................ Dän Lee Dimke, BS, MBA, PhD
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HOBY 2018

It is always an exhilarating experience to have the opportunity to address some of the most outstanding young people in the state of Texas. This year's HOBY Ambassadors were exceptional, even by HOBY standards.

As a bonus for this year's Ambassadors, here is a summary of the...

Top 10 Ways to
Get a Private Education from a Public School

1. Learn Speed Reading. 40% of High School Success and nearly 80% college success is directly dependent on reading. The faster and the more comprehensively you can read, the easier high school and college will be for you. Be sure to learn high-speed note-taking skills at the same time. The thought-diagramming approach can be excellent. Jamie Fitzgerald, a HOBY ambassador in 1999, started speed-reading training shortly after completing the HOBY Leadership program. In the spring of 2001, she graduated valedictorian of her class and was accepted to Stanford University in the fall. She currently reads five times faster than most of her Stanford classmates. College is going to be a breeze for her. To help you get started. I've arranged for all HOBY Ambassadors to get a complete Speed Reading Course, at cost, (an 82% discount - see details below) for those who are interested in getting started on this immediately.

2. Learn a second language and make your mastery of it into a lifelong “hobby”. Most people have no recollection of the process of learning their native language. It happened almost unconsciously at an age before we possessed self-awareness or a “theory of mind” (an understanding of the separate and distinct nature of our consciousness as opposed to the consciousness of others). But, when a second language is learned, preferably after the age of 3, we use the existing knowledge of our primary language to make linguistic extrapolations within this new language. Some linguistic componentsof the two languages will have cognates (counterparts) and some will not. But, by comparing and contrasting these two languages, the nature of language itself takes on an entirely new meaning and the very nature of our ability to communicate is enhanced and expanded. Bi-lingual mastery and the ability to translate also uses portions of the mind that otherwise remain dormant and untapped, thereby opening the mind to new abilities and greater scope of purpose and functionality. All these benefits occur in addition to the obvious benefit of being able to communicate with those that only speak this second language, and to be able to read and appreciate the literature written in this second tongue. Since most Americans never learn a second language well, bilingual ability is also often perceived as the mark of an intellectual, especially when English is your native language. Additional languages are also easier to learn once you've mastered a second language. And, you will discover that related languages are often understandable and readable, to some extent, without additional instruction

3. Begin learning a computer programming language, regardless of what area of study you eventually hope to pursue. All courses of study have been and will continue to be enhanced by computers and the Internet. So, don't wait. Learning a programming language now will be at least 5 times easier than if you wait until your late 20's. And, learning a second programming language in college will be almost effortless if you already have one language “under your belt”. Which language should you start with? The three hottest languages that make any sense to learn as a first language are Perl, Java, and Visual Basic. Forget C or C++ These are just not user friendly enough for a first language. My number one recommendation for a first language is Perl, which is available for just about every operating system in existence, including Unix, Linux and all flavors of Windows®. Perl is user friendly, even forgiving. There are hundreds of Internet Sites dedicated to helping you learn this language easily. There are hundreds of thousands of free programs available on the Net that you can use in your own Perl applications. And, best of all the PERL application language software itself is a free, open source package that you can download and install it on a Windows® computer within a few minutes. I recommend that you do this as soon as you get home, if possible. Once you've learned it, you can use it to create smart web sites and make decisions and create Internet pages as you need them, on-the-fly, you can use it to control all the lights and appliances in your home. And you can use it to power many of the fabulous projects that we'll be discussing in a moment. Perl is the World's most popular Internet CGI language and once you begin learning it, you'll discover why.

4. Create your own "Linux" Computer. The next time you or a friend decides to upgrade to a new computer, save the old one, erase the hard drive, and load Linux or Free BSD Unix as the operating system. All this software and literally thousands of other applications are available for the Unix/Linux environment. 80% of all Internet servers run on this operating system. It is dependable, rock solid and can run for months or even years without the need to reboot, something Windows® and NT users could never even dream of. And, you don't need a license to use it, as is required with Windows®. So, you can leagally run it on as many computers as you wish. A working knowledge of UNIX and Perl combined with just a few hours of HTML experience will make college at least 50 percent easier and literally allow you rule the Internet in your chosen profession once you graduate. This knowledge will open doors to opportunities you might never have imagined. Mastering computer hardware demystifies technology and makes nearly everything about the 21st Century easier to understand. And, you can come close to mastering both computer hardware and at least one computer programming language by the end of this summer, if you start now. In the next few years, you're going to discover that you have progressively less and less time. Once you are in college, there won't be enough hours in a day. So, don't put it off. Mastery of the technology that controls your life is essential to your success.

