Thursday, May 22, 2014

TED Talks Club: Self-Definition

They say you can take the girl out of the school, but you can’t take the school out of the girl. So while I am officially on summer break from teaching at Lewis and Clark Community College, I am still thinking about my teaching. This is my first column in Ruby Magazine and I am excited to start a new feature: TED talks club…it’s like a book club without the guilt of having to read an entire book and the ethical dilemma as to whether you can still participate if you’ve only read the first chapter, Cliff notes, or nothing at all. It’s summer after all, so let’s go easy on ourselves.
TED talks combine two of my favorite attributes: they are INSPIRATIONAL and they are FREE. So, just like a good bargain, I’d like to share them with my friends at Ruby.

You’ll want to go to www. and look around. If you would like a little background on this amazing site, here is a very brief one:

TED was founded in 1984 as basically a one-time event. In 1990, TED began to meet as a yearly conference (reportedly there’s a 3 year waiting list to simply attend this $3,000 conference). These conferences meet at cool international locations and film the speakers to post on this site so that we can be enriched for free. There are smaller conferences such as TedX which can attract a more local audience…with a shorter waiting list for attendance. I’ve heard that Maryville University is planning one soon.

If you sign up as a free Ted member, you can get weekly emails of new offerings. While most lectures are 20 minutes, they have recently added shorter ones. The first one I would like to watch together has implications for us as women, mothers, and friends and looks at the constant process that we engage in of self-definition. You may have seen it as it was on Facebook in the past and can be found on YouTube here. (Yes, certain Ted talks make it to youtube too, but I encourage you to still visit Ted and look around.)

Then think about these questions:
  1. What words do you use to describe yourself?
  2. Whose words are those? Yours or those that have been said about you?
  3. Do you like the chosen words? How often do you redefine those words?

So that’s enough homework for now. It’s summer after all…enjoy! See you next month with another Ted talk to check out. Ted’s slogan is “Ideas Worth Sharing” so don’t keep it to yourself…pass it on. Cheers.

By Elizabeth Grant

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