The Dream Of A Shadow
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The Dream Of A Shadow
Zen Of Being One
Curated by Jan Bergmans
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Dream of a Shadow - Cinema.nl

Dream of a Shadow - Cinema.nl | The Dream Of A Shadow | Scoop.it
1995. Pim de la Parra. Met oa Ralph Wingens, Elske Falkena, Catelijne Brokke, Marcella Padmos en Jeanette Vondersaar.
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Welkom

Welkom | The Dream Of A Shadow | Scoop.it
Informatie voor groep 8 over de brugklas van het OLV Breda
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olv HOME CONTACT ONDERWIJS AFDELINGEN ORGANISATIE ROOSTERS VACATURES Deze website geeft veel informatie over de school, de koppeling naar Magister 6, het rooster en roosterwijzigingen, verzonden brieven/mail op de afdelingspagina's, de digitale schoolkrant Sleutelring etc. Voor onze actuele agenda: >>lees meer Jaarprogramma: >>lees meer Actueel Facebook OLV Bericht geplaatst op: 9-5-2016 Voor actuele zaken, foto's e.d. verwijzen wij u naar onze Facebookpagina: Sleutelring Bericht geplaatst op: 19-4-2016 Onze schoolkrant Sleutelring april 2016 is verschenen >>lees verder Informatie Schoolgids 2015-2016 Voor onze digitale schoolgids >>lees verder Voor onze ' bewaarkaart ' >>lees verder Snelle toegang Paul Windhausenweg 11 | 4818 TA Breda | tel: 076-5224707 | info@olvbreda.nl
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Awakening & Ascension

Awakening & Ascension | The Dream Of A Shadow | Scoop.it
Ascension, Awakening, Descension, Expansion.. they are all part of the soul awakening & expanding from this little light that ignites within our heart. The words separate the process, but there i
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Scientists Discover Why Highly Sensitive People Are Extraordinarily Creative And Artistic

Scientists Discover Why Highly Sensitive People Are Extraordinarily Creative And Artistic | The Dream Of A Shadow | Scoop.it

Highly Sensitive people are extremely creative and I can tell you why.


Via Mary E. Berens-Oney
Jan Bergmans's insight:
Scientists Discover Why Highly Sensitive People Are Extraordinarily Creative And Artistic

Communication Personality Trait Scienceby Mandy Waysman

Your soul has so much depth. Let me take a guess, you’re highly sensitive aren’t you? Yep I can call them. We sensitive people are so creative and artistic due to the layers of our personality. I’ll get into some more details below, but just know what once was a curse can be something to be proud of. When you aren’t crying in the corner over spilled milk, hold your artistic head up high and creatively.

Where Are You Getting This?

Well, I’m glad you asked. A book called Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind, by psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman and HuffPost Senior Writer Carolyn Gregoire.

One of the most powerful quotes is as follows;

“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive.” – Pearl S. Buck as quoted through this link.

Famous Example

I know that saying you are much like me is not going to suffice to make you feel confident in this new finding. Let me tell you about a little someone named Michael Jackson who was very sensitive. You wouldn’t guess when he was performing that he had been through much suffering and loneliness. However he did and that was some of the places he drew from to create his art.

In one interview with Oprah Winfrey, Michael (sure I’m on a first name basis with the deceased) was quoted as saying “I feel I was chosen as an instrument to give music and love and harmony to the world.”

Performers At Odds

The book and the article on HuffPost point out that many performers seem to have this paradox in their lives. On one hand they are people that are open and then on the other they are sensitive. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi pegged these two personality traits as opposites. He identifies these as not only the elements that exist together in most creative performers, but that they are actually the core of the personalities. This is the only way to explain how performers would be able to own the stage with their antics, and yet be emotionally charged enough to convey the feelings.

In fact the easiest way I can see to explain is this quote from Csikszentmihaly:

“Creative people’s openness and sensitivity often exposes them to suffering and pain, yet also to a great deal of enjoyment.”

Reading that quote brings home the circular nature of the sensitivity and creativeness.

