Monday, August 30, 2010

The Meaning of Life

I plan on writing a book on life. Now some may say it is to broad of a subject but I feel that it isn't. I've read many books that have just focused on some aspects on life and when I read these books, I have wished they talk more about the general subject on life and I understand that it is a broad subject but I feel like I can cover all aspects of it. Now only at the age of 17 some may say "I'm not old enough or haven't lived long enough to experience life" but the strange thing is that I have read many book son life and I ponder on life for most of my time. I may not have experienced much but I sure can talk about it. But all in all I plan on just giving a different view on life, that some may not have realized. There are many things to life then the basic routine lives we live and its a very special gift and I want everyone to realize it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My Comment to Lucy's Blog

I completely agree with you Lucy this summer I got awarded a scholarship to attend to the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS)after applying for the second time. I knew how much I wanted to challenge myself and I was not going to give up on applying. Apparently persistence is a good quality. But I didn't get what I wanted instead destiny was determined to challenge me to the fullest it was in my hands to take it or leave it. Whitewater rating and kayaking? Yes. I had no idea how to swim or even of what this course was going to consist of but I did not let this intimidate me. Drive is a quality that comes/ emerges from the heart without this quality we can not truly learn how to master something.

I am worried, not excited

When we first received Daniel Pink's Drive, to be honest I just kept thinking..."Oh's just another motivational book". The reason I thought this was because with motivational speeches or books all they do at first is stir you up and excite you during that time, but afterwards that excitement wears off. We really should not be excited after reading the book, we should be worried about why the motivation we had before didn't last us until we read this book. I mean because one of the reasons we read it is to start fresh and motivated in out senior year. What can we do to keep our motivation alive throughout the whole year? Our creativity? Especially since we started this exciting new senior seminar project, we want our creativity to be flowing out of us.
Reading Drive, I realized that the reward we get affects us. I mean one would think we would feel motivated with a prize to work harder, be more creative, and win that prize, but that is not always the case. I love the Creativity section he talks about on pages 42-46. On page 46 he mentions, "It is those who are least motivated to pursue extrinsic rewards who eventually receive them". I went crazy when I read this line because it is completely true! Last year I had in mind receiving some academic awards for classes I thought I excelled. I tried hard to study and to get the highest grade, but the result was pure disaster. I ended up with no awards and tears on my face. I now realize, with help of Drive, that I was learning to widen my knowledge. So to answer my first question, what can we do to keep our motivation and creativity alive throughout the whole year? Well we should focus on gaining knowledge and joy out of what we are learning. If we work and learn this way, when it comes to our senior seminar project (even if we don't get the results we wanted), I'm pretty sure we will get full satisfaction, and motivation and creativity left over.

Students...start your engines

So all these years we have, basically, been doing it "wrong". After reading Drive by Dan Pink and discussing it at school with my teachers and friends, I realize the truth and importance of the "right" motivation. Of course, there are different situations and different personalities, but there are also different ways of approaching motivation. There are many ways to motivate and stir up creativity in people other than the typical “carrots and sticks” as Pink points out.
School has a certain monotonous nature. Teachers assign homework, depending on the class the assignment is usually around the same format year-round. They assign the homework, and basically your reward is your grade. It turns into work, and I may say it can be dreadful. Teachers want their students to love to learn, but it gets hard when your homework tends to suck all the joy out of learning. That is why I am so glad our school has opened up to the idea of 20 percent time. This year seniors have two days out of the week to work on a project. Anything we would like to do. This, honestly, gives me more motivation to go to school. I want to show everyone what I can do and I want to work hard on it.
In our classes, our teachers have opened up the floor and their lesson plans. We get to have some say in what we want to learn. This makes the class more interesting and exciting. It turns into fun; play. This book would have never been a book that I would have picked up on my own. It may have been directed more to the work/business setting but it works in the school setting as well. I’m glad I was assigned to read Drive because not only is it helping me learn and discover new things in my school work, but it also helped me realize what my teachers go through to try to get us to love to learn and to motivate us.

Monday, August 23, 2010

ROWE in school

ROWE In School
In Daniel .H. Pink Drive, chapter four he speaks about a certain company that uses a strategy called ROWE, (result-only work environment) which means working without a schedule. In reading about ROWE I believe that using this strategy works more than putting a person under deadlines.When Gunther the owner of a company, implemented ROWE in his workplace the productivity increased.I believe that our school should implement ROWE on our students when it comes to certain classes such as math or English. In chinquapin certain teachers give lessons at the beginning of class and then allow the students to do work. I think that the students that feel comfortable enough with the lesson that has been taught should be able to leave the classroom as long as they turn in there assignments on time. I believe that if students were able to leave early from class it would give them the freedom to work as they please, in a place where they feel more comfortable, and and where they would be more willing to finish there work. This would also show the student responsibility which would make them more willing to do what is expected of them. Using ROWE also shows that the teacher has trust in the student and will make the student feel as if he/she was being treated as an adult instead of a little kid that has to be reminded of his/her work


