Archive for June, 2015

Parent Thinking: Indications that “Educators” Still Don’t Get It

Saturday, June 13th, 2015

As a parent, have you tried helping your child with a math problem? If so, you might have seen something like this…

“At an appliance store, the regular price of a refrigerator is $700. How much money is saved by purchasing this refrigerator at 30 percent off the regular price rather than buying it at 15 percent off the regular price with an additional discount of 15 percent off?”

I am reminded about the disconnected mindset that some “educators” have when it comes to posing questions for young students to solve. I remember the “bathroom tile”, “farm fencepost” and “bus  fare” questions in the math textbooks that my children had in elementary school. These types of questions demonstrated low emotional intelligence within the context of education and perpetuated the mistake of forcing youth to focus too far in the future instead of the present.

How hard would it have been to just use “a pair of shoes” or “a cell phone” instead of “a refrigerator” so that the student could relate to the problem? Further, the outcome (i.e., determining an answer) is unlikely to provoke any satisfaction so motivation is also absent.

I am also slightly amused by the context of this problem in which one has to discern the savings difference between a single discount versus a pair of discounts. This is one of the biggest tricks going on in marketing – obviously invented by adults for the purpose of deception. Don’t youth get enough exposure to adult idiocy already? Why not give them a mortgage-backed securities problem then?

So, to be fair: not only do “schools kill creativity”, so do today’s educators. They still don’t get it.

What Makes You Happy? Keeping Your Personal List.

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

On of the KDramas I am watching presently is Hotelier (호텔리어). Towards the end of episode 4, Frank asks Leo “What does happiness mean to you?” Leo’s ‘serious’  reply includes “Good pay, good food, good social status.” Frank is reflective about his pursuit of happiness. [I am noticing “happy” and “happiness” spoken many times in this series]

This question may be of value in the YCISL journal. So we’ll have students title a page with this question, and initially have them create a list of things they think make them happy. They should also keep another list of things which do make them happy (as they experience it). This may be a useful reference in positive thinking as well as thinking of the future and the pursuit of happiness in the personal story.

I searched on the phrase “What makes people happy” in Google and the top-most results generally refer to studies pointing to research conducted in the US and findings that social connectedness is most vital to happiness. More interesting to me was the result pointing to the article “How our view of what makes us happy has changed in 80 years” published by the British Psychological Society in which a happiness index is updated. Given our age of informatics, it may be more valuable to have a multidimensional index that crosses age as well as cultural or even social status lines. For YCISL, we could compile data based on our group profiles, but more impactful maybe to design a method to design, fill and update our own personal happiness index. Above, I mention a simple entry list into the journal, but what if we could create an app to maintain ones personal happiness list and provide valuations so that the list is indexed? How cool would that be?

A Model for a Well-Being YCISL Workshop

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

I recently had discussions with two parties interested in the YCISL program. One was with a group of high school administrators/teachers concerned with student wellness and well-being; this ties in with the mindful aspect presented in YCISL workshops by Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu. The other discussion was with the President of a Teen Volunteer organization who offers philanthropic activities for youth; I have had previous communications on philanthropic lessons through YCISL. As an exercise, I have “prototyped” a model for a prospective well-being workshop and it adds philanthropy as an additional layer to the underlying platform of the workshops. This model selects four main emphasis areas, each of which uses a pair or triplet of sub-topics to demonstrate the emphasis area. Each sub-topic is a skill element and demonstrable by a workshop activity, exercise or discussion. The emphasis areas are intended for reflection and performance evaluation. Put together, this model should promote development of “Your Personal Story.”


Mentor Exercise: Map Our Workshop

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

The main idea is to graphically list all the topics (life lessons, messages, activities, etc) into a map and perhaps show connections to our themes. Mentor Sophie designed the following based on the Wasedajuku March 2015 YCISL Workshop.

map design