In 2014, Erin and her family moved from the U.S. to Estonia, a member country of the European Union and NATO between Finland, Latvia and Russia, where English, Estonian and Russian are all widely spoken. Their decision was based on the cost and quality of living, health care system, levels of technology and other benefits not available in the U.S., like free public transportation. Erin is now in the master’s program at Tallinn University on a full scholarship and working part-time at a non-profit organization supporting civil society in Russia; her husband is self-employed and works online. The family’s residence permits are currently based on her educational status, but could be supported by her husband’s status as a business owner as well. Subject to approval and a language test, one can apply for permanent residency after five years of temporary residency in Estonia, which allows living and working in any E.U. country. Estonia does not allow dual citizenship, so they plan to stay U.S. citizens.
As someone who studied the humanities and not a STEM field (to the horror of my tiger parents), but has built a life and a living off of having higher education degrees in the humanities, I am always interested in reading pieces about “the crisis” in this particular field (as an aside, the crisis in STEM has been mostly revolved around how it lacks women).
This piece comes from our neighbors up north at the Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English (ACCUTE). Stephen Slemon, the president of ACCUTE, recently gave this speech in his opening remarks while on a panel at Ryerson University.
We meet tonight in the darkening shadow of a humanities crisis industry, and here are just a few of the recent headlines. “Humanities Fall From Favour.” “Prestige of Humanities at All-Time Low.” “Oh, the humanities. Big trouble, but there’s still some hope.”
The Blair family are an upper middle class (or maybe just upper? not sure - they're doing ok) white family with six kids. The dad, Ben, runs a company that makes homeschooling software or something, the mom, Gabrielle, is this super design blog world entrepreneur (she also writes a blog about their life). The family spent the past few years living in France and they just moved to Oakland and decided to send their two oldest kids to the local public high school
. You know, the one they were assigned to. The one that is 30% black, 30% Hispanic, 30% Asian, and 10% white. The one that the other families in their neighborhood vowed never to send their kids to. The school is scored a 2 out of 10 on GreatSchools, a site that scores schools based on a variety of criteria but probably mostly test scores, and neighbors warned them away from it, but the school year is a few weeks in and the family is happy with the choice.
"Our policy at Facebook is literally to hire as many talented engineers as we can find. There just aren't enough people who are trained and have these skills today." — Mark Zuckerberg