Are you a “multipotentialite”? Wait? What

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

Personally, I wanted to be a teacher, a veterinarian, a filmmaker, a programmer, a social worker and then a teacher again. The prospect of choosing one single thing was super hard for me. But choose I did, and I never felt entirely happy doing what I was doing.

Is it possible that we don’t have one true calling? That we have more than one talent? One gift? That is the question that Emilie Wapnick asks her TED audience. She is a self-proclaimed “multipotentialite” which is to say, she has many potential careers and gifts.

I must say I got a little emotional watching this talk. I too am someone who has been constantly looking for my one true thing. Wapnick’s premise of the multipotentialite is a very freeing concept that really got my students thinking and talking (and using lots of job and skills related vocabulary).

Today I am a teacher who programs games, uses film and the web to build materials. Many of my students have alternative learning profiles like dyslexia and executive processing issues. I am considered an informal dog whisperer and on the weekends, I go horseback riding with my two daughters. So, somehow my multi-potentials came to fruition. How about you? When you compare what you wanted to do to and what you chose, did you find room for everything or did you concentrate on a few of your interests?

Pre discussion

  • What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  • If it changed, why did it change?
  • Have you changed your areas of interest as you grew older?
  • Why is it ok for children to have many career paths, but adults must choose one?

The Video: Ted why some of us don’t have one true calling by Emilie Wapnick

Post Video Discussion

You can use this handout to help the students focus their attention on certain areas of the talk. Remember, you can slow the video down and add subtitles if it helps. First, do a Tell Back.

  • Do you see yourself in Emilie’s concept of mulitipotentialite?
  • What is the problem of the “narrowly focused life”?
  • What are some of the problems Emilie encountered (4:00)?
  • What are the multipotentialite’s “superpowers” (6:30)?
  • What are the advantages of exploring all our interests?
  • How are those skills relevant in today’s job market?

Have a good discussion!

What do your hobbies do for you?

What do your hobbies do for you?

Do you knit, run, read, eat, garden? Hobbies are acticities that we do for the sheer pleasure of doing them. They help us take time for ourselves. Whether they are sports related or a more relaxing activity, a hobby is something to enjoy. In other words, when you have given them a bit of time, you feel recharged and happy–as opposed to guilty or tired.

Personnally, I have more hobbies than I probably should. I love relaxing. I knit, paint, garden, cook, take long walks with my dog, read and write blogs. In fact, my hobbies help me channel a lot of creative energy. My husband on the other hand uses hobbies like obsesive video game playing to expell his stress. I’m not sure that it works though.

Moreover, not everybody nutures hobbies. In fact, in many cultures hobbies can be viewed as lazy or a waste of time–something you do when you are children or you want to avoid ‘real’ work. What do you think? Are hobbies healthy or a waste of time? In this Huffington Post article, the author develops the idea that there are good and not so good hobbies.

Warm up

Do a Mind Map of the different hobbies.

The Artcle: Healthy Hobbies That Will Improve Your Life

  • Scan for words that describe the benefits of hobbies.
  • What hobbies do you have?
  • Out of the 11 hobbies listed in the article, which would you like to try?
  • What is it about that activities that sparks your interest?

Can you identify these famous paintings?

I love silly quizzes that tell me which Star Wars character I am or whether I am an introvert or extrovert. I definitely take them with a grain of salt, but I do find them entertaining. What’s more, the suspense creates a great natural motivation to read. So here is one I find pretty generic and adds an educational aspect to it. But you can find the all the quizzes in the to get things going section of this Website.

Pre discussion

  • Have you ever done a silly pop-psychology quiz?
  • What was the result?
  • How much do you know about art?
  • What artists do you admire?

The Website

  • What was your result?
  • Which paintings did you recognize?
  • Which paintings left you puzzled?

Let me know how it goes…

Mel

If you were a car, which would you be?

For all you car lovers our there, this is the discussion for you. Business Insider presents one of the world’s largest car collection of cars, with over 45o cars, held by business man Roger Dubbing. So if you want to ‘rince’ your eyes out with visions of beautiful chrome and leather, hop into this discussion…

Pre discussion

  • What is your favorite car?
  • If you were a car, which would you be? (you can even take a quiz)

The Video: Inside a $45 Million Car Collection

  • What did you see that stuck?
  • What are some of the strangest features?
  • If you were to rent a car from Dubbing, which would it be?
  • Why does Dubbing see himself as an art collector rather than a car collector?

Vroom vroom…let me know how this one turns out.

Mel

Do you want to climb a mountain?

I am an amateur rock climber…very amateur. It’s not for everyone, I know. But what is interesting about rock climbing is it puts you smack in the middle of a discussion between your “afraid self” and your “courageous self”.  Alex Honnold, famed for climbing Yosemite’s El Capitain without ropes, candidly talks about this discussion and how he talked his “afraid self” into trust.

There is a fine line between fear being a wise consultant and an insecure mother. And many athletes have died by choosing wrong. I am sharing this TED talk more because I am fascinated by Honnold’s composure, discipline and wisdom. What’s more, I think there is an interesting Honnold sets a context for a very different type of discussion about fear.

Pre discussion

  • Have you ever done anything that made you afraid?
  • How did you overcome your fear?
  • What are risks worth taking?

The Video: TED with Alex Honnold

  • What are all the elements that Honnold does to prepare for this feat (do a Mind Map)?
  • What did he do to overcome his fears?
  • Why was he not satisfied after he completed his climb?
  • What are the elements that go into “mastery”?
  • Do you master anything?