倒影,涟漪,与黑暗

Berlin的天也是这样一直阴雨绵绵吗?坐在炉火边的我却感受到了十足的光亮与温暖。酒店的低调内敛是我喜爱的类型,黑白相间的几何图案铺在地上散发着神秘的奢华。即便是摆设的插花也是抛光面的不锈钢金属的立方体,和带着雨后湿润感,挺拔苍绿的竹杆和暗紫色的马蹄莲,还有带有海水质感大贝壳作为分隔物,带有点点的团草。矜持而又大雅。大理石的质感让人不由得也跟着尊贵了起来。不过,旁边的廉价的橘色长绒圆形地毯却格格不入。

耳机里回响的是TS暗黑系的新歌,在品味蕴含其中的情感——前调是恨意……是的,被背叛的感觉……中调好像是复仇,后调是新生。对比歌曲都是积极向上的Katy Perry,TS仿佛负能量多了一些:分手、背叛、复仇。好奇的我查了一下二人的进化史。KP的作品比较多样化,从最开始对LGBT团体的描述、到积极的励志歌曲、到反讽人类生活的题材。TS的也非常直接,只有不断的分手复仇情歌(其他的暂时被忽略)。可以感觉到TS是在拿自己的生命为素材;KP则不会让人触及到她的真实生活,而是她一手编织的fantasy乌托邦。从这一点上来说,TS是非常真实的,因为她不掩盖任何事情。可能对KP来说,这就是一份job, 对TS来说,这就是life. 

晚上又看了一遍高达SEED,而这次中芙蕾和基拉的感情纠葛引起了我的注意力。原来看的时候想到的都是和拉克丝的完美爱情,基拉大神和拉克丝女神的绝配。但是,现实生活中芙蕾才是那个每次给基拉温暖怀抱的人,哪怕这是虚假的复仇。漫长的岁月中,给予那个无知少年温暖的女人,才是最真实的存在。脆弱哭泣的时候,一把温柔的女人香。就好像剑心的雪代巴。因为,现实是残酷冰冷的,一个人活着真的好艰难——无助、误解、背叛、陷害、自责、绝望。需要另一个人可以给予脸碰脸的温暖和背靠背的信任。

“你永远不知道什么时候会不经意间伤害到别人,比如对人品的怀疑”。身正不怕影子歪,但是却不得不预防会溃于蚁穴的可能性。良知可以辨是否,明真理。然而有多少人可以致良知,而不是无法做到真如自性而游走在一层层蒙着尘土的充满了黑色漏洞的茧壳之中。哦,见不得光,见不得光,太亮了,太亮了!我黑色的眼睛无法承受这耀眼的光芒!我们……看不见消除了人欲的世界……我们……眼前的只有自己的倒影。触摸着自己的脸庞,哦,这是我微弱的鼻息,这是我冰冷的指尖,这是我迈不开的双腿!黑暗中只有me, myself and I。

每一个人都是生活在自己的倒影之中,来自过去的涟漪,波及到了对未来的展开。这便也导致了罪孽的延续。有部电影说,What defines you is your past, but I’d rather believe that what you do defines you. 要用当下的力量突破过去的禁锢,不断的刷新refresh自己所期盼的未来。学会放下和遗忘,是前进的必需品——过去的你必须死亡, ‘cause the old you is dead, then, I choose to live a brand new life.

放一把心火,烧光曾经的所有。 

 

 

香草小土豆,有效学习的“前提”是什么

今天是我欧洲之行的第9天了吧。大肘子、大啤酒、大香肠,还有山寨的中餐和日料,已经让我失去了对当地美食的探寻(你看,兴趣就是这么容易被眼前残酷的现实浇灭,虽然这可能并不是事实)。还是回到了自己住的酒店,从“报纸菜单”上点了烤鱼和冷牛肉。热腾腾的精致美食放到了我们眼前,我磨刀霍霍向烤鱼。吃的正欢的时候,我抬头一看,“咦?你怎么又点了香草小土豆?”指着同事的餐盘说道。回想一路上,香草小土豆的身影就神出鬼没,出现在各种菜肴中。又想起,原来这里的人主要拿土豆作为主食——所以香草小土豆是饱腹用的。

突然一瞬间,好像曾经的一个什么“土豆饥荒”从脑海中一闪而过。想不起来,我若有所思的问着同事,“你听说过什么土豆饥荒吗?” “不知道。” 我翻出手机,开始Google搜索脑海中这飘忽不定的记忆碎片。查到了,是爱尔兰大饥荒,也被称为“马铃薯饥荒”。

我一边看,一边读,一边梳理自己沉睡了已久的惰性知识。我读着读着,意识到了这场饥荒的缘由、历史背景、政治意义,甚至还看到了曾经学过却不知何意的经济学原理(Giffen Good)。我一边读着一边总结,“你看,饥荒后,爱尔兰就独立了,怪不得这场饥荒这么著名。” 随着继续阅读,我发现这场饥荒可没有这么简单——病毒的产生可能是随机的,但是如此爆发饿死上百万人的惨状,一定先前是被埋下了很多的雷。例如,粮食的单一度是什么造成的?为何没有粮食储备?等等问题引人思考。一连串即将爆炸的问题让我花了不少时间在wikipedia上细细阅读。

“所以,我给你推荐那本书嘛,Guns, Germs, and Steel.” 同事说道。

这是因为我刚才感叹道,“谁能想到,一个细菌的产生,导致了一个国家的独立。” 其实,在此之前已经不知道被推荐了多少次了。我总是一副不屑的态度——“奇怪的标题!” 也就没有当回事儿的认真询问。但是,此时我却是意识到,这本书我是要读的了。有些时刻人们就会突然的认真起来。

兴趣被激发的瞬间就是这么神奇!如果没有真实的体验,我可能对土豆还是关我何事的态度。也自然不了解其中蕴含的血泪史,也就更无法了解到世界上另外一番土地上的人是如此生活的。想起之前学习的时候,那就是一团混沌了。我跟同事说,“如果学Giffen Good的时候就是配合着这段历史背景来说,岂不是会非常直观?” 当然,我现在有些马后炮了。因为即便当时讲了爱尔兰历史,我可能还是会囫囵吞枣的左耳朵进右耳朵出——因为除了做题本身,土豆不土豆管我何事!

