Failure is Essential on the Path to Knowledge / The Sacred Bond

“To give service
to a single heart
by a single act
is better than a thousand
heads bowing in prayer.”
–  Mahatma Gandhi

Dr. Alford Blalock

     Dr. Alford Blalock

Alfred Blalock earned his M.D. from Johns Hopkins in 1922. Three years later he left Baltimore, considering himself something of a failure at age 26, for he had not achieved a residency in surgery (you guessed it, subjective grades were responsible!)

Vivien Thomas

Vivien Thomas

He did pioneering work on the nature and treatment of hemorrhagic and traumatic shock. He demonstrated that surgical shock resulted primarily from the loss of blood, and he encouraged the use of plasma or whole-blood transfusions as treatment following the onset of shock. This early work on shock is credited with saving the lives of many casualties during World War II.

He developed the Blalock-Taussig Shunt, a surgical procedure he developed together with surgical technician Vivien Thomas and pediatric cardiologist Helen Taussig to relieve the cyanosis from Tetralogy of Fallot. This operation ushered in the modern era of cardiac surgery.

Alfred blalock

Dr. Blalock, Vivien Thomas and Helen Taussig saved millions of lives.

Blalock and his team, who were working on shock at Vanderbilt, labored to create different physical conditions in dogs. In 1938, he conducted one experiment in which the left subclavian artery was joined (anastomosed) to the left pulmonary artery in an effort to produce pulmonary hypertension. The experiment failed and was put aside. Years later Blalock was to return to the idea.

In 1944 Blalock, with Vivien Thomas by his side, performed the first “blue baby” operation on Eileen Saxon, a 15-month-old baby. After the surgery, Blalock performed it on thousands of children, often with Thomas by his side. The new operation not only directly saved thousands of lives, it marked the start of the modern era of cardiac surgery, as it was the first successful surgery on the human heart of the modern medical era.

Something_the_Lord_MadeDuring his later years at Hopkins, Blalock continued his research on the heart and vascular surgery. With Edwards Park, he developed a bypass operation in 1944, and in 1948, with Rollins Hanlon, a cardiac surgeon, he created a technique for overcoming the transposition of the great blood vessels of the heart.

Helen Taussig

Helen Taussig founded the field of pediatric cardiology.

By the 1950’s, Blalock had performed over 1000 surgeries to correct congenital heart defects.

History is replete with what I see as beautiful examples of failure crafting, directing, enabling and molding the minds and attitudes of men, women and children into inspired and capable creators of life saving and labor saving and artistic manifestations.

Something the Lord Made is a 2004 film about Vivien Thomas and his complex partnership with Dr. Blalock. It was based on the award winning Washingtonian magazine article by Katie McCabe. I shared this beautiful film with my Philosophy students and I encourage you to view it.

“To be able
To look back on one’s life

In satisfaction,
Is to live twice.”
– Kahlil Gibran

Baby and

No. I know your hungry, but you must wait for the burger with fries!

My friends, we MUST fall down if we learn to walk, we must bump into things if we are to learn to pay attention, we must hit a sour note if we are to learn to sing. Failure is absolutely essential on the path to knowledge. But NOT in subjective, abstract, biased and artificially contrived ways. NOT in the ways our children are experiencing.

No record of failure need ever be kept except in the mind of the one who supposedly failed. And in that fragile vault, it will be held, naturally, only as long as it is necessary for survival, of an idea or an important lesson of life (without artificial contrivances and intolerable stress.) Anything beyond what is natural can become highly destructive, of intrinsic motivation, of the forward movement of society or of life itself.

IMG_1124 -b

Wyatt and Mary Alice in our production of  “Twelfth Night”.

But failure, in our society, is not a friend. It is not utilized as a NATURAL BY-PRODUCT of life and living. It is artificially contrived and employed in ridiculous and extremely harmful and deadly ways. And the school report card is a prime example.

“If you have ever rolled your eyes
when your child says
a teacher’s grade was unfair,
you might want to think again.
Your child might be right.”

