Camp Creek Blog

What I’ve been reading

Published by Lori Pickert on March 7, 2014 at 07:43 AM

“The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset.” — Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol Dweck

 

I am a fan of Shawn Achor’s book The Happiness Advantage. (My favorite quote from that book: “Common sense is not common action.”) This week I’ve been reading his new book:

“As it turns out, IQ and technical skills combined predict only 20 to 25 percent of job success. That means that over 75 percent of your career outcome has nothing to do with your intelligence and training

If IQ is a bad predictor, maybe SAT scores, a more modern testing tool, would be better? Not the case. As a matter of fact, they are much worse. SAT scores predict only 8 to 15 percent of college freshmen’s GPA, which means that for around 88.5 percent of college students, SAT scores are no better at predicting academic success than a pair of dice. …

High school grades are twice as predictive of college success as SAT scores. [But a]fter a decade of research, [Thomas J. Stanley, PhD, author of The Millionaire Mind] found no correlation between grades and professional success: a coin flip would be as predictive of greatness as grades. This explains the oft-cited paradox that so many C students in business school end up running companies and so many A students end up working for them.” — Shawn Achor, Before Happiness: The 5 Hidden Keys to Achieving Success, Spreading Happiness, and Sustaining Positive Change

One of the people who devised the Common Core is remaking the SAT and aligning it more with said Common Core:

report released last month by William C. Hiss, a former dean of admissions at Bates College, and Valerie W. Franks, a former Bates assistant dean of admissions, supports Wake Forest’s experience. They reviewed 33 colleges and universities that did not require SAT or A.C.T. scores and found no significant difference in college G.P.A. or graduation rates between those who had submitted tests and those who had not. Specifically, they saw that students with good high-school grades did well in college, even if they had weak SAT scores. But students with weaker high-school grades — even with strong SATs — did less well in college. — The Story Behind the SAT Overhaul

Will rehauling the SAT make it more predictive of job success? Why do I suspect it won’t?

“The predictive validity is going to come out the same,” she said of the redesigned test. — ibid.

Well, there you go. Roll of the dice it is.

 

 

If you’re creeped out that the Common Core guy is now redesigning the SAT, too, here’s what Lucy Calkins had to say about that:

With a redesigned SAT, Calkins thinks that too much of the nation’s education curriculum and assessment may rest in one person’s hands. “The issue is: Are we in a place to let Dave Coleman control the entire K-to-12 curriculum?”  — ibid.

Coincidentally, I had already read a slew of articles this week about the SAT…

Did you know employers might ask for your SAT scores years after you graduate from college? I didn’t!

Stephen Robert Morse was a candidate for a communications job when the recruiter told him to be ready to discuss his SAT score in a coming interview.

Mr. Morse, 28 years old, said he was “shocked” that a potential boss would be interested in the results of a test he took more than a decade earlier.

“When you’re hiring people and they don’t have a lot of work experience, you have to start with some set of data points.” — Job Hunting? Dig Up Those Old SAT Scores

Wowza. I liked what Lisa Nielsen said about this: “It is not that schools are failing to teach students to become skilled workers, but that schools are not providing them with enough experience doing things in the world.” (She said that here, apparently summing up something that Anthony Cody said, although I didn’t really get that from what Cody was saying. Just taking this statement out of context, however, I agree with it completely. Why don’t kids do more real things? As the last sentence of that quote says, without proof of actual experience doing things in the real world, we are reduced to numbers that may or may not accurately represent what we can do.)

If the idea of your SAT scores dogging you into your adult working life doesn’t disturb you, this bit from the same article might:

Cvent, which employs more than 1,400 people, hasn’t tested whether its best employees are also its top SAT scorers. “Knowing it’s a standardized test is really enough for us,” Mr. Eden said. — ibid.

Oh ho ho, hello. I wonder if that statement expresses the feeling of the people in charge of standardized testing for kids as well. Does it give accurate information that tells us something necessary and real? Oh well, knowing it’s a standardized test is really enough, isn’t it?

It’s long been said that the SAT is (grossly) unfairly weighted toward privileged students:

“There is a substantial body of evidence that the system is failing to reward students with high test scores who come from low-income families.” — The Reproduction of Privilege

“Generally speaking, the wealthier a student’s family is, the higher the SAT score.” — SAT Scores and Family Income

“SAT and ACT scores are weak predictors of grades and … they come with inherent social disparities.” — SAT Wars: Exposing New Evidence of Flaws in Standardized Tests

Standardized tests allow colleges to practice social discrimination in the name of academic selectivity, when, in reality, high school grades are the best predictor of future collegiate success.” — SAT Wars: Exposing New Evidence of Flaws in Standardized Tests

Wake Forest dumped the SAT requirement and lo and behold:

Wake Forest says its incoming classes are a lot more diverse — more low-income students, more racial minorities, more first-generation students — than they were when the university used to plug SAT scores into its admissions formula. — Wake Forest and the SAT

But hey, knowing that it’s a standardized test is really enough for us, right?

(I’m sure the SAT is changing so it will be more fair — or is it because the ACT test is gaining a lot of market share? Potato, po-tah-to.)

Is the SAT an accurate representation of how people will perform in the workplace?

I can’t think of a more useless indicator of the ability to be successful in one’s job. That’s because the SAT does not measure the soft skills that have proved to be so important in the workplace. I’m referring to such things as the ability to work with others and to endure in the face of failure. Further, what possible relevance do scores posted by high school seniors have a decade or more later?

Nevertheless, many companies persist in the fiction that the SAT is a reliable factor in predicting success.  Even when two candidates bring almost identical backgrounds, I doubt that the SAT provides any useful information in making a hiring decision. I tried to make a distinction between an aptitude test and an achievement test (UnSATisfactory, Education Week, Jun. 14, 2006).  But companies confuse the two when they say that the SAT measures the knowledge and skills in a given subject. — The Immortal SAT, EdWeek

Speaking of being disturbed, I was shaking my head over this article about a mom who took the SAT herself in order to coerce her son into caring more about college than Halo:

Her oldest child, Ethan, a B student with modest athletic abilities (yet several minor concussions), was a sophomore in high school. Stier, in her words, was “beginning to feel frantic.” Ethan would soon be applying to college, but what were his chances of getting into a good one?

