Amazing book! I haven't enjoyed a book this much in years! Incredibly well-crafted plot, I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I cannot wait tAmazing book! I haven't enjoyed a book this much in years! Incredibly well-crafted plot, I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I cannot wait to see the movie if they ever attempt to make one. Superb!...more
I knew very little about Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) outside what I gleaned from sit-coms (I'm looking at you Monk) and jokes. Like most peoplI knew very little about Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) outside what I gleaned from sit-coms (I'm looking at you Monk) and jokes. Like most people I had focused on the compulsion side of the disorder but the real terror and tragedy of the disease is the obsession. An obsession is not a hobby or a crush, it is an intrusive thought (often irrational) that will not leave. Intrusive thoughts are a normal part of being human but folks with OCD, some of these thoughts stick and plague them for years. The author, David Adam, does an excellent job explaining the disorder from the inside out. He has suffered from the same recurrent intrusive thought for more than two decades.
I am familiar with the phenomenon of medical student syndrome where a student is convinced they have all the symptoms of the disease they are currently studying. I had the same experience reading this book. However, I realized that there were several times in my life when I too suffered from obsession. These episodes lasted for years in my teens, twenties, and thirties. I had to put the book down for a few days to quell the fear and anxiety I felt recalling my own battle with obsession. I am so glad I went back and finished reading the book. I now understand myself better and, hopefully, empathize more with people who suffer from this terrible disorder.
Every so often I come across a book that I consider good enough to be an entire introductory college course because it touches on so many important concepts perfectly. This book is just that. I feel like I learned an entire semester of psychology from it. Books like that are treasures....more
What sort of student goes to Harvard, Yale or Princeton? (we are talking only about 400,000 students in competition) What does it take to get in? WhatWhat sort of student goes to Harvard, Yale or Princeton? (we are talking only about 400,000 students in competition) What does it take to get in? What happens to them there? What happens to them after "getting" an elite education?
The bar of what makes a "super student" keeps getting higher. Only 5 AP classes in high school? Not enough! Besides the academic hurdles (GPA and SAT scores), they need a sport, an instrument, and 87 extra-curriculars! (Please HS students, don't join every stinking club because you think it would look good on a college application!)
The bombshell of the book is not the rigors of getting into HYP, it is that a student is more likely get a higher quality education at a public university or a small liberal arts college. The author does a beautiful job explaining what a first-rate undergraduate education should do to and for a student. He stresses the true goal of college (spoiler alert: it is not to make a lot of money). I was amazed at how limited HYP graduates felt their prospects were after graduation. What are you supposed to do with a Harvard education? Anything you want should be the answer but for most graduates it is sadly not.
The book has a real egalitarian message. The system is rigged. The outcome is damaging. The implications threaten democracy. Well worth a read!...more
My most recent geologic enthusiasm is learning about mining. I bought this book after touring an excellent historical museum in Silverton, Colorado. TMy most recent geologic enthusiasm is learning about mining. I bought this book after touring an excellent historical museum in Silverton, Colorado. They did a super job explaining the many facets of mining and I left wanting to learn more. The starts with the California Gold Rush and covers many of the precious metals mining (lots of boomtowns) in the western United States, particularly California and Nevada. By the end of the book I was already planning my next summer trek to western Nevada....more
Wonderful book! I am a big Daniel T. Willingham fan. I would love for him to give a keynote address at the NABT (national association of biology teachWonderful book! I am a big Daniel T. Willingham fan. I would love for him to give a keynote address at the NABT (national association of biology teachers) annual conference.
Science instructors are constantly told that we should get students to think like scientists (experts). So I was a little shocked but intrigued to discover that trying to get your students to think like experts is not a realistic goal. However, it is important to understand how science works but not really do science. Experts think differently from novices.
Here are a few other gems from the book. I loved it so much I wrote an outline of it.
"Contrary to popular belief, the brain is not designed for thinking. It is designed to save you from having to think, because the brain is actually not very good at thinking. Thinking is slow and unreliable...Since we are so bad at thinking, how do we get through the day? We rely on memory. Most of the problems we face are ones we faced before. Memory is much more reliable than thinking."
"Skills that teachers want for students, i.e., the ability to analyze and to think critically, require extensive factual knowledge. Research has shown that thinking well requires knowing facts. Reasoning and problem-solving are intimately intertwining with factual knowledge that is store in long-term memory." This debunks the famous Einstein quote "Imagination is more important than knowledge."
"Your memory is not a product of what you want to remember or what you try to remember; it is a product of what you think about." "Memory is the residue of thought."
"Treat failure as a natural part of learning." "Failure means that you are about to learn something". "Create a classroom atmosphere in which failure, while not desirable, is neither embarrassing nor wholly negative."...more