I enjoy positive psychology and testing. As a psych major, I've taken the MBTI probably 20x in the last 15 years. I've been advocating using this book...moreI enjoy positive psychology and testing. As a psych major, I've taken the MBTI probably 20x in the last 15 years. I've been advocating using this book and component test for the past several months to my management group and will finally be presenting it in a couple weeks.
The premise of the book is simple: you can achieve so much more when you focus on your innate talents than trying to overcome your weaknesses. The way to true greatness is to discover a way to achieve things in a way no one thought was possible. This book will give you a light into the way to fit your square peq into your company's round hole.
Highly recommended for professionals, educators, and anyone who aspires to overcome the monotony in the typical rat race of life. (less)
So many practical ideas in Dan Pink's latest book. If you read it, prepare to do a mind shift on your views of motivation. Highly reccomend for manage...moreSo many practical ideas in Dan Pink's latest book. If you read it, prepare to do a mind shift on your views of motivation. Highly reccomend for managers, educators, or anyone who is fascinated by what makes people strive for excellence.(less)
Ugh - as much as I wanted to get to the "powerful argument for God" I got tired of the history-philosophy lesson. My rating is based on the first thir...moreUgh - as much as I wanted to get to the "powerful argument for God" I got tired of the history-philosophy lesson. My rating is based on the first third of the book.(less)
This book was okay. My neighbor was fortunate enough to go to a seminar with Geneen, and said that her live presentation is much more engaging than th...moreThis book was okay. My neighbor was fortunate enough to go to a seminar with Geneen, and said that her live presentation is much more engaging than the book, which rehashes a lot of the same "don't eat when you're not hungry" advice that I've read before. If you're not exposed to the mindful eating connection, this is a good introduction. (less)
Joey Pigza tries to be a good kid and please the adults in his life but he can’t stop getting into trouble. Like his estranged father and the grandmot...moreJoey Pigza tries to be a good kid and please the adults in his life but he can’t stop getting into trouble. Like his estranged father and the grandmother who took care of him when his parents left, Joey was born “wired”. He can’t get control of his behavior, which he blames on his “dud meds”. This book shows what life is like through the eyes of a 9 year old kid whose life is challenged not only by apparent attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but also from a tumultuous home life, and a host of teachers and administrators who don’t seem to know how to deal with him. Joey is an enduring yet flawed character and though he occasionally makes the wrong decisions, it’s easy to sympathize with a character capable of such heart-wrenching self-reflection. In the end, I cheered with Joey when he was able to successfully regulate his meds and return to his regular classroom after a particularly capable teacher “’Special’ Ed” at the Special Education school was able to get through to him about his personal ownership for his behavior challenges. Although the book is intended for younger readers (grades 5-8), the book has universal appeal to anyone seeking to understand ADHD. As a parent or a teacher it’s easy to see how Joey’s destructive actions, though largely unintentional, could be misunderstood as hostile. Even Joey’s mother describes him as “hard to handle”. Children (and adults) who suffer from this disability may be thought lazy, careless and irresponsible, unable or unwilling to act with a conscience because of their behavior. Joey describes quite opposite motivations in one self-reflecting monologue how much he would like to be a normal kid: I can have good days. Entire days when I wake up and I’m calm inside like water when it’s not boiling, and I just plant my feet on the floor like every kid in America and do a sleepy walk down to the bathroom and take a nice hot shower and wash my hair and dry off and get dressed and eat breakfast and all the while thinking about what I’d like to do with my day. And then the most amazing thing to me is after I think about what I want to do, like read, or see a friend, or say something nice to Mrs. Howard, or write a poem, I actually do all that stuff. That is *amazing* to me. I think it, then I do it. This may be how everyone else operates, but this is not how I usually operate. Usually I wake up with springs popping in my head, like I’m in the middle of a pinball game where I’m the ball, and I shoot out of bed and directly to the kitchen where I ricochet around after food until by chance I snatch some toast off the counter, then go slamming off the padded stool tops like they were lighted bumpers and zing up the hall into the bathroom where I try to brush my teeth, but I brush mostly my lips and chin and I explode back out the door and across the living room and carom off the furniture until Mom gets a grip on me a wipes the toothpaste off my face and works a pill down my throat. (pg. 51-52) Although ADHD is the most often studied disability, in the current regulatory statutes of IDEA 04 it receives only cursory mention and is listed in the “other health impairments” special education category. Furthermore, children with ADHD are not explicitly covered by IDEA 04, even with medical diagnoses or prescriptions. The rationale behind this slight is that a large portion of ADHD suffers also have coexisting learning disabilities, emotional or behavioral disorders. IDEA will cover children with ADHD and provide special services to them only if the condition “adversely affects educational performance.” (Smith & Tyler, 2009) However, it can be challenging to define what an adverse impact to education actually means. We saw this in the story with Joey. Several incidents (sharpening his fingernails, swallowing a key, running away on a field trip and finally seriously injuring another student) occurred before Joey received help, even though administration and the school nurse was aware that he was receiving medication for his condition. Though largely inaccurate, media often sensationalizes ADHD and further confuses public perception of the disorder. This negative portrayal can overshadow possible benefits of the disorder, including some famous people who attribute some of their success to positive traits of ADHD. For example, Olympic medalist