A story of persecution & perseverance

6th September 2019

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners

Book of the Week

The Wrong Kind of Muslim: An Untold Story of Persecution & Perseverance, by Qazim Rashid. This is a soul-searching book about one man’s attempt to discover why people would want to die for their faith. Not in the sense of being suicide bombers, but exactly the opposite: How can one be willing to stand fast for one’s beliefs even when faced with torture or death?  Qazim is a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, which is deeply persecuted as heretical within Pakistan and elsewhere in the Muslim world. Qazim notes the Prophet Muhammad’s words that “Faith is a restraint against all violence, let no believer commit violence.” He also notes that “Islam champions universal freedom of conscience for all people of all faiths, and for all people of no faith.”  Unfortunately, as Qazim relates, pointing out these kinds of ideas nowadays, in certain places, does indeed make him The Wrong Kind of Muslim

This book describes little known facts such as how the first Pakistani and first Muslim to be awarded the Nobel Prize in the sciences, Abdus Salam, was disavowed by his own country for being an Ahmadi Muslim. A real eye-opener about what can happen when discrimination becomes law.

Review of Three Short Online Courses

Here’s another wonderful set of reviews from Pat Bowden of Online Learning Success. Note in particular the 20-minute course Write for Rights—a Short Guide. If you believe someone has been wrongly imprisoned, you can write to the relevant authorities to encourage their release.

Remembering What You Read

Here’s a first-rate article by polymath physician David Handel on how to read and remember what you are studying.  David’s practically useful observations are well-grounded in neuroscience—you’ll find much of use in his article.

Movie Palace Technique (Yup—that’s “Movie,” not “Memory”)

4-time US Memory Champion Nelson Dellis is out with a new video on how to memorize a recipe using a variation of the memory palace technique (instead of a palace, you use the scenes from a movie). Now we’re going to have to figure out how to use this technique with Office Space (one of Barb’s all-time favorite movies).

Bobby McFerrin Demonstrates the Power of the Pentatonic Scale

We’ve been fans of Bobby McFerrin for decades, and this video snippet shows why. Bobby’s video is part of “Notes and Neurons: In Search of the Common Chorus,” to answer the question as to whether our response to music is hard-wired or culturally determined. 

As music teacher Kurt Meyer (a friend of Barb’s from nearby Lake Orion who sent along the link) notes: When I introduce my new students to my teaching program I try to convince them that everyone is musical. Many think it is just a sales gimmick, but Bobby proves me right here.” Kurt goes on to observe: “One thing I have noticed is that everyone learns piano at about the same pace initially. I have just started with a 60-year-old woman and she was complaining that she was moving slowly. I told her that she was doing well, but I didn’t tell her that her pace matched that of a 5-year-old. My adult learners are newbies just like the kids. They seem to universally think that they should progress faster because they are adults. That can be one of the biggest barriers to them progressing. Sometimes they give up when they are doing just fine for the number of lessons they have taken.”

How One School’s Kids Tackled Math

This article describes the strong math foundation, including great “math bee” performances, that helped Strong School to “earn state recognition as a ‘School of Distinction,’ an honor given to only 160 schools in Connecticut, for its rapid growth in math scores among high-needs students.” 

“Over the past two years, Strong has focused on what experts call “math facts.” Just as in language arts, where readers are eventually supposed to recognize about 200 common words on sight without having to sound them out, students are expected to also be able to do basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems almost automatically.

“To help reinforce those fundamentals, Strong School has been running ‘math bees’ throughout the year. Along with a new teaching method, added after-school tutoring and a slew of other programs, those drills have helped the school nearly double its math proficiency rates in one year…” 

For Parents Looking to Help Their Child to Succeed in Math

Incidentally, if you are a parent looking to help your child build a strong math foundation, we highly recommend Smartick.

That’s all for this week. Have a happy week in Learning How to Learn!

Barb, Terry, and the entire Learning How to Learn team

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