Category Archives: ageism

Remembering how to play as an adult

Two quotes about people reconnecting with what they like to do by thinking about what they liked to do when they were kids and PLAYED!

“Try to remember the way you saw the world when you were a little kid, and practice it. This will help with the guilt, since kids never feel guilty about playing, and it will also keep you from getting too spiritually stagnant.”
— Ran Prieur
http://ranprieur.com/advice.html

“So one of the things I wanted to do [after stopping work at google] was think about what I liked to do when I was little and to do more of that. I had heard somewhere from someone that that’s a good way to figure out what you like and what you are good at. So, I spent more time doing things that I liked to do a long time ago.”
— Ellen Huerta Interview: Why I Left Google

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Filed under ageism, freedom, kids -- freedom and responsibility, meaning of life, play, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School, work-life balance

Sports — just let them play

“I learned that early — just to let them play. And if I see some things I will say ‘Listen… this is important, this is what you gotta pay attention to.’ ”
— Bobby Carpenter, Former Boston Bruin
Interviewed on “Olympic Zone” 2/19/2014 on TV discussing his hockey playing kids — including his daughter — now Olympian Alex Carpenter

So perfect! This also works great with downhill skiing with kids. No need for structured, formal lessons per se — they sometimes kill the fun. Instead, try lots of actual skiing with some select comments here or there — mostly learning by doing and watching good skiers.

I’m not saying lessons or advice isn’t useful… they certainly are. But in limited doses and most importantly never at the expense of FUN. I’m also not against organized sports where one is following rules carefully … it’s often been my personal experience that playing team sports properly and by the rules is much more fun than just horsing around. But there is also plenty of time for that. So let them play / skate / ski!

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Filed under ageism, kids -- freedom and responsibility, play, sports and outdoors

My Daughter’s Homework Is Killing Me

My Daughter’s Homework Is Killing Me
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/10/my-daughters-homework-is-killing-me/309514/?single_page=true
What happens when a father, alarmed by his 13-year-old daughter’s nightly workload, tries to do her homework for a week

“My daughter has the misfortune of living through a period of peak homework. But it turns out that there is no correlation between homework and achievement.”

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MY COMMENTS:

Right. Or very little.

Kids are people. Let them choose. If they are stoked on something, let them work on it as hard as they want. If not, why bother? Life is long. My kids, 5 and 8 work their hearts off on stuff they are interested in, usually to the dismay of me and/or their mom — us urgently trying to get them to do something on OUR agenda, like… get out the door for some reason or another.

And it has taken me an embarrassingly long time to realize over the years that when my 5 year old regularly seems like he doesn’t hear me asking him something over and over… it typically is not that he is ignoring me, he literally is so insanely focused on his task at hand that he doesn’t notice my increasingly loud and annoying attempts at getting his attention.

Seen in that light, that’s not annoying, it’s AWESOME.

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Filed under ageism, evidence-based, kids -- freedom and responsibility, motivation, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

Not News: The Most (And Least) Lucrative College Majors, In 1 Graph

Old news, right? And perhaps mostly useless because it’s not going to convince someone to study or work in engineering (for example) if they aren’t interested.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/09/10/219372252/the-most-and-least-lucrative-college-majors-in-1-graph

1. Data should be adjusted for things like stress and hours worked per week/year as some majors/careers are going to be much better in this respect.

2. Unemployment is also higher in many of the lowing paying majors/careers. Also, how about avg years worked and ageism by career sector? 50 years old software engineers vs 50 year old teachers.

3. Info should also be adjusted for pensions. Working for 20-30 years and retiring (or working at a new job) with a pension is rather nice.

SEE ALSO:

1 in 2 new college graduates are jobless or underemployed (2013)
http://news.yahoo.com/1-2-graduates-jobless-underemployed-140300522.html

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Filed under ageism, contrarian, education, work

MACS and Common Core

I have been thinking about traditional school and standards lately — it’s in the news a lot. I guess as it always is, but perhaps especially because it’s the beginning of another school year.

For example, there is this recent one from the NY Times lauding Massachusetts (LINK) But is it that actually so great?

The article notes:
1. This is just one test of 8th graders
2. There is still a substantial performance gap between rich and poor
3. Schools are improving, but a big part of that is due to “teaching to the test”. So does this even matter?
4. The 95% percentile in Mass is still substantially below Singapore in the chart they report shows. So we are not that great. Perhaps this is showing MA is substantially holding back a substantial group of kids.

My points would be (as a Sudbury Valley School parent and Sudbury School advocate)
1. There are clearly deeper problems causing the rich/poor performance problems
2. What are the graduation rates at these schools?
3. Parents should choose. This is not the way I choose to educate MY KIDS. But we each should choose.
4. I remember doing science projects in elementary school — hermit crabs, measuring rainfall, observing clouds, growing plants. It was vaguely interesting, but I am pretty sure that I was not grasping any greater point trying to be made. If anything, I remember it sorta sucking the interest out of me (being forced to measure rainfall, plant growth etc)
5. My wife happened upon a random science/biology textbook in her house when she was in elementary school (her brothers?) and DEVOURED IT. By herself. On her own terms.
6. Compulsory curriculum is not needed to produce inquisitive scientists, capable adults, upstanding citizens, good people. Sudbury Valley School has been doing it for more than 40 years. There is empirical evidence.
7. There is not a “critical window” for learning science.
8. Childhood is (in my opinion) for free play with direct experience with nature and their surroundings. Sounds like a good breeding ground for scientists. Kids at SVS are fishing, discovering crayfish, etc, etc in the creek. That is priceless vs sitting around in a classroom.
9. Most schools are generally not thinking about who the kids are now, but rather worrying about who they could/should/need to be in the future. Kids are people. Right now.

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Filed under ageism, school, science, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

“If you want to get the most out of great developers like Engelbart, who are productive well into their 80s, you have to stop digging up the streets, moving the goalposts, bombing the cities, starting over just for the sake of starting over.”

http://threads2.scripting.com/2013/july/engelbartWasSidelined

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