Friday, May 29, 2015

Book Review on David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell

I originally became familiar with Malcolm Gladwell through a CBS show 60 minutes.  I was impressed by his mannerism.  When he spoke his words were thoughtful, and he himself expressed an amazement at his own success in the literary world.  I was once again reminded of Malcolm Gladwell and the book David and Goliath through

The presentation of the Biblical story in scientific terms made perfect sense to me. I even remember my eldest brother having a sling shot when he was young. Though the sling shots of old were different, the objective remained the same, hit the target to survive.  I am fully able to accept Goliath may have had a malady, which affected not only his large stature, but that caused his inability to see clearly.  Thus, when Goliath asked David to step closer, David was no fool and refused while shooting his target with one launch of a rock that killed Goliath.

Sometimes determining how to use a strategy is the greatest task.  Goliath thought he would be fighting an army and was insulted when a mere boy was sent to do the task.  Time and again in the book, Gladwell presents instances where the underdog should not have won, but circumstance and attitude work in the person's favor.

The beauty of Gladwell's book is should you read all the chapters in order as I did, you will see how the storyline builds upon itself to reveal comparisons that allow the underdog to win.  You may however, begin with the chapter on David and Goliath or read the section about Martin Luther King's struggle during the civil rights movement or read about the IRA and the protestants and the struggles during British rule and still gain an understanding of the book.

For those who struggle with dyslexia and recognizing how one learns may prove beneficial.  Jumping right into the dyslexia section may be the best place to begin to understand the difficulties faced by individuals with this as a very real part of their learning experience.

I am currently tutoring several individuals with this problem and I am on a learning curve because of the challenges presented to me on the way each has learned to cope with dyslexia.  In particular, I have one student who loves music and rap.  I am trying to use Muhammad Ali's book Ali Rap, which is filled with photos of his career and the wonderful raps he gave before each bout.

The section on WWII where it was predicted that those of London would fall apart at the first bombing proved false because it only strengthened their resolve to survive and not be negatively impacted by what was occurring around them.

I was particularly impressed with the statement that dealt with fear, which essentially states, once you have experienced fear in a particular situation and learn to deal with it differently then fear no longer serves as an obstacle to what you are attempting to accomplish.  I was also impacted by the chapters that dealt with those who were raised by single parents or were orphans.  Though I am not a true orphan in the full sense of the word, I was raised at an orphanage for ten years.  During that time, I learned how to survive.  When I went home at the age of twelve, I was forced into adult responsibilities, so my sense of the world was different.  I am not wealthy monetarily, but that is not the wealth I seek.  What is important to me is impacting others and having a sense of community and lasting bonds of friendship. When I spoke with my Russian Jewish friends they too alluded to the fact that having friendships make you wealthy.

There are chapters that simply cannot be read out of order, in particular, those dealing with the success of treating leukemia in children and the independent determination of a doctor to prove his theory correct.  Once you have also been reading a section that deals with a particular conflict in a region it is best to finish that section.

Police officials may find this book useful in recognizing how too much force actually can impede their objective in working with a community and in trying to bring calm to a situation.  Joanne Jaffe success in Brownsville New York serves as a platform for demonstrating how dealing with a community differently can change the outcome in a positive manner.

Ultimately, I think this book is a quick read that one does not have to be a reader to enjoy.  If you are not into to statistics, that is fine as the concepts are simple enough without the graphs.  I highly recommend this book for students who are college bound or in their first year of college as it is a terrific historical work.  The content is diverse and is perfect for students seeking direction in identifying a career he or she may want to pursue.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Only 45 pages left to go on David and Goliath

I will be posting my review this weekend.  Are you about done reading?  I look forward to sharing my impressions with you regarding the many events provided by Malcolm Gladwell.  So get out your reading glasses and your notes to compare with my impressions.  Until then, have fun completing the book.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Update on Review of David and Goliath

I hope you are continuing to read the book, David and Goliath, with me.  I am on page 140, as many things occupy my days, but, so far, this has been a worthwhile read.  A full review is yet to come, so keep reading, Malcolm Gladwell's book.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

David and Goliath

For those who are interested, I am about to read David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell.  Join me for a review.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

If I Were A Comedian

I tell you there is so much material available in the real world,  I think I could make it as a stand-up comedian.  Learning to have the confidence, timing, and stage presence is something I definitely would have to master.  President Obama, seems to have a handle on timing.  He comes in soft and low and knows just how to the land the line.

This will be my effort to express the hidden humor.

Let's start with men.  Have you ever noticed how men, the fix-up guys, designated car parts, plumbing parts and other parts with names, such as: female fitting with male end, that sob when the thing won't cooperate, hose bib, c-clamps, sill cocks, ball cocks, plungers, monkey wrenches and any other things that you can think of?

Now what if we were the handy women?  I'm not saying I'm handy, but I do try. Plunging a sink seems to have been my latest challenge.  I was just as good at plunging the water out of the drain as having the sprayed water give me a new hair dew.  I have; however, recently re-discovered hair color. I decided having my hair colored was a better master plan than my God given early gray hair.  At least, I could cover that flaw, while I work on trying to bring the sagging belly back in shape.

When I lived in Fowlerville, Michigan, I had to learn how to handle a tennis racquet, but instead of volleying with balls, it was 2:00 a.m. session with bats.  I waited 22 years for the house to be sealed against bats, but it was a lower rank than my ex-husband's car projects. Have you ever heard the sound of bats in your walls?  Not only do you hear a high pitched noise, you get the added benefit of hearing them scratch on the other side of the wall right when you're trying to sleep. I probably could have volleyed a short time with Venus and Serena Williams with the number of years I spent smacking those damn bats.

I promised I'd share that earlier bat story with you.  The darn bat tenants were not the culprits of my rabies problem.  It was a lone bat, who leaped out of a tree during daylight hours and made a noise, in my right ear.  My ex-husband grabbed a shovel and smacked the bat.  My neighbor saved me from an ugly demise, by informing me that the bat should be taken to the health office, for testing. Sure enough, the bat was positive for rabies, so began my series of shots. Well, I am already certifiable, I didn't need a bat to emphasize the point.

Let's talk about duct tape.  My house was the poster child for duct tape.  Instead of proper borders for the drywall, you guessed it, my bedroom was lined in duct tape.  If duct tape couldn't fix the problem, there wasn't a problem.

When we first moved into the home, there was no operating toilet, and do you think the plumbing was right, of course not, we had our own personal waterfall. Our house could have been the show house for the movie, "The Money Pit."

There were good times at the house, but I am glad the people who purchased our home had the time, money and patience to make it look nice.  I had a new roof put on the place.  We had circuit breakers placed in the home along with a water heater and a porcelain sink, but it takes love to keep a home and that had faded over the years.

Now that I am living in an apartment, I really don't have to do maintenance work; however, I am pleased when I am able to accomplish minor things.

Taking situations and seeing the humor in them may take time, but realizing life isn't so bad is truly important.

My father was the master of humor.  When he attended my brother's wedding, he placed a sign on his walker that said Cadillac Brome, (Brougham), spelling was never his forte.  He enjoyed laughing and so did the people around him. Occasionally, the whiskey was a bit too much, nevertheless, he was a funny man who loved to sing especially when a bit intoxicated.  He would belt out the Irish song "Harrigan."

Mother's laugh was intoxicating.  Most often she was without expression when Dad was up to some antics, but when he got her laughing, the whole O'Connor Clan would be in an uproar.

I'm glad I am able to reflect on life with my own sense of humor, as there is no doubt, it has saved me.  I try to never look back and  accept the person I've become.