Daily Inspirations and Adventures

Archive for August 2014

Emmy’s Recap

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I didn’t get to watch a lot of the Emmy’s last night but my favorite part was this one (actually, I didn’t get to see it all because I was literally choking on the water I was drinking when the one lady was asked what the trophy was).

OMG, I just watched it again and cried.

These were my favorite looks.

169_3366_350 169_3354_350 169_3381_350 169_3401_350

Written by bevanddara

August 26, 2014 at 10:52 am

Posted in Dara, Dara's Tid Bits

Struggle To Get Smarter

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The Learning Myth: Why I’ll Never Tell My Son He’s Smart

Salman Khan for The Huffington Post

Posted: 08/19/2014 12:19 pm
My 5-year-­old son has just started reading. Every night, we lay on his bed and he reads a short book to me. Inevitably, he’ll hit a word that he has trouble with: last night the word was “gratefully.” He eventually got it after a fairly painful minute. He then said, “Dad, aren’t you glad how I struggled with that word? I think I could feel my brain growing.” I smiled: my son was now verbalizing the tell­-tale signs of a ‘growth­ mindset.’ But this wasn’t by accident. Recently, I put into practice research I had been reading about for the past few years, and I decided to praise my son not when he succeeded at things he was already good at, but when he persevered with things that he found difficult. I stressed to him that by struggling, your brain grows. Between the deep body of research on the field of learning mindsets and this personal experience with my son, I am more convinced than ever that mindsets toward learning could matter more than anything else we teach.

Researchers have known for some time that the brain is like a muscle; that the more you use it the more it grows. They’ve found that neural connections form and deepen most when we make mistakes doing difficult tasks rather than repeatedly having success with easy ones. What this means is that our intelligence is not fixed: and the best way that we can grow our intelligence is to embrace tasks where we might struggle and fail.

However, not everyone realizes this. Dr. Carol Dweck of Stanford University has been studying people’s mindsets towards learning for decades. She has found that most people adhere to one of two mindsets: fixed or growth. Fixed mindsets mistakenly believe that people are either smart or not; that intelligence is fixed by genes. People with growth mindsets correctly believe that capability and intelligence can be grown through effort, struggle and failure. Dweck found that those with a fixed mindset tended to focus their effort on tasks where they had a high likelihood of success and avoided tasks where they may have had to struggle, which limited their learning. People with a growth mindset, however, embraced challenges, and understood that tenacity and effort could change their learning outcomes. As you can imagine, this correlated with the latter group more actively pushing themselves and growing intellectually.

The good news is that mindsets can be taught; they’re malleable. What’s really fascinating is that Dweck and others have developed techniques that they call ‘growth mindset interventions’ which have shown that even small changes in communication or seemingly innocuous comments can have fairly long­-lasting implications for a person’s mindset. For instance, praising someone’s process (“I really like how you struggled with that problem”) versus praising an innate trait or talent (“You’re so clever!”) is one way to reinforce a growth ­mindset with someone. Process­ praise acknowledges the effort; talent­ praise reinforces the notion that one only succeeds (or doesn’t) based on a fixed trait. And we’ve seen this on Khan Academy as well: students are spending more time learning on Khan Academy after being exposed to messages which praise their tenacity and grit and that underscore that the brain is like a muscle.

I really want to start a national conversation that examines how we as a society can help people develop a growth mindset. In fact, the Internet is a dream for someone with a growth mindset. Between Khan Academy, MOOCs and others, there is unprecedented access to endless content to help you grow your mind. However, society isn’t going to fully take advantage of without growth mindsets being more prevalent. So what if we actively tried to change that? What if we began using whatever means at our disposal to start performing growth mindset interventions on everyone we cared about? This is much bigger than Khan Academy or algebra it applies to how you communicate with your children, how you manage your team at work, to how you learn a new language or instrument. If society as a whole begins to embrace the struggle of learning, there is no end to what that could mean for global human potential.

And now here’s a surprise for you. By reading this article itself, you’ve just undergone the first half of a growth­-mindset intervention. The research shows that just being exposed to the research itself ­­for example knowing that brain grows most by getting questions wrong, not right­­ can begin to change a person’s mindset. The second half of the intervention is for you to communicate the research with others. We’ve made a video (above) that celebrates the struggle of learning that will help you do this. After all, when my son, or for that matter, anyone else asks me about learning, I only want them to know one thing. As long as they embrace struggle and mistakes, they can learn anything.

Written by bevanddara

August 20, 2014 at 9:31 am

Such a Touching Tribute

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Written by bevanddara

August 19, 2014 at 3:52 pm

FEED Your Mind

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I follow FEED on Instagram (I follow a lot of non-profit organizations on Instagram that are doing things to make this World a better place . . . well, and then I also follow Kim Kardashian . . . I mean, I need to be up to date on her life of course!  It makes me feel better for some reason. Hopefully one day I’ll win the lottery and can devote my life to helping others . . .).  ANYWAY, back to FEED, They had this post today and its a post that I really needed . . . today . . . so I thought I would share (that’s the beautiful Lauren Lauren – the co-founder of FEED, granddaughter of George Bush, Sr and wife of David Lauren, the son of Raph Lauren . . . did you get all that?!?).


FEED’s mission is to create good products that help FEED the world. They have pretty cute stuff.   Love this little beach bag to put your phone, money, etc in while you’re in the sand (which will provide 25 school meals).

And this beach blanket (which provides 50 school meals).

And this reusable shopping back (which will feed 1 child’s school meals for 1 year)

Love this tee-shirt too (which provides 10 school meals)

Written by bevanddara

August 7, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Yes, We are still sewing on Tuesdays

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The friends I sew with on Tuesday belong to the Piecemakers Guild of Brandon. Every 2-3 years the Guild has a quilt show.  Several quilt shows ago, Judy had a “sweatshop” that created fabric items for a boutique that was far and above what any other guild has ever done.   She wants her tradition to continue, so has decided to encourage our group to make some items for the next quilt show boutique once a month.  Here are our creations for this month.  I would consider all of us quite accomplished sewers.  We aren’t sure why, but the bags were so simple that we had trouble making them.  I know, it doesn’t make any sense, does it? We tried to blame our difficulties on the phase of the moon. Despite our difficulties, the bags turned out adorable.DSCN3617 Its been a while since I showed some of the things we’ve been working on. Claudia made this cute bag.  Of course we all want to make one.DSCN3591 Claudia made another baby quilt for her future great grandchild.  (I hope it’s a girl, Claudia.)DSCN3589 Ok, Claudia was an overachiever.DSCN3587 What…haven’t I taken pictures of anyone else’s work?  DSCN3595I don’t remember who made this, and I don’t recognize the fingers.DSCN3592Debbie made a million spools.  How cute!DSCN3614Cindy caught the spools bug.  Sashing (the strips between the blocks) makes a difference.DSCN3611 I wish when I started quilting I had thought to make one of these blocks out of every fabric I used in a quilt.DSCN3612Judy finished a basket block, this is going to be a spectacular quilt.
DSCN3596That’s it for show and tell.  One last thing to report…it only takes 20 minutes to drive to Judy’s house, instead of 45 minutes.  I was almost on time today!

Written by bevanddara

August 5, 2014 at 9:39 pm

Posted in Bev, Quilts