April Date with Kate

Thank you for the reminder that I was a little behind in naming the March Date with Kate winner. Indeed – a month behind. 🙂 So Sid’s name did not grace the front of katemckeon.com, but he has forgiven me. Now it is Michele’s turn. The April winner for Date with Kate is Michele. A

Education Issues – State v Federal Standards

Former Intel CEO Craig Barrett is behind the Common Core State Standards Initiative and hopes you will be too…. Mr. Barrett sees common education standards as essential to creating the work force of tomorrow and he wants to narrow the gap in education quality among the states. All of which sounds ideal . . .

Crush Your Competition – the Superstar Effect

The best way to win? Be better. How much better? Soul crushingly better. Sound cruel? The Weekend Journal shared a great piece about the Superstar effect – how some stars are so much better than everyone else in the field that they literally crush their competition before the game/match/negotiation begins. Boris Spassky, Bobby Fishcher’s rival

Superstar Effect

Everyone’s favorite Intimidators The Weekend Journal recently published an article on one of my favorite topics – the Superstar Effect. They also kindly included a list of the most famous intimidators. Here is that list: Muhammad Ali – noting himself as the “greatest” and following it up with a nasty punch . . . very

Date with Kate Update

Okay, so the Date with Kate gig started as a silly response to a former student and favorite reader (see January winner), but has proven a small hit among you. In March, there were 4 DwK dates with readers. I am honored and flattered that you are willing to schlep to Dallas or schlep me

Basic Economics – Competitive States

My buddy Scott recently sent a gem of a report along. The report was written by Dr. Aurthur Laffer. You may recognize his name from the world of finance and politics. He’s a bit of a supply-sider. Since this marks the 10th pdf uploaded to the site for the sake of sharing, I’ve created a

Nonverbal Influence – Color

New article on the overview of color as a nonverbal influence. Everyday you are bombarded with millions of images. Some perceived others not consciously perceived. Advertisers want our attention. As we get more and more images, our conscious brains – the part we think we control – ignore even more. So now we ignore more

Education Issues: Quantity, Quality?

So let’s go for a drive. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to cross the US by car . . . say from Chapel Hill, NC to Berkeley, CA, or Boston, MA to Berkeley, CA or Atlanta, GA to San Diego, CA, you have seen that there are many choices to make along the way.

Contextual Cues Influence Learning

Did you know . . . The fusiform facial area is a special area within the brain that processes facial images. This is apart from the processing of other spatial objects. The neurons literally light up in a different pattern depending on whether we are looking at a human face or a non-human object. It

Freedom of Speech

As I dig through journals for interesting tidbits I often find myself far afield from the original topic at hand, which is exactly what happened the other day. I was reading a piece on the influence the color of the box that holds your local traffic signal has on traffic flow – not the color

Education Issues – Teacher Signaling

Confession: as a teacher I have challenges with the different levels of students who cycle through my classroom. I am not unbiased, and yes, I take my students’ performance personally. But this is as it has been and should be…. Some students are bright, but it’s not just the ability level of the student it

Stat of the Week – Monkeys and Medals

Lionel Tiger shares the history of monkeys and medal in his latest Op-Ed piece for the Wall Street Journal. He posits that there is a biological need for humans to have games such as the Olympics Like our primate cousins, competition is in our blood. Is this just more justification for what my less athletically-inclined

Basic Economics – When your voters are challenged

Who would’ve thought Chicago would become a tax refuge? Since the voters approved a tax hike in Oregon, politicians around the US are sending delegations to the beleaguered state. Leading the charge with offers of enticement to business owners…. Richard Daley, Chicago Mayor. Wait, seriously? Here’s what’s spurred the increase in flights to Portland: Oregon

Winter Classics and February Winner

In a departure from the somber tone of education issues, The February Winner of the Date with Kate is Laurel Lichty of Washington DC. Photo of the two gals below. It just so happened that the DwK was sandwiched between hikes around DC in the record breaking “Snowpocalypse,” Brunch with Drag Queens, and snow ball

Do Girls Suck at Math?

