NMSA2010: General Session 1: Dr. Benjamin Carson


Dr. Benjamin Carson is a pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Maryland.

Dr. Carson performed three operations today, spoke at a luncheon, is speaking for NMSA and will still be home in time for dinner!

I’ve never met a successful person who couldn’t point to a teacher as their inspiration.

Dr. Carson loved all things medical growing up…even going to the doctor and hospital.

Dreams don’t always lead to wonderful places. Dr. Carson was contacted about separating a pair of conjoined twins from Singapore. They told him they would rather die than spend another day stuck together. He put himself in their shoes and realized it was not as harsh of a statement as it seemed. Approaching the 50th hour of the operation the twins died.

Heart, lung and liver transplants all initially ended in failure. Failure can lead to success…it is a learning opportunity. Learn from mistakes, learn from experience…

Virtually impossible to speak to a large group without offending someone.

DISCLAIMER not my intention to offend anyone here today…and if anyone is offended…TOO BAD

Political correctness is very dangerous…people came to this country to escape being told what to think and believe. Important for people to speak up for what they believe and be able to respectfully say what they think.

We have to be able to speak up for what we believe in.

His Journey
Parents got divorced…Mom one of 24 children got married at the age of 13. Later found out her husband was a bigamist. Left Detroit and moved to Baltimore.

It’s amazing the kind of things that are important to little kids. Dr. Carson was the safety net, everyone else knew they wouldn’t get worst grades. Benjamin was only good at getting other kids kicked out of class.

He encounters many students like himself today. Vast knowledge of unimportant things…not much knowledge of what is important.

Out of 800 students, 10 kept hands raised when asked to name five Nobel Prize winners…when told to name them, none could.

We live in the age of technology…we have to create the next generation of techno-savvy individuals. Intel brings in most of their engineers from overseas. We don’t have a lot of time to do this either. Everyone must be involved: not just parents and teachers, everyone.

Have to place emphasis on education, not just talk about it. Spend a billion dollars on a sports complex, but schools are falling apart. Perception that science and math are difficult. Everybody with a normal brain is good at math, science, and reading. If they only know 21 of 26 letters reading becomes difficult…the same is true for math and science.

Mom told Benjamin that he had to turn in book reports to her…that she couldn’t read, but he didn’t know that.

One of ben’s favorite teachers had animals and labs that truly inspired him. Went back to that school a few years ago and wanted to see it again, teacher told him they hadn’t had that stuff in years due to ” liability”.

There was a time in our country when we helped each other out when something went wrong…not ran to a lawyer. Our nations origins are in people seeking freedom. But also responsibility.

Thousands of years of human history went by with little change…within 200 years of our nation’s founding a man was walking on the moon. Where has that spirit gone? Things went into the founding of this nation that were different from any other nation.

Claims the US was responsible for socialism. Governments thought you couldn’t have that much wealth with just a few people. America’s rich put the money back into our country. Still done by the richest families here today: Buffetts, Gates, etc…

Stamp out the selfishness that has crept into our country.

High school band director told Ben to turn down a scholarship to Interlachen because he didn’t want him to get side-tracked from his goal of being a doctor. That’s a selfless act because it would have been a great feather in his cap.

Took personal responsibility and a realization that the knowledge was there to be shared and gained THIS IS THE ESSENCE OF LEARNING ON THE WEB TODAY…HOW DO WE GET OUR STUDENTS TO THIS POINT?

Ben had the same brain when he was unsuccessful and when he was successful…what changed was his attitude…brain has more connections than the National Debt.

If your brain can respond to a question like Do you remember your birthday almost immediately by raising your hand…what else can it do?

PEERS People who encourage errors rudeness and stupidity

People who aren’t going anywhere don’t want anyone else to go anywhere either.

No such thing as useless knowledge…with the number of careers that our students will have, they need a broad base. Teach students to be renegade thinkers.

Seeking a summer job, he didn’t look in the want ads. He walked door to door and asked places if they had any openings. Always found a job.

We have to think outside the box for the future of our country. We have a window of opportunity, but we have to start right now.

Who will keep the US in the pinnacle of the world? Will it be the guy with the sweet jump shot, or someone who knows the quadratic equation?

We have to have our whole society involved in the future of education.

H for Honesty
I is for Insight
N is for Nice…be nice to every person you encounter for one week
K is for Knowledge…makes you a more valuable person

B is for Books
I is for In Depth Knowledge
G is for God…who has become politically incorrect in our society…read the writings of the people who founded our nation.

Think about others first. Teach values. There is right and there is wrong. Need to concentrate on being nice to people again.


2 Responses

  1. Todd,

    This is an incredible blog about the session! Thanks for posting!!

    May we refer people to your blog so they can understand more about Dr. Carson’s keynote?

    For me, it is probably the most powerful keynote I have ever heard.

  2. “T” is for Talent. The idea that God has given not only talent to play sports or to be an entertainer,but also intellectual talent.Dr.Carson suggests that we all get more in touch with our intellectual selves.

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