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Posts tagged ‘history’

What We All Share: Our Sense Of Community

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Communities can consist of many things, and take many forms, but the only thing that is absolutely necessary for a community to form is people. Communities based around choices, decisions, beliefs, actions, hobbies, likes, dislikes – these all boil down to the most common of denominators: people. Whether they are tight-knit as a family unit, or a community based in geographic proximity, or a community spread across the entire world: a community can only be what its people are, and can only do what its people can, while the people use the community around them to strengthen themselves and each other. It is a cycle of growth and health that strengthens everyone involved and ultimately brings progress to the forefront of the future.

This is why OurPangea is focused on creating a new type of platform for communities. We believe that people should be able to share their communities better than the way they can as of right now. We believe that people should be able to share their hopes, their dreams, their passions, all the things every person holds dear. We believe there can always be a better way to introduce friends to one another, to introduce places and hobbies and events and actions to others. We believe this because we know everyone on this Earth can join in this belief with us, creating our Pangea community. Math or music may be universal languages but hopes and dreams are universal traits that have allowed the human race to become what we are today, and what we will be in the future. No matter what particular hope or dream or passion it may be, we all share in the experience of knowing what it is to build our hopes, to follow our passions, and to make our dreams come true.

OurPangea’s dream is the same. We believe we can better connect communities because of people like you joining with us in these dreams, and form communities where people join each other for their own dreams. Our dream is to connect all of these communities to help the people grow, and then in turn the communities will strengthen. We have hope for these communities and how they will impact the future. We have faith that the world can and will come together to create these communities. And we trust people, ordinary like you or I, to make that step and follow their dreams to create the world a better place within their own communities and for the community we all share in as human beings.

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The Big Support Networks Of Education In Small Communities

Education has been a topic widely discussed in past months, especially with the Teacher’s strike that shook Chicago this past September. The event brought up issues about public education in Chicago and the American education system as a whole, but most specifically as it applied to urban areas. However, this event also provides us with an opportunity to discuss the importance of education in smaller, non-urban area, the lessons that can be learned from them and the continued importance of preparing future generations for the challenges that lie ahead.

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Like many inner-city schools, small town elementary and high schools often lack the same level of funding that is enjoyed by public schools in other areas. This can mean fewer honors and AP programs, less funding for extra-curricular activities and less funding for the arts programs. The advantages of having such programs have been clearly documented over the years, but knowing their benefits has not made it any easier for small-town schools to come up with the resources to support them.

However, all is not lost.

In her article Small-Town Education: A Personal Perspective, Kathryn Peters, a graduate of Goodhue High School in Goodhue, MN discussed her experiences attending a high school with a student population of around 200. Although Goodhue lacked funding for more extensive programs like honors and arts programs, Ms. Peters said that the support students and the school received from the community and faculty more than made up for it.

“Something that people forget about small towns is that you always have someone there for you,” says Peters, “you’ve got a support group — not just your teachers, parents and peers, but an entire community. Maybe you don’t get every single opportunity as a student from the Twin Cities, but you’ll always have someone to motivate you, celebrate with you, comfort you and be there for you, no matter what.”

Ms. Peters says that the support and attention she received from members of her community inspired her to pursue a career in dietetics (food and nutrition), a passion that she discovered through a program called G.O.A.L.S. She also points out that this level of individual attention and support gave her the opportunity to stand out from the crowd, win scholarships and go on to a successful college career. She doubts if she would have found a support network such as this one had she attended a larger school.

Though they have their fair share of shortcomings and, like almost all other schools, are far from perfect, small-town schools can still  teach us a lot about the importance of community in the area of education. The content of our education is not the only thing that matters and although many of our schools may lack the funding enjoyed by other communities, every community has the ability to come together and work toward a better future.

Kathryn Peters is one of the many students who found success through the support of her community. “Is [my success] a result of luck? Maybe. Is it because I worked hard? Most likely. Does it have anything to do with the fact that I grew up in a small town with a huge support network? Definitely.”

