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Learning through the Internet has become one of its greatest advantages. One can learn no matter where one lives. One can learn no matter what one’s schedule. In this regard, one finds excellent websites such as Coursera, Kahn Academy, Lynda, Udemy,  and many others. We ourselves have actually done excellent courses both in Coursera (“Sustainable Development”) and Udemy (“Flying Drones”).

 

Another of these websites is The Great Courses which offers courses in multiple areas by excellent professors. But unlike, for example, Coursera –which is free—at The Great Courses one must buy them. They offer great sales, though; especially for the audio-only options. Coursera does have Forums, The Great Courses, does not.

 

But even more strikingly, this year The Great Courses has started offering a STREAMING SERVICE just like the already famous Netflix service for movies! This is available at THE GREAT COURSES PLUS website and relevant apps for tablets and smartphones.. (link)  You must add the “PLUS” to get to the correct website. For a modest monthly sum, you can take many of their courses. Moreover, they are currently offering a one-month free trial in which you can take any of the courses they offer! We were able to extend this offer to two months ourselves. The only disadvantage is that you must know English. Of course, learning a language itself has been made much easier by internet courses themselves! (For instance,  Mango’s special relationship to the Toronto Public Libraries.)

 

 

Unfortunately, we cannot go into details as to why we chose these courses, nor can we review them. Suffice it to say that they are all EXCELLENT. It bears emphasizing, though, that this kind of learning is especially beneficial for many learners who are independent and not so interested in learning for diplomas. For those who have actual diplomas from Universities, they represent ways to further enhance understanding. They truly allow for what is known as a LIBERAL EDUCATION, anywhere, anytime.

The following are the courses we finished in the last 3 months, organized into 7 general groups. Each “lecture” is about 30 minutes long.  Continue Reading »

                                 FACEBOOK WRITINGS ON EDUCATION, 2016.

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ONE

You must NEVER EVER create conditions for people to fail, specially for the best of people. You must only create conditions for SUCCESS. Otherwise, stand aside. This is ABSOLUTELY a MUST in the area of education.

Even creating conditions in which errors may occur is perfectly sensible; errors may lead to great SUCCESSES. What is totally insensible is to create conditions where errors are the direct path to failure.

Most education nowadays is of the second kind. A striking example is the “solemnity of plagiarism”. As if teaching a CODE were teaching/reaching a person.

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TWO

Education is wholly based on either: a) sacrifice, or b) happiness (“eudamonia”). It cannot have it both ways.

Now, some think that learning sacrifice LEADS to happiness. We strongly think those who believe this are quite confused. We can show why. We can’t do it here, though!

In contrast, we believe these two educational roads never ever touch, and that road b) is rarely taken —hardly known— because road a) has great powers on its side. These powers are in high positions (political and entrepreneurial), and perhaps are even otherworldly!

In other words, we know so little of happiness (“eudaimonia”), it has become unrecognizable in our lives and in our education.

Nonetheless, everyone believes, almost blindly, that they ARE happy: preferably so, if less questioned about what their happiness means! Here, the education on happiness, road b), comes to an end.

(Note: “eudaimonia” is the word Aristotle uses for what we kind of understand as “happiness”)

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THREE

Industrialized education does not teach to love learning and its many gentle, even fun, shared surprises.

Rather, industrialized learning —the learning of our time, and especially of our ginormous educational facilities– teaches the repetitive process of information sharing towards a marketable degree. It hardly teaches one to laugh. It is the most serious of the serious. It proudly speaks of “industry standards”.

And though, super serious, industrialized learning is intent on the unimportant: on the ritual of attendance, on the ritual of the exam, on the ritual of the levels and prerequisites, on the ritual of extremely minute objectives and goals, on the ritual of the attack on plagiarism, on the ritual of certification. Its seriousness is one based on mere formality. This kind of seriousness is empty.

