Bill Kauth

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Who has made a difference in your learning ability and creativity? Share your personal education failures, milestones, and successes...

This Sir Ken Robinson talk is a classic TED talk that will rev you up! I couldn't agree more with Sir Ken about his ideas on education. Laughter is good too!

But what about you? Has someone made a difference in your life? Where have you failed? Where have you succeeded?

Here's my life story: - In elementary school I skipped more days than I attended, I finally I graduated the 8th grade, tried the 9th grade three times, joined the US Army at 17 and got my GED, at age 21 I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior.

Then after an auto accident at age 30, I started college and studied Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Technology - that was when I finally had a counselor who helped me understand how to study, and what I was good at, and then I learned like never before - Computer Science, Physics, Math and more.

I completed almost two years of college with a 4.0 GPA, had several grants and awards, and was hired by a leading area company as an Associate Engineering Project Manager, before I could even complete my two year degree plan.

That college counselor took an interest in me and helped me understand myself like nobody had ever done before - that made a HUGE difference in my life! I also learned, It's Okay to Fail - just learn from it!

Parents, share with your children your personal education story.

Oh yes, at age 43 I got my dream job working for Microsoft as a Corporate Networking Support Engineer, but that's another story.

I give God the glory for the gift of His mercy & grace in Jesus Christ, without which I would be nothing... He has helped me learn more than I ever thought possible!

  • Jun 16 2013: 1. My parents.
    2. Teachers that took the time to consider my work and provide constructive criticism tailored to me.
    3. Volunteer adults that shared some of their time to support sports and scouting programs.
    4. Every professional mentor that entrusted me with knowledge that might improve my work.
    5. The creators of TED for enabling me to learn about the thoughts of others, share my thoughts with others, and expand the set of subjects I consider as part the volume of knowledge that defines my life.
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      Jun 17 2013: Robert,
      We seem to be on a similar page again.....

      My parents and 7 older siblings taught me a lot, and helped build a strong foundation for life. Although my father taught how NOT to be, because he was violent and abusive, he also demonstrated a good work ethic and financial responsibility for his family. My mother and siblings constantly demonstrated kindness, encouragement and unconditional love.

      From then on, I recognize many people who made a huge difference in learning ability and creativity with encouragement and positive feedback. In fact, all those I interacted with for 60+ years contributed to learning, creativity, and exploration of the life adventure.

      I don't look at events in my life as "failures" and "successes", which the facilitator of this conversation would like us to do. To me, life is a constant flow of events, challenges, relationships, miracles, crises, healing, growth, etc., all of which contribute to our evolution as individuals, as well as our ability and desire to contribute to the whole:>)
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        Jun 17 2013: Nice and intensely real your description of life.
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          Jun 17 2013: Thanks Sean! It certainly feels real, and wonderful to me, and I am aware of your contribution to the learning and growth....thank you:>)
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    Jun 16 2013: my parents.

    while governments and/or religious sectors continue to vie for control of education systems, they will never be all they can be.

    failure and success are in the eye of the beholder and Obi Wan Ken Robinson has some idealistic ideas but offers little in the way of practical application.

    the biggest realisation i had at school was that working hard towards good results became meaningless the following year. no-one at secondary school cares how you did at primary school; no-one at university cares how you did at high school and no-one in the workforce cares how you did at university.

    creativity is over-rated. in and of itself, it may provide some self-satisfaction but without practical application is like talk without the walk.
  • Jun 19 2013: I loved the talk that Sir Ken Robinson gave. It filled me up with so my pleasure, I shared it with everyone who would sit still long enough.
    I was a terrible student (never finished high school) and had a terrible time at school, as I went to 13 schools before the age of 14, so felt that no one actually knew who I was and I just gave up. I have always being embarrassed about my inability to read and spell and developed beautiful penmanship to hide behind it (funny how we adapt)
    When I had my second son and discovered he was a little like me, learning wise and I had a light bulb moment and decided that I needed to get my act 33!
    I can't say anyone really inspired me personally, but I was inspired by my son. I want to be able to make sure that I am better equipped than my darling parents where with me. That I can do the best by him, to understand what he needs to become the most he can be.
    So I decided to study on line and now I am an Interior Designer, taught myself CAD and dimensional perspective drawing and how to write essays etc. It has taken me 2 years longer than my class mates, but I tell you I am very proud of myself. I did it alone. I did it for my boy. I did it!
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    Jun 17 2013: Oh, unrelated to my previous comment, my brother is a Senior Software Engineer for a 3-letter competitor of Microsoft. Look up "dos" on Wikipedia and make a guess . . . You identify yourself as a past or present employee of Microsoft. So maybe this is appropriate . . .

    Back in the 1980 and early 90's my brother was VERY willing to negatively characterize Bill Gates. The software market was very young back then. For several years there my brother called Bill 'Satan' exclusively. And I think there was an entire 'team' at his then-employer who felt the same way. 'Satan walks the Earth!' It was a 'business' thing.

    Today, I have been especially impressed by the wonderful things being done by the "Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation." Several millions of people are alive today who otherwise would have died w/o the immunizations made possible by Bill & his wife & their foundation. That counts for something. I think even Jesus would agree.

    (Bill Gates: Cultural-icon, & hero. Hero that he is & will always be to us 'Geeks.' He deserves to be even BIGGER than 'Captain Kirk' as a cultural icon! Sorry! Sometimes my 'inner-trekkie' gets the best of me! He HAS the CHAIR!)

    I don't know that Bill would ever or can ever describe himself as a 'Man of Faith' by any means. But absolutely no one can argue with what he has & and is doing as steward of the wealth he has been given. As an employee of Microsoft, please accept my 'best-wishes' to him on his behalf.
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    Jun 17 2013: I grew up Southern Baptist in Texas. I made a Profession of Faith at age 7. I appreciate your comment above: "I give God the glory for the gift of His mercy & grace in Jesus Christ, without which I would be nothing... He has helped me learn more than I ever thought possible!" Me too! You don't find a lot of that on TED - so to find a profession of faith here on TED is encouraging.

    I sometimes fear (from the content of the TED talks) that most of the successful (wealthy) chaps who attend the TED conferences are deeply resistant to even the mildest statement as to faith; faith is like a dangerous recreational drug; not smart. The Church is viewed as a place you can go to learn about superstition & dogma. Anything that LOOKS like a vibrant community of believers who share in a common faith experience -- is dismissed as evidence of a 'shared-delusion.' We are the minority here on TED.

    I do believe that TED is re-evaluating much of that. Not formally or intentionally, perhaps - but six months ago, statements about JESUS might not have been considered appropriately relevant to TED's overall mission of Technology, Entertainment, & Design.

    I hate to say it, but if we all fail to get 'connected' in terms of a better understanding of faith; & the faith-message of men like Billy Graham (and what you/we profess here), we WILL get a very different faith-message from the competition! And by "the competition" I specifically refer to Islam and the events of 9/11! In Islam, the hijackers represent a very small minority-view. But we cannot escape dealing with 9/11! And most all U.S. Muslims will admit 9/11 is a view of Islam we can all live without!

    Yeah! There are some (even on TED) who want to put us all into a bottle and figure out just what it is that we do to ourselves when we 'believe!' But neither Jesus (nor-Mohammed) are designed to fit-well into a 'bottle' of human design. What we experience is what God does with us and for us - it ain't a drug at all!
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    Jun 17 2013: I was 13 and no body.

    I liked a girl and promised to become somebody so that chance of being accepted by her or her parents are more.
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      Jun 17 2013: I am still a "no body" in the grand design of things . . . but I've learned to enjoy life that way. I get to do a lot of thinking about important things.