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Remote Ready Biology Learning Activities

Remote Ready Biology Learning Activities has 50 remote-ready activities, which work for either your classroom or remote teaching.

Brain and Behavior Institute 2005 Forum

Comments are posted in the order in which they are received, with earlier postings appearing first below on this page. To see the latest postings, click on "Go to last comment" below.

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Welcome ...
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2005-07-11 08:42:55
Link to this Comment: 15379

Welcome to the on-line forum for Brain and Behavior 2005. Remember this is a place for "thoughts in progress", a place to see what other people are thinking that might be useful to you and to leave thoughts of your own that might be helpful to others. Not only people in the institute but any one else interested in the kinds of problems about the brain and education that we're thinking about. So don't be shy, join in, and let's see what we can make together.

about me
Date: 2005-07-11 09:54:58
Link to this Comment: 15380

Name: keith
Date: 2005-07-11 10:01:08
Link to this Comment: 15381

I think that all people are scientists. We are constantly trying to make sense of our environment and situations. We are searching for the best solutions to problems that face us in our world. We strive to find ways to make the environment around us more suitable (even if that means changing ourselves and not just manipultating the environment). Science involves not only physical aspects of our world but mental as well. Humans are critical thinkers. The principle of understanding and trying to understand one's world is, in my opinion, the root of science. Science is an important part of life and reaches beyond just the accademic arena. Whether or not people realize it, science is an everyday part of out lives.

Name: Antionette
Date: 2005-07-11 10:04:23
Link to this Comment: 15382

I consider myself as a lifelong learner, inquisitive, and ever seeking more questions and answers. My late Mother encourged me to try any activity that were not against the laws of God, or against the law. As a result, I experimented with many kinds of sports,languages, cultures, foods, reading materials, conversations and found that my passion is poeple development oriented. Currently, I am a middle school special education teacher, a mental health supervisor, wife, bible schoool teacher, graduate student, and part time athlete.

Name: SMichael
Date: 2005-07-11 10:04:30
Link to this Comment: 15383

Hello, BBI Participants!
My name is Sheila Michael. I am a Computer Science Teacher at Grover Washington, Jr. Middle School. I have just completed Leadership Classes at Villanova University. Hoo-Ray!!
Science,,,What is Science? Science for me involves many questions, exploration, trial and error, thinking, also re-thinking.

A little bit about me . . .
Name: Tiffany C.
Date: 2005-07-11 10:09:53
Link to this Comment: 15384

My name is Tiffany Williams and I am teaching in the School District of Philadelphia as a Teach for America (TFA) teacher. I recently finished year one of my two year commitment to Teach for America as a 6th grade special education (learning support) teacher at Ada H. Lewis Middle School. I am from Detroit, Michigan and I am a recent college graduate of the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. At U of M I double majored in Sociology and African & African-American studies, and my passion lies within the field of Urban Planning and Public Policy. With that said I was able to stay far away from science ... and that was fine for me. 5 years ago I took my first and last science class as a college student. It was during my freshman year and my Chemistry professor reinforced my dislike for science as a whole. While I recognize and respect the power of science, my experiences as a science student have left me with a hint of disdain for the subject.

About Me
Name: J. Odom
Date: 2005-07-11 10:11:54
Link to this Comment: 15385

My name is Judith Odom and I am a parent of 4 children. I enjoy teaching science. I think science is the basis of our very existence. Without science, we would not have the things that we take for granted like computers, cell phones, and medical devices which have in some cases enhanced the quality of our very existence. Personally, I have always enjoyed science and when I had questions I would find people or books to help me. Science also has its limitations and sometimes we cross those limitations and open doors to self destruction. As a scienctist, we should be accountable to others in order to help them to develop their inquiry skills and love for what science can be.

Name: Shellie
Date: 2005-07-11 10:12:31
Link to this Comment: 15386

Who am I? I wear many hats--a school counselor, a parent, a student, a teacher, a knitter,a reader,a walker,a bike rider, and others. I am also a computer novice. I have been learning and relearning about computers and I am still trying to get it less wrong. This will be an experience totally new for me. I am excited about this.

Science--in a way I am always a scientist. I observe, collect information or data, and try to reach some conclusions which change constantly. Reading that acticle I felt that I have a lot more questioning to do. I have always believed doctors(scientists) and really need to do my own research.

Science is in everything I do--cooking ect.

Science and me
Name: Linda Slat
Date: 2005-07-11 10:13:20
Link to this Comment: 15387

I am a social scientist, a counselor, and teacher. Recently I have been thinking about how closely

the fields of science,( physics) psychology and philosophy are linked. I was really afraid of

science until I became interested in studying psychology, the science of the mind body

relationship. I like the idea of science as the emergence of new stories. In my lifetime, I

have seen a lot of changes in our theories and understanding of the worlds that we know

something about. There seems to be endless stories to tell, not only because we discover more

information, or observations, but also because new "story tellers" are being born every day.

Each one of us is different, makes different meaning of the world, through using differnt words

to tell "stories". The possibilities are endless!

I am a scientist by the nature of the fact that I am always asking new questions, making new

observations, and .......

Name: cleat dobb
Date: 2005-07-11 10:13:43
Link to this Comment: 15388

My name is Cleat Dobbins. Do I think of myself as a scientist? I would say in a way, yes. We all as human beings are scientists in one way or another. We as individuals are always searching, exploring, and learning new things about life and about ourselves, I know I am. Most of us consciously or unconscious are looking for answers in life in some form or another whether they be positive or negative. Science on a whole is a wonderful thing because its life, and they both go hand in hand. They are both journeys in discovery.

Name: Kate Shine
Date: 2005-07-11 10:13:51
Link to this Comment: 15389

I am a rising senior biology major here at Bryn Mawr, but am originally from Wichita, Kansas. I am interested in primates, culture, questioning dichotomies, language, emergence, play, and most recently the relationship between science and faith. I like science but it is hard to consider myself as a real "scientist", primarily I consider myself a student.

Name: John Dalto
Date: 2005-07-11 10:14:03
Link to this Comment: 15390

Currently, I am an English teacher at Abraham Lincoln High School in Northeast Philadelphia. My duties are rather diverse. I'm the Coordinator for Lincoln's Health Academy, a teacher of AP English, sponsor for various service learning initiatives, yearbook sponsor, tennis coach for both boys and girls, basketball coach for junior varsity girls, assigner of coverages, and responsible for a host of other duties. superficially,it would appear that science isn't that integral to my life. But, as a graduate from a liberal art college and as a lifetime participant in Great Books, I have always had curiosity about my immediate environment and an interest in the world at large, and I have constantly been engaged in what might be described as readjusting my perspective to incorporate changes to the way in which I perceive the world.

what I do
Date: 2005-07-11 10:14:06
Link to this Comment: 15391

I presently teach High School English. I have been in the educatonal field for over twenty years - working primarily with adults. This past year I shifted from directing an adult training program to teaching at the high school level.

My connection to science is that we are forever learning whether we want to or not. I am particularly interested in how the brain affects behavior especially as it relates to the male students who often are not as interested in writing or literature (or at least the selections required by the standardized curriculum) as their female counterparts.

who am I ?
Name: Laverne
Date: 2005-07-11 10:14:09
Link to this Comment: 15392

My name is Laverne Meriweather. I am a elementary school teacher from Shallcross Middle school. I am currently attending West Chester University to become a special education teacher. My intentions as an adult returning to school was never to be a teacher but a nurse. After completing course requisitions and being accepted into the nursing program I realized that nursing was not what I wanted to do. How, I do not know, I met up with the director of Neuman's
teaching program is still a mystery to me, but we talk and he encouraged me to seek a teaching degree. Teaching never crossed my mind, but the more he talked the more interesting it became to me. So, here I am today teaching and loving it.

Science to is a very interesting subject. I always thought of it as something really smart people do. I thought scientist were born scientist, meaning it is an interest from birth(sort of like music)
The article you wrote gave me a whole new perspective of science.

Introducing myself
Name: mrobb
Date: 2005-07-11 10:14:10
Link to this Comment: 15393

I've been been attempting to lead sixth grders into a better understanding of our world for the last three years. They are eager for science and more open to this subject than to any other subject I've taught, i.e. math, language studies, or social studies. Unfortunately, I'm not comfortable with my understanding of the material and consequently,I've been a poor guide. Still, they've appreciated every attempt. I want to be a better guide. Their eagerness is too valuable an asset to waste, and I want to feel competent to teach the subject.
Additionally, I believe that if these young adolescents understood how their own brains are developing, they would make better decisions and feel more confident about trusting the advice of adults.

Who am I
Name: Sherry Mor
Date: 2005-07-11 10:14:57
Link to this Comment: 15394

My name is Sherry Morris. I am a person that loves learning about new things. I enjoy discovering how and why things work, how we get to where we are in our thinking and why we do the things we do. I am extremely curious. Sometimes I feel like a sponge trying to soak up every ounce of information I can find. I am a woman, a wife, a mother and an educator. My interest are varied from sports to politics to how the brain functions and how our behavior effects the way we learn. I never thought of myself as a scientist until writing this piece. However, when I think of the activities I've involved myself in over the past through years I feel I been on a journey of discovery.

Date: 2005-07-11 10:15:18
Link to this Comment: 15395


science is...
Name: Yaena Park
Date: 2005-07-11 10:15:41
Link to this Comment: 15396

We are constantly trying to make sense of the world by doing all different kinds of acitivities on daily bases. Frequently, people ask questions, make observations and make judgements based on the observation. Whether those quetions or observations are related to textbook science or not, the process of inquiry, observation and making an implication is a scientific process. In that sense, we are all practicing science without realizing it.

Rebekah's introduction
Name: Rebekah
Date: 2005-07-11 10:18:55
Link to this Comment: 15398

Hi all,

I'm Rebekah Baglini: rising junior at Bryn Mawr College, linguistics major, former "homeschooler" (or unschooler, or autodidact), Macintosh computer addict, violinist, computer programmer, and scientist. That last description--scientist--wouldn't have a appeared if I were writing this intro a few months ago. Growing up, my academic interests lay almost strictly in the humanities. While I read voraciously and wrote for hours every day, I rebelled against my algebra textbooks and only seriously studied traditional science texts when other interests led me there (for example, curiosity about how my violin worked prompted me to study the physics of sound, and wanting to improve my painting led me to learn more about geometry).

Because of the homeschooling philosophy I was raised with--that children, left to their own curiosity and devises, will end up discovering enough to constitute a solid education--I felt confident that I knew enough about science to get by in the world and at Bryn Mawr College. But I still would never have considered applying the elite term of "scientist" to someone like myself--scientists were inconceivably brilliant, highly-trained specialists in white lab coats, hidden away in corporate research centers and university labs. But with the experiences I've had with BMC's Center for Science in Society, culminating in my work this summer with Paul and my reading of his article, Revisiting Science in Culture, my view of science and scientists has changed dramatically--for the better. Now I believe that all scientists are defined by a couple of important traits--curiosity and skepticism. That's all that scientists do: they ask questions, they look for possible stories to answer those questions, and then they questions those stories, starting the process all over again.

Curiosity and skepticism--I realized that these are traits that have defined the way I learn and look at the world my whole life. Even though I'm not majoring in a science at Bryn Mawr, even though most of my interests would be classified as in the "humanities", because of the way I look at the world and ask questions about what I observe, I feel I can confidently (and proudly!) label myself a scientist too.

Date: 2005-07-11 10:45:47
Link to this Comment: 15399

Science and I
Name: Miss T.
Date: 2005-07-11 10:53:11
Link to this Comment: 15402

Friends, Hello. Currently I serve with the School District of Philadelphia as a High School Administrator. As a Special Education Teacher, prior to my service as an admnistrator, Science was one of several subjects I taught. However, being a participant in this institute for the past several years I realize just how much college had not prepared me to teach Science (no disrespect to the universities I attended). For me God is truth and Science is fact. Often the two are the same, often they share common ground, and often the differences are vast. Science is real and I have a profound respect for it. I see the phenomenal contributions it has made for the betterment of human and global society. I have also witnessed its negative effects in the 20th and now 21st Centuries. Welcome and may God enlarge your territory.

about me
Name: Carol Tyso
Date: 2005-07-11 10:55:00
Link to this Comment: 15403

I am a woman, wife ,mom, christian,and many other itemtoo numerous to mention.As a child I was considered a musical protege,and expected to become a great claqge.ssical artistHowever,after sacrificing the "fun' of adolescence, I quit'."bad decision".As an educator I've spent many years trying to reach some imaginieed"goal' The problem is I'm not sure where I'm headed at this point.I believe in the ability of all children to learn if given the tools, and advantages of the society at large.With regard to science we continue to learn,explore,grow and create stories over and over,ending with the moment and which we are removed from the planet as we know it

Date: 2005-07-11 13:15:51
Link to this Comment: 15405

Name: Shellie
Date: 2005-07-11 13:26:26
Link to this Comment: 15406

I was very impressed with the paper Paul wrote.I found myself back in the classroom of Brain and Behavior. This morning session also brought me back and reconnected me to the article.

