While I am not necessarily proud to admit it, I seem to be drawn to reading "light hearted" fiction at the end of a long day. While Robert Ludlum and James Patterson novels aren't exactly academic staples, they do provide some high interest escapism. Last week I picked up a new novel, by necessity, not choice. I had finished my previous read and flipped open my wife's novel to relax at night. The novel "Outliers - The Story of Success" is based on an interesting premise that success is predictable and not only based upon the individual, but the environment in which they developed. In the novel Gladwell expands on the notion that all people who are successful have spent 10 000 hours in their field. According to the author this is the minimum for a person who have mastery in an area. He uses the examples of the Beatles who had played for thousands of hours in Amsterdam, before ever making big in the United States. He also suggests that Bill Gates, one of the richest men in the world, owes his success to some luck and good timing. In the late 1960's computer programming involved using punch cards that had to be sent away to be process. The current head of Microsoft, was fortunate to attend one of the few schools in North America that had a mainframe computer on campus where he could have hands on access to a computer lab. The author contends that his early access to computers, along with his personal drive, allowed him to achieve to the level he has. I have enjoyed the book so far, but I am not sure if I completely agree with all of his precursors for success. What types of novels do you like to read? What do you think is the greatest predictor of success? Let me know what you think...
Grade 8 teacher, cross country/track coach, tech inspired educator
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