Additional Example

I get it. You think Michael Jackson could be a fluke. What if I up the ante with Yo-yo Ma the great cellist. “What,” you say, “He couldn’t even moonwalk. How is that going to help your case?”

Well first of all, how do you know he was unable to moonwalk. Second: his good friend Mark Salzman was able to give some insight. He described Ma as one of the most joyful people he ever met. Noting also that in the times that he experienced negative emotions, they were just as deeply negative. He had the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows. Ma was sensitive to the emotions of those around him. If he perceived grief from those around him he reflected and felt that with them.

That ability to feel those feelings from others most assuredly is one of the reasons that we are able to feel that come through in his music.

What Is the Population Breakdown For Sensitives?

Highly sensitive people make up about 15 to 20 percent of people. There is in fact a quiz in the link below to see if you are one of those people.

The link (drum roll and anticipation please) is here: Why So Many Artists Are Highly Sensitive People

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Phase Two: Connecting through Synchronization: Mirrored Empathy - Lidewij Niezink, PhD

Phase Two: Connecting through Synchronization: Mirrored Empathy - Lidewij Niezink, PhD | The Dream Of A Shadow | Scoop.it
Resources on Empathy, Compassion & Altruism
Jan Bergmans's insight:

Although the discovery of mirror neurons has been probably one of the main reasons why empathy is so widely discussed today, the role of mirror neurons in empathy is much less clear than our folk knowledge established around it. Even more, the claim that we are hard-wired for empathy because of the automatic activation of our mirror neurons is not correct.

Mirror neurons and their role in empathy

Mirror neurons are a type of brain cell which respond equally when we perform an action and when we witness someone else perform the same action. A lot of research has been done and is ongoing on the role of the mirror neurons in empathy. Research has for instance shown that when people watch facial expressions of well known emotions (i.e. anger, sadness, happiness etcetera), they themselves activate the facial muscles involved in these emotions. Areas associated with mirror neurons are activated in the brain when doing so. This made mirror neurons likely candidates to be the building blocks and precondition for empathy.

 

Why we need to be careful with mirror neuron-claims

The question we have to ask ourselves is what these shared neural activations reflect. Caution is needed for several reasons. One problem is that mirror neurons have been found in macaques (monkeys) but due to the nature of the research (single-cell recordings) have not been shown to exist in humans. When studying empathy in humans, social neuroscience can only speak of brain areas involved in human empathy but can not speak in terms of individual neurons. Also, mirror neuron activation has always been so called motor-activation (seeing a hand reaching for something and imitating that reaching in the brain) but there has been no evidence linking mirror neurons to emotional reactions in monkeys at the sight of emotion expression in other monkeys. Yet motor-resonance might, through affective processing in other brain areas, lead to emotional-resonance.

Interestingly, motor-action is not a prerequisite for empathy. We can for instance empathize with others when reading a book or a newspaper article, which does not activate any of the brain areas involved with mirror neurons. Early learning experiences, culture, mentalizing and socialization all contribute to the development of empathy. So, although mirror neurons probably play a role in empathy, it is not clear whether that role goes beyond automatic imitation into action understanding.

 

Why then "mirrored empathy"?

Despite these concerns regarding the neural processes involved in empathy, mirroring and imitation have played a role in defining empathy since the very beginning. Already in 1759, Adam Smith noted that people who place themselves in another's situation, display mimicry. In conversation, people automatically and continuously mimic and synchronize their movements, facial expressions, voices and postures. Also, einfühlung (feeling into) has been studied extensively in the field of aesthetics in the 19th and 20th century, linking the appreciation of artworks to the ability to feel into the performance of the artist. And lastly, mimicry serves a communicative function. Actively mimicking the people in front of us communicates "I show how you feel" and with that a fellow feeling and support. Thus, the way we understand a great variety of observed actions, sensations, and emotions is via a kind of direct representation of those actions, sensations, and emotions. In other words, we synchronize with one another.


