Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Saturday Review

The New Global Student: Skip the SAT, Save Thousands on Tuition, and Get a Truly International Education, by Maya Frost, was the book of the week for me. Frost outlines a plan for those who are uninterested, tired, bored or uninspired by the typical high school rat-race of AP exams, SAT prep and stress and traditional (read expensive) college tuition costs. Her plan relies on international travel, making use of Rotary International's excellent Ambassador program, intentionally discovering international opportunities and maximizing one's intellectual and social equity to get college and advanced degrees (without coughing up one's retirement fund to do so) and get educated in the proper (rather in popular) manner. This is an out-of-the-box way to think of college ed and beyond, but given the rising cost of higher ed it's about time to start thinking outside the box.
Written in the same spirit as Grace Llewellyn's Teenage Liberation Handbook, it follows the John Holt philosophy of self directed education. Llewellyn's book recounts several students who created learning environments for themselves that were non-traditional, challenging and adventuresome and Frost uses her own kids as examples of doing the same thing. Hats off to the Frosts, their kids have college degrees at a fraction of the normal cost, are quite young by traditional standards and are doing interesting and unique work while traveling internationally. One could do worse.
Frost's point that the world changing and becoming more global is dead center and her thesis of creating "global students" bears looking at closely. Middle class, average kids, who speak English and write poorly won't cut it in the global job market that awaits them (check out 2 million minutes )
Good reading if you have a kids stressed about their 5th AP exam, or don't have 1000's to cough up for college, or have a kid who is interested in something extraordinary. And I do have to vouch for what she's saying. Our oldest dd is conversant in a couple of languages, has traveled extensively and has gotten around the world independently for several years. She had more than one excellent institution of higher ed willing to give her lots of money to join their ranks despite skewed ACT scores and a lopsided high school transcript.

In other reading, Catching Fire (the 2nd in the Hunger Games trilogy) made it here yesterday. The second book continues with strong characters, a well-thought out and intriguing plot and a classic Good vs. Big Brother evil that leaves you eager to find out the resolution. I've heard the 3rd book isn't due out till August and that will be a long wait indeed. Very good series.

The Book of Genesis. After a year's study in our weekly Bible Study we have finished Genesis. I've done several studies on the Book of Beginnings but I have to say this was the best. Somehow, going chapter by chapter gives such a personal and intimate look at the lives and historicity of the book. Personality traits that are easy to miss become very clear and the legacies passed down from generation to generation become vibrantly apparent. My big take-away is just how important legacies are, that eternal promises go beyond us, and can possibly take us centuries or millennium out from where we currently stand. I love Genesis. So much drama, humanity and God's amazing redemption. If you haven't read it lately, I encourage you to check it out!


Redradtech said...

Great week of reading for you. I got no where. Wish you lived near me to spur me on

Jennifer said...

Looks like you had a great reading week. I'm looking forward to the third book in the series.

Jennifer @ Mrs. Q: Book Addict

Debbie said...

Have you checked out College Plus?

WildIris said...

The New Global Student sounds like an interesting read. Did you read SWB blog about the Gap Year?

My DD~12 likes the Hunger Games series too.