Enough empty words what did I feel, what did i get? First of all I reremembered get it less wrong. This is a philosophy that has helped me through many things. When I feel stuck I just remember those three words--get it less wrong.

I feel very strongly about" what are your observations" when faced with decisions that affect me. It is almost like getting a key--the strenght to question bosses, doctors, authhority figures. I know I am going to use these skills a lot now. I am in a very different place than two years ago. I need these skills to push me into being a scientist. There are too many important decisions that I will need to make and these skills will help a lot.

What are your observations? This is key to so many areas. This gives you the chance to story tell and to revise.

More about me
Name: Yaena Park
Date: 2005-07-11 13:28:05
Link to this Comment: 15407

I didn't mention anything about myself on the previous comment, so here I am again.

My name is Yaena Park, rising sophomore at Bryn Mawr College, math/chemistry (undecided) major and Spanish major/minor (again, undecided). I am originally from Korea, grew up there until freshman year in high school and studied in a boarding school in California after that. Coming from a totally different cutlure and education system helped me see education from a unique perspective and am still trying to figure out which way is more effective. This summer, I am doing research on science education focusing on the comparison between traditional education vs. constructive education. It will be interesting to hear other teachers' perspectives and share my point of view about the subject during the institute.

am session
Name: Antoinette
Date: 2005-07-11 13:28:47
Link to this Comment: 15408

In searching for "Truth"... historically the educated community looked at the Bible as an authority on everything, from the origins of man to meaning in life and death and the hereafter. The notion that the Earth was flat came from a reference to "the four corners of the Earth" in Revalation. The notion that the Sun went around the Earth came from references in the bible where "the sun stood still." As the scientific and the religious communities grew farther apart, due to a 'misunderstanding' that one could disprove the existance or need for the other, well educated people continued to polarize.

If 'science' cannot by defnition prove things to be true, only to be less wrong, then why does it postulate to be capable to finding/identifying truth? When does the concept of "common knowlegde" stop being questioned? How can morlity be seperated from science, expecially when it comes to human testing and experimentation? Why do scientists have such a difficult time with the exsistnce of God and faith based belief systems? Why? Why? Why???????

PG's article. . . .
Name: SMichael
Date: 2005-07-11 13:29:18
Link to this Comment: 15409

(when thinking about science . . .)
I am impressed with the three distinctive functions of Science,
1-to provide stories
2-serve as supportive focal poinet
3-and...exemplify a committment to skeptism.

I like to associate science with technology as an organize body of knowledge concerned with the physical world and the creation and use of technical means (tools) and their interrelation with life and society.

Name: laverne
Date: 2005-07-11 13:30:10
Link to this Comment: 15410

After reading the article "Science as story telling and story revising", all I could think about was I want to know more. Science to me has always been SCIENCE. Now, I'm reading how there does not have to be tension between people who are comfortable with science and those who are not. That it can be done through story telling and story revising. This is all very interesting to me!

science as storytelling
Name: carol
Date: 2005-07-11 13:30:20
Link to this Comment: 15411

I agree in large measure with the opinions offered which present much of science guidance as limited and uninspired.My experiences,especially in high school (as i remember) was very rewarding .i recall creating compunds,and dissecting several small animals,;exploring in a limited way .....which at that time was adequate.

It would be nice if we could "all" agree on one truth(end of conflict,war,etc) and decided to use this truth in whatever way a group or individual saw fit.Of course there would be a universal acceptance of these stories.

About the Article
Name: J. Odom
Date: 2005-07-11 13:30:40
Link to this Comment: 15412

The article was stimulating but it left more questions for me to explore which is a good thing. I enjoyed the morning session and am looking forward to this afternoon's.

some thoughts
Name: rosa
Date: 2005-07-11 13:30:54
Link to this Comment: 15413

This is open -ended thinking and leaves room for expansion and growth. This mode a thinking causes one to continue to examine almost with the expectation that sooner or later there will be a different response/finding.

The challenge is how/when do you give opportunity for students to cash in on this concept?

Revisiting Science in Culture
Name: John dalto
Date: 2005-07-11 13:31:04
Link to this Comment: 15414

Grobstein's article posits two contrasting views of the "scientific method." Both are stories, one of which he perceives as less wrong. It's the circularity that I find so interesting in what seems to be the less wrong description. His model for science is ultimately epistemological. It's concerned with how we learn, how we incorporate something new within our own preconceptional context. The acquisition of knowledge is inherently determined by our sense of time. It's an ongoing ontological and existential process that is essentially recursive in that we incorporate new data within a historical context so as to produce a new story. That new story doesn,t embrace truth, but only demonstrates a new understanding that may or may not be less wrong.

Science as Story Telling
Name: Sherry Mor
Date: 2005-07-11 13:31:10
Link to this Comment: 15415

The idea of science as a summarry of observations and a series of stories makes sense to me. My question is "Why have we taught science so differently for so many years.?"

Name: Miss T.
Date: 2005-07-11 13:31:38
Link to this Comment: 15417

Friends, Good Afternoon.

Is there ever a point of conclusion? I am learning there are no conclusions. This is more to life than observations. Is the concludion death? Is death a beginning?

'The Crack' seems to be the variables of life, which are constant.

Fact (Science) and not compete with Truth (God).

Name: Tiffany C.
Date: 2005-07-11 14:47:18
Link to this Comment: 15420

This exhibit has forced me to think seriously about the environment and behavior and how both have the ability to affect each other. In my constant quest to make sense of new information, situations, experience I often find myself trying to situate and compare things to my previous experiences and knowledge. While trying to make since of "The World of Langton's Ant" I tried to look at the exhibit through my newly acquired "scientific lenses" but it has proved to be a difficult task. I can’t help but to think of the statement "the agent alters its own environment...which in turn alters the behavior of the agent" and relate it to a sociological/community oriented framework. (Because of this thought process I am beginning to understand that the phrase "scientific thinking" can be defined in a number of ways) With that being said I would use this exhibit in my classroom-- but I would be sure to explore the possible extensions of this exhibit.

Langton's Ant
Name: John Dalto
Date: 2005-07-11 14:51:29
Link to this Comment: 15423

Having just encountered the complications but thoughtful implications that proceed from this fascinating playful exploration of determinism and randomness, I was struck by the relevance that it has for the teaching of writing. Just the emphasis on storytelling as an ongoing process with an agent, an environs, and movement caused me to wonder how some of its suggestiveness might be employed to generate student writing.

Langston's Ant
Date: 2005-07-11 15:22:08
Link to this Comment: 15426

I really enjoyed the observer/participant portion. You can set up barriers so that the road is made from step 1. By changing the colors, the directions of the lines, by speeding up the steps each time you create a different story. "Fiddling" is a good concept and should be applied in science. The observations that were made will make very interesting stories. Example, The ant will move in straight lines horizontally if the H stripes and speed are changed. The ant creates straight roads when the outside directions are changed. I found it to be a fun game. I would use it in my classroom.

Langston's Ant
Name: J.Odom
Date: 2005-07-11 15:24:59
Link to this Comment: 15427

I really enjoyed the observer/participant portion. You can set up barriers so that the road is made from step 1. By changing the colors, the directions of the lines, by speeding up the steps each time you create a different story. "Fiddling" is a good concept and should be applied in science. The observations that were made will make very interesting stories. Example, The ant will move in straight lines horizontally if the H stripes and speed are changed. The ant creates straight roads when the outside directions are changed. I found it to be a fun game. I would use it in my classroom.

Sorry forgot to put my name!

the sky's the limit!
Name: Rosa
Date: 2005-07-11 15:26:57
Link to this Comment: 15428

I'm still internalizing the vast impact that environment has on dictating purpose and how much impact manipulation by the observer/participant contributes to the purpose of the agent. Experiencing this vastness, however, dictates a change in traditional ways of approaching learning.

I'm not sure that I could practice this immediately without addressing how present day students expect to learn.

On Beyond Newton... and Brain and Behavior
Name: J. Odom
Date: 2005-07-11 16:08:51
Link to this Comment: 15432

During the last session of the day,I went to "On Newton and Beyond...." and played with trying to control Chaos. I found this to be fun and informing.
I liked the fact this was interactive and you could "fiddle" around with them. I also looked on the web at Brain and Behavior for interesting ideas that I could use for my Lesson Plan. I still do not have any ideas about what I will do for my Lesson. I really enjoyed today's sessions and I am looking forward to tomorrow's sessions!

Date: 2005-07-11 16:09:43
Link to this Comment: 15433


Langstons Ant
Name: Cleat
Date: 2005-07-11 16:47:59
Link to this Comment: 15434

I found Langston's Ant to be a very intersting article/experiment in that it was very thought provoking and abstract. One is allowed in this lesson to change variables (colors, speed, direction, etc) because of the computer aspect. Many times in anything scientific we as observers dont have the opportunity to change variables or scientific functions, only observe them.

day 1
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2005-07-11 18:05:55
Link to this Comment: 15436

Thanks, all, for rich and stimulating discussion today, both here and face to face. Don't worry, none of the forum postings are lost. I've just moved them to a forum archive to keep things organized. And if anyone has relevant day 1 thoughts tonight or tomorrow morning, don't worry about that either. Go ahead and post them now and I'll add to the archive.

Some notes for myself (and anyone else interested) about things from today I wanted to think more about ...

If "science as story telling" is actually such a good story, how come we (and lots of other people) still have a more "rigid" conception of science, and science education? Its a question that's been on Yaena's mind, and she wrote a bit about it earlier this summer. Clearly its important and needs to be addressed if one is serious about changing things.

The idea that "we" actually constrain "exploration" by students (and others) for a variety of reasons also seemed to me important. As is the idea that we allow others to constrain us. Clearly, "science as story telling" would encourage trying out all sorts of things. Equally clearly, there might be other reasons to constrain exploration. A VERY interesting question, for me, is whether there is anything in "science as story telling" that would constrain exploration. Is "science" entirely separate from "morality"? I don't in fact think so, but if not there is some serious thinking to be done about why/how "science as story telling" might function as a constraint on some kinds of exploration.

The connection to "culture wars" also seemed to me important. My own feeling is that "culture wars" are at their core about "Truth" and that the best thing to do is to get science out of them by recognizing that it is inherently NOT about "Truth" but rather about exploration and "getting it less wrong". For some more along these lines, see Writing Descartes ... and Fundamentalism and Relativism: Finding a New Direction. Both have their own on-line forums and any one interested in more than welcome to join in them.

Nice "stories" about Langton's Ant. Trust everyone noticed that in fact there is no "cognitive dissonance" nor "frustration" nor effects of "experience" there? Curious about the repeated adjective "abstract", but pleased to hear expressions of feeling that it encourages one to "learn to think" (reminds me of old essay of mine in which I talked about the importance of helping people learn how to think). And about it making some people uncomfortable. Very glad too that people saw it as an exhibit that might be used in a variety of classroom contexts, not only "science" ones. Looking forward to working with any of you inclined to try that out.

And to seeing where we go tomorrow.

day 1 addendum
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2005-07-12 07:13:36
Link to this Comment: 15439

Rebekah, Yaena, Kate and I had an interesting conversation yesterday afternoon about the World of Langton's Ant and reactions to it that raises some interesting general issues about education. The exhibit has a clear "story line", starting out with a set of unexamined presumptions inherent in the use of words like "purpose" and "aimless" and "ant" and "barrier". Is it appropriate/desireable to start this way? Might it be better to present the material to be observed without any "story"? with as little "story" as possible? To try to "direct" users as little as possible, just giving them something to make observations on, develop stories about themselves, play with? What are the likely pros and cons, for different audiences, of the two different approaches? Are there ways to better strike a balance between them?

