TED : Ideas worth spreading

Review: How I made friends with reality

Speaker: Emily Levine
TED2018
Date: April 2018
Location: Vancouver, BC

Description from TED website:
With her signature wit and wisdom, Emily Levine meets her ultimate challenge as a comedian/philosopher: she makes dying funny. In this personal talk, she takes us on her journey to make friends with reality — and peace with death. Life is an enormous gift, Levine says: “You enrich it as best you can, and then you give it back.”

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My Review / Notes / Thoughts

There is a lot that could be unwrapped in this talk. The topic of reality and death are frequently very difficult for people to talk about, but she brings in humor and a unique insight into the topic that helps to soften the “hard truths” that reality and death present to us.

Because of how she presents this talk, I believe this video could be used in multiple disciplines to engage students. The basic premise of this talk lends itself readily to the counseling type of programs. It could certainly help students see a different way of presenting these two topics to those they are working with when in counseling situations.

I believe it would also be interesting to include this talk in the sciences. She brings science into her talk about reality and death. Discussing how, from her perspective that these various scientific theories can help one relate to reality, and vice versa.

As far as engaging the students, I think students could break off into small groups after watching the video and discuss the contents as it relates to classroom material. Perhaps the instructor can give a few prompts to help guide the course of the discussion. An alternative to group discussion could be a reflective paper on the talk, along with responding to the prompts from the instructor.

Perhaps an instructor could give a case scenario, presenting the students with a certain situation, then ask the students to consider this talk as they decide how to best deal with the scenario presented to them.

What do you think? What programs could you see this talk being used in? How would you incorporate it into engaging student activities?


Until next time … live long, life-learner!