One of the lines that caught my attention as I read Drive by Daniel Pink was "But since they don't have bosses themselves, there's nobody to manage or motivate them. They have to be self-directed. This statement reminds me much of why the class of 11 are seniors. In the next year we will have times when no one is going to be watching over us and well this mean we have to do what we are supposed to. We have to self-directed. We have to be self-motivated to do our best. We have to achieve in as many was possible, even if no one is there to give us credit. We have to do it to see the outcome and feel great about ourselves. It is incredible how most people never even realized that Wikipedia is made by people who aren't getting paid. Wikipedia is an important source that most of the world uses. This is a great example of one of the great things that have become from people being self-directed. Imagine what us Seniors (Class of '11) can do just by being self-directed. I am pretty sure we will see some of this greatness in our Senior Projects.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

My response to Lucy's post.

I can't at this moment comment on anyone's blog because I'm using my sister's 1st generation Mac but I wanted to say a few things to Lucy, in response to her blog.

A. You and I can relate, this summer I challanged myself to write more often because I felt this was the only way I would improve as a writer. Sometimes it was hard, words didn't necessarily make sense but I kept them because eventually they do.
( if you want to see some of my writing over the summer go here:

B. You're right about rewards, they've have been used for ages as motivation. I too did some volunteer work at The Children's Museum and it was probably the best thing I did (beside my trip to Costa Rica. Making the guests at the museum happy put me in a good mood and it made me want to go back every day but also there were the perks' : Free access to every exhibit, ice-cream parties, and shirts! Last but not least, the people you work with, they were a bunch of strangers to me at the start of June and by August they became good friends to me. Yes,I am glad you enjoyed your time at the Zoo, everyone knows animals mean a lot to you and that's something you can probably explore more this year. Maybe you can hold a small expo about animals that live in Highlands and how the local farmers in the area can take care of them better.

Cheers :D

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My Drive

I have been VERY busy this summer and I have always come to this blog and clicked on the "new post" button various times but never got around to typing. I started reading DRIVE while working at the Houston Zoo this summer and somehow found some of the ideas mentioned in the book similar to what I was doing on my own. I am going to be honest and say that this book wasn't my favorite but it did open my eyes to a lot of things. For example, whenever the author mentioned about offering a reward, like money, for an action to be done can be dangerous I could honestly say to myself I have witnessed that. My younger sister doesn't enjoy reading and so during the summer my family has accustomed her to read and she knows she will receive an amount of money in return. Obviously she finds a way to not really read the book and receive the reward. It reminded me about the part in the book where the idea of a not so well job done will be a consequence. On the other hand I realized that my love for animals and volunteer work is the other type of motivation mentioned in the book. I first applied to the Houston Zoo Crew program because I would love to spend my summer working with animals and gaining more knowledge about them. As I worked my hundred hours I realized that I was being rewarded in small ways, such as, discounts, the laughter of the campers and knowledge. The book then became a bit more interesting to me because I realized how much these kind of scenarios happen everyday and one goes through life not really paying much attention to it. My drive this summer was keeping myself busy helping others while in return gaining many rewards that weren't always necessarily money.

Quick Comment

It was fun reading everyone's posts! You all deserve brownies in my opinion. I haven't been on in a while but to see that my fellow classmates took the initiative to post their comments and thoughts was exciting.
I've been busy like a bumble bee baking blueberry biscuits. I wish I had more summer time to get everything done before school but it seems that I'm out of luck. I'm happy though. I can't wait to share my experiences over the summer with everyone. Drive has been applicable to so much of what I've done. From working in the corporate world to hanging with friend. I wish I could dedicate the next few hours to writing about it all but school starts in 10 hours and i still haven't even made an attempt to get ready. The purpose of this post, however, is to say that I could write a book about Drive and how it's affected my thought and experiences this summer, but time does not permit.
Can't wait to see everyone tomorrow!
David Copeland

Notes From Drive 8/15/2010

Here are some notes I've taken but whether they're good or not is up to y'all.

1. How do I motivate myself to do anything at all?
- Pink writes that if someone is given his/her own schedule(that they can follow), then it's more likely they will do their job and produce something of good quality.

I like this notion because whenever we're given deadlines, I start to get a bit nervous as to how the result will turn out. Don't get me wrong, I'm serious about my education but the best results that anyone is going to get from me is in A. They give me enough time and B. Don't ask me every minute, hour, day about how the project is coming along. (I'll just leave it here for now)

- Mr. Pink suggests that in between work, we take some time off.