“The mob, when they are gazing at a dancer on the slack rope, naturally writhe and twist and balance their own bodies as they see him do, and as they feel that they themselves must do if in his situation”
-Adam Smith, Theory of Moral Sentiments
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A List of Books that May Change your Life

A List of Books that May Change your Life | The Dream Of A Shadow | Scoop.it
Radical Acceptance, by Tara Brach: I used to think “acceptance” was a strange way of confusing yourself, of deluding yourself into believing that it was ok to be angry or anxious or upset. For those who might see themselves in this statement, Tara’s book is a good place to read about an alternate viewpoint. Per Brach, radical acceptance has two elements: it is an honest acknowledgment of what is going on inside you, and a courageous willingness to be with life in the present moment, just as it is. Basically, to recognize what is going on and be sufficiently self-aware in order to parse through it, and to look at those feelings with self-compassion. Tying into Brene Brown’s work on vulnerability and shame, albeit in more Buddhist terms, this book was one that challenged the ways I saw myself and the world, and I found to be a really valuable read.
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Duende Studios Rotterdam - Tamboerstraat 9, 3034 PT Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Duende Studios Rotterdam - Tamboerstraat 9, 3034 PT Rotterdam, The Netherlands | The Dream Of A Shadow | Scoop.it
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Tamboerstraat 9
3034 PT Rotterdam
The Netherlands

info@duendestudios.nl

MembersActivitiesAboutResidencyContact 

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Duende is an independent self-organized artist-cooperative located in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. In forty-two studios housed in a former school, independent artists carry out their practice on a professional basis.

Besides the permanent studios, Duende offers a residency program, providing three large studios and living accommodation, available for foreign artists for a period of three months.
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Duende’s last AiR show: Improved fragmentsOpening Friday 7 December 2012, 7–9pm{activity_images limit="1"} {/activity_images}

With work by Duende’s last artist in residence:
Kathrin Borer (CH)
Hyungji Park (KR)

Opening Friday 7 December 7pm - 9pm
Open Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 December 2pm - 6pm

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Duende Dicht4-7 Oktober | Open Atelier, Performance, Tentoonstelling & Feest{activity_images limit="1"} {/activity_images}

Op 31 december 2012 komt er een einde aan 28 jaar Duende. Voor het pand aan de Tamboerstraat is een andere bestemming gevonden. 48 economische eenheden moeten noodgedwongen op zoek naar een andere werkruimte.  Met deze teloorgang komt er tevens een einde aan alle bijzondere Duende activiteiten die gedurende 28 jaar bijdroegen aan het culturele leven in Rotterdam.

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BRAK 4.1: Remco Torenbosch and Nickel van DuijvenbodenOpening October 13, 2012 at 3pm{activity_images limit="1"} {/activity_images}

BRAK is proud to present BRAK 4.1, a duo presentation of the artists Remco Torenbosch and Nickel van Duijvenboden.
The fourth BRAK theme Writisms revolves around the usage of text as artistic medium, whether as artobject or as reflective and analytical medium that is part of the artproduct.

About BRAK
BRAK is a Rotterdam exhibition platform organizing four presentations annually within Duende. BRAK’s programmatical approach focuses on giving space for the expression of individual artistic practices while building up an overview of current methodologies specifically focusing on the development of autonomous art.

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The dangerous idea that life is a story – Galen Strawson – Aeon

The dangerous idea that life is a story – Galen Strawson – Aeon | The Dream Of A Shadow | Scoop.it
Some find it comforting to think of life as a story. Others find that absurd. So are you a Narrative or a non-Narrative?
Jan Bergmans's insight:

Each of us constructs and lives a “narrative”,’ wrote the British neurologist Oliver Sacks, ‘this narrative is us’. Likewise the American cognitive psychologist Jerome Bruner: ‘Self is a perpetually rewritten story.’ And: ‘In the end, we become the autobiographical narratives by which we “tell about” our lives.’ Or a fellow American psychologist, Dan P McAdams: ‘We are all storytellers, and we are the stories we tell.’ And here’s the American moral philosopher J David Velleman: ‘We invent ourselves… but we really are the characters we invent.’ And, for good measure, another American philosopher, Daniel Dennett: ‘we are all virtuoso novelists, who find ourselves engaged in all sorts of behaviour… and we always put the best “faces” on it we can. We try to make all of our material cohere into a single good story. And that story is our autobiography. The chief fictional character at the centre of that autobiography is one’s self.’