“A possibility presented itself,” she writes. “Ethan could study for the SAT, earn high scores, and get a scholarship at a decent school.” There was just one hitch: Ethan wasn’t interested in studying for the SAT. He preferred playing Halo. So Stier thought she would model the behavior she was hoping to inspire: “I thought maybe I could motivate Ethan to care about the SAT, just a little, if I climbed into the trenches myself.” — When Grownups Take the SAT

I write a lot about modeling behavior; for the record, this is not what I mean. And let’s ignore that bit about several minor concussions (?!) — that would be an entire other topic.

There is a difference between modeling behavior and being coercive and manipulative. In my opinion, you get a lot further by living the life you hope your children will live — letting them see you work hard for something you care about, for example — than by trying to shame them into doing what you want.

Somewhere between the fourth SAT and the fifth, Stier’s project very nearly collapses, along with her family life. It’s summer, when no SATs are offered, and Stier decides this would be a good time for her and Ethan and Ethan’s younger sister, Daisy, to work together on their math skills. She brings the kids to a local tutoring center so they can all take a diagnostic exam. Apparently, the two teen-agers have not been consulted about this plan, because they react with fury. Stier, in turn, is enraged by their behavior. Harsh words are exchanged. That night, the kids decamp to their father’s house. Some days later, they reappear, but bad feelings linger.

“Ironically,” Stier observes, “it was now time for Ethan to begin studying for the SAT in earnest, and we were barely speaking.”

This is what I said on Facebook:

What happens when you wait until your children are teens and leaving home to get them involved in their own education? It doesn’t go well.

I don’t even understand how this happens. How are teens uninterested in their own future? How are they totally uninvolved in their own learning? How does a parent ambush teen children with unwanted summer remedial math classes? There’s a basic lack of communication and respect here that I simply don’t get. I guess this is helicopter parenting. I see it as micromanaging. If your children are teens, they are nearly adults. They should be immersing themselves in their interests, getting real experience doing things they want to do, and they should above all be very motivated to do whatever it takes to secure the future they want. They should be experimenting now, when the stakes are low, with taking responsibility for meeting their own goals. If kids are this checked out, how will they fare once there are no adults to tell them what to do and how to do it?

I tore this editorial out of the Chicago Tribune at least a decade ago, and apparently it still holds true:

As they near college, we drive exhausted teens toward milestones of success ruled by grades, standardized test scores, and the ultimate mark of achievement these days: a brand-name school. Spent and busy parents expect me, their college consultant, to nag, drag, and, if necessary, carry their reluctant, exhausted, and often passionless kids toward the finish line and a “top-tier” college.

When I ask what would happen if their kids were left alone to complete this process without parental fuel driving them, they are often confused by my question.

I see many teens of means with few interests and little idea how to pursue those mild passions they do have. Ironically, many are successful academically. Rarely, however, is their success driven by a quest for knowledge. Rather, they tie academic achievement to eventual financial success. — “The Dangers of Privilege and College Admission,” by college consultant William Caskey

I’m going to answer my own question: Why are teens so uninterested in their own future? Perhaps because they’re so entirely uninterested in their present.

Finally, the writer of the article (not the mother in question) sums up her own feelings about the SAT:

Whatever is at the center of the SAT — call it aptitude or assessment or assiduousness or ambition — the exam at this point represents an accident. It was conceived for one purpose, adapted for another, and somewhere along the line it acquired a hold on American life that nobody ever intended.

Is it just me, or do we still suspect the changes to the SAT aren’t going to make it any more relevant to real-world success?

Here’s a bonus thought. IQ is not immutable.

Wasn’t the IQ test meant to summarize children’s unchangeable intelligence? In fact, no. [Alfred Binet, the inventor of the IQ test], a Frenchman working in Paris in the early twentieth century, designed this test to identify children who were not profiting from the Paris public schools, so that new educational programs could be designed to get them back on track. Without denying individual differences in children’s intellects, he believed that education and practice could bring about fundamental changes in intelligence. — Carol Dweck, Mindset

and

[S]cientists are learning that people have more capacity for lifelong learning and brain development than they ever thought. Of course, each person has a unique genetic endowment. People may start with different temperaments and different aptitudes, but it is clear that experience, training, and personal effort take them the rest of the way. Robert Sternberg, the present-day guru of intelligence, writes that the major factor in whether people achieve expertise “is not some fixed prior ability, but purposeful engagement.” Or, as his forerunner Binet recognized, it’s not always the people who start out the smartest who end up the smartest. — Carol Dweck, Mindset

Permanently tagging students with a score based on a standardized test that may have virtually no power to predict their success in their chosen work — and then forcing them to drag that number through college and out the other side into the working world — assumes that their potential can be summed up by a test taken when they were teenagers. It is a fixed, not a growth, mindset — and I imagine it does very little to convey to students that their actual success depends on their own effort.

Making lace fans

• • •

Every Wednesday we’re going to share a small win from the forumTwitter, the Facebook page, or (with the writer’s permission) from the mail bag.

 

I think in all honesty, what really works wonders is when I chill out. When I’m relaxed and enjoying the process, my kids are, too. I just get so (insert adjective) nervous/anxious/fidgety/uncertain about getting from point A to point B and I have to remind myself it’s the getting there that matters. Every day is a step in the right direction. I loved the blog posts about working time in and setting goals. That helps a lot.

I used your insights this past weekend. Our family is very musical (one of our values). Since taking your class, I cleared out a much bigger and less cluttered and quite frankly beautiful area in our main living room for our instruments and really showcased everything. I can’t tell you how many evenings we now spend in that happy corner with me on the guitar and my girls with their violin/guitar/piano singing their lungs out.

 

Last week, we were wandering around a Bluegrass festival when one of my 5 year olds saw this beautiful lace fan. She wanted to buy it. I suggested we make our own.

 

I helped them search YouTube and they spent 30 minutes watching and re-watching a video and taking meticulous notes on all the items we would need for these fans. By involving them in the very beginning all the way through to completion, they did find so much more meaning in the process.

 

We even started writing a children’s book together. My thought is I will let them drive the whole process, find publishers, send letters, get rejected and move on to the next step. Today they suggested asking our librarian if we could read it at story hour. How are these kids so smart? And how did I not realize how smart they are? — Maria, from the mailbag

 

Why do we share small wins? Because we put on our attention on what we want to grow. We support each other, celebrate each other’s successes, and we do everything we can do make more of the good stuff!