Article - Day #1
Name: Linda Slat
Date: 2005-07-12 09:24:13
Link to this Comment: 15440

I loved reading the article. It definitely was a broader understanding of science, and one that

is more palitable for "Liberal Arts" students. I have recently been reading some on the web about "quantum Pschology and Physics". From my limited understanding, this article relates similiar ideas in the sense that science is not simply about what is outside the scientist, an objective set of data, but must include the perceptions, or subjective observations of the scientist.

I need time to get clearer, or less wrong with my understanding.

brain as everything
Name: shellie
Date: 2005-07-12 10:33:58
Link to this Comment: 15441

Wow it is all in the brain. To educated our students we need to understand the story of the brain. We need to get into those little brains--but how??????????

What we are doing now only works for some of our brains. We need to learn more--brains are different. How do we train the brain to think. What is the story for some kids that use the brain--that think?

What do we have to do to get ourselves to think? One thing is to retrain our brains and teach them how to think.

Be Warned!
Name: Randal Hol
Date: 2005-07-12 10:36:20
Link to this Comment: 15443

If one concludes that behavior is a result of continual interactions/influences of an orgasnism's genetic predisposition and environmental tickerings then certain demonstrations of behavior are in fact actually deterministic. We, as educators, will one day be held to task for not coming up with the necessary "tinkering tactics" to elicit the desired behavior on the part of our students. I hope no administrators are listening (just kidding).

Emily Dickinson's Poem
Name: J. Odom
Date: 2005-07-12 10:37:10
Link to this Comment: 15444

My reaction to the story of Emily Dickinson's poem is that the brain(spirit) is one with the body. Separation of the two is difficult for me to comprehend. I still believe that "the story", is one person's understanding of how they are connected to God. Their purpose in life is to explore, invent, and use every facet of their mind. The brain's uses are infinite and this opens up the door to understanding of how important education can be. It is a spring board for students to tap into. The "brain" is a necessary tool that educators should tap into with care!

the brain
Name: carol Tyso
Date: 2005-07-12 10:37:48
Link to this Comment: 15445

inordinate capacity to concieve,conceptualize,rationalize,etc. limited only by the experiences or set of external impulses which stimulate a set number of responses.can we train/retrain/introduce,a method /concept which would enable our students to visualize themselves as "the brain';thereby creating an arena for academic excellence.would we also be able to "create" a universal society where a predisposition towards conflict,prejudice,etc could not exist?"Cloning'

The Brain?
Name: Tiffany C.
Date: 2005-07-12 10:38:22
Link to this Comment: 15446

All of this talk about the brain...has ironically got me thinking. For the last 3 years I have posed to every professor (and many of my peers) that I have encountered... "How far can you step outside of your conformed self to enact substantive (as opposed to symbolic) social change?" My thinking is grounded in my theory that if I can only conceptualize things based on my acquired knowledge and experiences in a conformed society --can I ever really CHANGE anything. Emily Dickerson’s poem and our class discussions (especially the comment that "our society has a stake in keeping people from thinking for themselves") have provided me with another space to think about the potential of the mind to conceptualize ANYTHING. If there is truly "a brain and nothing else...." I guess I am beginning to find the answer to my question. Presenting this theory to students will place them in a position to see their abilities as "thinkers" as limitless.

Name: Cleat
Date: 2005-07-12 10:38:35
Link to this Comment: 15447

There is still so much that we dont know about the brain. We are constantly evolving and discovering new things about it, and because of this its hard to put "facts" or "stories" about the brain into perspective. I think its safe to assume and agree that since the brain and "we" are ever evolving, all thoughts and perspectives about this subject should be valid and looked upon as "hypothesis." Is this in fact what we should do? Should "medicine" be considered?

The Brain
Name: laverne
Date: 2005-07-12 10:40:48
Link to this Comment: 15448

If I am understanding the lecture, what I am hearing is that our brain makes us who we are. Our behavior, our personalities, everything about us comes from our brain. If everything we see and experience is in our brain, does that mean it originates in the brain?

Caught in a Connundrum
Name: John Dalto
Date: 2005-07-12 10:41:29
Link to this Comment: 15449

If everything is the Brain, as our friend, Emily Dickinson, posits in "The Brain is wider than the Sky," a danger lurks in conceptualizing since we may just be too solipsistic. How can one so easily escape one's veritable otherness, the ineluctable modality of separateness which plagues the human condition. The plurality of "You" suggests that one must pay attention to this other story.

Date: 2005-07-12 10:41:36
Link to this Comment: 15450


Emily Dickinson poem
Name: Antoinette
Date: 2005-07-12 10:43:02
Link to this Comment: 15451

If indeed the brain contains all there is, once again it leaves out the posibility that there are things that are not quantifiable. Given that the brain contains the imagination, personality, a beleif system , questioning, resoning, humor, and ect... why then does that exclude the notion that there could also be external, supenatural or spiritual that are outside of the brian? The brain could be seen as the filter by which we are able to process everthing that is internal and external to us.

Another thought...Since language acquisistion takes place in the brain in a proresssive pattern regardless of primary language aquisition, then why does second language aquisition folllow a similar pattern but not exactly the same?

Name: mrobb
Date: 2005-07-12 10:43:24
Link to this Comment: 15452

Why was it no longer Ok to blame demons?

Brain and Behavior
Name: SMichael
Date: 2005-07-12 10:43:56
Link to this Comment: 15453

I am convinced that the brain, behavior, genes, and environment play a large part in the way we behave and interact in society. I was at the Central Detectives Division, in Center City with my daughter, who was looking at Police mug shots, because while she was working on her job, an armed man came in to rob the store. Armed robbery! I must say I wanted someone arrested immediately, and off the streets, so this does not happen to another young innocent girl. But, I am learning to understand human brain behavior and interactions in the cities, classrooms, malls, and society.

Everything is inside the brain
Name: Sherry Mor
Date: 2005-07-12 10:44:05
Link to this Comment: 15454

I can see how the idea that everything is in the brain makes people uncomfortable. This implies that everything you need is within you- your physical capabilities, imagination, emotions, intuitions, feelings, etc. We feel uncomfortable because it takes away our excuses.As educators we must search for a way to make students believe in the power of the brain. Once we believe
the ability to achieve is endless.

I wonder?
Name: rosa
Date: 2005-07-12 10:45:58
Link to this Comment: 15455

If the brain has infinite capacity, then why do most people only use 10% of their brain power? Most people will eat one slice of pie at a time but there are others who in a pie eating contest will eat 20 whole pies at a time. What's the impact on the body? Is there really no limit to the brain's capacity? This is a thought in action.

the only thing there is...
Date: 2005-07-12 10:46:41
Link to this Comment: 15456

One of the implications of the idea or story that everything is in the brain is that this story will continue to be challenged until another story is created that is more compelling.

In other words, a scientific story will lead to new observations to either prove or disprove, support or challenge a given story.

The difficult train of thought this story runs into is - if there is a nuclear explosion and everything is destroyed that is living, what remains? Are there rocks, particles, etc, without a brain to observe them??? So if there were no humans left on the planet, how would this
story change.

Is there still nothing outside the brain or is this story just a word game???
Is Philosophy a subset of scientific stories? I I

Date: 2005-07-12 14:12:21
Link to this Comment: 15457

Everything is inside the brain
Name: Sherry Mor
Date: 2005-07-12 14:29:53
Link to this Comment: 15458

I can see how the idea that everything is in the brain makes people uncomfortable. This implies that everything you need is within you- your physical capabilities, imagination, emotions, intuitions, feelings, etc. We feel uncomfortable because it takes away our excuses.As educators we must search for a way to make students believe in the power of the brain. Once we believe
the ability to achieve is endless.

Conscious/Unconscious Reality
Name: John Dalto
Date: 2005-07-12 14:35:02
Link to this Comment: 15459

The bipartite structure which emerges when one studies the Brain or the nervous system seems extremely important. There's the "self" portion and there's the "unconscious" portion of the Brain. I've always assumed that our unconscious understandings are infinitely greater than our conscious understandings of things. I've also had an underlying assumption that accessing more of our unconscious understandings was part of the general task of education. In fact, I've always felt that if we could open the "doors of perception" we would learn more about ourselves and the surrounding world. The invariable question that emerges is how do we do that, how do we tap into that greater understandings that we possess but that somehow we block out.

All in the brain?
Name: Antoinette
Date: 2005-07-12 14:35:19
Link to this Comment: 15460

Good afternoon,
The concept of the "self" being seperate from the lower part of the spinal cord actities is one that is encouraging as a special education teacher. Long ago, I gave up having students seated in rows at all times and simply lecturing to them. I strongly believe in physical memory, acting out key peices of literature, and having students learn the proper order of operations after learning the "Cha-Cha Slide". I would say to them "show me the steppies" like "show me the money". Each of them seemed to be able to make sence of complex algebraic equations, after they realized it has rules, just like dancing. Sometimes in teaching, I try to reach the "brains" of my students, even when the "self" of the students are not fully engaged in what we are doing as a class. To their great surprise, they have had fun and learned something worthwhile.

Name: shellie
Date: 2005-07-12 15:44:59
Link to this Comment: 15461

What does doing and experiencing have to do with education? These questions seem to get harder and harder.

I am able to identify with the connection of our nerves and reactions in our bodies. I have been experienceing pain in my legs for no reason. My legs did not want to work. Now I find out (at least it is a story) that the siatica nerve is getting pushed by my spinal cord. Oh well, all this is too much.

Getting back to education --if we can harness the brain in some way so that doing ideas.

I wonder if there will be a way to fix the broken connections so that people that are paralized will get back their ability to walk etc. Maybe they are working on a way to connect the lower body with a computer that will make it work. There are so many miracles waiting to happen.

Education--if we can drive a car without I function and still do a great job could we figure out a way to teach children without involving I funtions. If a basketball player does better without the I function during an important free throw again--does this tell us something about education.

We need spell check in this forum.....

Name: Tiffany C.
Date: 2005-07-12 15:48:27
Link to this Comment: 15463

I think that the concept of “being conscious” in the classroom is profound because it speaks to a certain level of awareness that the students have. This awareness/understanding is not simply in relation to academic material but also how they think of themselves as learners.

Name: John Dalto
Date: 2005-07-12 15:49:33
Link to this Comment: 15464

It seems that a question that arises from our study of the bipartite structure of the nervous system or the Brain, is whether in education we should prioritize activities which enhance development of the I-Function. If our notion of self, manifestations of will, and sense of agency all originate in this area, then one wonders if a more engaged citizenry who think and therefore actively rather than passively participate in informed action as expressions of their will within a democracy might not be a product of such educational emphasis.

More brain stuff
Name: Cleat
Date: 2005-07-12 15:51:52
Link to this Comment: 15465

So much to take in, so much to think about. The brain and its behavior is vast and all encompassing. Our brain is like a story that is constantly being told with no ending in sight. I think that this notion would be an ideal one to ponder when thinking about the pattern of behavior in the brain and teaching it or trying to explain it in a classoom. We can disect and put together the muscle itself, and even comprehend it to a certain extent; but can and do we comprehend all of the various behaviors stemming from our"I Function"? As educators we can input information, but are we responsible for the output.

Name: mrobb
Date: 2005-07-12 15:52:02
Link to this Comment: 15466

For years before we knew that my aunt had alxheimers, my mom had been calling her flaky. One afternoon I sat with her while my uncle left on an errand. I remember her passing the mirror over her mantle, looking at the reflection and asking "Who's that?"

I still haven't recovered from that moment almost twenty years ago.

The "I Function"
Name: Laverne
Date: 2005-07-12 16:14:21
Link to this Comment: 15467

You mentioned a few behaviors that occur without "awareness" such as driving and sport performances, What I would like to know is if sleepwalking would be considered as a form of unconscious behavior? I think that when a person sleep walks both their motor and sensory neurons are sending output to neurons across the synapse. Since the nervous system can generate output without input would this be a behavior that occurs without "awareness"?
The "I function" would be a very interesting subject in story telling. It would be a great educational science activity for me to investigate and deliver to my students.