So say the narrativists. We story ourselves and we are our stories. There’s a remarkably robust consensus about this claim, not only in the humanities but also in psychotherapy. It’s standardly linked with the idea that self-narration is a good thing, necessary for a full human life.

Popular nowLet’s ditch the dangerous idea that life is a storyBan the burqa? Scrap the sari? Why women’s clothing mattersWhy boring streets make pedestrians stressed and unhappy

I think it’s false – false that everyone stories themselves, and false that it’s always a good thing. These are not universal human truths – even when we confine our attention to human beings who count as psychologically normal, as I will here. They’re not universal human truths even if they’re true of some people, or even many, or most. The narrativists are, at best, generalising from their own case, in an all-too-human way. At best: I doubt that what they say is an accurate description even of themselves.

What exactly do they mean? It’s extremely unclear. Nevertheless, it does seem that there are some deeply Narrative types among us, where to be Narrative with a capital ‘N’ is (here I offer a definition) to be naturally disposed to experience or conceive of one’s life, one’s existence in time, oneself, in a narrative way, as having the form of a story, or perhaps a collection of stories, and – in some manner – to live in and through this conception. The popularity of the narrativist view is prima facie evidence that there are such people.

Perhaps. But many of us aren’t Narrative in this sense. We’re naturally – deeply – non-Narrative. We’re anti-Narrative by fundamental constitution. It’s not just that the deliverances of memory are, for us, hopelessly piecemeal and disordered, even when we’re trying to remember a temporally extended sequence of events. The point is more general. It concerns all parts of life, life’s ‘great shambles’, in the American novelist Henry James’s expression. This seems a much better characterisation of the large-scale structure of human existence as we find it. Life simply never assumes a story-like shape for us. And neither, from a moral point of view, should it.


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Mumford & Sons - Lover Of The Light

Mumford & Sons - Lover Of The Light | The Dream Of A Shadow | Scoop.it
You Don't Get To Judge Me ;-)
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https://youtu.be/nMJUbZrNnA8
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kunstmeer.punt.nl

kunstmeer.punt.nl | The Dream Of A Shadow | Scoop.it
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Kuntmeer infoKunstmeer is opgericht in 2006 en sinds 2008 actief in de huidige samenstelling.  Tot medio 2012 werd de groep begeleid en gestuurd door beeldend kunstenaar Marlies Verda. Vanaf september 2012 gaat Kunstmeer zelfstandig verder. Het doel is de beleving van kunst te ontwikkelen en elkaar te stimuleren. De groep onderneemt allerlei activiteiten die met kunst samenhangen.

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Peter Bouwmans | 1977

Peter Bouwmans | 1977 | The Dream Of A Shadow | Scoop.it
Peter Bouwmans
1977


Projecten
schilderijen 2 – paintings 2
Schilderijen — paintings
Grafiek — graphics
Sculptuur — sculpture
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Peter Bouwmans 1977

— Projecten

schilderijen 2 – paintings 2Schilderijen — paintingsGrafiek — graphicsSculptuur — sculpture
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Silence Lost

Silence Lost | The Dream Of A Shadow | Scoop.it
January 7, 2015
Silence Lost

Thinking about being alone
those beautiful mornings in November,
often the only person
on a 300m long platform
next to a rail track.

Beauty and being alone in it,
for just 15 minutes or even less.

I miss these silence inducers …

Cold and Dark mornings
a different approach needed
always Now to learn
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This blog comparing pictures of David Bowie and sea slugs makes total sense

This blog comparing pictures of David Bowie and sea slugs makes total sense | The Dream Of A Shadow | Scoop.it
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It might not be immediately apparent why a blog comparing pictures of ocean-dwelling nudibranchia and David Bowie is a brilliant idea. After all, one is a flamboyant and mysterious organism, known for its variety of colorful and imaginative looks, and the other is a type of mollusc.

