Hackschooling: 13-year-old explains how he’s remixing his education

This kid is so impressive as he tells his story about hacking his education:

What great poise and stage presence from someone so young. And I admire what he and his family are doing by choosing an unconventional approach to education. I know so little about alternatives to conventional schools, but seeing stories like this one makes me want to explore how best to educate my own kids rather than just defaulting to what almost everyone else does.

via Unschoolery

Stand and deliver then sit and rest

I spoke to a group of college students tonight. My message: “Be a college superhero”

It’s a version of a talk I’ve done several times to various student groups, sharing wisdom I’ve learned from the many amazing students I’ve known over my twenty-one years working in higher education.

Tonight’s audience was a delight, very attentive, engaged, and encouraging. They did their part to make the experience more of a dialogue than a monologue. And I was tired at the end of my 30 minutes.

If I’m not exhausted at the end of a presentation, I know I have not given enough energy to the audience. I read that Tom Peters, the prolific business speaker, said that if you don’t need to take a seat after a speech you have let the audience down.

An effective speech is the transfer of emotion from the speaker to the audience. When you stand before fellow human beings, raise your energy level and give them all you have. Otherwise, why even show up?


Leo Buscaglia: Learn every day

The late, great Leo Buscaglia was a dynamic whirlwind of positive energy. He was a professor at USC and became famous on campus for teaching a non-credit class about love that would overflow the lecture hall with standing room only for the crowd of interested students. He wrote several books and took his wisdom and hugs on the road spreading the good news of love.

I had a few of his lectures on tape (cassette tapes, kids) and would listen on road trips. When he was a child, Leo and his family ate dinner together every night, and his dad would begin the nightly family dinner by asking everyone at the table what they had learned that day. And he expected everyone to have learned something. Leo said there were many days that, just before dinner time, he would rush to find an encyclopedia (that’s a tiny internet in a big stack of books, kids) and look up something new to learn just to make sure he wouldn’t come up empty when his dad asked that question at dinner.

I like that daily expectation, pressure even, to learn at least one thing each day. That’s what this blog is doing for me. I’m committed to writing daily, and there have been days when, just before bed time, I scramble to find something worth sharing. A quotation. A video. A book recommendation. A minor epiphany.

By committing to sharing regularly, I’m committing to learning regularly. Learn something every day. And share what you learn.

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” -Leo Buscaglia

Here’s a brief bit of video from one of Buscaglia’s lectures, just to give you a sense of this guy’s energy:

The ultimate mission for each generation


The more we know, the more we realize we don’t know.

What an awesome, overwhelmingly mysterious universe we live in.

“He who thinks he knows, doesn’t know. He who knows he doesn’t know, knows.”

You want a calling, a noble mission that can consume your life? Make it your work to help push humanity’s understanding of the universe and our place in it even a little further into the vastness of the unknown.