I-Function II
Name: Yaena Park
Date: 2005-07-12 16:14:54
Link to this Comment: 15468

John Dalton's questions about the I-function made me think more about the role of education related to the I-function. Are the educators supposed to help the students to use their I-Funcation as much as possible or to prevent them from turning it on? We've discussed that the purpose of science is to make people think for themselves. In that sense, we need to teach the student to turn on their I-function. But remember our conversation about learning languagues? One learns a language the best when he/she is not consciously thinking about it (when I-function is turned off). I'd like to see what other teachers think about this matter.

Just an additional thought, maybe the educator's role is to help students to distinguish when to turn on the I-function and when to turn it off.

Emily Dickenrson
Date: 2005-07-12 16:18:47
Link to this Comment: 15469

In the Emily Dickenson poem I feel that she is saying the capabilities and functions of the brain are as vast as the sky and then some. An examination of that story forces us to see the former story of stimulus and response as an inadequate way to view behavior. In this model it implies that some type of behavior to occur it must be proceeded by a stimulus. The problem is there are some behaviors that occur without outward stimulus. This forces us to rethink the model as one of boxes within boxes. Once we begin to look at the activities in the brain as a series of boxes within boxes, we can define the activities as inputs and outputs.

Date: 2005-07-12 16:20:11
Link to this Comment: 15470


Brain and Behavior/flux
Name: J. Odom
Date: 2005-07-12 16:26:28
Link to this Comment: 15471

After the discussion about how the brain and the nervous system function, it
is very important that people understand that the student's behavior is not highly influenced by outside behaviors. It is only a small part of the puzzle that makes up the student. The student is in a state of constant (flux) interpretation of experiences and processes already experienced. As a teacher, we must carefully guide the student to complete the process or try to use what has already begun in them from birth. Since the smallest boxes are the neurons in the nervous system, and most are interconnecting and processing information, we need to pattern our students learning that will best enhance their pattern or educational style that best fits them. As teachers, we need to keep the cables connected even though sometimes students will try to disconnect them. We must also be aware of sensory/motor overload which will sever the cables and the educational goals that we have set up will not make it to the "Brain".
I think the unconscious mind, the brain, is just a continuation of the flux which goes on when we are asleep or just concentrating on something else.
Since most of our students come to school semi-conscious, I think it will take them longer to process what they are learning and I believe sooner or later they will fully process their thoughts. They will be able to learn and experience learning.

Name: Miss T.
Date: 2005-07-12 16:29:29
Link to this Comment: 15472

Good Morning and Good Afternoon~
Upon reflection of yesterday, I left with the question of how to explain the extenuating variables,a.k.a. The Crack? I am able to explain 'The Crack', however I must do so in regard to this Science perspective of the Summer Institute. I am intrigued about encourging my teachers to teach from the position of making observations. I have no doubt I will better realize how do this and the importance of why I must from a Science point.

What intrigued me most today is the aspect of understanding the brain as it relates to education and what are the respective roles of the conscious and unconscious nervous system(s) in education? Wow! I never looked at my profession from these perspectives.

For sure, similarities are different.

Have a great evening!

Name: Anne Dalke
Date: 2005-07-12 22:10:43
Link to this Comment:

Okay, so I'm hooked. And provoked. And pushing back a bit.

The story about the brain that I overheard today works for me--to a degree. Getting a grip on the notion that what's inside me is "simply" a "humungous" number of neurons complexly connected to one another is an interestingly--and usefully--different way of talking about our insides than the way we teachers of literature generally go about it. Thinking of our students as assemblages of these "all the way down boxes" also got me thinking more about our possible--optimal?--roles as their teachers: are we (in Paul's terms) brain surgeons? Or engaged less violently (in Randal's terms) in "tinkering tactics" to elicit the desired behavior ? Or more tenderly (in Judith's terms) "tapping with care" into the tool? How intrusive are we? Should we be? --in altering the architecture of others' insides? There's always more than one brain in the room/world. Which is to say that...

...everything we know and experience we know and experience through the brain. The brain is our only means of knowing and experiencing whatever it is we know and experience. But that seems strikingly different to me than saying that "the brain IS all there is." Isn't there a pretty big jump from saying the brain is all we can know--or that all we know we can know only via the nervous system---to saying that "there is NOTHING BESIDES the brain"? I'm wondering why we are working with the latter (more provocative, surely?--but also less accurate? more solipsistic? less social? less right?) story?

That the brain filters/processes all our experience--yes. That "the" (my?) brain is ALL there is--well: there was a world before there was anyone conscious that there was a world (and there will be one after--whether we know it or not). I also suspect that there can be a self that is not conscious. You know, Emily Dickinson's poetry is famous for its ambiguities (all those dashes--her inability? her refusal? to use clear punctuation--so you can't quite tell which word modifies which word). The stanza Paul used to start off his lecture this morning actually doesn't say that the brain is wide enough to contain the sky "And You--besides" (meaning that the container includes "you"). It says,
"And You--beside--"
"You" is BEside/OUTside/NOT contained within the brain or its concepts.
"You" is not "I."
"You" could be someone else.
"You" could be "elsewhere" (echoes of one of this afternoon's questions, "Where is Christopher Reeve?" and the answer, "In his brain"--just dunno about this).

So: here's another poem, another story of the relation of our thinking/doing/experiencing self in the world (it's a self alone, which I don't much like. But the rest is good!). The poem is by Richard Wilbur and is called "Mind":

Mind in its purest play is like some bat
That beats about in caverns all alone,
Contriving by a kind of senseless wit
Not to conclude against a wall of stone.

It has no need to falter or explore;
Darkly it knows what obstacles are there,
And so may weave and flitter, dip and soar
In perfect courses through the blackest air.

And has this simile a like perfection?
The mind is like a bat. Precisely. Save
That in the very happiest intellection
A graceful error may correct the cave.

Our minds are like bats, because we know perfectly, and tacitly (without knowing how we know), how to negotiate the dark cave that is our world. But the comparison isn't exact. Our minds are also NOT like bats, because we can change the shape of the cave in which we find ourselves...

...and we might best/most gracefully do that--how? By making a mistake!

If that's the case, well then (to answer a couple of questions floating around here somewhere), maybe it's not desireable to start with a clear storyline. Maybe doing so constrains exploration. And maybe that's why "most people" still have a more "rigid" conception of science: because they want the constraints. Don't want to take on the responsibility of "correcting the cave"....?

day 2
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2005-07-13 07:53:54
Link to this Comment: 15476

LOTS of stuff to think about from yesterday's, and rich conversation conversation on it. More about this below but first ... This IS an institute about education, and "getting it less wrong" so let's start there. I thought yesterday was less successful than Monday. And there is perhaps a lesson there. Monday, in addition to observations and discussion, we had something to play with, something that gave everyone a chance to stop talking/thinking and just .... play, each in their own way, and think about THAT. Yesterday (for a variety of reasons) we didn't have such a thing and ... So maybe one shouldn't EVER fill a day with talking? Should ALWAYS have some play time (no matter how old the people in a class are, no matter how much the "teacher" thinks something is important/interesting)?

Still, some interesting ideas from yesterday. Here's what stuck in my mind. It's all brain? We're all brain surgeons? Whatever the origins of that story, its a pretty powerful one ... a different one. Enjoyed/appreciated the thought that maybe, before people realized you could affect people by affecting the brain there were already problems with older stories: that epilepsy seemed to be happening to people that it shouldn't happen to given older stories? Also liked the issues arising from the unconscious/conscious distinction. Should one pay more attention to the conscious in classrooms? to the unconscious? to both?

And the interesting notion that the brain makes up things itself, that what we see/hear/feel might actually be LESS when we have input. Along these lines, there was a relevant article in the Science Times section of the New York Times yesterday: Neuron Network Goes Awry, and Brain Becomes an IPod.

on the brain
Name: carol
Date: 2005-07-13 09:12:17
Link to this Comment: 15477

what exactly is the politics of all of this ?is there any real intent bythe powers that be to improve society at large.clearly the knowledge that "scientists' now have which enable us all to refine teaching and learning has not been used to create an educational system whereby all students are 'allowed' to achieve."we"continue to dialogue,but , the "urban"problem continues.if we wanted "all" to learn a massive overhaul would have taken place on a federal is interesting to find that numerous factors ,internal and external effect learning and so............

The Frog
Name: SMichael
Date: 2005-07-13 10:21:34
Link to this Comment: 15478

U-r-e-k-a ! I believe I have it! Brain and Behavior are closely associated! I understand the Neuron as the smallest box and as input/output element, connected to other boxes, but specialized to receive, process and transmit "information".
As I was processing the patterns of neuronal activity, I pondered the brain activity of the middle school child and I recalled an incident that occurred in my class. A student stated to me, "I'm going to throw this chair out the door"! It was almost time to pack up, so, I tried to reason with the student. I asked him to wait...(15-18 minutes) until we dismissed. He didn't say anything or do anything. In the mean time, we cleaned up and prepared for dismissal. At this time several minutes passed. As we lined up, he picked up the chair and threw it out the door. I asked him, "Why did you do that?" He replied, "I don't know!" I asked him again! He gave me the same answer. I was shocked he threw the chair and had no explanation for throwing it, also the fact that he threw the chair after all the other activities that were going on in the room. The "I" function is at work here!

Classroom climate
Name: mrobb
Date: 2005-07-13 13:13:45
Link to this Comment: 15479

Yesterday, I speculated about how students would respond to a teacher telling them that I'm offering you a story that you may choose to accept or replace with one more appropriate. Today I'm wondering about critiquing the previous day's experience on an overhead and asking students to respond.

There have been so many times as a teacher when I felt that I had led my class into foreign territory. Asking open ended questions or asking students to evaluate classroom experiences in an open discussion (rather than in whispers or private conversations)often left them silent and uncomfortable.
They weren't used to using evaluation as a legitimate part of learning; nor were they used to taking such a central role in their own learning.

Science and the web
Name: Cleat
Date: 2005-07-13 15:20:23
Link to this Comment: 15481

Wow!!!! The web and science make great bedfellows!!

Internet in the Classroom?
Name: Tiffany C.
Date: 2005-07-13 15:23:54
Link to this Comment: 15482

While I recognize the importance of using the internet in the classroom... I fear that the lack of working computers in my classroom will hinder this process.

To web or not to web?
Name: Randal Hol
Date: 2005-07-13 15:41:34
Link to this Comment: 15483

It has been several years since I first began consistently integrating web use as part of my educational program. I have often wondered has its implementation somehow been at the expense of other activities I no longer give much attention. Should I have been doing this, I wonder? I can safely say without reservation that the performance of my students has not improved nor worsened significantly over this duration. My point is that web use is a pretty stationary activity and somewhat isolative. I am not too sure if resigning "all" of my students to its use on a frequent basis is such a good idea. As a self-selected activity though, its benefits become far more obvious.

Name: shellie
Date: 2005-07-13 15:50:16
Link to this Comment: 15484

The WEB: Wow. The web is a great place for students to learn. There are so many different things one can do with it. m Just the fact that students are reading--great. I think you have to be organized with students when you use the web. You also need to supervise--it canget out of hand.

Don't be afraid--use it.

Exploring the web
Name: Laverne
Date: 2005-07-13 15:52:08
Link to this Comment: 15485

Learning to use the web as an educational tool definitely is a good thing. I never thought it would be so easy to design your own web page. Not only have I started my first web page, but I am learning how to copy and patse from the internet. Everything I did today I am sure I can teach to my student. I agree with you when you stated that the internet is rich enough to teach the different diversities of students. I also agree that the web should not only be used as resource, but a place to have fun. Today I had fun!

Name: J.Odom
Date: 2005-07-13 15:57:26
Link to this Comment: 15486

Today, I learned a lot and had a lot of fun trying to use html and twiki.
I know with practice I will get a lot better. I did have some trouble getting individual items onto the web but pratice makes perfect! Thanks for today! The links are still giving me trouble. I enjoyed the play today along with the work. Structured play is so important to learning!

day 3
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2005-07-14 09:50:37
Link to this Comment: 15489

Glad everyone (?) is interested in/excited about the twiki possibilities. Looking forward to seeing what we make with that this summer. Some new ideas for me And some general thoughts about the institute project assignment. Let's DO focus on "exploration" and "process" at least as much as content. Find an activity/game that would work (like Langton's Ant did?) and then frame it with some questions and provide some things that give context to peoples' explorations. "Connected play" .... as we talked about.

