Week 2 Peer Comments Valerie Waitley

15 06 2013



Who is that handsome devil?

Chapter 1 states that everything is invented. I really agree with this statement, outside of the physiological realm, problems are largely invented by people. To me this statement really applies to language. All language was invented. I hated it growing up when people would tell the “ain’t is not a word”. I feel that any combinations of symbols or sounds that convey meaning can be interpreted as a word. These same people will tell you that Halapeno is spelled Jalapeno, but  then contradict themselves and say that we speak English, yet we adhere to the rules of Spanish and French in our language. This has led to people not knowing how to pronounce my name.

They see Sanzin and do not recognize it. They then assume it must have some special rules because it is from a non-English origin. The name is pronounced just as it is spelled. San rhymes with man, can, and van. Zin rhymes with tin, men, and sin. People have invented the rule that in English, we must adhere to the rules of other languages. I have invented the concept that we do not speak English, We speak AMERICAN!!!!!!

Her original post…

Week 2: Reading Blog… Invent the Possibility of Everyone Having an A and Contributing


Chapter 1- The first practice- It’s All Invented.

“The frames our minds create define-and confine- what we perceive to be possible.  Every problem, every dilemma, every dead end we find ourselves facing in life, only appears unsolvable inside a particular frame or point of view.  Enlarge the box, or create another frame around the data, and problems vanish, while new opportunities appear.” (pg. 23)

At first I interpreted “it’s all invented” to mean that there is nothing new to create because it all has already been invented.  Then as I read deeper I realized that what they meant was all constructs, all definitions of success, all measurements were inventions by somebody to attempt to define a criteria of attainment.  So, ok, where are they going with this?

It does seem a bit of a circle question to ask “what assumptions are we making that we are not aware we are making?”  If I was “aware” I would know. (smiles)  I guess we could invent a new alternative reality or invent new definitions that would give us other choices.

Chapter 2- The second practice- Stepping into a Universe of Possibility.

Calls deeper into question the idea of establishing and maybe even succumbing to levels of measurement.  I agreed with the mention that there are moments when we “transcend the business of survival” (pg. 20) and instead feel that nothing is impossible.  I feel the feeling of “anything is possible” every time I am in Manhattan.

The authors stated, “You are more likely to be successful, overall, if you participate joyfully with the projects and goals and do not think your life depends on achieving the mark…” (pg. 21).  I had a student who was almost paralyzed by her self-inflicted obsession with getting an 100 in every class.  She was so consumed with the score that she didn’t stop and actually take in what she was learning.  Her father scheduled a parent teacher conference with me and we discussed that the grade will follow, but she needs to step back and enjoy what she is learning.  I am not going to say that she was “forever healed” but she did attempt to relax and learn and by the end of the class she seemed to take in suggestions much better and much less self-critically.

Chapter 3- The third practice- Giving an A.

I had a little bit harder time with this chapter.  The chapter’s premise, “…in most cases, grades say little about the work done…when you give a student a B-, you are saying nothing at all about his mastery of the material, you are only matching him up against other students” (pg. 25).  While this might be true for SOME teachers, it is not in my case.  I teach Professional Communication and I operate under the absolute understanding that maybe 5% of my students will ever actually deliver formal speeches in front of any kind of audience.  I am not measuring their skills as speech givers in comparison to other speech givers.  Additionally, each grade they earn is based against their own ability and not against others in the class and I work very hard to make sure the grade is a measurement of skill mastery…a guideline to help them improve as communicators.  Additionally, of course I provide suggestions and guidelines to improve their communication skills but if they deliver differently, but effectively, I am open to accept the interpretation. What may demonstrate that the best is my correction policy: any student can redo any presentation until they earn they grade they want.  In that way, grades are formative.

Perhaps the idea of giving everyone an “A” is more about creating an “auro of extraordinary respect” (pg. 53) as in the story of the regrowth of the monastery.

Chapter 4- The fourth practice- Being a Contribution

“A person can not live a full life under the shadow of bitterness” (pg. 64).  Again, I think it is possible to skip and miss the underlying, fundamental statement made in this chapter.  It isn’t about NOT having standards, it is about defining the standards.  The Zanders recommend that the level of contribution should be a better standard than the “trio of money, fame and power that accrue to the winner in the success game” (pg. 63).  They state this removes the participant from the measurement world but I respectfully disagree.  There is still a measurement, but with different terms.

I do, however, see that measuring in terms of contribution could be a way to help with stage fright.  Again, as a Professional Communications teacher I deal with stage frightened students hourly.  I encourage all my students to pick topics “of interest to them” and then their topics will interest the audience.  I might consider adding the idea of “contribution” to also help ease their stage fright.




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