Thursday, June 14, 2018
One of the most invigerating and exciting parts of my day is when I enter a classroom with students from around the world.
Part of this excitement comes from knowng that I can open up my mind and embrace new perspectives and worldviews that had been previously unknown to me: ways of thinking, ways of relating to the world, ways of saying hello, ways to connecting with other human beings that I didn't know existed. Rubbing shoulders with international shoulders exposes me to new mental frameworks and knowledge to grow.
It also opens up new windows where I can begin to see that the worldviews I previously held could be wrong.
As human beings, we tend to value certainty, especially in the way we think and believe because it seems to provide security from the unknown. It's comfortable.
In the past, I felt secure in embracing certaintiy in cases, for example, when I traveled overseas and lectured on different teaching methodologies or perspectives on understanding other cultures. No one wants to be wrong, so clinging to what we know appears to be the safest way to proceed forward. And who wants to be inadequate in front of an audience where you are expected to be the expert on things?
Unfortunately, certainty can fall short in providing a framework from which to tackle and understand new things, and in some cases, certainty doesn't provide us with the mental tools to accept our wrongness and move forward and seek new ways of understanding the world.
Over time, I have learned that I by showing some humility and shedding some pride, my knowledge of the world just keeps opening up. I enjoy some uncertainty because it forces me to embrace the mysteries around me. I really am enjoying the ride.
Posted by Randall Davis at 8:05 AM
Our daughter called us the other day to let us know that she was having car trouble. Something was leaking. Hmmm. When your main job is teaching English and when you barely know how to change a tire, diagnosing car problems is like flying to the moon: beyond your skill. Fortunately, we were able to get the car to a mechanic. When you have such problems, I hope to find a good mechanic, but NOT like this one
Posted by Randall Davis at 7:35 AM
Monday, June 4, 2018
Spending some relaxing moments in our garden. The lettuce, onions, peppers, sunflowers, and Japanese cucumbers are doing well. A peaceful feeling to see things grow and thrive.
Watch this video to practice your English and watch me work in our garden:
Posted by Randall Davis at 7:22 AM
Sunday, June 3, 2018
EXCITING NEWS! My daughter, Aubrey, has created her first video activity on my site. Of course, she has been a regular voice on my site for 20 years, but she wanted to share her own ideas with you. Please give it a try and share your comments about it here.
She is thinking about doing more. What do you think? What topics would you like to hear discuss? What questions do you have for her about school, work, daily life, and even things about me? Please share:
Posted by Randall Davis at 9:41 PM
When I started my Web site 20 years ago (even before Facebook existed), I never thought I would still be developing new content and reintroducing old videos that I had created before.
As I was looking over one video on gardening from around 2000, I found this one that I originally had on my site, but I retired it because it was made in an older format, RealMedia. However, I decided to convert the file to MP4, and I have brought it back.
Yes, the video quality is poor based on today's standards, but it is a fun topic, and it is interesting to see how video has changed. Enjoy. It features my wife, Shirley, and my brother, Jeff.
Posted by Randall Davis at 9:38 PM
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
What is often the case in life is that we are so unaware of how unaware we are about so many things, especially to the feelings and experiences of others. One typical example is when we might say to someone, "I know how you feel" when they are going through a difficult time of loss, sickness, betrayal, suffering, depression, or divorce.
Unfortunately, such a trite and shallow statement is often meant to spare our discomfort because we often don't know how to validate the struggles of others. The fact is that it is impossible to know how others feel; no situation is truly comparable to another. Rather than using competing sympathies such as these, it is much better to openly acknowledge that we are at a loss as to what to say. By recognizing our limitations, it can lead to more authentic and genuine conversations and relationships.
With this in mind, I created this conversation in which a husband (played by me) is completely unaware on how his poor communication style is affecting his relationship with his wife. What have been your experiences on this topic?
Posted by Randall Davis at 7:30 AM