Another thing we talked about that sticks in my mind: starting with the idea that one is NOT an "authority" and acknowledging that in a class to one's students? And encouraging students to participate in "critiquing the previous day's experience"?

Name: J.Odom
Date: 2005-07-14 09:50:51
Link to this Comment: 15490

Some choices are easier to make than others. One small choice I made today was to either ride my bike to the institute or to walk here. Either way if it rains, I would get wet. I was satisfied with the choice of riding my bike, because it takes less time to get here.

After the fact
Name: Rosa
Date: 2005-07-14 09:51:36
Link to this Comment: 15491

I tend to exercise less in the summertime vs. the fall when I'm working. I tend to eat more during the summer time as well. For this reason, I've made a decision to get up earlier to do exercises. It's a matter of being fit or not.

Name: keith
Date: 2005-07-14 09:51:48
Link to this Comment: 15492

This summer I made the choice (or decision) to be a full time, stay-at-home dad. I made this decision over working for extra income and a few other opportunities that I had to give up to make this choice. Obviously earning extra income is important, but the opportunity to spend this kind of time with my son is much more important than extra money (especially since the government plans on taking 1/3 + of it anyway). I did it part time last summer and really enjoyed the experience even though it meant sacraficing other oppertunities (such as the oppertunity to be cast in a movie last summer). I found that I really wanted to do it full time. How often does one get that kind of opportunity?

At first I thought there would be a natural sense of feeling as though I "missed out." You cant just come and go as you please when dealing with a 5 year old. But I am pleased to say that hasn't occurred and in fact, there is a greater satisfaction than anticipated. The choice has been by far, one that I am really pleased to have made.

on choices
Name: carol
Date: 2005-07-14 09:52:18
Link to this Comment: 15493

during the past school year i made the choice to stop pursuing an administrative position within the school district. my reasons for doing so are numerous and cannot be recorded here.however,once I came to peace with the choice I've felt much better about a result i have decided to pursue my interest in psychology at one of the local universities.I believe that as i move along in tenure and interest this particular area will allow me to grow and present me with options in ways that the administrative niche would not

Name: Miss T.
Date: 2005-07-14 09:52:26
Link to this Comment: 15494

It was almost daunting making the decision to participate in both Summer institue sessions or just one. I learn much, and the stipend is apprecaited, but working hard 10 months and now working through another month...well it took serious thought. Often time off is needed for those personal issues put to the side during the school year.

I decided to sign up for both because, in my dealing with so many people on a daily basis (students, staff, and stakeholders), any insight I at least gleen into better dealing with them puts me at an advantage in all situations.

Name: shellie
Date: 2005-07-14 09:52:58
Link to this Comment: 15495

Three years ago I decided to change schools. This was a very big decision for me because I had been in my previous school for 23 years. I was concerned that there would be a principal change again. I talked to people in the new school, I weighed all the difference positive and negative. I still couldn't make a decision. When it came to the decision--I was downtown at a meeting next door to the transfer office. I felt it was fate so I turned in my papers.

Was this a good decision? After I did this I was worried and fearful of the unknown. This was the best decision for me. I love my new school and have been reborn. I needed change. This has given me some courage when decision making.

Name: Laverne
Date: 2005-07-14 09:53:15
Link to this Comment: 15496

The biggest choice I had to make recently would be my decision to go back to school. It wasn't a difficult choice to make, but I questioned could I do it. I wondered how school would fit in to my already busy life style. I was really nervous at first but as time went on I made the adjustments as needed. A simple choice I recently had to make was to hold off on paying a bill. I needed the money for something else. I fiddled around with the idea for about three days and decided to not pay the bill until next page. Everything worked out find.

Name: Laverne
Date: 2005-07-14 09:53:40
Link to this Comment: 15497

The biggest choice I had to make recently would be my decision to go back to school. It wasn't a difficult choice to make, but I questioned could I do it. I wondered how school would fit in to my already busy life style. I was really nervous at first but as time went on I made the adjustments as needed. A simple choice I recently had to make was to hold off on paying a bill. I needed the money for something else. I fiddled around with the idea for about three days and decided to not pay the bill until next page. Everything worked out find.

Name: Cleat
Date: 2005-07-14 09:59:47
Link to this Comment: 15498

A big choice that I recently had to make concerned my recovery from a very bad auto accident. I decided not to wallow in self pity and depression because of injuries that I sustained. I realized that there were people worse of than I who fight a battle everyday and win it. I figured if they could do it so could I, because I know that things could have been worse.

A smaller decision I had to make dealt with information I received concerning a friend of mine who is cheating on her husband with a woman. Should I tell him or not?

Name: Randal Hol
Date: 2005-07-14 10:02:07
Link to this Comment: 15499

My wife and I have outgrown our apartment. Actually, it has been the accumulation of my personal items that has brought this about. Nevertheless, it has been made clear to me that it is necessary for me to begin discarding items. The horror has been deciding on which items. At first, I thought about it from a tax preparation standpoint (items relevant to the last five years I would keep). This tactic was flawed on many levels. Next, I decided I would discard items representative of past points in my life (such as my martial arts video and magazine collection or materials from that sleighride through purgatory I fondly remember as student teaching) This did not work for me either. I then thought about clothing. This was easy, I would discard items I could no longer fit. Uh, wait a minute. I have been losing weight lately, so I couldn't do that. Crushed by all the thoughts of future frustrations, I petitioned to allow my items to remain in the home. My wife made the following mandate, either you throw some of your items out or I will. How dare her, I thought. Throw away my stuff! I am the boss here!-----------At the end on the month, I am placing my stuff in storage. That'll show her.

Name: mrobb
Date: 2005-07-14 10:05:26
Link to this Comment: 15500

I recently chose to burn a bridge, something I've been reluctant to do, until I decided that life was too short to hedge.

Name: John Dalto
Date: 2005-07-14 10:11:24
Link to this Comment: 15501

A decision which I've been struggling with for the last two years has been whether to retire or not. Recently, I committed to working another year. The decision was moderately easier this year because I didn't have to consider the School District's financial incentive. Nevertheless, it's a decision that I'm anguishing over and which has generated a lot of anxiety. I started this school year open-minded as to whether I would go another year. By the middle of October, I had clearly decided to continue for another year and perhaps work a few more years. In trying to evaluate why, I can only clearly distinguish that I felt involved with certain students and felt that I had a responsibility to see them graduate. I also receive a lot of satisfaction from my AP English class. I held this conviction through June, and it's only been this summer that I'm having some second thoughts about all of the duties confronting me in September. Work is intensely stressful, and I'm also heavily challenged outside of work. Indeed, I recognize that I have difficulty extricting myself from commitments. Part of my goal this year was to relinquish some responsibilities at work, yet I recognize that I failed and perversely added an additional duty in response to social pressure. I've done the same thing outside work through my expanding involvement with Great Books.
Part of my reluctance to just accept my decisions has been the recognition that there may be personal opportunities for development once I'm retired that I'm passing up by my persistance. Like many significant life choices it's a thorny one that doesn't come easily.

Name: Sherry Mor
Date: 2005-07-14 10:13:38
Link to this Comment: 15502

In May I had choose a new school location because my school for which I'd worked for the last 12
years was closing. Although I was anxious about making a change, I decided that I would really think about what I wanted to do with myself for the next few years. I thought about the usual things like the age , grade and academic level of the students I wanted to work with, the travel time and distance getting to and from a location, the size of the school or program, the building layout and air condition availabilty, and who would be my building administrator. Within the school district I had many positions to choose from. There was some pressure on me because of my seniority. The fact that I've worked in the district for so long meant that I would have to choose my location early and other positions that I could prefer would come up later in the summer. However once I made my choice from the school list It wouldd be permanent unless I could interview somewhere else to get a position. With all that I had to make a decision about what criteria was more important to me. I had several administrator friends that asked me to come to their school, the thought intrigued me in a few cases but that's not what influenced my final decision. As I talked with friends many of them were going for safety and security and as little challenge or risk as possible. The more I thought about it I realized that'snot what I wanted. I wanted a challenge of something new and different for me. I wanted to deal with some personal interest. A feeling of adventure was really important to me. That's why I choose the Kensington School of Culinary Arts. It's a new program to begin in September. I known it's going to be choatic in the beginnig, There will be many challenges and I will need to be flexible and patient. I am more excited than I've been in a long time, I can't wait for school to start!

Date: 2005-07-14 11:45:49
Link to this Comment: 15504

Choice again
Name: Cleat
Date: 2005-07-14 11:46:43
Link to this Comment: 15505 it that hard to make one? What if we lived in a society that didnt allow us to make any?

Reply to Kim Cassidy
Name: Miss T.
Date: 2005-07-14 11:56:25
Link to this Comment: 15506

Thanks Kim. Great to see you again.

Once again this institute takes us to the place of "getting 'it' less wrong", although not in direct oppossition of getting 'it' right. In order to 'get' anything, we must make choices. Today's A.M. session gives thought to the more choices we have, the more of a maximizer we are.

I believe that in many cases the more choices we have, the more well rounded a decision we are able to make. However, I do realize more choices may add to the frustration of having to choose at all.

Less thought in making a decision does not make us a satificer, nor does more thought make us a maximizer. The process depends on the issue and the variables.

All decision requires some thought, some decisions requiring more or less thought than others. Many decisions will require labored thought (prayer).

I further believe that our ultimate choices need to reflect "WWJD".

Date: 2005-07-14 11:57:34
Link to this Comment: 15507

This was a very interesting topic. Kim is always a pleasure to experience.

Thinking about this topic, I have many new ideas floating in my head. 1--getting it less wrong has really helped my maximizer brain. I would still be sitting thinking what,what,what is the right thing to say. 2--how will i be able to help my students who are maximizers? There needs to be ways to help students make decisions in a timely fashion. They sometimes are very overwhelmed. I am thinlking about having them make easy decisions and see if they can carry this over to more difficult decisions. I plan to read the book and see if i get any ideas about this.
3--How can one teach people to be statisfied after they make a decision? It is such a waste of time once a decision is made. I tend to maximize yet once I make a decision I am done. 4. I am pleased to learn that as an education it is less helpful to give students too many choices.

Name: mrobb
Date: 2005-07-14 11:59:36
Link to this Comment: 15508

Great topic and where it went was even more interesting.

I thought of all the men who are being freed from prison because of DNA evidence. For years some have proclaimed their innocence and been imprisoned until OJ's case came along and held out hope for them. Others, as guiltless, agreed to plead, maybe they were released, but with convictions for crimes they didn't commit and the attendant employment, social, and parole problems. The maximizer-satisficer label doesn't apply here.

Date: 2005-07-14 12:01:25
Link to this Comment: 15509



The Paradox of Choice
Name: John Dalto
Date: 2005-07-14 12:02:25
Link to this Comment: 15510

Our presentation on Barry Schwartz's "The Paradox of Choice" was very thought provoking. His differentiation of "maximizers" and "satisficers" is very intriguing. It does seem that our society is reacting in diverse ways to too much choice. Recently, I've been appalled by what you might term the "escape from freedom" that is exhibited within our culture. People are reacting negatively not only to too much choice, but to too much information. They are becoming increasingly anti-intellectual. When confronted with extensive information that requires choice, they are seeking relief from the anxiety that is generated by resorting to authorities. Unfortunately, everyone wants to be told what to think. I find such passivity a very dangerous trend that could have disastrous consequences especially in the loss of civil liberties. Evidence of this trend cn be seen in the increased distrust of science and the embracing of more "magical" kinds of knowledge.

Date: 2005-07-14 12:56:19
Link to this Comment: 15511


Too Much Choice?
Name: Randal Hol
Date: 2005-07-14 13:13:44
Link to this Comment: 15512

Often, many have cast aspersions at western society for its inherent characteristic of freedom of choice. That is, it's a society that presents its citizens with far too many unnecessary choices that tend to cloud one's judgement and reduces one's ability to behave in a manner that is beneficial to the society in general. Those who are fanatical in this view feel this societal characteristic will one day lead to some sort of cataclysmic end for us. These individuals are also deeply concerned with the spread of this characteristic, almost likening it to a societal strain of virus. Are they correct in this view of western society? I do not feel that those living in this period of time are fit to jugde on this matter in any regard. Perhaps, one will need to look at a more broader period of time before any appropriate conclusions can be made as to the societal success of western society. This will take a millennium or maybe even longer. What our critics fail to realize is that while lodging thoughts on our "undoing", their society may be coming unglued at an even faster rate. Maybe we all should just relax a bit in our criticisms of others and simply see what happens.

