely even harder to imagine the lexicographer who has studiously slaved away at identifying and defining more than 1,000 slang terms for penis and vagina over the past 20 years, as well as 1,700 for sex. But he exists.
Picture a British man in the middle age with a thick, quick accent and big round glasses (or look at him in the delightful short above by Ireland-based filmmaker Jenny Keogh). This is Jonathon Green, the lexicographer behind the most comprehensive dictionary of slang ever published, and he’s just written a memoir recounting how he made it from his mother’s womb through the drug-addled ’60s to eventually produce Green’s Dictionary of Slang. TIME spoke to Green about his new book, Odd Job Man, and asked what secrets of slang he had uncovered over the years. Here are a few legit hot tickets:
Slang is always older than you think.
Take the word booze, as in jick, jupe, John Hall, hooch, bivvy. You know, a buck-up. In his research, Green found evidence of booze being used as slang for alcohol as early as 1674. And he recently found an example of dis, as in slang for disrespect (“Ohh, that was a cold dis.”), in a 1906 Australian newspaper — evidence that the word is about 80 years older than people thought.
Your slang isn’t that different from your parents.
Watching an old movie where people are calling things groovy or talking about sealing the deal (as in parallel parking — elbow, elbow) might seem a million miles from ratchet and swerve. But Green says, the basics stay the same. “The new young people’s slang is basically the same as the old, old people’s because it’s still the same old themes,” he says. “It’s about drink, and it’s about drugs, and it’s about sex. It’s about parts of the body and what we do with them. It’s about being rude to other people … These things do not change.”
Slang reveals a darker side of humanity.
Green says other common themes in slang, going back for centuries, are racism, misogyny, homophobia and so on and so forth. “If you look at it in Freudian terms, it’s like the id. It’s this unmasked side of ourselves,” he says. In his dictionary, there are about terms 5,000 related to crime, thousands describing drugs and hundreds for ugly, mad and stupid. “If you try to look up caring and sharing and compassion,” Green says, “you’re going to be looking for a long time.”
Slang is all about secrets.
There is a rich world of slang related to crime because criminals have always needed a way to secretly talk about their illegal shenanigans, Green explains. There is a rich world of slang that young people use because they have long desired to keep things from their prying elders. The secrecy of slang can be positive, too, a statement of solidarity in a group that might be ostracized by a more powerful one — whether that’s a clique of nerdy kids in a high school or African-Americans circa 1960. “Slang is a counter-language,” Green says, “the sort of language that is spoken by marginal groups. They may criminal, they may be teenagers, they may be drug addicts. They may be whatever. But these are people who use anti-languages.”
Nobody really knows how most slang is spelled.
Much of language, Green says, “starts in the mouth.” Slang terms are often spoken first and written later, which means the “correct” way to spell something like ridonculous or cray-cray or sleazycheesin’ (i.e. taking drugs and wandering in pursuit of women willing to have relations with you) is really anybody’s guess. Green provides the example of moniker, a slang term for someone’s name, which has more than 20 spellings, from monoger to monicker, listed in the dictionary.
All slang dictionaries are not created equal.
Green bristles a bit when speaking about Urban Dictionary, the online, user-generated database of slang. He says he met the founder, Aaron Peckham, who questioned why an old man like Green should be telling young people what slang means, when young people are the ones using that slang in the first place. “It’s a very seductive theory,” Green says. “But the trouble is, when you see it in the Urban Dictionary, what you’re seeing is stuff that is patently nonsense.” He believes a dictionary has to have some oversight and authority, especially for the people who aren’t so hip. “When you’re not the kid who uses it in his circle of friends, but you come across it in a book, you need to be able to go somewhere upon which you can depend,” he says.
People love slang because it’s “a bit naughty.”
“People like the stories behind the words,” Green says, “And they like the fact, when it comes down to it, that it is about sex and drugs. It’s a bit naughty. It’s a bit rebellious. It’s a bit different.” Lately, Green has created timelines of such naughty words, showing when people first started using certain slang terms for sex and naughty bits, which will amuse no end and are definitely NSFW. “Slang doesn’t take any prisoners. Slang is very uncompromising,” says the lexicographer. “I love it. It’s much braver than I am.”