因此,有效学习的前提还是相关性和好奇心。真实的场景体验可以增加对相关性的理解和好奇心的培养。这一部分是最容易被忽略的,且最容易被低估的部分。注意,我认为前提是“相关性”,而不是“重要性”。学习者意识到内容的重要性,一定是从相关性开始的,只有相关,才会渐渐变的重要。这么说也是为了针对诸多家长、老师对学习者的言论,“这个对你会很重要,要好好学习!” 然而除了明显的成绩和班级排名,其他相关性并不显著。也难怪学习者常见意料之中的疲乏。

若是要类比的话,那可能就是一个女人的外貌了吧,最近流行的说法是“你的外表都不能吸引我的话,又如何看到你内心的美丽呢?”  

——如果看上去既和我毫不相干、又不好玩,那么我为何要学习它呢?

以诚待人,赤子之心

今天并非刻意的情况下,偶然间复活了自己的网站,多少还有点欣喜之情!那么就趁着这股心意盎然之际,写下三言两语,也算是对自己最近生活的一点反思和感悟。

我自许待人以赤诚之心,不欺不弃不假不作。自然,也就“理所当然的”认为他人也是用着同样的角度来爱着自己与世界。但是,实际情况却是,尔虞我诈虚假繁荣,连真如都被卷入其中、深受其害。这话要是从何说起了呢?你会发现……很多人明明心里知道什么是正确的,什么是应该去做的,但是却偏不!却非要反其道而行之。也许他们是被所谓的世事所折腰、又或是被类似的人所影响,但是最终的选择都是自己做出来的,那就也要为其结果而负责了。我认为致良知应当是我们做事的指令盘,内心的声音告诉我们,要成为什么样的人、做什么样的事。但是,很多人却渐渐远离了内心最真诚的声音,我为他们感到可悲、可叹。这一类人,他们的生活是压抑的、压抑的、压抑的。重要的事情要说三遍。他们的生活中多半时间是乌云密布,很少见到阳光普照,他们的压抑的情绪会不自觉的传递给身边的人。不管是父母、子女、同事,还是其他人。这种暗能量多半藏的非常深,很容易被外表的笑脸、温柔细语、权威所掩盖,但是久而久之,它就会渐渐侵蚀你的快乐和你的良知。假的东西,再怎么好看,也总有崩坏的一天。而我们需要做的,就是保持一个警惕的心,等待水落石出的那天。同时,怀有一颗赤子之心,仁爱之心。

说,这样心口不一的为自己制造一种所谓的美好幻想,不敢直视其问题所在,是一种极为懦弱的表现。莫要惊讶,人,不管在于多大的岁数,都会有这样怂的表现。生活其实是非常温柔的,若你首先对自己坦诚、直面问题,又怎怕生活不会仁慈对你?因此大部分的人都是作茧自缚,把自己内心最坦诚宝贵的地方拱手让出,交换来了虚假、懒惰、貌合神离。这样的人生真的是可悲的。一辈子的乌云密布,有所成就最终也将是竹篮打水一场空。

因此,努力做到仁爱当是一种极为值得珍爱的品行。这般的人,也能体会到生活的真谛与幸福。

祝福并保佑更多的人能实现真如人生。

Heart of Start 生之初心

I haven’t updated my blog for a long time. Mainly because I put more efforts on writing in Chinese. I am running a Wechat publication page - “regrowth再成长,” which is focusing on the pure pleasure of writing from heart and enlightenment from daily life. The public account is not for business, but a place that I want to provide for all my dear friends who also love to write and read the sense of purity.

I resumed my writing here is because a friend of mine randomly checked out my blog and I was surprised by that because I think people won’t read it. (You know, fast consumption, busy busy, no time, and English is not my first language.) However, I still would love to take the time and reflect on what I have been through these days, of course, with some of my learnings that you may get inspired, hopefully. 

Life is all about your Heart of Start-初心 (chuxin).

In Chinese culture, time is not one-way straight. It’s more like a cycle, every 60 years, there is a cycle. Within the big cycle, there are a lot of the small cycles. Cycle is the way of nature and the way of life. Nothing will flourish forever and nothing will fail forever. Means, changing as the process is the means of life, and maybe also the ultimate goal. 

I brought this up, because the perception of time will completely shape how we understand the world, our life, and each single decision that we are facing at. We always say, make a better world tomorrow. Tomorrow, is it truly better than today? If you compare the two things, and you believe time is going one way down the road, believing tomorrow is better than today is more acceptable. However, does it matter that tomorrow is necessarily better than today? Why can’t we accept the fact that tomorrow is NOT better than today? It’s simple. Because we all live upon hopes. Hopes are the real things that ignite us and motivate us to walk further. The time of one-way straight facilities that perception. But again, my point is that today may not be better than yesterday, and it’s quite meaningless to compare the two. Sometimes, we just need to believe in something to keep our lives function well. However, the process of making either positive or negative differences should be both appreciated. 

