Tag Archives: speech

Student Eloquently Points Out What’s Wrong with Education System in Five Minutes

It seems you can’t go five minutes without hearing about how apathetic today’s youth is about education – that they only care about getting famous or doing things that make them happy rather than learning. We are consistently bombarded with statistics about lower test scores, op-eds on why today’s college students aren’t ready for the demanding rigor of the current work force and the reminder that the United States is constantly slipping in rank when it comes to world education.

One Knox County, Tennessee student is going to tell you why. And you know what? It’s not because of apathetic students or lazy teachers. In five short minutes he breaks down the history of the “common core” and why it is failing America’s students, its teachers and the overall system. He explains the problem with treating education like a fortune 500 business and how a student’s success and quality of learning can’t be accessed by the percentage score of a scantron test. He stands up for his peers, their desire to learn, and for the hard working teachers that try to give them that opportunity to do so against seemingly impossible odds.

I come from a family of teachers. My mother just retired from teaching second grade. My father has been teaching at a community college for over 15 years and this fall my brother started his first year as a fourth grade teacher. When I go home for the holidays I will spend most of my time listening to conversations about lesson plans, parent teacher conferences and a rundown of all of the tedious paperwork that has to be filled out just to get a student diagnosed with ADD. When my mother was teaching she would often be at the school until 6pm, and when she came home she would be up until 10 or 11 grading papers, tweaking lesson plans or responding to parent e-mails. Every child of a teacher knows that it is a 24/7 job and that as the years go on it becomes more and more impossible. As the video points out, our teachers today are graded by percentage points on quarterly standardized tests rather than the desire to learn they inspire in their students. It doesn’t measure the important things like the amount of time spent helping struggling students or thinking outside the box. For the sake of their own jobs teachers today are forced to teach their students how to think like a multiple choice question rather than creating their own original ideas.

If we fail our students in learning how to think for themselves, how do we ever expect them to succeed in life?

If you know a teacher that could use this video as encouragement, share it with them to show your support! Or tell us what you think about this student’s speech in the comments below.

VOD: Congress Suspended Democracy So Only One Person Could Re-Open the Government

If you haven’t been following the news regularly about the government shutdown this is one story to which you should pay attention. Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-Md) stood on the House Floor and attempted a motion to re-open the government. What followed was the revelation that on Oct. 1 House Republicans quietly passed a resolution that changed the standing House Rules so that only Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor can make a motion to re-open the government.

You read that correctly. Eric Cantor (or his designee) is the only person that can start the process of re-opening the government. That means that even if the every other Republican and Democratic representative is in favor of re-opening the government but Eric Cantor does not make the motion, the government stays shut down. Even the most powerful Republican in Congress – Speaker of the House John Boehner – can’t make the motion to re-open the government without Eric Cantor’s permission. The power to turn on the services paid for by our tax dollars and return hundreds of thousands of government workers back to their jobs is in the hands of one person.

Does that have your attention now?

Watch the video of Chris Van Hollen’s parliamentary inquiries to see for yourself.

What are your feelings on the video? How does this gel with your definition of democracy? Tell us in the comments below. 

Deepak Chopra: Music & Art on a Path to World Peace

What role do art, music, and creativity play in creating a peaceful, sustainable globe? To consider that question, we might first examine the crucial role artists and creators have in our communities and in our own lives.

In this address to the members of the World Peace Orchestra, Deepak Chopra discusses the role of music and art on creating a path to world peace.

Are you an artist? What role do you think art plays on the path toward world peace?

For more about the World Peace Orchestra, click here.

Subscribe to The Chopra Well and never stop creating!

The First Couple and a New Era of Workplace Flexibility

 The one thing President Obama got wrong in his remarks at the close of yesterday’s buzz-filled White House Forum on Workplace Flexibility was when he started by saying that he would not be as good as his wife, who’d spoken earlier to open the half-day meeting. Perhaps he was just being kind, or coy. From where I sat as a participant, I’d say that they were equally inspired and inspiring. Both spoke with the kind of clarity and grasp that comes from personal reflection on real struggle. Both know well, from experience, what it means to try to make it all fit somehow — work, home, community, and your private self.