Odd Job Man (336 p.) is out this month from Vintage Digital, an imprint of Random House.
You probably have far more now than you ever had in the past but you’re probably not much happier.MoreNine Hard-Won Lessons About GriefThe Science Of ‘Happily Ever After’: 3 Things That Keep Love AliveMen Charged With Toppling Ancient Rock Formation Avoid Jail Time Huffington PostHere's An Updated Tally Of All The People Who Have Ever Died From A Marijuana Overdose Huffington PostAmerican Idol: Jena Irene and Alex Preston Rule the Night People
And, instinctively, we think the problem can still be fixed by more. More of whatever.Popular Among Subscribers The Rise of Fake Pot Subscribe Common Core Sparks Parent RevoltChristians and Tyrants
More money. More food. More things. Generically, more.
We’re not even sure what we need more of, but whatever we have now sure as hell isn’t doing it so turn it up to 11, Bertha.
This isn’t an anti-capitalist rant or your grandfather saying you kids don’t appreciate anything.
It’s another example of our instincts gone awry. So what’s the problem here?
Two researchers figured it out.“Am I making the most out of my life?”
In their book Just Enough, Howard Stevenson and Laura Nash wanted an answer to the question we all ask ourselves:
“Am I making the most out of my life?“
The question wasn’t “What makes me feel good?” There’s no shortage of that.
The problem is that in the quest for “What makes me feel good” there’s no finish line. It’s a pie eating contest and first prize is more pie.
What combination of things makes us feel we have enough? What kills the need for more?
What, in this world of infinite perpetually screaming options, makes us lean back from the table and calmly say, “I’m good, thanks”?
So they studied really successful people. They did more than 60 interviews with very high achieving professionals.
Turns out most of those people didn’t know the answer either.
But what was interesting was that they made consistent mistakes.
And by looking at these mistakes the researchers were able to get a handle on what we need in life and the best way to go about it.Mistake 1: You Can’t Use Just One Yardstick
We all know the good life means more than just money… but none of us is exactly sure what those other things are or how to get them.
Let’s face it: Money’s pretty easy to count and it consistently brings some happiness for at least a short period of time.
We all know love and friends and other stuff is important too…
But they’re a heck of a lot more complicated and you can’t just have them delivered to your house by Amazon Prime. So inconvenient.
But evaluating life by one metric turned out to be a key problem. In Just Enough they refer to it as a “collapsing strategy.”
Collapsing everything into one barometer of whether or not your life is on track.
Most of us find it easy to just focus on money and say “make the number go up.” It’s like a video game.
Convenient, simple and dead wrong.
The problem isn’t that money is a terrible metric, the problem is there’s more than one metric that matters.
Enduring success isn’t about one set of values, it’s about knowing how to apply values to multiple goals.
And we see this in our lives. A lot of people these days talk about FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out.
Even insanely successful people felt they were missing out in another area of life.
Jim Warner’s study of 200 CEOs primarily drawn from the high-achieving Young Presidents Organization, revealed that 70 percent reported feeling “driven” to achieve financial independence and 60 percent felt ready for a life change for negative reasons: They felt they were losing out on something else.
Studying is good… but so is time with friends. When we try and collapse everything into one metric we inevitably get frustrated.
The researchers realized multiple yardsticks for life were necessary.
For instance, to have a good relationship with your family you need to spend time with them. So hours spent together is one way to measure.
But if that time is spent screaming at each other, that’s not good either. So you need to measure quantity and quality.
What metrics matter for a good life? The study came up with four.
- 1. Happiness: Feelings of pleasure or contentment in and about your life.
- 2. Achievement: Accomplishments that compare favorably against similar goals others have strived for.
- 3. Significance: A positive impact on people you care about.
- 4. Legacy: Establishing your values or accomplishments in ways that help others find future success.
Just reading this list, it makes intuitive sense.
We all know people who succeed at number one… but eventually feel like losers because they ignored number 2. And vice versa.
