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  • When you're a kid, you get asked this one particular question a lot. It really gets kind of annoying.

  • What do you want to be when you grow up? Now, adults are hoping for answers like "I want to be an Astronaut" or

  • "I want to be a Neurosurgeon". You adults and your imaginations. Kids, they are most likely to answer with

  • Pro Skateboarder,Surfer or Minecraft player. I asked my little brother and he said, "Seriously dude, I'm ten, I have no idea

  • , probably a Pro Skier, let's go get some ice cream." See, us kids are going to answer with something

  • we're stoked on, what we think is cool, what we have experience with and thats typically the opposite of what

  • adults want to hear.But if you ask a little kid, sometimes you'll get the best answer. Something so simple,

  • so obvious and really profound. When I grow up, I want to be happy. For me, when I grow up, I want to continue

  • to be happy like I am now. I'm stoked to be here at TED, I mean I've been watching TED videos for as long

  • as I can remember. But I never thought I'd make it on stage here so soon. I mean I just became a teenager and like

  • most teenage boys, I spend most of my time wondering how did my room get so messy all on its own?

  • Did I take a shower today? And the most perplexing of all, how do I get girls to like me? Neuroscientists say that

  • the teenage brain is pretty weird. Our prefrontal cortex is underdeveloped but we actually have more neurons than

  • adults which is why we can be so creative and impulsive and moody and get bummed out. But what bums me

  • out is to know that a lot of kids today are just wishing to be happy, to be healthy, to be safe, not bullied and be loved

  • for who they are. So it seems to me when adults say, what do you want to be when you grow up, they just

  • assume that you'll be automatically be happy and healthy. But maybe thats not the case. Go to school, go to college,

  • get a job, get married, boom then you'll be happy. Right? We don't seem to make learning how to be happy

  • and healthy a priority in our schools. Its separate from schools and for some kids it doesn't exist at all. But what

  • if we didn't make it separate? What if we based education on the study and practice of being happy and healthy?

  • Because thats what it is, a practice, and a simple practice at that. Education is important but why is being

  • happy and healthy not considered education. I just don't get it. So I've been studying the science of being happy and healthy.

  • It really comes down to practicing these eight things. Exercise, Diet and Nutrition, Time in Nature, Contribution

  • and Service to Others, Relationships, Recreation, Relaxation and Stress Management, and Religious

  • or Spiritual Involvement. Yes, got that one. So these eight things come from Dr. Roger Walsh. He calls them

  • therapeutic lifestyle changes or TLCs for short. He's a scientist that studies how to be happy and healthy. In

  • researching this talk, I got a chance to ask him a few questions like do you think better schools today are making

  • these eight TLCs a priority? His response was no surprise. It was essentially no. But he did say that many people

  • do try to get this kind of education outside of the traditional arena through reading or practices such as

  • meditation or yoga. But what I thought was his best response was that much of education is oriented, for better

  • or worse, towards making a living rather than making a life. In 2006, Sir Kenneth Robinson gave the most popular

  • TED talk of all time, Schools Kill Creativity. His message is that creativity is just as important as literacy and we should

  • treat it with the same status. A lot of parents watch those videos and some of those parents like mine counted

  • it as one of the reasons they felt confident to pull their kids from traditional schools, to try something different.

  • I realize that I am part of this small but growing revolution of kids who are going about their education differently.

  • And you know what? It freaks a lot of people out. Even though I was only nine when my parents pulled me out

  • of the school system, I can still remember my mom being in tears when some of her friends told her she was

  • crazy and it was a stupid idea. Looking back, I'm thankful she didn't cave to peer pressure and I think she is too.

  • So out of the 200,000,000 people that have watched Sir Ken Robinson's talk, why aren't there more kids like

  • me out there? Shane McConkey is my hero, I loved him because he was the worlds best skier but then one day

  • I realized what I really loved about Shane. He was a hacker, not a computer hacker, he hacked skiing. His creativity

  • and inventions made skiing what it is today and why I love to ski. A lot of people think of hackers as geeky

  • computer nerds who live in their parent's basement and spread computer viruses. But I don't see it that way.

