What It Means To Be Blessed With A Good Education

This past Friday I attended the NYSABE conference.  The New York State Association of Bilingual Educators conference.  One of the themes was how speaking more than one language helps our brains to function differently and better.  They were talking about synapses and neurotransmitters and how the brain makes more pathways when you learn more than one language.  I don’t know all of the science involved, but I think that is very cool.

I have heard that before, but have always felt that what is important about learning another language is that better jobs are available, one automatically learns something about other cultures and for an avid communicator like me, I can now talk to more people in the grocery store.

Another speaker, a psychologist, gave us facts and figures about how, due to these new pathways in the brain, people who have had strokes can have less damage because the brain automatically uses the other pathways when the old ones have been affected by the strokes.  As someone who has had four mini-strokes, I was astounded.  I immediately thought that maybe this is one of the reasons that my strokes have not been worse.

Then last night I went to my grandson’s music concert.  He is in the 8th grade and was chosen for All County Music for clarinet.  One of the conductors spoke for a few minutes to thank the families for supporting their children’s music education.  He went on to say that reading and playing music uses all parts of our brain.  In addition to the enjoyment and pride of learning the language of music, students are better prepared to learn other subjects and to process thoughts and ideas more readily.

Thanks to the wonderful education that I received, I can read and speak English and Spanish fluently, know a smattering of French and am learning Kichwa, an Incan-based language.  I can get a kick out of the fact that the French word “hotel” was borrowed by the Spanish to be the word “hotel” and English to be the word “hotel.”  I was amazed to learn that in English we get our word “jerky” from the Kichwa word “charki.”  And that in the movie Star Wars, the character of Greedo speaks to Hans Solo in Quechua/Kichwa in the bar scene.

Thanks to the wonderful education that I received I could transpose the bar scene music from Star Wars if I wished to do so.  I don’t wish to do so, but I know how.

I see the passion for learning in my grandson.  His talent for playing music is obvious. He is learning Spanish in school.  But where languages are my area of true interest, his are in history and math.  All because he is being well-educated.

There are a kazillion reasons why some students receive a better education than others.  It is our job as citizens of the world to help ensure this education for all children. So that children become adults who think critically, who have a passion for learning in whatever area they are most interested, who can get good jobs in those areas of interest.  To have children who are culturally aware and sensitive.

All children have the right to be blessed with a good education.

My new hilarious music t-shirt.

My new hilarious music t-shirt.

 

About Barb Knowles

The things that are important to me are family, friends, teaching, writing, languages and using my sense of humor to navigate this crazy world. Please join me on this blogging adventure...
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45 Responses to What It Means To Be Blessed With A Good Education

  1. If you like dystopian sci fi, like an adult version of the Hunger Games, Netflix has a new series called 3%. It’s originally in Portuguese, but you can switch to Spanish in the settings. The dubbing is AWESOME, clean and seamless. The elocution is well paced and the Spanish is very, very good without being insanely fast or “furry”–and I say that as a native speaker. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Barb Knowles says:

      I have Netflix so I’ll check it out. I just finished Travelers and HIGHLY recommend it if you like sci-fi. Thanks for the recommendation! I like your new logo/gravatar.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks, and I’ll add Travelers to my list. I love watching films in Spanish, and sometimes French if I’m really, really awake.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Barb Knowles says:

        My French isn’t good enough to watch without subtitles. I don’t like French movies anyway (shhhh…..don’t tell my French friends). I, too, love watching movies in Spanish, but not if they’re subtitles. Then I focus too much on the subtitles and not listening to the Spanish.

        Liked by 1 person

      • La Reine Margot with Isabelle Adjani is magnificent in the original French, about the bloodbath of the Huguenots at the hands of Catherine de Medici. (The actress who played her was creepily convincing!) But it’s also a very old movie; I watched it on VHS.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Barb Knowles says:

        I feel like in French movies much of the movie is spent sitting around the dining table.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Bea dM says:

        Or in the bedroom? Dining table sounds more like an Italian movie 🙂 I know what you mean, they can be agonizingly slow. However, the French do history films beautifully, and sometimes simple everyday plots set in the provinces. Paris is another planet. Excellent post Barb, education education education is the only thing that just might save humanity from its limited neurons behaviour…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Barb Knowles says:

        haha re: bedroom. I don’t think of Italian movies being set around the dining table I’ll have to watch some French history films. And thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Bea dM says:

        Always a pleasure reading your posts 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Cool. I never knew that about Greedo. I wonder if other sci-fi aliens are also speaking real languages.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Carrie Rubin says:

    The brain is a mysterious and wonderful place. Well, except when our excessive thoughts keep us awake at night…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. One of the (few) reasons I’d like to be young again would be to have the chance, as an elementary-school-aged child, to learn at least one other language. My 7-year-old grandson is learning Chinese! My 8-year-old granddaughter is playing the violin. (And I’ve always thought of music as another language.) To bring up education-rich children, we should be teaching languages/music in every grade. I’m hoping the Latin I learned in high school will help my aging neurotransmitters now. :-0

    Liked by 1 person

    • Barb Knowles says:

      It absolutely will! Statistics they showed us (I didn’t write down the citations but they were there) were that in addition to helping combat strokes, forming new neuro pathways helps with the effects of dementia. Another in the plus column! Great comment, thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, I love languages! Especially Spanish… and Italian–music to my ears 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This post is so relevant to all parents and educators. I was a district administrator in charge of the Bilingual funding. Attended mandated conferences. Since I speak Mandarin and Cantonese (Chinese) and English, a little bit of Spanish, I understand what my brain is doing when speaking in one language, then associate with another language.
    About 40 years ago, I taught preschool. One girl came from Vietnam could speak French, Vietnamese, and Chinese (Probably Chinese descent Vietnamese), and came to US, learned English, played with Mexican kids and picked up Spanish. She could speak all languages without accent!! The brain is amazing especially when start young to learn language, musical instruments, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Barb Knowles says:

      Very true about starting young! When my brain is working well, meaning I’m not tired, and I watch or hear the news in Spanish, I later can’t remember if I’ve watched it in Spanish or English. But I store it in my head in English, since that is by far my dominant language. The mind is and interesting thing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, after I retired, I wanted my brain to stay active. Some research recommends playing games, I did. But didn’t produce anything, then I found out this program at Cal State Fullerton, for retirees. There are hundred some classes talked by retirees, so I’m taking 3. Because another research says that stays learning new things to challenge the brain. Now blogging is also keeping by brain active!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Barb Knowles says:

        I completely agree with blogging and continuing to learn. I’m looking forward to retiring for many reasons, but reading more and writing more are on the top of the list!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m in a poetry class, one member is 80+ years old. She published her books, but she is still writing new poems. I want my mind to be clear and creative when I get to that age!!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Barb! I’m not sure if you’ve already been nominated for this specific award before, but I went ahead and nominated you anyway for the One Lovely Blog Award 😀
    https://beatricedelrowblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/06/my-very-first-oscar-sorry-la-la-land-love-you/
    Hope you have a great day!
    -Beatrice

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Enjoyed your post –
    As always Barb. 🌹

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Paul says:

    The second sentence of this post was unintentionally ironic and hilarious, though I’m sure you’ll be embarrassed when you read it again.

    Liked by 1 person

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  12. godb4i says:

    When I was in school I took a band class. Because of that class, my grades took off.

    Liked by 1 person

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