So what’s Heart of Start? Just think about it, 3 years, 12 years, 60 years, you will go back to where you started. Certainly you won’t be young again, but the things, challenges, difficulties, people around you, new opportunities, and your mindsets may appear to be very similar once again. Is it amazing? I see the end of cycle and the start of cycle as a chance of rebirth. At this moment, if you are conscious enough to see it and feel it, you should feel lucky and be prepared for the new self. That’s why Heart of Start is important, since you are always reinventing the wheel - and the wheel is what you really want to achieve in your life.

I have seen kids who dreamed about changing the world; teenagers who wanted to start their own companies; adults who don’t know what they want to achieve in their lives…They all realized their Hearts of Start in a way. The Heart of Start can be big and small, internal and external…but basically this will be the tone of life for this person. In modern society, everyone needs to go through the formal education system, and this will be about 20 years. After that, the rest of people’s lives, another 40 years? 60 years? And even 80 years? That’s the time to really see where the heart can guide the person arrives. A long long journey needs a Polaris to shine the way ahead, and the Heart of Start is the Polaris of life. It’s not as far as it looks like. It’s never like black and white - made it or not. It’s like a Möbius strip , and you are on it all the time, and you are accomplishing it every single second, again and again, to different levels.  

Always remember, always review, and always reinvent the Heart of Start.

This is one way to re-perceive life, isn’t it? 

 

 

 

人生“正确”的道路

斯坦福不快乐。

 

————

 

什么是斯坦福典型的成功的学生?

 

对于本科的学生来说,大一开始找实习,大二,大三暑假都去实习,大四的时候工作拿到手。

非理工科或者商类的要进入McKinsey, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs;工科的要进入Google, Facebook, promising startups, or found a startup.

 

作为非斯坦福本科的学生,我羡慕着这里的本科生优越的条件和勤奋,但是其实他们也会经常头痛很多事情。有一个最著名的显现叫做“鸭子症状“,描述的就是斯坦福的学生们。表面上看上去恬淡悠闲,但是水下面脚却奋力的划水。身在加州,阳光充足,大家看上去都是那么的快乐,你就算压力再大,也应该看上去很快乐很轻松的样子。但是背地里,不知道要吞多少苦水,流出多少汗,才能在这样看似风平浪静的激烈竞争中得以一席之地。举个例子,去年期末期间,学校特地发出一封email说,期末期间请大家注意休息,如果有心理问题请即时去看校医。听说,前年期末期间有学生自杀了,这封信的样子是告诉同学们,“不要太玩命,保重健康,p.s.死人的话学校又要上头条了。” 斯坦福汇集了世界各地的精英,所以上课的时候,一方面你在和一群聪明的人相互学习,另一方面,你是和这样玩命来的完美主义者们在竞争。

 

————

 

我经常会被斯坦福本科生们惊讶到。他们在18,19岁的时候就已经对社交轻车熟路,各种学术成就一箩筐。想想18岁时候的我,光是个全班的演讲就害羞的不得了。同时又觉得,也许他们从小就经历了太多,所以成长的自然也是很快的,就仿佛正常情况下30年的经历压缩在他们18年的生活之中,有如今的成长是理所当然的。同时斯坦福是一个充满着各种机遇的地方,名人出入,被全世界的高度关注着,有着这样精英的环境和机会,他们应该会变得更加厉害吧!当我一直持有着,斯坦福本科学生是开外挂变无敌的想法的时侯,我们的一个小作业让我意识到,光鲜的背后很多学生的挣扎和迷茫。

 

————

 

我们做了一个叫做 the Art and Science of Happiness的workshop,这个workshop是一个为了改进斯坦福在2020年的一个实验。 我们针对刚刚进入斯坦福的大一学生,希望通过workshop可以帮助他们了解更多关于快乐的知识。最开始的时候让他们填写一个问卷。问卷包括了这么几个问题:你觉得你现在在长大么(更多指的是思想程度上的)?你怎么定义失败?评价你现在的快乐程度?有5名学生参与了这个小小的实验。这短短的调查得来的结果却是发人深省的。一个学生说,在斯坦福,身边的事情发生的太快了,每一周就好像是模糊的一样,我根本没有时间来察觉到我的成长;我觉得所有的事情都是强加在我身上的,变化太快;我觉得自我反省的时间是没有效率的;我觉得失败就是错过各种机会;我觉得需要有人来指导我,来告诉我那个正确的道路。

 

正确的道路?

哪个正确的道路?

有正确的道路存在么?

 

当我看到这句所谓的正确的道路的时候,突然觉得是不是在这样的环境里,这些18岁甚至更小的他们感觉到一种被淹没的失控感和不安全感。一个大二的学生告诉我,这些被Admisison office引以自豪的“绝对正确的选择”的学生们,曾经在自己的世界里都是引以自豪的明星,披荆斩棘,层层锻炼,走到如今这一步。他们曾经憧憬的都是,“来到了斯坦福,我的生活会变得很美好,” 但是事实却不是这样。他们发现,原来来到斯坦福,还要继续努力,而且可能还是比原来更努力,才能保持自己的优雅美好的形象。但是现在不同与以前了,已经运用了“成功公式”(好成绩+课外活动+各种经历=名校)来到了这个所谓的乐园,他们下一步走向哪里却要靠自己来探索。斯坦福一切都进行的太快了,quarter制的学期让知识和压力来的一同加速。一旦有一小会儿不学习就会觉得很有罪恶感焦虑不安,同时就会想到,自己的其他同学正在图书馆努力,但是自己却在这里没有效率的“浪费时间”。我和几个本科生聊过天,很多学生还在为自己的专业而纠结不清。一位已经定了专业的学生说,当初和自己一起来的很多人顺从了斯坦福的主流而学了计算机,但是她不觉得他们中的一些人真正知道自己喜欢什么,而是rush了这个决定而已。就像前面描述的,很多人踏上了前面所说到的典型的成功学生的道路。但是,这个是那个传说中的正确的道路么?

