Tag Archives: new

Old School vs. New School

And when I say old school… I mean OLD school. This article is about appreciating those traits that made Greek Academies so great and the current College System… so, so lame. History repeats itself, they say. And looking at the past for knowledge, is a GREAT way to help build a better future.

Let’s start at the beginning.

Students who went to the academies in Ancient Greece went there because they wanted to learn. It was this thirst for knowledge that drove students to visit their classrooms, not a need for a diploma or social pressure.

Greek students choose their teachers. They weren’t assigned to teachers randomly.

Greeks students honored their teachers by referring them to as “master” or “mentor”. Not Mr. Jones, Missy, or simply Emily. Formalities aside, respect toward educators is a thing that is quickly deteriorating.

Ancient students were free to leave a classroom whenever they wanted, and a teacher could refuse to give classes to a disrespectful student.

Students read books because they genuinely wanted to learn, not because of some test or examination.

Greek Academies ran on donations/sponsors…. not on student’s money.

IN THE END

It’s the over-complicated society, the over-complicated life, and over-complicated regulations that have ruined the education system.

It’s a shame how the entire SYSTEM is geared towards teaching students how to work, but NOT how to live. Sure, it’s the parent’s job to take care of the LIFE lessons … but happens to kids with bad parents? or a dumb ones? or broken homes?….. sadly, there is few people around to guide these lost teenagers.

Old School

Read —–> Learn —–> Be a better person

New School

Read —–> Take tests —–> Get diploma —–> Work —–> Make money

In the Society of the XXI Century

Seems like helping students make “future” money is more important than helping them find happiness.

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The Professor who talked about LIFE

Sometimes when looking at a classroom of students, all I see is a room full of zoombies. Not your typical skin-rotting, degenerate, brain-eating creatures from the grave. No, im talking about a high-tech, de-sensitivized, note-hungry mass of uninspired zoombies.

Students who stare at the chalkboard with blank eyes and open mouths. Peers who instead of taking notes, have their eyes glued to their cellphones or the Internet. Fellow classmates whose attention span is shorter than that of a goldfish. The classroom, in reality, is a lot more like a zoombie wasteland than a educational facility. A place where a few survivors, with the professor as their leader, have to fend off a mass of brain-dead zoombies.

What happens when the survivors have had enough?

Unlike in a zoombie-apocalypse film, the survivors in the classroom can´t stand up and fight. They can´t grab baseball bats and start clobbering zoombie skulls. Instead of melee weapons, all the survivors have are chalk sticks. Instead of bullets, all they can shoot at the zoombies are words. And in this movie,  the protagonist (professor) is forced to keep feeding exam-information to the student-zoombies or run the risk of being eaten alive.

What happens when a recording machine can just as easily carry out the work of a professor? What happens when everytime the professor goes off topic, he is meet with a cascade of falling pencils? – If it wasn´t for those couple students that actually do CARE,  most professors would feel competlely de-humanized, impotent and useless.

Now the reason im writing this reflection, is because of something I witnessed the other day in class.

I noticed how our professor, a shy man, got tired of talking about the same classroom material he always talked about. Mr. Shy decided to take a break from being a teacher, and for just 20 minutes, give his students advice about LIFE.

He didn´t lecture us. He didn´t act as a superior-being. All he did was give us, his students, good advice on the matters of LIFE. Knowledge and wisdom that he had obtained through experience. The kind of desinteristed advice a grandfather gives to his grandchildren.

How did we, the students, thank Mr. Shy for his thoughtful advice?

With cold stares. Eyes saying ¨Who the F*** do you think you are, telling us this¨

With the loud noise of dozens of pens hitting our desk.

With mouths yapping gossip left and right.

With inconsiderate yawns and laughter.

¨Respect your elders¨ they say…

And there I was. Alone, sorrounded by a crowd of inconsiderate, disrespectful, ungrateful XXI-century student-zoombies.

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Zen is for Men

Hahahaha…. had a good laugh there… but no, the title isn’t true.

So really, what is Zen? And more importantly how can Zen helps us achieve a more peaceful state of mind?

Zen is the Oriental art of not thinking. Might sound strange and whimsical, but being a Zen practician myself…. I can only say it has brought me a more peaceful state of mind. You see, what makes Zen particular amongst the other Oriental philosophies is that Zen is purely a state of mind.

In Zen there are no Buda’s, no metaphsycial beliefs… in other words, Zen is an art open to all religions and cultural backgrounds. And the great thing about Zen is that is adresses one of the biggest problems we face nowadays: the problem of noise. We are so wrapped up by external noise, by work pressure and by our own thoughts… that we barely take time to just stop and appreciate a moment of complete silence. And by complete silence, I also mean complete mental silence.

You see… in this fashion Zen is similar to Yoga and other forms of meditation. The only difference is that Zen asks you to keep your eyes open. By leaving your mind clear of thought for only 15 minutes a day, Zen allow you to get deeply in touch with the physical world that sorrounds us all.

Besides not falling asleep, Zen ask that one keeps his eyes open in order to appreciate all colors, shadows and proportions of everyday objects in unparalleled ways. It is during these profound stages of silence that one will experience some of the following:

1. States of Phsycodelia: the mind’s own way of transcending thought. This state allows one to perceive all that sorrounds us in “new” light. Trees look different, the silouttes of the bed sheet seem to flow and an alarm clocks sound pleasant… yes, pleasant. (This one at first REALLY took my by surprise.)

2. Good Counseling: in the state of  profound silence one must be open to receiving spontaneous thoughts. Why? Because sometimes these spontaneous thoughts can be clearer than sum of all other thoughts that day. These of spontaneous thoughts tend to give one great insight about important decisions and one’s inner self. Now don’t be fooled. One does not always get counseling while meditating, but when you do get it and its genuine, trust me: it’s good.

Our mind already has to constantly be thinking about solving problems, deadlines, proyects, pressures…. So it’s pleasant to be able to sit down from time to time and let your body do the thinking.

Thus Zen allows one to master the art of thinking without thinking

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