Gilt By Association

Today’s post comes from marketing genius and idea man Spin Williams, who is always in residence at The Meeting That Never Ends.

Somebody asked me the other day why it’s so hard to solve the problem of poverty, and the thought that came to mind immediately was this – “There’s no money in it.”

And isn’t that obvious? I mean, if we could find a way for people who already have a lot of money to make a profit out of ending poverty, it would be gone overnight!

I brought this brainstorm up to my colleagues at The Meeting That Never Ends, and everyone agreed it would be pretty great if we could get even richer by un-poorifying chronically impoverished people. Unfortunately, we couldn’t think of a way to do it that didn’t involve us just handing them bundles of cash, which would make us feel like chumps and cut into our profit margins pretty severely.

Then somebody brought up this article from the New York Times that talks about the benefits of early intervention in child rearing. Apparently “everybody knows” this is the right thing to do.

The writer, Nicholas Kristof, had an interesting suggestion –

We wish more donors would endow not just professorships but also the jobs of nurses who visit at-risk parents; we wish tycoons would seek naming opportunities not only at concert halls and museum wings but also in nursery schools.

That last one really caught fire at The Meeting.

The idea seems to be that helping young children thrive would be a great PR move for rich people, a notion we would endorse if tycoons wanted great publicity. But I know my tycoons, and when it comes to slapping their name on things, it’s not publicity they’re after, it’s immortality! So the nursery schools they named would have to be stadium-sized, or as tall as skyscrapers.

Then we thought – what if we could match up some black-hearted corporations that really NEED a little shimmer of do-gooder gold on their surface with the people who empower very young children?

So we Googled two lists – one of creative preschool names and another that named U.S. Defense Contractors, and  started to mix and match.  Suddenly the puzzle pieces fell into place! Look for some of these great new institutions to pop up soon!

  • Alliant Techsystems Journey School
  • Halliburton Baby Stars
  • Cradle to Ceradyne
  • Just For Kids Pinnacle Armor Preschool
  • Peter Pan Man Tech Early Learning Center
  • Navistar R Kids
  • Concurrent Technologies Country Day School
  • Raytheon Pumpkin Patch
  • Hybricon Toddler House
  • First Steps General Dynamics Whee!

I love the sound of it.

Not only do these institutions come off as  incredibly advanced, they’ll look great on that first line of your resume. Assuming you want to blow things up for a living!

See? Marketing solves problems!

Your pal,

What’s the most impressive school on your resume?

26 thoughts on “Gilt By Association”

  1. Most impressive? Not sure I know how to answer that question. Most impressive? To whom?

    The school where I’ve learned the most? Now that I can answer, and without a doubt it’s the School of Hard Knocks. After a lifetime in attendance, I’m still learning and haven’t, as yet, earned a diploma.


  2. Good morning. I have degrees from Michigan State and Purdue. I would guess that most people would consider those two school to be the most impressive ones on my resume. Like PJ, I would put The School of Hard Knocks at the top of the list of impressive schools I attended. I learned more outside of the class room than I did in the class room when attending the two schools I mentioned.

    In fact, one of the above school that I mentioned, did not approve of some of the political activities I engaged in outside of the class room and tried to prevent me from participating in certain political actives. I think of that school as being a very unimpressive school. It was trying to prevent me from getting a more advanced degree in The School of Hard Knocks.


  3. I’m going to be contentious on this one. I’ve noticed a fair amount of people from the town in which I attended high school (which I will never refer to as a “home town”) list The School of Hard Knocks as where they received their education.

    I feel I can safely say there is precious little I have learned by being knocked about. The time I spent struggling to defend myself could have been spent in any number of better ways.

    My masters is from UW Madison, and I learned a great deal there, but I prize my degree from Luther more for teaching me there was a much larger world in which people were encouraged to progress beyond the ability to merely survive Hard Knocks and dole out Hard Knocks to those lower on the ladder.


  4. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    I just have never gone for status or money–sometimes stupidly so–therefore, my schools are public and not very elite. Just a worker bee here. I did get the degrees though!

    Being the child of a public school teacher (then later the sibling of two teachers) biased me towards public education and pragmatism.


    1. I’ve always had that bias too, but our last few years in SPPS have made me glad the s&h got into the much smaller charter he now attends.

