Weekend reads: 6 higher ed TED talks, why men aren't working, prepare for stress like an athlete

Kristin Tyndall's read

Here are six TED talks about higher education that we should all watch, according to eCampusNews. I have mixed feelings about TED talks—some have been really thought-provoking and moving… while others are based on retracted and debunked research.  I suppose, like anything else, it depends on the author/speaker and your interest in the topic. From this roundup, I've added Margaret Heffernan's "Dare to Disagree" speech to my to-watch list, because it seems particularly relevant amid today's debates about free speech on campus.

Got a big, stressful event coming up? Here are some preparation tips from athletes, surgeons, and entertainers, rounded up by Harvard Business Review senior editor Dan McGinn in his new book Psyched Up: How the Science of Mental Preparation Can Help You Succeed. One interesting point from this interview is McGinn's thoughts on anxiety. He argues there's a certain level of pre-game jitters that are helpful, but it's important to make sure your adrenaline level is matched to the event.

Seren Snow's reads

Working hours for men declined significantly between 2000 and 2015, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. While some experts point to globalization and automation, one economist, Erik Hurst, has said that video games are the culprit. Hurst says video games have gotten so good that they’re taking up vast amounts of men's time. Video games no longer have simple objectives like Pac-Man or Mario Brothers, he argues, saying that instead "they’re built to be endless or have long-range goals that we don’t like to abandon." For example, games like "World of Warcraft" can last for days, the article reports.

Starting college as a freshman can be a daunting experience to say the least, especially when you’re headed to a large university. Madison Catrett, who is headed to Duke University this fall, says reading Prince of Los Cocuyos by Richard Blanco will help her relate to students who are from backgrounds different than her own. That is why colleges have begun assigning summer reading: they give students an instant conversation starter. The National Association of Scholars publishes an annual report on the books assigned by about 350 colleges and universities each year. According to their report, most of the assigned reading is contemporary non-fiction. One book on the list that I’ve read and really enjoyed is An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments by Ali Almossawi and Alejandro Giraldo. Do you see any on this list that you’d like to read?

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