Tuesday, June 18

New favorites

I'm currently hooked on exploring TED.com talks when I get a moment here or there or some dishes to wash. "Ideas worth spreading" is their motto. I like it! I don't agree with everything I've seen, but there's many fascinating presenters.

It started when my friend sent me this cool overview called "Changing Education paradigms" which is an animated talk given by Ken Robinson. Does this ring true with anyone else? I have a handful of thoughtful friends who homeschool here and back in the US for various reasons and now one that has had her kids in a leadership education charter school. I find it all fascinating! I know each generation sees changes in education but I really appreciated this overview to think about my children's education - what I hope it achieves and how I can supplement to fill gaps I find. Never mind that we're not in the US! We've felt very blessed to have the opportunities we've had at the Int'l School here.

Other favorites:
Lisa Bu "How books can open your mind" -- but really it's about finding happiness and it resonated with my own lifelong search for what to be when I grow up or my dream job. Not that I want to enter the workforce right now - my life is full and I like it as it is - but if I had to I wanted to have an idea of what I'd enjoy doing. Lisa, on the other hand, knew what she wanted to be but wasn't able to convince the adults in her life to take her seriously. "What happens when a dream you've held since childhood … doesn't come true? As Lisa Bu adjusted to a new life in the United States, she turned to books to expand her mind and create a new path for herself. She shares her unique approach to reading in this lovely, personal talk about the magic of books."

George Papandreou, former Prime Minister of Greece. His story of being pressured to make a deal in time for world financial markets opening favorably rung true and made me cringe. Interesting. "Greece has been the poster child for European economic crisis, but former Prime Minister George Papandreou wonders if it's just a preview of what's to come. “Our democracies," he says, "are trapped by systems that are too big to fail, or more accurately, too big to control” -- while "politicians like me have lost the trust of their peoples." How to solve it? Have citizens re-engage more directly in a new democratic bargain. George Papandreou draws on lessons learned from the Greek debt crisis as he helps guide the EU through difficult waters."  

I've also made my way through some of the "Guest Curated" playlists on Education and also Social Change. Fascinating ideas and projects people are working on!

While looking for Newberry titles set in China in prep for our trip, I stumbled on "Bomb: The race to build - and steal - the world's most dangerous weapon" by Steve Sheinkin. 

I loved it, 5 stars! My hometown is in the Hanford area of Washington where the plutonium was enriched for the second bomb dropped on Japan. I have always wanted to find an engaging overview of the race to build the atom bomb and here it is! I loved reading this book! It covers the major players in the world, the challenges to overcome in such an endeavor, and interesting spy trade craft that I think youth and adults will enjoy. I know a handful of 9 year olds that would love this, but it's probably suited for 10+ or so.