Have you had a small win this week, whether it’s related to PBH or not? Please share in the comments!

Music corner

What I’ve been reading

Published by Lori Pickert on February 28, 2014 at 01:25 PM

“Learning is more than learning to conform.” — Paradoxes of Learning, Peter Jarvis

 

I’ve been seeing lots of articles lately about how employers no longer consider elite degrees as important or desirable as they once were.

“The least important attribute they look for is ‘expertise.’

Said Bock: ‘If you take somebody who has high cognitive ability, is innately curious, willing to learn and has emergent leadership skills, and you hire them as an H.R. person or finance person, and they have no content knowledge, and you compare them with someone who’s been doing just one thing and is a world expert, the expert will go: “I’ve seen this 100 times before; here’s what you do.”’ Most of the time the nonexpert will come up with the same answer, added Bock, ‘because most of the time it’s not that hard.’ Sure, once in a while they will mess it up, he said, but once in a while they’ll also come up with an answer that is totally new. And there is huge value in that.”

[W]hen you look at people who don’t go to school and make their way in the world, those are exceptional human beings. And we should do everything we can to find those people.

“Beware. Your degree is not a proxy for your ability to do any job. The world only cares about — and pays off on — what you can do with what you know (and it doesn’t care how you learned it).

And in an age when innovation is increasingly a group endeavor, it also cares about a lot of soft skills — leadership, humility, collaboration, adaptability and loving to learn and re-learn. This will be true no matter where you go to work.” — How to Get a Job at Google

and

“[B]usiness leaders are now echoing Google by saying that college pedigree and major don’t matter as much as people think in hiring decisions.

A new Gallup survey finds that in hiring decisions, only 9 percent of business leaders say that the school on a candidate’s diploma is ‘very important,’ compared to 84 percent assessing knowledge in the field and 79 percent looking at applied skills.”

“Google’s head of people operations Laszlo Bock told the New York Times that top graduates can lack ‘intellectual humility,’ and that schools frequently don’t deliver on what they promise.”

“96 percent of college provosts say students are prepared, compared to 14 percent of the public, and 11 percent of business leaders.” 

“It could be that higher education is really not preparing people at all and we have a broken system, or just a fundamental misunderstanding. Either way it’s a tragedy…” — Survey: Businesses Don’t Care if their Employees went to Yale

So almost 100% of colleges think they’re doing a great job of preparing students for work and only 11% of business leaders agree. There’s a bit of a disconnect there.

So what about for future entrepreneurs? Does a top college degree matter there?

Recently a venture capitalist told students at the Harvard School of Business:

“It's really unfair to you guys, but I think you’re discriminated against now … I would bet a large amount of money that the overwhelming majority of us would not look favorably on a company started by one of you.” — Investor gives closing keynote at Harvard Business School

Ouch.

I’ve read several articles in the last few months saying that the biggest thing holding college graduates back from starting their own businesses is… wait for it… college loan debt.

The rising mountain of student debt, recently closing in on $1.2 trillion, is forcing some entrepreneurs to abandon startup dreams…

Some academic experts say leftover loans are the biggest impediment to upstart entrepreneurship by those who recently received college or graduate degrees. “I mentor students all the time," says Vivek Wadhwa, a fellow at Stanford University Law School. "The single largest inhibitor to entrepreneurship is the student loans.” — Student Loan-Load Kills Start-Up Dreams

If student debt is a roadblock to economic opportunity, that really undermines a philosophy of how America has moved forward and prospered. — Millenials’ ball and chain: student loan debt

So your college degree creates a roadblock to your economic opportunity? Ouch again.

From the Harvard Business Review themselves:

A bachelor’s degree used to provide enough basic training to last a career. Yet today, the skills college graduates acquire during college have an expected shelf life of only five years… — Mind the (Skills) Gap

The Google tells me that average student loan debt is about $30,000 (and 70% of students graduate with debt) but that’s only the debt you walk away with — that’s not the cost of a college degree (remembering to factor in the opportunity cost of spending four or five years or more not working). Still, seems like you should get more than five years’ worth of knowledge for that kind of coin.

Paul Graham wrote about this way back in 2007:

It may not matter all that much where you go to college.

For me, as for a lot of middle class kids, getting into a good college was more or less the meaning of life when I was growing up. What was I? A student. To do that well meant to get good grades. Why did one have to get good grades? To get into a good college. And why did one want to do that? There seemed to be several reasons: you’d learn more, get better jobs, make more money. But it didn’t matter exactly what the benefits would be. College was a bottleneck through which all your future prospects passed; everything would be better if you went to a better college.

A few weeks ago I realized that somewhere along the line I had stopped believing that.

Either it won't help your kid get into Harvard, or if it does, getting into Harvard won't mean much anymore. And then I thought: how much does it mean even now?

It turns out I have a lot of data about that.

One of the most surprising things we’ve learned is how little it matters where people went to college.

I thought I’d already been cured of caring about that. There’s nothing like going to grad school at Harvard to cure you of any illusions you might have about the average Harvard undergrad. And yet Y Combinator showed us we were still overestimating people who’d been to elite colleges. We’d interview people from MIT or Harvard or Stanford and sometimes find ourselves thinking: they must be smarter than they seem. It took us a few iterations to learn to trust our senses.

Don’t you learn things at the best schools that you wouldn't learn at lesser places?

Apparently not. Obviously you can’t prove this in the case of a single individual, but you can tell from aggregate evidence: you can’t, without asking them, distinguish people who went to one school from those who went to another three times as far down the US News list. Try it and see.

How can this be? Because how much you learn in college depends a lot more on you than the college. A determined party animal can get through the best school without learning anything. And someone with a real thirst for knowledge will be able to find a few smart people to learn from at a school that isn’t prestigious at all.

[T]he great advantage of not caring where people went to college is not just that you can stop judging them (and yourself) by superficial measures, but that you can focus instead on what really matters. What matters is what you make of yourself. I think that’s what we should tell kids. Their job isn’t to get good grades so they can get into a good college, but to learn and do. And not just because that’s more rewarding than worldly success. That will increasingly be the route to worldly success. — Paul Graham

Our kids’ jobs aren’t to get good grades, but to learn and to do. That sounds right to me.