Douglas Reeves, an expert on grading systems,
conducted an experiment with more than 10,000 educators
that he says proves just how subjective grades can be. read more

Here we have, in a report card, what can accurately be described as a weapon of war. And we hand it to educators who, “do not know what they do” to EXTRINSICALLY not intrinsically motivate fragile children. And the detrimental letters (grades) on these paper machine guns mow down the next generation with a lethality and accuracy of carpet bombs in war.

Receiving poor grades in school is associated with an increased risk of suicide at a young age, according to a new study from the medical university Karolinska Institutet and the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare. And numerous other studies confirm this finding.

Marie Anderson

Marie Anderson

Researchers found that teens with the lowest final average grades after year nine at age 16 (in a Swedish school) were three times more likely to commit suicide than students who graduated with the best or, at least, very high grades.

The findings reveal that suicide risk descended as grades rose. read more

“We have met the enemy
and he is us.”
– Walt Kelly

Report card grades are very effectively utilized to demoralize, discredit and terrorize children of all ages. These subjective indicators of abstract accomplishment cut a huge swathe through the ranks of our young citizens and are primarily responsible for the unbelievable drop out rates. Folks, children will not leave an environment where they are happy and successful. It kind of makes sense, doesn’t it? Come on. Wake up.

“The best way
To make your dreams

Come true
Is to
Wake up!”
– Paul Valery

Such a crude and technologically outdated system of feedback as a “report” card is also responsible for the total destruction of the self-esteem of many highly fragile children. So destructive as to cause the dissolution of the natural and beautiful bond between a child and its Mother.

Mary Alice shares with Gavin

Mary Alice shares with Gavin

This Sacred bond is the very breath of life God has given to every child. And it is essential to maintain this bond for human life to continue. How many soldiers have cried for their Mothers while dying on battlefields. Yes, it is Sacred and essential and very, very fragile.

There. I have pointed it out. Now we can all go back to ignoring the problem and patiently waiting for the next highly subjective and senseless paper meat cleaver of the human heart and spirit to be cleverly handed to our children. And then, do not wonder why your child resorts to drugs to dull the senses and alleviate the pain (it is called cause and effect). Our society is becoming disconnected from reality.  We are good at treating children by masking the symptoms and not finding out what the real causes of their problems are and addressing them.

“If You Don’t Know Where You’re Going,
You’ll Probably End Up Somewhere Else”
– Roger Taylor

I have such fond memories of my precious Mother, Marie, embracing me with such compassion, and such wisdom, when I shared with her my absolute disgust with old, worn-out, embittered coaches assigned to teach essential courses and abusing their power by assigning poor “grades” to such non-compliant rascals as me. I was unwilling to literally “Play Ball” and instead was passionate about music and being in the band.

He looks like a happy camper now.

He looks like a happy camper now.

I presented my so called “report card” decorated with numerous morally blood stained letters in the shape of an “F” to her (coach DNA). She laughed out loud (yes, she had a great sense of humor), tossed the ridiculous document into the trash can (where such destructive, ill-conceived and evil acts belong), hugged me, smiled and said in a loving and loud voice, “Well, It looks like your ready for College!” And was I ever! I was stunned. But, in retrospect, such failure really was a great preparation for success. I was highly motivated to prove my worth. But more importantly, I found the wind beneath my wings. It was warm, uplifting and wonderful and always smiling.

I went to see Dean Goleman at Ranger Jr. College the next day. It was exactly like I had died and gone to Heaven. I found real human beings with warm hearts that were actually beating. The teachers at Ranger, and the other universities I attended, were as compassionate and loving as I had ever imagined in my dreams. You see, God answers Prayer.

From the very depths of my heart and my Soul I say, “THANK YOU” to all the beautiful College and University teachers! We shall meet again in Heaven. And if I cannot find you there, I shall march into hell, report the mistake, and tightly embrace you, never letting go, as I escort you past the Gates of Heaven, so that you can be where you belong. Saviors deserve salvation.

I don't think he's awake yet. He looks like Dr. A before coffee!

I don’t think he’s awake yet. He looks like Dr. A before coffee!

So please. The next time your child does not succeed, stop long enough to congratulate them. They have again met the best teacher on the planet. Put your arm around him or her. Smile. Laugh about it (really loud). Tell a story about the funny things that happened to you on the way to failure which led you to success. Remind your child that no one, THANK GOD, is perfect. Perfection is found in fiction books and Sci Fi movies and Heaven. And in real life, perfectionism is a deadly and dangerous commodity.