5. Develop a Continuous Dialog with your Instructors. Sit relatively close to the Teacher's desk in each class and begin training him or her to engage you in conversation without raising your hand or being recognized. Learning about a teacher's special interests and discussing these subjects first is a good way to start. Also, try never to interrupt him or her. Always wait for eye contact before speaking. And, have something worthwhile to discuss by preparing for the subjects you want to discuss in advance. Eventually you can begin developing ongoing conversations almost whenever you wish, and learn a great deal about your teacher's special interests. Gradually begin working in questions of special interest to you as a precursor to the next step. It's important to master this technique now, because it will be priceless in college. With this technique, you eventually reduce the student/teacher ratio to 1:1. You get all the instructor attention you need and the rest of the class gets to share whatever time is left. This approach wouldn't work if everyone in the class used it. But, the chances are good that no one else will be using it. Next, extend this ongoing dialog (interview) process to all those around you, including your Principal and the staff in the Principal's office, if you haven't already. Then take things to the next step and find a reason to get to know people at the School Superintendent's Office. Ask for assistance with something small, and use the opportunity to get to know them, and let them know how much you appreciate them. You'll discover the importance of these staff relationships later as critical assistance is provided almost automatically. Don't make the mistake of waiting to ask for help until you really need it. Develop a relationship and establish rapport first, so that later when help is essential you'll be able to rely on getting it immediately. It's also important to have people who can vouch for you if anything goes wrong with any of your extra-curricular projects. Expand this process in college by making a point of interviewing as many professors and members of the administration and staff as possible, as well as everyone of interest that you meet. In only takes a vew minutes per interview. The knowledge and insight acquired will be immeasurable.

6. Begin assigning yourself extra homework once each week for each class, something that is part of the course of study, but are also of special interest to you. This should be a kind of dream homework assignment - something that you wish your teacher would have assigned. This can be a report, a computer program, a Power Point® presentation, a painting or drawing, a special map, etc. - something that you can easily complete in one to three hours, or so. The more often you complete these projects, the easier they will become. These can also serve as a preliminary foundation for the larger "special projects" that will come next. As your teachers become accustomed to your tendency to take on special self-assigned projects, they may excuse you from the conventional assignments and free you to work on more projects of your own creation, which allows you to begin shaping your own curriculum.

7. Assign yourself a special project once per month, in one or two classes - something full-blown and elaborate that, when finished, is something that most of the rest of the class would enjoy. If necessary, alert your teacher to what you are working on, but only after you are sure you can deliver the finished project. And, request a few minutes of class time to present it. As time goes by, the projects you choose to tackle can become larger and more complex and will begin requiring more help and outside resources. But, their educational value will also increase and may begin reaching a wider audience at your school. Eventually, some of your larger projects may be selected to be viewed by the entire school or even receive regional attention. The attention itself is not the goal. But the opportunity to present your projects to wider audiences and work with a wider circle of teachers and regional administrators gives you more experiences, more sources of knowledge and information to draw upon, plus the chance to be given opportunities that other students might never dream existed.

8. Ask for small amounts of assistance from your teachers, the office staff, the Superintendent's staff and/or perhaps business or professional people within your community, just to involve them. Though it may not happen with the first project, once the second project is underway you're likely to begin to notice a shift in the behavior of your instructor regarding these projects. The solicitation of assistance is likely to be met with a surprising and far-greater-than-usual-level of cooperation. School supplies, craft materials, equipments from corporate facilities, etc., will often be offered, sometimes unexpectedly. Don't take too much or ask for too much - just enough that the school, the teacher, the administration and/or the company involved will feel that they can take some small, but legitimate, credit for having assisted you. Then, deliver your extra project on time and offer spoken and written thanks to each person who helped make it possible. This involvement will help insure a wider audience for your project and allow you to accomplish more that would be able to do on your own. More importantly, it will open new doors for future projects in ways that will be unimaginable initially.

