A judoka once commented that competing with Jigoro Kano, the founder of Judo, was like "fighting against an empty jacket" - his substance was tangible, but pinning him down was an impossible task.
In 2006, the book "Yes Man" sparked a change in my life. I know, it sounds absolutely corny, but it totally did. Wallace, the author and protagonist, was a fairly similar to me - pessimistic, a little too clever, used sarcasm and sharp wit to try and cover up areas where actually we felt vulnerable. But he commits to an experiment where he simply starts saying yes to things. The change was spectacular. I needed something spectacular in my life.
Looking at the test-print in my hands I'm aware of the way that even this moment that I've captured here is going to fade away. The digital scan of it does not do it justice, and this copy is yellowed and marked with age. Until I find the negatives, I'll have to be content with these poor reproductions, each one of which introduces more entropy into the equation.
I recently found some old photographs from my short stint living in the United States, and decided to scan them into the computer. Since I'd lost or thrown out the negatives years before, these are the only record of my time there.
We totally underestimated how amazing this little town just outside of Nagasaki would be. We spent more time just relaxing here and wandering around than almost anything during our time in Japan.
I have a suggestion as to how we can guide the process. The following list is collection of benchmarks that I propose we use to both examine our existing structure, and use as a guide, as we build and improve upon a modern education system. I present them here with the aim that they foment discussion, and quite honestly I hope that someone smarter and more qualified than I can improve upon them.
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