 

 

想到我自己以及身边朋友的经历。当我们还懵懂的时候,家长,老师,整个社会都在不断的告诉我们,成绩好,就有个光明的前途,考上个好大学,就是人生的赢家。于是无知的我们奋发的读书,多少个夜晚灯烛下我们趴在书桌上就是为了那么几分。当我们辛辛苦苦的完成了学业,成功的攻下了名牌大学的时候,当我们踏进校门的一瞬间,我们却迷茫了。如果说上大学是我们这18年以来的人生目标,那么在这一刻,我们终于实现了!欢呼雀跃,彻夜狂欢后剩下的却是苍白的空白。我们已经走到了这里,然后呢?是啊,然后呢?我们获得了18年的协助和指引在一瞬间不见了,我们迷茫了。我们不知所措,我们左顾右看,我们...开始重新追寻起别人口中的金科玉律。为了出国读书的同学开始刷GPA,准备研究,套磁拉关系,做各种实习来填充自己的简历;为了找工作的同学早早的在大一就开始踏出校园寻找经历;认为大学应该享受美好青春的同学在这段时间里尝尽青春的滋味,恋爱,娱乐。不管怎么样,我们完成了一个目标又一个目标。然而一个目标的终结预示着下一个的开始,我们始终在为了自己的“将来”忙碌着。。。直到有一个时间,我们突然发现,自己的目标已经完成的差不多了:考学,找工作。。。也许,也许,下一个是结婚?然后是生孩子?但是,我们的内心深处有个声音一直在告诉你,好像人生少了点什么?我们一直追寻着的“正确”的道路走到现在,为什么会突然困惑了?

 

————

 

追寻着这个问题,我们不断的去问“为什么“,希望能发现一些什么。为什么学生们会觉得自我反省的时间是没有效率的?为什么学生们会觉得失败是错过各种机会?为什么他们希望别人告诉自己正确的路是什么?为什么他们并没有那么快乐?

 

习惯优秀的代价 - 沉陷在游戏规则里

 

相信很多学习成绩优秀的学生们都有这样的一种感觉,我不知道我什么要这么努力去完成这件事件,我只是习惯于这样做而已。从小到大的他们在这样的社会公认的价值体系中长大,知道什么事情是会被人高度认可的,什么事情是对自己有绝对优势的,于是要尽自己的努力去做到那些事情而被认可。比如,考试好的话老师认为你是好学生,所有的奖励机会都留给你。久而久之,不少学生会被这样的“被认可”而束缚住——什么是被社会大众认可的,我便去做什么事情,但是这些事情也许并不是最合适他们的。虽然不少学生懂得,“先遵守游戏规则,再另造一番天地,” 但是要始终清楚他人的游戏规则始终不是自己人生的游戏规则,自己的真正的人生游戏规则和价值准则是来自于自己的内心

 

 

安全的追寻 -     人性最基本的需求

 

心理学里面有讲到过婴儿和母亲的关系对孩子未来成长的影响。里面有一种叫做Secure attachment安全依附。大概的意思是说,小孩子们在陌生的环境中,当妈妈在身边的时候可以自己的探索环境和陌生人互动,当妈妈离开时可能会哭泣难过,当妈妈回来时,小孩儿会很快的靠近妈妈寻求安抚。其实当人长大了,这些需求也是在那里的,不过变得并没有那么明显罢了。人总是想去寻找自己的安全港湾,然后才能有勇气去探寻这个未知的世界,因为你清楚的知道如果探索的路上跌倒了,有人会扶你起来;你冷了会有人来温暖你;你失败了有人会鼓励你重新起航。如果有着这安全的地方让你栖息,外面的狂风暴雨也不在是什么恶魔怪兽,望而却步。

 

学生,也是一样的。当我跟我的同学聊的时候,她说,那当然要先找工作了,先解决温饱问题再说其他的呀;当我跟别人聊的时候又有人说,不断追求自己喜欢的事情,你的温饱自然会得到解决。对于前者来说,也许工作就是自己的安全港湾,是第一个目标,有了这个基石才可以去考虑其他的事情;对于后者来说,也许自己身边的亲人家人是自己的安全港湾,于是解决温饱早已不是目标了,而真正的目标是追求自己真正想做的事情。到底什么东西可以给自己那种最基本的安全感,是需要花时间去思考和辨别的。当你明确的找到那份安全的时候,你给予了自己自信心以及更大的世界去放手一搏。

 

 

生命的厚度 - 充盈起人生的平衡

 

“Complexity复杂”这个词在心理学里用来形容人生,不是代表人生混乱不堪错综复杂,而是讲述人生的厚度——什么对你最重要。作为学生的我们,也许目前的任务就是学习和找工作。一旦有一个发展的不顺利,不如没有考好,我们会觉得我们的人生好糟糕,“天呐,我的前途完蛋了。” 但是,如果我们重视的事情多了起来,不仅仅是学习,还有身边人的健康,和周围同学的友谊,自己兴趣的发展,多线并行,那么一条线也许发展不顺利,我们至少很清楚,我们的生活依然很美好,因为身边的人都很健康,和同学在一起也很快乐,自己的兴趣也在成长中,这一点点小事儿没有做好再次来过就好了,“胜败乃兵家常事,大侠请重新来过。” 我们的情绪心情会更加的稳定,从而看待很多问题也会更加的积极乐观,不会轻易被打倒。