It may surprise you, but my precious wife and I look for poor grades presented to us in applications we receive. We especially take note of poor citizenship grades. Ahhhh, Yes! Finally, at last, here is my kind of child, who combines high creativity with real, raw courage and true grit! Here is the kid with the strength of firm convictions and “the right stuff”.

“It’s the Soul
Afraid of dying
That never learns to live.”
– from The Rose

How to be happy, page one.

How to be happy, page one. A multitude of small delights constitutes happiness!

Sheltered under the wings of tolerance and understanding with a liberal dose of compassion, this child will grow up to save lives, spit into the eye of any obstacle and inspire his entire generation. This child will not allow his ambitions to be squelched and his self-esteem diminished. He, or she, needs to be more fully armed with self-confidence and ideas and then unleashed and guided, like a missile, in the direction of our overwhelming societal needs.

Yes, arm your children, guide them and then get out of the way. Do not stand between them and the target of their desire, which you have just introduced them to. We can only cure cancer with powerful minds deeply influenced by hearts overflowing with Love and the audacity to charge forward with a beautiful quality of courage. Defeating avaricious predators, like cancer, requires raw passion firmly coupled with compassion.

“World peace
can never be achieved
by those intimidated
out of inspiration.”

I don't think Japan will try to do anything else. The next generation is ready!

I don’t think Japan will try to do anything else. The next generation is ready!

By the way, there is new data showing consistent links between perfectionism and hopelessness. read more   Although perfectionism is recognized as a factor that is linked with suicide, the role of perfectionism as an amplifier of the risk of suicide has been underestimated (review by the American Psychological Association, – Flett, Hewitt, and Heisel.)

In fact, research confirms that the most successful people in any given field are less likely to be perfectionistic read more, because, “The anxiety about making mistakes gets in your way,” psychologist Thomas S. Greenspon told New York Magazine.

Cole and Jake

Cole and Jake in Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” at Stage West Theater (filled with talented and truly inspiring and loving people).

In a Biology class
A teacher explained an experiment
She had done
That had to do with plants.
Whenever she watered them,
She would take TWO bottles,
YELL mean things at one,
And speak POSITIVELY to the other.
It turns out that the one watered with
NEGATIVE water died.
Then she reminded the class
That humans are around
75% WATER. read more
If negativity KILLS plants
What is it doing to
PEOPLE?
(Thank you my friend, Cole Fisher, for this information!
I plan to vote for you one day.)

Love quote

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We Can Prevent Cancer in Children / No school Thursday & Friday

Yes, we love egyptian history

Yes, we love Egyptian history. Pictured with King Tut is our friend, former student and now teacher Sam Brown. We are very proud of him!

“It is one of the most remarkable things that in all of the biological sciences there is no clue as to the necessity of death.” 
Richard Feynman

Please allow me to share some of the Latest Cancer Research in a Release By A. J. Morgan  (2-24-2013)

Did You Know?

AFTER YEARS OF TELLING PEOPLE CHEMOTHERAPY IS THE ONLY WAY TO TRY AN ELIMINATE CANCER, JOHNS HOPKINS IS FINALLY STARTING TO TELL YOU THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE WAY

Every person has cancer cells in the body. These cancer cells do not show up in standard tests until they have multiplied to a few billion. When doctors tell cancer patients that there are no more cancer cells in their bodies after treatment, it means the tests are unable to detect the cancer cells, because they have not reached a detectable size.

Cancer cells occur between 6 to more than 10 times in a person’s lifetime.

Many gifts in life, like this magnificent sunset, are free!

Many gifts in life, like this magnificent sunset, are free! Take the time to enjoy them, reduce stress and live longer.

When the person’s immune system is strong the cancer cells will be destroyed and prevented from multiplying and forming tumors.

When a person has cancer it indicates the person has multiple nutritional deficiencies. These could be due to genetic, environmental, food and lifestyle factors.

