The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn

3rd September 2020

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners!

Book of the Week

The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn, by Nathaniel Philbrick. Barb and her Hero Hubby Phil were driving through Montana last week and happened to spot signs for the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. Next thing you know, the intrepid duo had parked their little trailer and were off to spend a blistering hot day exploring the battlefield.  In some sense, the Little Big Horn Monument is like an action-packed cemetery, with clusters of gravestones marking the spot of bodies as the battle swept through the gullies and hillsides. But just roaming the hillsides wasn’t enough—they had to learn more.

Enter Nathaniel Philbrick’s extraordinary The Last Stand.  From the very first pages, this exquisitely written book pulls you into the world of bad guys (if Custer’s premeditated attacks on a peaceful Native American villages don’t qualify him as a bad guy, nothing would), good guys like the extraordinary leader Sitting Bull, and everyone in between. The Last Stand gives a tremendous sense of the injustice and inequities experienced by Native Americans around the time of the first US Centennial in 1876. But it also gives a broad sense of place and time thanks to Philbrick’s extraordinary way with words. (Philbrick has won the National Book Award and has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.)  This is a rare, hard-to-put-down masterpiece. Enjoy!

TIME Magazine: The Science of Learning Single Issue 

Here’s Time’s most recent special issue, which focuses on learning. The issue also contains an in-depth article on online learning that quotes Barb extensively.  Enjoy!

MOOC of the Month: Bringing the Fun into Teamwork

This week marks the launch of “Remotely Humorous,” created by Stanford Lecturers Naomi Bagdonas and Connor Diemand-Yauman. This MOOC focused on creating more humorous, joyful, remote teams. The intrepid creator duo have teamed up with comedic minds from The Onion, Funny Or Die, and Comedy Central to create a hilarious, interactive learning experience. You’ll find yourself feeling both uplifted and empowered as you reframe to shine joy into your work and life. 

Did we mention that the course is funny? As in, really funny. Neurotransmitters like dopamine play a crucial role in learning and memory, and there are few faster ways to prompt a surge of dopamine than through laughter. So laugh as you learn! You can see the trailer here for a sense of the course.

Click here to signup (and use the code REMOTEHUMOR before September 9th to get 15% off!).

A Nice Interactive Graphic Article about Spaced Repetition

If you’d like to learn more about the powerful spaced repetition technique, check out this article by Nicky Case, which also allows you to occasionally interact with the graphics. Includes a valuable comparative discussion of Anki versus Leitner Box and Tiny Cards.  [Hat tip Roman Hardgrave.]

Career Advice in Mathematics from a World Leader in Math

Terrence Tao is a living legend in mathematics, which is all the more awe-inspiring given his youth. Tao is the winner of the 2006 Fields Medal and is a MacArthur Fellow.  Here is his collection of various pieces of advice on academic career issues in mathematics.

Never Too Old to Change and Grow, Career-Wise!

A LHTLer writes inspiring words for us all: “I’m writing to you because I just want to send some appreciation your way. I took the Learning How to Learn course during lockdown, and your story and techniques inspired me to begin studying computer science at the age of 30, when I assumed I had been long past the sensitive area of neural plasticity to learn something so new and challenging. And yesterday I completed Harvard’s rigorous Introduction to Computer Science. I don’t know if I would have done it without your inspiration. So thank you!!”

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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