Weekend reads: Harvey's effect on schools, the generic millennial, Melinda Gates talks tech and kids

Kristin Tyndall's read

Melinda Gates shares her family's house rules for technology use in a recent interview with the Washington Post. I was fascinated to learn that, though she's spent her career at Microsoft, Gates still feels that she is "trying to catch up" to parenting in the digital age. Gates offers five tips that are good advice for anyone who wants to recognize—and set some boundaries on—how technology changes the way they interact with others.

Seren Snow's reads

Over 100 school districts in southeastern Texas are still closed, which affects hundreds of thousands of students, Hayley Glatter reports for The Atlantic. The storm will have a significant emotional impact on them, as their homes may have suffered damages and friends and family may have been harmed. As a result, not only will many students lose much of the academic progress they worked hard for, they'll also be at a greater risk for anxiety and depression, Glatter writes. Local education leaders hope that donations, collected by districts such as Houston Independent School District, will help lessen some of the trauma students and their families have experienced. But while property can be recovered, psychological recovery takes much longer.

At 63, Mélisande Short-Colomb has enrolled as a freshman at Georgetown University. Last year, the president of Georgetown announced that descendants of the slaves sold to fund the university in 1838 would be given preference in admissions. Short-Colomb is a descendant of one of the 272 slaves sold. After spending much of her life as a professional chef, mother, and grandmother, she decided to apply to Georgetown using the admissions preference and is now its oldest degree-seeking undergraduate student. While she's had her share of awkward social experiences, being at Georgetown seems to be going well for her. 

Kathleen Escarcha's reads

You've stumbled upon an exceptionally stunning sunset. Do you stare and "fully experience" the moment or do you reach for your phone to snap a picture? These two urges may not necessarily be in opposition. In a recent study from Psychological Science, subjects were asked to walk through a museum exhibit and either leave their camera behind or take pictures freely. Surprisingly, those who took pictures performed better on the memory test.  But the study’s lead researcher does offer one caveat. If you’re taking the picture with only social media in mind, you may be forfeiting the benefits of deeper engagement for those Instagram likes.

Dissolve’s “Generic millennial Ad” lampoons every millennial-targeting commercial you’ve ever seen. Entirely comprised of stock footage, the video parodies omnipresent millennial tropes like peace parties, uniqueness, hover boards, and emojis. Guided by an oddly robotic but soothing voiceover, the ad captures the drawbacks of being everything for everyone all at once. And as the narrator’s self-conscious assertions that he “gets it” reach a painful crescendo, this millennial has to agree—they “totes” do. 

Next in Today's Briefing

The 12 most innovative colleges for adult learners

Next Briefing

  • Manage Your Events
  • Saved webpages and searches
  • Manage your subscriptions
  • Update personal information
  • Invite a colleague