If this gives you the sads, I’m sorry — but I think it’s exciting. Things are changing. How we learn and how we work — it keeps on changing. As long as we’re up for it, and as long as our kids are, I think we’re all going to be fine.

If you do a job where someone tells you exactly what to do, they will find someone cheaper than you to do it. And yet our schools are churning out kids who are stuck looking for jobs where the boss tells them exactly what to do.

As we get ready for the 93rd year of universal public education, here’s the question every parent and taxpayer needs to wrestle with: Are we going to applaud, push or even permit our schools (including most of the private ones) to continue the safe but ultimately doomed strategy of churning out predictable, testable and mediocre factory-workers?

The post-industrial revolution is here. Do you care enough to teach your kids to take advantage of it? — Seth Godin, Back to (the wrong) School

In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” — Eric Hoffer

Small Wins Wednesday: Observational drawing

Published by Lori Pickert on February 26, 2014 at 09:21 AM

Carrie shared this photo of her daughter’s project notebook on Twitter: “Notebooks aren't just for grown-ups! Love my kid's #pbh book.”

• • •

Every Wednesday we’re going to share a small win from the forum, Twitter, the Facebook page, or (with the writer’s permission) from the mail bag.

 

Family field trip to the dam for their National Engineering Week event. For the first time packed clipboards and paper for sketching, per Lori’s suggestions. To be honest, I thought they would just be something extra I had to lug around for five hours, but something utterly unexpected and utterly amazing happened. My son made five different sketches. Three of them were during the guided tour into the powerhouse where he had to sketch fast. I thought that would discourage him but it didn’t.

Later he said his favorite thing was the sketching, although he amended it to second favorite. First favorite was going partially inside a generator.

Bonus: In an attempt to model sketching, I sketched my own version of the powerhouse generators. The ranger who accompanied the tour said to me, “You’re BOTH artists!?” I looked at my *sketch* and had to chuckle. “Ya…ya…I guess we are.” — Kat, from the current Master Class forum

 

Why do we share small wins? Because we put on our attention on what we want to grow, and we want to leverage those small victories. We support each other, celebrate each other’s successes, and we do everything we can do make more of the good stuff!

Have you had a small win this week, whether it’s related to PBH or not? Please share in the comments!

Friday picks

Published by Lori Pickert on February 21, 2014 at 12:51 PM

Happy Friday! Here’s what I’ve been reading and thinking about…

Education has to focus on learning how to learn — metacognition.

School will still be important, but not to impart what happened during the Revolutionary War or to teach the quadratic formula.

School … should focus on teaching young people the intangibles, the things that make humans unique: relationships, flexibility, humanity, how to make discriminating decisions, resilience, innovation, adaptability, wisdom, ethics, curiosity, how to ask good questions, synthesizing and integrating information, and of course, creating.” — If Robots Will Run the World, What Should Students Learn?

Learning how to learn is actually meta-learning; metacognition is thinking about thinking. But the point stands — education that only focuses on facts is missing the deeper purpose of teaching: helping learners develop the ability to teach themselves.

When I was running my tiny private school, we created an alternative assessment (alternative to letter grades) that attempted to tell the story of the whole student: their thinking habits, dispositions, strengths, and so on. We had a list of traits similar to the ones listed above.

Question: When you think about how your child is doing — and how they compare to other kids their age — what do you think of? Is it a list like this? Or something else?

[I]nterest can help us think more clearly, understand more deeply, and remember more accurately. Interest has the power to transform struggling performers, and to lift high achievers to a new plane.”

And “if catching people’s interest is about seizing attention and providing stimulation, holding it is about finding deeper meaning and purpose…” — How the Power of Interest Drives Learning

Authentic interest is the irreplaceable first step. Next? Ownership.

Kids are more engaged and enthusiastic if they have some input and control, even if it’s not their own self-chosen work. If you can’t give them autonomy over the whole project, can you involve them in making substantial choices?

Speaking of real choice, just because a program says it’s PBL/inquiry-based/learner-centered doesn’t mean it really is…
[A] lot of supposedly participatory projects had a distinct air of tokenism. Children were being put on display, so to speak, as though they were actively participating, but they were not taken seriously.”
“Most school projects … are conceived and designed by teachers, representing lost opportunities for more engaged and profound learning.”
“A lot of adults are genuinely trying to be helpful … but they don’t maximize a child’s chance to contribute in a way that allows the child to prepare and be confident and give an opinion that is really likely to be listened to. They don’t involve them, because they don’t think the child will contribute anything serious that will really make a difference.”
“People think American children already have a lot of voice. I thought the same thing when I first came here. But having rights implies being listened to, as well as speaking, and being taken seriously. Being listened to is even more important than having the freedom to make a lot of noise.” — Are we taking our students’ work seriously enough?
No matter what a program says it cares about and no matter what type of values they say they’re implementing (and this goes for homeschoolers, too, as well as schools), what matters is what is actually happening in the room. Are your kids REALLY being listened to? Are they sharing decision-making? Are they driving the curriculum with their own questions and ideas? If they’re not, it’s not project-based learning. It’s not learner-centered. It’s the old product in a new wrapper — same ingredients, repackaged with new jargon.
We have to find a way to live our values.
• • •
What I’ve been reading (or rereading) this week:
[T]he view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you accomplish the things you value.
“Believing that your qualities are carved in stone — the fixed mindset — creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over.”
“[With a growth] mindset, the hand you’re dealt is just the starting point for development. … [Y]our basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts.
Although people may differ in every which way — in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments — everyone can change and grow through application and experience.” — Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
Learning is wider than education; education is only one social institution in which learning occurs, albeit the only one specifically directed toward it. Indeed, the reduction of human learning to the social institution of education is one of the typical features of the modern era. But all the social institutions together cannot contain learning, since learning is fundamental to human being and to life itself. These institutions exist only to facilitate the smooth functioning of the social system, and so they may often constrain learning. — Paradoxes of Learning
“Here’s a Twilight Zone-type premise for you.
 
What if surgeons never got to work on humans, they were instead just endlessly in training, cutting up cadavers? What if the same went for all adults — we only got to practice at simulated versions of our jobs? Lawyers only got to argue mock cases, for years and years. Plumbers only got to fix fake leaks in classrooms. Teachers only got to teach to videocameras, endlessly rehearsing for some far off future. Book writers like me never saw our work put out to the public — our novels sat in drawers. Scientists never got to do original experiments; they only got to recreate scientific experiments of yesteryear. And so on.
 
