Whenever I am trying to improve a situation, I am faced with a choice: do I continue doing the same thing that is currently producing mediocre results with the hope that it will eventually pay off, or do I try something that could be unfavorable but also has the potential to be incredibly beneficial?
I am always trying to improve things, whether it is my class, my school, or lately, my own life. With the help of a friend on a canoe trip, we conjured up a phrase that adequately describes my own perspective on what to do in this situation:
“I would rather prove myself wrong than wonder if I could have been right.” Read more »
I always thought that accomplishing a dream is a simple process, but this was before I accomplished any dreams. Now I know better. Every dream I have fulfilled has followed a set of stages, and these stages all have their own unique timing and characteristics that make up the lifecycle of a dream. If you want to live a dream, and not just to think about your dreams, be prepared for the stages below. (Note: if you want to prevent fatal collapse of your dreams, be sure to read stage #8). Read more »
It is amazing what you learn when you are by yourself.
A few summers ago, I went to Santiago, Chile to improve my Spanish and to visit a foreign country. There were many things that I wanted to do in Chile, but I was most excited about the opportunity to go to a big-time soccer game.
I had been told by other Chileans that soccer in Chile is "just not as exciting" compared to soccer in other South American countries, but after attending this game, I realized that South Americans have a radically different understanding of the word "excitement".
Allow me to set the scene. I am about 2 miles from the stadium, and my first sign of "crowd enthusiasm" was a group of 30 Colo-Colo fans. At first, I just thought they were loud and excited and simply thought that throwing toilet paper and paper confetti EVERYWHERE was a good idea, 2 miles away from the stadium. Then, when one of the buses refuses to pick them up and tried to drive right by, they started spitting at the bus, kicking it, and throwing their whole wads of toilet paper at the windshield. Luckily the light turned green before they could do too much damage, and it sped off.
I knew it was only going to get more interesting from there. Read more »
A few weeks ago, I decided to go by the education section and browse the titles. I usually don’t read books from this section because I usually strike out with the books that I find (how many classroom stories can a person handle?) In the process of browsing through the section, I miraculously stumbled upon one of the best books about education I have ever read.
The book is called “The New Global Student” by Maya Frost, and the book contained ideas to which every educator should pay attention. I’m not going to condense a 220 page book into an entire blog post, but here is the scoop.
The author and her husband decided to take their four daughters (three of whom were in high school at the time) for a year of living abroad. They weren’t sure how the credits would work out and what they would do about graduation or college admissions, but they knew they wanted to go on the trip. After trying to make it work out, they ran into red tape that just wasn’t convenient for their plan. So what did they do? Did they try to change the system? No, they just bailed on the system all together. They stopped listening to what the system said they should do, and they just made decisions that were right for their daughters. They packed their bags and headed on their journey as a family, figuring they would worry about standardized tests, graduation requirements, and earning credits at some point further in the future.
Fast forward to 2-3 years later, and the question is: did the escape work? Were their daughters left to disarray and destitution after “losing” such a grand opportunity to be trained by the American Educational System? Are their daughters some of the thousands of college graduates with freshly-minted degrees but no job offerings? Nope. Their daughters are all-stars. They all entered college early (and didn’t even mess with that whole SAT/ACT thing, leaving the standardized tests in the dust), they were TA’s at the age of 17, and they finished college early. They also accomplished something that is dear to my own heart: THEY DON’T HAVE COLLEGE DEBT! Read more »
You can know a lot about a person by the type of plane seat they pick.
The people that deliberately pick a window seat are different from people that pick an aisle seat. An aisle seat is about comfort, ease, and familiarity. A window seat is about discovery and adventure. And just like every adventure, there is a price, a “cost of admission” to the views. If you are in a window seat and you have to use the restroom or get something out of the overhead compartment, you have to inconvenience everyone in your row to get out. In a window seat, you are also sandwiched between the immobile wall and another person and so your legs do not have as much freedom as they do in an aisle seat. Worst of all, if you are in a hurry, a window seat is problematic because it takes you a little longer to get out of the plane. You never know how many time-pressured people are going to rush in front of you before you can even get into the aisle and remove your bags. Read more »