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Last week, we organized a workshop among university educators to share their experience with MOOCs so far.

driving catA graduate student in Education Technology was helping me out arrange the table clothes and display the cupcakes. She is from Henan province, a relatively inward and less developed area in middle part of China.

Suddenly she said ‘I will go back to my home town and will bring these back to influence a whole group of people.’

Let it go

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I-love-the-potato-and-I-wont-let-it-goA friend of mine wanted to introduce her cousin to me. At his mid 20’s, her cousin chose a life style as a debate coach for high school students. He seems to be really enjoying it and my friend’s concern is that his model will be too niche and hard to flourish. So she invited me to offer my help.

I could not really offer my help as the main character himself is quite content with his current life style. He is also able to make ends meet. The only thing I could do was to nod and encourage him. However my friend was deeply concerned of his future, on behalf of the his parents and whole family.

I encountered many families who would sacrifice their own lives to support the children. They want to protect their offspring, support them and worry about them forever. I have also met those who raised them children to let them leave.

This reminds me of a BBC earth documentary about cheetah I recently watched. Unlike humans, animals usually do not protect their children too long. When the baby cheetah reaches certain age, the mother will stop feeding them and leave them on their own. The first kill, therefore, become critical to baby cheetah’s survive. If they are able to hunt their first prey (based on instinct, there is no university for killing for cheetah, unfortunately), it is a good sign they would survive the cruelty of nature and life. Otherwise they are left to starve and die.

It is very cruel for short term for an individual. But if we measure this mechanism in long term for the species itself, we might have a different conclusion.

It is not a really bad idea for us to let it go.