Because they could

A Cautionary Tale by Kurt Borne   They made fire, because they could. They realized the effects were good. But they never considered how exactly it was that they could. They were just happy that they could.   They learned to write and share ideas, because they could. They thought, “Since we can it must be good.” But they never stopped to consider the wonder of it all, just that they could.   They ruled over others, because they could. “We’re stronger than them, so for us it’s good.” But they never stopped to consider the danger, and whether they … Continue reading Because they could

Who’s Deciding History?

By Kurt Borne November 8, 2013 I recently heard a radio commentator remark on how, with the advancement of the Internet and the changing nature of news and publishing, we all have the ability and the duty to bring forth the truth about all things. I’ve often reflected on how the media and historians attempt to “oh, so cleverly” rewrite the facts and the truth about important events in our world. The following historical anecdote was written more than ten years ago in an attempt to get it published in a nationally known magazine. I never got a response. For … Continue reading Who’s Deciding History?

Brain, Interrupted

By Bob Sullivan and Hugh Thompson May 3, 2013 Technology has given us many gifts, among them dozens of new ways to grab our attention. It’s hard to talk to a friend without your phone buzzing at least once. Odds are high you will check your Twitter feed or Facebook wall while reading this article. Just try to type a memo at work without having an e-mail pop up that ruins your train of thought. But what constitutes distraction? Does the mere possibility that a phone call or e-mail will soon arrive drain your brain power? And does distraction matter — do … Continue reading Brain, Interrupted

Little Teddy Stoddard

Author Unknown There is a story many years ago of an elementary teacher. Her name was Mrs. Thompson. And as she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children a lie. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. But that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard. Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he didn’t play well with the other children, that … Continue reading Little Teddy Stoddard

The Greatest Century That Ever Was

This article discusses the amazing century that was the 1900s. “The Greatest Century That Ever Was – 25 Miraculous Trends of the Past 100 Years” by Stephen Moore and Julian L. Simon shows us just how much important progress was made in just 100 years. Click the link to read the full study: “GreatestCenturyThatEverWas” Continue reading The Greatest Century That Ever Was

Youth + Internet = Learning about Tree Octopi

Will Our Youth Believe Anything They Read On The Internet? Just Ask The Tree Octopus By Brett Michael Dykes February 2, 2011 Every few months, almost like clockwork, an alarming report comes along purporting to show that the Internet is turning everyone’s brains — particularly the brains of this generation’s children — into mush. It’s apparently that time again. A few days ago Pearson, which bills itself as “the world’s leading PreK-20 educational publishing company,” sent out a press release touting a new study. Its title was attention-grabbing: “Schools Facing Learning Crisis Spawned by Internet.” Its opening line read: “Schools … Continue reading Youth + Internet = Learning about Tree Octopi

Steve Jobs: How To Live Before You Die

If you haven’t seen it yet, “Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement address at Stanford University” is definitely worth a look. Below are some of his memorable quotes on the subjects of connecting the dots of your life, loving your work, and living your own life. “You can’t connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backwards. You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something. Your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow … Continue reading Steve Jobs: How To Live Before You Die

Early American View on Job Training

I am currently reading “The Americans – The National Experience” by Daniel Boorstin, Pulitzer Prize winner and former Librarian of Congress. The book is part of his trilogy on the social history of America. In his chapter on how innovative New England manufacturing methods were quickly putting American manufacturing ahead of old England, Boorstin wrote an interesting passage on the training of the American worker. Boorstin writes: The New England system of manufacturing, destined to become the American system, prized generalized intelligence, literacy, adaptability, and willingness to learn. As the machinery of production became larger, more complicated, more tightly integrated, more expensive, and more rigid, working men … Continue reading Early American View on Job Training

A Speech Every American High School Principal Should Give

I happened to run across this article recently, entitled “Speech Every American High School Principal Should Give.” I liked it so much, and agree with it so strongly, that I thought I’d share it with you this week. It speaks for itself. Enjoy! Continue reading A Speech Every American High School Principal Should Give

When Will the Education System Catch Up with the Times?

“We shouldn’t be putting them asleep. We should be waking them up to what they have inside of themselves.” ~ Sir Ken Robinson Here is yet another very interesting view on today’s education system courtesy of TED (Technology, Education, and Design). Sir Ken Robinson discusses our current state of education and where it needs to go if we are to see all students fulfill their true potential through their creativity and multiple intelligences. Robinson challenges the way we are educating our children, arguing that our current education system is the problem, not the solution. He questions why our education system, … Continue reading When Will the Education System Catch Up with the Times?

Anomalies or the Norm in our Education System?

Every now and then I run across stories on the Web that, I hope, are not true representations of the state of the U.S. education system. I instead hope that these are just anomalies, examples of those “students” who just weren’t paying attention in school and who are far from the norm. If for no other purpose than to provide a good laugh, check out these examples of people who perhaps just missed some important facts in their math, science, and history classes: – People “Shocked” that the Titanic Really Did Sink – Tough “MPH” Math Problem Continue reading Anomalies or the Norm in our Education System?

Waiting For “Superman”

I just viewed the movie/documentary Waiting for Superman. It really did not tell me anything new that I didn’t already know, or at least suspect. More than anything it increased my disgust with the bureaucracy (administration and unions) of our education system. That being said, this film omits what I think is another very significant part of the problem – disengaged parents. “Waiting” makes it seem like all parents are awesome and engaged, and that everything that’s wrong with our education system is due solely to the “broken system.” I believe that, unfortunately, as much as we hear about disengaged teachers, there are just as many … Continue reading Waiting For “Superman”

A Man Who Was the 20th Century

During my time as an editor and writer for a local news organization, this was by far my favorite story to write. As the calendar was turning from 1999 to 2000, each writer was tasked with composing a story that represented the outgoing 20th century. Our stories would make up a “Millennium Moments” series. What I discovered in writing my piece was an unassuming man with an amazing story. Enjoy… Click the links below to read the Ambassador’s story. (The Word version is the complete story, while versions 1 and 2 are merely scans of the originally published story.) Ambassadors Life_Wordversion … Continue reading A Man Who Was the 20th Century