Monthly Archives: September 2015

How to Help Someone With Depression

Seth Adam Smith

Because I’m open about my depression, I get a lot of emails from people who are worried about a loved one who is struggling. How can I help them? they ask.

How to Help Someone With DepressionImage Source

Well, that’s a really tough question to answer, because most of the time I don’t really know how to help myself. The nature of depression is to drain energy and hope from the body, leaving us feeling helpless and alone.

That being said, that feeling can be overcome by the empathy and compassion of others.

About six months into my marriage, I started to go through a really intense episode of depression. It felt like a thick cloud of sadness had settled on me and I began to withdraw from others—including my wife, Kim.

Obviously, Kim noticed the difference and tried everything she could to help me. But I insisted that I didn’t want to talk about it, that I…

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The Math Ceiling: Where’s your cognitive breaking point?

Math with Bad Drawings

One afternoon, the head of my department caught me in the staff room and posed a musing question.

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(He later confessed that he was just curious if he could play puppet-master with this blog. The answer is a resounding yes: I dance like the puppet I am.)

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So, do we have ceilings?

The traditional orthodoxy says, “Absolutely yes.” There’s high IQ and low IQ. There are “math people” and “not math people.” Some kids just “get it”; others don’t.

Try asking adults about their math education: They refer to it like some sort of NCAA tournament. Everybody gets eliminated, and it’s only a question of how long you can stay in the game. “I couldn’t handle algebra” signifies a first-round knockout. “I stopped at multivariable calculus” means “Hey, I didn’t win, but I’m proud of making it to the final four.”

But there’s a new orthodoxy among teachers, an accepted wisdom which…

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