Friday Food for Thought: January 28, 2022

Hello Friends!

I’m beginning a new experiment at The Creative Life Adventure. Every Friday I’ll help start your weekend by sharing four people, thoughts, or things that are on my mind this week. These may be books or movies, podcast suggestions, interesting people I follow on Twitter, music, products, or, well, anything. I’ll try to stick to the practical and, while these items may include interesting quotes, I’ll generally stay out of meme-lite territory. You may find some interesting creativity boosts, conversation starters, or just a small dose of entertainment. Feel free to share this with friends, offer suggestions via the comments, or connect with me on Twitter at @bradbravard. Let’s begin!

1) Around the Home:

I used to have a drawer full of screwdrivers, then finally got wise and replaced most of them with a Milwaukee multi-bit screwdriver. Phillips, flathead, and other bits are stored in the handle and are easily interchangeable. The handle is comfortable to grip and it has ratcheting settings to reduce wrist strain. Other brands make multi-bit screwdrivers, but the Milwaukee has been a space- and time-saver for me.

2) Travel:

If you’ve never traveled by rail, you’re missing out on a travel mode that is not just a means of getting from A to B, but an integral part of the journey. Simply Railway is a YouTuber who travels the world by train from coach to first class. Especially if, like me, you’ve put travel plans on hold due to the pandemic, he will inspire you with ideas of where to go, and how to get there, once you’re ready to hit the rails. And Simply Railway doesn’t clutter his videos with the God-awful music so many Vloggers are obsessed with. His trip from Hamburg to Stockholm is a good introduction to the channel.

3) Music:

Anouar Brahem composes music for contemplation, and this was never clearer to me than during a recent re-listen of his 2014 recording Souvenance, which means “remembrance” or “recollection” in French. Brahem is a master oud player and collaborates with extraordinary musicians from around the world. His compositions for Souvenance were inspired by turmoil in his home country of Tunisia in 2011. The All About Jazz review describes the tone of “sadness,” “despair,” and “ultimately, the hope” Brahem must have felt. I have the 2-disc CD but the music is also available for digital download.

4) Deep Thoughts:

There’s a lot going on in education these days, much of it not good thanks to interference from bigots and corporatist ideologues. But if anything good has come from the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s a growing interest in ungrading, a concept my college professor wife recently introduced me to. One of creativity’s touchstones is a willingness to question fundamental assumptions, so I love ungrading as a response to a conventional grading system that is heavily biased and often counterproductive. Another thing I love about ungrading is an emphasis on continuous feedback that is more substantial than a letter grade that becomes an end in itself. Meaningful feedback is an essential element in business, engineering, healthcare, and, well, education. Get a primer on the topic by reading Jesse Stommel’s “Ungrading: An Introduction” and Starr Sackstein’s “A Better Way to Report Learning.”

That’s all for this week. Have a good weekend!

This post contains NO affiliate links. All suggestions are based on my personal experience, your experience may vary. Nothing herein is intended to serve as medical, legal, financial, or any other advice for which you should consult professionals and not some random guy on the Internet.

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