Mordechai

When Laura Lee met a man named Mordechai, little did she know he would change her life forever. Funk/instrumental band Khruangbin had just come off nearly four years of touring and were in desperate need of a recharge. So, they took a much-needed camping trip, invited a few London friends, and reconnected with nature. Following this emotional and physical reprieve, Mordechai, a friend of a friend, invited Lee into his home to meet his family.

“I had talked to him initially one day just about my struggle in not feeling grounded because I had been nomadic for the past couple of years at that point and been on tour for more than that,” recalls Lee over a phone call last month with American Songwriter.

The stranger’s invitation left an indelible imprint, almost immediately, on her life. “It was a really sweet gesture and exactly what I needed. It was a hug and a reminder how beautiful family is,” she remarks. Such a monumental marker has been a considerable talking point in the band’s new album promo cycle, and Lee has begun feeling the crushing weight of that alone, as the memory itself begins feeling cold and distant.

“It’s hard not to become disenchanted with my own experience of it. You say it so many times. It’s like when you say lyrics, they change meaning as they go on,” she explains. “I want to get back to that day. It was such a beautiful day. But it’s hard, I keep having to rewind. It was the simplicity of the day, and seeing the love of a family was really inspiring. While that might be something people see on a regular basis, I hadn’t seen it in a long time.”

Later on, Mordechai and his wife and two boys took Lee on a hiking excursion, winding throughout the countryside, and the group eventually beheld the beauty of a gushing waterfall. When urged to take the leap, quite literally, over the craggy edge, Lee obliged. That moment was baptismal in nature.

Lee has never been the same.

“A lot of big events that happen in people’s lives feel really big at the time. Then, there’s the real effect when all the dominoes fall, which can take months. Since that day, I definitely feel much more grounded,” says Lee. “Even in having felt loss within the context of my life leading up to it, I feel very grounded and like I would have made all the same choices that I did make. I just would have made them more consciously.”

When Lee returned, her bandmates noticed her transformation ⏤ and not only because she spilled out her heart to them. Lee’s presence had shifted, and her obsession with Post-It notes was evident. “Any time a friend is going through anything, whether it be a transition or coming out of a rough spell, the main thing you want to do is be there. I was personally really conscious of being there,” muses drummer DJ Johnson Jr. “One of the things we learned over the course of last year, especially touring around the world and constantly being together, is that it’s so important for us to make sure each of us is doing OK individually. We always check on each other no matter what’s going on. Your schedule can be super hectic, but it’s important to take time, slow down, and just just ask, ‘How are you?’” And really mean it when you say it.”

“Sometimes, I’ll ask, ‘Hey, how are you doing,’ and the knee-jerk response is, ‘I’m good.’ You ask again, ‘How are you doing?’” he continues. “Then, you’re able to get a real response and a real check-in with each other. It wasn’t anything to process for me. It was a time to be a friend.”

The trio were stronger than ever. As they began writing for their third album, the craft itself had taken an unexpected swerve, too. Aptly-titled Mordechai, recorded at their Burton, Texas studio, alongside co-producer Steve Christensen, the album delights with their sturdy funkadelic signatures, smooth grooves and perfectly-packaged instruments. Given the nature of the album’s themes (time, memory, and longing), lyrics, which didn’t come into frame until months later, further punctuate the emotional arc. They’d dabbled in specific imagery before, but there were new stories aching to be told.

https://khruangbin.bandcamp.com/album/mordechai

Gangbusters

At first glance, Nasdaq-listed Bilibili is going gangbusters. The Shanghai-based site is set for a $2 billion secondary listing in Hong Kong, it’s become one of China’s most popular video-sharing platforms, and it’s making big moves into other areas like gaming. But it’s in trouble back home: Tens of thousands of women are boycotting and sanctioning the service over what they say is out-of-control misogyny. Bilibili is becoming a case study in what can go wrong when a platform moves from the fringes to the mainstream.