 

找到存在的意义 - 几辈子的事业

 

Positive psychology里面提到过如何获得快乐。如果你有100块钱,你会用它来做什么呢?实验证明,把它花在买体验的事情上会比花在买一个东西上产生更多的快乐,花在别人身上会比花在自己身上更开心。人们喜欢追求“意义“,也许给别人花钱产生的意义所产生的正能量更多吧。对于18, 20岁的学生来说,大学这段时间是要来发现我们的长远的人生目标的。我们的目标不应该是5年就可以实现的,比如职位上升3级,而应该是更长远,值得我们花几辈子来慢慢实现的。当我们目望远方,一步步的走向那里的时候,我们清楚的明白每一步都是踏实的,心安理得,不再恐慌担心迷茫。

 

————

 

我听一个老师说,她的一名学生曾经花了一段看似“没有效率”的时间来反思自己,来放慢脚步,但是当她想清楚自己想做什么的时候,她如同弓箭一般的将自己的行动指向自己的目标,结果她说,自己那段看似没有用的时间却是起到了“加速”的作用。说到底,快乐不快乐,幸不幸福,满意不满意,还是要我们自己来追求的。学生时代,我们经历如此大个一个转变,从被家长老师社会指引到自己探寻前方不清晰的路。我们会恐慌会不安会害怕,但是当我们重整旗鼓看清自己的时候,我们会勇敢的拥抱自己的世界, 走自己的正确的路.

 

 

 

The Trouble With Online Education

“Learning at its best is a collective enterprise.”

Original article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/20/opinion/the-trouble-with-online-education.html?_r=0 from the New York Times

The core idea from this article:

Learning at its best is a collective enterprise, something we’ve known since Socrates. You can get knowledge from an Internet course if you’re highly motivated to learn. But in real courses the students and teachers come together and create an immediate and vital community of learning. A real course creates intellectual joy, at least in some. I don’t think an Internet course ever will. Internet learning promises to make intellectual life more sterile and abstract than it already is — and also, for teachers and for students alike, far more lonely.

The idea of using information technology in education is to utilize the power of information technology to scale up and integrate information diversity. Meanwhile, it will low down the cost of education, which looks like a threat to universities.

I thinking in education, it’s very important to distinguish what is knowledge and what is wisdom. Knowledge can be duplicated, but wisdom cannot. Wisdom is usually from other people, your peers, your teacher, or even some books while you are discussing, listening, and thinking.

Right now, MOOCs are more like duplicating and spreading knowledge, rather than stimulating wisdom. However,

What if there is a great way to conduct discussion online? What if the online platform is highly interactive? Will that be a different story?

I think it’s still too early to make the conclusion. Eventually, I believe the online education will be extremely smart by using big data, and highly interactive by integrating all kinds of information technology. Our life style will be changed dramatically.

Some quotes from the article:

Understanding what it is that students have to teach teachers can help us to deal with one of the most vexing issues now facing colleges and universities: online education.
With every class we teach, we need to learn who the people in front of us are. We need to know where they are intellectually, who they are as people and what we can do to help them grow. Teaching, even when you have a group of a hundred students on hand, is a matter of dialogue.
With every class we teach, we need to learn who the people in front of us are. We need to know where they are intellectually, who they are as people and what we can do to help them grow. Teaching, even when you have a group of a hundred students on hand, is a matter of dialogue.
A large lecture class can also create genuine intellectual community. Students will always be running across others who are also enrolled, and they’ll break the ice with a chat about it and maybe they’ll go on from there. When a teacher hears a student say, “My friends and I are always arguing about your class,” he knows he’s doing something right. From there he folds what he has learned into his teaching, adjusting his course in a fluid and immediate way that the Internet professor cannot easily match.

 

Why do students go to Coursera?

A short study about students’ motivation 

Here are some of the reasons people come to Coursera:
(This study is from Stanford University)

  • Course offered by prestigious university/professor
  • Earn a certificate/statement of accomplishment
  • Relevant to academic research
  • Relevant to academic coursework
  • For career change
  • Experience an online course
  • Take with colleagues/friends
  • Relevant to job
  • Explore an unfamiliar topic
  • Explore a familiar topic
  • For fun and challenge
  • Meet new people

 

Innovation in Chinese culture

As a Stanford student who is studying educational technology, I was challenged by two prestigious professors at my final project presentation. Their questions led me to this post and my life goal.

My final project is about brainstorming, so all my researches are about ideation process and creativity. I analyzed the ideation steps and I searched about all different techniques to generate ideas. I felt very happy about that, because I felt like I’ve mastered the ideation process. So, during my presentation of my work, I was excited and confident about their positive feedbacks. However, after the presentation, I got a simple answer from all the reviewing professors, “It’s superficial.” Well, they didn’t say it, but that’s my conclusion. I am always strict to myself and I don’t want to lie to myself if there is a problem.

The ultimate trigger is a single slide in my PPT. The picture shows a Chinese student who is studying in the ocean of textbooks, painfully. I explained, “this is part of my motivation to research this topic – ideation and creativity, since I want to know more about it so I can help them.” Attention: I didn’t say they are my target users, but obviously the professors might consider Chinese students are my target users. After that slide, I kept talking about my tool, Sparkl. It went pretty well. All the young reviewers or people who are more business-oriented gave me super positive feedbacks. But Professor Terry asked me, I didn’t see anything that is related to Chinese students in your presentation. I was a bit panic and explained immediately, Yeah, they are not my target users, at least in this project. He continued, what’s the situation like in China? How Chinese people see creativity? I was stuck for a few seconds – I have never thought about that! So I tried to answer his question, “Well, in China, many people do not think out of the box, people do not brainstorm. What I want to do here is to figure the ideation process first, and then use something that is practical, which means it can help people to accomplish many practical purpose, to foster the creativity learning in China.” Another professor asked a similar question and I answered based on my personal experience. Then the discussion part was over.

