Your Happy First Draft/Mission Transition

27th September 2019

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners from beautiful Almaty, Kazakhstan!

Books of the Week

Your Happy First Draft: A Practical and Painless Guide to Obliterating Writer’s Block, by Daphne Gray-Grant. This is the best book we’ve ever read about getting past writer’s block.  Daphne has been a writing coach for decades, and she’s seen it all—and helped people get past it all. As Daphne says:  “I started my working life as an editor and I was a good one. I had a natural instinct for figuring out what writers wanted to say and for helping to make their text better—more clear and more readable. I could even apply these skills to my own writing.

“But here was the problem: The qualities that made me a good editor made me a terrible writer. Even though I worked at a large metropolitan daily newspaper, I struggled to put a single word on the page. (Thank goodness I was an editor, so they let me get away with that not-so-charming shortcoming!)

“When I left the newspaper, I set up shop as a freelance writer and editor. As I had all my life, I loved editing. But I disliked writing. So I spent six months in abject misery, hating every word I produced. Then I spent another year figuring out how to take my hate and turn it into something approaching like, never figuring I could ever achieve love. After many false starts, my efforts finally paid off. And the very best news of all? I not only loved the process, I also managed to double my writing speed.”

Barb has enjoyed Daphne’s newsletters for years.  And she wrote the foreword for Daphne’s great book. If writing is a challenge for you, don’t miss Daphne’s book!

Mission Transition: Navigating the Opportunities and Obstacles to Your Post-Military Career, by Matthew J. Louis. This book is a special treat for those in the military, and military veterans. Nearly a quarter million leave the service each year, but transitioning to civilian life can be a challenge—as Barb knows, having shifted out of the Army to begin her engineering studies as a civilian. As the book cover notes: “Mission Transition is a practical guide to career change for service members considering leaving active duty. It attempts to address this primary question: How can transitioning veterans realize their full potential by avoiding false starts and suboptimal career choices following active duty? The book has been endorsed by Generals, Astronauts, Super Bowl winners, members of Congress, and best-selling authors.” We’re all in accord that this is an extraordinarily useful book!

The Rules of Studying 

Here are some handy downloadable, printable posters with great guidance for effective studying: 10 Rules of Good Studying; 10 Rules of Bad Studying (reprinted by permission from A Mind for Numbers).

Homophones in English

Karen writes “I was reading your page here, and I saw you were mentioning I have to be honest, I’m not a native English speaker, but this site helped me a lot with learning English—so I’m happy other people are recommending it! 🙂 

As for a recommendation, I wanted to share mine with you as a way of thanking you for sharing recently found online a funny article about the English language (which made a lot of sense to me, as a non-native), and I’m pretty sure it will speak to your users as well.

Here it is. It’s about homophones and all these English words that can sometimes lead to mistakes when the context is unclear :)”

The Second Annual Sound Education conference

The second annual Sound Education conference is coming up Oct 10-13 at Harvard University and Boston University. The conference is for both educational podcasters and the people who love learning from them. There are some fantastic keynote speakers, such as Helen Zaltzman from The Allusionist—anyone who loves to learn would have a good time attending. Here’s the conference website, and the event registration.

Which Country’s Higher Education System Is Best?

Here is an interesting discussion by George Leef of a recent study published by the American Enterprise Institute, “International Higher Education Rankings” by Jason Delisle and Preston Cooper.  Leef compares education systems with laissez faire systems for, for example, physically fitness, noting “I have to take issue with Delisle and Cooper when they say in their subtitle, ‘no country’s higher education system can be the best.’ Every country can have the best system, which is to say, getting the most educational value for the least expenditure of resources.”

interview to Ignacio Despujol from the Universitat Politècnica de València (In Spanish)

Orland Trejo, the Lead of Aprendiendo a aprender (Learning How to Learn in Spanish), has conducted a Spanish language video interview (with English subtitles) with Ignacio Despujol as an optional lecture at the first week of Spanish LHTL. The interview dives into the experience of Universitat Politecnica de Valencia in online learning innovation, their strategies and discoveries, right up to becoming one of the top 5 European institutions in digital learning.

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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