Saturday, February 25, 2012

Curiosity Propels Student to Learn 11+ Languages

I enjoyed this video by Alex Rawlings on his love of learning languages. I had a similar upbringing as his -- a mother who spoke Portuguese and a father in international business. These influences sparked my curiosity early. Before I left my PhD program in Slavic Linguistics I knew well over 20 languages and had multiple job offers from the CIA. Product of a super intellect? Not really. As Alex rightly admits, the more languages you know, the easier it gets.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Danil Trifonov: Dedicated to Learning

An interesting article for pianists -- as well as for those curious about excellence. Danil Trifonov is currently THE top classical pianist in the world, having won a string of important competitions in the last year, topped off by a win at the Olympics of piano, The Tchaikovsky International Competition (which -- if you recall -- Van Cliburn won at the height of the Cold War). He has reached the pinnacle of his profession, however, Trifonov still speaks about finding opportunities for growth and the importance of prioritizing learning.

Here is Trifonov playing a popular virtuoso piece by Liszt. Just watch the fingers!

Catch him in Houston tomorrow night if you can!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Developing Self-Control

I enjoyed this article about building self-control. As a parent, I find that teaching my children "how to be" is my most challenging and most valuable role. I agree with the author that "the key is to harness the child’s own drives." We can create an environment for them to succeed in, but ultimately, they need to believe that the pursuit of excellence is worth it.

Friday, February 10, 2012

how do we define excellence?

Chapter three of An Ethic of Excellence, one of the books Jeff gave out at the last parents' lunch meeting, offers a pretty stunning vision of what excellence can look like in students' work and how to achieve it. The whole book is valuable, but for those pressed for time that chapter in particular is highly recommended.

Monday, February 6, 2012

sibling relationships

Today I realized that, although we have done research to add dimension to our intuition and experiential understanding of parenting (especially when our kids were babies, and most especially when we were becoming first time parents), it's been awhile since I've read up on parenting strategies that would resonate with our current life situation. Our sons have a special and amazing relationship, but as they grow and change I'm feeling like it's the right time to check in on what knowledge and information are floating about regarding nurturing the sibling bond. Is it very different if the siblings are same gander or different gender? Not sure; Matt and I were both raised with sister(s) and no brothers, so this boy world seems a little exotic.
Does anyone have book - or other- recommendations?
Here's an example in the form of a blog (that may no longer exist) that outlined some obvious stuff- but if you're like me, the obvious is an outstretched hand I will gratefully grab in moments of feeling overwhelmed.

on teaching patience and delayed gratification