More than any particular policy initiative or new program announcement, yesterday’s session at the White House was a symbolic moment that signified, at last, a new era in which we are really talking and thinking differently about work and its relationship with the rest of our lives. The First Couple, relaxed and confident in their choices, spoke candidly about the difficulties they have faced in cultivating a successful marriage and family while pursuing careers about which they feel passionate.

As I looked around the room filled with 100 or so business leaders, government officials, policy advocates, union representatives, and researchers — and then again in one of the five small group sessions at which we shared best practices — I couldn’t help but notice that there were almost as many men present as women. When I first began addressing the matter of work and family in my Wharton School classroom in 1987, and soon thereafter organized roundtables and research on this issue, it was unusual for there to be more than one or two other guys in the room. More than one senior colleague told me to not waste my time on what they saw as a women’s issue that wasn’t of great import to business.

Yesterday, the President forcefully proclaimed how evidence shows that workplace flexibility is not just a special perk for women, but that it’s a critical part of a workplace that can help all of us: that increased flexibility doesn’t hurt your bottom line, it increases it; that work is what you do, not who you are; and that fathers need and want to be as much a part of their children’s lives as do mothers. Our chief executive was declaring to the business community that raising the next generation is the most important job we have, and that we’re going to make it easier for people to do it.

Our small group discussion focused on the importance of customizing solutions to fit local needs — that one size surely cannot fit all. Representatives of companies as diverse as J&J, Timberland, Dow Corning, PNC Bank, and Jet Blue shared stories of how they’re figuring it out. Instructive as these and other examples were, the hopeful idea that stayed with me as I left the meeting, and walked through the White House grounds admiring the cherry blossoms blooming on the warm sunny day that was the last of a rainy March (thank goodness!), was this: that we have arrived at a new juncture in the American story. Leadership in business isn’t just about business. It’s about life.


Words Make or Break a Relationship

The words you say to others are powerful and once you have sent your words to others through your speech, through the mail and even though texting, you cannot take them back.  Be mindful as you express yourself to others.

Be like the rocks and the water: solid as a rock and flowing as the water.

So much has been said over the past twenty year about the need to express our emotions.  "Don’t sweep your feelings under the rug!"  "Don’t swallow your anger." And while there is a truth to these expressions,  it is also true that as we face our feelings, there has to be a step in between facing our feelings and expressing our thoughts to others.  Angry words between loved ones or co-workers can create wounds that never fully heal.

Sometimes we can become stuck on ourselves and our need to be who we are and say whatever we want.  We need to find the fine line between being who we are and also respecting the feelings of others.  Fine lines are always hard to find but when we do find them, we live in balance.

Be like the water and the rocks.  Be strong and flexible. Know that your words can make or break a relationship.

Psychic Medium and Inspirational Author Carole Lynne

Author of Cosmic Connection: Messages for a Better World, Consult Your Inner Psychic, How to Get a Good Reading from a Psychic Medium and Heart and Sound.




Defining Non-Violence

In my first few days of The Vow, I’ve found that defining non-violence is of great importance. 

Non-violence in action is pretty easy to define for me – not harming other living beings.  Ok, I get that.  When I began to move into speech & thought, however this became a bit more difficult. 

Is non-violence simply direct speech & thought about harm to another?  Or does The Vow create a situation in which I am holding myself up to speaking only that which will uplift others; thinking only that which uplifts?  Do I have to hold myself up to that age-old adage: "If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all"?

The biggest questions seem to surround those individuals with which I’ve had recent disagreements.  My inherant warrior nature comes out where these people are concerned.  When they behave in an unloving manner, my thoughts ones of anger & retaliation.  My speech – gossip & humor at another’s expense. 

As I reflect on these behaviors in light of The Vow, they appear covertly violent. 

Weeks ago, I would have argued that these were defense mechanisms, used in reaction to disruptive behavior of thoughtless people. 

Now, I recognize these thoughts & words as feeding a spiral of mistrust & anger.

I’m definitely not saying that I’m at the level where I’m offering the olive branch of peace to those who have injured me.  Nor am I willing to be a doormat to others.  But, today, by defining retaliatory thoughts, gossip & ill-tempered humor as violent actions on my part, I’m moving a step forward in disengaging from the spiral of negativity.

I’m not 100% successful yet…but recognition has brought me a lot closer!

1 day, 1 moment, 1 action, 1 word, 1 thought at a time.