My Friend Marc de Hond Speaks at TED

Marc de Hond is the son of a very good friend of mine, Maurice. They both live in Amsterdam, Holland. In fact, I featured Maurice a few weeks ago about his early education ideas in the digital world. I didn’t know then that Marc would be selected to give a speech at TED, the worldwide conference, that is well-known for “Ideas Worth Sharing.” He gave the speech in Amsterdam a few days ago.

Marc’s inability to walk due to a faulty post-surgical procedure has led him to become a super hero to all that know him. He has identified the amazing power of adaption for both his body and mind. His story of accomplishentment is a tremendous life lesson for all.

Today Marc is an entrepreneur, DJ and a dedicated player of wheelchair basketball. He also works as a television host.

Thank you Marc, for sharing this video with us.


Lois and Eliot

Maurice de Hond Works With Dutch Government To Change Education System From Analog To Digital

This blog post is dedicated to all the grandparents in the United States who are annoyed that their grandchildren are glued to their smartphones or iPads and don’t interact enough with human beings. My friend Maurice de Hond of Amsterdam, Holland, believes that adults better get used to the digital lifestyle otherwise their offspring will be at a major disadvantage in the in the future. He claims that the analog way of life, particularly in present day elementary schools, will not prepare children for the year 2035. He is working with the Dutch government to reverse the curriculum from traditional only classrooms to integrate virtual ones.

Maurice stated, “We have discovered since the invention of the tablet and all of the diversified educational apps, that it no longer makes sense to have a ‘one-size fits all’ educational system for students today. An increasing number of children entering the kindergarten and first grade are way ahead what is being taught to them. They have been using technology even before they can talk and have been absorbing information from areas that they are interested in at record speeds. We should not force them into a formal structure where the entire class learns a particular topic all at the same time and the same pace.”

Maurice suggests a whole reversal in the education process. He spells it out in the video above. It is 11 minutes long and it is worth watching because what you hear today will probably be common practice in the United States a number of years from now. Instead of being old and crotchety about it, embrace the changes. Your family needs your support and understanding. Get with it,

I bet on Maurice. We met over 20 years ago when he became our client and have remained close all this time. I see and speak to him more than some of my friends a few city blocks away. We have the kind of relationship that we can instantly pick up a conversation where we left off the last time we spoke. Maurice and I are the same age but he has a three year old. He also has four other older children, late 20s and mid 30s. Long story. Maurice is very well known in Amsterdam. He is a political analyst, a pollster, an Internet personality and now a pioneer in the education system. I will let you know his progress in converting the way children go to school. The ABC’s are going to take on a new meaning.

The Past Is The Future

Recently I found myself wondering whatever happpened to a certain from a friend who grew up in the same building as I did in Hollis, Queens? In the digital age you don’t have to wonder anymore. It wasn’t Facebook, but somehow, some way, Ellen Gershoff Jaffee got in touch with me. She is now one of my regular readers and often makes comments. 

Not only have I met the beautiful Ellen, I have also reunited with her brother and mother after 40 years. My mother died seven years ago this June,so when Ellen’s mother attended one of my parties in Miami a few years ago it was like being with my own mother again. We talked about people in the neighborhood that only my mother’s generation would have been interested in. 

Nadia, Mel and Lois

Then there is Mel Matza, my first boyfriend when I was 13. I didn’t see him in the decades after he moved to Bologna, Italy to attend medical school. He ended up staying there and getting married. Through email and Skype we were able to reconnect. Now, even though we see each other only occasionally, we are able to stay current online. I never would have thought we would have been so close at this point in our lives. 

Maurice de Hond

Two former clients whom I adore, one in Jerusalem and the other in Amsterdam, still keep in touch frequently. Harry Fox now lives in Israel and is a part of the tech industry. He was an innovator 25 years ago when we worked together and he’s still inventing today. I met with him when we were in Israel. He and his wife hosted a BBQ for Eliot and me plus three other friends. I also see Harry at trade shows, and occasionally we will work together on an assignment. The client from Amsterdam, Maurice de Hond, was our supervisor on a computer project. I have been in constant contact with Maurice as well and have participated in several assignments including a murder mystery, book and film projects, and how tablets and other devices are helping young children to create their own virtual school. 

Larry Hymes

Then there is Facebook. I searched for a fellow named Larry Hymes who I was friendly with when I was 17 years old. He lived a few miles away from me but we saw each other often and he dated a number of my friends. I think we talked on the telephone every night for two years. He now lives in Los Angeles and is in the menswear business. At first he didn’t answer me and then finally sent back a message after a few weeks. This is what it said: “Tell me more about yourself. You sound familiar but I can’t place you.” I was floored. I was thinking about him for years and he was clueless as to who I was. He spent two years of his life talking to me every school night and on weekends. We went to dances, movies, bowling and Diner hopping all over Queens, and this guy couldn’t remember me. It wasn’t a case of my being offended or that he could have been faking it, because he kept writing back. He talks to me on Facebook from time to time but can’t remember any details of our relationship. He blames it on drugs. I blame it on some other disconnect in his brain. 

Adrian “Ace” Rice, rocker

There are a number of other stories I can tell you about, but the one that is the most recent and the reason why digital communication is such a wonderful tool, came via a phone call from a stunning guy I met at the CES show many moons ago. Adrian Rice (nickname Ace) lives in southern California, works for Steelcase, and is a rocker. He is a little younger than me, married ,and yes we found each other on Facebook a few years ago. His smile can light up a room and I am not even sure why he even wanted to maintain a relationship other than he must be a very friendly guy. If you look him up on Facebook, you will see him rocking away at many venues with shis band. I picked up the phone when it rang and Adrian said, “I have been reading DigiDame, and making comments, so I just decided instead of typing something something else, I would call.” It was so lovely. We spent about 20 minutes going down memory lane, then made a date to meet up for breakfast or coffee when Eliot and I will be in LA next month. I haven’t seen him in years. How do I quickly transform myself from a good old broad to the perky young gal he met at the Curtis booth decades ago? Ouch, the years do accumulate quickly.