Roughly twice a year, I get emails from students assigned to read a newspaper columnist's work for an English class. It is very flattering to end up in someone's curriculum! I had an assignment like this back in the day, and it's weird to be on the other end of it. /1
Part of the standard assignment today seems to be emailing the writer and getting them to respond to a question of some kind. Often the student does this by sending vague or abstract questions that take some time for me to figure out how to respond to. (See screen grab.) /2
Given other things on my plate, these requests often get pushed to the bottom of my inbox, and I end up responding late or never, which I feel lousy about. And probably the students are annoyed too. /3
I want to respond to these students. And based on past email exchanges with some of these kids, I get the sense that receiving a response earns them a higher grade, which I want to help with!
My guess is other columnists/writers who get these emails may be in same boat /4
So fwiw, my advice to students completing these assignments: If your teacher asks you to email a writer, and you want to increase odds of response, ask something narrow/concrete/easy to reply to. What are your favorite topics to cover? Who are your role models as writers? etc /5
This is probably good advice for journalists too of course -- if you're cold-emailing someone who's likely to be busy, shorter and more concrete questions are often helpful for increasing odds of prompt response /6
Also the reason I'm posted this thread here on Twitter is that the students who write me sometimes mention they were assigned to monitor my social media writings for class too. Which as educational prospect is, you know, terrifying. 😬 /7

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More from @crampell

25 Mar
Huge decline (6.8%) in high school graduates attending college immediately after high school this past fall. Biggest declines among students from high-poverty, low-income and high-minority schools.… Image
Enrollment declines by type of postsecondary institution, for students from low-income vs. high-income high schools.
Community college enrollment of students from low-income high schools down 18% Image
Data on FAFSA completions through early March (via @NCANetwork) suggest college applications for next fall may also be way down among students from high schools with high shares of low-income and minority kids. Image
Read 5 tweets
22 Mar
Much has been written about K-shaped recovery, mostly focused on jobs. High-earners doing OK; low-earners still jobless
A similar divergence is happening in housing: rents for high-end, luxury digs have plummeted; rents for poor held steady or even *rose*…
Here's a look at Chicagoland neighborhoods. Ritzier neighborhoods (e.g., River North, Old Town, Streeterville) have gotten much cheaper in the past year. In lower-income (and often majority-Black) areas like Englewood, Chatham, Washgton Park, rents are up.…
So, what's going on? Why are lower-earners getting squeezed from both directions -- drop in earnings, AND increase in rents? Why are higher-wage households getting a break on their rents that they don't really need?…
Read 9 tweets
19 Mar
number of IRS revenue agents is down by 43% since 2010, per @TRACReports. As you might expect, audits of millionaires and large corps also are way down, and money is being left on the table.…
Audits of millionaires charted below. Per TRAC: "In FY 2012, audits of millionaires turned up $4.8 billion in unreported taxes. Now with less than a third the number of audits, the government uncovered only $1.2 billion in unreported taxes in FY 2020."
Audits in FY2012 of corporations with ≥$20 billion in assets turned up $10 billion in unreported taxes; by FY2020, was down to $4.1B.
Among broader set of corps reporting >$250M in assets, audits turned up $24.4B in unreported taxes in FY2012; fell to just $5.4B in FY 2020.
Read 4 tweets
13 Mar
Reader responds to my column praising child allowances: babies and children "have NOT worked a day in their lives," therefore are undeserving of government investment
#readermail Image
for too long lazy babies have been suckling the government teat. time to pull themselves up by their adorably tiny baby bootstraps
Read 5 tweets
8 Mar
was this published purely for the hate-clicks…
when you're definitely a good judge of bagel quality
To those bringing Canada into this: Look, I like the baked goods that people in Montreal call bagels, but they're so different from NY bagels they might as well be an entirely different food. It's like saying "My favorite kind of cheesecake is a burger"
Read 4 tweets
5 Mar
Generally a strong report. Headline job growth came in above expectations (+379k), and unemployment fell for "right" reasons (more joining LF). Leisure/hospitality increased by 355,000.
But some warning signs...
*# long-term unemployed changed little over the month and is up by 3 million over the year.
*big state/local govt job losses, esp in education
*U-6 (broader measure of underemployment) still stuck at 11.1%
The jobs deficit today is finally a wee bit smaller than it was at the worst of the Great Recession, so that's an improvement! But it's not THAT much smaller...and the Great Recession was pretty awful.
Read 7 tweets

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