Experiencement

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What You Should NOT Do With Your Life

I have a very simple process for finding work that I love.

1. Do a bunch of different jobs.
2. Quit the jobs that are boring and suck life from my bones.
3. Keep doing the work that is left over.

Notice that this method of “finding your calling” is all about elimination. You do a bunch of different things, and you just STOP doing things that you don’t like. What is left over? Things that you DO like. A basic mathematical equation of this phenomenon looks something like this:

(All possible work) – (the work that is boring) = (Work that is NOT boring)

I am a great quitter. I am one of the best quitters in the entire world. If there is ever a Quitters Hall of Fame, I will be a first ballot candidate. I have 23,821 different projects that I have begun that I never intend to finish. You know why I quit doing these things? Because they sucked out life and failed to light me on fire. And being a quitter has made me very happy because I quit everything that is boring and that sucks life out of me, which means that everything that is left over is something that lights me with a roaring blaze of intensity. When is the last time you have done work that makes your fingers tingle? For me, it was approximately 0.13 seconds ago, when I wrote that last sentence.

I remember when I was in college, I spent so much time trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life. Well, that was a complete waste of time. It is much easier to figure out what you should NOT be doing in life. Read more »

A BRIEF INTERVIEW WITH MAYA FROST

Maya Frost, author of “The New Global Student”, has spent a significant amount of time encouraging those who might be interested to explore alternative pathways to education, such as going on a global romp. While this may not be an attractive option for some students, there are some key insights in her book about how this sort of experience can have huge benefits for those who are willing to go on the adventure. As more and more schools talk about creating “21st Century Learners”, her insights and her experiences have more and more relevance. It turns out that traveling to Buenos Aires for a semester (even while you are in high school) isn’t as complicated as you think as long as you have a little moxy.

While Maya’s book is written mainly to parents, it has consequences for everyone involved in education. As a teacher, I was curious about how some of her experiences related to my fellow teachers. I asked her a few questions via email and she was generous enough to respond with the following: Read more »

IF YOU CAN'T BEAT THEM, PLAY A DIFFERENT GAME

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 »

WHY I DON'T READ THE NEWSPAPER

I have heard many people make comments along the lines of, “I am so uninformed because I just never have time to read the newspaper” or “I don’t have time to read the newspaper, and therefore, I don’t know what is happening in our world.” These remarks have always been peculiar to me because I hardly ever read the newspaper, but I still consider myself “informed”. I was tired of people somehow linking my duty to be an informed citizen with the amount of time I spend reading a newspaper. I’m a digital learner, and I don’t need a cup of coffee and a newspaper to inform me about what is happening around me.

But instead of dismissing those who think a newspaper is linked to my duty to be an informed citizen, I went on a quest. I took the day off, and instead of working, I actually read my local newspaper (The Indianapolis Star) all the way through. I decided to read every word of every story just so that I could find out what I was missing. Not only did I read every article, but I also went through and calculated what percentage of the newspaper is dedicated to advertisements. I wanted to know if, by not reading the newspaper, whether I was missing news or if I was missing advertisements. I went through every page of the paper and blocked each advertisement and calculated the total surface area of the all the advertisements in the paper just to see how much marketing penetration there is in a newspaper.

So, what did I find out? Read more »

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