Thank you to the Academy for this incredible recognition. It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else’s. And so I want to salute the spirit of Patsey for her guidance. And for Solomon, thank you for telling her story and your own.
Steve McQueen, you charge everything you fashion with a breath of your own spirit. Thank you so much for putting me in this position, it’s been the joy of my life. [Tears, applause.] I’m certain that the dead are standing about you and watching and they are grateful and so am I.
Chiwetel, thank you for your fearlessness and how deeply you went into Solomon, telling Solomon’s story. Michael Fassbender, thank you so much. You were my rock. Alfre and Sarah, it was a thrill to work with you. Joe Walker, the invisible performer in the editing room, thank you. Sean Bobbitt, Kalaadevi, Adruitha, Patty Norris, thank you, thank you, thank you — I could not be here without your work.
I want to thank my family, for your training [laughs] and the Yale School of Drama as well, for your training. My friends the Wilsons, this one’s for you. My brother Junior sitting by my side, thank you so much, you’re my best friend and then my other best friend, my chosen family.
When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid. Thank you.
The mind of a writer can be a truly terrifying thing. Isolated, neurotic, caffeine-addled, crippled by procrastination and consumed by feelings of panic, self-loathing and soul-crushing inadequacy. And that’s on a good day.
"To nudge families to keep their children in school, researchers recently experimented with giving parents in the country’s poorest districts small grants of between $8 and $10 per child each month. Some of them were told they’d only get paid if their child attended school regularly, but the others were simply handed money, told nothing, and sent on their way.
Surprisingly, the researchers found that giving out money without any preconditions was more effective than asking families to do something in exchange for their bounty.”
Past psychology research shows that extrinsic motivators aren’t as fulfilling and sustaining as intrinsic motivators when it comes to learning. When someone has an internal drive, they usually delve much deeper into a topic because they are genuinely interested in learning more about it; and they usually pave their own way in exploring and finding things out for themselves.
By adding an extrinsic reward, it might actually interfere with their self-directed exploration. And later on if the extrinsic reward is taken away, there is an expectation that if I don’t get X reward (bribing?), why should I bother spending time on this?
I thought the article was fascinating, because I haven’t really thought about it in terms of charity with a payback obligation (e.g. Kiva).
I also wonder if this is correlated to socioeconomic status. Perhaps people in poverty have this strong drive to make something out of very little, because they have potential and dream of grasping any opportunity they are provided with, so when they get a small grant without payback obligation, they grasp it and make full use of it without feeling the pressure of paying back.
Whereas the middle class, who are pretty well-off, are often bombarded with extrinsic motivators/rewards to learn, and those rewards eventually become distractions. Do kids learn on Khan academy for the sake of learning, or to collect badges or points (extrinsic reward)?
The question I’m fascinated with is: How do you cultivate and maintain intrinsic motivation, even in the face of extrinsic rewards?
What do you think?
On Saturday August 10, my boyfriend held a surprise party for me, to celebrate my passing a work exam and to share our love story with our friends. He found this local jazz singing group of about 10 ladies in their 70s (with a male pianist), and they dressed up as flappers from the 1920s and serenaded us with old jazz songs intertwined with humorous storytelling. It was so beautiful and sweet. I am still feeling the love days after. The time it took him to organize the whole event secretly and the beautiful night itself make me feel so happy and blessed.
Then yesterday (8/12/13), I met with my trainer and associate director, who congratulated my passing my exam. In the afternoon, i was busy updating my registrations so that I can be a signing official for the School of Medicine. It felt like a really big milestone all of a sudden.
Today, I institutionally approved a proposal on our internal website for the first time (ta-da!) and also signed my first cover letter on behalf of the university (ta-da!). My trainer was right. It does feel empowering to be able to sign off for the institution. There’s this sense of accountability and responsibility that makes me feel like I need to be fair and do the right thing.
This song is more than it seems. It reminds me of the phrase “Till death do us part” that are so commonly spoken in weddings. I kept listening to this song yesterday, thinking of Dr. Young.
Have you ever imagined what someone else feels like when they have lost a loved one? The lyrics of this song makes me wonder and imagine his wife feeling this way.
My new inspiration
I learned about Carsie Blanton from my fellow swing dancers yesterday, who are trying to help her fundraise to get her first jazz album out. I got curious and so I checked out her kickstarter site and then her own website.
I really like her bio and her style is also eclectic, with a mix of rock, pop, folk, and jazz. And not to mention how much i love her voice.
I hope she reaches her kickstarter goal, ‘cause I can’t wait for her new jazz album!
Jazz is for everybody!
Starting late last week, with several small protests denouncing a hike in public transport fares, demonstrations flared up yesterday, encompassing larger public anger at poor public services, police violence and government corruption. More than 200,000 took to the streets of Brazil’s biggest cities yesterday, voicing frustration with the billions of dollars set aside for upcoming sports events like the World Cup and the 2014 Olympics, despite crushing levels of poverty in some places, and underfunded public education, health, security and transportation. Though the majority of the protests were peaceful, a few violent demonstrations were broken up by police in Rio de Janeiro.
See more. [Images: AP, Reuters, Getty]
The photos are so powerful.
I did not expect this to happen, and it just shows how little I know about this country and its people. I have a friend who is Brazilian, and he always speaks about his country with such pride and hope that I am constantly seeing it in a positive light. He talks happily about his home country, saying that Brazil is going to be an economically strong and successful country in the near future, right along China and India. Recent news also highlights the economic growth in Brazil. It’s a force to be reckoned with.
My friends and I have also gotten excited about the world cup since 2010, when we visited Brazil for the first time. We visited Sao Paulo, Rio de Janiero, and Salvador. We could imagine how electric the atmosphere must be during the world cup—colorful costumes, parades, big crowds cheering and dancing, people donning football jerseys waving brazilian flags— and we dreamed of going back again in 2014.
It is a pretty big deal that within 2 years of each other, one country would be hosting both the world cup in 2014 and the summer olympic games in 2016. I don’t think there is any other country who did that in recent times. I guess the reality is that with these two huge events held “side by side”, the government is pouring money into building and beautifying the country that little is left for its people and their welfare. (Remember Brazil’s attempt to do a makeover in the favelas in 2011? http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2091817,00.html)
I wonder how things will be by next year. Will the protests have subsided? Will the government come up with a financial plan that will reassure and appease its citizens’ fears? Will tourists be afraid to visit?