No matter where we live or who we are, the support of our friends, teachers, parents and community continues to be as important to our students as the content we are teaching them. In a time of teacher’s strikes and tumbling test scores on a national level, it’s important that we keep this in mind and continue to be there for each other every step of the way. Over at OurPangea, that’s an idea everyone can appreciate.

How OurPangea Is Sharing And Creating History

What is history? An echo of the past in the future; a reflex from the future on the past. 
-Victor Hugo

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The past is history, but they also say history repeats itself. No one can deny that each of us lives with the lessons from our past; we know our experiences today will help us understand our future. Collectively we have learned more lessons than we can count and have a veritable catalog of seemingly endless guidance to inform our decisions and make our days easy.

It sounds like common sense, but imagine how different simple day to day decisions would be without leaning on our past. We’d be living in a world populated by Drew Barrymores from 50 First Dates, and no one wants that. It’s astounding to realize that literally everything we do is in some way building on what we’ve done before. Just think about how much your past influences your day to day life.

In our experience at OurPangea our team already has a catalog of lessons learned that are starting to shape our company’s future. We’ve identified, evaluated, and addressed a multitude of items that required a solution. And in most case building that solution started with comparing it to how we’ve previously solved problems. Even in articles from this blog’s brief past we touched on the importance of being mindful of how we all came to be, from our individual history to the past experiences of entire communities.

The unexpected always happens. Well, if OurPangea reminded us how we reacted to the unexpected last time, maybe we’d be less concerned about facing it in the future. Why shouldn’t we be the ones to record our own history? Voltaire once said that history should be written as a philosophy, but that implies that history needs to be written by someone.  What if we gave the responsibility—the power—of writing history not to one individual, but to us, ourselves by recording our day to day interactions and making them coalesce within an index that will record our day to day lives. OurPangea will give us the chance to look back at the lessons of our past easily and shape our futures from there.  It would put the entire catalog of human experience at our fingertips.

The World Goes Further Than What We See

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
– Neil Armstrong

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All around us lay undiscovered wonders, in our very own backyards. We explore outer space and far-off lands, but often forget what lies before us, behind us, within us. This is a human tradition, of sorts – missing the forest for every tree. Not that anything is wrong with this – if there is one defining aspect to the human spirit, it is the limitless capacity for wonder, belief, and hope we all share. It’s a restless spirit to change, grow, and explore. It is why people blaze their frontiers and push their limits; it is why the human race constantly seeks to grow and change, embracing technology and progress. When the first caveman discovered fire, he lit not only a spark of light, but a spark of innovation and creativity that has fueled the human race to shine brighter than any flame. For the first time, we knew that the world extends much further than what we can see, that our potential is much more than what we are, and that the future can surpass even our wildest dreams.

That spirit lived on in Erastothenes of Cyrene. He was a scholar, scientist, thinker, mathematician, and geographer – the very first geographer, in fact. Erastothenes famously measured the Earth’s circumference using only sticks, shadows, and math. He combined this with his discovery of the tilt axis and creation of the first world map with measurements of latitude and longitude. Truly, he was far ahead of his time, taking the fire of discovery past what anyone had ever imagined it to be. He discovered in a very literal sense just how far the Earth can extend past our own experience to the unknown.

The flame of discovery and progress burned through him to other great minds, discoverers, explorers, innovators, creators, thinkers, doers, and teachers across time: Christopher Columbus to Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King to Isaac Newton, Bill Gates to Leonardo da Vinci, Beethoven to Shakespeare. Each of them in their own ways dramatically changed the landscape of the world we know and the world of the future. Discovery extended the future to these great people and helped them change the world, and in turn they lit the fire for countless generations to follow.

OurPangea is fueled by that same fire every day. We can see the vast, limitless potential for change and growth for all of humanity at our fingertips, and we believe we can continue to pass this torch to the next generation with the same bright hope as it was handed to us. The spirit of OurPangea reaches back to these primal beginnings and extends into the eternal future. This is why we are undertaking this groundbreaking mission, and this is why we believe that people can help to change and improve their communities both at home and across the world. With the help of people around the world using the inspiration we have received, we here at OurPangea believe that this flame of hope can burn brighter than ever before.  In our global community, we can always continue to improve the world we can already see, and lay a foundation for the world we will discover.

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