Monday, November 29, 2010

Free of Anxiety

I have been using mind-body non-drug therapy for about two years and the benefits continue to accumulate.

For the first time in over 50 years, I am free of harmful effects of social anxiety.  Had panic attacks a couple of years ago and have been able to keep those from recurring.  I use yoga and mediation.  I practice proper breathing everyday anytime.  I use one or more mantra.  I practice mindful mediation.  I practice walking mediation. 

None of my therapy is based on religious or spiritual beliefs.

One technique I benefit from the most is “taking one more breath”.  I get a deep breathing rhythm going and kept it up for about an hour.  Really took me deeper into my self-talk and helped me get to a new level of awareness.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


We need to have students use computers to do calculations and have students learn math by manipulating dynamic models on the computer.

Monday, November 22, 2010

President Obama

What is needed in America?

  1. Tell people to take a deep breath and calm down.
  2. Tell people they do not need to feel afraid.
  3. Tell people to show respect for each other.


Every message from the White House needs to communicate that we are not in a crisis at the moment.  The media hype does not mean there is a crisis.  Everyone needs to take a deep breath and remain calm.  America needs to take a collective deep breath and calm down.

Every message from every person working for the President needs to communicate that we do not need to feel afraid of anything or anyone.  America has the resources, the military power and the economy to recover from our current problems.  Everyone needs to stop feeling afraid of what might or might not happen and deal with what they need to do today without fear.

Every message from the White House and the people working for the President needs to demand that people show respect for one another.  Everyone needs to step back from disrespecting others and behave in a respectful way towards each other.  Every school in America has respecting others as a key character trait.  Adults also need to behave in a respectful way towards each other.  People who are not behaving in a respectful way need to be challenged on their behavior and told to change how they behave toward others.

What happens next?

People will begin going about their lives day to day finding jobs, getting married, retiring, going to school and shopping for groceries.  The economy will slowly improve and terrorist threats will be dealt with.  Businesses will earn profits and government will govern.

But what about the health care crisis, the debt crisis and education crisis?

In order to deal with these issues, we first need to calm down, not feel afraid and show respect for other people and their opinions.  Each of us needs to remember to breathe deeply and stay calm.  Deciding to not feel afraid of what might happen will empower people to take action for their own well being.  Showing respect for others is behaving in a calm way, not showing fear and not getting angry.

Friday, November 19, 2010


This is your brain on metaphors.

Democrats should pay attention to this article and make sure their messages and PR are focused on leveraging the metaphors that make sense to voters.  They lost the Nov. 3 election because they did not use metaphors in a way that triggered an emotional reaction from voters.

The Republicans are doing well at communicating metaphors that trigger an emotional reaction from voters.  They won the Nov. 3 election based on their use of metaphors to create fear in people who vote.

President Obama should have his speech writers researching how to implement the ideas from this article.

Education versus Learning system – what we have now.
    ...learning system – the goal.
If the goal is a learning system.
Can we visualize attaining a learning system and what it would look like in practice?
Can we identify the assumptions about the learning system and question those assumptions?
Can we determine the interconnected parts of the learning system?
Can we define the process for implementing and maintaining the interconnected parts of the learning system?
Using Barry Richmond’s description of system dynamics:
1. An education system uses linear, laundry list thinking instead of circular closed-loop view of causality that we want in a learning system. An education system is a static view of learning.  A learning system has a dynamic orientation so that we can understand how learning changes over time.
2. An education system focuses on external issues.  A learning system has an internal focus on performance.
3. An education system uses methods based on statistical correlation of trends from the past.  A learning system focuses on an operational view of how things actually work.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Learning and Systems

Let's imagine an impossible task. Getting agreement on a public policy for wolves. Federal, state and local government plus environmental, hunters, ranchers and others. Traditional methods don't work with everyone using the media to argue, public meetings to rant, regulations to control, laws to punish, etc. All those methods use words spoken or written.

One proposed process uses groups to build a consensus model of the system under review. members of the group have little or no math or model building skills. Someone has to lead the group. Group talks, leader translates into visuals and builds model. Group talks, leader tests model. Group asks questions, leader validates and verifies model. Group asks more questions, leader exercises model to respond to questions.

A model of the system is not the goal. The journey is what leads to discovery that creates learning. Learning is the goal. Learning leads to more questions and a revised model. Starting the cycle all over again.

There is a way to engage people online. build a model in Stella or iThink, upload to Forio using NetSim. Then use "share" or "embed" to connect the model with social media like Facebook or a blog. People can exercise the model give feedback and the author can revise the model. This process might work for a model of wolves. People might learn.