The backlash started in late January. Once a hub for China’s Gen Z and a safe haven for ACG (Anime, Comic and Games) fans, Bilibili made the fateful decision to promote “Jobless Reincarnation,” an anime series, on its site. Female users quickly noted the show objectified women, and even featured pedophilic elements; at one point, the main character, a 34-year-old man, molests a 9-year-old girl.

The incident brought to a boil long-simmering anger toward Bilibili for hosting increasingly misogynic content and user comments — and doing little to curb it. Bilibili removed the series on Feb. 7 for what it said were “technical reasons,” but for fed-up female users, it was too late.

In early February, online activists, many themselves Bilibili users, organized on other social media sites to punish the company. The activists primarily belonged to a female-dominated Douban forum with nearly 700,000 members called Goose Group. It started as a place to trade entertainment industry gossip, but has become more political, with a particular focus on gender.

After “Jobless Reincarnation” was yanked, the feminists successfully pressured several Bilibili advertisers to end partnerships with the company. The women urged one another to report Bilibili’s male CEO Chen Rui to the Yangpu District People’s Congress in Shanghai, a participatory body of which Chen is a member, for tolerating and even promoting misogynic content. Activists noted the controversial anime series had been on Chen’s watch list.

The Chinese women also attempted to short Bilibili’s stock, although the effort flopped; on Feb. 10, the company’s share price surged more than 10%.

Bilibi was never a gender-equal space, but it began as something edgier and more lovable than what it’s become. It came online in 2009 as a haven for mostly male, diehard anime fans, with a heavy reliance on user-generated content.

Grace Gu, a Ph.D. student at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign who researches Chinese social media, told Protocol that different subcultures whose voices are normally marginalized on mainstream platforms widely embraced Bilibili. “These users and communities contributed greatly to Bilibili’s early-on popularity and basically nurtured the opportunity for it to become commercialized,” Gu said.

Things started to change in 2014, when Chen, now 43, became CEO with ambitions to turn Bilibili into a popular video-sharing platform, a kind of YouTube for China. The “little raggedy site” (小破站), as Bilibili was known among its diehards, realized it needed to go big and get on the government’s good side.

Bilibili has since diversified its content, hosting lifestyle vlogs, food and fashion videos, documentaries and movies. It’s gotten decidedly more mainstream and frankly, less cool: The Communist Youth League started a channel on the site in 2017, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs opened a Bilibili account on Feb. 22.

It’s also gotten more sexist, even as it’s gotten more gender balanced. In 2013, only 25% of Bilibili users were womenToday, it’s 43%. Yet according to half a dozen Bilibili users and two Chinese social media researchers Protocol spoke to, Bilibili has become visibly more conservative, sexist and nationalistic.

For one thing, nastily gendered commentary is increasingly rife, in many cases triggered by videos that aim to prevent just such behavior. After one woman posted a video in which she discusses stigmatization of the word “feminism,” swarms of men attacked her appearance. Often, when female users post slightly feminist content or discuss male celebrities, male users will curse at them in the comments section, which on Bililbili are called “bullets” and move quickly across the surface of the video (making them hard to avoid). A Bilibili employee who agreed to speak to Protocol on the condition of anonymity said that the company is aware of sexist content on the site. But the Bilibili employee also said the company had generally turned a blind eye to it, wary of offending its predominantly male users.

Bilibili is not only letting hateful content stand; it’s also allegedly censoring content pitched at women and other minority groups. Ashley Jiang, a content producer at OutChina, a public-interest video program promoting LGBTQ-related content, told Protocol that when she worked with editors from Bilibili in the past two years, pitches about feminism or religion would be ruthlessly rejected. (Bilibili assigns editors to work with public accounts with big followings.) Six of 20 videos she produced about the lives of queer Chinese people were removed by the site over the past two years. By comparison, the more mainstream Weibo only removed one video. Bilibili “boasts of its subculture roots,” Jiang told Protocol, “but then it censors the heck out of the content that minority users upload.”