At the time I was about to leave, Professor Renate came to me and told me something like, “do you really want us to comment on that concrete tool, the technical part? Or you want us to talk about the real important issue, which is the creativity innovation in China?” I was listening, “you brought up an amazingly interesting topic – the creativity learning in China, and you didn’t talk about it.” Honestly, I just put a picture there and I guess I didn’t think that deep, so the time she asked me, I was also thinking about what she said. “China has such a long history, how could there is no ideation method?” I suddenly realized, she is right, I didn’t even think about MY OWN culture. She continued, “you know, you have to learn to leverage your value. Tell people what they don’t know. People here are familiar with brainstorming, but they don’t know a lot about China, and that’s your expertise, nobody can beat you on that. Don’t not hide it.” And then she left.

After the talk with her, I thought I realized something but I hadn’t got there yet. Two questions she mentioned: 1. What are the innovation/creativity methods like in traditional (ancient) Chinese culture? 2. How to foster creativity learning in contemporary Chinese education? Those two big questions have been staying in my mind since that moment. The two questions reminded me of some of my personal experience: I started to appreciate more Chinese culture after I have seen my cohort was doing GongFu Cha; I was amazed to see that famous people here enjoy Daoism so much which is part of the textbook for elementary school kids in China; Some of my friends also told me that the big wisdom is in Chinese culture and they started to read more traditional readings; In some discussions, my friends and I all went to the same topic of “innovation in Chinese culture”; my chat with Meng made me realize that the future development of Chinese culture will go through a process of “returning,” which means it will go outside China and then go back after modification by other cultures. All the experience made me realize this is a big issue, and may be my ultimate goal, as the meaning of my Chinese name – 曼文 – spreading culture.

Today I did some basic search about “innovation in Chinese culture,” of course, in Chinese. I did find many interesting results. Here I am going to talk about some.

Chinese culture emphasizes the oneness and the wholeness of human soul and nature. Chinese culture focuses more on the inner world, like in meditation, happiness is flowing inside yourself, and it’s a default state, as long as you can quiet down to hear your inner voice, you can experience the happiness, without the disruption from the external world. Therefore, because of it’s extreme highlight on inner world, some external aspects are ignored and underestimated. Many famous poets in ancient China all live in “poor” living conditions, but they feel spiritually happy – the rich happiness in their inner world. I guess this is part of the reason why contemporary Chinese people are blindly chasing materialism – we Chinese people have been underestimated the joy that materialism can bring for us for such a long time, and now, we want it all.

If we consider the innovation in China, many ancient thinkers have pointed out the method, that is, forming a quiet inner world first, so that you can have the ability to see the world in details, you can think deeply, and you can see the changing (变) world clearly. You should have a open mind to embrace all different things and see the world from a fresh perspective every day, just like a baby. Ancient people even engrave something on the edge of their washbasin so they can see it while washing faces every day. The thing is “every day, we should wash our soul to face the new life and new change.” But all this kind of instruction is missing in our education, and I JUST realized it after I studied one year in Stanford as a master student.

Now, consider western culture, which is more practical and more human-centered. Everything is crystal clear, and it’s step by step. The culture highlights many aspects about individuals, just an example, the human-centered approach in design is completely new to me the first time I heard about it. It’s strange, in China, we also mentioned that we need to be human-centered, but why it’s not like the way it is here? I think it’s the cultural difference. In China, we consider things more from a “wholeness” perspective, so we see people as a whole, and each individual should strive for the mutual goal, which leads to the ignorance of each individual’s feeling. I say things here are very practical, for example, all the ideation techniques can be explained easily and they are all doable and actionable. Chinese culture prefers everything that is not explained straightforward, so my assumption is that, you have to quiet down and think, practice, reflect, think, practice, and reflect, to really master it. It’s hard to do under the current situation in China where people face tons of pressures, and therefore it’s hard for Chinese people to understand as well. Chinese people start to generate a feeling of distance with their own culture. On the contrary, Western culture’s step-by-step instruction is straightforward, extremely easy to manage, and it satisfies human needs, so it makes sense that it’s more friendly and more accessible.

Both cultures have pros and cons, and they need to learn from each other, like the Ying-Yang, it’s flowing and it’s a cycle. You can see more and more famous people here in the States start to do mediation or read Chinese books to understand the life, the world, and the universe; more and more Chinese people, like me, are absorbing the key approaches in the Western culture while reflecting the core values in our OWN culture.

No single culture is better than one another, only when they come together can the amazing things happen.

I am a Chinese and I feel proud of my culture. I am dedicated to make my people realize the value in our own culture. Make it friendly and accessible, with the wisdom and insights from the Western culture. I think that’s not only the innovation in Chinese culture, but also the powerful innovation energy for the whole world.