Michael Phelps and CEO Navid Neeleman are both outspoken advocates for ADHD. Though teaching children with ADHD may be seen as a significant challenge, the truth is that many effective teaching techniques used for differentiating learning, particularly for learning disabilities, are also useful for students with ADHD. Providing interesting and appropriate instruction, peer coaches, immediate feedback and clear directions are benefits to all students and characteristics of good teaching. Additionally, classroom management and organizational strategies can have a positive effect on the entire classroom, not just the ADHD student. Intervening for problem behaviors can be as simple as providing a desk in proximity to the teacher and away from typical distractions like the pencil sharpener. My biggest criticism of the book is that it strongly promotes drugs as the answer to ADHD. Joey claims – and the story even supports – that he has “dud meds” which wear off after lunch. Joey is successful and able to return to his regular school once he gets different medication. The book gives cursory mention to non-medical intervention and techniques for self regulation. This may be due in part to the narrator’s naivety to his own treatment (he is 9, after all), but I also feel it was a promotion of the author’s agenda of getting students to fit into society rather than adjusting to their needs. Though medical treatment has had some success, there is rising concern over the prevalence of prescribed medication and its side effects. All criticism aside, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to teachers and parents who interact with students with ADHD. It would also be beneficial in a classroom setting as a book club or read along option to promote inclusion and acceptance, provided it doesn’t single out a child who has ADHD. As far as the medical treatment goes and what challenges Joey will face in upcoming books, can I get back to you on that? (less)
Narrated by a twelve-year-old girl with an autistic younger brother, Rules reads like a diary of a pre-teen girl. Though the book could have easily be...moreNarrated by a twelve-year-old girl with an autistic younger brother, Rules reads like a diary of a pre-teen girl. Though the book could have easily been either saccharinely sweet or gloomy and cynical, Lord does an excellent job of describing the conflicting feelings for both her eight year old brother and friendship with a paraplegic boy. Catherine faces not only the typical challenges of adolescence (fitting in, dealing with boys, growing up), but also the overwhelming weight of having a family member with a disability. Like Catherine, I also had a younger brother whom I was often tasked to babysit. Though my brother does not have a disability, I recognized many of Catherine and David’s interactions as a typical brother-sister relationship, and Catherine’s struggles as a typical 12 year old girl. Cynthia’s descriptions of her frustration over picking a swimsuit, trying to fit in with her neighbor and generally trying to avoid being embarrassed make her character authentic and relatable to anyone. The story felt so genuine that I believed Lord (the author) must have some experience with autism and went to do my own research. On her website, Lord confirms that she has a child with autism. Because of her own experience, Lord was able to weave accurate details of autism that a 12 year old would find incredibly frustrating and find creative ways to deal with their conflicting feelings. One of those coping methods was creating rules for her brother, who, like many children with autism, has difficulty understanding social dichotomies, takes things very literally and does best with a lot of routine and structure. Cynthia explains her frustration with David’s inability to understand social norms, like “it’s okay to hug mom, but not the clerk at the video store” on page 10: “Most kids don’t even consider these rules. Sometime when they were little, their mom and dad must’ve explained it all, but I don’t remember mine doing it. It seems I’ve always known these things. Not David, though. He needs to be taught everything. Everything from the fact that a peach is not a funny-looking apple to how having long hair doesn’t make someone a girl.” Rules like these were used throughout the story to tie the titles in with the applicability of rules. Catherine learns that life can be ambiguous and that even she needs to break her own rules once in a while. Some of the rules are actually themes from the book, such as “looking closer can make something beautiful”. According to Lord, this theme and others permeate into the moral of the book: "Life is long and challenges come into every family, even if you don’t start life with them. RULES is about accepting there is value in everything, even in imperfection. Sometimes things can’t be changed, but you can change your feelings about them." (cynthialord.com) One piece I thought was missing from the story was more detail on the parents. Without them, it was difficult to see if the family embraced a medical model (likely since they went to weekly occupational therapy) or a social model (the parents changed their careers to be more accessible for David) for dealing with David’s disability. It was clear to me that Catherine’s family dynamics surrounded David’s disability, and that many of the choices the family made were focused on David and not Catherine. The parents were virtually emotionally absent from the story. Perhaps partially because in her pre-teen self absorption, Catherine only saw her parents focus on David. What I thought was interesting in the book was Catherine’s parents were still together, and didn’t seem to have any marital issues. We know from class discussions and the text that having a child with a disability can be straining on a marriage, and that wasn’t evident in the story. One key theme that will be applicable with my students later on is the strain on the “other” child, the one without the disability. It would be easy for a family to focus on the child with the disability and the child/children without disabilities feel slighted and as if they don’t matter. Though Catherine obviously was aware her parents loved her and that she had a strong need to have a bond with her brother, she needed more from her parents to preserve her own self worth. Kids who are pre teens are dealing with a lot of changes in their bodies and development. No matter how difficult they become to adults, they need to know that they still matter, regardless of, but maybe especially when, they have a family member with a disability. (less)