Archives for the month of: June, 2010

I recently saw the following questioned posed:

If all information is available quickly and easily online, what should we be teaching in our schools?

Fair enough question, isn’t it? The question struck me because my 11-year old son recently came home to tell me how he learned about the industrial revolution and WWI in the same day. He proceeded to spew back a short list of facts when I asked what he learned from it. Well, in my opinion, that’s my tax dollars being wasted away.

In connection with the query above, I believe the necessity to “lecture” facts to our children and have them mindlessly regurgitate them in multiple choice testing is dated, wasteful, and harmful to our future. They can gather these facts as quickly as their adolescent minds conjure the questions.

What they need to learn is WHAT questions to ask, WHEN to ask them, and then HOW to process the information they receive. They need to learn to think!

To prove my point ask yourself, “What countries were part of the Allied forces and which part of the Central Powers?” I’m sure you knew it in 6th Grade…

Sunday. 4 hours@Houston International Airport. What to do? Lots of options. Read the latest Stieg Larsson book “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.” Listen to music. Read magazine. Walk aimlessly. Sleep. Browse aimlessly. Write blog post (not aimlessly, I think.)

We all have these blocks of time that appear in our lives like unscheduled layovers during our travels. They could be waiting for a doctor’s appointment, sitting in traffic, meetings that you shouldn’t be get the point. No matter where they occur, let’s call them “layovers.”

My challenge to you is figuring out the best way to spend your life layovers. I’m not suggesting you need to actively do anything. You could spend the time being mindful, meditating or sleeping. If we tie it back to GTD I can offer that if you have a good understanding of what there is to do (your trusted system) then it is much easier to make the choice that brings you the most value.

Side note: Quick observations watching those around me, here’s what I see:

  • Building blocks with baby
  • Reading book\magazine
  • Eating m&ms and people watching
  • Sleeping
  • Doing something on the mobile (didn’t want to be rude and ask)
  • iPod\iPad\iPhone – I can’t believe how many people have an iThing!
  • Applying makeup
  • Eating

Did you ever ask someone that you considered an expert for advice and get the “readers digest” answer in response? Have you ever delivered the short version yourself?

It is sometimes difficult to take the time to give a full, useful answer to what we may consider a basic question when we have expert knowledge on a topic. This is because we are “cursed” with knowledge – we assume that the individual who is asking the question has a certain amount of knowledge about the topic already and there is no need to start from the beginning. Whereas, many times that is exactly where they want us to start. If we don’t, then they are hesitant to ask a “stupid” question, so they listen politely, thank us, and go ask someone else.

Solution? Before you begin answering, ask the individual how much she already knows about the topic and how much detail she would like.