Emo Remark
Name: Randal Hol
Date: 2005-07-14 13:47:07
Link to this Comment: 15514

Emo is a comedian, who tends to be a little offputting for most folks. I found him a little funny though. He once made this remark, "I used to think the brain was the most fascinating part of the human body. But then I thought, look what's telling me that."

Making choices
Name: Laverne
Date: 2005-07-14 15:42:20
Link to this Comment: 15515

Today',s guest speaker was very interesting and informative. I enjoyed her presentation very much. It is not often people get the opportunity to discuss subjects such as making choices. In fact this is the first time I have ever indulged in a conversation such as choices. It really make's you think, and then take inventory of yourself. The survey was interesting also. I was amost afraid to find out what category according to Mr.Barry Schwartz, I would fall under. But, it was pleasing to find out I'm not that unusal.

Date: 2005-07-14 15:51:46
Link to this Comment: 15516


The Idea of Play in Education
Name: Sherry Mor
Date: 2005-07-14 15:53:05
Link to this Comment: 15517

My son wanted to give me some advice about students that the thought teachers need to know.
"Mom , students just want to have fun. If teachers would make their activities fun the students would learn more and behave better." I always keep that in mind when I plan my lessons.

day 3
Date: 2005-07-14 15:53:18
Link to this Comment: 15518

day 3
Name: Sherry Mor
Date: 2005-07-14 15:58:38
Link to this Comment: 15519

I'm really enjoying myself in this class. What I learned on Tuesday and Wednesday have been materials I've been trying to get a handle on for at least 3 years. I am very aware that Paul models everything that he wants to teach us. I'm beginning to think about how I present materials and concepts to students to help them learn.

Date: 2005-07-14 16:09:35
Link to this Comment: 15520

Name: J.Odom
Date: 2005-07-14 16:10:28
Link to this Comment: 15521

I liked the concept that Kim Cassidy presented from Barry Schwartz's making choices. I have experienced the many choices verse the few choices.
Most students prefer less choices. The maximizers and satisfizer is an interesting concept especially if it can be applied to behavior of students.

Date: 2005-07-14 16:13:30
Link to this Comment: 15522


Name: Linda Slat
Date: 2005-07-15 08:58:52
Link to this Comment: 15523

I missed the talk on choices, but I made a choice to come to this institute in spite of the many obstacles in my way. I made a choice to make some time for myself even though my family has put a lot of demands on my time. I chose to learn more and get some brain stimulation this summer. I still haven't figured out how to best integrate this learning into my counseling practice at Fels, but I trust I will develop something.

day 4
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2005-07-15 12:39:15
Link to this Comment: 15524

Very rich day with and in reaction to Kim/choices. Lots of issues from satisficing/maximizing, including its relation to male/female, risk-taking/security seeking, optimism, pessimism. And how all that can be related to/thought about in terms of the nervous system. Interesting session too on "assignment", peoples' reactions to it, ways to rethink defining it.

Preparing new teachers
Name: mrobb
Date: 2005-07-15 13:09:14
Link to this Comment: 15525

I wish that new teacher candidates had the opportunity to learn about brain function before they enter the classroom. It would change our prespective if we appreciated what's going on in the brains of our students. We might see greater possibilites, understand why we have to set higher expectations, be more tolerant of the becoming process even as we shape it.

Neurons and how they work.
Date: 2005-07-15 14:10:13
Link to this Comment: 15526

Now that I understand more about neurons/nervous system, I understand that behavior is what changes the nervous system. I know that the nervous system is forever changing and these changes can and do occur without input. So when asked "what is choice" "what is maximizing and what is satisficing" etc. and are these questions about neurons or assemblies. I would have to say they are questions about both neurons and assemblies (the way things are put together). Since the nervous system is all neurons and when one behaves in a certain way it is because of the architect of the nervous system, when we are making choices we are changing the structure of the nervous system through neurons. This is called action potential which is created within the nervous system . How knowing this makes me think different about behavior I am not sure yet.

Name: keith
Date: 2005-07-15 14:45:55
Link to this Comment: 15527

Is random really ideal when we talk about the processes of the brain? In other words, does random offer a paradox of stability when there are a multitude of processes taking place at once. Is it efficient?

I am not trying to elicit an answer here, but I do feel that I have a better understanding of what Paul was talking about. The game on the site, A Voyage of Exploration really helped me to see what implications "random" plays in decision making. How it can actually save time (especially when faced with a labyrinth of choices, or behaviors). I won't give away the "moral" of ths story. Play it yourself and see. But I think you will find that "random" makes you feel more "clever". But also saves you a lot of time!!!!!!!!!

(In some cases)

Knowing About Neurons
Name: J.Odom
Date: 2005-07-15 15:11:15
Link to this Comment: 15528

Understanding that the action potential found in neurons relates significantly to the outcome of a child's learning experience, I think that teachers can over stimulate their students! The saying, " Less is More!," applies here! I must learn how to stimulate less , play more, and encourage my students to change certain unwanted behaviors effectively. Again, with practice I will get better at doing this! Today's morning session was excellent, because it had me looking at my behavior of overstimulation in the classroom, as a teacher, and relate this to how it ultimately affects the desired behavior that I want from my students!

Name: shellie
Date: 2005-07-15 15:23:42
Link to this Comment: 15529

The more I practice on Twiki the more I am getting it less wrong. My problem is that I do not use it and then I lose it. This is something to think about for students. We must find ways to keep them doing, learning and redoing.

It seems those inhibitory synapses get in the way of educating our students. They are not responding. If we could get our students to respond either consciously or unconsciously we would better off. But we should remember that a lot is going on even if we think students are not there.

day 5
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2005-07-15 16:11:09
Link to this Comment: 15530

Thanks for conversation during and about thinking about neurons. Want myself to remember the conversation about the nervous system being changed by itself and the Mississippi River and stability because of (rather than despite) change (Heraclitus turned out to be right, given observations since). And about knowing things without knowing how we know them and about conscious/unconscious as both patterns of action potentials but it different parts of nervous system. Speaking of which, from earlier this week, I also want to remember the (new) argument that pain must be a pattern of activity in the brain since Christopher Reeves said he did not feel pain when his toe was pinched.

week 2
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2005-07-17 17:29:19
Link to this Comment: 15534

Welcome back. Don't worry, all older thoughts here can be found in the forum archive (if they're not visible above). And you can go back through the notes of our discussions via links from the schedule page. So ... what are you thinking? About patterns of activity ... that can start themselves ... and change the nervous system .... and .... ?

Time toi Think
Name: shellie
Date: 2005-07-18 10:31:38
Link to this Comment: 15538

Oh well, just when I thought I was getting it less wrong I lost my information. I didn't write it down and I didn't save it. By getting it wrong I am learning to get it less wrong the next time.

Yes it definitely takes time to think.
This was a lot of fun. I could see students really enjoying this activity. This would get the students involved. I see how you really need to have more and more computers in the schools. Each student should have access to their own computer if possible.

thinking takes time
Name: Sherry Mor
Date: 2005-07-18 10:33:42
Link to this Comment: 15543

Act Times (in milliseconds): 371, 318, 261, 290, 244, 212, 315, 272, 325, 275
Think, Act Times (in milliseconds): 289, 329, 338, 440, 365, 260, 459, 300, 404, 352
Read, Think, Act Times (in milliseconds): 745, 760, 508, 1013, 651, 730, 662, 597, 490, 524
Read, Negate-Think, Act Times (in milliseconds): 881, 951, 787, 1210, 1013, 641, 662, 729, 715, 748
Act Time: 288 ± 44 milliseconds
Think, Act Time: 353 ± 62 milliseconds
Read, Think, Act Time: 668 ± 149 milliseconds
Read, Think-Negate, Act Time: 833 ± 171 milliseconds
Time to Act: 288 ± 44 milliseconds
Time to Think: 65 ± 77 milliseconds
Time to Read: 315 ± 162 milliseconds
Time to Negate: 165 ± 227 milliseconds;

It is a great exhibit. Students will find it fun. It can be used in a variety of classrooms. As a educator I feel I could used this info as a snapshot of which students have a time to read and a time to think score. It would allow me to be aware of the amount of time I give during a lesson for students responding to questions or reading a direction then responding etc.

Time to Think
Name: John Dalto
Date: 2005-07-18 13:20:25
Link to this Comment: 15544

Act Times (in milliseconds): 446, 223, 246, 258, 228, 204, 329, 267, 197, 180
Think, Act Times (in milliseconds): 332, 323, 360, 315, 371, 348, 449, 391, 321, 410
Read, Think, Act Times (in milliseconds): 538, 423, 1366, 472, 511, 714, 535, 587, 468, 578
Read, Negate-Think, Act Times (in milliseconds): 1870, 948, 857, 774, 935, 1151, 644, 779, 613, 330
Act Time: 257 ± 75 milliseconds
Think, Act Time: 362 ± 42 milliseconds
Read, Think, Act Time: 619 ± 261 milliseconds
Read, Think-Negate, Act Time: 890 ± 389 milliseconds
Time to Act: 257 ± 75 milliseconds
Time to Think: 105 ± 86 milliseconds
Time to Read: 257 ± 265 milliseconds
Time to Negate: 271 ± 469 milliseconds;

My initial reaction involved a lot of irritating frustration because I wanted to score higher than the average. What that says about my mind set remains to be seen. I was also annoyed because I wasn't rewarded with a tally when I followed directions correctly that were telling me not to act. Reward works as a motivting force, I suppose. The experiments seem to confirm that certain kinds of discriminations (dark versus light box, following directions, identifying the opposite direction) warrant the assumption that this sort of thinking takes time. It doesn't, however, make me fully comfortable that this comprises thinking, or that there aren't other kinds of discriminations that better exemplify thinking.

Brain architecture
Name: mrobb
Date: 2005-07-18 13:34:33
Link to this Comment: 15545

Gullivers'Travels - without knowing the "science" of the brain other cultures are having better outcomes in the classroom. Must we now relearn/learn old lessons?

Symphonic Motor Response
Name: John Dalto
Date: 2005-07-18 13:35:24
Link to this Comment: 15546

The idea that many of our motor responses are autonomic, unconscious and without a reafferant I-Function imput is highly suggestive. It's hard for me to conceptualize just how prevlent this is. I assume that I have an inherent bias towards reaffirming the I-Function as the source of behavior. It still seems to me that for ideal performance that you would want some Zen synthesis of mind and no-mind for mastery.

Symphonic Motor Response
Name: John Dalto
Date: 2005-07-18 13:46:46
Link to this Comment: 15547

The idea that many of our motor responses are autonomic, unconscious and without a reafferant I-Function imput is highly suggestive. It's hard for me to conceptualize just how prevlent this is. I assume that I have an inherent bias towards reaffirming the I-Function as the source of behavior. It still seems to me that for ideal performance that you would want some Zen synthesis of mind and no-mind for mastery.

Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2005-07-18 13:59:00
Link to this Comment: 15549

Some additional thoughts related to the Time to Think exhibit were posted in a forum associated with that exhibit. Click here for those.

output side
Name: shellie
Date: 2005-07-18 14:03:07
Link to this Comment: 15550

This is interesting for educators. I read over some of the extra notes on this lesson. It makes sense that according to all these things that an educator needs to present an environment that is conducive to exploration. In a safe setting which encourages exploration students hopefully will learn. They will intereact in their own brain and produce observations which will instigate other observation. There is more than what teachers present to students that helps learning. Oh well,I feel that I am getting more confused

7-18-05 comments: Head off, not split...
Name: Miss T.
Date: 2005-07-18 14:05:50
Link to this Comment: 15551

I understand what has been presented in today's A.M. session. However, I believe that the parts in motion, after the brain has been detached, are operating in frustration of being cut off.

My further belief is two-fold:
I. The initial movement of the parts that they are exhibiting is a result of information having already been received.
II. Once they have carried out the stored instruction, the result will either be random and/or no motion.

Case in point, the chicken with their head cut off.

