Girly Thoughts

Sorry for firing off posts in close succession but I just had top share the following gem. I’ve been laughing so hard I knocked a pile of papers from my desk. It’s totally the best:

“Girly thoughts tell women that they still have to be the ‘good girl’. This is a major trap at work and specifically for entrepreneurs,” explained Dr. O’Gorman. A common girly thought, she explained, is the one that tells women not to try because of the fear of failure, which can be particularly damaging for entrepreneurs.

“The fear of failure is so much more loaded (for women.) Women need to learn to roll with the professional ups and downs that are common at work and not to take failure personally,” she said.

So while men may engage in self-talk as well, they don’t necessarily have the same negative impact.

“Men have an inner dialogue but it very different,” explained Dr. O’Gorman.

I’ve been to Albany and I have no idea how “Dr. Patricia O’Gorman, an Albany, New-York based psychologist” managed to go through life without meeting a single man, but apparently she did. Of course, she defines her own job as “resiliency coach,” and if you see the word “coach” in the job description of anybody who doesn’t train athletes, you need to turn around and run away as fast as you can. 

The advice “Resiliency Coach O’Gorman” offers you is bizarrely bad and actually dangerous. The only way in which it can be helpful is if people do the exact opposite of what she suggests. But the very last piece of advice this quack offers is just something special:

Never be afraid to voice your opinion or disagree with your colleagues.

Wow, what a great piece of wisdom! It must be so totally easy to solve any problem once you have access to this crucial insight. For instance, you can tell alcoholics, “Never drink alcohol!” And they will respond, “Gosh, thank you! We never considered this possibility but now we are cured!”

Now let me use Coach O’Gorman’s method and cure her of being stupid: “O’Gorman, don’t say and write stupid things! Read books and educate yourself.” 

Let’s see if the method works.

What Students Want

Students need iPads like dehydrated people need seawater: it might seem like a good idea, but the devices are likely to create more problems than they solve. But that’s not going to stop Apple from giving away more than $100 million worth of its products to students in 29 states in an effort to “make a difference for students and communities” as part of President Obama’s ConnectED Initiative.

I have noticed that everybody wants to do something nice and helpful for students but nobody is in a hurry to ask them what they want to be done for them. So I decided to do something as radical and shocking as actually asking students a question about their needs.

The administration’s plan to ban textbook and give every student a tablet was greeted with eye-rolls and frustrated sighs.

“Why doesn’t anybody just give us books, real books?” one student asked. “That would actually be helpful.”

“So true!” another student said. “Having one more screen to stare at is not a pleasing prospect.”

In a fairly large room, I detected no excitement whatsoever at the prospect of substituting books with e-readers.

For some reason, everybody seems to believe that students can’t make decisions that will benefit them but it isn’t true. Maybe it makes sense to run these costly “reform” ideas by the supposed beneficiaries and see what they think.

P.S. Feel free to read the linked article but I warn you that, after the initial great sentence, everything else in it is utter garbage.