September 27, 2008

Rules That Should Be Learned in School

I saw this posted in a book store and thought it was excellent. I immediately looked it up when I got home.

Most of this comes from a speech Bill Gates gave to a graduating class at a high school in California. But it has been changed a little, added to and editorialized.

His speech was about rules students should learn in school. Mainly focusing on the fact that feel-good politically correct teachings and schools have created a generation of kids with no concept of reality. This has given the students a false set of expectations which has set them up for failure in the real world.

Again, this is not the original speech, as some additions have been made and editorializing has been done - some of it by other people and some of it by me (in italics).

Rule 1: Life is not fair - get used to it! Understand that the real world provides opportunities for everyone to succeed…whether you have prepared yourself to take advantage of that opportunity is up to you.

Rule 2: The world does not care about your self-esteem. The real world expects you to accomplish something before you are allowed to feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will not make $70,000 a year out of high school, and you will not be a vice-president with a company car, expense account and cell phone.

Rule 4: If you think your teachers are tough, wait till you get a boss! Walking in late? Deciding not to do your work? Falling asleep on the job? In the real world, F = Fired. (I cannot take credit for "F=Fired", but I changed the lead-in.)

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger-flipping, they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it's your own fault. Don’t blame your parents, school, or your boss! Stop whining about YOUR mistakes and start learning from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you are. So before you save the forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This does not bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING IN REAL LIFE! (Well, unless you are a politician.)

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters or courses. You don't get summers off or spring breaks and very few employers are interested in helping you “find yourself”. Do that on your own time! Also understand, the real world does not give you grades only twice a year…you are constantly being graded.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. Television shows are supposed to suspend reality. In real world, smart mouth employees are not tolerated; they are terminated!

Rule 11: Hard workers have little or no tolerance for talkers and grinners. Bosses generally are the hard workers; that’s how they became bosses.

From other sources:

Rule 12: Robert Ingersoll - It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education than to have education without common sense.

Rule 13: Samuel Godwin - Ninety percent of the art of living is getting along with people one cannot stand. Keep your principles, but not every battle has to be fought – no less won! Your boss is not going to move you to a different location because you have decided you cannot sit near, or work with, someone else.

Rule 14: Winston Churchill - Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. God gave us more ears than mouths for a reason. (I reworded this) You will learn much more by listening -- not by talking, you know what you know; therefore your talking will not teach you anything new.

Rule 15: William Boetcker - If you want to be respected, be respectable. If you want to be liked, be likeable. If you want to be loved, be lovable. If you want to be employed, be employable.

Rule 16: Robert Half - When you arrive at your future, will you blame your past? Today's decisions may haunt all your tomorrows. But then again, making the right decisions today will lead you to the future you desire.

Rule 17: Benjamin Franklin - Trickery and treachery are the practices of fools that have not the wits enough to be honest. Eventually, people who live this way get what they deserve.

September 20, 2008

12-year-old Genius

Someone very nice encouraged me to have an optimistic weekend....this is a start.

A 12-year-old from Beaverton, OR has invented a solar cell much more effective than current technology.
Despite his age, William Yuan has already studied nuclear fusion and nanotechnology, and he is on his way to solving the energy crisis.

It all started with Legos - after he learned nanotechnology to make robots take off. The seventh grader then got an idea inspired by the sun.

"Solar it seems underused, and there are only a few problems with it," Yuan said.

Encouraged by his Meadow Park Middle School science teacher, the 12-year-old developed a 3D solar cell.

"Regular solar cells are only 2D and only allow light interaction once," he said.

And his cell can absorb both visible and UV light...

...If he is right, solar panels with his 3D cells would provide 500 times more light absorption than commercially-available solar cells and nine times more than cutting-edge 3D solar cells.

This is an absolutely remarkable discovery. Congratulations to William, and to his science teacher. Let's hope this becomes a huge story on two levels...the success of William's discovery, and the success of his science teacher in encouraging the discovery.