决定的由来

今天又是晴朗的一天。和昨天看上去好像没有什么区别的样子。紫色的缀缀的花絮依然俏丽的挂于枝头,随风碎碎的摆动起来,好像那清香的气息也被缱绻进清凉的春风中,飘香远方。碎落于地上的花瓣也铺成了一层细细的富有浪漫气息的阳光地毯,怕是会小心翼翼的从边上绕过而不忍心于触碰到那还欲滴的紫色的魅力。阳光照耀在黄绿色的柠檬树的枝头,青青的柠檬映射出温和的金色的光芒,仿佛暗示着即将来临的丰收和成熟。楼下的绿地小草依然还是那么清爽和友好,不知道什么时候我会双手触碰大地,抬头仰望天空,或是看其万里无云,或是看云舒云卷。

日复一日,年复一年。花开花落,春去秋来。沧海不曾变桑田,物是却人非。回忆至三年前,若是现在的自己回到过去,告诉当时的自己,这三年来都发生了什么,当时的自己会是一种什么样的心情来倾听。说,你三年后会坐在客厅,目视窗外而浮想翩翩,身处于斯坦福,身边有关系很要好的朋友,还有一个爱你的男人,你会作何感想。若是我自身,想必,应该会很高兴罢,情理之中意料之内?或是说,这一切都是我应得的。但是生活永远比故事要来得精彩的多,但当然,也复杂的多。我从不对未来做任何具体的期待,但是却又忍不住很早就开始为其做准备。所以有人说,现在的自己全是要归功于三年前的决定。

三年前,两年前,一年前。一年前,我看到了斯坦福和哈佛的项目,凭着兴趣申请,然后最终选择了斯坦福。两年前,我开始骑车的旅行,我开始发生让我自己都惊讶的心灵成长。三年前,我好像在什么都不知道的情况下做出了骑车旅行的决定。同时三年前我好像开始计划要提前一年毕业。三年前我好像突然醒悟,对一个人很傻很认真的付出得不到回报是因为,建立于关心和自我牺牲的感情岌岌可危,如空中楼阁,轻易的一些创伤就可以即刻倾塌。三年前,我不知道我会何去何从,学习心理并不是一个传统意义的决定,因为她不是一个经典已经很多人走过的道路,我并没有很多前车之鉴。三年前,我身边也有着一群无话不谈的好朋友,和他们在一起是让我觉得人生有意义的很重要的一部分。三年前,我积极的参加各种活动主动的去认识各种各样的人,但是别人说,你认识别人不算厉害,而是应该让别人都认识你。三年前,我的英语好像还是很不自信,于是还沉浸于每次发言之前都要脸红心跳的状态。三年前,我是个小姑娘。我懵懂却懂得如何规划自己的人生,即使看不到前方的可以歇脚的地方,因为我相信,我对生活虔诚认真的态度是会有回报的。

转眼三年都过去了。我也不知道我如何实现到了现在的这个样子。我只知道,一切我认为有意义的事情我都会去做,我不会让我的青春后悔,人生只有一次,没有机会可以让你重新来过。三年中,我对自己最满意的地方就是,勇于去尝试少有人做的事情。虽然这些事情都是很辛苦很艰难,很多超出了我的预料,但是我既然选择了它就一定要坚持下去。因为我懂得,我的选择代表了我的意志,遵从我的意志就不会让我将来后悔。至于,能实现到哪一步,我控制不了也预计不到,何不留些悬念和惊喜,只要现在认真的踏实的走好每一步,对每一步都负责不后悔,那么实现到的结果多半也是不会后悔的。人生是个复杂的概率游戏,人算不如天算,手头的信息永远是局限的,与其精打细算,步步为营,不如步步踏实,目视远方的目标,遵循自己的人生原则,一点点的走向那里。还记得和同学聊天说,开始谈恋爱,Why so serious? 同时想起当时初中某人说,怎么不多谈几个玩儿玩儿呢?其实当时,我根本没有意识到这个话是什么意思,玩儿玩儿是什么意思?为什么多谈几个就是玩儿玩儿了?总之就是不太明白,直到后来,我开始一段感情后,才逐渐意识到,这句话是什么意思。每个人都是精彩的,不同的,和不同的人深入了解,是会看到不同的乐趣,说实话,若是从我的专业背景来讲,我应该是真的很愿意去做这样的事情,因为我的兴趣永远是在人,本身。回到那个问题,他们说, Why so serious?我立刻说道,Why not so serious? 他们说,又不是谈婚论嫁的年龄,干嘛要认真。其实我懂得,他们也就这么一说,真正做起来的时候,可能也就身不由己了。不过我总感觉,好像,不是结婚就不要认真了么?如果不认真的话岂不是很容易辜负了自己的一片真心?还有就是,为什么不要认真呢?分开和认真其实本质上真的只是两个问题。分开可以有很多很多的原因,而且很多是人本身决定不了的,但是认真不认真却是完全由自己来投入的。认真不代表一味的付出,不代表死守关系绝不分开,不代表你就是我唯一的天堂。我认为认真代表做一切认为自己是对的的事情,尽自己的努力,不失尊严,快乐的去创造。若是两个人齐心协力认真的奋斗耕耘,不是一件很幸运的事情么?若是对方始终认真不起来,那么就应该认真的对待自己,做出正确的决定。

学习,生活,感情,工作,一切一切。其实很多时候,最重要的是坚守自己的原则,切不可随意倾听,随便认为他人嘴中所讲就为绝对真理。要会去质疑,去思考,这样做对自己,对别人,对这个世界会带来什么样的改变?为什么他人说的就是对的?其实很可能,是因为大多数人都这样做了而已;若愿成为主流的一部分,跟着走下去怕是没有什么问题的。但若是要对的起自己的内心,过出自己的生活,怕是更多的决定要自己亲力亲为,反问自己,这是我想要的么?我为什么要这样做?我甘心承担他的结果么?这样做我会不会快乐?