Rather quickly, all meaning would vanish from our work. Even if we enjoyed the activity of our job, intrinsically, it would rapidly lose depth and relevance. It’d lose purpose. We’d become bored, lethargic, and disengaged.

In other words, we’d turn into teenagers.” — NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children

• • •
 

How to save a child’s love of learning in one easy step

Published by Lori Pickert on February 19, 2014 at 07:51 AM

This is the way that it works — and I ran a school, after-school, and summer learning program for seven years plus I’ve taught numerous homeschool and adult workshops and I have two homeschooled children who have learned this way since they were in preschool and are now in their teens, so this is from life experience, not pie-in-the-sky idealism.

If you give children complete control over SOME PART of their learning, they will not only rise to the occasion and attack their interests with gusto, but they will turn around and approach all of their required learning with a newfound sense of self-confidence and self-determination. They will look for a way to learn that fits their new sense of themselves as people with interests, abilities, and important ideas.

Do you want your children or students to love learning? Don’t say “Here, we know what’s best for you — sit down, be quiet, and listen.” But also don’t just say “Go, do whatever you want.” Do better than that. Support their interests and their self-chosen work fully — with your attention, your time, your space, and your cold hard cash. Invest in their interests. Invest in their talents. Instead of letting them ride in the back seat while you take them on a wonderful adventure, show them how to drive the car. Mentor them to be self-directed learners.

If you do that, they will figure out that learning is how they can do the things they care about — the things they want to do. Once that switch is flipped, they may still be disappointed, frustrated, or disconnected when they’re forced to do dull, meaningless, irrelevant tasks, but at least they won’t call that “learning.”

They may be more demanding, more inquisitive, and they may interrupt more because they have more confidence in their own ideas. But on the whole, wouldn’t you rather have a child whose insistence on being in charge of his own learning disrupts your plan rather than a quiet, bored child who can’t wait to do what’s necessary so he can escape?

Teach children to direct and manage their own learning and they will love learning because they own it, they control it, and they can connect it with everything else they love.

Prioritize this one step and all the others will fall away because they just don’t work anymore.

 

See also: Ten steps to getting started with project-based homeschooling (whether you homeschool or not)

and

“We’re not just making learning less fun, less meaningful, less useful, and less relevant, we’re actually making it less educational.” — Self-directed learning: the neglected subject?

How to destroy a child’s love of learning in 15 easy steps

Published by Lori Pickert on February 17, 2014 at 04:49 PM

Photo credit: Richard Phillip Rücker, Flicker Creative Commons

 

1. Make sure he knows learning isn’t about what he wants to do but what he HAS to do. Even if you’re doing “project-based learning,” it’s your ideas that matter. Inspire kids to design, invent, and make an impact by giving them specific tasks YOU thought up and YOU care about!

 

2. Whenever possible, be patronizing. It’s inspiring to kids. They can dream of the day when they’re in charge and looking down on their own minions. Whatever you do, keep them away from grown-up books, resources, and tools — don’t let them stray from their assigned reading level!

 

3. If your child has a strong interest, use it as seasoning on required work.

Don’t have kids count regular pencil erasers in the math center — have them count dinosaur erasers! Kids love dinosaurs! Nothing brightens rote work like a reminder of something they would much rather be learning about.

 

4. Share his excitement to the point where you flood him with your ideas and take over. After all, your ideas are wayyyy better than his — he’s only seven!

A MacGyver project?! We know everything about MacGyver!

 

5. As early as possible, begin differentiating between “fun” and “work” and make sure he knows learning is “work” — we don’t call it schoolFUN, do we? “Work” isn’t supposed to be fun — if it’s fun, engaging, and/or enjoyable, that means it’s too easy.

 

6. Do the fun stuff yourself — you deserve it! Choosing books and materials, planning field trips, planning parties — when something fun is involved, that’s a treat for YOU!

 

7. When something requires decision, choice, weighing options, and/or allocating funds, do that yourself. That’s grown-up stuff.

 

8. Whenever possible, eliminate choice. The whole process will be much more streamlined if it’s a “tab A” into “slot A” situation. You can’t usher 15 kids through a craft quickly and efficiently if you don’t get that conveyor-belt vibe going.

Bonus: When displaying children’s artwork, scatter them all over the bulletin board turning them this way and that. That really reveals your respect for the effort they put into your cookie-cutter craft.

 

9. Creativity should be limited to which sticker you want to use to decorate the planned craft. Letting kids have input into the design process will take forever. We don’t have time for that.

 

10. Chew their meat for them. Prepare things ahead of time. Lay out the materials. Choose the books. Mark the passages. Find great movies to watch. Look up craft ideas on Pinterest. Cut the construction paper into squares and rectangles. Find the expert. Arrange the field trip. Tell them exactly what they need to know.

 

11. When they do their little bit at the end, shout “BIIIIIIG FINISH!” and give them a gold medal. They’ll treasure it. Nothing says “I honor and appreciate your work” like a certificate printed off the Internet.

Nothing confuses a child like giving them a reward for something they wanted to do — keep them on their toes!

 

12. Remember to rank everyone who participates and make sure everyone knows who did the assignment “right” and “best.” The most important thing you can learn is how to follow directions — and the second most important is where you rank amongst your competitors. Whether you’re a bluebird or a sparrow, it’s better to find out early!

For optimal comparison, have everyone do the exact same “art” project and hang them up in a grid. Nothing inspires kids to work harder than having the worst construction-paper Abe Lincoln.

 

13. Praise kids for being docile followers. Punish kids whenever they take initiative or make suggestions. They’re just trying to gum up the works!

Make sure kids learn early what a “good student” is. That way everyone will want to learn, learn, learn.

 

14. Use stereotypes to show kids what their interests now will get them later in life. Make sure they know that once you choose, that’s it. 

If you like science, you too can wear horn-rimmed glasses and work in a nice white lab that’s even more windowless and sterile than your classroom!

 

15. Stamp out autonomy. Drop the leash and kids will go in directions you cannot predict and plan for. You won’t be able to prepare it all ahead of time if you don’t know what’s going to happen! This is why preplanning is essential. Remember: it’s not about what they want. It’s about how well they do what we want.

 

BONUS IDEAS

Make sure they know that if they don’t understand the material, that’s THEIR fault.

