Mindset, Making Fun, and Post-2016 Predictions: this week on Fresh Powder

The Post-Millennial Method

Everyone born before 1980 absolutely loves to gripe about the problem with millennials: they’re lazy, they’re self-absorbed, they’re the accidental detritus of the self-esteem movement. Actually, plenty of millennials like to crab about their own generation, too. But, this (probably unfairly caricatured) group of people were born of the desire to cultivate emotionally healthy individuals, and maybe it’s got more to do with individual mindset than anything else. Carol Dweck, a psychologist at Stanford, has some suggestions for teachers interested in cultivating resilient students eager for a challenge, and ones that have good self esteem, too. Huh.

Comedy Bang Bang

Satire has been a thing for a long time, and we like it. It’s critical and it breaks tension with well-timed humor. It pushes us to look critically at the world around us. So it’s not surprising that late night comedy shows have moved strongly into the arena of politics, offering critical, biting commentary that educates their audience while tickling their funny bone at the same time. Awesome. Even better? They’ve become a voice on education as well, highlighting and criticizing the flaws in the education system. And because humor is easy to digest, the stories have a broader reach, so more of us can be more informed. It’s a good thing.

Predictions 2017: Journalism Edition

It’s strange times we’re living in, no one needed to say that again. Who could have predicted Trump or Brexit? Who could have predicted the heartily revived popularity of 90’s chokers and belly shirts and generally Clueless fashion? Well, somebody, probably, but that doesn’t make it any less weird. If all that is enough to give you anxiety about the year to come, calm yourself by engaging with some good old-fashioned predictions, journalism-style. And if predictions aren’t your thing, here are some suggestions for operation in the new landscape of journalism.

Foundational Fact-ion

Fake news isn’t new, not even close. And if we were looking, we might even have been able to spot the conditions that brought the phenomena back into the spotlight (check social media outlets, the ease of online content creation, it’s all there) in 2016. So now what? A month or so ago, we enjoyed a personally blame-free holiday from responsibility by pointing our fingers at the creators of fake news rather than at ourselves. Now, though, we’re savvy, and we know that we’re at least as much to blame for our careless news consumption. Foundations know it, too, and in an effort to restore journalism and promote awareness, they’re funding educational efforts and fact-checking initiatives. It’s a start.

These thing also happened last week: Mariah Carey lip-sync fail. Enough said. Also, J-Lo and Drake are a thing, and apparently people care, so there’s that. And for those of you dear, dear high school teachers who are just getting back into the swing of things after winter break, here are some obits you can totally appreciate.