Cheery Thanksgiving Greetings from Learning How to Learn! Nov 24, 2016

5th January 2017

Cheery Thanksgiving greetings to our Learning How to Learners!

Book of the Week

As you know, we’re big fans of biographies. And we’ve got an exceptional one to tout today: Cleopatra: A Life, by Stacy Schiff. Great biographies give a sense of what might have been happening behind the scenes in important times in history. While giving a sense of the person, they also give a great feel for the place and time. Read Schiff’s book and savor a trip back to the tumultuous times when the Roman and Egyptian worlds collided. Highly recommended!

Barb in Guatemala City

This week’s email is a little early, because Barb is in Guatemala City, set to speak at the Universidad Francisco Marroquín on Friday, November 25th, at 10:00 am. If you have questions, please contact Karen Maeyens at The presentation is free. Please plan to attend if you’re anywhere in the area—Barb would love to meet you!

The Art of Running

As you know, there’s a wealth of research showing that exercise plays an important role in allowing us to learn and remember more easily. For those of you who enjoy running, here is an interview by our friend Jake Taylor with Malcolm Balk, author of the book Master the Art of Running: Raise Your Performance Using the Alexander Technique. Jake’s website, 5 Good Questions, is a great resource about books, most especially if you are interested in investing. (Hat tip Hrvoje Horvat.)

MOOCs of the WeekLanguage!

Our recommended specialization this week, which features exceptional teaching, is Teach English Now! Theories of Second Language Acquisition, through Coursera-Arizona State University. This course introduces you to second or foreign language theories and practices for teaching and assessing listening, speaking, and pronunciation. If language is your “thing,” enjoy! Another very popular language-related course is FutureLearn’s Understanding IELTS: Techniques for English Language Tests, created by the British Council.

Why Handwriting Is Still Essential in the Keyboard Age

Here’s an insightful article in the New York Times by Perri Klass, MD on why handwriting is still one of the best ways to engage your mind in the material. We here at Learning How to Learn often write by hand when we’re trying to grapple with the most difficult material. Even a few words can help “chunk” key ideas in whatever you are trying to learn.

As we’ve mentioned before, we love Palomino Blackwing Pencils for our note taking. These pencils have the most extraordinary feel of any pencil we’ve ever used. Once past the initial sharpening with a standard pencil sharpener, we use a cheap plastic Staedtler manual pencil sharpener, which we set right beside us whenever we are writing. As for the actual note taking, we tend to use either quadrille pads or Moleskine squared notebooks.

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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