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Lily’s first TEDx by Ann Treacy
November 25, 2011, 12:36 am
Filed under: St Paul

I love TEDx talks. Last week I dragged Lily to her first TEDx talk event at the Minnesota Science Museum. It was actually a Youth TEDx – the speakers seemed to focus their talks to reach younger attendees – although not too much and not too young. Here are my quick notes from the session

AnnMarie Thomas – How are Makers Made?

Thomas spoke about the importance of letting kids disassemble and build things to learn how to design. So much of the focus of education these days seems to be on theory or even moving hands on experience online – when really some kids (future makers) would benefit from a screwdriver and a little benign neglect. I wish Aine had Thomas as a teacher.

Greg Tehven – The Unleanring Curve

Tehven took a year off a successful career at age 25 to find himself. The idea was to take time to focus on today and yourself not just what you do – and that sometimes you learn (or unlearn) the most when you open yourself up to help from others. Kind of a funny presentation since I’d say lots of people in the room were parents – and so by definition we have to work towards the future of our kids. And the kids in the room, almost by definition are working on the future too. Maybe I just wasn’t ripe to hearing about chucking it all in to live for today – although I certainly was up for it when I was 25.

Solome Tibebu – How Anxiety Saved Me

It was very interesting to hear about how Tibebu and her issues with anxiety. I think it was a powerful example for some youth in the room because I think certain ages are more susceptible to being anxious about everyday life. It was interesting to hear how the message in your head (my hands don’t need to get washed again) can be overridden by the message in your body that wants to wash your hands continually. It sounds as if learning the physiological effects of anxiety was beneficial was helpful for the speaker – again a reminder for mentors and kids that just understanding how and why things happen can help take the edge off.

John Turnipseed – Fix the Damn Roof

Turnipseed was the most powerful speaker of the day. He spoke about just how a roof is an essential infrastructure for a house (or building) a father is an essential infrastructure for a family or kids. When your father is absent or as he put it, your father is the boogie man, the kid falls apart. He said he has 30 family members in jail for some degree or murder. He himself has been arrested for 10 adult felonies – but he had been turned around by strangers who showed faith in him. It started when he was young and in jail. Someone in jail was a bodybuilder. Turnipseed asked if he could teach him how to lift weights and the guys said he didn’t work with dummies. Come back when you have your GED. A month later Turnipseed had the GED. There were other mentors along the way – but eventually the right mentor helped Turnipseed turn his life around. His focus was on the power of a trusting stranger and getting the right message. He didn’t remark at the character of someone who grows up without a roof and yet is ever open to receiving a helping hand – but I think that’s important too.

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