If we were serious about education, then our education discussion wouldn’t be focused on demonizing teachers and coming up with radical schemes to undermine traditional public schools. It would instead be focused on mounting a new war on poverty and thus directly addressing the biggest education problem of all.
The worldwide Baha’i community has learned that the house of Baha’u'llah, the Founder of the Baha’i Faith, in Baghdad, Iraq – a profoundly sacred site known as the Most Great House – has been destroyed. The precise circumstances surrounding the demolition are not yet clear.
Bani Dugal, the Principal Representative of the Baha’i International Community to the United Nations said: “This deplorable act has robbed people throughout the world of a priceless piece of their spiritual heritage.”
“While the details are not yet clear, there should be no doubt as to the Baha’i community’s strength of feeling about this terrible and shocking deed”, she continued.
“The Baha’is of the world are, of course, heartbroken by the news. Yet, as always, they remain positive and focused on their efforts to promote peace and contribute to the betterment of their communities”, she added.
The Most Great House was Baha’u'llah’s place of residence for much of the time of His exile from Iran to Baghdad, Iraq. The site is located close to the banks of the River Tigris.
What I want to see in an educated applicant for for a work position in the organizations that I work with is the capacity to work effectively – the skills, abilities, and experience for accomplishing things.
For the most part I am not not looking for a set of memorized facts and formulas. These things change all the time and are learned during one’s work life.
The capacities and skills that I am looking for are generally not taught in today’s educational system nor measured in standardized tests. We are only beginning to figure out how to assess and value those things in our education system. I feel very fortunate to be involved with two organizations who are working in this area: http://www.kickboardforteachers.com/features/behaviors http://www.bahai.us/community-life/teens-and-preteens/
What would be some of the skills, abilities and capacities that I want to see as a sign of someone ready to work effectively?
- Ability to speak well – eloquent, coherent, organized, intelligible diction, an effective vocabulary, ability to create emphasis without profanity, convincing
- Ability to listen to others and read them and learn from them
- Ability to change one’s mind when appropriate.
- A strong identity yet a soft ego, not insistent on one’s own perspective as being right or one’s own individual benefit coming first
- Ability to consult with others about a new and maybe challenging idea or undertaking and get to a great outcome
- Ability to collaborate with others to bring diverse skills and perspectives to bring about a unified positive and effective change in a complex situation.
- Ability to plan a complex undertaking, anticipate issue areas, and make reasonably accurate predictions about needed resources and time.
- Ability to write an effective email, and a compelling proposal
- Ability to create and deliver a presentation or proposal
- Initiative and drive
- The ability to analyze, to synthesize, and to see patterns
- Good intuition and insight into situations
- The ability to communicate new ideas and to facilitate change
- Tenacity, patience and courage
- Operates by a set of great principles, yet is adaptable to varying situations
- Ability to see the end in the beginning, and see things begun through to the end.
- Respect for others
- Understanding of how to work effectively in an organization, with its dynamics of power, information and authority
- A commitment to a win-win approach to work
- The ability to encourage, to praise, and to celebrate the successes of others
- Doesn’t promise or commit to what cannot be done, does what has been promised and committed to
- A focus on the positive, avoidance of backbiting, complaining and criticism
“… the goal of education today, argues Wagner, should not be to make every child “college ready” but “innovation ready” — ready to add value to whatever they do.
“Today, because knowledge is available on every Internet-connected device, what you know matters far less than what you can do with what you know. The capacity to innovate — the ability to solve problems creatively or bring new possibilities to life — and skills like critical thinking, communication and collaboration are far more important than academic knowledge. As one executive told me, ‘We can teach new hires the content, and we will have to because it continues to change, but we can’t teach them how to think — to ask the right questions — and to take initiative.’ ”
Creating Innovators, by Tony Wagner:
Great news… My friends at Kickboard have just closed a $2M Series A funding round, which will accelerate their success. They make a web-based platform and applications that progressive teachers and schools use to gather and share data with each other about not only student academic performance, but also about character development. The big deal is that it allows teachers to collaborate in tailoring the whole-child education to each student’s needs and strengths. Great stuff.
Zork, Infocom, and other Interactive Fiction on Android, iPad, iPhone, PC, Mac
Our favorite old Adventure game and many Infocom games (like Zork, Suspended, Planetfall), as well as many newer “Interactive Fiction” games (like Spider and Web) are available for PC, Mac, iOS devices and Android devices.
Here’s how it works:
The original games were generally written for, or ported to, a portable virtual machine / interpreter called the Z-Machine.
In this realm, a game is embodied as Z-code file, and typically has a .zn file extension like .z5 or .z8, with n indicating the interpreter version it is made for (requires at least that version).
Z-Machine player apps
There are now Z-Machine interpreter apps on PC, Mac, iOS, Android, and Unix
The Android one is called jFrotz, and is free from the Google Play market
The iPhone/iPad app is called Frotz, and is free in the Apple App Market
For Mac, there is Zoo
Z-Machine game libraries, and how to use them
There are various online libraries of Z files.
Here is the Z-Machine section of the Interactive Fiction Database (IFDB
(they don’t have the games that were commercial and never released as free, including most of the Infocom Games)
Here is a pretty complete looking library of downloadable Infocom games:
On Android and PC, you can just download the file (.e.g. the .z5 file) from an archive, then open it in the player app.
On iOS, you can go to one of these archives, click on a link, and when you are asked what to open it with, pick Frotz, and it gets added to your Frotz library (or get a file mailed to yourself and open it etc.)
Authoring new Interactive Fiction
You can write new Z-machine Interactive Fiction (IF) games or stories.
A popular free tool for doing so is “Inform”
Abdu’l-Bahá arrives in New York City today, having sailed on the S.S. Cedric from Alexandria, Egypt.
[100 years ago, that is]
Here are some resources for following His visit and reading the talks He gave in North America for 239 days from April 11 to Dec 5, 1912.
Commemorating Abdu’l-Bahá in America 1912-2012
With a map of his visit and an interactive timeline including many news articles from the time
239 Days website
239 Days website
Promulgation of Universal Peace
Talks Delivered by Abdu’l-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912
First edition 1922
Second edition 1982
Baha’i Publishing Trust
You can order a physical book here:
http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/ab/PUP/ (html, or downloadable PDF or DOC)
The Diary of Mirza Mahmud-i-Zarqani
Chronicling Abdu’l-Bahá’s Journey to America
Translated by Mohi Sobhani with the assistance of Shirley Macias
This book has a telling of what Abdu’l-Bahá did each day, who He met, etc, as well as His public and private talks
The translation of the talks is a different one that in the Promulgation of Universal Peace.
You could theoretically order a physical book here:
http://www.grbooks.com/show_book.php?book_id=124 (though it looks perhaps to be out of Print at the publisher)
http://www.amazon.com/Mahmuds-Diary-Mahmud-i-Zarqani/dp/0853984182 (one copy for $1,833.97 !)
(Let us know if you find eBooks somewhere)