The Craving Mind

2nd July 2020

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners!

Help Michael Live

Here is a rare request directly from me (Barb) regarding a life-or-death situation. My niece Meg’s husband Michael is facing a rare, life-threatening neuro-biological disease. Michael and Meg are a young couple whose life has been completely upended. And Michael is the love of Meg’s life.

If you might, please go to the GoFundMe page here and give whatever help you can (Meg, being Meg, didn’t ask for nearly what is truly going to be necessary). If you can’t because of your circumstance, please share this with your Facebook friends and family, Twitter, and other social media. Every bit can help this young couple overcome this life changing challenge. Our families ask that you keep Michael and Meg In your thoughts and prayers.

Book of the Week

The Craving Mind: From Cigarettes to Smartphones to Love—Why We Get Hooked and How We Can Break Bad Habits, by Judson Brewer. For years, we’ve been looking for a good book that gives insight on the science of meditation. This book is a great one that goes far beyond simple addiction and gets to the heart of issues such as why our minds get stuck on people who annoy us, and squirrel-like thoughts that can keep us from focusing as we’d like. 

Amongst many quotable gems, we liked how Judson described what the “RAIN” process of what to do when getting caught up in obsessive thinking: “RECOGNIZE/RELAX into what is arising (for example, your craving) ACCEPT/ALLOW it to be there INVESTIGATE bodily sensations, emotions, and thoughts (for example, ask, ‘What is happening in my body or mind right now?’). NOTE what is happening from moment to moment. The N is a slight modification of … ‘nonidentification.’ The idea is that we identify with or get caught up in the object that we are aware of.” Also nice for audio. [Hat tip: Mako Haruta]

Class Central—the Best Way to Get Oriented with What You Want Out of Online Learning 

This little video gives a great overview of Class Central’s awesome services in allowing people to explore and discover the best online learning materials.  (CEO Dhawal Shah even mentions his favorite course—Learning How to Learn!)  Check out Dhawal’s kitchen as you learn more about one of the most important launching points for online learning.  And in related news, both Learning How to Learn and Mindshift both made it onto the list of 100 Most Popular Courses During the Pandemic. Yay!

Do-It-Yourself Pandemic: It’s Time for Accountability in Models

This perceptive article, by Barb’s friend Guruprasad Madhavan at the National Academies, describes how lessons from real-world engineering can improve the design and standards of models being used in COVID-19.

A No-Holds-Barred Look at Ontario’s New “Improved” Math Standards

This article by traditional math instructor Barry Garelick points toward why math ability in modern school children keeps declining. If something feels wrong to you about how schools are currently teaching math, Barry’s article walks you through why and how that is happening. 

Virtual Workshop “Learning How to Learn” (in Spanish: Taller Virtual Aprendiendo a Aprender)

On July 7th, the virtual workshop “Aprendiendo a Aprender” will be presented by M.Sc. Orlando Trejo, our co-instructor for the Spanish version of LHTL. The virtual talk will be held in Spanish, and will be hosted by Universidad Antonio Nariño, sede Cartagena, Colombia. This will be a great opportunity for Spanish speakers to stay tuned with the latest mental tools for learning, in order to take the best advantage of online learning resources while studying from home. Reserve your seat here (Spanish).

Zach Star’s Nerdy, Funny Videos 

We’ve been pointed toward the advanced math/engineering tutorial and just plain fun videos of Zach Star. Here’s Zach’s review of A Mind for Numbers, which provides outstanding examples that go further than Barb did in the book. Zach’s sarcastic take on how some engineering professors teach is a hoot. (All we can say is, Zach’s a bit too buff to pass as a typical engineering professor…)  

The Pomodoro Technique–an Invaluable Tool for the Online World

When it rains, it pours.  This article on the Pomodoro Technique by R. Dallon Adams in Innovation caught our attention because it covers the technique in thorough detail. (And, well, it also quotes Barb.) And we also enjoyed Dean Kissick’s article on the technique in the New York Times.  We thought we’d read it all when it comes to the Pomodoro, but these articles gave us a new, heartfelt appreciation for one of our very favorite teaching tools. [Hat tip: Gian Luca Poggi]

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