But honestly, it works to such an uncanny degree it's hard not to imagine that a young Bowie received an illustrated book of nudibranchia at a young age, and spent the rest of his career mining the pages for new looks. There's Labyrinth Bowie (above), side-by-side with a terracotta-and-rust-colored nudibranch with similar head fronds, and check out Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie (below) next to his striped sluggy cousin.
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This Is Why You Prefer To Be Single Now

This Is Why You Prefer To Be Single Now | The Dream Of A Shadow | Scoop.it
Read our best tips on single life, and how to appreciate a positive relationship with your self
Jan Bergmans's insight:
Our possibilities are limitless, and the more time we spend with ourselves, the more we begin to see just how large we can actually dream. In the words of Bob Dylan: “When you ain’t got nothing you got nothin’ to lose.” Which is true, in terms of responsibility. Except you don’t have nothing. You have everything, right at your fingertips. The greatest joys I have ever known within a relationship are when you can share the joys of your own life, of the things you love and strive for – the things that make you who you are. When you know those things and live them, they are only then exacerbated by the people who come into your life and love them too. And vice versa. We can be proud and excited and strong for our loved ones when we are strong in ourselves. We can also exist entirely in the moment, without thinking about the future. Being single means a lot of traveling, sleeping over the whole bed, flirting, and wreckless fun. It’s about enjoying our own achievements, answering to no one, going where the wind takes you. It is a time we can fully commit to our education, our careers and hobbies. We spend so much of our lives either in love or thinking about being in love. So we must cherish those precious moments in between, the moments where we don’t have someone else to think about, the moments where we understand the true value of selfishness, and its place in the balance of all things. Because if you don’t know these things about yourself, you cannot truly understand your needs in compliance with somebody else’s – the bright somebody of your future. The somebody who will someday run alongside you, as your best and most wonderful single self. “My alone feels so good, I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my solitude.” – Warsan Shire
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Earth Wind and Fire - Live '99 by Request Concert

Tracks with minimal gap between each tune.. Meaning I cut out most of the applause and needless chat.. Shining Star Fantasy 07:34 Let's Groove 12:07 Devotion...
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mTLd9dpzas

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Want Your Children to Survive The Future? Send Them to Art School — Medium

Want Your Children to Survive The Future? Send Them to Art School — Medium | The Dream Of A Shadow | Scoop.it
Why creativity may be the only skill of value in a post-work world
Jan Bergmans's insight:
Can you imagine a world in which most jobs are obsolete?

If not, you are most likely in for a rude awakening in the coming decades of radical shifts in employment. This is particularly true for new parents propelling the next generation of workers into an adulthood that many economists and futurists predict to be the first ever “post-work” society.

Though the idea of a jobless world may seem radical, the prediction is based on the natural trajectory of ‘creative destruction’ — that classic economic principle by which established industries are decimated when made irrelevant by new technologies.

When was the last time you picked up the hot new single from your local sheet music store? Many moons ago sheet music was the music industry, with the only available means of hearing pop songs being to have a musician read and perform them. This quickly eroded with the advent of the phonograph, leading to a record industry that dominated the last century and is now itself eroding due to the explosive growth of independent online publishing.

It’s hard to justify using a massive workforce of recording engineers, media manufacturers, distributors, and talent scouts to accomplish a task that a musician can now do by herself in an afternoon with just a laptop. The same goes for the millions of skilled labor and manufacturing jobs that will soon be crumpled by 3D printing technology, the thousands of retailers whose staff and storefronts can readily be supplanted by automated delivery systems, or the dwindling hospitality and transportation industries currently being pecked away by app-based sharing services like Airbnb and Uber.

Never heard of 3D printing, ridesharing, or “post-work” theory? That’s okay; you can just Google them. In fact, thanks to Google we may now add the very concept of knowledge itself to our growing list of no-longer-scarce resources. When anyone can access the world’s greatest library from their cellphone, even the long-revered skill of knowing things loses its marketability.

