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Leila Oicles

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What are some ways to help youth in our communities?

Sorry for the recent change but was told I must change the title in order to reflect the whole TED community and not ask for any personal help in particular for a project. So perhaps instead we could share some ideas and personal experiences about learning, growing and the best methods we have had or experienced to benefit youth in our communities.

To get us started there are a list of questions below that could help get some ideas flowing, feel free to use them or not. All ideas are most certainly welcome.

1. Did you have a teacher that inspired you? What did you learn most from him/her?

2. Is there any particular school project or assignment you had that sticks out in your mind? What was it?

3. Knowing what you know now about the "real world", is there anything you wish school better prepared you for?

4. Do you love your work? If so, what inspired you toward that field? If not, what is it you would love to do if you could?

5. If there are three pieces of wisdom or advice you could give to a kid, what would it be? If you are a current student what 3 pieces of wisdom or advice would you give adults?

6. If you could design a worshop or class for any age group you choose, which age group and what would you want to teach? Current students encouraged to answer this one too.

7. Are there any classes, workshops, books, etc that have had a huge impact on you? What are they?

Thanks again!


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  • Aug 19 2011: Thank you for the kind words.

    Books that have been of use:

    Wealth of Nations - Adam Smith
    The Commuinist Manifesto - Duh
    Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy - Schumpeter (this should be read directly after the Communist Manifesto)

    These are books that coverr incredible findamentals. They may SEEM to be about money, industry etc. but in reality, they are examinations of human conditions from an extremely dispassionate viewpoint (except Marx, he's a bit fire and brimstone).

    The Demon's Sermon on the Martial Arts
    The Book of 5 Rings

    These more or less cover what it means to not be a dickwad as an individual. A surprisingly difficult task for most.

    The Peloponnesian War - Donald Kagan

    The best example of how things don't change much. I invite anyone to compare Cleon's speech to many given Bush Jr. Hilarious and terrifying. This book more than anything shows the need for open and honest communication.

    Purple Cow - Seth Godin

    To be blunt, I already believed everything this book said before I read it. But this canonized it. I think it extends far beyond business and into thinking in general.

    A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess

    Possibly the first real "game changer" of my life. Originally read when I was 14, and re-read a couple of times since. The freedom to choose, and the primacy of the individual are put front and center, and continued core values for me to this day.

    The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

    What grander adventure is there? (I know I know it rhymes with Bored of the Stings). But as a child it sparked my imagination, and to this day I delight in the adventure of going "there and back again".

    There's more so many more. As for workshops, most involved a very successful business man teaching us how he made a miillion dollars by breaking the mold and being different. We all got very exceited and clapped and cheered then returned to our tightly controlled corporate environment where we betrayed what we learned and wondered why nothing changed.

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