      I really believe he is better off learning Latin than trying to learn how to avoid negative notice for being interested in learning.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am told that back in the day at Luther Seminary, you were asked prior to graduation where you would like to serve. If you said,”I will go where the Lord leads me”, you would find that the Lord invariably led you to North Dakota.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Schools don’t teach students. Schools mostly make it possible for motivated students to learn, but the schools don’t actually educate students. Students learn only if they are willing to make an effort to learn, which means education is self-directed. For a motivated person, many different schools offer many different possibilities for learning, but everything starts with that drive inside us that asks questions and examines evidence and tries to make sense of things. We are all DIY projects, self-made in the sense that each of us represents a lifetime of trying to make sense of the world.

    Maybe this is what people mean when they say they learned from the School of Hard Knocks. That phrase feels wrong to me. My life has certainly not had more hard knocks than most, and I have learned from all sorts of experience, good as well as bad. We are all graduates of the School of Life.

    Although I have attended many schools, all of my real learning took place in that queer space between my ears. What I have learned has always been driven by my personal passion, skepticism, idealism and curiosity. Physically I have been a student in public schools, Grinnell College and the University of Minnesota. But whatever school I was attending, learning was–for better or worse–shaped by my own appetite for knowledge.


    1. You can’t force learning down anyone’s throat, but school do attempt to do that in certain ways by requiring you to do all kinds of things. You are given a degree for completing many requirements and classes that don’t fit your needs or your interests. There are some good teachers and some good classes, but much of it is what Paul Goodman called “compulsory miseducation”.


    1. Happy birthday Robin and don’t I remember this suitcase on the daily blog picture being tied to little jailbirds earlier id with the story of the money showing up on her way to the Art Institute from the bus stop


      1. I thought that picture looked familiar. If it wasn’t used for that post, it could have been. You have some of the details wrong, but I won’t quibble about the details.


  6. Morning all. Like Steve, I don’t feel I’ve had a particularly hard-knock life
    and like MiG, I’m not sure I want one. Thanks to my parents moving around LOTS and LOTS when I was young, I’ve attended 12 schools, including the last two, Carlton and Metro State. Chose Carlton for the pretty campus (& location…. I wanted a college that was too long of a drive for weekend trips home) and chose Metro State for expediency.


  7. Divorced at 29, l had no intention of making a 7-year trek through four colleges into two graduate degrees. l did attend the U of M for one year out of high school (as a commuter), and these credits served me well when l resumed higher education years later. Back then, they called it “grade inflation” because it was apparently much tougher to get liberal arts credits a decade earlier. As a result, Bs were considered As by the time l began again.

    My choices of minors or majors were completely contingent upon the enthusiasm of the particular professor. When he/she has passion for whatever subject he/she taught, so did l. Social work quickly became the path of least resistance, especially since l’d always loved helping people and because it didn’t require any math skills like psychology did

    By the time l walked out with the masters degrees, l’d learned quite well how a person could survive through grants, scholarships, and stipends for years on end. ln fact, that’s really all l’d learned! Facing the real world of getting and keeping a real job was horrendous because by that time, l had all the credentials and none of the experience. Plus, it didn’t help that it was the deepest recession since the late 30s.

    l applied for and was rejected by at least 100 employers. By the time l finally landed a part time job in a treatment center, l’d gone so low as to seek part time hall monitor at a high school (for which l was also rejected). l guess this would qualify as being a member of the school of very hard knocks?


  8. OT Yesterday a couple of you asked me to tell about my trip to attend the climate march in New York city. I am a slow writer and may not find the time to write up that trip for this blog in the near future. However, I do have a link to a story that covers that experience that was written by Craig Bowron. Craig sat try close to me on the bus that took us to march and back. I like what he wrote.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. l highly respect your service to our country, Jim!! l haven’t marched since the Viet Nam war and civil rights era. Seeing the videos and pictures of almost half a million Americans joining together in an effort to save our planet was simply stunning. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Carlton High School. When I tell people I used to teach in Carlton, 99% of them assumed I was referring to Carlton College. I probably could have cashed in on that infamy somehow, but was too straight of a shooter to capitalize on other peoples’ obtuseness.

    Chris in Owatonna


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