Tuesday, August 24, 2010

New Ideas in Education

This guy got coverage from NPR over a year ago, but I'm glad Gates has noticed him.

Here is his Kahn Academy website.

Sal Khan: Bill Gates' favorite teacher - Aug. 24, 2010

When I first heard the story of his success (based on free, short tutorials on youtube.com) I was impressed with the simple beauty - the elegance of the idea. I still haven't had a chance to view his work, but suffice it to say that anything new in educational theory (in this case trying a new delivery method, tho some call them "mcnuggets") is good, in my not so humble opinion.

I love that Gates and his foundation are looking for ways to revamp American education - the entire approach needs to be examined.

And yet I know that no matter how great Kahn is, or how well his "shorts" serve students, there is something missing when we take face-to-fact interaction away from students and teachers.

Being "live" in the flesh doesn't always matter, and if you can't get a real teacher a virtual or long-distance internet version may be the best you can do.

But make no mistake. Fast food is not the same as home cooked. Gourmet meals are not really packaged in the freezer aisle of the grocery story. And online interaction is not anywhere near as good as the communication that happens when two people are in the same room together. Yes, there are advantages, just like heating up a meal in a microwave or driving thru McDonalds, or canned food is sometimes the best you can do in a pinch.

Don't fool yourself. We should be careful what is served to our children and in our colleges - and how it is delivered.

Things Newlyweds Chat about

For his birthday I bought Stan three small volumes:

50 Mathematical Ideas (you really need to know) by Tony Crilly
50 Physics Ideas (you really need to know) by Joanne Baker
and Natural History Museum (London) Diary for 2010 (full of great photographs with technical details)

I thought they (the first two books anyway) would provide some info on great topics we could explore together, and followed along the lines of our "normal" conversations... at least one branch of our chats.

Many times we find ourselves going from current events to political philosophies. I'm grateful to every single one of my professors (at UGA) for giving me some ground on which to stand during these rigorous examinations of theory and current trends! Believe me, Stan gives me no - zero, nada - intellectual slack.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Happiness is so much better than I thought it would be. Last night when tucking G in, we were talking about gratitude and hope. She clearly thinks I'm nuts to be grateful all the time.

I had to tell her there were times in the past few years when I'd given up hope, or almost anyway. It seemed too much to wish for ... more than our daily bread, a roof over our heads, and our health. Loving family and beautiful things were amazing bonuses.

I had to make our world very small for a while. I was fine with this, and knew it was something like incubating, or hibernation...

Recently I've been able to see a path for us. I have dared to look more than a few weeks into the future, a peek. Now I'm thinking again about next year, and bigger goals.

I'm so glad my journey led us to Atlanta, and back to STL for a little while, and closer to NC friends and family for the last 3 years. Now moving again, while physically exhausting, has also been one of the most amazing times.

I think it has to do with gratitude, and our determination to help heal the world, having less needs and less ego, more G-d, lower expectations, higher standards.

I dreamt last night that Stan was saying grace for us over a meal... two different times... I think I said the blessing the second time... shared values means so much. It's a great start.

Small rituals to mark the turning points of our lives, public declarations of love mean a lot, and so does spending time with family and friends. We are so rich.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cooking Therapy

Made this on Sunday night for the family. Easy and came out great :) Sent some on the road with my Honey :D Eggplant Parmesan I Recipe - Allrecipes.com ps. did not use fresh basil. I think that would have been nice tho. Did use triple mushroom Classico sauce and roasted garlic sauce. Lunch!


I love you beyond all reason
Beyond words
Beyond thought
Washes over me
and I ride
Then grinning.
Handwriting on the sky
Can't hold it
Nor song or baking
Not making love
Nothing can
But everything.