若是认真,对己,对人,对事,对物,怕是很难给自己后悔的机会,人生也应该过的是踏实充实的吧。若是认真,对己,对人,对事,对物,怕是很难给自己后悔的机会,人生也应该过的是踏实充实的罢。今天,窗外的片片紫色依旧的的亮眼动人,春色一片,展示着生命的魅力和力量

精英|责任

今天终于写来了这篇文章。我一直很坚定的认为,如果你认为自己是这个社会的精英人才,那么就要有觉悟去承担相应的责任和义务——利用你所学到的知识,能力,来帮助解决你所生活在的环境里的问题,为一个更加美好的生活环境来尽自己的一份力量。

具体说来,最近新的流感爆发,影响很大。我看了一篇讲猪肉小贩因病去世的故事。看完后真的很伤心,家里的顶梁柱为了孩子有个更好的生活环境,很辛苦的来到大城市拼命打工却不幸染上了疾病而去世。家里的孩子还小,想到小朋友没有爸爸了就更加难过起来。看文章的评论说,医院怎么样怎么样,医者不仁慈什么的。我不想带着一种中国式惯有的世态炎凉偏见的态度来看待这些问题,因为事情的缘由细节谁也不清楚,也许医者确实有问题吧。在我眼里,事实是,悲剧发生了,同时又想到,他这样的并不是个例,也许很多人被欺负,很多人被打压,很多很多人遭受着我可能根本想象不到的悲惨经历。想到这里,一边感谢自己可以有机会在很平和的环境里看完这个文章,一边感觉到,还有太多太多的问题等待着有能力的人去修复填补。那请问,谁是去修补的人呢?

原来,最经常看到的评论就是,“政府干什么去了!”“实在是太失望了!”之类的。虽然政府有着人力,财力和精力来解决这些问题,但是,他们不是唯一的解决途径,这样的说法仿佛是在说“我没有能力解决这样的问题,只有政府有,但是他们又什么事情都不做,真是太不应该了!”于是就开始大骂特骂。每一个个体把自己和政府的关系划的清清楚楚的——你是你的,我是我的,我管我的生活,你管你的社会,咱俩没啥关系,你要是没管好社会,那是你的问题,我肯定要骂你,对吧?你还拿了我的税钱呢!在成功的谈判里,最重要的一条前提就是,双方懂得自己真正想要的东西是什么,不能纠结在眼前的一个表层的问题上而忽略了核心问题,打个比方:我要买你一个手机,我说我就出两千,你非要三千,那如果我们纠结两千还是三千,是很难妥协的。其实真正的问题是,双方彼此认为如果妥协了对方,自己就亏了,那么什么是亏了?就是不合算,价值不够高。如果明白了是价值的问题,那我完全可以说,我出两千,同时我借你用我闲置的电脑两个月,也许你就会同意,因为你正好需要用个电脑。这个例子有点长了,不过意思就是说,如果只纠结到底谁错了这个很表层的问题,真正的问题是不会得到解决的,所以注意力应该被投放在真正的问题身上。问题有很多, 比如,空气质量低下,食品问题,教育资源问题,或者一些个人的,社区里的空巢老人等等。难道面对着你的小区里的空巢老人,在你力所能及可以做到一些什么事情的时候,你却抱怨说,政府干什么去了?

社会上的问题太多太多了,如果没有人去解决,只能越来越多,恶性循环,使人丧失信心和希望。虽然我本科不是在国内读的,但是多少知道一些国内大学的情况。多少人占用着国内最好的资源却没有在做有意义的事情。有人说,这是我努力奋斗的结果,这些是我应得的!是的,我没有质疑你哪里做的不对,因为每个人都会对自己有特别的思量和考虑,而且我也尊重你的决定。但是如果你从开办学校的本忠出发思考的话,学校存在的意义是什么?学校是为了社会的发展输出可以实现它的人才,但是不幸的是很多人早已背离了它。再说回来,当你享受着得天独厚的资源的时候,你完全有机会可以更好的利用它不是么? 而且你也应该想实现一个更有意义的人生不是么?如果你觉得帮助别人解决问题不够现实,不够可以赚到大钱,不够霸气,那我只能说,你太幼稚了。积极的去解决问题和能不能赚钱完全是两个问题,请分别考虑,还有就是,在衡量一些事情的价值的时候,看得到和看不到的两个不同的标杆,请一起考虑。只是,当你看到你身边的人在努力奋斗为了一个更好的社会的时候,那种敬佩之情不会油然而生么?不管他们做的是非盈利组织,还是盈利组织。之前耶鲁村长的报道不少,那么我简单说一下我直接的感受吧。我当时问他,你为什么要来做这个事情?他说,我认为这个是我能起到帮助和实现价值的一个很直接的机会。我看过他给当地老人院画的建筑图,我看到他在给当地教育进行着积极的尝试,我看到过他的军布鞋和曾经在耶鲁的西装革履的意气风发的照片。我还有一些其他的朋友已经在其他地方最大化的去实现自己的价值。我不敢说我自己已经如何如何,但是我认为有些声音,那些认为自己是精英的人应该听到。

这是一种责任,你可以张开怀抱接受,也可以转身离开,但是一定要意识到,这同时也是一个机会,你可以发挥作用,产生影响的时刻。我认为,本职工作做好就已经很值得尊重了,若是让自己的视野放宽,时刻抱着一种“我来解决它”的思想,生活会变得更加丰富和有深度。大家都不希望自己的人生像纸片一样,随着时间之风而瑟瑟发抖,最后不知被吹向哪里。推卸责任不如承担责任,最开始,总是艰难的,但是,已经有人在做了不是么?这个社会已经和十年前不一样了,嘴上功夫已经过时了,改变是靠每一个人的努力,若你是精英,就请发挥你的能力,来创造和实现更多的价值——从解决身边的问题开始。 

每一个人都会是精英。