Posts Tagged ‘fail

10
Feb
10

Fear of FAIL… and Why We Need to Screw Up More Often

I’m inspired by a fantastic piece up over at Ars Technica that I just read.  Matthew Lasar, the author, offers a three-page rogue’s gallery of lesser-known inventors and innovators in telecommunications.  All of them failed to capitalize on their discoveries, usually because they were a few decades ahead of their time.

Here’s the article.  (Clicky Readey)

As a teacher, what strikes me the most about this is the alarming trend in child rearing and education to shield a kid’s purportedly fragile self-esteem from the “crushing” experience of failure.

Parents, fellow teachers, and other responsible, compassionate adults reading this: please hear me.  It is MUCH more important that a child learn how to fail and learn from the failure than it is for them to experience success.  To fail to do so is to produce a person with an inflated ego due to an overestimation of his or her own abilities, and to whom the entire concept of “trial and error” is an alien thing.

Perhaps worse still, you deprive them of the thrill of success that only truly comes after repeated, failing attempts.

So let them bump their heads, skin their knees, fail a school paper or project, or even an entire class.  Then be there to help show them the most important part of the process: how to dust yourself off, clean up the blood, accept the natural consequences of your choices, and ultimately try, try again.

11
Oct
09

Almost lost my cool there…

The Great Ubuntu Experiment had a major hiccup today.

I was fiddling around with my video drivers, trying to improve performance for both windowed and fullscreen video playback (mostly divx rips of some DVDs I have) and I somehow end up crippling my video settings, so that they will ONLY display 1024 x 768… on my widescreen monitor.  I HATE having all my stuff look squished, so I did some more fiddling and somehow managed to delete the GUI entirely AND get myself locked out.

Terrific.

I almost did one of two things:  (1) install Vista again, or (2) wipe and reinstall Ubuntu… and lose all the tweaks I’ve been making these last two weeks.

Fortunately, I kept my cool.  This was a puzzle to solve, and I’ll be d*mned if I’m going to wuss out in the face of a geek-problem of this caliber.

Long story short, I managed to figure out a password that would let me back in, boot into recovery mode (which I had forgotten existed,) removed and reinstalled several packages via command-line interface ONLY… and an hour or so later, I’m back to as-good-as-it’s-been.

And that feels good.  Original problem NOT solved, but at least I fixed what I broke in the first place.

Still Windows-free… unless you count using my wife’s laptop to look up all the crap it took to fix stuff.  And I don’t.  Or so I keep telling myself.




The random musings of a 30-something, West Texas high-school science teacher. Hoo-RAY.
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