9. Begin taking personal field trips of your own creation. With two or three of these special projects completed successfully, you're ready for the fun part. With clipboard in hand, you can go nearly anywhere and do nearly anything that you wish, (within reason), when armed with the phrase, "it's for a school project". You can get into most companies, get private tours of commercial and government facilities, get expert assistance from industry and community leaders, get additional supplies, materials, products samples, ideas, documentation, even the loan of sophisticated equipment. This is the real educational payoff, and it can allow you to create and actually complete elaborate projects that neither you nor the school administration would ever have thought possible. This technique can also provide you with knowledge and experience, not only in completing the projects that you come up with, but also in learning to work with other important and influential adults in the process.

10. Carefully document each of your large projects with photographs and words, perhaps in the form of a short article describing what you have done and why it was of educational importance to you. This will provide a future record of the project and may form the basis of a local school or community newspaper article. In addition to documenting your project, be sure to personally thank and give credit to each individual that helped on any aspect of your special project in your personal discussions of the project and in written form. If the project does become a newspaper or television news article, be sure to have a copy of your own article handy so that you can re-familiarize yourself with the details of your project be sure that you give credit to those who assisted you, and be sure that this credit appears in the article correctly. Not only is this excellent practice, but it will do three things: (1) help assure the likelihood of future cooperation on subsequent projects, (2) mark you as a exceptional student and individual from whom extraordinary things can be expected, and (3) it will pre-identify you as a student to consider for scholarships, internships, local awards, and reventualy positions of employment, when you are ready to begin your career. The awards themselves may be of marginal value. But, the opportunities youve created for exposure to and interaction with other important people will teach you about how leaders and other thought sources interact with each other and the way they get things done. This knowledge will be of critical importance in the most important class of all, Human Nature 101, a course from which you will never graduate, because it is the study of a lifetime.

Follow these 10 steps and you will not only graduate with honors, but more importantly you will graduate with a superb, far-reaching and remarkably complete education...one that will give you exceptional preparation for any college or graduate school in the World, and prepare you for the even greater challenge of life itself.


SPEED READING
I would have liked to have the opportunity to arrange to teach an Accelerated Learning Class exclusively for HOBY Ambassadors this year. Unfortunately, an incredibly busy schedule made this impossible this summer. (Perhaps next year.)

Yet, due to the overwhelming interest in a Speed Reading and Accelerated Learning programs, I wanted to do something. So, I have arranged to offer a copy of my original course on this subject, entitled: The Ultra-Learn System for just the cost of duplicating the audiocassettes and printed materials. A detailed description of the program is available at the following link: The Ultra-Learn System -- An Advanced Accelerated Learning Program.

HOBY Ambassadors and counselors who would be interested in receiving this course, at cost, may request a complete copy for $19.95 (plus $5.00 shipping via PRIORITY MAIL) by emailing or writing to Linda Lane at Future World (the publishers of this program), identifying yourself as a HOBY participant and requesting item 571-H (The Ultra-Learn System).

Also, for the next 30 days, (until July 4th, 2005) HOBY ambassadors may also purchase any of my currently available works at an 80% discount (any cassette, CD or book with my name as the author). Simply order from the Future World website and include the word "HOBY" in the special instructions. Even though the total will display the full retail price, only 20% of the retail price, plus shipping will be charged to your card. This is my contribution yo your future success.

The secure email transmitter site (for use with credit card requests) is: http://future-world.com/secure.email

The mailing address (for use with cash and check requests) is:

Linda Lane
Future World Corporation
P.O. Box 153588
Irving, TX 75015-3588

If you have any questions about this program, or any of the other issues that were raised during my presentation, please feel free contact me by email at: dan@dimke.com

Spam filter warning. I try to respond to every HOBY Ambassadodorhat writes to me. However, as a result of receiving approximately 6000 spam email messages each day, it is necessary to use a spam filter. This has the unwanted affect of occasionally devouring the email of HOBY Ambassadors, in which case, your email never reaches me. If you haven't received a reply to your email within 48 hours, you are certainly welcome to leave a voice mail message (along with your phone number and email address) for me at 1-800-298-0044 and I will respond as quickly as possible.

Warmest regards,

Dän Lee Dimke

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