Sunday, July 27, 2008

From the Week of July 20th

ACHIEVER, RETIRING. Charles Schwab is retiring from the discount brokerage that bears his name, according to Reuters. What makes Schwab of special interest to the 2e community, of course, is that he is dyslexic and struggled through English classes (while excelling in economics). Reuters quotes Schwab: "But I've always felt that I had very strong conceptual capabilities. I could imagine things much faster than some other people who were stuck thinking sequentially. That helped me in solving complicated business problems. I could visualize how things would look at the end of the tunnel." For a long time, Schwab also funded SchwabLearning, a website devoted to helping children with LDs; that site is now administered by GreatSchools.net.

GIFTED WITH VISION PROCESSING PROBLEMS. On a blog called "Working Out the Quinques," blogger "bensrib" described her personal experience with her high-ability kids, two of whom had vision-related issues. The post is from July 24th; she says she likes to remind people that when children say they hate reading, there's a reason.

KNOW AN ANXIOUS KID? Read a New York Times article describing how a psychiatrist handled two cases in his Child Anxiety Disorders Clinic, one case with a high-achieving girl and one with an AD/HD young man who had trouble with abstract thinking.

PRECOCIOUS. The New York Times has a Monday feature called "Metropoliltan Diary," in which readers describe experiences in that city. On July 21, the third entry described two six-year-old boys directing a spray of water into a bucket...
Jeremy (Observing the water swirling around the bucket): “Is that a whirlpool or a vortex?”
Max: “I think it’s a maelstrom.”

FOR YOUNG VIDEOGRAPHERS. Kids 7 to 13 may submit documentary videos of a summer event in their hometowns to a video contest sponsored by "Meet Me at the Corner, Virtual Field Trips for Kids." First prize: $250. Deadline: August 31. Find out more.

FROM THE DANA FOUNDATION. The Dana Foundation publishes a print newsletter called Brain Work, The Neuroscience Newsletter. Articles in the July/August issue included one describing how senses "cohabit" in the visual cortex; one on "cognitive enhancement" drugs; and another contending that the newborn brain may be wired for speech, citing experiments on newborns that show activity in the speech areas of the brain and the ability to respond (internally) to speech in their native language. Articles from the newsletter are also available online.

GIFTED ACHIEVER, RIP. On July 25, a gifted and inspiring Carnegie-Mellon educator and computer scientist named Randy Pausch died at 47, according to news reports. He had devised ways to make learning computer programming fun, and drew large crowds at his lectures. His university called him "a computer scientist with the heart of a performer." When in 2007 he discovered he had just months to live because of pancreatic cancer, he vidotaped a lecture titled "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams," which, thanks to the Internet, has been viewed by tens of millions of people. Read the news reports; see the video on YouTube.

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