The point of rigor isn’t to help kids work hard at things they want to do, it’s to force them to buckle down at things they find boring and irrelevant.

 

PLEASE CONTRIBUTE!

Do you have some ideas of your own? Share them in the comments!

 

THE ANTIDOTE

Feeling ouchy? This is for you: How to save a child’s love of learning in one easy step

And you might like this as well: Self-directed learning: the neglected subject?

Tags: 

Friday Picks

Published by Lori Pickert on February 11, 2014 at 03:45 PM

If you read my post about job crafting on Tuesday, you may remember that the Harvard business school class of ’63 had a lot of advice about choosing work that aligns with your passions.

This week I read 30 Lessons for Living (a book of wisdom gathered from 1,000 “life experts” over the age of 65) and found similar advice:

“You know those nightmares where you are shouting a warning but no sound comes out? Well, that’s the intensity with which the experts wanted to tell younger people that spending years in a job you dislike is a recipe for regret and a tragic mistake. There was no issue about which the experts were more adamant and forceful. Over and over they prefaced their comments with, ‘If there’s one thing I want your readers to know it’s…’ From the vantage point of looking back over long experience, wasting around two thousand hours of irretrievable lifetime each year is pure idiocy.”

“After listening to a thousand of America’s elders give advice about fulfillment at work, nothing makes me cringe more than when I hear a young person describe his or her primary goal in life as ‘making a lot of money.’ … The experts have a real problem with this scenario. The view from the end of the life span is straightforward: time well and enjoyably spent trumps money anytime.”

“[Psychologists] use the word ‘eudaimonia’ (from the Greek) to describe happiness derived from activities that are rewarding in and of themselves. This is contrasted with ‘hedonia’ — as in hedonism. People with hedonic motivations look at work primarily as a way to acquire material possessions. In contrast, eudaimonic individuals who are motivated by goals that emphasize personal growth, contributing to the community, and meaningful relationships are typically much happier at work.”

What is the biggest regret people have at the end of life?

“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” — Live without regrets — What are the top five career regrets?

Over and over again I hear adults making dour statements about how kids need to learn to buckle down and do hard and unpleasant things so they can prepare themselves for life and work in the future. What a depressing message: get used to dull, meaningless tasks because your life will be full of them.

If you don’t know that kids will work hard at something they really care about, then please give yourself and your kids the opportunity to discover that it’s true. Help them dig deeply into something they care about. Help them discover meaningful work now so they can keep finding it for the rest of their lives. They need to know what’s possible — and they need to know how to make it happen for themselves.

“Ask people what they want in a job, and meaningfulness looms large. For decades, Americans have ranked purpose as their top priority — above promotions, income, job security, and hours.” — The #1 Feature of a Meaningless Job

Does your child have the opportunity to work on self-directed projects that are meaningful, purposeful, and have a real impact on other people?

• • •

I shared this on Facebook:

A learner is entirely different from someone who is the subject of disciplinary action. They are someone who wants to learn. And the most powerful teachers for our children are [their] parents.

If I’m to set myself up as my child’s teacher, I must first have learned how to be self-disciplined. I must have addressed, and continue to address, my own emotional immaturity. I do this by becoming an authentic person, true to myself. In this way, my child learns from me to also be true to themselves — true to their heart’s deepest desires.

This is fundamentally different from hyper-focusing on our children’s behavior and constantly ‘disciplining’ — controlling — them to get them to conform to our wishes.” — Why Everything We Know About Discipline Is Wrong

How do we raise kids who are self-disciplined? First, by modeling. Then, by mentoring.

• • •

Another share from Facebook — I love this and I absolutely find it to be true in my own life:

“Your sense of time is actually answered by a simple question: how much are you learning?

“Monotony collapses time. Novelty unfolds it.”

[T]here’s the old adage about cherishing time, ‘The days are long, but the years are short,’ but, actually, it seems when you do things right, it’s the opposite: ‘the days are short, but the years are long’.” — How to Slow Down Time

Anecdotally among my friends on Twitter, it seems that when you are immersed in work that really engages you, time flies. And if you make the most of the time you have, you can find at least 10 minutes a day to work on what you care about — and in a year, it really adds up.

• • •

Over at Brain Child Magazine, they asked Should You Let Your Child Quit? I wrote a long comment in response:

“There are a few misconceptions here:

        - You have to do something you don’t want to do to learn how to work hard.

        - You have to do something you don’t want to do to do difficult things.

        - You have to do something you don’t want to do to learn how to persevere.

All of these are false.

It’s when you work on something you really care about — something that genuinely interests you, a goal that you really want to achieve — that you work your hardest. You learn what you are capable of. And children doing this work are most likely to work at their challenge point — the front edge of their abilities.” — read the rest here

You also might want to check out my checklist for good quitting in Perseverance and Grit vs. Knowing When to Quit.

 

 

“If we could be as efficient in supporting a child’s eagerness to learn as we have been in stifling this eagerness, this would revolutionize life as we know it.” — William Coperthwaite, A Handmade Life

Job crafting: Passion matters after all

Published by Lori Pickert on February 8, 2014 at 03:54 PM

I saw Cal Newport on Brainpickings this past week reiterating that following your passion is a big mistake, so I reshared my own take on that subject (and my review of his book):

Career advice tomes like this are not written for project-based homeschoolers — or for other homeschoolers/unschoolers who have already had years to deeply explore their interests.

Newport’s book has some good advice for 18-25-year-olds who have been pushed toward achievement their whole lives and who have a non-reality-based, pipe-dreamy idea of what they’d really like to do, which they call their “passion.”

It’s advice for people whose interests have never been connected with their work in any meaningful way.

Most career advice is for kids who came up through the regular system. It won’t help kids who were educated via an alternate path.Why Skills Don’t Trump Passion

Recently I was reading through If I Knew Then — advice from the graduates of Harvard Business School class of ’63 — and there was a lot of advice about passion:

As my good friend and author, Richard Leider, says, “Heed your life’s calling — that inner urge to give your gifts away.” This requires being clear about your gifts, values, and passions, and using them as a compass to find your career path. It is an “inside-out” process. — RichardI L. Peterson

Try to find your passion — what you love thinking about and doing. If you can find a career doing something you are already passionate about, the finances will flow, along with a better balance in life. — Jim Utaski

To greatly enhance the odds of enjoying a career which is both fulfilling and successful, one must find an endeavor, a subject, métier, process, environment for which one has a passion. — Charles Hale

Choose work you enjoy and that serves as many people as possible. Focus on serving others — not on building wealth. Serve well, and money will follow. — Norman Barnett

Work and pleasure are not synonymous, but they’re not opposites, either. Loving what you’re doing (well) can be infectious and motivating to others. Ultimately, that’s leadership. — Rod Murtaugh

Decide you like what you do, and do it better and smarter than anyone else. If you can’t, change your career. — Joan O. Rothberg

But maybe that’s a case of retroactive memory.

