Remember, remember the 5th of November.

Today Javier P. guided the morning meeting. Guy Fawkes was hanged in the streets of England, a long time ago, on a 5th of November and then this phrase was often used by the government to keep people calmed and under their control. Today, people in England still remember Guy and have and start a fire every 5th of November. Javier also shared with us some picture of his visit to Sumpango on Friday, the day of the “fiambre” and the kites. The kites were humongous, very cool, beautiful and colorful.

To do list:
– Add more to my documentation of Benjamin Franklin
– How to read a book chapters 6,7,8
– Taming the infinite chapters 7, 8
– Euclid’s Elements propositions 4, 5, 6
– Learn Greek in 30 minutes a day lessons 19-30
– Work on my autobiography
– Finish with the documentation of  The Trivium and publish it.
– Documentation of The Well Educated Mind and Getting Real.
– Polish Website design (Documentation)
-Document some days that I’m missing
– Khan Academy (work more on this)
– Programming class: code academy and project Euler
-Last chapters of let your life speak

We worked in groups to fill our schedule of the new cycle that we are starting today! Bert gave us a schedule and as a group we filled some things out and organized our time in order to get everything done. Pablito, Grace and I discovered that during this cycle we will need to work more in our home, at least with the readings. We planned on using Fridays to finish with the documentation of the week and with the readings.
Then all of us had a brainstorm session about a presentation that we will be given to the people from the Business School on Thursday. Here is the link where you can see what we were doing today… https://docs.google.com/a/ufm.edu/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AuazmUwZUI41dDMwMGxBaGRCYWdZOWh0ZXlqeHNMMFE#gid=0,

My group (Grace, Pablito and I) is presenting the “process” part and my topics are: Project based learning, Self-evaluation and documentation. I hope that everything goes out fine.

We had our Epicycle on Plato’s “Euthyphro” where Socrates is going to a trial because he has been acused of inventing things of the gods. On his way to the trial, Socrates meets Euthyphro, who is going to prosecute against his dad for killing somebody who killed somebody else. Euthyphro explains that this act is impious, and that even if the killer is his father, he shall prosecute against him. They start discussing about values and piety. Socrates asked Euthyphro what piety meant and that is what their entire argument is about. Bert told us to note the elements that Socrates used in his dialogue. I thought that Socrates was very curious, inquisitive, and accurate. He tried to give real proof and his arguments where very complete. He explains himself very clearly and asks questions in order to make other people’s arguments clear. We have a lot to learn from Socrates! The main questions asked during this dialogue were: “How many definitions does Euthyphro give?” and “what is the pious?”. Personally, this made me wonder a lot about what Emerson also mentions in Self-Reliance, that people consider the “goodness” to be something different. There is not a concrete definition accepted by everyone about what is good, in Plato’s case: “what is pious?”, what do the gods appreciate? People have always looked for answers about what is alright, but these definitions are constantly changing and people never agree on these definitions. A good way to solve this problem would be to seek to understand everyone and to use Socrates method of asking questions to see why people are disagreeing. But even Euthyphro mentions that pious is what the gods like, but all the gods like different things. Some things that are valuable to one god may not be valuable for the rest of the gods.

We started singing our madrigals today! Mabe, Bert and Alejo helped to divide us in our singing tones. I was “diagnosed” an Alto. We were all supposed to sing to the tone of the piano that was playing from Alejo’s computer. Some people were told that they could not really sing and I was very nervous when my turn came. This is going to be cool, our voices together sound cool.