Industrialized education sacrifices the potential inherent in our human encounters, those infrequent encounters sought by those of us who truly wish to learn to learn. This is unforgivable. For these encounters are far and between, these encounters are face to face —-many a time—- on a one-on-one basis. They are so rare, people generally cannot understand what is going on when they do happen. They are surprised by actually seeing and feeling for themselves the real nature of learning. They even get quite angry.

Moreover, industrialized education requires a weird notion of “teamwork”, one which means that being part of the “team” means adjusting to the unquestioned demands of these processes themselves! I mean, “don’t rock the boat, otherwise, it might sink!” This is why a proper metaphor for industrialized education is certainly the Titanic; the most industrial of things ever. They never thought they would sink. Continue Reading »

NUESTROS ESCRITOS SOBRE EL PROCESO DE PAZ COLOMBIANO A LO LARGO DE ESTE AÑO 2016. 

¿Por qué estos escritos?

Porque nos tomamos en serio la posición aristotélica de la participación ciudadana en los debates del día en las polis a las que uno pertenece (en nuestro caso Colombia y Canadá). Nos tomamos en serio el valor de la palabra y de la retórica tal y como la ve la corriente socrática-aristotélica.

¿Por qué en facebook?

Porque el debate es público y es acá compartido con conciudadanos/as, incluso así no vivamos en Colombia en estos momentos.

Los escritos están ordenados desde el más reciente, hasta el más lejano.

No sobra decir que nuestra Maestría es en asuntos de filosofía política.

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ESCRITOS

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¿Cómo nos vamos a reconciliar?

elespectador.com

La ingenuidad de esta Editorial de El Espectador radica en cuatro elementos:

a) Es bien, pero bien, tardía en un proceso que pudo haber generado unidad en vez de separación si quienes lideraron el proceso de parte del gobierno y las farc hubiesen sido menos arrogantes.

b) Santos está en el poder, y no se puede creer que estar en el poder es lo mismo que no estarlo.

c) El Espectador, y muchos otros medios poderosos, han generado ellos mismos las condiciones de polarización en su afán de crear una paz forzada, una polarización que ahora piden parar para reconciliarnos.

y, d) Piden una reconciliación una vez todos los procesos formales como el fast-track y demás han salido airosos, pero irrespetando y dejando de lado la opinión de mitad de los colombianos/as que ganaron el plebiscito de manera legal, justa y correcta CONTRA todas los pronósticos (incluyendo a El Espectador).

En conclusión:

Sí, en verdad, debemos preguntar a El Espectador, y en general a los que votaron “sí” y aprobaron todo a la fuerza:

¿cómo harán para reconciliarse con los colombianos/as que no les creemos?

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Moisés Wasserman on Twitter

twitter.com

La paz en Colombia = el mamarracho de paz

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14517533_10154619825728413_7620319123705299046_n

A buen entendedor, pocas palabras.

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A Uribe lo mandan a que lo regañe el Papa, y no se deja; pero a Timochenko ni le preguntan sobre la persecución religiosa a la base del revolucionario marxista ateo!

Eso revela cómo se da la cercanía moderna entre el liberalismo —-y su neutralidad sobre la pregunta de Dios—- y el revolucionario, y su olvido de Dios.

Qué diferente la concepción de los clásicos griegos. Es allí donde se encuentran las bases de resistencia. Por no decir, una más honesta verdad.

 
________
 

La reunión Uribe–Santos–Papa, revela mucho de la relación entre la vida política y su necesidad de una íntima relación con una cierta visión de los dioses y su justicia.

Ese sí que es el verdadero dilema fundacional de la vida del ciudadano/a público/a.

Nadie ha expuesto esas conexiones mejor que el Profesor Thomas Pangle.

Las conclusiones son de una importancia filosófica vital. Hay dos tipos de vida. Esa es una.

