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Phantasmagoria Reaction

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I wasn't really struck by the Sunstein article, though I agree with the general sentiment that the serendipity of newspapers is a good thing. I don't go out of my way to find news, so I like the variety that a newspaper provides.

On the other hand, I really enjoyed the Henig article. I loved reading about the scientific approach to play. Many researchers have come at the concept of play from different angles, and I like that none of them are definite. I do think that some people romanticize play and childhood in general, but I agree that play is important. Aside from possibly improved flexibility in the brain, it is good to have fun, and to be active both physically and mentally in creative ways. As for brain development, I thought that the dark side of play was really intriguing. I find that I’m less curious about the play that is often encouraged; rather, the article captured my interest when talking about the play where kids are mean, teasing, and hurtful. As a very emotional person, I was constantly fearful of hurt feelings- my own or other’s. I was so concerned with having the “wrong” reaction to a story that I remember learning my friend’s faces, watching to see how I should react. Another friend had an older brother. She had a much more forceful personality, and she found that she could be the dominant person in our friendship. She was used to fighting, bickering, etc. As an only child, I was not. Through our days sharing toys, I learned to stand up for myself a little bit, and she learned that when I ran away crying, she should re-consider her actions. We’re still friends over 10 years later, so I guess it worked out somehow. Though in no way scientific proof for the benefits of play’s dark side, I think that I grew through the conflicts that arose while I played. The scientific approach is valuable when attempting to understand any sort of behavior, and it is an approach that usually makes sense to me, especially when written in an easy format to understand without knowing neuroscience.