Bilibili insists it’s committed to diversity. In a public response to the anime fiasco issued on Feb. 10, Bilibili said it would launch a month-long campaign to “resolutely resolve content issues” and pledged to “handle troubling accounts and content in strict compliance with laws and regulations.” Last year, CEO Chen said on the company’s 11th anniversary that the two most important values of the Bilibili community were “first, fairness and second, inclusiveness.” Bilibili didn’t respond to a Protocol request for comment.

Bilibili also has a robust content-moderation apparatus

“College Dropout”

https://admissionsly.com/college-dropout-rates/

General College Dropout Statistics – 2020

The first-year college dropout rate is 30% in the U.S.

The issue of dropout is most prominent in the American higher education system. Approximately, one in three students who enrol for higher education is never able to earn a degree.

  • The overall college dropout rate in the U.S. is 40% for undergraduates, wherein the U.S. ranks 19th in graduation among 28 countries in OECD studies.
  • 89% of low-income first-generation students drop out, which is four times higher than second-generation students.
  • 43% of students who have enrolled for a 2-year public school dropped out before even getting a degree
  • In 2019, approximately 36% of the U.S. population aged 25 and above graduated from college or another higher education institution.
  • For community college, more than 50% students drop out within six years.
  • 40% of college dropouts have parents who did not complete their college.
  • 50% students at public universities drop out.

College Dropout Rates by Year

In the year 2000 about one in three American students dropped out of college.

Dropping out of college has some serious consequences. First and foremost is the higher unemployment rate. Students with student loans or grants will have to face immediate debt. It is, however, seen that students who have the highest student loans are less likely to drop out than those without loans or with smaller loans. Every year a large percentage of students opt to drop out of college. There are several reasons for dropping out of them such as difficulty in balancing school and job together and family-related issues among others.

In 2019, the percentage of students obtaining education beyond a high school diploma was less than 50%.

65.8% people over age 21 do not have a four-year college degree. About one in three young adults between the age 18–21 has a high school diploma only. One in five has less than a high school diploma.

Institutional Wise Dropout Rates

Students pursuing full-time courses are 55% less likely to drop out as compared to those who exclusively attend part-time school.

In any of the categories of educational institutions, two-year colleges have the highest dropout rate. Though it is a fact that a high number of students enrol for these colleges, they transfer to other colleges.

The average completion time for a 4-year degree course at a private college (with enrollment rate of 20%) is 4.2 years.

For a public college, the average completion time for a 4-year degree is 4.6 years, where the enrollment rate is 44%. While 70% of Americans study at a 4-year college but less than two-third are able to graduate with a degree. Among the dropouts, there is a fair percentage of students who have not been able to meet their admission standards for a four-year school. The type of courses also impacts the average dropout rates.

The average completion time for a two-year degree at a public college (with enrollment rate of 29%) is more than 2 years.

Only 5% students graduate on time. 69% of the college dropouts were enrolled in a public community college. 13% of college dropouts prefer going back to community college.

Harvard University Dropout Rate Statistics

Harvard College has the highest retention rate of 98% within 150% normal time.

Harvard College has a highly selective process while accepting new students. In 2018, the retention rate was 98%. The graduation rate at Harvard is relatively higher when compared to other similar colleges. Out of 1624 students enrolled last year, 847 males and 777 females graduated with a degree.

The graduation rate of American Indian or Alaska Native students is 100%.

The graduation rate of Asians in Harvard College is 97.73%, Non-Hispanics 99.04%, Hispanics 98.68%, and Whites is 97.60%. The graduation rate of single or double ethnicity students is 96.19% and those of unknown students is 100%.

College Dropout Rate: Demographics

Percentage of College Dropout by Age at Enrollment: 2-Year & 4-Year Institutions

% of college dropouts

Age4-year Institution2-year Institution
Age 19 or Younger1538.5
Age 20-2346.951.4
Age 24-2952.552.4
Age 30 or Older42.651.7

Asian students exhibit the least tendency to drop out.