Then I ran across an academic paper about job crafting that seems to support the idea that passion actually does matter — because it makes work more meaningful and more enjoyable.

Job crafting is when individuals actively shape their jobs to inject them with more meaning and purpose and connect them with — you guessed it — their passions.

“[J]ob crafting … may help employees get more enjoyment and meaning out of work, enhance their work identities, cope with adversity, and perform better.” — What is job crafting and why does it matter?

By thinking about where they invest their focus … employees are able to re-craft their jobs to better align with their strengths, passions, and values.” — The building blocks of a year worth living (Psychology Today)

Crafting your job to better align with your values and your deep interests makes your work — and your life — more fulfulling.

Interestingly, not everyone is capable of crafting their job. Those who are able to do it need certain attitudes and abilities — ones that resonate with self-directed, self-managed learning:

“A job crafting perspective implies that the tasks and interpersonal relationships that make up a job are a flexible set of building blocks that can be reorganized, restructured, and reframed to construct a customized job. These building blocks expose employees to a variety of resources — people, technology, raw materials, etc. — that can be utilized when job crafting. The success of a job crafter may depend largely on his or her ability to take advantage of the resources at hand.” — What is job crafting and why does it matter?

In other words, a person has to be able to actively take charge and seek out opportunities — they have to know it’s possible and then they have to take the initiative to do it. Because no one else is going to customize your job for you — it’s something you have to do for yourself. No one else is going to figure out where your personal interests and passions can be connected to your career — that’s up to you.

The secret to high performance and satisfaction — at work, at school, and at home — is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world. — Daniel Pink, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

If you aren’t used to directing and managing your own learning and shaping your own projects, then you may not realize what’s possible. If you haven’t experienced meaningful work, you may not continue to seek it out.

When we give our children the opportunity to direct their own learning, we are giving them the experience they need to know how to be self-determining and we’re giving them the skills they need to live their best lives.

Five ways to find more time for the things that matter

Published by Lori Pickert on January 8, 2014 at 10:04 AM

Starting out the new year full of energy and enthusiasm? Ready for change? Focus? Action?

You already know you have to learn to use the time you have. Here are five ways to recapture some time that’s just going to waste so you can use it for something you really care about.

(Now: Picture a film in reverse where the Kool-Aid is magically pouring back into the pitcher…)

- Don’t waste time solving problems you don’t have.

How many posts have you read this year about “the cult of busy”? How many about moms beating themselves up for being human? How many about parents who are addicted to their iPhones?

Are these major problems of yours? Are you really struggling with these issues? If you are, fine, but if not…

Why do we waste time reading about, talking about, and thinking about problems we don’t really have?

 

Maybe because we crave that elusive sense of accomplishment.

If I apply myself to a “problem” that I already feel pretty confident about (I either don’t have it or I have the mildest case ever recorded), I can add it to my mental to-do list and then check it off before I even put the virtual pen down. #winning

Just reading about those problems we don’t actually have can give us a tiny boost of “Here (at last!) is something we’re pretty good at! Yay us!” We’re using other people’s problems to feel good about ourselves — because at least we don’t have that problem. Or at least we’re not that bad. It’s like the really flattering mirror that makes you look thinner and taller. Who doesn’t want to gaze into that all day?!

Whatever it is that really matters to you, you’ll have more time to work on it if you stop window-shopping all the things that don’t really concern you.

 

That includes interests you don’t really have as well as problems. If you spend a lot of time scanning food pins on Pinterest and you don’t cook…

 

Not genuinely your problem? Then not your priority. Move on. Use that time to move the peanut on something you really care about.

 

- Substitute specific for random.

 

Anxiety rises up when you don’t know exactly what you want or how to get it, like a class-five, full-roaming vapor on Ghostbusters. Couple that with an itch to feel like you’ve actually accomplished something, and you’re ripe for being drafted into someone else’s army.
 
The internet is a magical place where new clubs open every day and the organizers want YOU! YOU! YOU! to join and instantly be a part of something. The siren call of friendship and community can easily lure you off your own path and into someone else’s cove.

 

 

Sometimes the thing that someone else has made is exactly what you need. In that case, it’s a big win to join the community, adopt the mission, and make it your own.

Just be careful that you don’t opt in to someone else’s project because it’s right there, ready to go, and it sounds fun — I mean, at least you’ll be doing something, right?

This is what you want to avoid: Generic activities for generic people.

When you shrink from the anxiety and challenge of building your own thing and just jump into someone else’s thing out of fear/nervousness/avoidance, you’re choosing what’s easy instead of what’s hard. And the path toward your own personal, meaningful work is at some point going to require hard.

Stop and consider: Is this really the thing that connects me with my deepest interests, my nascent talents, and my values?

By taking a pass on some of these easily available pre-made activities and commitments, you can find more time for what really matters to you. The more time you spend on random activities, the less you have for connecting with your meaningful, purpose-filled work.

Prepackaged may mean convenient and time-saving — but make sure it’s not an excuse to put off working on the hard stuff. Specifically your hard stuff.

- Sign up for a class. Quit. Now save that blocked-off time for yourself.

Like a NINJA.

For some reason we’re ultra-focused on meeting commitments we make to other people.

This is true even when we didn’t really choose to get involved in the first place — have you ever gone to the bathroom during a meeting and come back to find out you’re now the chairman of something? Like that.

Or we signed our kids up and blocked off two afternoons a week because all the kids are in soccer or tae kwon do or swim team so we had to pick something.

Yet when it comes to the thing we want to do, we just can’t “find the time.”

We make time for others. Why can’t we make time for what matters most?

Why is it so easy to slip into full commitment mode for other people and so hard to commit to our own goals and protected time?