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Debo decir que la manera en que el pueblo colombiano no le ha dado problemas a este gobierno —gobierno tan pobre y poco querido— en cuanto a su poca elegenta refrendación tipo “fast-food” de la paz con las aún menos queridas farc, revela lo siguiente:

El pueblo colombiano es un pueblo que no merece sus dirigentes, menos dirigentes actuales como Santos y todavía menos futuros dirigentes como las farc. No salieron a bloquearle sus jugadas de póker en las calles. Lo dejaron hacerlo aunque muchos le dijeron a él y a las farc que no lo hicieran así. Nunca podrán decir que los bloquearon. Pero siempre podremos decir que su deuda es de las más altas; su deuda, la de Santos y las farc, ahora es INMENSA.

El pueblo colombiano, el del común –no el de estas élites ricachonas y de estas élites acostumbradas a las armas– es un pueblo digno, no se merece los dirigentes que tiene.

Y sí salen con más triquiñuelas, que se los hagan saber y los saquen del poder por la puerta trasera. Estaremos allí para abrirles la puerta trasera, y como dicen en inglés, decirles por sobrados y malencarados: “don´t let the door hit your ass on the way out.”

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Qué ingenuos y, sobretodo peligrosos, quienes celebran el Fast-Track.

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Nobel de Paz Fast-Track. Cuando el fin justifica cualquier medio. La paz anti-democrática.

(Uno no es kantiano, pero esta gente hace revolcar a Kant en su tumba)

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Para los que celebran el Fast-Track.

________

La paz tipo “fast-food”.

________

La paz anti-democrática.

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FARC-EP on Twitter

twitter.com

MUERE DICTADOR CASTRO.

Que se prepare Colombia para sus nuevos, comandantes, perdón, profesores de paz. Castro les enseñó la libertad. PLOP!

RESISTENCIA.

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La esquizofrenia —es decir, “división en la mente”— de los admiradores de Castro es asustadora.

“Hizo mucho bien, pero lo hizo a través del mal.”

“Fue un gran defensor de la justicia, pero lo hizo a través de la injusticia.”

Con su esquizofrenia incoherente, usurpan los valores de la democracia para derrocarla. Esas son las incoherencias que han de enfrentarse sin miedo. Son incoherencias que cobijan, bajo el manto del poder omnipotente, su amor de dominio. Quieren ser, en el fondo, “comandantes”.

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¿Cómo es nuestra educación actual?

Pinochet fue el peor dictador de la historia que gobernó por décadas por medio de la muerte; Castro fue el mejor revolucionario de la historia que gobernó por décadas por medio de la muerte.

Y luego se preguntan por qué gana Trump.

________

Excelente este video biográfico sobre el tirano Castro. Obviamente no indica que es un tirano. Pero lo mejor es que sintetiza la historia así: habla de la revolución cubana y luego se salta toda la historia hasta que Castro habla con Chávez. Los 30 o 40 años de dictadura, bueno, eso no pasó. lol

No, es que no hay derecho. Y el Espectador, qué periódico tan fuera de foco.

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Trudeau’s humiliating truth, so far from earnest reality.

Interestingly, this reveals the divide within the Canadian psyche: a society which wholeheartedly loves the public sphere (e.g., health, education), AND wholeheartedly loves the private sphere (e.g., its economy, its laws, its families).

It loves one and the other, and can’t make up its mind, and uses one or the other to always portray itself as morally superior to many others.

When in Cuba, it loves the “public sphere” even if amongst dictators (e.g., Castro’s military nepotism ); when in China, it loves the “private sphere” even if amongst dictators (e.g., Tibet and Dalai Lama).

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CityNews Toronto on Twitter

twitter.com

Because it is such “great” news in Canada, we shall repeat what we already posted:

Of course, because CUBA is such a great example of a democracy right?
For me, this more than anything else, truly exemplifies what the liberal mind is like in Canada. They love Cuba’s beaches (cheaper, an added benefit). Castro and Ché, idols of justice. No wonder Canada looks over their shoulder to the rest of Latin America. Specially. Mexico (though they will offer visa-exemption requirements, almost as a rebuff to Trump).