  It’s a common refrain both from the mouths of males and females. Yet, what evidence do we have to support this? A former boyfriend even presented a LONG diatribe about the actual genetic reasons women are bad at math . . . but there’s just one problem. Namely, me. Or Jill. Or Heidi. Or

Seth Godin, Linchpin

I was fortunate to receive an advanced copy of Seth Godin’s latest, Linchpin. I had a very hard time writing an appropriate review on Amazon. What others reviewers are raving about is how this book is about doers . . . kind of, but not really. This book is about people who fancy themselves single-handedly

Margaret Thatcher – We Must Win

The newsletter this week includes a favorite item from Mrs. Thatcher: “Democratic nations must try to find ways to starve the terrorist and the hijacker of the oxygen of publicity on which they depend.” A few weeks ago the Wall Street journal published an opinion piece worth a revisit. The original piece by Warren Kozak

Sports Stat of the Week: Old Guns, Young Guns

Sports Stat of the Week It’s all in the numbers…. Never mind what happened Sunday afternoon . . . I turned off the second display in my office and focused on teaching our Advanced Quant class. The students didn’t have to know the Boys were being destroyed by Future Rapper Favre. (Pants on the Ground?

Numbers for Nerds

If you get excited about numbers, today is a spetacular day. 010110 It is a rare opportunity to present the date in binary form (that’s not the actual binary date however). So just how rare is it? Have you figured out how many times in a century you can represent the date with 1s and

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

It’s true, I can’t be bothered to keep up with all of the holidays that get named and celebrated at this time of the year so I wish you a very Merry Christmas, because that is the tradition I embrace. May my wishing you a Merry Christmas cause you no harm of image or ego

Mastery – how to know when to get back to basics

What do you call it when a defender “bounces” a puck into his own goal? Ready? . . . Heart Breaking. Actually I can’t believe I have yet to find the term . . . surely there is a term for this phenomenon given what my beloved Robi had to say about it, “I hope

Getting the Scoop on Entrepreneurship Early

A new program at Milford High School in upstate NY has opened the doors of entrepreneurship to students in grades 9-12. The students are building their own businesses and interacting with local business owners. This is a brilliant way to encourage growth!

Education Issues: Peer Effects?

The gadflies at Fordham are stirring the pot again. Mike Petrilli takes issue with a recent statement from Kevin Welner, “(Tracking student progress) is a destructive practice that has the undeniable effect of lowering expectations and opportunities for students who have already fallen behind.” As far as Mr. Welner is concerned the debate is closed….

Happy Birthday Mom

Happy Birthday Mom! In 1996, Mom discovered eBay and my pleas for her to start using email instead of the phone were answered. I was an undergrad trying to save pennies – this was before unlimited wireless – I hated using those ridiculous calling cards. We still had landlines. Do they even have landlines in

Education Issues: Cuts to Classtime is Unacceptable Way to Cut Costs

Reprint in full from education.change.org >>>>>> One of the highest ranking education officials in America has told Hawaii they’re going in the wrong direction by reducing the number of school days, and that the state and union need to put their personal agendas aside to help their students. Peter Cunningham, the assistant secretary for communications

Education Issues: Performance Pay’s Effect is Weak?

This post was sent to me and sadly I do not have the original link. This brings up the debate between the perpetuated myth of evil business and good education as though the two must remain mutually exclusive. Which reminds me, why do we educate everyone? Most countries don’t. So, callous though it may be,

Sports Statistic of the Week: Cowboys versus Giants

Brett Favre is looking royal in purple. Hard to believe he recently crossed into 40. Though they lost to the Cardinals . . . “I’m anxious to go watch it on the news because I’m pretty sure everybody is going to talk about what Brett Favre did wrong, and not talk about how our defense

Education Stimulus Money Establishes Test Standards, Can’t Fix Test Problems

One-hundred billion dollars of stimulus money is beginning to go into education, prompting states to track students progress more closely, use more rigorous tests, and generally embrace the Obama administration’s reforms. These changes in federal education policy is explained in a report by the Center on Education Policy who are working to understand what the

Frightening: Arne Duncan Say Principals Must Act Like CEOs

  Ran across this article this morning . . . in which the author complains that pushing principals to be like CEOs will single handedly destroy education. Hey buddy, we’re already there. More telling is the vitriol for CEOs. Are all CEOs bad? Really? I missed that. Indeed, anyone familiar with local businesses has met

Confidence Building for the Guys

Bringing Sexy Back – Time Management Lisa, assistant project manager at Paladin Principals, and I were talking about guys this afternoon and we discovered that we both find some of the same traits super sexy in men. What is that number one trait . . . #1 Time Management It’s not that we want our

Education Issues

If you do some digging at katemckeon.com you will discover that I am a fan of outsourcing. Who wouldn’t be? Get the best talent to do the best work at the best price. That at least is the mantra of outsourcing . . .And oftentimes, outsourcing a project works. But then there are times it