To overcome the multiple nutritional deficiencies, changing diet and including supplements will strengthen the immune system. To read the entire research release article from the source, click here.

a. SUGAR is a cancer-feeder. By cutting off sugar it cuts off one important food supply to the cancer cells. Note: Sugar substitutes like NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc. are made with Aspartame (just read the label) and it is harmful. A better natural substitute would be Manuka honey or molasses but only in very small amounts. Table salt has a chemical added to make it white in color. A better alternative is Bragg’s aminos or sea salt.

b.MILK causes the body to produce mucus, especially in the gastro-intestinal tract. Cancer feeds on mucus. By cutting off milk and substituting with unsweetened soymilk, cancer cells will starve.

c. Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment. A meat-based diet is acidic. It is best to eat fish and a little chicken rather than beef or pork. Meat also contains livestock antibiotics, growth hormones and parasites, which are all harmful, especially to people with cancer.

d. A diet made of 80% fresh vegetables and juice, whole grains, seeds, nuts and a little fruit help put the body into an alkaline environment. About 20% can be from cooked food including beans. Fresh vegetable juices provide live enzymes that are easily absorbed and reach down to cellular levels within 15 minutes to nourish and enhance growth of healthy cells.

To obtain live enzymes for building healthy cells drink fresh vegetable juice and eat raw vegetables 2 or 3 times a day.

Wisdom of the Ages

Wisdom of the Ages

e. Avoid caffeine. Green tea is a great alternative and has cancer-fighting properties. Drink Water. It is best to drink purified water, or filtered, to avoid known toxins and heavy metals in tap water. Distilled water is acidic, avoid it.

Meat protein is difficult to digest and requires many digestive enzymes. Undigested meat remaining in the intestines will become putrefied and leads to more toxic buildup.

Cancer cell walls have a tough protein covering. By refraining from or eating less meat it frees more enzymes to attack the protein walls of cancer cells and allows the body’s killer cells to destroy the cancer cells.

Some supplements build up the immune system:

        IP6 (Inositol Hexaphosphate), according to the American Cancer Society, is a chemical found in beans, brown rice, corn, sesame seeds, wheat bran, and other high-fiber foods. Learn how the B vitamin inositol and its derivative IP6 prevent cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis; protect against radiation; lower cholesterol and boosts immunity at ip-6.net.

Pioneering experiments done in Professor A. M. Shamsuddin’s laboratory at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, have shown that not only IP6 extremely safe, but that it and its parent molecule Inositol have anti-cancer and immune-boosting function. Dr. Shamsuddin and his associates’ findings have been validated and expanded by other scientists around the world discovering many more health benefits of IP6 & Inositol.

Excess iron in the body can cause all sorts of problems such as cancer & degenerative brain diseases. IP6 Inositol is unique as it will only remove excess iron & not iron from within your blood cells that is protected by hemoglobin. IP6 will also remove excess calcium & other metallic minerals that our bodies have accumulated down through the years.

Also recommended are Antioxidants – a group of several organic substances, including selenium, vitamins C, E, and A, and a group known as carotenoids. Antioxidants are abundant in fruits, vegetables, grain, and coffee (to avoid caffeine, purchase coffee without caffeine). Coffee, even caffeine free coffee, has 60 antioxidants. Yes, that steaming cup of java is also the number one source of antioxidants in the U.S. diet, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Scranton. Steve Connor, Science Editor, has stated that coffee might soon be considered a health drink, following a study showing it is a surprisingly rich source of anti-cancer agents. (Excuse me, while I pour another cup.)

Antioxidants are compounds in foods that neutralize chemicals called free radicals (unstable molecules), produced by oxidation in the human body. These chemicals have been linked to diseases such as heart and liver disease and cancer.

Oxidant chemicals called free radicals are produced during normal cell respiration. They can also occur when phagocytes, the cells that fight infections, destroy cells infected with bacteria or viruses, with bursts of nitric oxide, superoxide, and hypochlorite; when fatty acids are digested; and when certain enzymes are activated to fight toxins.

Free radicals damage the DNA that makes up our genes, those parts of the cell that control its reproduction. Lesions in DNA give rise to mutations when the cell divides, and these mutations can lead to tumors. (Other causes of DNA lesions and cell mutations include radiation from the sun, exposure to chemicals and the worst of these is tobacco smoke).

