Wednesday, September 30, 2015

From The Guardian: How PowerPoint is killing critical thought

How PowerPoint is killing critical thought 
Andrew Smith in The Guardian

Bored students is the least of it – the bullet point-ization of information is making us stupid and irresponsible

I still remember the best lecture I ever attended. It was part of a joint series offered by the English and philosophy departments in my first term at university and, given that the subject was Sartre’s Being and Nothingness, should have been the dullest event in Christendom that night. But it wasn’t. The lecturer, Thomas Baldwin, had a deceptively simple style: he would write a proposition on the blackboard facing us and gaze at it for a moment, like a medium beckoning a spirit. Then he would turn and smile, and start to explain.
Baldwin paced the room – but slowly. On occasion he would stop altogether, appearing lost, a moment in which all the world’s logic seemed at stake, before somehow refinding his path to a second thrilling proposition. At one point he stood with his forehead in his hand for so long we almost called for a medic. He was so engaged, so present, that you could almost feel the motion of his mind – and through his, your own. I doubt if fewer words have ever been spoken in the course of an hour-long disquisition, and yet we all tripped to the bar buzzing with excitement afterwards. To this day, if I’m feeling blue I think back to Baldwin’s explication of the logical transition from anguish to nausea, and invariably I feel better.

Baldwin’s talk came to mind recently when I listened to a debate, on Radio 4’s Today show, about lecturing standards at British universities. I have two children at uni who have both have found lectures frustrating, so the contention of the education minister Jo Johnson that quality in this area was “highly variable” came as no surprise to me. What’s more, during sample orations on open days, I had the same experience of being bored to tears by things I felt I should have enjoyed. So when my daughter reported an exception to this rule, I knew what my first question would be.
“Did the lecturer use PowerPoint?”
“Hm. No, he just spoke,” she said....

Atlantic Article: Exercise Is ADHD Medication

Exercise Is ADHD Medication

Physical movement improves mental focus, memory, and cognitive flexibility; new research shows just how critical it is to academic performance.

By James Hamblin in THE ATLANTIC

Mental exercises to build (or rebuild)attention span have shown promise recently as adjuncts or alternatives to amphetamines in addressing symptoms common to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Building cognitive control, to be better able to focus on just one thing, or single-task, might involve regular practice with a specialized video game that reinforces "top-down" cognitive modulation, as was the case in a popular paper in Nature last year. Cool but still notional. More insipid but also more clearly critical to addressing what's being called the ADHD epidemic is plain old physical activity.

Read the whole article HERE

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

My reflection "Trusting in the gifts of the present" is up at the NAES Commons Blog

My reflection "Trusting in the gifts of the present" is up at the NAES Commons Blog,,,



Trusting in the gifts of the present
By The Rev. Peter M. Carey
Posted at the National Associations of Episcopal Schools' "Commons Blog"

“Will this look good on my college resume?” 
“What courses should I take to get into the college of my choice?” 
“What Division One coaches will be at this showcase event?” 
In schools today, there is an increasing focus on the destination of college, and it is not only juniors and seniors. Now, even fifth and sixth graders are talking about college and graduate school. My own seventh graders talk about going to either Columbia or Harvard or Michigan or UNC. In addition, Lower School admissions officers recount stories of prospective parents of pre-kindergarten students who ask about a school’s college profile! The causes of this pressure are legion: anxious parents, competition for college admittance, the Internet, and the high cost of advanced education, to name a few. With so much energy focused on the next chapter, there is a loss in the gifts of the present. We, like our students, often rush toward the future. 
I believe one antidote is for us to help model the spiritual practice of abiding in the present moment. As our former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, wrote “The hardest thing in the world is to be where we are.”*

Click HERE to read it all

Trusting in the gifts of the present

My reflection "Trusting in the gifts of the present" is up at the NAES Commons Blog,,,




Trusting in the gifts of the present
By The Rev. Peter M. Carey
Posted at the National Associations of Episcopal Schools' "Commons Blog"

“Will this look good on my college resume?” 
“What courses should I take to get into the college of my choice?” 
“What Division One coaches will be at this showcase event?” 
In schools today, there is an increasing focus on the destination of college, and it is not only juniors and seniors. Now, even fifth and sixth graders are talking about college and graduate school. My own seventh graders talk about going to either Columbia or Harvard or Michigan or UNC. In addition, Lower School admissions officers recount stories of prospective parents of pre-kindergarten students who ask about a school’s college profile! The causes of this pressure are legion: anxious parents, competition for college admittance, the Internet, and the high cost of advanced education, to name a few. With so much energy focused on the next chapter, there is a loss in the gifts of the present. We, like our students, often rush toward the future. 
I believe one antidote is for us to help model the spiritual practice of abiding in the present moment. As our former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, wrote “The hardest thing in the world is to be where we are.”*

Click HERE to read it all

Monday, September 28, 2015

La bella luna!!