  • Hackers are innovators. Hackers are people who challenge and change the systems to make them work differently,

  • to make them work better. Its just how they think, its a mindset. I'm growing up in a world that needs more people

  • with the hacker mindset and not just for technology. Everything is being up for being hacked, even skiing, even

  • education. So whether its Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg or Shane McConkey, having the hacker mindset can change

  • the world. Healthy, happy, creativity and the hacker mindset are all a large part of my education. I call it

  • hackschooling. I don't use any one particular curriculum and I'm not dedicated to any one particular approach.

  • I hack my education. I take advantage of opportunities in my community and through a network of my friends

  • and family. I take advantage of opportunities to experience what I'm learning. And I'm not afraid to look for shortcuts

  • or hacks to get a better, faster result. Its like a remix or a mashup of learning. Its flexible, opportunistic and it never

  • loses sight of making happy, healthy, and creativity a priority. And it's the cool part because its a mindset

  • not a system. Hackschooling can be used by anyone even traditional schools. So, what does my school look like?

  • Well it looks like Starbucks a lot of the time. But like most kids, I study a lot of math, science, history and writing.

  • I didn't used to like to write because my teachers made me write about butterflies and rainbows and I wanted to write

  • about skiing. It was a relief when my good friend's mom started The Squaw Valley Kids Institute where I got

  • to write through my experiences and my interests while connecting with great speakers from around the nation

  • and that sparked my love of writing. I realize that once you're motivated to learn something, you can get a lot done

  • in a short amount of time and on your own. Starbucks is pretty great for that. Hacking physics was fun. We learned

  • all about Newton and Galileo and we experienced some basic physics concepts like kinetic energy through

  • experimenting and making mistakes. My favorite was the giant Newton's cradle that we made out of bowling balls.

  • No bacci balls. We experimented with a lot of other things like bacci balls and even giant jawbreakers.

  • Project Discovery's ropes course is awesome and slightly stressful. When you're sixty feet off the ground,

  • you have to learn how to handle your fears, communicate clearly and most importantly trust each other.

  • Community organizations play a big part in my education. A High Fives Foundations Basics Program: Being Aware and

  • Safe in Critical Situations, we spent a day with the Squaw Valley ski patrol to learn more about mountain

  • safety. Then the next day we switched to the science of snow, weather, and avalanches. But most importantly, we

  • learned that making bad decisions puts you and your friends at risk. Young should talk about what brings

  • history to life. You study a famous character in history, so you can stand on stage and perform as that character.

  • and answer any question about their lifetime. In this photo, you see Al Capone and Bob Marley getting grilled with

  • questions at the historical Piper's Opera House in Virginia City, the same stage where Harry Houdini got his

  • start. Time in nature is really important to me. Its calm, quiet and I get to just log out of reality. I spend one day a week

  • outside all day. At my Foxwalker classes, our goal is to be able to survive in the wilderness with just a knife.

  • We learn to listen to nature, we learn to sense our surroundings and I've gained a spiritual connection to nature

  • that I never knew existed. But the best part is that we get to make spears, bows and arrows, fires with just a bow

  • drill and survival shelters for the snowy nights when we camp out. Hanging out at The Moment Factory where they

  • hand make skis and design clothes has really inspired me to one day have my own business. The guys at the factory

  • have showed me why I need to be good at math, be creative and get good at sewing. So I got an internship at

  • Big Short Brand to get better at design and sewing. Between fetching lunch, scrubbing toilets and breaking

  • their vacuum cleaner, I'm getting to contribute to clothing design, customizing hacks and selling them. The people

  • who work there are happy, healthy, creative and stoked to be doing what they're doing. This is by far my favorite class.

  • So, this is where I'm really happy. Powder days. And its a good metaphor for my life, my education, my

  • hackschooling. If everyone skied this mountain like most people think of education, everyone would be skiing

  • the same line probably the safest and most of the powder would go untouched. I look at this and see a thousand

  • possibilites. Dropping the cornice , shredding the spine, looking for a tranny from cliff to cliff. Skiing to me is freedom

  • and so is my education. Its about being creative, doing things differently, its about community and helping each

  • other, its about being happy and healthy among my very best friends. So I'm starting to think I know what I want

  • to do when I grow up. But if you ask me what do I want to be when I grow up, I'll always know that I want to be happy.

  • Thank you.

When you're a kid, you get asked this one particular question a lot. It really gets kind of annoying.

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B1 education happy healthy skiing hacker mindset

【TEDx】Logan LaPlante: Hackschooling Makes Me Happy

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    VoiceTube posted on 2014/05/25
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