We read something about Socratic Practice, relating to the academic skills that all of us should have by the end of the program. We need to work hard in order to accomplish these standards:
1.    Textual Understanding: Student is fully capable of understanding a text or, if a text is difficult, student is capable of specifying precisely which aspects of the text she or he does not understand. Can formulate questions, the answers to which would supply the student with complete understanding.
2.    Speaking: Speaking clearly and articulately, even when expressing complex ideas. Student seems secure and confident even while speaking in front of strangers.
3.    Listening: The student shows an accurate understanding of the complex ideas spoken by others. He or she truly comprehends what everyone is saying in the dialogue.
4.    Knowing how to learn: Student knows how to learn without assistance. The student know when and how to do things in order to achieve his ultimate goal which is learning.
5.    Critical Thinking: Making distinctions between assumptions and conclusions, evidence and arguments. The student notices when one argument is weak and when it is strong and reliable. Student is capable of distinguishing between his opinion and the one of the author.
6.    Teamwork: Student’s comment are helpful to others in the group, and works to synthesize the comments of others in the group. Is extremely aware and cares about the dialogue.
7.    Sensitivity/Good manners: Polite and respectful. Does not interrupt others, is sensitive towards the needs of others, is not sarcastic or aggressive. Is graceful.
8.    Personal Skills: Straightforward with regard to comments and behaviors. Admits it when he is wrong. Acknowledges when claims made are guesses.
9.    Willingness to accept criticism: Is never defensive when opinions or behavior are criticized, takes criticism constructively.
10.    Responsibility and initiative: Responsible and shows initiative in all aspects and activities. Student is also punctual, gets work done, reads the assigned text, and makes an effort to contribute. Student holds him or herself responsible for the progress of the class as a whole.

For our programming class we decided to work individually in our Ruby lessons in codeacademy.com and to have finished the first two lessons on Ruby for the next week, and hopefully even more than that. As a group, we compromised to solve 5 Euler problems each and the pre Eucler programs that Kyle is going to create for us. I entirely worked on Ruby and I am writing a glossary on Ruby’s terms. We are supposed to work on phone apps at the end of this year, awesome!

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October 26, 2012

Today Alejo guided the morning meeting. He showed us a clip from one of his favorite movies, where Natalie Portman is making crazy things in order to do something original that no one else has ever done or will do. Then, we had to do something crazy, I was the first, I did some crazy moves, and people laughed. My favorite one though was Bert’s, he made a Ludwig Von Mises move, he touched his nose with one finger and said Ludwig, then with the other finger in his nose he said von, and then he said Mises. Oh, you fun libertarian jokes. Oh, and Ingrid made dancing that made me laugh a lot too. Then Alejo showed us a video where Steve Jobs mentions that once you realize that everything that we are able to see was created by a human, who was just like us, everything changes. Here are the links to the videos that Alejo shared with us.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TU4o4kHq9kg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvEiSa6_EPA

Then, during my individual time I used Kyle’s suggested app to work for 25 min and rest for 5. Pomadora is the name of this app. I was also trying to work standing up, like Kyle. I did this for two cycles, but then I stopped because I was not concentrated anymore in the reading and it was almost time for our visitor of the day to come, Dylan Evans. Dylan is a really cool and famous man, who is currently teaching for free at the university. He is also a Dj, a PhDj. The cast of the Matrix movie had to read one of his books. I really tried to use my individual time of today wisely in order to Finish with The Trivium for Wednesday, and to document the things that I needed to document.
Oh, and here is the schedule I have for today:
• Reading The Trivium on periods of 25 min, with 5 minute breaks in between.
• Dylan PhDj
• Document yesterday’s afternoon and today

Dylan Evans came and we had a discussion basically about himself, his life, and a book that we will be reading with him: “Thinking, fast and slow”. He told us that he understood that our program was basically learning how to learn. We agreed. He majored in philosophy but told us that the best philosophers of all history did not have any degrees, he put Plato as an example. I never thought of that before, but it is true. After getting his diploma, he went to Argentina to teach English, there he discovered psychology, which is his main field of work. He mentioned that in Buenos Aires people are just big fans of Freud and Lacan and of psychoanalysts. There, he started reading Lacan and took some notes on it, then he put them in his computer and he realized that he had a book there, so he called someone to publish it, he did, and that is a very famous book in psychology. Dylan is very fun, but many times I thought that he was making a joke, even though he was telling the truth. His life reminds me of Forest Gump, he told us that he even started a cult in Scotland, I can see that he does whatever he wants, whenever he wants it. He told us that when people ask him: “what do you do for a living?” or “what do you do?” he answers: “I think”. So he thinks for a living. He told us that he is never able to attach to one topic, he is always changing topics and research topics, he writes books about different things. He is in the University because he is writing a book on Free Cities right now. He also mentioned some things about the market, and about how people make decisions and buy things. He said that people are not always rational in the market; I will like to know more about this. Oh, and he advised us to stop worrying so much, and to work less haha.

