Thursday, January 17, 2013


I'd like to be the sort of person who watches a TED talk a day.  Even one a week.  I am not that sort of person.  I'm more the sort of person who reads meme websites and checks Facebook obsessively while thinking about checking out the TED talks website, forgetting what it's called, and being too lazy to google that shit.

But I have friends - on Facebook, where else - who watch TED talks on a regular basis and they are kind enough to filter through them and share what they like where I can see it.  So here's a TED talk that I recently watched and thought was really, really good.

Go watch it.  Yes, right now.  It's relatively short, and I can wait until you get back.

There.  Now that you've seen it, wouldn't you agree that it makes a lot of sense?

I think we do need to redefine what success looks like to us as a society.  We need to redefine education and what our children need.  Because although I was one of those children who did quite well in the system we have now (and I say that even though I was homeschooled because I can sit at a desk all day, memorize information and regurgitate it on command - that's what you need to do to succeed in school, right?), I know people who didn't do well in that system.  People who wouldn't ever do well in that system.  Kids who needed to be using their hands, pulling things apart and putting them back together in order to figure out math.  Kids who needed to be up and running around in order for ideas to sink into their brains.  Kids who had to draw a picture, or build something with Lego, or Plasticine, before the story they were listening to would make any concrete sense.  Kids who didn't figure out how to read by the time they were 6, but are now, as adults, reading Thomas Aquinas and devouring The Wheel of Time.

The ones I knew best were lucky and got an education that was custom made to fit them.  But not every kid gets that.  Most of them get Ritalin.

For those kids, we need to change how we educate and what we think of as a productive use of time.  What we are validated in.  What our success looks like.

For me, if I can watch a TED talk like this once a month, maybe I'll consider myself a little bit more successful.

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