The clouds stood in the way of seeing the moon here in Tampa last night, but I saw this photo taken by Sondra Sarra up in Vermont.  Very cool!

~The Rev. Peter M. Carey


The moon!!!

No way to see the moon here in Tampa last night, but saw this photo taken by Sondra Sarra up in Vermont.  Very cool!

~The Rev. Peter M. Carey


Friday, September 25, 2015

This I believe & Words of wisdom


This I believe word cloud

Four of our 8th graders have given their "this I believe" speeches at our convocations.  Here is a word cloud of their topics so far...more to come!


Slightly edited....after checking in with one of our students...

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Prayers for all those hurt and killed in Mecca on Eid-al-Adha

Mecca stampede: At least 453 killed and hundreds injured in crush during hajj

At least 719 people have been hurt in a stampede outside the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia during the pilgrimage in the deadliest incident in 25 years

Nearly 400 people have been hurt in a stampede outside the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia during the pilgrimage on Eid al-Adha
The stampede took place in Mina, outside of Mecca Photo: AP

• At least 453 pilgrims killed on Eid al-Adha
• At least 719 injured outside the holy city of Mecca
• Two million people perform the Hajj pilgrimage
• Thursday is also the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha
• Iran accuses Saudi Arabia of safety errors after 43 citizens die
At least 453 pilgrims were killed on Thursday in a crush at Mina, outside the Muslim holy city of Mecca, where some two million people are performing the annual hajj pilgrimage, Saudi Arabia's civil defence authority said.
At least 719 others were injured in the crush, which took place on Street 204 of the camp city at Mina, a few miles east of Mecca, where pilgrims stay for several days during the climax of the hajj.
It is the worst incident since 1990 when 1,426 were killed in a stampede inside a pedestrian tunnel leading out from Mecca towards Mina and the Plains of Arafat.
Read it all HERE

Feast of Eid-ul-Adra

Today we keep our Muslim students and their families in our prayers as they celebrate Eid ul Adra.


We also pray for all those injured and killed in a tragic stampede in Mecca today!


~The Rev. Peter M. Carey




From the BBC

Eid-ul-Adha

Eid-ul-Adha ('festival of Sacrifice'), also known as the Greater Eid, is the second most important festival in the Muslim calendar.
The festival remembers the prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son when God ordered him to.

The story of Ibrahim's sacrifice

Eid-ul-Adha celebrates the occasion when Allah appeared to Ibrahim in a dream and asked him to sacrifice his son Isma'il as an act of obedience to God.
The devil tempted Ibrahim by saying he should disobey Allah and spare his son. As Ibrahim was about to kill his son, Allah stopped him and gave him a lamb to sacrifice instead.
Note: This story is also found in the Jewish Torah and the Christian Old Testament (Genesis 22). Here God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, his son with Sarah. Isma’il was his son with Hagar.

Celebrations

Eid ul Adha is a public holiday in Muslim countries.
Today Muslims all over the world who can afford it , sacrifice a sheep (sometimes a goat) as a reminder of Ibrahim's obedience to Allah. In Britain, the animal has to be killed at a slaughterhouse.
They share out the meat among family, friends and the poor, who each get a third share.
Eid usually starts with Muslims going to the Mosque for prayers, dressed in their best clothes, and thanking Allah for all the blessings they have received.
It is also a time when they visit family and friends as well as offering presents.
At Eid it is obligatory to give a set amount of money to charity to be used to help poor people buy new clothes and food so they too can celebrate.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Lessons from a 7000 mile bike ride

I showed this video to my 8th grade religion classes today; such a great story - one that we can all emulate in some ways! 