Also recommended are vitamins, minerals and EFAs – Essential Fatty Acids are essential because the human body cannot manufacture them but needs them for many important functions to enable the body’s own cells to destroy cancer cells. Other supplements, like vitamin E, are known to cause apoptosis – programmed cell death – which is the body’s natural method of disposing of damaged, unwanted, or unneeded cells.

Cancer is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit. A proactive and positive spirit will help the cancer warrior be a survivor.

Anger, unforgiving and bitterness put the body
into a stressful and acidic environment.
Learn to have a loving and forgiving spirit.
Learn to relax and enjoy life.

Cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated environment. Exercising daily and deep breathing help to get more oxygen down to the cellular level. Oxygen therapy is another means employed to destroy cancer cells.

My friends, every time you say NO to your child when they want something unhealthy to eat or drink, you say NO to pain and suffering and an incomprehensibly miserable death. Our food chain is so polluted, that it is now almost impossible to eat a healthy meal, especially if you eat out.

Folks, if we are to protect our children we MUST become informed. And we MUST become as tough as nails. The next time you see your beloved child with a toxic so-called soft drink in his or her hands, quickly remove it from their hands, pour it down the drain and give him or her a big hug. Tell that beautiful child of yours that you truly love them and let them know what is in that toxic, cancer causing, diabetes inducing mix of chemicals. Corporations have paid a fortune to find out what they can legally concoct to get your child addicted. And trust me, none of the board members will attend the funeral!

Better yet, visit with your children in-tow, the Children’s Hospital. Volunteer to help and, while you are there performing a truly valued and appreciated service, talk to the children who are patients and visit with their parents. Do this WITH your children present. The impact of seeing the results of nutritional deficiencies and exposure to carcinogens will last a lifetime. No, you will never have to say another word! Truly effective teaching does not involve speaking and preaching. It does require thoughtful and meaningful exposure to the consequences of poor decision making.

There are a very (and I mean, very) FEW restaurants that care about you and your health. May I recommend The Spiral Diners (817.3.EatVeg) (817-332-8834). They are vegan restaurants located in Near Southside Fort Worth, with a second location in Dallas. The Fort Worth location is currently the city’s only vegan restaurant  (visit: spiraldiner.com). The owners of this precious resource have very graciously and knowledgeably presented lessons to our students in the past.

I also highly recommend Greenwood’s Restaurant, located at the end of University Drive, 3522 Bluebonnet Circle, Fort Worth (817.921.6777).  Take the time to get to know Peter & Vlatka Gruenewald and let them know you want a healthy meal. Cooking is a passion to Chef Peter, who began his cooking apprenticeship in 1972 in Offenbach, Germany, culminating in his “Meisterschaft” (master craftsman) chef’s diploma in Frankfurt in 1988.

We have known Peter and Vlatka for many years and I can assure you that cooking truly is a lifetime passion for them, which is why every dish and every ingredient at Greenwood’s is handpicked and made fresh daily. And try Peter’s Hand-Crafted Bread with100% Organic Ingredients!

Most importantly, this charming couple will care about you. Talk to them and let them know you are concerned about your health. They will listen and you will be truly delighted with your meal. This restaurant is one of the most valuable resources you will discover in the Fort Worth area.

Please remember, that every dollar you spend is like casting a vote. When you purchase something toxic, you provide the funding for uncaring corporations to continue their abuse and grow financially at our expense. The dollar you possess is a very powerful weapon in the arsenal of life. Please, for the sake of you and your child, spend it wisely or keep in your pocket!

(PLEASE SHARE WITH PEOPLE YOU CARE ABOUT
AND THOSE YOU DO NOT KNOW)

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

SHAKESPEARE PRODUCTION SELECTED
BY STUDENTS

Coinciding with the momentous 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth, which has been estimated as 26th April 1564, our very own Anderson School Shakespeare Players have voted to perform “As You Like It” at the end of next April.

Students, under the guidance of noted actor and director, George Rodriguez, reviewed other plays including Henry VI, Part Three and The Merry Wives of Windsor. Following vigorous campaigning by Natalie and her counterparts, “As You Like It” won hands down by placing hands up.

Director George Rodriguez assists scholars in selecting Shakespeare play.

Director George Rodriguez assists our scholars in selecting a Shakespeare production.