Archive for March, 2014

Parents Talk Back: No one owes you a college education

By Aisha Sultan

If the case of the New Jersey 18-year-old who moved out and sued her parents for living expenses – and her college fund – has any child confused, here’s some clarification on parental responsibility:

No one owes you an iPhone.

No one owes you a car when you turn 16.

No one owes you a wedding.

No one owes you a ticket to the college of your dreams.

And no one has an obligation to pay your bills once you move out.

Many parents choose to pay for many of these expenses out of love. If they cannot afford to pay for any of the above, they do not love you any less. That said, parents do have a responsibility to children for their education, but it may be different than the child’s expectations.

We all know someone, perhaps ourselves, who managed to graduate college with little to no financial support from their parents. But the system of getting financial aid has changed. Costs are astronomically greater than when most of us attended school, and a college degree is much more important than it used to be.

Now, a student under age 25 cannot apply for financial aid or be eligible for loans or grants unless the parents fill out the application and share their financial information. Even if the parents decide not to pay a dime toward college, the student is still considered a dependent. The parents’ resources (income and assets) are still taken into account when determining how much a student receives in grants and loans.

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Tom Walsh: Music college aims to make noise in Detroit with U.S. launch

By Tom Walsh

Detroit has spawned trendsetters in modern music from Motown to the White Stripes. Now it can add another musical accomplishment to the list as launchpad for a new performance-based music college called the Detroit Institute of Music Education (DIME).

Backed by a $3-million investment from Beringea of Farmington Hills, DIME is moving into downtown buildings owned by Quicken Loans chairman Dan Gilbert. The school will offer advanced music students courses in guitar, bass, vocals, drums, songwriting and music entrepreneurship.

DIME’s British founders Kevin Nixon, Sarah Clayman and Bruce Dickinson, were partners in a similar venture called BIMM, which began in 2001 and grew to a group of five independent colleges in Britain and Ireland, with more than 3,500 students in Brighton, Bristol, Dublin, Manchester and London.

They sold BIMM in 2010 and began exploring how to take the concept to the U.S.

Why, I asked Nixon and Clayman, did they choose Detroit for their first U.S. college of rock?

“Where,” Nixon replied, “does the music come from? It was the delta blues, up from New Orleans through Memphis up to Chicago and Detroit. The business really is a perfect fit for Detroit. This movement to bring Detroit back with young people, creative people … when we came last September to visit, the hospitality was stunning.”

“The opportunity and feeling and enthusiasm in Detroit has just blown us away,” said Clayman, who worked with Sony Music in the 1990s promoting tours for Michael Jackson, Prince, Neil Diamond and other artists, before joining up with Nixon on BIMM and other music management ventures.

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Sonam Kapoor: ‘Honesty is not appreciated in the film industry’

By Priya Joshi

Sonam Kapoor has said that she needs to be more careful with her words after being misquoted by the press.

It was reported that the actress claimed her father Anil Kapoor believed her bikini shot would get Bewakoofiyaan a good opening.

Speaking to IANS, she clarified her comments saying: “My father never said that. All that I said at a press meet was that my father feels the film would get a good opening. That statement found itself bonding with the bikini in the newspaper headlines.

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Talking point: will unpaid fashion internships ever really end?

By Bibby Sowray

The issue of unpaid internships has never been more visible, particularly in the fashion industry. In the last year, British fashion house Alexander McQueen has twice found itself in hot water because of them (read more about that here and here), while Condé Nast’s US wing has shuttered its intern programme in the wake of two former interns bringing lawsuits against them for improper payment.

Meanwhile, Arcadia – the parent company of Topshop and Miss Selfridge – has been forced by HMRC to retrospectively pay former interns who worked for free in the company’s press offices minimum wage, along with 199 other companies targeted by the non-ministerial department during a recent crackdown.

“There was one girl who made a complaint,” Arcadia helmsman Sir Philip Green recently told the Evening Standard. “This girl has spoilt it for thousands of people. We had 300 or 400 kids interning, now it’s about 30.”

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How the cost of college went from affordable to sky-high

By Claudio Sanchez

If you want to get an earful about paying for college, listen to parents from states where tuition and fees have skyrocketed in the last five years. In Arizona, for example, parents have seen a 77 percent increase in costs. In Georgia, it’s 75 percent, and in Washington state, 70 percent.

Even in Oklahoma, where tuition increases have been among the lowest in the nation, parents are dismayed. In Stillwater, Okla., Jeffery Corbett’s daughter is attending community college. Corbett, a fundraiser for a nonprofit, says a high school diploma just won’t get you very far. And he knows; he doesn’t have a college degree.

“I think about it all the time, because I realize [how] it has limited me, by not having that piece of paper,” he says.

And that, experts say, is the source of parents’ frustration today. A college education seems unaffordable at the worst possible time — when “people are really struggling,” says Sandy Baum, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute who has spent much of her career studying trends in college costs.

“The unemployment rate is high. Nobody’s wages have gone up in recent years,” she adds. “Increases in college tuition at public colleges, particularly in recent years, have really been unacceptable. And there’s no question that that is a much higher percentage of median [family] incomes than it used to be.”