Reafferent loop
Name: Antoinette
Date: 2005-07-18 14:06:37
Link to this Comment: 15552

It is good to have my nervous system challenged! My reaction to the reafferent loop after having been exposed to the concept two years ago is one of a willingness to try to see how this cana make a difference to and for my students. The summer institute for me is a place to have a playground for experiences that I am able to take back to the classroom and play somem new games with my students. In working with students with learning disabilities for the past eight years, I have learnrd tht some "learning' tkes place in spite of me, some learning takes place with my direct input and other learning takes plce simply becauase when my students are ready, some things begin to take hold and stick with them. This concept helps to relieve some of my pressures of self expectation. When I begin to realize that providing the atmosphere for my students be challenged and make mistaakes is equally important to getting it right right, I get closer to what I need to do as an educator.
Hopefully as I transition to an administrator in the not so distant future, I will remember to allow my teachers to be chllenged and make mistakes, instead of fucusing solely on "getting it right."

Time To Think
Date: 2005-07-18 14:08:29
Link to this Comment: 15553

Act Times (in milliseconds): 261, 254, 289, 549, 376, 413, 362, 262, 345, 331
Think, Act Times (in milliseconds): 514, 527, 452, 599, 402, 561, 527, 777, 741, 599
Read, Think, Act Times (in milliseconds): 906, 765, 788, 738, 537, 648, 929, 812, 830, 774
Read, Negate-Think, Act Times (in milliseconds): 1629, 1041, 1518, 1151, 38, 1223, 1285, 954, 2328
Act Time: 344 ± 86 milliseconds
Think, Act Time: 569 ± 111 milliseconds
Read, Think, Act Time: 772 ± 110 milliseconds
Read, Think-Negate, Act Time: 1240 ± 577 milliseconds
Time to Act: 344 ± 86 milliseconds
Time to Think: 225 ± 141 milliseconds
Time to Read: 203 ± 157 milliseconds
Time to Negate: 468 ± 588 milliseconds;

The experiment,"Time To Think" tweaked my curiosity about how the nervous system affects learning and it also challenged me to have "fun" by causing me to compete against myself. I started the experiment with the concept,"I don't want to be a loser."Therefore, I found myself competing against myself.Additionally, I became disappointed with myself, when I failed to respond to the question correctly. There was an overwhelming need for me to prove to myself,I could complete each case study with the least amount of time recored previously. However, each case study presented you with a higher "order of thinking".Thus,I noticed the more I had to process what I was thinking, my score increased because it took me longer to select an answer.

Time Think
Name: laverne
Date: 2005-07-18 14:43:42
Link to this Comment: 15554

Data submitted:
Act Times (in milliseconds): 253, 200, 502, 201, 220, 256, 394, 467, 256, 228
Think, Act Times (in milliseconds): 522, 911, 1010, 646, 443, 516, 702, 611, 647, 856
Read, Think, Act Times (in milliseconds): 3853, 1287, 525, 780, 436, 416, 324, 266, 586, 467
Read, Negate-Think, Act Times (in milliseconds): 1323, 1747, 2015, 1552, 1452, 1471, 1636, 1361, 2675, 1118
Act Time: 297 ± 108 milliseconds
Think, Act Time: 686 ± 176 milliseconds
Read, Think, Act Time: 894 ± 1025 milliseconds
Read, Think-Negate, Act Time: 1635 ± 418 milliseconds
Time to Act: 297 ± 108 milliseconds
Time to Think: 389 ± 207 milliseconds
Time to Read: 208 ± 1041 milliseconds
Time to Negate: 741 ± 1107 milliseconds;

This experiment left me with a lot of questions about my self. I was o.k. doing the "ACT" as well as "Think, ACT". But, when I got to "Read, Think, and Act" I felt a bit confused, not because I couldn't do it but because I felt I should have done it better. The Read, Negate, Act Time was probable worst then the one before. It seems the more I have to do the longer it takes for me to respond. I would like to try this experiment on a day that I am not nearly as tired as I am today, just to see if it makes a difference or if it's just me!

Symphonic Motor Response
Date: 2005-07-18 15:21:04
Link to this Comment: 15555

Presently, my brain and nervous system including my I-Function all are feeling somewhat out of sort right now ! Due to the pattern of activities going on in the nervous system,a motor symphony is created. These actions are produced by many neurons. The symphony is being created as the motor out/put is being made. The symphony is being written as it is being performed. Output affects input. Output creates input as well input creates output .I think this has to do with the "reafferent loop".

Motor Symphony
Name: Sherry Mor
Date: 2005-07-18 15:41:31
Link to this Comment: 15556

When I incorporate what we discussed today with our past discussions I have to ask some questions:
"Are we as educators actually unwittingly inhibiting learning in our students by the way we teach
because we are trying to be the conductor in most instances?" Are we spending to much time teaching to the concious as opposed to generating activities which allow students to explore and
and learn.? If learning is the process of generating output and having the expectation of the input to match the input then making changes when it does not match. Then we must realize that learning is personal and comes from within. It is also unconcious and is always taking place.

The output side of the box.
Name: Laverne
Date: 2005-07-18 15:43:42
Link to this Comment: 15557

I only heard an hour of the lecture today, but yes I do think these observations of the nervous system are very interesting and useful for educator to know about. Take our group for instance every lecture you give it's like reading a new informative book. We are educators and most of this information is foreign to us. The information is good useful material that could be discussed with students, and the more we use this information the better we will be at discussing the Nervous System, the Brain, the I function, Neurons, dendrites,axons, synapses and choices. Today..........
I learned that the motor symphony which is "endless action" that influence the pattern of motor neurons. I learned that there can be motor symphony action without the reafferent loop and that the motor score which are bundle's of neurons in some configuration is not to be equated with genetics.

Knowing About Neurons
Date: 2005-07-18 16:11:00
Link to this Comment: 15558

Today, I learned that action potential found in neurons relate significantly to the outcome of children's learning experiences,

Time/Motor Neuron S ymphony
Name: J.Odom
Date: 2005-07-18 16:14:10
Link to this Comment: 15559

I enjoyed this morning session. I lost my reaction times but wrote them down: Act Time 229ms; Time to Think 165ms;Time to Read 372ms;Time to Negate 280ms;I think this was a result of all the sugar from the donuts I ate this morning. I think, I really learned to adapt to the situation like children do when they play a video game, but sugar doesn't hurt! I understand more about why I do certain things without much thought and why sometimes I think too much about it and still do not get it right. Sometimes, I think I am creating motor symphonies in my sleep and the score is produced when I get up,Is that possible? Conflict is the mismatch of my life lately and you just made a lot of sense of it. Yes,I would use this in my classroom but I need more practice at it to get things less wrong. There is still some mismatches in my inputs and outputs!

day 6
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2005-07-18 17:11:26
Link to this Comment: 15560

Nice to have some people who have been here before describe the institute as the Mississippi River, also changing but always still .... "focused", coherent in some way? Thanks for that, is something I enjoy too, a kind of constancy built on change? Looking around, exploring, playing, not aimlessly but ... to see where one can go from where one is? "Are we as educators actually unwittingly inhibiting learning in our students by the way we teach
because we are trying to be the conductor in most instances? ... we must realize that learning is personal and comes from within" (Sherry)? Constancy built on change? In all classrooms, for everyone?

Thanks too for thoughts about when/where the I-function clearly DOES become relevant, when one NOTICES that the pen has run out of ink and hence looks around for something different to do? We need to spend just a little more time on the architecture on the output side of the nervous system and how the I-function fits into that .... and then we'll go on to the sensory side.

Is that all there is?
Name: Linda Slat
Date: 2005-07-19 09:20:31
Link to this Comment: 15564

Yesterday's lecture on the output side of the nervous system was overwhelming with concepts, and in gererating new questions. I think I could hear it all again, and make more connections and sense of it all.
I thought a lot about what conditions are needed for learning, and what I see my students being especially good at learning. I sometimes think that they can easily pick up on teachers mood, sarcasm, and enthusiasm, but to a lesser extent pick up on the concepts being taught. Is this a function of patterns in the brain, interest, inhibition....? Perhaps through self protection, they have learned unconsciously to pay more attention to their environment in school, as in home or neighborhood. After the lecture I thought about how learning through computer programs may be the answer to creating a more curious environment for experimentation and learning.

The read and answer questions methods I see are just not doing the trick, although some are learning in spite of it.

Blind Spots
Name: John Dalto
Date: 2005-07-19 13:14:11
Link to this Comment: 15566

Perceptual blind spots are not necessarily a new idea, so in some ways it's easier for me to digest. Nevertheless, there's still a sense in which I want to balk at its implications. If you recognize, that the reality that you perceive is partly a construction, then the inescapable conclusion is that everyone experiences different realities and that perhaps the real miracle is that we can agree on anything. I'm curious as to just what portion of our perceptions are "filling in." Quantity matters.

Now you see you dont
Name: Cleat
Date: 2005-07-19 13:16:21
Link to this Comment: 15567

We continue to see the wide effects of the brain on our behavior. This time we see it through our eyes. Wonders never cease when it comes to our brain. The more we "see" the more we dont "see." As my grandmother use to say,"a shut eye is not always closed."

blind spot
Name: shellie
Date: 2005-07-19 13:18:17
Link to this Comment: 15568

This is really scary. If we make up all this with our vision imagine what we do with our emotions. The good thing about this--now that I know that brain just makes up a lot of stuff could I"i" consciously do it. In answer to this, I DO NOT THINK SO. I do not think the "i" function is what makes all this up. I do think it is the nervous system that does it. I am going back and testing out this story. I am going to see if i can make a blind spot appear.

Name: J.Odom
Date: 2005-07-19 13:19:02
Link to this Comment: 15569

I had difficulty experiencing the blindspot because I had to remove my glasses to see the screen which in turn caused me to get a headache when trying to look at the +. The paper test was more effective than this was. I am disappointed. I did enjoy the presentation from this morning!

Brain and Behavior and Austism
Name: SMichael
Date: 2005-07-19 13:20:00
Link to this Comment: 15570

As I process the functions of the nervous system and the relationship of our actions and reactions, I think abut the behaviors of children who response involuntarily to many experiences.
I now understand that the nervous system is an input/output device for information. It contains motor neurtons, generates central patterns in processing and has corollary discharges. I wondered about the realationship to autism, specifically in children. I had a class (small) of autistic children. I realized early in the year that the children are very rountine. I showed the students how to boot-up, select the student account, and access the icon for the software. One particular day the children entered the classroom, went to their seats and started work. Normally, they would cut the computers on, or off to re-start then, next select the software they wished to use. On this day, I asked all the children to turn around in their chairs so I could give then additional instructions about the software. On student ( who speaks very little) in the class became flustered and animated and stated, "NO! We can't do it". I realized their "I" function was directing involuntary responses (their class routine) and the disruption to the rountine left them with no vountary response to my changes in the class. Needless to say I stopped and let the normal pace of the class return. I understand how the neurons in the brain are constantly changes and in observing autism I noticed different response outputs because of the "I" function. Thus, I re-grouped and demonstrated on one eMac to let the children see and watch me as they processed the experience for themselves.

Langton's Ant
Name: John Dalto
Date: 2005-07-19 13:22:11
Link to this Comment: 15571

I passed this on to an ex-student who's attending Penn and this is his reaction:

I don't think this website breaks any "philosophical ice" as they say. Who is to say that the road is less "random" or more "purposeful" than the ant's initial "erratic" behavior. It's us humans who observe the ant move in a linear fashion and recognize that as quasi planned or whatever. This is because we are trained to recognize shapes. There could be an alien observer somewhere who is trained to recognize a different shape, and would not recognize the road at all. It would see that as random behavior. It would only recognize some other sequence of its behavior and call that planned.

In the website's conclusion it still gives us several posibilities that may or may not be the case (purpose versus randomness). As a didactic tool I guess it is preparing its students for a lifetime of oblivion. I believe the answer is singular and simple.

Date: 2005-07-19 13:25:37
Link to this Comment: 15573

It all makes sense I remember my dad yelling (during driving lessons)"DONT forget about your Blindspot". Because of my vision I had a hard time with the activities...

Name: keith
Date: 2005-07-19 13:25:54
Link to this Comment: 15574

OUCH!!! I got a headache. I found it interesting that, not only do things disappear, but you can actually begin to see things that aren't there. For example the different colored dots on one side appear for a short time on the other side when there are contrasting colors. this seems to illustrate even farther that the brain is creating images.

