Tag Archives: choices

I Forgot How to Count to Two

So I am currently at TCEA in Austin.  TechNinjaTodd graciously asked me to join his team of Ninjas on Thursday morning as we share a couple of apps and/or webtools with the crowd.

“Sure!” I said.  As you can tell from my blog or Twitter account, I have no problem sharing – though I’m not so good in front of a crowd.

“Anything you’re excited about,” he said when I asked what I should present.

No problem.

Wait.  Just a couple of things I’m excited about?  Hold on.  Let me look up “couple” real quick.

Hmm. That might be a problem.

I started a list.

It got long.  “Long” does not appear in the dictionary definition of “couple.”

This is me trying to decide what to share.  Okay.  It's not really me.  It's just what I would like to look like while I'm trying to make a decision.  Calm and thoughtful.
This is me trying to decide what to share. Okay. It’s not really me. It’s just what I would like to look like while I’m trying to make a decision. Calm and thoughtful. And young.

I don’t want to be one of those people.

You know – the one who has 5 minutes and takes 30.

I also don’t want to be one of those people.

You know – the one who promises to tell you about something new and bends your ear about something you’ve known about for two years and you’re sitting in the front of the room so you can’t politely leave the session but you are dying inside because it’s a total waste of time and so you start surreptitiously paging through your conference program so you can make sure you choose your next session a bit more judiciously.

Kind of like the way you’re probably feeling about this blog post right now.  Except no one but you and the CIA will know that you ditched it before you got to the end.

So, I should get to the point.

Help!!!!

If you were going to this session, what would you want to hear more about?  (Choose all of the topics that interest you.  You can even come back and vote again.  I figure if you’re that passionate, then who am I to stop you?)

We Are What We Choose

In 2010, Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon.com, delivered the Baccalaureate Address at Princeton University.  Last year, I showed this video of his address to my 5th grade GT students.  In 18 minutes, Jeff Bezos is able to sum up everything that I hope that my students will gather from our classroom activities and discussions.  In particular, I like this part of his speech, “What I want to talk to you about today is the difference between gifts and choices. Cleverness is a gift, kindness is a choice. Gifts are easy — they’re given after all. Choices can be hard. You can seduce yourself with your gifts if you’re not careful, and if you do, it’ll probably be to the detriment of your choices.”  You can find a complete transcript of his address here.

This year, I will show this video to my current 5th graders, and we will talk about the questions that Mr. Bezos poses at the end of his address.  My students may not be in college, yet, but it is never too early to consider that our strengths can be destructive when wielded without thought for others.

This video can also be viewed at http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/jeff_bezos_gifts_vs_choices.html