Maybe we slip into “good girl” mode. “I said I’d do it, so come hell or high water I must be good to my word.” It’s about character. It’s about honor. It’s like a John Wayne movie.

Maybe signing a form or paying a fee triggers a psychological mousetrap. “I paid that swim coach/zumba instructor/piano teacher 80 bucks — I don’t care what happens, we’re getting our money’s worth.”

Adult life is a minefield full of commitment bear traps where one wrong step mires you for weeks if not months doing things that mostly have to do with other people’s needs and other people’s goals.

“Here’s your check — and please enjoy this chunk of my life.”

The fact that we have full FREE access to our own life 24/7 doesn’t seem to light us on fire with possibility. Familiarity breeds contempt?

And if you’re about to say, “But I have no tiiiiiiime,” then where does the time come from that we hand over to others? We make that time. We part the red sea of our schedule and create it. We can do that for ourselves — but we don’t.

Just like prioritizing a savings account, when it comes to prioritizing your personal goals you have to pay yourself first. Take a hard look at the commitments you’re currently juggling and think about which ones you might replace with an open block of time dedicated to what YOU really want to do.

Then protect that time as if it were a puppetry class your third-grader signed up for.

Feel selfish? Remember:

The best way to increase the odds that your child will live a certain way is to live that way yourself. The best way to raise readers is to read. The best way to raise doers is to do.

The best way to raise active, engaged learners is to be an active, engaged learner. — Project-Based Homeschooling: Mentoring Self-Directed Learners

- Drop something (or someone) that’s making you miserable.

If it’s really making you miserable, then it’s not just killing the time it fills, it’s also killing a lot of the surrounding time:

- The time you spend dreading it/them beforehand.

- The time you spend gnashing teeth/recovering afterward.

- The time you spend lying awake at night staring into the void wondering what you should do about it.

- The time you spend staring blearily into your coffee in the morning because you didn’t get enough sleep.

And so on.

If you’re in a misery spiral then maybe the best thing to do is take a break.

 

Just set it aside. I already hear you saying you can’t set it aside. But I bet you can. I don’t care whether it’s your mother-in-law or your digital scale or your frenemy on Facebook or your floundering Etsy shop. If you’re stuck and you can’t go forward or backward, just take a break and get some much needed space between you and your personal whirlpool of despair.

“Everything I’ve ever taught in terms of self-help boils down to this — I cannot believe people keep paying me to say this — if something feels really good for you, you might want to do it. And if it feels really horrible, you might want to consider not doing it. Thank you, give me my $150.” — Martha Beck

There are things we do because we think we have to, things we do because we think we’re supposed to, and things we do because we’re terrified of the guilt/consequence storm that will roll in if we say no.

There are people who suck the very life force out of us every time we see them. That may not be entirely their fault. Maybe with a little needed distance you can crank the door on your heart shut so they can’t scoop you out like a melon the next time you run into them.

A break doesn’t mean forever. It just means you realize that you’re going to have to set it down for awhile. Give yourself some space, some rest, and something good to focus on and see how you feel about it later. The point is: If what you’re doing isn’t working, why are you still doing it?

This applies to everything, including (stay with me here) the process of quitting itself. If you’re trying in vain to quit something you do compulsively, like overspending or smoking or macramé, try quitting the effort to quit. As therapists like to say, “What we resist, persists,” and this is especially true of bad habits. Imagine trying not to eat one sinfully delicious chocolate truffle. Got it? Okay, now imagine trying to eat 10,000 truffles at one sitting. For most of us, the thought of not-quitting in this enormous way — indulging ourselves beyond desire — actually dampens the appetite. It’s a counterintuitive method, but if the “I will abstain from…” resolutions you make each year are utter, depressing failures, you might quit quitting and see what happens. When my clients stop unsuccessful efforts to quit, they often experience such a sense of relief and empowerment that quitting becomes easier — it’s paradoxical but true. — Knowing When to Quit

- Stop listening to people whose opinions don't matter.

 

Did someone just leap to mind? Yeah, I know.

You know what you want to do. Maybe you’re still struggling a little with owning it. Maybe you’re not feeling completely rock-solid yet. But listen — you already did your due diligence. You figured out what you want. You’ve decided to do the work. You don’t have to explain it to other people, even if you love them.

You don’t have to defend what you love. You don’t have to defend what you need. And you don’t have to defend wanting something more from life. As far as I’m concerned, your purpose here is to find your purpose. The meaning in life is making it meaningful. So I’m on your side.

Who’s working against you? Who’s making you peddle so hard just to stay stay in one place?

Is it a family member who’s “just concerned about you” and “wants what’s best for you”?

Is it a friend who oh-so-gently urges you to give it up and stay where you are (because that’s where they are)?

Is it a frenemy who simultaneously tells you “you can do it!” and then explains in great detail why you can’t, why you shouldn’t, or why you should at least wait a while?

Is it a blog written by someone who seems to subtly rub your nose in the fact that they have something you desperately want?

Is it a blog written by someone who seems to subtly suck you down lower and lower into “Who gives a !*(&*@?! People who care are stupid!”?

Bless ’em. Everyone is fighting a hard battle, apparently. That’s what I hear.

But you need to learn to let some people’s words and opinions roll right off you like water off a “been there, done that” duck.

You don’t have to tell everyone what you’re doing or why or how it’s going. You’re allowed to keep it to yourself.

You don’t have to belly up to the bar for another round of “let us explain to you why your dreams are ridiculous.”

You can just skip it. Just change the subject. Close the tab. Invent an excuse to avoid meeting up for a drink.

If you listen to people whose opinions don’t matter, you are gathering data you will never use. And you are increasing the chances that you will quit.

Trust me: When you reach success, some of these people will suddenly change their tune and start saying they always knew you’d do it. Some of them will just quietly disappear. They’re not always working against you for nefarious reasons. It’s usually more about them than you. But the salient point remains: Their opinions don’t matter. And time spent listening to them is time you could be using on something a lot more productive.

Your opinion matters. No one knows better than you what you want out of life and what you’re willing to do to get it. Absolutely no one knows what you’re capable of, including you — but you’re the only one with the ability to find out.

 

Take back a little of that squandered time. Press it together in your two hands like a snowball and create a chunk of minutes for yourself. Use them. Quick, before they melt. Do what you want to do. Learn. Share. Work on it. I have every faith in you.

Read more PBH for Grown-Ups posts here.

 

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