Posts in December 2008

  1. NOLA & POCC

    [ December 07, 2008 ]

    I went for a day and a half with Kris to New Orleans to participate in the People of Color Conference organized by National Association of Independent Schools and the Student Diversity Leadership Conference. This is the fourth time I have gone to this conference and it always provokes thoughts and ideas about schools and how inclusive or not they are as communities. The keynote address by Sidney Poitier was especially poignant that kicked off the conference and got people to think about success, perseverance, and believing in principles. His comments framed the conference discussions nicely. I feel strongly about our community's commitment to becoming more and more diverse as our world and nation is becoming, but I also feel ...

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  2. Three Book Suggestions

    [ December 07, 2008 ]

    Outliers, the new book by Malcolm Gladwell, is directly related to some of the work we are doing with the University of Pennsylvania's Positive Psychology Center and the KIPP NYC schools (in fact, the final chapter looks at the KIPP schools and,  Riverdale alumnus,  Dave Levin on of the KIPP founders. Gladwell looks at people who are successful and provides a significantly different view of success--that it is more due to hard work and perseverence than innate ability and that our society is prone to view success as something beyond one's personal control. I have always believed this and hope that we will, with the aid of some outside researchers, become more intentional in developing these ...

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  3. Becoming an 11th Grader…

    [ December 07, 2008 ]

    I became an 11th grader for two days in November. It was a fascinating experience. I went to a Trigonometry class, a Spanish class, an "Introduction to Theater" class, a "Constructing America" class, and AP Chemistry class and a PE Class. I managed to keep up with the homework to some degree, although it was astonishing how much I had forgotten, especially in math and in chemistry. For example, in chemistry I could not remember Avogadro's number. This is what A.N. Whitehead, the noted philosopher, called this "inert knowledge"--knowledge that you have somewhere in the head but is impossible to apply to an actual situation. I had several reactions to the day:  - I think that I am becoming more and more ...

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