Tara Westover gives the Big Reveal about education
My parents would say to me all the time: you can teach yourself anything better than someone else can teach it to you. Which I really think is true. I hate the the word “disempower,” because it seems kind of cliché, but I do think that we take people’s ability to self-teach away by creating this idea that that someone else has to do this for you, that you have to take a course, you have to do it in some formal way.
It took me a long time to learn that you take courses to find out what you don’t know, so you can go study up on it, and organize your self-study.
Tip from Joanne Jacobs, who I’ve neglected lately.
Many folks spend hours and a pile of cash to get the “perfect” Xmas tree. Not me.
Some 20 years ago, the Mrs developed a liking for those fancy glass Xmas ornaments, so we promptly hit the after-Holiday sales and started a collection. Came the next Xmas, and we weren’t happy with how the ornaments clashed with any “natural” tree that was less than 12 feet tall. What to do? The next summer I shared a brainstorm with my Dad, an inveterate folk-art woodworker. Who immediately joined me in a project day to convert a large, leafless branch of manzanita into a take-down display tree. I shipped the completed tree from California (where manzanita is plentiful) home to Texas (where it is non-existent), and re-assembled the tree the following Xmas. Hung the growing collection of glass ornaments to achieve what the Mrs calls FABULOUSNESS.
Stark, leafless, twisted, and totally asymmetric. The tree is in its 19th year, and my wife–the sparkling ornament not on the tree–still loves it.
…newpaper reporters who can’t divide or have any sense of proportion:
While also factoring in temperatures and pressures down below, the researchers concluded that 3 billion teragrams — or a billion kilograms — are being pulled down every million years.
Lemme see here: 3 billion (3×109) kilograms every million (106) years, works out to an astounding 3 thousand (3×103) kilograms per year. Why, why, why, that’s enough water to fill up my swimming pool almost TWO times. Every year. PANIC! CRISIS! RUN AWAY!
Tip from Sarah Hoyt at the Instapundit, who does make even the most boring stuff sound interesting.
While the Man dithers in the aftermath of the Camp Fire, trying to get his sh*t togther, the Little Folks get it
I say “That seems like a thankless task.”
“Not at all,” she replies. “Not at all.”
“Really? Why the hell not?”
“Hey, I do this job every day in this store. It’s my assigned task and usually its okay but I only do it for the money because it gets really monotonous, meaningless.”
She’s a student, I perceive.
“But today those people really needed these clothes in this corner because of the price. And tomorrow more people like that will really need them too. And so I want to make this the best I can for them. So I’m going to put it all back on hangers and arrange them by size. It will be right by the morning. You better go. We’re closing. Thank you for coming in.”
Straight from the (slightly toasted) horse’s mouth at American Digest. Stop by and drop off a tip, so he can rebuild his life.
From the man who showed up rocket scientists, a simple checklist:
- pick a topic you want to understand and start studying it
- pretend to teach your topic to a classroom*
- go back to the books when you get stuck**
- simplify and use analogies
Exactly the technique I use to “get smart” on lots of stuff I should know, but don’t.
Tip from Old Remus at the Woodpile Report (report #553).
*Pretend, hell! Wiggle that topic into your course syllabus, and commit yourself to teaching it. Nothing sharpens your studies like trying to create a coherent lecture. Or two. With a supporting homework assignment. And quiz or exam questions.
**There are gurus out there, go talk to them. I’m lucky to work at a university, where many are right down the hall. I have yet to meet an expert unwilling to speak about his area of expertise. Often at great, nay overwhelming, length.
But today there are reports that the British government has said that it will not offer asylum to Asia Bibi. The reason being “security concerns” — that weasel term now used by all officialdom whenever it needs one last reason to avoid doing the right thing.
Thanks to Douglas Murray, writing in the National Review, for explaining the term. I see university officials using it quite frequently.
I am such a slow pony. I’ve just web-surfed my way into discovering Rob Hyndman’s Time Series Data Library, which has hundreds of time-series datasets suitable for every teaching need. I was looking for one of my old faves, from that hoary old classic, Forecasting, Time Series, and Regression, and voila! there it is.