I think he called this ROWE but I'm not too certain. Working for a big company and having to stay there from various hour of the night can be frustrating and exhausting. As an employee, will I finish the work by the end of my shift, probably? Will I give it 100%, not so sure about that one. Anyhow, ROWE suggests we take a break from the heavy work load and relax. Let's us contemplate about other things such as how this years soccer team will improve. Little things can really put us at ease and I think this will help a lot of Chinquapin students, especially the seniors since we have to not only focus on school work but on college applications.

2. What I really think about Mr. Pink and his book.
This book just serves to prove another point that Chinquapin also tries to plant in our heads: You have to go beyond normality and do something that defines you as a person. That's why this is a good book for young people(such as myself) to remember why we go to school and after that it becomes more about the decisions that we make that will take toll in our lives. I thought also this was a sneaky way to make me realize, my gosh, I've yet to learn anything. There is so much that the world has to offer, I haven't even begun to understand what lies ahead. Drive, Drive, it can mean so many things but it's up to you, me and the rest of the world to make it what we want it to be.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Let's find our Drive...

When i first got this book I wasn't really interested in reading it. First of all because I didn't see a story in it and, personally, I like a book with a plot I can relate too. But as i started reading it i have to admit there were several occasions where I would find myself nodding in agreement to what Pink was sayin. Especially when he talks about the three essential elements; autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

I find the three elements to be so true. For example, I think we all share a broad autonomy: a better education in whatever our fields end up being. Isn't that why we are at Chinquapin? We all want to do better than McDonald. Not htat there is anything wrong with that. What would be wrong is to not take advantage of the opportunity we have and seek to improve ourselves. The opportunity to start at a McDonald and then works our way up to something better. That's where mastery comes in because in order to get better at something or move forward we need to improve ourselves and our skills. That's what college is for, right? But not just to get better in general but to get better at whatever we want to do. Whether its at creating music as a musician, or designing buildings as an architect, or dealing with numbers as an accountant. It really doesn't matter what we choose as long as we have a passion for it. A passion that becomes our purpose. Because musicians create music for other to enjoy, architects build so that others can admire, and accountants do their math so that a business can run without going bankrupt.

I think this year we should all strive to find what drives us. Including me, cause honestly I don't really know what i want to be when i grow up. If we find our drive and not lose sight of it then it should get easier.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I'm Not The Greatest Driver

As Susan handed me this book I couldn't help but wonder why she would give us a book about driving. I quickly realized this book wasn't about a drive we can control, but about a drive that controls us.

What exactly is my drive? I never really thought about this question till after I read this book. I also thought about how many times a teacher has "encouraged" me to do great in a paper with rewards. I also got to thinking aren't grades rewards as well? Are grades really necessary?

As you can see a lot of questions arose in me. I thought a lot about how when we are little our parents teach us to respond to punishments and rewards. Parents would offer us a cookie if we made our bed. Why couldn't they just expect us to do it by ourselves? I mean we would have done it eventually right?

I have noticed that the natural drive everyone has helps create something much more unique then when we are pressured. I like to surpass my boundaries just like a lot of people. Have you ever noticed how little kids are always wanting to jump higher, run faster, or be better at something. Once we become young adults, we always tend to expect something in return for our achievements. It's time for a change..

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I Finally Found The Drive to Write My Blog

I completed my reading about a month after school ended and since then I have been struggling with exactly what to blog about. Here it is August 1oth, less than a week before school starts, and still I haven't decided what to write about. So I've decided to just go for it, here goes.

Before I had even read the first chapter of Drive I was enthralled by the introduction. Pink writes, "Rewards can deliver a short-term boost --- just as a jolt of caffeine can keep you cranking for a few more hours. But the effect wears off ---and, worse, can reduce a person's long-term motivation to continue the project." (pg.8). That statement is so true and it helped me to understand a lot of things that I have experienced. I remember back in elementary school one of the little girls from my neighborhood (let's call her Susie) was really enthused about a new rewarding system her school had come up with. The deal was that every student that got commended performance on their TAKS test (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) would receive a check for fifty dollars (Keep in mind the fact that we were in the third grade, so fifty dollars is alot of money.). So Susie took the test and got the fifty dollars. Well, the nest year when it was time to take the test again she found out that there would be no reward and here attitude towards succeeding changed. She didn't care if she passed or not because she couldn't get the fifty dollars.

That school got what they wanted, state recognition, but at a greater price than they had prepared for. They had given the children the wrong kind of motivation and in return they got little to no self-motivation and made the kids expect to be rewarded for succeeding. These children were given a short-term boost and no long-term motivation. So as far-fetched as Pink ideas seem they are true and I got all of this from a couple of sentences in the introduction.