Category Archives: Education

Dr. Seuss

I was reminded of the joy of the words of Dr. Seuss the other morning, when my teen daughter came downstairs wearing a t-shirt with one of his quotes.  It’s been too many days now, I couldn’t tell you the quote without asking her to produce the shirt for me to read.

When my children were young, I read Doctor Seuss books to them all the time.  Over and over, as children love the repetition.  I’m certain I enjoyed the words and the experience of reading as much as my kids did, as the author was positive, witty, and inspiring.  Valuable words for both young and old.

Let me share some of his good words:

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”

“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”

“And will you succeed? Yes indeed, yes indeed! Ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed!”

“If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good”

“From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.” (one of my favorites)

If you have any thoughts
Or words you would share
Just add them to comments
Just add them right there

Ignorance Rules

My post yesterday about the racism, hatred, and religious prejudice espoused by a sign in front of a Cincinnati hardware store got me thinking about some of the ignorance I’ve seen bantered about recently.

  • This stuff about Senator Obama being a “terrorist” or having “terrorist connections.”  How in the world could such an accomplished man, Harvard graduate, attorney, and Senator in the Congress of the United States get away with such connections?  Think about it.  If you can think.
  • The idea that there is scientific evidence that the world was created only 5000 years ago and that “man walked with the dinosaurs.”  Where’s the proof that this is nothing more than “wishful thinking” at best?  “Wishful thinking???”  There’s thinking in that “idea?”
  • And while we’re on this topic, it’s hard to image that we’re still debating about the teaching of evolution to our children.  I thought that was settled with The Scopes Trial back in 1925.
  • Barack Obama being a Muslim is bantered about by the wingnuts and others.  He has clearly stated his belief in Christianity.  And if he is a Muslim?  What’s the problem?  I always thought the US to be a nation that believed in religious freedom.
  • In health class at the high school my children attend, there is a section on sex education.  Except that a whole bunch of information is left out.  Abstinence is the only thing taught.  Ignorance rules.

It’s no surprise to me that our nation has lost its way.  People listen to this blather and accept it as fact without so much as checking the facts themselves.  I realize I’m showing my own bias here, but it seems to me more folks need to turn off their radios and quit listening to the wingnuts spewing their hatred, anger, and prejudice.  Maybe read a book or talk to their neighbors.

As Earl Pitts, Uhmerikun, and radio personality used to say, “Wake Up Uhmericah!!!”

In Memory Of Randy Pausch

“If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself. The dreams will come to you.”

On a September day last fall, professor of Computer Science Randy Pausch gave his final lecture to his students and colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University.  You see, Randy Pausch had only months to live and wanted to share his dreams and passion with those he cared most about.  That lecture, “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” was delivered on September 18, 2007 in an auditorium at CMU.  If you’d like to see and hear what Randy has to say, click the video below.  Be prepared for an hour of both smiles and tears.

I never met Randy Pausch, but I’m amazed and inspired by his words of passion and love.  My son, Josh, was on campus at the time and a part of the community that he loved.  And, as so many who teach do, his subject area was computer science, but he taught of joy, life, and dreams.

Randy Pausch died at age 47 on July 25, 2008.  His spirit remains alive through all he reached.

Living Life Well

Randy Pausch, (October 23, 1960) is a Professor of Computer Science, Human-Computer Interaction, and Design at Carnegie Mellon University, where my son Joshua proudly attends. Professor Pausch was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2006, and in August, 2007, told he only had a few months left.

Since that time, he has become well known for the insight and inspiration in his “Last Lecture” to his students at Carnegie Mellon. Since that talk in the fall of 2007, he has appeared on several TV shows and written a positive and inspirational book about his path.

Here is the link to his web site, where you will find videos and commentary.

Recently Professor Pausch gave a speech at the Carnegie Mellon commencement that brought tears to my eyes. No words are necessary; take the 6 minutes to watch and hear this amazingly positive man.

Time

Where has the time gone? It doesn’t seem so long since that chilly, rainy August day when we left our son, Josh, at Carnegie Mellon University for the first time. Five days from now, I’ll be bringing him home for the summer after a wonderful year.

Where has the time gone? My daughter, Sarah, is completing her Junior year of high school. At the high school academic awards breakfast, when she was on stage as one of the Top Ten students in her class, the speaker reminded us from that group of 10, will be the Valedictorian of the Class of 2009. Sarah will graduate and on to the rest of her life.

Where has the time gone? In 20 days, I’ll have been in business for 21 years, married for 28 in 6 months, and in August, taken 58 trips around the sun.

Where has the time gone?

America, The Clueless

Paula Reed is an articulate and energetic Colorado high school English teacher, romance novel author, and parent of two teens.  She recently posted an article on her blog called Clueless in America, discussing how mythology has replaced science and the scientific method in high school education.  If you’ve ever wondered why the young people of this nation lack the science,math, and other critical skills necessary to compete globally, I’d suggest you read her post, along with the accompanying editorial in The New York Times.

As I’m sure she says to her students, “and that is your reading assignment for today.”

Bad Fiction

Back in the day, (I can’t believe I used that phrase), Saturday Night Live used to do a sketch featuring Dan Akroyd, called Bad Opera, or Bad Shakespeare Plays or something like that. Akroyd played this rather snooty character, Leonard Pinth Garnell, who would review these rather poor works of art, interpreted and played by the talented cast of Saturday Night Live.

Each year, San Jose State University offers the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. For the past 25 years, the contest out of San Jose State University has challenged writers to concoct the worst opening line of a novel.”

Jim Gleeson of Madison, WI offers up the 2007 winner with this opening:

Gerald began–but was interrupted by a piercing whistle which cost him ten percent of his hearing permanently, as it did everyone else in a ten-mile radius of the eruption, not that it mattered much because for them “permanently” meant the next ten minutes or so until buried by searing lava or suffocated by choking ash–to pee.

The runner-up, a Scott Palmer from Oregon, is second best with these words:

The Barents sea heaved and churned like a tortured animal in pain, the howling wind tearing packets of icy green water from the shuddering crests of the waves, atomizing it into mist that was again laid flat by the growing fury of the storm as Kevin Tucker switched off the bedside light in his Tuba City, Arizona, single-wide trailer and by the time the phone woke him at 7:38, had pretty much blown itself out with no damage.

There is much more to be found on this web page, showing “winners” in several categories.

As the aforementioned Leonard Pinth Garnell would have stated, having tossed these tomes into a waste basket, “Bad writing. Oh so bad.”

Enjoy!