Interestingly, some of those interviewed seemed aware of the four categories and did not try to condense them into a single bucket.
But they made another error: they figured they could handle them one at a time. Turns out that doesn’t work either.Mistake #2: You Cannot Put The Good Life On Hold
“First I’ll work a job I hate and make a lot of money and THEN I’ll have a family and THEN I’ll do what I want and be happy.”
This is what Just Enough refers to as the “sequential strategy.”
Sequential strategies methodically take the idea of delayed gratification to an extreme. It’s the pattern of choice for many young people today, especially the so-called dot-comers who saw promises of fast riches just down the road.
The relationships you have with family and close friends are going to be the most important sources of happiness in your life. But you have to be careful. When it seems like everything at home is going well, you will be lulled into believing that you can put your investments in these relationships onto the back burner. That would be an enormous mistake. By the time serious problems arise in those relationships, it often is too late to repair them. This means, almost paradoxically, that the time when it is most important to invest in building strong families and close friendships is when it appears, at the surface, as if it’s not necessary.
And nowhere is this more true than with children.
One of the most common versions of this mistake that high-potential young professionals make is believing that investments in life can be sequenced. The logic is, for example, “I can invest in my career during the early years when our children are small and parenting isn’t as critical. When our children are a bit older and begin to be interested in things that adults are interested in, then I can lift my foot off my career accelerator. That’s when I’ll focus on my family.” Guess what. By that time the game is already over. An investment in a child needs to have been made long before then, to provide him with the tools he needs to survive life’s challenges— even earlier than you might realize.
But does this theory hold up to scrutiny? It’s very hard to scientifically analyze the results but some informal proof came from talking to retirees.
Turns out the happiest older folks had balanced their lives across the four categories.
We learned this lesson most clearly from some of our interviewees who had experienced retirement. Those who’d saved up all their life for this moment of pleasure by never experiencing happiness had no idea what to do with themselves. They only had achievement skills. They had no community, and few social skills beyond those that could be bought with a corporate title. They often drove their spouses crazy. On the other hand, those who tried to keep up their former pace and make one more grand killing in the marketplace often found themselves not quite so satisfied about going to work, taking on the next problem. They feared that they may have lost their fast ball. Those who seemed most balanced in retirement had invested healthy doses of activity in all four categories over their lifetime.
We see more and more examples of overcommitment to one area and neglect of the others. The brilliant computer programmer with zero social skills.
The hard-charging businesswoman who waits too long to have kids. The career-climbing man who doesn’t spend any time with the kids he has.
We excel by focusing our effort, as with deliberate practice.
But the danger is that we become one dimensional — an efficient machine designed to do only one thing.
So that porridge was too hot, and that porridge was too cold. Which one is just right?Success Is A Lifetime Process
In Just Enough, Stevenson and Nash call the good strategy “spiraling and linking.”
You cycle through the four needs on a regular, if not daily, basis.
If you ignore any of them you’re headed for a “collapsing” strategy and if you delay, you’re in “sequential” territory.
I’ve been experimenting with this. Frankly, it’s a pain in the ass because I’m wired to pick one thing and destroy everything in my path to get to it.
But I am happier. The Good Life is a balance, and must be, because there isn’t a finish line. This was one of their findings:
If you think, like many people today, that success is about delaying happiness while you achieve, and that the final point of success should be to put aside all effort and lead a happy life, you are unlikely to achieve real success or happiness. All scientific research shows that happiness has a fading quality: the first taste of the hot fudge sundae is terrific, but if you ate four of them, you would find little pleasure. You have to renew happiness on a regular basis, not look for some state of unending pleasure.
The comedian Steven Wright once quipped:
I took my dog for a walk, all the way from New York to Florida. I said to him “There, now you’re done.”
Very funny. It doesn’t work for dogs and it doesn’t work for us either.
Aim for a bit of the four each day:
- 1. Happiness: Feelings of pleasure or contentment in and about your life.
- 2. Achievement: Accomplishments that compare favorably against similar goals others have strived for.
- 3. Significance: A positive impact on people you care about.