And yet, Baum says, somehow, families are paying for it. “And the reason people are paying for it is because the return to the investment is so high.” No matter what a higher education costs them, most Americans think it will be worth it, she says.

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Celebrating successful business-arts partnerships

By Buhle Ndweni

Basa (Business and Arts South Africa) is a non-profit organisation that equips art entrepreneurs with business skills and sponsors in a bid to empower them to run sustainable enterprises.

Lonwabo Mavuso, Basa’s marketing and operations manager says there are 17 categories in which corporates partnering with small arts businesses can be nominated to win. The awards are not cash however. A specially commissioned artwork will be given to the winner of each category.

“There’s no money attached to the prizes. It’s basically to celebrate and recognise businesses that put their money where their mouth is, so to speak,” says Mavuso.

Award categories include: Innovation Award, First Time Sponsor Award, International Sponsorship, Long Term Partnership Award, Small Business Award, Development Awards and Mentorship Award to name just a few.

But what kind of artists should enter?

“Any kind of artist who has a partnership with a corporate can enter. The award is to honour the corporates who have supported them either in money or in kind,” says Mavuso. The awards cover business-arts relationships between January and December 2013.

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Los Angeles firms that rely on film industry fight to keep jobs here

By Saba Hamedy

In 1958, Ed Michelson started a motion picture catering company — Michelson Food Services — and made food for the cast and crew on such classic films as “West Side Story” and “Some Like it Hot.”

Michelson was one of the first to operate a food service truck on film sets, and for decades business boomed, back when virtually all the big studio movies were filmed in Los Angeles.

Today, son Steve Michelson said that’s no longer the case. When his father died, Michelson decided to start his own catering company, Sylmar-based Limelight Catering, which employs about 50 people and has been in business for 14 years.

But Michelson said his catering company would be making millions of dollars more a year — and even expanding the business by adding more food trucks — if production stayed in California.

“We have the best weather and the best locations and it doesn’t matter,” Michelson said. “Even if a show or movie is supposed to be based in Los Angeles, they go to other states because they are getting offered bigger incentives.”

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Proofing in publishing set for a change

A new browser-based proofing technology developed by a Chennai-based firm and endorsed by Dutch publishing giant Elsevier is set to change the scientific publishing industry.

Publishers of academic literature generally experience time-wasting problems in the proof-reading process. Proofing generally takes place by circulating a PDF of the typeset-manuscript for authors to check, correct and approve. The corrections then have to be transferred manually onto the proof.

However, this method is filled with workflow and process bottlenecks and inaccuracies.

Chennai-based TNQ, a specialist in content-centric technologies, has now come up with a new technology that replaces the traditional method of PDF proofing with a new technology platform.

New platform

This new platform, called Proof Central, now supports over 1,000 science and technology journals of Elsevier, according to a press release.

“We calibrated Proof Central to allow only as much author intervention as can be allowed in a peer-reviewed manuscript,” said Yakov Chandy, CEO, TNQ. “The system sets up a Concious Editing Environment for authors to interact with. Also, all actors work on a single URL, introduce their deltas into it and the full work flow cycle, and the loops therein, is completed on the same page.”

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Want a Job? It might be time to start gaming

By Scott Budman

It’s one of the Bay Area’s biggest industries and also one of the fastest-growing – and it’s all about playing games.

While once dominated by individual sales at stores like Game Stop, games are now coming to us on our mobile devices, television sets and even as Netflix-like subscriptions.

The good news: Besides lots of choices for lots of gamers, gaming also means new job creation, especially if you are a gamer yourself.

The gaming industry clocked in just above a billion dollars this year. Gaming enthusiasts flocked to the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco this week, checking out the latest the industry had to offer.

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The Corporatization of Higher education, through the Eyes of an adjunct professor

By Joseph A. Domino

From 2005-2006 I worked my last year (30th) as a technical writer making $65k — nothing to sneeze at. Then one Friday morning I was summoned to my manager’s office and was told my position was being eliminated. At age 54, this should have been devastating. As I packed up, co-workers consoled and asked what I would do. Smiling, a bit perversely, I said “write my memoirs by the pool.” I recall driving home on the interstate, laughing like a mad fool. What gave?

I had amassed, through savings and investing (and by being cheap some would say), a decent sum of assets along with, most importantly, zero debt. I knew I would do early retirement in eight years. During the intervening time what might I do? By turns good and bad the technical writing “field” had been decent, but it been a job by default, certainly no career or profession.

Back in 1975 I took a master’s degree in English, with the naive hope of teaching college. There were no teaching jobs. Had I gone on for the Ph.D. it may or may not have made a difference. That goal of being an academic in the classroom, the discipline in and focus on literature and writing never left me. In 2007 the local colleges were hiring adjunct professors. And so the dream happened — sort of.

For those unfamiliar with the term “adjunct,” it is considered a part-time supplemental teaching position, requiring only 18 graduate credits. I had the master’s. It’s a part-time job if you’re teaching two or three courses. More than that, you’re scraping the 40-hour ceiling, especially when reading student essays. The college deems fit to pay you for class-time only, as if lessons and content sprout fully formed from one’s brain.

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