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Old 05-27-2007, 06:34 AM   #31
David Wood
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Hmmm, late to this game but I'll add:

a) some sort of physical education, preferrably fundamental skill (gymnastics, primarily, and/or dance and/or martial arts) should be mandatory all the way through to adulthood. (After that, too, but I don't like telling adults what to do.) I didn't get this until college, when I pushed my way in after being denied it by my high school (athletics were only for jocks). My life would have been very different had I known then what I know now.

b) Ability to read / write / form a comprehensive arguement is next most important. I run (part of) an analytical consulting company; the number of otherwise bright people who cannot form a succinct and direct English paragraph is stunning.

c) I would want some sort of training in probability and statistics (more in probability than anything else). The inability of most people to understand basic ideas like "selection bias" means that many, many bad decisions will be made.

d) As far as "logic" training goes, the best training I ever got was to learn basic computer programming (I'd be showing my age if I talked about the archaic languages I learned on). Nothing will show you more quickly that actions have consequences, and the results you get are always from what you put in.

e) Becoming comfortable speaking in public, and with strangers. (Oh, and, by the way . . . somehow acquire the ability to remember people's names. It doesn't come easily to me to do so, but being able to do that is a huge asset in business.) For people who want to acquire the public speaking as adults, the self-help organization called Toastmasters International pretty much exists for that one purpose, and they have a fabulous program. I direct all my ambitious staff to them; those that do the work get much better quickly.

f) travel / see how the rest of the world does it. Learn a second language if you can (I regret not speaking more than a tiny bit of other languages); it will help you get inside others' heads when you have to actively confront how they structure their thoughts. Right now, I can travel on business in an "American bubble" where everyone in gracious and almost everyone speaks English. I have no illusion that this will last.

g) Understand language and how we use it (and it uses us) to control what we can think about. George Lakoff and Robert Anton Wilson would be required reading in my curriculum.

I better stop, this is beginning to rant . . .
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Old 05-27-2007, 08:16 PM   #32
Joe Hart
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Rant on! Education is a big deal. If people don't get worked up about it we are going to be a nation of idiots by comparison.
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Old 05-28-2007, 04:19 PM   #33
Chris Forbis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Hart View Post
Rant on! Education is a big deal. If people don't get worked up about it we are going to be a nation of idiots by comparison.
I saw a movie about that one time... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkEIx...elated&search=
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Old 05-28-2007, 07:29 PM   #34
Joe Hart
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Chris,

Being a teacher...How do you feel about home schooling?
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Old 05-29-2007, 05:09 AM   #35
Chris Forbis
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It depends on what options you have available. I think pretty highly of the quality of education at my particular school, but it costs over 10k a year. Were my school not here in this town, I'm not sure there is one within 50 miles that I would recommend to someone to enroll their children in.

After having seen the administration of a pretty good education first hand by my colleagues, I would feel extremely overwhelmed/inadequate trying to do the same for my own child. Science and math I could handle. History and english... not without A TON of work. The history and english teachers at my school are brilliant and I would feel extremely inadequate trying to do what they do.

This is an idea I have pondered for the day when I have children, should I then no longer be teaching at a quality academic institution. My ego is sufficiently large that I think I might be able to pull it off (think being the operative word.)

I will say that the home school kids that have started schooling with us are almost always very deficient in math when they get to us. In fact, they tend to struggle in general. There may be a selection bias there, as it is likely the kids who are doing well with home schooling don't ever get sent to a normal school. The ones we get also have a bit of trouble socially.
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Old 05-31-2007, 09:36 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Yael Grauer View Post
OMG, Dan John is impressed by my alma mater. That makes up for all the years of, "Where? Never heard of it!" I'm a member of the Center for the Study of the Great Ideas, but nothing will ever hold a candle to those seminar discussions around octagonal tables that continued around bonfires well into the night.

I did have to supplement what I learned with some basic first aid and wilderness survival skills, as well as home repair. Those have come in quite handy over the years. It's amazing how few people know how to make a fire, build a shelter, find water, etc. I'd probably add marksmanship in there as well.

And I guess this is woman stuff, but I am totally intrigued with books such as The Forgotten Arts and Crafts, particularly the "Kitchen Crafts" category (which includes salting and pickling, bottling and canning, etc.)... I've also been reading Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping Home, and it is this incredible compendium of lost skills with a modern flare that are all but gone in the age of housecleaners and microwave ovens. And for the guys: http://www.dangerousbookforboys.com/
I just got my copy of The Dangerous Book for Boys in from Amazon.

What a neat book.
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Old 06-05-2007, 08:31 PM   #37
Joe Hart
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I finished the Da Vinci book and I found it very interesting. I am going to give it a try. I am reading "The Well Trained Mind" and find it very good. It does what I want to help augment my children's public education. Thanks to everyone who made recommendations. Now that I have had some time to think about it...Another language is key. It makes you think differently when you actually try to speak and understand in the language rather than translate from English into the language. I will re-learn math and science and read the classics, because I want to kick more ass than normal in trivial pursuit. Entertainment will continue to be my achilles heel because I can't tell you crap about "off broadway musicals" If its not CATS, Le Miserable, The King and I, or The Phantom of the Opera I am screwed. I have only seen the last two.
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Old 06-06-2007, 03:58 AM   #38
Allen Yeh
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Saw this today and it seemed somewhat appropiate towards the topic:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxsOVK4syxU


My own little poem:

Upon reflection
I've had good teachers
I've had bad teachers
I've had teachers that bored me to tears
I've had teachers that were unfair
I had a teacher that inspired me
That has made all the difference
Thank you
__________________
"And for crying out loud. Don't go into the pain cave. I can't stress this enough. Your Totem Animal won't be in there to help you. You'll be on your own. The Pain Cave is for cowards.
Pain is your companion, don't go hide from it."
-Kelly Starrett

Last edited by Allen Yeh : 06-07-2007 at 03:56 AM. Reason: Changed the link to one that works better.
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