- 4. Legacy: Establishing your values or accomplishments in ways that help others find future success.
Measuring life by one yardstick won’t work. And moving through the four sequentially is a mistake too.
A favorite quote of mine by Warren Buffett sums it up:
I always worry about people who say, “I’m going to do this for ten years; I really don’t like it very well. And then I’ll do this…” That’s a lot like saving sex up for your old age. Not a very good idea.
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This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree.
(PERTH, Australia) — Investigators were analyzing data collected by a robotic submarine that completed its first successful scan of the seabed Thursday in the hunt for the missing Malaysian plane, but say tests have ruled out that a nearby oil slick came from the aircraft.MoreMen Charged With Toppling Ancient Rock Formation Avoid Jail Time Huffington PostHere's An Updated Tally Of All The People Who Have Ever Died From A Marijuana Overdose Huffington PostAmerican Idol: Jena Irene and Alex Preston Rule the Night PeopleSI.com's 2013-14 NBA awards: Durant wins MVP Sports Illustrated'Of Mice and Men': EW stage review Entertainment Weekly
The unmanned sub’s first two missions were cut short by technical problems and deep water, but the Bluefin 21 finally managed to complete a full 16-hour scan of the silt-covered seabed far off Australia’s west coast, the search coordination center said. While data collected during the mission, which ended overnight, were still being analyzed, nothing of note had yet been discovered, the center said. The sub has now covered 90 square kilometers (35 square miles) of seafloor.
Separately, the center said the oil analysis done in the western city of Perth came up empty when the samples tested negative for aircraft oil or hydraulic fluid. The oil was collected earlier this week from a slick about 5.5 kilometers (3.4 miles) from the area where equipment picked up underwater sounds consistent with an aircraft black box.
It was hoped that the oil would be evidence that officials are looking in the right place for Flight 370, which vanished March 8 while en route from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing. Searchers have yet to find any physical proof that the sounds that led them to the ocean floor where the Bluefin has been deployed were from the ill-fated jet.
Twelve planes and 11 ships were scouring a 40,300-square-kilometer (15,600-square-mile) patch of sea for any debris that may be floating on the ocean surface, about 2,200 kilometers (1,400 miles) northwest of Perth.
Despite weeks of searching, no debris related to the jet has been found and earlier this week, search effort leader Angus Houston said the surface hunt would be ending within days. But the search coordination center on Thursday said crews would continue searching the ocean surface into next week.
Malaysia’s defense minister, Hishamuddin Hussein, confirmed that the search would continue through Easter weekend, but acknowledged that officials would have to rethink their strategy at some point if nothing is found.
“There will come a time when we need to regroup and reconsider, but in any event, the search will always continue. It’s just a matter of approach,” he said at a news conference Thursday.
Radar and satellite data show the Boeing 777 flew far off-course for an unknown reason and would have run out of fuel in a desolate patch of the Indian Ocean west of Australia.
A ship-towed device detected four underwater signals that are believed to have come from the plane’s black boxes shortly before the batteries powering the devices’ beacons likely died. The sounds helped narrow the search area to the waters where the Bluefin is now operating.
The U.S. Navy’s unmanned sub cut short its first mission on Monday because it exceeded its maximum operating depth of 4,500 meters (15,000 feet). Searchers moved it away from the deepest waters before redeploying the sub to scan the seabed with sonar to map a potential debris field.
But the center said Thursday that officials are now confident that the sub can safely go deeper than was thought, allowing it to cover the entire search area, which has been narrowed based on further analysis of the four underwater signals.
In addition to finding the plane itself, investigators want to recover the black boxes in hopes the cockpit voice and flight data recorders can explain why the plane lost communications and flew so far off-course before disappearing.