I had a feedback session with Bert and Ingrid. I really liked how the things went down for this session. First, I had 10 minutes to tell both of them how was I feeling as an MPC pioneer and how did I think the program and the rest of the stuff was going in here. I told them that I felt like there is so much I could learn from the MPC if I use my time wisely, and if I really put effort into it. There is just so much things that I could learn in here, but it is my choice, I need to choose it daily in order to make it. I need to choose to be an organized and responsible learner everyday that I come to the MPC. I need to commit to this program, I need to read in my house, I need to work my class off during the individual time, etc. I also told them that sometimes I get the feeling that we are building an awesome culture in here, and some other times I feel the exact opposite. When nobody reads, like what happened with The Trivium and when nobody is doing their individual work, I get this feeling that we are going backwards. Then, Bert and Ingrid talked for about 8 minutes about me, and I couldn’t intervene, and they were not talking to me. It was just a conversation between both of them, I was just a spectator. The advice that Bert gave me with my reading documentation, which is what I need to work on, is: I could document what I read every 30 min or so, for about 5 min in order to not leave the entire book to document for the last minute.

Here is what Bert and Ingrid mentioned about me:
1. It’s great that I’m calling other people for quality, like I did with the MPC handbook.
2. The handbook thing made them think that I care a lot about the MPC
3. I have courage to confront people when I have to do so, I should do this more often.
4. In the bus on our way back from Atitlan, Bert saw Carmen, being Carmen.
5. I shall pioneer the program and become a great model.
6. I have a performing ability, and I have a great sense of humor. I have to use my qualities to relate to others and to get into people.
7. I have a great potential, and when I understand and acknowledge all this that I can do I am going to do great things.
8. People listen to me when I speak.
9. I am not aware of how much my example and what I say has an effect on people and changes things.
10. I need to accept the role of being a pioneer and to accept and make a great use of this power.
11. I need to discover my inner strength.
12. I am thoughtful to express my feelings.
13. I am polite, honest, respectful, observer (very observer), aware of what is going on.
14. I need to do something about the things that I see and know that I don’t like or are not right.
15. I love to be surrounded by people who are great learners.
16. I am going to be so much better now that I am finally using a schedule and trying to organize myself.
17. Using my MPC individual time will help me feel successful.
18. I need to celebrate what’s right with the MPC in order to fix what’s wrong with it.
19. I can’t be defeated because of the wrong stuff.
20. I have to acknowledge myself because I have been a great model.
21. Using the right body language could make everyone notice how present I am.
22. I shall always express myself.
23. I don’t have to feel defeated.
24. I need to realize that I have a lot of values and that I am resilient. This is a time for self-reflection.
25. I have all this power inside me: moral, intellectual, humorous, creativity and playfulness.

I felt very good after this feedback session, it was mainly positive stuff and congratulating time. It really shocked me though, because throughout my life, people have always told me that I have a lot of potential inside me and that I don’t explode it. People often say that I don’t believe in myself and in the great things that I could do because of how great I am. I didn’t believe this, but now I do. Because Bert and Ingrid have known me for about two months and they are telling me the same stuff that people have always told me. I do believe that I have great qualities that I could rock just if I want to!

Lucia, Mabe and Alejo showed us the videos of themselves teaching how to prove the first 3 postulates of Euclid’s Elements. They were really good for them doing it the first time, but there is a lot of things for us to improve yet.

today’s to-do-list