“If all of Latin America could just be more Cuban”, they think. No wonder Canada has never played a significant political role in Latin America; though it swears it does!
Perhaps it is just that Canada feels utterly alone —-given the pronounced role of its public system—- in the whole of America, and will thus seek ANY ally, however undignified.

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Castro: “socialismo pa todos menos pa mi.”
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Para los/las amantes de Castro. Lo que aman es alcanzar algún día ese poder.

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PAZ VÍA CONGRESO

El “mejor” acuerdo, la peor paz.

________

Está buena la nueva frase para la paz en Colombia:

“El sí, o sí.”

Hay mucha, pero mucha, gente sedienta de poder en Colombia. Se les hace agua la boca. Pobre el/la colombiano/a del común.

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¿Cómo hacerles entender que la paz a la brava será paz, pero a la brava?

________

¿Alguien me puede explicar por qué cárcel para este señor (Masa Márquez) —el mismo día en que se firma el “acuerdo de paz con las farc—– sí es muy bueno, pero no para los líderes de las farc?

O en otras palabras, ¿por qué con este señor sí sentimos que se ha hecho justicia y que ese sí es un asesino que debe ser castigado, y en cambio con las farc que han cometido crímenes de lesa humanidad, no? ¿Cómo generar las condiciones de paz de esta manera?

Yo he escrito con anterioridad sobre esto, pero si que me gustaría escuchar explicaciones.

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PAZ VÍA CONGRESO

La paz en Colombia.

No entiendo. El Acuerdo se va a debatir en el Congreso, pero sin que se le pueda cambiar una sola coma. ¿Qué es lo que van a debatir? ¿Si quedó bien empastado?

¿Me puede alguien explicar?

________

Escucha uno a las farc y a Santos en vivo —y luego uno escucha a muchos otros— y sin duda Colombia ha perdido una oportunidad para acordar un futuro compartido. Lo pierde porque nadie sabrá nunca si en verdad la gran mayoría de los colombianos/as acordaron lo que el acuerdo acordó. Ese vacío es un vacío demasiado grande para construir una paz verdadera y duradera.

Pero tal vez vaya más allá. Al escuchar los discursos de las farc y de Santos resulta impactante un contraste fundamental. Mientras que las farc enfatizaron una y otra vez de “la diferencia”, Santos una y otra vez habló de “la unidad”. Así se implemente el acuerdo, pareciera que la visión moderna de la democracia necesita de una constante discordia para poder funcionar. Eso tiene implicaciones cruciales. Pero independientemente de ello, ahora sí —-pareciera—- se escuchará una gran discordia entre los colombianos/as. Y esa discordia no sabemos a dónde nos llevará como nación.

Surrealista.

Continue Reading »

Reflections: TWOOK — “A Reflective Educational Experiment (in times of illness)” (FULL VERSION)

Reflections: TWOOK — “A Reflective Educational Experiment (in times of illness)”: (click below)

TWOOK — “A Reflective Educational Experiment (in times of illness)”, 1-6.  (pdf file)

IMPORTANT: All posts, pages, art and written work found in this blog are licensed through Creative Commons:
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

IMPORTANT: All posts, pages, art and written work found in this blog are licensed through Creative Commons:
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

REFLECTIONS

FINAL PROJECT TESL CERTIFICATION CANADA:

BUSINESS ENGLISH CLASS (pdf. file)

TOPIC: “RAISING FINANCE THROUGH MICROFINANCE”

December/January 2015

CLICK HERE FOR PROJECT:  FINAL PROJECT TESL CANADA

Reflections:  Aboriginals in Canada and Two Possible Meanings of “Discrimination” 

“So there is certainly no lack of activity in our little boat, but is there any purpose? Is the tall figure who may or may not be the Spirit of Haida Gwaii leading us, for we are all in the same boat, to a sheltered beach beyond the rim of the world as he seems to be, or is he lost in a dream of his own dreamings? The boat moves on, forever anchored in the same place.” (my emphasis: words of Bill Reid on his own sculpture, The Spirit of Haida Gwaii)