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has a rare electoral mandate in a nation that has churned through six premiers in just as many years. Called a brazen nationalist by some and a brave change agent by others, the 59-year-old Prime Minister—whose first term ended abruptly after a year in 2007 and who assumed office again in Dec. 2012—sat down at his Tokyo office on April 9 with TIME’s Managing Editor Nancy Gibbs and East Asia Correspondent Hannah Beech to discuss patriotism, “Abenomics” and his controversial grandfather.MoreShinzo Abe: The PatriotJapan’s Profound Ambivalence Over Nuclear EnergyMen Charged With Toppling Ancient Rock Formation Avoid Jail Time Huffington PostHere's An Updated Tally Of All The People Who Have Ever Died From A Marijuana Overdose Huffington PostAmerican Idol: Jena Irene and Alex Preston Rule the Night People
On Japan’s relations with the U.S.:Popular Among Subscribers The Rise of Fake Pot Subscribe Common Core Sparks Parent RevoltChristians and Tyrants
“To preserve the national interests of Japan, first of all, I’d like to strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance. Japan became an ally of the U.S., whom it fought against in the past war. I think this alliance has largely contributed to the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region.”
On Japan’s relations with China:
“Because there is a problem that exists, the doors for communication between the two nations should not be closed. Japan always keeps our door for communication open. I’d like China to take the same attitude.”
On the territorial dispute with China over islands in the East China Sea:
“Japan considers the Senkaku Islands [known as the Diaoyu by China] as Japan’s inherent territory. Unfortunately, Chinese government vessels are repeatedly violating Japan’s territorial waters near the Senkaku. China has been acting the same [way] also in the South China Sea, and many ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nation] nations have strong concerns about [these maritime disputes].”
On Japan’s brutal wartime record and official Japanese apologies for it:
“In the previous war, Japan has given tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly those of Asia. Japan’s post-war era began based on this remorse. Previous Prime Ministers have expressed their feelings of remorse and apology. In my first administration I also did so.”
On his visit to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine, where the enshrined war dead include convicted war criminals:
“I paid a visit to Yasukuni Shrine to pray for the souls of those who had fought for the country and made ultimate sacrifices. I have made a pledge never to wage war again, that we must build a world that is free from the sufferings of the devastation of war.”
On the 1993 Kono Statement that recognized the Japanese military’s sexual enslavement of Asian “Comfort Women,” which Abe indicated during the 2012 campaign he would like to revise:
“At the time of the 1st Abe administration, a cabinet decision was made stating that there was no information that shows people were forcibly recruited. Lots of Japanese citizens did not hear that and it may have not been recognized internationally. I had been saying in the election campaign that this cabinet decision and the Kono Statement should be considered together. Because I have said this, lots of people are aware of this issue now. As for the Japanese government, we are not considering revising the Kono Statement.”
On patriotism and criticism:
“I am a patriot. I would think there are no politicians who are not patriots. Since I am a politician, I often get criticized, as I try to exercise what I believe to be right. However if you mind such criticism, I think you can’t protect people’s lives.”
On lessons learned from his father, former Foreign Minister Shintaro Abe:
“I have learned that being a politician is not an easy job. My father was trying to make progress in the peace treaty with the Soviet Union. At that time he was suffering from last-stage cancer, but he visited Moscow in the bitter cold. I learned from my father that you may have to risk your own life to make such a historic accomplishment.”
On his maternal grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi, a member of Japan’s wartime cabinet who was locked up (but never charged) by the Allied powers and later became Prime Minister:
“If I try to make it correct, my grandfather was arrested but not prosecuted. [As Prime Minister] my grandfather amended the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. He faced severe criticism. He passed the treaty and resigned as Prime Minister at the same time. Those who were against [revamping the treaty] are now overwhelmingly for [it]. Unfortunately, politicians don’t get applause.”
On his paternal grandfather, Kan Abe, a wartime legislator:
“He was one of the few Diet members who was against [wartime leader Hideki] Tojo’s cabinet and Japan going to war with [the] U.S. I have learned from each family member that politicians sometimes have to make decisions all alone.”
On the need to revise the post-war pacifist constitution, which was written by the Americans and precludes Japan from possessing a normal military:
“It has been believed for a long time in Japan that things such as the constitution can never be changed. I say we should change our constitution now. The U.S. has amended its constitution six times, but Japan has done it zero times.”
