Reaching Happiness through Education

I recently finished reading the book “Transforming the Mind: Teachings on Generating Compassion” by His Holiness The Dalai Lama.  It touches upon the transformative power of meditation and the different schools of thought in Buddhism.  Although I found it difficult to follow at times due to my restless and creative mind (reason why I started meditating) it was worth reading it until the end.  It is the transcript of a public talk given on May 10, 1999 by HH Dalai Lama called “Ethics for the New Millennium”, included as an appendix, that has made me think about my views of education and my role as a teacher.

Below are some of the statements made by HH Dalai Lama. My intention is simply to share them because I think that it could positively impact what we, teachers, do on a daily basis.

“Modern education is very good, but it seems to be based on a universal acceptance of the importance of developing the brain, that is, on intellectual education.  Insufficient attention is given to the development of a person as a whole, in the sense of becoming a good person or developing a warm heart.”

“Right from kindergarten up to university, I think it is important to address moral questions related to the whole life of the individual, including his or her role in society and in the family.  Without that, you can’t be a happy person, you can’t have a happy family, and so you can’t have a happy society.”

“…it’s very useful to introduce children to the idea that whenever they are faced with a conflict situation, the best and most practical way of resolving it is through dialogue, not violence. […] I think it is good to introduce the idea of dialogue into schools from an early age, and train students to debate different views.  In this way they will practice debating, and the concept of dialogue will gradually be instilled in them.  Dialogue is the appropriate method, the effective method, the realistic method.”

“The development of that kind of attitude (to choose dialogue over violence) is related to basic human values, that is, a sense of caring, a sense of responsibility, and a sense of forgiveness.  We could call them basic spiritual values.  Whether we believe in a religion or not is a matter of individual choice, but regardless of whether or not we have a religious faith, so long as we are human beings, and so long as we are part of human society, without these good human qualities we cannot be happy.  The very purpose of life is to find happiness, so there is no point in neglecting those very things which are directly related to making us happy.”



Sos Argentino?! Then don’t read this post…

Or you may want to…

I often get questions from my adult students about the differences between how words are used in Spanish speaking countries. Usually I share vocabulary words that might change from one country to another, ask them to make note of it for future reference, and leave at that.

However, recent conversations with my fitness coach, whose family is from Argentina, sparked my interest in the famous “voseo.” Until now I had seen the use of “vos” as a mere pronunciation difference. But after looking into it I’m considering to expand a little more on the topic, in my future Spanish lessons.

Here are a couple of facts that I found:

-The “voseo” or use of “vos” was common in Andalucía, Spain until the 19th century. However, it is in Argentina where is continued to be used orally and in writing. Other Spanish speaking countries may use it yet it is viewed as a “rural” way of speaking.

-When conjugating the regular verbs in the present indicative there is a difference in the pronunciation of the word as the stress is on the last syllable; therefore requiring an accent mark on the vowel of this syllable.

-From a Spanish language learner perspective, it might be easier to use “vos” instead of “tú” when conjugating stem changing verbs as there’s no change in the stem.

-“Vos” can also be used as a prepositional pronoun instead of “tí”. For example the phrase “Thinking of you” could be translated into “Pensando en vos” rather than “Pensando en tí.” The use of the prepositional pronoun “tí” tends to be a challenge for the language learner as they automatically use the personal pronoun “tú.”

I’m not a linguist nor I pretend to be, but I think this is quite interesting and wanted to share it. I’m sure that I’ll discover more facts about the “voseo” as I continue to learn about it. As a reflective practitioner I always think of ways of improving the information that I pass on to my students. For that reason, I created a chart that includes the “vos” as a pronoun and some of the conjugation patterns. I’ve also added the plural form of you “vosotros” used in Spain as an attempt to provide a more comprehensive study guide. Click on the link to access the document:

As always, your feedback is greatly appreciated. For now I’m taking a break, there’s a soccer match I need to watch 😉 ¡Vamos Argentina!

Copyright © 2015 Ericka Collado
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