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Super smart- Session by Dr. Nicholas Correa

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  • 1. How to become Super smart? A session By Dr. Nicholas Correa Resource person, Ratnasagar Publication
  • 2. People aren’t born smart. They become smart. And to become smart you need a well-defined set of skills.
  • 3. Here are some tips and resources for acquiring those skills.
  • 4. 7 Skills To Become Super Smart
  • 5. Memory If you can’t remember what you’re trying to learn, you’re not really learning.
  • 6. The secret to remembering is this: memory comes naturally once you understand what you’re trying to learn and organize it effectively in your mind.
  • 7. A valuable resource for getting the “filing cabinets” of your mind in good working order is Brian Walsh’s Unleashing Your Brilliance: Tools & Techniques to Achieve Personal, Professional & Academic Success .
  • 8. If you want to amaze your friends with remembering faces, names, and numbers, look to the grand-daddy of memory training, Harry Lorayne. His How to Develop a Super- Power Memory is a classic. The problem with Harry Lorayne type memory courses (popularized more recently by Kevin Trudeau), is that they focus on mental tricks and gimmicks to memorize trivial stuff that really doesn’t make for a deep understanding of important subjects.
  • 9. In ancient times, without the help of teleprompters or PowerPoint presentations, speakers did need to memorize a lot of material verbatim and used various memory tricks to do so. But this has become less important in our day. Still, it’s worth knowing about these tricks to memory. For a thoughtful book on memory and forgetting by an academic psychologist, see Kenneth Higbee’s Your Memory: How It Works and How to Improve It.
  • 10. Reading Good scholars need to be good readers. But who is a good reader? Often when we think of “good readers,” we think of speed—good readers, so we’re told, can fly through material. But that’s not necessarily the case. Woodrow Wilson, president of Princeton University and noted historian before becoming U.S. President of America was dyslexic, so it took him forever to read through material.
  • 11. There’s an old Saturday Night Live routine (season 3, episode 5, November 12, 1977) that parodies speed reading courses. Back in the 1970s, Evelyn Wood’s speed reading course was all the rage (it’s still being taught; and books on speed reading with “Evelyn Wood” in the title remain widely available). Here’s the SNL parody:
  • 12. Writing Writing is an essential part of scholarship. Some great scholars have been terrible writers—the strength of their ideas carried them to the top even though their writing style was abysmal. But these are the exceptions. Clarity and precision of expression can only help you as a scholar.
  • 13. Every writer needs to have read Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style. To this Super Scholar would add two very practical books on writing: William Zinsser’s On Writing Well and William Stott’s Write to the Point. Finally, every writer, professional or not, would profit enormously from having a copy of The Chicago Manual of Style. The latter is an incomparable reference work on all aspects of going from thought to word to printed page.
  • 14. Writing isn’t just about filling up a pages with text. It’s also about persuasion. Scholars are not just in the business of thinking up great ideas. They also have to sell them. Indeed, you are selling yourself and your ideas when you apply to college, graduate school, your first teaching position, and especially when you’re trying to get tenure.
  • 15. Speaking Among the worst fears that people have is public speaking. Yet as a scholar, you will be called on to discuss your ideas. Public speaking is therefore part of the scholarly life. Here are some books we at Super Scholar have found valuable in this regard. Dale Carnegie’s How to Develop Self-Confidence And Influence People By Public Speaking is a classic.
  • 16. The most effective means we know of dealing with speaking phobia is Emotional Freedom Technique (abbreviated EFT).
  • 17. Numeracy Scholars need facility with numbers. Some scholars such as mathematicians, physicists, and engineers tend to score high on the math portions of standardized tests and have fewer problems dealing with numbers. Other scholars, often on the humanities side, prefer to have as little to do with numbers as possible.
  • 18. But numbers are a part of life, so we better learn to live with them. Numbers are often abused. Joseph Stalin once remarked that paper doesn’t care what’s written on it. Likewise, numbers don’t care what you do with them. Consequently, they are easily abused
  • 19. It’s also useful to hone your arithmetic skills. Often when confronted with the supposed outcome of a calculation, it’s good to do what engineers call a “sanity check”
  • 20. Empathy Empathy is about connecting with people. It is about understanding and tracking other people’s emotions. Aristotle stressed the desire of people to know.
  • 21. But people are not just about knowing. They are also about feeling. We are not just cognitive animals but also social animals, and feelings drive most of our social interactions.
  • 22. That’s why many scholars are regarded as nerds or geeks—they are seen as reducing everything to knowledge, to pure intellectualism, forgetting about the feeling element in people.
  • 23. The classic study on empathy was by the towering British economist Adam Smith. Before his great work on economics, The Wealth of Nations, he wrote The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Both books bear careful study to this day.
  • 24. Smith’s ideas about empathy and moral sentiments have been updated. Today these tend to be identified with “people skills” or “emotional intelligence.”
  • 25. Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More than IQ has become a modern classic in this regard. Some scholars think they can bank entirely on mental horsepower, running circles intellectually around their peers.
  • 26. But scholarship is itself a social enterprise. Princeton University mathematicians, for instance, hold an afternoon tea where faculty and graduate students meet informally.
  • 27. Some of the best work in mathematics at Princeton (and Princeton has for decades now had the strongest mathematics faculty in the world) gets done at these social gatherings.
  • 28. People’s emotional lives tend not to follow strict logical principles. People are not just rational utility optimizers. Instead, they are full of twists and quirks.
  • 29. Human interactions also have a dark side, as when the culture of rational discourse breaks down, so that instead of resolving our differences with civility and reason, we engage in power plays.
  • 30. Time Management The word “scholar” comes from the Greek word for leisure. Being a scholar means having the leisure time to engage in intellectual pursuits rather than in other forms of labour.
  • 31. It follows that, as a scholar, time is your most valuable asset. How you make use of your time is therefore critical to your productivity as a scholar. We tend to waste an inordinate amount of time. The television is on in most homes 6 hours a day. We look for unproductive ways to fill the day.

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