Good Words Make A Good Summer

This summer I’ve heard a rich collection of quotes and ideas addressing a broad scope of topics. I’d like to share some and hope you’ll share some back.

This summer, as I’ve migrated through a mix of rest, travel, reading, professional development and lesson-planning, I’ve heard or read a rich collection of quotes and ideas. They address a broad scope of topics. I’d like to share some in this post and hope you’ll share some back. I’ll do my best to attribute the original source in each case, but if that’s not possible I’ll at least say who I heard say it.

  • “Teaching should be a test of life, not a life of tests.” Andy Hargreaves at the Arizona K12 Center’s Teacher Leader Institute.
  • “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” The Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland, quoted by Linda Darling-Hammond in Getting Teacher Evaluation Right.
  • “Teacher Leadership is not an appointment, it’s an attitude.” James E. Ford, tweeted by Anthony Grisillo
  • “You cannot lead where you will not go.” Tweeted by 2015 National Teacher of the Year Shanna Peeples
  • “Chunk it; don’t plunk it.” That’s me summarizing a PD facilitator’s comments that summative assessments are “Processes, not events.”

The Organized Mind by Daniel J. Levitin is a great resource for anyone seeking to optimize their workflow and thinking. Here are some his ideas taken from my notes – I’ll use quotes, but some may be paraphrased a bit:

  • ” We don’t know what’s missing because we can completely ignore what’s outside our attention.” 
  • “Who asks the questions in my head? Who answers them?”
  • “Memory is a fiction susceptible to distortion. It is not a replay; it is a rewriting.” 
  • “Our brain has a crappy filing system.” (Crappy in the original.)

Last are some observations from Raymond Chandler in The Long Good-Bye:

  • “I don’t know him from a cow’s caboose.” 
  • “Whatever his rules were he played by them.”
  • “He is a very talented guy who has been jarred loose from his self-control.”
  • “‘Please don’t get up,’ she said in a voice like the stuff they use to line summer clouds with.” 

I’ll leave you with that. Monsoons came early to Tucson this summer, so it’s off to the porch to watch my own summer clouds build while I enjoy some more Raymond Chandler.


Related Posts:

Flowing Words in a Sea of Thought

Balancing the Load with the Brain in Mind

The Changing Face of Inattention

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related categories:
  • JasonParker

    Identifying the “blind spots’

    Sandy, that first bullet point of your paraphrasing of “The Organized Mind” has me wondering how you (and other CTQ Collaboratory members) identify your blind spots. What has worked for you—in your professional and personal lives—to identify blind spots? 

    • SandyMerz

      Attention blindness in real time

      The author is talking about real time attention blindness – paying attention, in the moment, to one thing, at the cost of noticing other things in the immediate environment. Throughout the first couple of chapters he talks about two states we are often in – a kind of free-floating thinking state in which we let our minds go where they may, making associations and insights we may never have thought of. The other is intentional focus on a task, like writing or shooting a free throw. The first enables a lot of creativity and problem-solving; the second a lot of productivity. In the task state we don’t sense a lot that goes around. I won’t be surprised if you’ve seen this video. I don’t want to give it away because it is so cool. But it illustrates his point perfectly and he refers to it in his book. 

      • DeidraGammill

        Great quotes and lots of food

        Great quotes and lots of food for thought. I’d not seen the video before and am embarrased to say that I totally missed the obvious the first time I watched it! Great thing to share with my students too – how often we miss the obvious because our attention is either elsewhere or (in my case) so fragmented that I really don’t give anything the attention it deserves. Thanks for sharing!

        • SandyMerz

          It’s not missing the obvious – it’s hard-wiring

          I’m glad you enjoyed the video – but it’s not an obvious thing. For fun, I took the test again concentrating as told and missed what I knew was there. It’s how we’re wired and probably goes back to ancestors who survived by being able to block out everything but the tiger that was attacking and thus saved the family to pass down those genes. I’ve showed it to my students a few years ago when it came out and it was a hoot. Recently, a lot of them have seen it, but it’s still worthwhile. 

  • BillIvey

    not sure of the source…

    … maybe Julie Mencher? Anyway, at a session on transgender kids at the recent National Coalition of Girls’ Schools Annual conference, one of the presenters said, “As we learn vocabulary, it opens up new ways of thinking.” I love that quote and am thinking about it a lot these days.

  • MarciaPowell

    Vulnerable and Creativity
    Vulnerability is the birth place of innovation, creativity, and change.

    That’s a Brene Brown quote from The Gifts of Imperfection. She is not saying something new (Jung said this too) but it speakers to me as I ponder the ideas behind grit and hopelessness. There is something there that appears to be a golden ratio…part mindset, part attitude, part humbleness.

  • MarciaPowell

    Vulnerable and Creativity
    Vulnerability is the birth place of innovation, creativity, and change.

    That’s a Brene Brown quote from The Gifts of Imperfection. She is not saying something new (Jung said this too) but it speakers to me as I ponder the ideas behind grit and hopelessness. There is something there that appears to be a golden ratio…part mindset, part attitude, part humbleness.