Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Unlearning Everything You Learned In Life That Was Wrong

Unlearning Everything You Learned In Life That Was Wrong

Have you ever heard that once you get over the age of elementary school that you can never learn a foreign language?  You only use ten percent of your brain.  Listening to Classical music will make you smarter.  If you do not start as a child, you can never play a musical instrument.  Math is harder than Art.  If you can not spell, you are not intelligent.  Potatoes are bad for you.  Eggs are bad for you.  Potatoes are good for you.  Eggs are good for you. Margarine is better for you than butter.  After forty take a baby aspirin daily to keep from getting a stroke.  Cigarettes contain not just one but a combination of medically proven active ingredients to soothe frayed nerves. I can go on and on.

If something sounds plausible, then most of us say, yeah that could work.  It makes sense that you can not learn a foreign language after twelve years old.  You took Spanish or French in middle school for years and never learned a foreign language, so it only makes sense that we can not learn to speak a foreign language after a certain point in time. 

In reality, there are millions of people over the history of time that leave their homelands for other areas of the world and they have learned other languages.  Is it hard? Yes.  Impossible.  No.  If you have the drive, the motivation, the tenacity, you will learn a foreign language or anything else. This goes with music, riding a bike, skateboarding, anything that you want to learn you can if you work at it.

One advice that I would give others is to not worry about perfection.  You are going to make tons of mistakes first playing an instrument, learn a foreign language, swing dancing.  Those mistakes you learn from.  I love it when I fail as an actor, so I can learn from the experience.  It makes me a better actor to watch myself on the big screen to see what did not work.

So forget all of the things you thought were true, if you want it bad enough, you will find a way to make it happen. Humans are capable of doing amazing things.  You are human, so can you!  If another human did something, you can also! 

Also use your common sense, if it does not sound correct, check it out.


Sunday, June 30, 2019

Watching Television Instead Of Streaming In 2019

Watching Television Instead Of Streaming In 2019

The last three weeks I watched television instead of streaming video content.  Like everyone else today, I mainly watch shows and movies streaming online.  It was a different experience watching television over using the computer and streaming devices.  This was a cool challenge to try in 2019!  Would I be able to survive watching television without the streaming video content?   

When I was a kid, television was such a large part of my life.  It was a large part of everyone's' lives back then.  There wasn't anyone I knew as a kid in the 80's and 90's that didn't watch television.  Hours of television, even up to twelve hours or more a day!  Yeah, I did that during the summer when I was off from school.  Turn the television on when I got up, went out to play, then came back in and watched it until I fell asleep. 

We didn't think watching television was a waste of time back then.  Many said that television was destroying our brains.  It didn't.  We all watched a ton of television and we were fine.  Television didn't make us any smarter or dumber.  It also didn't take over our lives.  Watching television was entrainment, for the most part, there was some content that was educational and at times I did learn from watching it, however, for the most part watching television was to entertain us. 

If you would've told me that television would disappear from my life as a kid, I would have not believed you.  What would replace television?  Ones and zeros on computers.  Then the internet came into our lives.  The game changed for us all.  Boy did it ever!

We are so used to now picking the shows and movies we want to watch and when.  The idea today running home to watch a television show on a certain day and time is so foreign to us now.  Imagine if this was still the way we watch our entertainment.  No more watching complete series in two days!

It was a bit refreshing to watch whatever was on television.   I just watched what was on television, didn't have to think about my choices, since there weren't any to have.  If the movie or show was half over, I had to just join in where it was at.  It was fun to just roll the dice and watch what was on the television.  No searching for a show I want to stream, I just watched what was on the television.

I watched movies that I wouldn't watch on my own.  Got to watch a few movies from back in the day that I haven't seen in a while.  After three weeks of watching movies and shows on television, I kind of looked forward to watching television again.  Watching what was on by flipping a few channels took up less time than searching for a film on my streaming services.   Sometimes fewer choices equal more time.  I did miss picking what I wanted to watch from time to time.  However, this was a cool experiment.  I would recommend trying this if you still have a television.  It would simplify your life, and perhaps you would watch less content and go outside to play.


Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Why THE RISE OF THE ROBOTS is the greatest film ever made in East Texas?

Why is THE RISE OF THE ROBOTS the greatest film ever made in East Texas?  In the summer of 2012, a band of filmmakers got together to set out to make a little film and didn't know it would change the world.  There were four main actors, about twenty crew members, the writer/director and hundreds of extras.  The plot of the film is that Robots take over humanity by using the technology everybody had, cell phones.  The motley crew of misfits that didn't use technology make their final stand against the robots to save the Earth.

Today is 2019, seven years after this groundbreaking sci-fi film was filmed, cell phones are even bigger parts of everyone's lives.  How was this film so prophetic?  The population of the world has always enjoyed the fruits of labor-saving devices. Go back to the wheel, farming machines, then finally the computer.  

Once the internet came along, that technology changed everything.  Computers made our lives faster, however, the internet meant that we could have access to all the information of the world in a device that could fit into our shirt pockets.  The genie is out of the bottle and humanity is never going back to a time without it.  We use that device for communication, entertainment, education, and many other uses. 

So now, we see drones of people walking around staring into their 'tippy tappy devices' without being able to talk to a real person without looking at their phone every other second.  For a time it was only young people, now it is everyone.  To me, it looks like the world is just lonely. 

I want to challenge you to put down your cell phones from time to time.  Talk to another person face to face.  Smile at each other.  Help others when you can. Do everything you can to make this world a better place.  This way, the robots won't win.  Computed.

Herbert Midgley "The Internet Legend"

If you want to see this groundbreaking sci-fi film for free, it is the first film shot in East Texas to get on Amazon Prime.
Also, this film is now a play if your group would like to make a production of THE RISE OF THE ROBOTS.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Twenty years flew by, What I have learned after two decades of teaching.

Twenty years flew by, What I have learned after two decades of teaching.

The last twenty years of teaching flew by, it seems like yesterday when I walked into my first classroom.  This was while I was in graduate school, I was teaching music fundamentals.  It would be great to say that I was a perfect teacher from the start, well that was not true. 

That first day I stammered so much I was shocked to see the class come back to the next class.  I knew the material like the back of my hand, music theory was as simple as breathing for me, I just needed to breathe and slow down.  I slowed down, and the class learned music fundamentals.

That is my biggest tip for a young teacher, the less you teach, the more your students learn.  As a teacher, I bet you know what you are teaching, and you want to share that with your students as fast as you can.  Remember, it took you years to learn the subject you are teaching.  Give your class time to absorb that information.  Short lessons that make your class ponder over a topic are stronger than giving a ton of material and thinking you did well because you covered so much in such a short period of time.  Less is more.

Also, remember you are human, you can make mistakes and learn from them.  Our failures are the most profound lessons any of us can learn.  Do not be afraid of failure.  If you have a bad day of teaching, go home, reflect what you did and what you could do to improve the next time you teach that subject.  Just knowing your material does not mean you know how to explain or teach it.  When you see confused looks, do something about it.

Finally, as a teacher, you are a lifetime learner.  I take classes all of the time.  It gives me empathy when I take a course of something that is foreign to me.  Not every student learns in the same manner as you, students learn in many different styles.  Learn ways to convey your subject using different methods.  Time moves on, just because you have been teaching the same subject, in the same manner, year after year, does not mean it will work forever.  When I first started to teach, I did not have a laptop, data projector, the Internet, or any of the Learning Management Systems (LMS) that we have now.  As they entered the vernacular, I added them in my lectures and teaching styles.  

Think twenty years ago, no one had cell phones.  Now all of your students have them!   Back then, I was still on dialup internet!  Times change, so should your teaching.  Use what works for you, disregard the rest.   

Every day I am thankful that I get to teach.  I love teaching!  Twenty years flew by, here's to another twenty years of teaching!! 


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