On the state of the nation when he assumed power in Dec. 2012:
“When I came to office, in terms of diplomacy and national security, as well as the economy, Japan was in a very severe situation.”
On his economic reform program, dubbed “Abenomics”:
“The economic policy that I am implementing now is a growth strategy, which includes radical financial relaxation, flexible monetary policy and encouragement of private investment. For a long time, we have been suffering from deflation. We haven’t overcome deflation yet, but the confidence of small and medium businesses has turned to positive after 21 years and 10 months.”
On the role of women in Japan:
“I often say to entrepreneurs: ‘if Lehman Brothers were Lehman Brothers & Sisters, it wouldn’t have gone into bankruptcy.’ Hillary Clinton says if Japan were to utilize women’s power more, Japan’s GDP would increase by 16%. We have decided that at least 30% of all new hires by our government should be female. We have requested at least one female board member in first-tier listed companies. She doesn’t have to be Japanese but could be a foreigner.”
Barbara Brown Taylor sets off from her front porch. The lights in her north Georgia farmhouse are off, the chickens have been cooped, and her husband Ed has cleaned the kitchen and gone upstairs to bed. A waning moon will not rise for hours. Time for a walk.
Most spiritual seekers spend their lives pursuing enlightenment. But this Eastertide, the woman who ranks among America’s leading theologians is encouraging believers and nonbelievers not only to seek the light but to face the darkness too, something that 21st century Americans tend to resist. For the past four years, the popular 62-year-old preacher and New York Times best-selling author has explored wild caves, lived as if blind, stared into her darkest emotions and, over and over, simply walked out into the night. The reasons, she says, are that contemporary spirituality is too feel-good, that darkness holds more lessons than light and that contrary to what many of us have long believed, it is sometimes in the bleakest void that God is nearest.This appears in the April 28, 2014 issue of TIME.
Japan’s transformation from an imperial aggressor to the world’s second largest economy and champion of peaceful ideals was one of the most redemptive tales of the 20th century. But nearly 70 years since the end of World War II, the pistons have stalled. In 2011 the Japanese economy lost its No. 2 status to China. Beijing is flexing its muscles, aggressively pursuing territorial disputes with Japan and other neighbors. Meanwhile, Japan’s population is both aging and shrinking. For all its high-tech wizardry, the country feels sapped of the motivating power that propelled its rise.
As Japan searches for its soul, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has positioned himself as a national savior. Powered with a rare electoral mandate, Abe, 59, has vowed to halt Japan’s slow march toward international irrelevance. Two decades of economic deflation and the lingering weight of wartime loss, in the view of Abe and his allies, have forced the country into a submissive crouch. It was time for some backbone.
Whether Abe is a galvanizing change agent or a nationalist legatee who’s driving his country back to the future, there is no doubt that he is Japan’s—and possibly the continent’s—most consequential politician in some time.This appears in the April 28, 2014 issue of TIME.
You’ll be forgiven if you’ve never heard of Lesley University. The small, private liberal arts school exists almost literally in the shadow of Harvard, scattered across a handful of brick buildings and Victorian mansions in Cambridge, Mass. With only 1,650 undergraduates and a Division III sports program, Lesley rarely makes headlines. But lately its president, Joseph Moore, has been making some noise.
What’s got him going is President Obama’s plan to assign an official government rating to every college and university in the country, from tiny faith-based schools to giant state flagships, and then allocate federal financial aid according to those ratings. “When I first heard about the plan, I thought, Holy smokes,” Moore says, “what kind of scientific nightmare are we getting ourselves into here?”
While the Administration hasn’t announced how it’ll go about determining ratings, schools across the country are clearly worried. Once the government imposes its promised tests to evaluate things like accessibility, affordability and student performance after graduation, chances are that small, pricey colleges like Lesley might not stack up well.This appears in the April 28, 2014 issue of TIME.
Built in 1962, Seminary South was the first mall in Fort Worth and, by all accounts, the archetypal American shopping center. At its peak, it was home to a Sears, a JCPenney and a Dillard’s. There was a bowling alley, a movie theater and a space for the Fort Worth Opera to practice. But like many other malls across the country, the shopping center began a steep decline in the 1990s. Big department stores left or closed. Gang activity became a problem, and shoppers stopped coming. “It’s where I used to buy my jeans as a kid,” recalls the city councilman for the district. “It was a nice little shopping area.”