Only 10% students dropped out at a 4-year institution and 35% dropped out at two-year college.

36% of American Indian/Alaska native students drop out just after two years at 4-year colleges.

Amongst these students, 23% of the first time full-time students graduated within four years, and moreover the percentage of these students who attained at least a 2 or 4-year degree declined from 30% to 27% between 2000 and 2017.

45.9% of Black students complete their graduation at four-year public colleges within 6 years.

Amongst these students, approximately 66% are women and 33% are men. College dropout rates are based on race as well. Around 38% of White drop out of college, while 62% of African Americans and 54.8% of Hispanics drop out within 6 years of enrollment.

Percentage of College Dropout by Ethnicity: 2-Year & 4-Year Institutions

% of college dropouts

Ethnicity4-year Institution2-year Institution
White17.642.3
Black30.652
Asian21.440.6
Hispanic10.435.4
American Indian/Alaska Native36.252.9
Two or More Races22.843

College Graduation Rate Vs Dropout Rate in US@.

The average college graduation rate is 59%.

There is a great variation in college graduation as compared to dropout rates. But a higher graduation rate is very important as no student wants to lose money. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average college graduation rate is 59%. Most of the colleges are truly committed toward their students’ graduation on time.

The on-time graduation rate is 36% at selected universities.

The on-time graduation rate is 36% at selective universities, while it is 17% lower at public or non-flagship universities.

5% students graduate on time at a 2-year college.

Though students pursuing 1- to 2-year certificate program have a graduation rate of 15.9%, only 5% graduate on-time at a 2-year college.  

97.22%.

Community College Dropout Rates

Only 13% of students graduate in two years at community colleges.

Community colleges are an affordable option for many who want to explore college life. These are the primary institutions providing technical and career-oriented education in the U.S. But the dropout rate is high in community colleges. Providing the students with comprehensive support, such as counseling, tutoring, and financial assistance, could improve graduation rates. According to a recent study, community college students earn 30% more than those with only a high school degree.

More than 85% of students take more than 2 years to graduate, approximately 22% graduate within three years and 28% within four years.

The data reveals that of the total number of students enrolled in these colleges, less than 30% earn a degree even after four years.

More than 40% of students attending community colleges enroll in remedial class.

Almost all community colleges offer and conduct placement tests to students to evaluate how prepared they are for credit-bearing classes. Less than 20% of those enrolled in at least one remedial class get a degree within five years.

College Freshman Dropout Rate

Approximately 30% of college freshmen in the U.S. drop out before their sophomore year.

In the U.S., the total dropout rate for undergraduate college students is 40%.

The Cost of Being a College Dropout

. In 2019, student loan debt amounted to US$1.5 trillion, with over 2 million borrowers defaulting on their loans in the last six years.

Dropping out of college leads to immediate debt, if you have taken student loans or grants. College dropouts are four times more likely to default on their student loans as compared to graduates. Approximately, US$120 billion is spent per year on student grants and loans.

The unemployment rate is high in college dropouts.

The biggest cost of being a college dropout is high probability of unemployment. There are socio-economic consequences also involved. College dropouts or those with no education tend to place a burden on the government and social services and find it difficult to survive in the labour market. It also leads to low self-esteem and low confidence issues.

Who Drops Out of the College and From Where?

  • Full-time students are 55% less likely to drop out of college than students who go to school exclusively part-time.
  • Those who are unable to balance school, jobs, and family. Students who have high student loans also drop out more as compared to those who have less or no student loans.

Most Common Reasons for the Dropping Out of the College

Top Reasons for Dropping out of College

ReasonPercentage
Financial pressure38
Poor social fit13
Family support9
Distance from home4
Mental/emothional issues3
Health problem5
Academic disqualification28

31% students have cited money as their reason for dropping out of coll 

ege.

The most profound reason students drop out is money and not high tuition rates. Students are not able to bring a balance between their work and studies.