Adult Education Issues

The Wall Street Journal recently published a special section on Education. What inspired me was the opener. If an educated work force is the nation’s human capital, business is seeing a lot of subprime these days. It’s a snarky little comment, but it hit entirely too close to home. Even if your school’s graduation rate

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Birthday Dad

Most of my family members have a birthday on a major holiday. And today is Dad’s day. So a special happy birthday to our biggest turkey. 🙂 Enjoy your friends and family. I’ll be enjoying a the new Cowboys Stadium and Pecan pie . . . as long as I remember to get it out

Leadership in Education

How about this for a campaign: We for Rhee! Washington DC public schools rank in the worst of our nation despite being potentially attended by our nation’s leader’s progeny. Of the 45,000 students in the district, how many do you think are the children of senators and representatives? But never mind that, Michelle Rhee, chancellor

Nonverbal Influence: Uniform Color

If you knew that the color you were wearing could influence the outcome of a game/deal/date, would you change what you are wearing? What’s Color got to do with it? Are TEAL uniforms (San Jose Sharks) killing any chance for a cup? This week we look at uniform color. Does it surprise you that teams

Mastery – Semper Fi

Happy 234th Birthday to the United States Marine Corps! A big thank you to those who have served and those who will serve. Bob Parsons, the Chief Nutty-Nut at GoDaddy.com creates a rousing tribute to the Marine Corps each year in celebration of the evening at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, November 10, 1775. https://www.godaddy.com/gdshop/holiday/usmc2009/default.asp?isc=gdr1162a The

Earn 59% more Just by making one switch….

  So you’re a lefty and life is tough? Stop your whining. Look at the numbers . . . you’re in pretty good company . . . if you can survive adolescence. This week we compare the salaries of left-handed pitchers with the average salary of all pitchers over the past 20 years. I can

Best Comeback – Sports Stat of the Week

Ever feel like you’ve started on the wrong foot? Maybe the project didn’t get off to a good start or the date started with you falling down a flight of stairs . . . I hear these things, um, happen…. Can you get the win after a rough start? On October 26th, 2009, the Toronto

Excellence versus Mastery

Mastery is a path, not a destination so I thought I would clarify a few things that have come up in comments . . . You can be better than 95% of all other people after you have persevered for 1000 hours in one area. So if you are a runner, does that mean you

Your Sphere of Influence

That’s it. I’m pulling out the brat card. I had an epiphany today. . . . As much as I push to find pockets of excellence whether they be academic, athletic, artistic or some combination thereof, excellence is what I “do.” It’s my research it, my downtime reading, and to paraphrase Austin Powers, “it’s my

Super Stars Mini-mite Hockey

If you haven’t seen the latest in mini-mite super stars, check out this video of a 9 year old. Now this trick is a learned trick and wouldn’t fly in the NHL (puck must be moving forward at all times – this one doesn’t), but come on, it’s pretty cool to watch. Fair warning, this

Comic Break

Yesterday I had the opportunity to be reamed for my opinions about the current state of affairs. It was a sorry little conversation that got out of hand before it even started. Actually, now that I think about it, I never did get to share my opinions . . . my opinions were inserted for

Momentum in Team Winning

In professional sports momentum swings can be attributed to teams and players going on hot or cold streaks. Does the 2005 Miami Heat come back if the Dallas Mavericks win the 3rd game? Do the 2009 Redwings win the Stanley Cup if they win game 3 instead of game 5? These swings have been the

Get to Yes Faster

When you spend your time in Sales person mode, time is even more valuable. You may have  a set amount of time that the potential client is willing to spend with you. Or you have X number of appointments to make before the day is over. And if your business is predominantly face-to-face, you really

Best Menu Item: Fun with Translations

So visiting a new town brings potential for adventure – some fun, some . . . less so, but still I love to travel. One of my favorite activities is to observe translations – literal and figurative. Literal translations are things like Chinese food menus translated to English. Figurative might be the way folks in

When Free is too Expensive

I am writing from Newark, New Jersey, which is not my new favorite place. But this is not a post about that. On the flight here I noticed the airline magazine and spent a few minutes going through the puzzles. Across from one of the puzzle pages was a full-page glossy ad for FRE*E Hotel

More about Myelin

Lisa McLellan mentioned the movie Lorenzo’s oil after the post on building talent. Since I had no idea what she was talking about, I wiki’ed it. In a short moment I appreciated the profound difference between needing to lug my notebook (which was a yellow pad and pen, not some clever little thing with keyboard)