Monday, September 21, 2015

Church of Lalibela Ethiopia Africa

Church of Lalibela Ethiopia Africa
Build in the 12 century by Emperor Lalibela. Posted on the 
Speaking Rastafari Facebook page


Blessing of the Gries Center



Blessing of the Gries Center
Berkeley Preparatory School
25 August 2015



God, you show us evidence of your creation through logic and mathematics.  Be with our students and their teachers as they strive to become diligent problem solvers.  Be a source of strength and comfort to those who struggle to solve ever more complicated problems.  May these math classrooms be places of great struggles and great successes.



God gives us the gift of beauty and art in our lives. Be ever-present with our students and teachers who seek through music and visual and performing arts to create and display this gift.  May these art spaces inspire our students engage their creativity in new and incredible ways.



God created the heavens and the earth, the sky, vegetation, and every living creature that moves.  Help our students engage fully in the pursuit of scientific inquiry.  May these science spaces be wonderful laboratories of discovery. 



Visit, O blessed Lord, this place of learning with the gladness of your presence, that this may a be a lively center for sound learning, new discovery, and the pursuit of wisdom; and grant that those who teach and those who learn here may find you to be the source of all truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Yom Kippur

We pray for all of our Jewish students and their families as they celebrate Yom Kippur.


A prayer for September 21, 2015 at Berkeley Preparatory School written by Chaplain Peter Carey

A prayer for September 21, 2015 at Berkeley Preparatory School written by Chaplain Peter Carey



As we move into the end of the first month of school, we ask that you bless each one of us in our community.  Send your grace upon us, and especially those students who are struggling academically, socially, or emotionally as the year gets into full gear.  Be ever-present with our new families and staff as the first “honeymoon weeks” are over, and the crunch of work piles up.  Give us energy as we learn to know and care for every one of our students.  We give thanks for all that we have here at Berkeley Preparatory School, the resources, the buildings, the facilities, but especially for the dedicated people who lead our school, who teach and coach our students, and who care for us all behind the scenes.  Let us be mindful and grateful for all that we have, so that we might continue to pour out our compassion and kindness.  Amen.

Rosh Hashanah

Our thoughts go out to all our students and staff who are celebrating Rosh Hashanah!

May it be sweet new year!


Saturday, September 12, 2015

Bruce Springsteen - The Rising - A Hymn for September 12th


Come on up for the rising
Come on up, lay your hands in mine
Come on up for the rising
Come on up for the rising tonight


Spirits above and behind me
Faces gone, black eyes burnin' bright
May their precious blood forever bind me
Lord as I stand before your fiery light
I see you Mary in the garden

In the garden of a thousand sighs
There's holy pictures of our children
Dancin' in a sky filled with light
May I feel your arms around me
May I feel your blood mix with mine
A dream of life comes to me
Like a catfish dancin' on the end of the line


Sky of blackness and sorrow ( a dream of life)
Sky of love, sky of tears (a dream of life)
Sky of glory and sadness ( a dream of life)
Sky of mercy, sky of fear ( a dream of life)
Sky of memory and shadow ( a dream of life)
Your burnin' wind fills my arms tonight
Sky of longing and emptiness (a dream of life)
Sky of fullness, sky of blessed life ( a dream of life)


Come on up for the rising
Come on up, lay your hands in mine
Come on up for the rising
Come on up for the rising tonight

Bruce Springsteen 2002

Friday, September 11, 2015

Life is short ~ prayer based on Henri Amiel's poem




Life is short,
And we do not have much time
To gladden the hearts of those
Who travel the way with us.
So be swift to be kind,
And as we go,
May the blessing, the love,
the joy, and the peace
Of the Holy One
Who is in the midst of us
Be among you and remain with you
Always.
Amen
(adapted from the French Poet Henri Amiel)

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Let there be spaces



Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow. (Kahlil Gibran)

Monday, September 07, 2015

I lift up my eyes


Psalm 121
I lift up my eyes to the hills—
    from where will my help come?

My help comes from the Lord,

    who made heaven and earth.
 He will not let your foot be moved;
    he who keeps you will not slumber.

He who keeps Israel

    will neither slumber nor sleep.
 The Lord is your keeper;
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
 The sun shall not strike you by day,
    nor the moon by night.
 The Lord will keep you from all evil;
    he will keep your life.
 The Lord will keep
    your going out and your coming in
    from this time on and forevermore.