Tag Archives: npr

What Makes You “Honors” [Good Article]

16 Nov

Have you ever wondered exactly why it is that you’re an “honors” student?

Do you think of yourself as an inherently smart person?  Do things come easy to you because you’re just bright?

Or do you think of yourself as a person that puts in more effort than others? Do you struggle for your A’s?

According to this great article from NPR, your perception about yourself might come from your cultural upbringing.  And the effects can go far beyond what you might imagine.

From the article:

Obviously if struggle indicates weakness — a lack of intelligence — it makes you feel bad, and so you’re less likely to put up with it. But if struggle indicates strength — an ability to face down the challenges that inevitably occur when you are trying to learn something — you’re more willing to accept it.

Listen to the audio piece, or read the full article here.

8 Things to Know About Zombies [Event]

29 Mar

We’re not joking around here.  Zombies are real.   Seriously.  Don’t believe me? Then don’t take my word for it, hear what Prof. Jeff Mantz has to say about it over at NPR.

If you’re still curious about zombies, then don’t miss our event with the man (or zombie double agent?) himself.

The University Honors Program is proud to host Prof. Jeff Mantz(George Mason University), anthropologist and renowned zombie expert for the free-and-open-to-the-public lecture

The Politics of Leftovers in the Time of the Zombie Apocalypse:
anxiety, abjection, and our (d)evolution into a posthuman technological singularity

Thursday, April 5th, 4pm-6pm
Funger Rm. 103 (2201 G Street, NW)

RSVP and more information on Facebook

Bring your friends and their delicious, delicious brains.  Prof. Mantz will draw from literary, cinematic, and historical coverage of zombies to prepare you for the coming zombie apocalypse … unless of course, it’s already here.

You’re Not as Smart as You Think You’re Not… or something [Good Article!]

8 Jul

Maybe what I really mean is: you’re only smart because you think you are.  This article from NPR explains the internalization and resulting external expression of cultural norms surrounding gender, but supports the claim with evidence that peoples’ cognitive abilities are directly associated with self perception — perception based on culturally structured norms.  Heady, right?


The differences in performance on the test were pronounced; this is a real behavioral difference, the sort of different that could easily make a difference, for example, to performance on the job. But what caused the difference? Not anything in the make-up or constitution of the tested individuals. The controlling factor was an accidental fact about which imaginative exercises individuals had been assigned in the pre-test situation.

This is a glorious and beautiful finding, for it reveals something deep and pervasive in human life.

Read the whole article here.

NPR’s Birthday Party and You

7 Apr

You’re invited to NPR’s 40th Anniversary!  We highly recommend going.

Celebration of Prof. Chris Sterling and NPR’s 40th Anniversary
Monday, April 11, 2011
6:15 p.m.
Free and open to the public: NPR’s Audie Cornish, Cokie Roberts and Susan Stamberg will join SMPA’s Professor Christopher Sterling and Director Frank Sesno for a lively look at the history and future of public radio and its impact on our society.

Cultural Omnivore: Endangered Species?

18 Mar

Do you like television?  How about the ballet?  When was the last time you were at the Kennedy Center?  Played the Wii? NPR has a great piece out about the sorts of people who enjoy all those things: the cultural omnivore.  But, it seems that the cultural omnivore is in decline — perhaps the result of a cultural wedge being re-inserted into our society.

Normally I’d say you should read this article, but after reading it, I suppose I should say I loved reading this article.  Here’s an excerpt I found particularly interesting:

Omnivores thrive in an environment in which, if you are defined by your cultural interests, you at least don’t have to be defined by any one cultural interest. Tolerating the ideas that classical music can be viscerally stirring and that Survivor can be sociologically interesting allows much better balance — which benefits everyone — than an escalating and unnatural war between fun and art. Fun and art are natural allies (despite often appearing separately), and forcing them to do battle just divides us into tinier and tinier camps, where we can only talk to people who like precisely the same kinds of culture that we do. That benefits absolutely nobody — not artists, not audiences, and not the quality of discourse.

You can read it in full here.