I’m sitting in my hotel in Los Angeles, about a mile from the UCLA campus where the PVA will be held tomorrow. I’ve got 10 interviews between tonight and tomorrow night, which is outstanding, and I’m excited to hang out with all the college representatives from other artsy institutions. Talk about quirky.
I’m in the middle of a 10-ish day swing that looks a little something like this:
Portland to Seattle to Tacoma to Anacortes to Vancouver (BC) to Portland to Los Angeles to San Francisco to Portland to Seattle to Portland
Between events and interviews, I’m getting in some SERIOUS public radio listening, Bones episode watching, and catching up on the TED Talk podcasts. If you haven’t encountered TED Talks yet, you should definitely check it out. The tag line is “Ideas worth spreading,” and I’ll admit, at first I was dubious. Not any more. If you get the chance, here are two talks that really affected me this week.
Kathryn Shultz: On Being Wrong - I am the first person to admit that my entire life has been an exercise in avoiding being wrong. But this talk is a great reminder that a) it’s impossible to avoid being wrong, and b) it’s not worth trying.
Ric Elias: 3 Things I Learned while My Plane Crashed - Ric was on Flight 1549 that crashed into the Hudson River in 2009. You probably know that I’m afraid to fly, and can probably surmise what that fear is actually about. Ric’s talk made me cry and laugh. And, like Kathryn’s talk, reminded me that “I’d rather be happy than right.”
Also, as I engage more and more with the widening spectrum that is the quality of secondary education in the US, I am reminded of this quote from the source of all wisdom, “The West Wing:”
Education is the silver bullet. Education is everything. We don’t need little changes. We need gigantic revolutionary changes. Schools should be palaces. Competition for the best teachers should be fierce. They should be getting six-figure salaries. Schools should be incredibly expensive for government and absolutely free of charge for its citizens, just like national defense. That is my position. I just haven’t figured out how to do it yet.