Staying self-aware on the road to financial success

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Photo by Ibrahim Rifath on Unsplash

There’s been an earthquake in U.S. stock markets. Foreshock, mainshock, or aftershock we don’t yet know, but there’s little doubt it’s been seismic.

Although retail investors increased last year, GameStop’s recent market-breaking ride brought record amounts of cash into U.S. equity markets this month. Fueled by accessible and sophisticated brokerage apps, sky-high savings, and near-zero interest rates, this new crop of investors are unlike anything the markets have seen before. As earthquakes leave behind permanently altered physical landscapes, recent events have transformed the financial world.

As new investors scour social media for the latest stock tips, seasoned investors worry about…


A data-based guide on what to look for on Election Day

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Photo by Matthew T Rader on Unsplash

Everyone wants to know if Texas will turn blue this year, but most analysis focuses on Houston, Dallas, and the suburbs. Some talk about how an increase in historically low turnout among Hispanic voters could turn the state blue. Far fewer mention the “red firewall” of rural, small town, and mid-size city voters that make up around 25% of the state’s population and overwhelmingly vote Republican (72% for Trump in 2016 and 71% for Cruz in 2018). Texas is a huge and diverse state, and any realistic analysis needs to factor in that complexity.

Understanding Texas by county

Using population and demographic data from…


Lessons from the Black Death

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Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

Don’t be like Oxford.

It’s not every day one advises colleges and universities to avoid acting like one of the world’s premier higher education institutions, but Oxford’s inaction in the aftermath of the Black Death is a rare case where such advice is justified.

The Black Death and higher education

The Black Death was a bacterial pandemic that swept across Eurasia in the 1340s and 1350s, wiping out approximately one-third of Europe’s population. It was a profoundly destructive event that contributed to massive social and economic change; higher education was not immune. Much of this will sound familiar to observers of contemporary higher education.

Population decline…


Written by Jeff Freels & Kathleen Krysher

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Photo by delfi de la Rua on Unsplash

Design thinking is everywhere these days. Primarily used as an innovation strategy for designing objects and services for business, its use has expanded in recent years to encompass planning and design for diverse types of organizations, including higher education. Advocates argue that design thinking is ideal for tackling complex problems such as climate change, obesity, and crime. Critics allege that it is a “failed experiment.”

From its origins in traditional design fields — art, architecture, and engineering— design thinking emerged as a business innovation strategy in the 1990s, achieved widespread acceptance in the 2000s, and has been increasingly applied to…


90% will still get you an A, and most people won’t know the difference

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Photo by Zane Lee on Unsplash

Perfectionism is more often a burden than a blessing; an obstacle to happiness rather than a contributor to success. Neither is it a necessary precursor to success.

On a recent episode of the Dr. Drew After Dark podcast, comedian Nikki Glaser talked about her performance at the Comedy Central roast of Alec Baldwin. Despite having a successful set, Glaser “punished” herself for forgetting two jokes.

I could not let it go. I could not enjoy myself the entire night. I’m at the after-party, and people are telling me it was an amazing set, and I’m like ‘I forgot two jokes!’…


A phone call forty years in the making

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Photo by Brenan Greene on Unsplash

There’s a dark corner in my soul where the light from my parents used to live. My mother passed away peacefully in her sleep in August 2019. My father passed away in 2009. Two of the most important people in my life are gone forever. A parent’s love for their child is unique, and there is a certain loneliness to losing the people who loved you like no others. They can never be replaced.

Of course, 44-year-old orphans don’t go to foster homes. Plus, I’m not literally an orphan. I referred to “my father” above, but he was a step-parent…

Jeff Freels

Teacher, creator, historian. PhD in Higher Education.

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