Ok, so maybe you’re not the kind of person who likes learning via online courses. Sitting in front of a computer and reading page after page after page of information and then taking a quiz on the topic doesn’t have to be your cup of tea. Not to mention the sixteen week long commitment it takes to complete one of the GALE courses. I get that. Which is why the cool tool I would like to explore this week is another source of self improvement and personal education. Let’s take a look at some TED Talks.
I discovered TED talks in college. My Postcolonial Literature Class had just finished reading Half A Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. That book left me feeling like someone had emptied a fifty gallon barrel of water over my upturned face simply because I had mentioned that I was a bit thirsty. I knew it was a good book. I knew I had enjoyed the experience of reading it, but I felt like I had missed half of the story. There was a connection I was missing. I wondered if the rest of her work explored this new dynamic. So, like the millennial that I am, I Googled her. The search resulted in her TED talk entitled The Danger Of A Single Story.
It wasn’t long before I discovered that she was not the only author sharing these amazing little twenty-minute nuggets of advice. Isabel Allende discusses the need for passion when telling a story, Tracy Chevalier tells the story behind The Girl With The Pearl Earring, and Mac Barnett speaks to the power of magic that can change the life of a child who believes in a good story. As a matter of fact, there is an entire playlist of videos dedicated to what writers have learned through the experience of their own work. Two of them, actually.
But it doesn’t end there. It never does.
Poets have also taken to the TED stage to talk about the lifesaving power of poetry. From high school students and mathematicians, to teachers themselves. They express how poems shape who they are and how they share with the world; how blending languages in poetry helps them explore their own culture and how it ties in with the people who hear their poems.
I hope you find a TED talk that truly speaks to you, that you may walk away feeling like you have learned something completely new and are all the better for it. Explore. Find a speaker you like and hunt on YouTube or your local public Library for more of their work. Our favorite authors and writers always share so much with us through their writing, TED talks give us the experience of learning through their speaking.
So this blog post is going to be bursting with links! Feel free to check a few out. We don’t all have sixteen weeks to learn how to write the perfect memoir, but I urge you to find twenty minutes to inspire yourself as to why you should try to write it anyway.
– Elkid M.