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Theater for the New City - Home & Schedule

Theater for the New City - Home & Schedule | The Dream Of A Shadow | Scoop.it
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Almost Mata Hari plays in Cabret Theater, New York 7-24 january

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Friendship has always belonged to the core of my spiritual journey. - Henri Nouwen at BrainyQuote

Friendship has always belonged to the core of my spiritual journey. - Henri Nouwen at BrainyQuote | The Dream Of A Shadow | Scoop.it
"Friendship has always belonged to the core of my spiritual journey." - Henri Nouwen quotes from BrainyQuote.com

Via Mary E. Berens-Oney
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The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff | Riverbank of Truth

The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff | Riverbank of Truth | The Dream Of A Shadow | Scoop.it
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“Say, Pooh, why aren’t you busy?” I said.

“Because it’s a nice day,” said Pooh.

“Yes, but—-”

“Why ruin it?” he said.

“But you could be doing something Important,” I said.

“I am,” said Pooh.

“Oh? Doing what?”

“Listening,” he said.

“Listening to what?”

“To the birds. And that squirrel over there.”

“What are they saying?” I asked.

“That it’s a nice day,” said Pooh.

“But you know that already,” I said.

“Yes, but it’s always good to hear that somebody else thinks so, too,” he replied…

– The Tao of Pooh, Benjamin Hoff

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The Buddhist View of Loneliness as a Good Thing.

The Buddhist View of Loneliness as a Good Thing. | The Dream Of A Shadow | Scoop.it
Photo: "Buddha Heart," June 16, 2009 by Lynn Park. "Loneliness is the human condition. Cultivate it. The way it tunnels into you allows your soul room to
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Teaching how to think is just as important as teaching anything else

Teaching how to think is just as important as teaching anything else | The Dream Of A Shadow | Scoop.it
A new paper on teaching critical thinking skills in science has pointed out, yet again, the value of giving students experiences that go beyond simple recall or learned procedures.

Via Ana Cristina Pratas
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ManufacturingStories's curator insight, September 4, 2015 9:38 AM

#Education #Teaching #Learning #Thinking

María Dolores Díaz Noguera's curator insight, September 5, 2015 7:49 AM

Enseñar a pensar...Teaching how to think is just as important as teaching anything else | @scoopit via @AnaCristinaPrts http://sco.lt/...

Eileen Otero's curator insight, September 5, 2015 12:39 PM

Start early to teach students how to reason, critical thinking will develop naturally. Foster their  inquisitive abilities by keeping them focused and there will be no need to memorize. It is possible to develop effective thinkers when they are involved in the learning process rather than just recipients of information.

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Pim de la Parra en de kunst van het nietsdoen | Agenda

Pim de la Parra en de kunst van het nietsdoen | Agenda | The Dream Of A Shadow | Scoop.it
Geld? Bezit? Kredietcrisis? Regisseur Pim de la Parra, gevallen miljonair, maalt er allemaal niet om. Al dertien jaar leeft de man van Blue Movie en Wan Pipel in zijn vaderland Suriname, de ene dag nog berooider dan de ander. ‘Ik maak mij nooit zorgen om geld.’
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Farewell to my daughter Kate, who died on Christmas day

Farewell to my daughter Kate, who died on Christmas day | The Dream Of A Shadow | Scoop.it
Kate Gross died of cancer on Christmas morning. She was 36, and left behind a husband and five-year-old twin boys. Her mother describes Kate’s final moments
Jan Bergmans's insight:

“Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave

Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;

Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave

I know. But I do not approve.

AND I AM NOT RESIGNED.”

After that there was another year of chemo to try to hold off the further spread of the disease, and side effects, and a hundred different drugs.

Finally, in the last few months, there was the period of what Atul Gawande, the surgeon and writer, in his book Being Mortal, calls the One Damn Thing After Another or ODTAA syndrome. This, he says, “is what the closing phase of modern life often looks like – a mounting series of crises from which medicine can offer only brief and temporary rescue”.

The last two weeks were hard. They don’t tell you about dying, in the colour supplements. John Diamond, Ruth Picardie, Philip Gould – Kate’s cancer canon – they stop writing when they can’t focus any more. So, the unbroadcast pain, the indignities and the long hours of waiting are forgotten, like childbirth.