And now it is again. Seminary South has been reborn as La Gran Plaza, a sprawling hive of commerce and community. Most Sunday mornings, 25,000 to 30,000 shoppers pack into the mall to socialize, eat and shop. To pull off this feat, the mall’s new owner has tapped into the most powerful new demographic in the U.S. economy: Hispanic consumers. Refashioned as a cultural center, it has at its core the mercado, or market, a labyrinthine three-story bazaar packed with small storefronts selling everything from piñatas to PlayStations.This appears in the April 28, 2014 issue of TIME.
In your new movie The Railway Man, as in The King’s Speech, you play a historical figure. Is that your favorite kind of role?
Not necessarily. A good story is a good story. This one’s personal. It’s not trying to capture the whole of the fall of Singapore or the building of the “Death Railway.” It’s one man’s experience. I think a veteran’s story will probably always be interesting because it will be an experience very distant from mine. It becomes my job to understand it as best I can and hopefully relay something of it. I like my job when it’s just there for cheap laughs, but occasionally an experience like this makes you feel there’s some substance.This appears in the April 28, 2014 issue of TIME.
I love when billionaires fight, because they do it with money, which is the third best way to fight, after Jell-O wrestling and dating your ex’s best friend. So I got very interested when hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman bet $1 billion that Herbalife is a pyramid scheme and Carl Icahn, who hates him, argued that it so totally isn’t and set out to prove it by buying $1 billion worth of the company. To put that in terms non–Wall Street people can understand, it means that whatever Herbalife is, there is more than $1 billion of it.
Ackman, after lobbying Congress, persuaded the FTC to investigate the company and has posed one question to audiences that I find very convincing: Have you ever bought a product from Herbalife?This appears in the April 28, 2014 issue of TIME.
X-Men director Bryan Singer stands accused of sexually abusing an aspiring teen actor 15 years ago, according to a civil suit filed in U.S. District Court in Hawaii Wednesday.
Singer, 48, one of Hollywood’s most successful directors and producers, allegedly offered the plaintiff a film role in the Marvel Comics franchise if the the teen submitted to his sexual demands, and threatened to destroy his career if he refused.
The director’s legal representative said the “absurd and defamatory” accusations were “completely without merit” and he was certain his client would be vindicated.
“It is obvious that this case was filed in an attempt to get publicity at the time when Bryan’s new movie is about to open in a few weeks,” said the attorney.
Most of the alleged sex abuse was supposed to have taken place at parties at a California mansion in 1998 and 1999 when the plaintiff was 17, according to court papers.
New York-born Singer rose to international prominence with his 1995 breakthrough smash hit The Usual Suspects, which won two Oscars.
There aren’t any Greek columns or sprawling green lawns at Northeastern University’s satellite campus in Charlotte, N.C. But the location, on the 11th story of an office building in the middle of the city’s uptown district, is no accident.MoreMen Charged With Toppling Ancient Rock Formation Avoid Jail Time Huffington PostHere's An Updated Tally Of All The People Who Have Ever Died From A Marijuana Overdose Huffington PostAlexa Ray Joel Opens Up About Health Scare PeopleSI.com's 2013-14 NBA awards: Durant wins MVP Sports Illustrated'Of Mice and Men': EW stage review Entertainment Weekly
Charlotte is among the nation’s 10 fastest growing cities with more than one million people, according to the Census Bureau. And the school is in a neighborhood where economic activity is so hot that office vacancy rates are in the single digits.Popular Among Subscribers The Rise of Fake Pot Subscribe Common Core Sparks Parent RevoltChristians and Tyrants
That’s how Landon White stumbled across it. The 31-year-old, who works in Charlotte as a project manager for Liberty Mutual, was driving by the uptown campus and saw the Northeastern logo. He’d been feeling the itch to go back to school to “get a competitive edge in my career,” but hadn’t found any suitable programs. White enrolled within four months, and he is on track to get a master’s degree in leadership this summer.