And there was always the wind ….. and sometimes …… sometimes ….. the wind brought good news, and sometimes …… sometimes ….. the wind brought evil.” (my emphasis: Taken from the first of Inuit Legends, CBC Aboriginal, “Inuit Journey”: link)

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 Spirit of the Haida Gwai

The verb “to discriminate” has come to have a primary negative definition. Basically, very roughly, it means “to unfairly treat a person or group of people differently from the rest.“ Of course, for the negative definition to succeed, the emphasis must be placed in the “unfairly” or “unjustly”. This is the reason why we speak of “anti-discrimination”; we wish to correct a wrong. But, for sure, there is no negative discrimination simply by the fact of there being mere difference: that Canadians see themselves as radically different from Americans does not imply discrimination in the negative sense. Thus, difference does not always lead to discrimination; but difference which is the result of a certain grave and prolonged injustice, surely does. Slavery in the USA is one blatant example, the treatment of Aboriginals in Canada a parallel one.

The history of Canada´s First Nations is surely the result of an unjust and forced differentiation. It is not just based on the now oft-repeated problematic phrase “we are all different”; it is more based on the idea that “we are so different, that you and yours must cease to be.” If lucky enough to be spared death, the “other” must still be so assimilated that this “other” becomes nothing but a crippled “us”. Such historical triumphs are truly essential defeats. In this regard, educating ourselves about the history, the nature and the consequences of the current discriminatory relationship we have with Aboriginals is but the first step in ameliorating the pervasive and noxious effects multiple non-Aboriginal policies have had  over their destiny, their sense of self-worth, their linguistic identity, their territorial self-sufficiency and their potential for political empowerment (see latest interview by Judge John Reilly in CBC’s The Current: link, and very important previous interview as well). This includes, as we shall see, most poignantly the ESL setting. Why so? Because the language issue is perhaps at the core of the mode of forced assimilation, even annihilation which Aboriginals in Canada have had to face. Now, before proceeding and in order to be clear as to what we mean by Aboriginals, it is important to note that in 2011, 1,400,685 people in Canada identified themselves as Aboriginal: “4.3 percent of the total population of Canada: 851,560 were First Nations, 451,790 were Métis, 59,440 were Inuit. (p. 8 of the excellent First People’s Guide for Newcomers created by the City of Vancouver and which should be replicated in each Province and downloaded by all ESL teachers and students: link .)

Fortunately though, “to discriminate” does not possess this negative meaning alone. To discriminate CAN in fact be liberated from a sense of injustice, from the permanent presence of the pain –an absolutely understandable, yet unimaginable, pain– that accompanies prolonged suffering from wrong-doing. Why is this positive definition so important? For an identity built on an injury seems to us to remain unable to move; a healthy identity necessarily must somehow move beyond mere negation of itself and the injurer. An identity founded solely on the hatred of the occupier seems to us destined to fail. In this sense, it is of great importance to emphasize that “to discriminate” is also defined as the mark of someone who can “perceive the distinguishing or peculiar features of a given thing/topic”. A dictionary provides the following example: “the human eye can discriminate between very slight gradations of color”. Such a skill is truly unique, it may perhaps be among the highest. For it takes great sensitivity, imagination and most importantly, intelligence, to be able to see the whole of reality in all its color gradations. In photographic terms, few can see the shades of gray; few are like Ansel Adams.

Unfortunately, in the case of our relation to Aboriginals, this more positive sense of discrimination is for the most part lacking. We non-Aboriginals fail to see even what appears most evident. In the case of Canada’s First Nations, and Aboriginals generally, our eyes continue to be blind to a kind of devastating differentiation which we ourselves (the non-Aboriginals) have initiated and of which we continue to be part of. In these brief pages we seek to begin to shake ourselves free –so far as possible– from such damaging presuppositions, specially as they appear in the field of ESL. Continue Reading »