2008年7月29日 星期二

Randy Pausch — Life Teacher

Randy Pausch — Life Teacher

Randy Pausch Carnegie Mellon University pancreatic cancer Last Lecture Oprah
Randy Pausch.
Kaylin Bowers / Daily Progress / AP

There were times I couldn't bear to watch. But then there were others when his exuberance — physical and spiritual — made it easy to convince myself it would never happen, and so I would call up Randy Pausch's Last Lecture on YouTube and watch it with my children, receive the gift he was giving us and reject the idea that it would come at an ultimate price: that Pausch would indeed die one day of pancreatic cancer, as he did this morning, at the age of 47.

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You cannot change the cards you are dealt. Just how you play the hand.

With his child's smile and nimble brain and breathtakingly simple instructions tumbling out one after another, Pausch made the infernally complex machine that is modern life look like anyone could put it together if they just had the right tools and the crib sheet. Come on, he seemed to say, you can do this; I have the secrets, and I'm giving them to you, for free.

Don't complain. Just work harder.

Luck is truly where preparation meets opportunity.

When his cancer was diagnosed in August 2006, doctors said he had maybe a few months. He went through an aggressive course of treatment, surgery, chemotherapy; but a year later the disease had spread to his liver and spleen, and he was told it was terminal. A popular computer-science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, he delivered his "Last Lecture" on September 18, 2007. It was a university tradition for popular professors to think hard about what mattered most to them and distill their ideas as though they had only one message left to give to the generation that followed. Randy Pausch was the first for whom the exercise was literal.

Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.

It became a YouTube sensation, viewed many millions of times by people charmed by his easy manner, engaged by his lively insights into work, science, exploration, in awe of his complete lack of self-pity. He was the picture of health, with his thick dark hair and Muppet eyebrows, dropping to do push-ups on the stage, a defiant portrait of life with its edges all sharpened. Every sentence was soaked in gratitude, and listening to it could make you flinch at every time you'd whined or cheated or quit.

The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough.

You wondered whether, all across the country, children were whipping out the brushes and paint while parents stood resignedly by, remembering the pictures he showed of his own bedroom growing up, covered in doodles and math problems and rocket ships, and honoring his injunction.

"If your kids want to paint their bedrooms, as a favor to me, let 'em do it."

Last October Pausch appeared on Oprah, and his audience widened even further. He testified before Congress for better cancer-research funding. He got 10,000 e-mails recommending possible therapies. He spent a day hanging out with the Pittsburgh Steelers, which he'd mentioned as his own childhood dream. ABC News did a prime-time special in which we got to meet his wife Jai, his three young children, watch them playing and planning for what lay ahead.

In April his book, The Last Lecture, swooped high on the best-seller list; his wife called it a "manual" for their family.

Wise men have said they're not scared of death, but they're a little scared of dying. Death is just a mystery; but dying is the journey we don't want to take, and he used it to lead the living to a new place. It was as though he already knew more than he should, had dipped a ways into eternity and brought some pieces back for the rest of us to use in whatever ways and for whatever time we can.

The end of the lecture, it turned out, was just the beginning.

Did you figure out the head fake? It's not about how to achieve your dreams. It's about how to lead your life. If you lead your life the right way ... the dreams will come to you. Did you figure out the second head fake? The talk's not for you. It's for my kids.

2008年7月23日 星期三



假考部隊 鎖定不合格校系



至於「萬人考大學活動」部落格有文章提到「我想去稻田裡和稻草人說話,應用一下語文能力」,被視為暗示要消滅的是稻江應用語文系,並質疑該系有畢業生連高 中程度全民英檢都無法通過,hero不願明確透露到底要消滅什麼科系,只強調填志願是考生的權利,原則上應該三十一個不合格科系都會填。



對於部分評鑑不佳的大學動輒以新大學為由,希望外界給予時間改善,hero痛批:「這種說法根本是藉口。」新大學也有辦得不錯的。評鑑不佳的大學,教學資 源不足,還敢收一年十多萬元學費,「究竟良心何在」?hero指出,網路上已有高中生預約兩年後加入假考部隊,只要爛大學不改善,假考部隊的響應人數只會 越來越多。

"Middle - aged school boys" to "Lifelong learner" (1995-2008)

"Middle - aged school boys" to "Lifelong learner" (1995-2008)


歲末,把年前經濟學人出版的《1995年 的世界》拿來溫習一下,發覺其中管理學名家談的,都是可以令人深思的主題。Tom Perers十來年前的《追求卓越》,曾經風行全球,而他卻早已否定有所謂「卓越」,轉而倡導《亂中求繁榮》、《解放管理》。現在他談的是《追求狂野 (In
Search of Craziness)》,鼓動超越「效率」而追求創新及想像力,不要被經典、習慣所困,例如以往研究發展等等活動,都局限在「溫室」方式,反而應到野草叢生處去發掘最有活力、野氣的繁花。

