When I dropped out of school in Grade 11, there were many interesting reactions

A neighbor told her son to stay away from me

Newspapers published interviews about why I did this because what was *unschooling*?

My uncle said “you gave up on my hope that you’d go to Harvard” 😅
My friends were a mix of protective, confused and dismissive.

I’m not sure how much of what I did as teenager came off as “I’m cool and you guys are not”, but people were specifically assigned to make sure to call me out if I ever gave off holier-than-thou vibes
One family friend asked my mom “why would Adu ever give up the luxury of having a teacher?” - and this question has stayed with me for the last 10 years when at times, I have found the absolute freedom a burden. Easier to have someone tell me exactly what to do
All through, the greatest gift and anchor was my parents’ trust. We negotiated and discussed this dropping out business for months, and it came to fruition after I wrote a 5-page letter about
- why I’m doing this
- my plan, and benchmarks for how I would evaluate progress
- potential mentors and whether they’d agreed to guide me
- how I planned to stay accountable
- my guiding values
Regardless of where you are in life, inside or outside a “system”, I’d recommend everyone to be explicit about these things. Write them down. Talk through them with a trusted circle of friends/colleagues who can support AND challenge you to do good and get better
I talk about my journey from dropping out on this podcast episode

I’m planning to make it compulsory listening for anyone who wants to talk to me about education 😂


I know that I had a certain set of privileges to let me take this jump

And it took courage too

But many who did not make this choice still have painful, personal stories of how school wasn’t designed to help them learn, or grow. Or worse still, harmed any growth.
Feel free to share your stories here if you feel brave. It might release some of the pent up stuff and allow others (esp those in school right now) to know they’re not alone and that there are many roads to success. I’ll do my bit to keep the thread safe and non-judgemental.

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More from @aditipar

22 Feb
I'd love to meet folks from South Asian countries interested in designing cohort-based courses & online learning communities. it's useful to look beyond what works in the US - our markets and families are similar to each other. LatAm too, maybe!

Inspired by @sajithpai's blog👇
Read 4 tweets
3 Feb
My favorite quotes on love ♥️
“A good love is one that casts you into the wind...”
To love is a matter of deep courage...
Read 8 tweets
2 Feb
Cohort-based courses – and online courses in general – are really hot right now. Many succeed, but so many wither out silently.

So – what are some good reasons to launch an online course?

Here are my top recommendations, based on 100s of conversations and two years of research:
1. There's a talent pipeline problem in your industry.

Eg: @LambdaSchool, @10kdesigners & @NewtonSchoolHQ are directly preparing motivated folks for near-guaranteed jobs, fixing upskilling and the hiring process in one swoop.

If your industry needs talent, a CBC can create it.
2. Your potential customers don't know how to best use a product that they are convinced can be valuable.

Eg: @RoamResearch is a top-notch product with a fairly steep learning curve. @nateliason developed Effortless Output with Roam, enabling more to join the #roamcult.
Read 15 tweets
6 Sep 20
More meditations on choice:

"Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy. This will miraculously transform your whole life."
- Eckhart Tolle
Probably good advice for good times and bad?

Good times - Carpe Diem! Savour it!

Tough times - activates your sense of agency. even if you feel pushed against the wall, "i choose this & I can choose what comes next" can make me feel like I'm at the center of a wide open room
So much of life is self-talk and narratives. The story I tell myself in each moment regardless of wtf the "objective reality is"
Read 4 tweets
16 Aug 20
📢 zoominstruct.com is open for enrollment!

Join this FREE online course with best practices from Todd Jick @Columbia_Biz and from my teaching at @Kennedy_School, so I can convince you of how much interaction is possible in a Zoom class! (1/6)

#highered #interactivezoom Image
Since March, I have scoured *checks notes* 258 sites with written advice and how-to videos. But saw <5 examples. So we crafted, filmed and annotated segments of an actual class with 25 MBA students to show you what interactive teaching looks like. (2/6)

🥳s after filming:
An online class is as great as its students' participation in it. (See testimonial-tweets for @david_perell's online course for what's possible.)

Carrots and sticks 👎. You need to make them want to be here. Designing for interaction should be your #1 focus. It's our's too (3/6) Image
Read 6 tweets

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