Indignities first. Actually, the fact that Kate’s bodily functions ended up outsourced to a number of external bags was convenient when she was mostly in bed, towards the end. But earlier, when she was less ill, it seemed unkind that when other lovely mummies were wondering which designer/investment/statement bag to take out with them, Kate’s choices were the large or small catheter bag, and which particular type of stoma bag (known to Kate’s circle as the AbdoBum™). “Mummy can poo into a bag,” noted Oscar and Isaac with interest.

Then, there was pain. These days there shouldn’t be much pain, they said. She’ll just get sleepier and sleepier. Not totally true. Palliative care is wonderful but always seemed a step behind the infinitely clever disease, reacting to each escalation of pain with higher doses or different medication – but only after some hours of sickness and discomfort, and only after summoning help via the tortuous mechanisms of out-of-hours GP services.

I went out one day to take the boys on a playdate, shopping distractedly, and found myself weeping in the car at Somewhere Over the Rainbow on the radio. “Birds fly over the rainbow, why oh why can’t I?” Why can’t she, I thought. And I came back home to the ruins of my daughter.

She had bursts of energy, deciding to come downstairs and sit in her chair for a while, drifting in and out, mostly making sense but with slurred, soft speech. It was lovely, but somehow seeing this almost-Kate made things harder.

Then she became very confused. “Katie doesn’t know what day it is ... she doesn’t know who Jesus was or what praying is ...” I sang to myself, almost as crazy as she was.

Kate and Billy in 2004.

Christmas won’t be spoiled for us for ever. A wise friend of Kate’s, who lost his own wife years ago, told us that because he remembered and thought about her every day the “big” days (anniversaries and Christmas) held no fears. I think he is right.

Kate once said, in relation to a mother’s love for her children, that “worry is love’s currency”. Well, for the first time in two years I don’t wake up worrying how she is. And two years of advance grieving has helped prepare us for today.

It has helped to have the love of family and friends, and the kindness of strangers, the thousands of messages we have received. Newspaper obituaries (I hadn’t realised until now quite how much it helps to have the life of someone you love rounded off in this way).

It helps that we can feel so proud of Kate’s work. She had always been high achieving. In her 20s she worked closely with two prime ministers; at 30 she was CEO of a charity that supported fragile democracies in Africa, hanging out with heads of state and wealthy American philanthropists. There are lots of babies who wouldn’t be alive now without Kate’s work, lots of children being educated, lots of parents able to find work and feed their families.

More than anything, it helps that we have Kate’s book, Late Fragments, written so that her sons may one day discover who she was and what she held dear. If anything good is to come from losing Kate, it will be that book and the effect it has on all who read it. Kate had, as her friend Katy Brand, the actress, said to her, the ability “to choose just the right word – to roll all the words around your head like ball bearings, until the perfect one drops into the hole”. But if not for the cancer, she probably wouldn’t have become a writer – like most high-flying working parents, she wouldn’t have had time.

The last two years taught us the importance of time, of stepping off the treadmill. As Kate writes in her book: “Everything has changed and yet nothing has changed. In other words, the petty frustrations and stupid ambitions and general rushing around have melted away, but the good stuff remains. And it’s better than ever.”

Because of the Nuisance, we became a much closer family. We bridged the distances that grow between parents and their adult children and came to know and admire Kate and Jo, much more than we would have otherwise. We became part of Oscar and Isaac’s daily lives instead of occasional visitors. And we were – and still are – overwhelmed at the way Kate’s friends and our own have responded to her illness.

I’ve learned that there is more love in the world than I ever knew and that perhaps all we need to do is learn to ask for what we need.

• Kate Gross died peacefully at home from colon cancer on 25 December 2014. Kate finished writing her book in September and received finished copies a few weeks before her death. She leaves behind her devoted husband, Billy Boyle, and her five-year-old sons, Isaac and Oscar.

Late Fragments: Everything I Want to Tell You (About This Magnificent Life) by Kate Gross is published by William Collins, £14.99. To order a copy for £11.99, including free UK p&P, go to bookshop.theguardian.com or call 0330 333 6846

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