最令人感動的則是Charles Handy的《中年學童(Middle - aged school boys)》。他力陳人生應追求多重事業,不斷學習。Handy先生是組織學的名家,曾擔任過某大石油公司主管多年,轉業為教授,出版的《非理性時代》、《了解組織》都曾洛陽紙貴,可惜他用希臘諸神來譬喻不同組織形態的佳作,最近才有美國版本。他教授之餘,也轉業為神職人員,之後,再成為自由作家。台灣有他的名著《覺醒的年代》譯本,是本好書,以後有機會再詳談。現在我們介紹他的「中年學童」說法,我認為台灣十年內就會到達此境界--終生教育學習,人生事業群組構成人生四季之美等前景。



----台灣立報1995 .12.8.----

Lifelong learner would impress literary giant

2008年7月17日 星期四


基本上 評鑑之power 應用無窮

名校通識課 不再是大補貼








2008年7月15日 星期二

Deming Lecturer Award

Deming Lecturer Award (American Statistical Association, 2008)


Deming Lecturer Award
The Deming Lecturer Award was established in 1995 to honor the accomplishments of Dr. W. Edwards Deming, recognize the accomplishments of the awardee, and enhance the awareness among the statistical community of the scope and importance of Deming's contributions. The 2008 recipient is Donald M. Berwick, MD, MPP, of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Cambridge, MA. Berwick was chose on the basis of his "extraordinary contributions to improving health care delivery and the human condition throughout the world through his visionary leadership, his passion for health care quality improvement, his appreciation of Dr. Deming's philosophy, and his application of statistical thinking."

The Deming Lecturer Award設立於1995年
旨在表彰Dr. W. Edwards Deming在多種領域上的成就
認可得獎者的成就 以及
在統計學共同體中提醒 Deming 諸多貢獻的範圍和重要性
2008年的得講者為 Donald M. Berwick (麻州劍橋市醫療改善學會的醫學博士兼 MPP (待查))
他對於 Deming 哲學的心領神會 以及

2008年7月4日 星期五






























我對這位教導需要特別照料和鼓勵學生群的老師,多了一份敬意,因為他付出的時間和關懷,比一般課業老師多,但他所做的卻正是芬蘭教育理念「不讓一人落後」 的精髓。腳踏實地、一步一腳印的去陪著那一群「不一樣」的孩子們透過各種學習方法,學得課本和生活知識的同時,建立起學生的自尊與自重。



有一次,我在約瓦斯曲萊大學的教育研究院訪談時,院長瓦里亞維教授斬釘截鐵的對我說:「我們未來挑戰之一,還是專注在如何減少中輟生的比例,因為百分之五 到十五的比重,對芬蘭這種小國來說,實在太高了!我們承擔不起這樣的人力資源耗損,我們的社會不能容許這樣的學習不平衡。」




2008年7月2日 星期三

Improving Japanese Education

這雖然是日本的狀況 不過多少可以參考

EDITORIAL: Improving education


Following the 2006 revision to the Fundamental Law of Education, the government has set its first basic plan for the promotion of education. While the plan covers a variety of policies, its apparent attempt to please everybody makes it seem wishy-washy.

Numerical targets for the number of teachers and educational budgets that were the focal points of the debate were all deleted from the education ministry's original draft.

The basic plan was supposed to set policies and measures for the next five years with an eye on how education ought to be 10 years from now. But the report submitted by the Central Council for Education, an advisory panel to the education minister, did not include numerical targets. The inadequacy of the report prompted a loud outcry from not only schools and teachers, but also the ruling parties, who argued numerical targets are necessary to improve education.

So the ministry hastily added numerical targets to the basic plan, including these: Educational budgets' share of gross domestic product should be raised to 5 percent, which is the OECD average, from the current 3.5 percent. And 25,000 more teachers and administrative staff should be hired.

Those figures were thrown together in a hurry. Why 5 percent? Why 25,000 additional teachers and staff? What results can be achieved by this investment?

The ministry draft failed to provide a convincing explanation. With the government already urged to cut expenditures, there was no way a simple demand for money and personnel could pass.

Even if the way the education ministry set the targets was naive, that does not mean we don't need a bold investment in education. What the basic plan lacks is a summary of the problems facing Japanese education and a prescription for solving them. If solutions had been clearly presented, the proper education funding could have been found.

For example, a big problem in today is the decline in academic standards. In particular, international surveys showed that Japanese students have not learned to think analytically and that there is a growing gap between high and low achievers.

To solve these problems, greater attention must be given to each child to meet their individual needs. The only way to do that is to increase the number of teachers dealing with students on a daily basis and improve the quality of education.

Teachers today face greater hardships than ever before. The presence of a few incompetent instructors prompted the government to introduce a system by which all teachers must renew their teaching licenses periodically. Apart from problems of bullying and truancy, there are also "monster parents" who make unreasonable demands on schools. It is no wonder fewer people are applying for teaching jobs. To recruit competent teachers, the education system must offer better pay, working conditions and effective training programs.

Distrust toward the public school system has been growing for a long time. Stopgap measures, such as the private night cram classes started at a public junior high school in Tokyo's Suginami Ward, are attracting attention and are a testament to such distrust.

As always, the government is running under a tight budget. Instead of just droning on about the importance of education, the government must steadily increase its investment in education.

--The Asahi Shimbun, July 2(IHT/Asahi: July 3,2008)