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Archive for : University

Dear Class of 2014…. #RepairGrads Crowdsourced Commencement Speech is Back!

Hey graduates! (And parents, siblings, besties, and buddies of graduates…) These are exciting times, and now is your time to shine.

Around the country, graduating seniors are getting ready to walk down the aisle, receive their diploma, and head off into the wild world. But before they do that, they will listen to a commencement speech (or 7) that is supposed to launch them towards greatness. Don’t get us wrong, we loooove a good commencement speech given by some luminous figure. But we firmly believe you don’t have to be famous to inspire others. So we’re turning to you! 

Last year, Repair the World asked the class of 2013 to tweet their wisdom and inspiring words – in 140 characters or less, of course – to create a crowdsourced commencement speech like no other. Now with another school year come and gone, we’re at it again. As a member – or loved one – of the class of 2014, what would you like to say? To yourself and your classmates? To the students coming up under you? Or to the whole world?

Tweet your thoughts and wishes to this year’s grads at #RepairGrads14. The most ReTweeted wishes are eligible to win amazing prizes from Repair the World!

Need some ideas to get you started? Before twitter and viral videos, the 1997 Kurt Vonnegut commencement speech went viral. (Ok, it may be an urban myth that it was at MIT. And, yes, we know that many of you weren’t yet out of middle school – but it’s a great read). Three years ago, Stephen Colbert rocked it out at Northwestern University, while Ellen DeGeneres got everyone laughing and thinking at Tulane in 2009.

Now it’s your turn!

Recapture the Magic of College: Host an Educational Salon

August is “Back to School” month at Repair the World. Check back all month long for posts about inspiring education organizations, amazing educators, and ways to get your education on – whether you’re a student or not!

Do you miss college? Of course you do (unless you’re currently a student, of course). When it comes to true learning – the pure, unadulterated work and pleasure of filling our minds with knowledge – college is the best time of our lives. And for graduates, even if we love the work we do, it’s hard not to get a little wistful for a daily schedule designed around reading, thinking and growing.

But don’t get too distressed! It is possible to recapture some of the magic of college without shelling out lots of money for graduate school. The secret: host a salon. Get a group of like minded, college-missing friends together (you know the ones who always say things like, “my brain has totally atrophied since graduation!), pick a subject, and get learning! If you do, you will be in good company as salons were once an important part of European Jewish society. Here’s how:

Pick a location. Find a cozy, relatively quiet place like a cafe or your living room. Have someone joining you from out of town? Bring them into the conversation with Skype.

Have snacks. You cannot learn on an empty stomach – plus, food helps bring people together. So get some healthy snacks together (they don’t have to be fancy) and have them available for noshing on throughout the evening. And don’t forget the coffee.

Teach each other. Everyone has an area of expertise, whether it’s 19th century Russian politics, the history of the Slinky, or how to knit a pair of tube socks. Each gathering, pick a teacher or discussion leader from within your group, so everyone has a turn sharing their knowledge with the group.

Bring in an expert. Have an topic that really interests your group? Invite an outside expert or locally-based professor or book author to come speak at your salon gathering. Cook them a delicious dinner as thanks, or chip in as a group to pay them an honorarium. It will feel just like a college class, minus the steep tuition.

Do good: Each time you meet, put a box in the center of the room and ask everyone to make a donation to an education-focused organization. You can also plan service days for salon members – tutoring days, or working at a soup kitchen, etc. – which will help build your sense of community, and do some good!

How Socially Conscious is Your College?

It’s college season out there! All across the country, hopeful high school seniors are receiving letters (hopefully fat ones!) from colleges and universities letting them know if they’ve been admitted to the class of 2016. Meanwhile, younger high school students are heading out on scouting trips to decide which colleges they want to apply to.

There are lots of criteria to consider – size of the student body, academic reputation, location, tuition costs – and now, there is one more: social consciousness. This year, Best Colleges Online compiled a list of the top 20 socially conscious colleges in the country. Their top picks included schools that “facilitate this desire to do right by the world” and offer “socially responsible opportunities including amazing volunteer projects, classes about ethical practices, green initiatives, political activism” and more.

Repair the World was proud to see that two of the colleges we partner with – UC Berkeley and University of Washington – made the cut. Check out the Top 10 socially conscious colleges below, and view the rest of the list here.
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