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Director - UCLA Martial Arts Program, Inosanto International Martial Arts Instructors Association

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Talent pool being robbed in schools

Food for thought, do you think that Beardyman learned to do all that in school...which standardized test gave him the ability to make whatever sound he likes from his voice!? His school education probably had nothing to do with it, following his passion for life probably had everything to do with it. Imagine how many other talented people there are out there being stifled by a shockingly closed minded education system that cuts music, sport and arts programs faster than we cut down the rainforest!



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    Aug 25 2013: nothing destroys a good curriculum or school system faster and harder than the archaic assessment systems that so many bureaucrats insist on using - why? for ease of data gathering. for convenience.

    as a result, the arts are virtually dead in many schools simply because the system is at a loss as to how to measure "added value", progress or rank the artist/student.

    there are good schools out there and there are excellent teachers who are able to see beyond the percentages and pathetic ranking systems and do foster talent when they see it.

    but keep in mind, that talent is not usually acknowledged or rewarded until it makes lots of money or becomes widely known and that is an issue that goes beyond education and includes all of society.
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      Aug 26 2013: you've made a great point about what we end up labelling as "talent": does it have economic use? school has deemed a handful of skillsets and activities as worthy. beardyman and many innovators on TED have by luck or by pluck managed to market their unique skills well. we love an entrepreneur who has increased our sense of possibilities.

      but would we ever deem a non-TED speaker: someone who is merely kind, helpful and empathetic as worthy of our attention and admiration? (i don't mean to allude to the reality show 'celebrities' who are admired for really nothing at all). talent matters in an economic enviroment. does it matter in a context where happiness and kindness are valued most?
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        Aug 26 2013: talent is appreciated by others when it makes the talented person rich or famous.

        but fostering a creative urge or artistic desire or talent matters immensely to the individual.

        i have a band. we play original music. we are not famous nor are we particularly rich but we still get it together to play live shows.

        for me, live performance is a stress-release, an expression of energy that i cannot get from other parts of life and songwriting and performing allows me to put my ideas out there in a mode i love. i can say without a doubt that it has saved me from mind-numbing boredom and insanity. it gets me up in the morning.
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          Aug 27 2013: i think many serious hobbyists are as blissfully happy as you are. if this is the currency for your life, then you are swimming in it, unbeknownst to the over-leveraged, over-stressed money-chasing crowd. if it's any extra feather in your cap, i once went on a date with a stock broker who made $4 M a year (very smart and actually very kind) who said: "You see this lemon? Every day, my job squeezes the life out of me like this juice in the lemon. And at the end of the day, it is only measurable by money." YIKES! lol
      • Aug 27 2013: and for every ted speaker there are hundreds of thousands of people doing the hard work behind it all. i've seen so many great ideas on ted, and precious few put into actual practice. simple solar collectors, electricity generating kites, ct scanners that can run by themselves with computers analysing the output, where are they? no-one is building them.

        actually achieving something is about a flash, and then a lot of hard work, to paraphrase someone who actually did bring his ideas to use in the world. these days people are all so caught up creativity like it's the best thing in the world, when really it's just a small part of a process.
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          Aug 27 2013: good point: the hard workers / behind the scenes dudes are not recognized enough.

          though, i think ted is good with choosing people who have actually done something. i like it when a great speaker is backed up by dirty hands. i find that in these cases, their stories are more enriched, their philosophy is clearer, their humility often shows and many of them allude to a bigger team. it's not as impressive when a speaker just has a point--or wrote a book or observed something.

          the long slog to implementing a great thing is where schools really can help. finish what you start. see a project through to the end. you're right, the rottweiler tenacity to get something done: to navigate bureaucracies, politics, paperwork, lawsuits, fluctuating markets etc. is the real superstar skillset.
      • Aug 31 2013: right, creativity is the easy part, making it work in the real world is what's hard. school do their best to make sure kids will be able to acquire and utilise skills that will ground and complement their creativity, and i think many people mistakenly see this as killing creativity. creativity still has to be realistic.

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