The Charlotte branch of the 116-year-old Boston university is an example of a new phenomenon in U.S. higher education: Rather than waiting for students to come to them, universities are coming to the students, launching money-making satellite graduate programs that generate revenues for the home campus.
Schools have been down a similar road before. In the early to mid 2000s, many American universities enthusiastically added international branch campuses, mostly in the Middle East and in Asia, in the hopes of attracting wealthy students seeking a western education closer to home. The trend reached its peak in 2008, when U.S. universities opened 11 foreign campuses. But many of the ventures failed to meet expectations, and at least 13 international branch campuses run by U.S., Irish, and Australian universities have since closed, according to the Cross-Border Education Research Team at the State University of New York at Albany.
Now, several older American colleges and universities, most of them from slow-growth areas in the East, are opening or expanding domestic campuses in U.S. cities with booming populations and economies, zeroing in on places where there is demand for mid-career education, but not enough supply.
Seeing unfulfilled demand in the Pacific Northwest, Northeastern also established a Seattle campus last year. Emerson College, also in Boston, recently opened a campus in Hollywood, while Bentley University in Waltham, Mass. last year added a branch in San Francisco. And a Bay Area campus of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania — the nation’s oldest business school—established over a decade ago has been doing so well that it was recently expanded by one-third.
Like Charlotte, San Francisco, Seattle and Los Angeles represent high-growth opportunities for higher education at a time when enrollment in the East is declining. San Francisco and Seattle are also among the 20 fastest-growing major U.S. metropolitan areas, census records show, and the Los Angeles area has the nation’s second-highest population, after metropolitan New York.
“It’s a growing phenomenon, and it’s going to continue,” says Matthew Hamill, senior vice president at the National Association of College and University Business Officers. “If your student population is not growing, you’re looking at what you do best and the future of your programs, and opportunities to enter a new market can be extremely beneficial.”
Private corporations expand in this way all the time, Hamill notes. “People think that colleges and universities should somehow be different, and shouldn’t have these instincts.”
If that was ever true, it isn’t any more.
Wharton’s original decision to set up in San Francisco back in 2001 was “a business decision,” says Bernadette Birt, that campus’s chief operating officer. The school anticipated that the growing population of young entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley was a great potential market for graduate business programs. “It was apparent this was the right thing to do, with all these smart, young people who really needed to learn how to run a business,” she says.
Nearly 400 miles down the California coast, Emerson College’s new $85 million, 10-story building on Sunset Boulevard will “announce in a big way that we are in Los Angeles,” Emerson president Lee Pelton says. The hope is that graduate programs in the college’s specialties of communications and the performing arts will appeal to those seeking a way into the entertainment industry.
Just as a corporation might have done, Northeastern spent 18 months conducting market research before deciding to open in Charlotte, says Philly Mantella, senior vice president for enrollment management and student life. She says university administrators “did a lot of listening” to more than 100 Charlotte-based companies to understand the local economy and “the nuances of the portfolio” Northeastern could successfully offer.
In response, the program was built to accommodate working students who needed to attend school part-time — for whom the university discovered there were few options in Charlotte. The average age of the graduate students in Northeastern’s Charlotte program is 37, and more than 90 percent work full-time, so the courses are delivered both online, and, every few weeks, in conventional classrooms.
Everything about those classes is meant to be practical. “I always ask myself, ‘Is what we’re teaching you today helping you in your job tomorrow?’” says Joseph Griffin, who joined the faculty after 12 years as a project manager in his family’s construction business in Lenoir, N.C.
That’s made a big difference for Landon White, who said he couldn’t find another nearby program that offered a similar experience. Sitting in the open space between classrooms that serves as a place to eat lunch, read a book, or just gaze at the still-expanding skyline full of shiny skyscrapers outside the floor-to-ceiling windows, White said that finding the Northeastern Charlotte campus “put me in exactly the position I wanted to be in.”
This story was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, nonpartisan education-news outlet based at Teachers College, Columbia University.