Destination Imagination

Eight years ago, I was introduced to a program called Destination Imagination, the largest creative problem solving competition in the world. I was a coach of a team of young elementary kids. It was the beginning of an experience of a lifetime for me. In the years since, I have had the opportunity to continue being associated with this amazing program as a coach, including a life changing trip to Global Finals. There are likely very few programs that can teach core life skills to our children in a fun environment like Destination Imagination. Form a team!! Get your kids involved. They will amaze you with their creativity.

Right Brain Dominant Learners

I found this really interesting article that I thought I would share.

Those long mathematical problems or activities that follow multi-step directions may cause a right-brained child to tune out. In a perfect world, children would be taught in ways most appropriate for their learning style, but with a majority of the population leaning toward being left-brain dominant, a more structured, linear, and goal-oriented way of education prevails. This causes many a teacher to feel a child isn’t able to perform as well as other children without realizing that it may have more to do with how the information is presented.


Right Brain Dominant Learners By Sarah Lipoff

Connected but Alone

Next time, before you pick up your phone to text someone instead of walking over to talk to them, think about this.

In her most recent book, Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other, Turkle argues that the social media we encounter on a daily basis are confronting us with a moment of temptation. Drawn by the illusion of companionship without the demands of intimacy, we confuse postings and online sharing with authentic communication. We are drawn to sacrifice conversation for mere connection. Turkle suggests that just because we grew up with the Internet, we tend to see it as all grown up, but it is not: Digital technology is still in its infancy and there is ample time for us to reshape how we build it and use it.

Turkle is a professor in the Program in Science, Technology and Society at MIT and the founder and director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self.

“What technology makes easy is not always what nurtures the human spirit.”
– Sherry Turkle


Fall is the season

when the wet leaves

that were once handing in the dark dreary sky,

drift to the ground.

The rain pounds on the roof

Like birds falling out of the sky.

Kids stomping in puddles

With rain boots as yellow as the sun.

When Halloween comes

The children are yelling in there spookiest voices.

Animals collecting as much food for the harsh winter.

That is the season of FALL.

Written by second grader, Rohan Vaidya

Fall Colors near Leavenworth, WA

Eagle Scout

Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical, and expecting more than others think is possible –

My older son Pratik recently attained the rank of Eagle Scout, Boy Scout ‘s highest award. This is because he choose the path less travelled.

This year is the 100th anniversary of the Eagle Scout. Only 5% of scouts make the rank of Eagle. They share an honorable legacy with many of the men who have shaped this nation’s history – they are Eagle scouts.



What my son will choose to do with this legacy will define what he will become.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary – Steve Jobs

Off The Grid

People often ask what sparked my interest in the great outdoors and why I like to disappear off the grid.

I grew up in Bombay (now Mumbai), India’s commercial capital and a sprawling metropolitan of unimaginable proportions. When I was 18, I joined a group of friends on a hike. It was the peak of the Indian summer (105-110 degrees ). We were young, restless, and foolish. Our destination was a remote mountain area, about 14 hours away along unmarked trails and rugged terrain deep in the hills of western India. We found a local villager who had heard about the place and offered to take us there.

There are three things I remember of that day – the awe inspiring beauty of the great outdoors, the sheer mental determination we had to draw upon to reach our destination, and above all the unassuming simplicity of the villagers we met along the way including our guide, who opened their simple thatched huts to us with food and lodging and expected nothing in return.

More than two decades later, I try and teach these same values to my kids. On one of our recent backpacking trips in summer, my ten year old son jumped into a cold mountain stream, pointed to an organized chaos of rocks, twigs, branches and mud, and explained to me how beavers build dams. He did it with words, gestures and expressions that I had no idea he knew and that no class room teacher would ever have the privilege of witnessing.

In the city, you see from heaven to heaven what man has made. In the country, you see from heaven to heaven what creation has made, and life and it’s values the way they were meant to be.

That is why I periodically disappear off the grid.

Shirish Vaidya