Extra Credit: It's okay if your job is just a job

Your weekend reading list

Kristin Tyndall's read

This $9 computer may be the answer to getting students interested in STEM. The CHIP started out as a Kickstarter project—that earned with $2 million from some 40,000 backers. The computer fits in the palm of your hand, has WiFi and Bluetooth capability, uses open-source software, and can connect to a mouse, keyboard, and monitor. One teacher who backed the project says cost is a huge barrier to STEM for many of his students. Analysts say the CHIP is just one of a new wave of inexpensive computers that could help usher in a new era of innovation.

Emily Hatton's reads

160 square feet. Minimal clutter. Complete privacy. That's the goal of hospitality startup Getaway, founded by two Harvard University graduate students. In collaboration with the Harvard Innovation Lab and Millennial Housing Project, the company created and now rents out three "tiny houses." The mini-cabins connect city-dwellers with nature while providing the comforts of home—all within two hours of Boston (although the specific location remains a secret).

Snow is most definitely nature's glitter. But what keeps it from looking like a Saturday Night Fever disco ball every day? A combination of light, angles, reflection, and snowflake shape. Brook Sutton breaks down the science behind flat and sparkling snowfields, including what weather conditions produce the prettiest crystals. 

"Do what you love" is bad advice. "Love what you do" is good advice. Everyone hates some aspects of their job. It's inevitable. "'Do What You Love' is good advice to help people find what they initially want to do, but not everyone is looking for The Ultimate Fulfillment in a job, and not everyone is going to get a job that looks good on Instagram," writes Brenden Leonard. It's all about perspective and attitude. "Almost nobody's getting out of bed in the morning going, 'Yay, work!' But we should be saying, 'Yay, life!' And work is part of that, whether you clock in to pilot an airplane, a shovel, or a spreadsheet."

Aly Seidel's reads

Medical school students need to learn about dying patients. This year, Medicare will start reimbursing physicians for discussing end-of-life options with their terminally ill patients. But many med schools have not prepared their students to have these crucial conversations. 

Is diversity a benefit in the classroom? Better yet, does it matter? During the oral arguments for Fisher v. University of Texas, a justice posed this question: "What are the benefits to diversity in [a physics class]?" But black students in university classrooms don't exist to bring unique perspectives that will benefit their white classmates, Jedidah Isler argues in the New York Times.

Navigating an icy campus. For many students, winter means trudging through ice, sleet, and snow to make it to class on time. But for students with physical disabilities, winter means it's nearly impossible to arrive to class at all.  


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