Cast your vote! Bring Us Peace…

December 31, 2008

We submitted an entry in the well-publicized recording contest sponsored by world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Participants from around the world were invited to submit an original recording of variations to the traditional Christmas hymn, “Dona Nobis Pacem” (Bring Us Peace). We composed and performed live our own variations of this piece, and our recording is posted here (see user name “Lisa C.”).

Now, the world gets to vote! And you can too. Spread the word, tell your friends, go to the site and listen to our variations! Vote for your favorite! Note that at this link there is a handy “Vote” button right next to the name of each entrant, making it easy to cast your vote. The winner gets a chance to record with Yo-Yo Ma himself! Close to 400 entries were submitted, but to make it easy, you only have to listen to ours (ours is in the 2nd to last row, middle column of this page)….

The deadline for casting all votes is JANUARY 10, 2009, at 9:00AM PST!

Regardless of how you decide to vote, please tell us what you think of our recording.

Happy New Year! May 2009 bring all of us peace…


A challenge to “Outliers”

December 16, 2008

I read and loved this fascinating piece in the NY Times by David Brooks in response to Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book, Outliers. I am accustomed to and appreciate Mr. Brooks’ clarity of thought, but he gets extra kudos in this case for actually challenging Malcolm Gladwell, who seems to be an emerging guru within our current “you can do it too” culture that craves sound-bite explanations of complex social phenomena.

Here are some key excerpts from Mr. Brooks’ piece:

As usual, Gladwell intelligently captures a larger tendency of thought — the growing appreciation of the power of cultural patterns, social contagions, memes….

Yet, I can’t help but feel that Gladwell and others who share his emphasis are getting swept away by the coolness of the new discoveries. They’ve lost sight of the point at which the influence of social forces ends and the influence of the self-initiating individual begins. Read the rest of this entry »


Having Anything You Want versus Having Everything You Want

December 5, 2008

I was inspired by a recent blog entry on “getting rich slowly”, which said, “You can have anything you want – but you can’t have everything you want.” At this holiday season, and especially at this moment in history, the truth in these words resonate for me. It’s one of the lessons I believe is essential to teach our children, and is inherent in learning to live happily.

One of the common questions I am asked by parents both in my program and considering enrollment in this program is how to “balance” sports, music, academics, community service, and other extracurricular activities for their children over time. The answer I typically give is that the experience of committing to any activity in a serious way, early in life, lays the foundation for the child to eventually make that commitment to anything they choose. However, the truth is that you can do anything, but not everything. Read the rest of this entry »