7-19-05 Comments: Why don't I really see red?
Name: Miss tT.
Date: 2005-07-19 13:28:44
Link to this Comment: 15576

In the words of Ennis Cosby, "Hello friend".

As I went through each set of optical bi-views I found things disappearing and blending in. Once I focused on a specific aspect of each combined view, everything else seemed to fade away.

In the instance of the last right view (yellow dot highlighted in black on white surrounded by red dots, I kept in view the cross on the left and the red dots only seemed to remain on the right.

Ah, how can this be, if I do not see red?!

How much fun would class be if we did this as an experiment with our students? How much fun would be professional developments be if we brought fun into the session?

Now you see;now you don't
Name: Rosa
Date: 2005-07-19 13:28:49
Link to this Comment: 15577

Knowing that we all have blind spots speaks volumns. I was particularly amused when I was able to pick up all the red dots on the right page but not the yellow dot. I imagine that because a lot of red (dots) were on the form that the left eye could pick it up. Because the yellow color was minimal, it couldn't pick it up.

Application for me is when teaching writing it becomes important for students to understand that they can not trust the naked eye when proof reading. It takes deliberate proofing in order to edit -which may involve several proofing attempts.

Harmony or disharmony, who decides?
Name: Randal Hol
Date: 2005-07-19 13:28:50
Link to this Comment: 15578

The very idea that images are being formed in one's mind and are not entirely resulting from what one is actually seeing is somewhat disturbing. It should be, for what determines if the made up image poses a threat or not to oneself? The overall function of the nervous system as it pertains to vision suggests that it is an inherent feature for the brain to continually decide as to how to fill in one's blindspot. It is here that deeply concerns me and should concern all of you! What if the nervous system does not recognize that an image it wishes to create is detrimental to the being? (such as filling in your bildspot with an image, but the actual image poses an upcoming threat) For example, if one is driving a car then there are continual images being created in your blindspots. But what if a spider was dangling from the overhead light in your car? By the time one finally "sees" it, its presence may startle you and cause an accident. Had one seen it an earlier moment, when its distance was perhaps greater, then you could have planned a more effective strategy than crashing the car into a tree.

Am meeting 7/19/05
Name: Antoinette
Date: 2005-07-19 13:29:03
Link to this Comment: 15579

Inhibitions and learning...
There are many times that as a teacher I think that i am responsible to excite various parts of my student's brains. It could be that I need to practice inhibiting various parts of my students brains. Learning may be equal to an equal combination of inhibitions and excitatory actions. What place does the "I-function" have in learning????? It seems that soemtimes not only does it get in the way, but it can be counter intiuitive. Letting the brain, nervous system play may be one of the best ways to learn. Maybe Maria Montessori was right, and maybe all school need to follow her learning principes more closely.

Date: 2005-07-19 13:31:10
Link to this Comment: 15581

Blind Spots
Name: Antoinette
Date: 2005-07-19 13:31:33
Link to this Comment: 15582

This shows the interesting distinction between 'vision' and perception. I noticed woth the blind spot experiment this morning that with the dot on lined yellow paper, once my 'blind spot refelx' kicked in, my brain 'saw' the verticle lines continue on the paper. While continuing to play with the blind spots, I noticed a closure/completion of what ever the backround/field area was were the spot was located.(Once it enterd my blind spot.)
Interestingly enough I 'LEARNED' from the Summer Institute sign conversation... often when I am writing a paper, when I 'try' to type the word "from"...I end up typing the word "form" ... I am completly unalbe to notice this when I proof read my own papers. Maybe what I 'see' and perceive' are not in conflict with each other. Does this explain my spelling difficulties???????

day 7
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2005-07-19 14:23:55
Link to this Comment: 15585

Rich, as has been each day. Thinking about a lot of different things as a result of our conversations, many in ways I haven't quite thought thought before. Thanks to all. For myself (and any one else interested): still mulling the Mississippi metaphor, for students, teachers, classes, and ... And still realizing how significant the "its a pattern of activity in the I-function" idea is, how many different things it applies to. And how it gives one new room to think about ways to change what is seen/felt/thought and so on (both by others and by oneself). Glad to have autism (and emotional disturbance) raised as issues too. The woman I mentioned is Donna Williams who wrote Nobody Nowhere: The Extraordinary Autobiography of an Autistic.

7-15-05 contribution: A game for you, your stude
Name: Miss T.
Date: 2005-07-19 15:01:45
Link to this Comment: 15586

Using your right foot, rotate it at the ankle, in a clockwise direction.

Do this for a few seconds.

While continuing to do this, use either of your index fingers and make the number 6, in the air in front of you. *What happens? *Why does this happen?

If you change the variables (opposite foot, opposite hand, same hand to foot), is the result the same or different? If so, how?

Why does this happen? What is going on inside our brain?

Any explanations?

Observations of Paul
Name: Sherry Mor
Date: 2005-07-20 00:35:24
Link to this Comment: 15587

As educators should we teach to the concious or unconcious sections of the brain? My thinking about this question led me to study Paul's behavior during our class sessions. Here's my observations:
1.Paul models all teaching techniques prior to discussing them with the class. Ex."You have to do before you can think about something" -Each lesson he presents the concept, then an actvity or discussion, then writing in the forum.
2.Provides constant repitition for key concepts he wants the class to remember- getting it less wrong, story telling, pattern of activities...
3.Quizzes orally to check understanding, reviews if we appear confused
4.Pauses when he asks a question to give us time to think about answer.
5.Started the class session by geting to know something about each of us.
6.Inserts pictures of students in class, provides novelty, therefore connection.
7.Controls the pace of the class- students can't go ahead. Links to lesson not available until day of lesson.
8. Learning is pesonal-Provides opportunities to extend learning with ample resources each lesson.
9 Provides writing opportunities in non threatening
10.Chunks prensentation of difficult material-plenty of examples.

Observation of Paul 2
Name: Sherry Mor
Date: 2005-07-20 02:36:54
Link to this Comment: 15588

11.Paul do you deliberately speak softly to keep the students focused on you during the lectures?

12.Reviews the lesson from the previous day by thinking out loud. This generates a discussion as others think out loud. Provides momentum for next lesson.
To summarize my observations, I appears to me that Paul teaches to our concious and uncounsious brain. Paul provides a variety of experiences and pracice during each lesson. The lectures, the overhead projector,the pictures, discussions, lesson text projected on the wall, the oral quizzes and verbal pratice are examples teaching us through our sensory neurons. The writing in the forum and writing html language are examples of teaching through motor neurons. There is some overlop. These are my observations,maybe other members of the class will add ome observations they have made about Paul.

Name: Keith
Date: 2005-07-20 12:09:26
Link to this Comment: 15589

A question was raised earlier in the institue about genetic memory. The idea that we interperate our world and the story thta is told, is not due to our experiences, but our ancestors. Storing a genetic code to be passed on about our world and how to expreience it seems to say "yes!" there is a genetic memory.

The idea of the rest of the nervoous system dealing with and being designed to deal with ambiguity makes a lot of sense. It helps me to create a story that helps to allieviate stress. Each time I take this institute I learn somehting about myself as a being that helps me to change the "story" as I expreience it. In the past, this has always been helpful to look at stressful situations in a way that helps to cope better with them. Understanding that the I function is the one that has a problem with ambiguity is important to me. It helps me more than just personally with dealing with stress. It also gives me a potential ability to understand the possabilities of causes for student stress. Especially when I begin to think, "Why cant they get it? Its so EASY! I couldn't plan it any more clearly." Ambiguity itself is a different experience from person to person. And trying to understand that experience of the students will hopefully help to get them to relieve some of their own stresses about experiences.

July 20
Name: Tiffany C.
Date: 2005-07-20 12:10:06
Link to this Comment: 15590

The question "what is really there?" lends itself to stregnthen my belief that ones perspective allows them to see things uniquely. The idea that no one person can depict something exactly the same has been reinforced for me via "science". The statement that "the I-function is frustrated with ambiguity -- yet the nervous system is perfectly fine with it" is at the forefront of my mind and I am trying to make sense of it.

Ambiguous Reality
Name: John Dalto
Date: 2005-07-20 12:14:21
Link to this Comment: 15591

Whenever I'm reminded of just how much reality we construct through the "glass darkly" of our sense perceptions, I always counter with just how much agreement exists about what is. Although a defensive posture, it nevertheless has some necessity. Part of the appeal from revisiting Brain & Behavior is the recognition of sensory inexactitude and the accompanying realization of the merit of the uncertainty principle. It's like what we take for granted is suddenly swept away. When you interrogate the nature of knowledge, you must come face to face with epistemological uncertainty.

the eye's playing tricks on you
Name: carol
Date: 2005-07-20 12:15:00
Link to this Comment: 15592

very stimulating! imagine how much we would change if we opened ourselves to the possibility that the experiences of our ancestory ,hence visual perception was/is completely different than what we assumed was being 'imaged " by our eyes.
I can think of several experiences in which I've asked family/friends why they didn't tell me about something that I believed that they must have a person no one saw .this explains why such a thing could have occurred,their perception of me and what they saw remained unchanged.
with regard to our students this is dead on in that what we believe they understand /see,etc, is in fact in opposition to their genetic then ,can we gain insight into what we must do to "see' through their minds eye?

Living on edge
Name: rosa
Date: 2005-07-20 12:15:48
Link to this Comment: 15593

Today's class lends new meaning to the idea of living on the edge. I somewhat see the parallelism of seeing only the edges of images to seeing/understanding a concept. The educator can only call attention to the edges. The students must fill in the rest. Once we lay the foundation for them to look or question beyond the obvious,they're on their way.

Date: 2005-07-20 12:18:20
Link to this Comment: 15594

Ambiguous Images
Name: Antoinette
Date: 2005-07-20 12:20:49
Link to this Comment: 15595

One of the joys/benefits of being a Special education teacher and of personally experiencing the need special education myself (but it was not available at the time) is that I clearly understand my student's perspective when they say "I don't get it!" From my expereince, lessons that seemed to be perfectly clear to my teachers and classmaes was a guessing gamee to me, that arbitrarily at best produced the right answer. When it seemed everyone else was having the "WOW! I've got it! experience" I was having the "WOW! What in the world is going on? experience"
Based on my experiences, when my students say "I don't get it" , I ask "What is it you do not understand?" I believe, after the initial shock of teacher acknowledgment, that they begin to go step by step with me to explain where the breakdown occurs for them. It takes time to teach the students that they are ultimately responsible for their own education, but for the most part, my kids have worked with me to unfold where the ambiguity falls for them individually.

7-20-05 Comments: Pictures speak more than a thou
Name: Miss T.
Date: 2005-07-20 12:22:18
Link to this Comment: 15596

Ambiguity in pictures has always captured my attention. Until now I did know why. At least now I have more understanding of what is happening wih my brain in relationship to my eye(s) and "The I-Function".

Anatomy of the Retina
Name: Laverne
Date: 2005-07-20 12:30:19
Link to this Comment: 15597

Today story about the anatomy of the retina was a little more confusing to me than your other stories. You asy, we see objects with both our eyes, We also see things simultaneously, right? Our two eyes sees an object and sends conflicting information to the brain. The brain (which is use to receiving conflicting information) comes up with a way to make sense of the information. It does this through interpretation. Because the brain is always dealing with ambiguity it never knows the right answer. Did I understand your story correctly? Also, Is it because of our ancestors/lateral inhibition that we as human all see basically the same images when our individual eyes are sending individual messages to our brains and our individual brains come up with the same interpretation that (the wall is there or the wall is white)?

Discrete Boundaries
Name: Randal Hol
Date: 2005-07-20 12:30:57
Link to this Comment: 15598

I found the most fascinating thing to be how this interneuron architecture that enables us to similarly interpret our surroundings is genetically transmitted to offspring. It would appear that all we do is simply give or "teach" names to what we interpret to our offspring. For example, a color for the most part appears very similar to most of us. You did not have to learn that. All you were simply taught is when to apply a certain name to a color. How does this fit in with evolution theory though? Did our early ancestors interpret their surroundings in a vastly different manner than we do in these contemporary times. Or to put it another way, was green once teal? Or maybe some other color altogether?

Name: Sherry Mor
Date: 2005-07-20 12:31:06
Link to this Comment: 15599

What I've learned about the brain is that it's a bad mamma jamma! The idea that the brain does so much without us conciously knowing it -is awesome! As I learn more about the capabilities of the brain I do not become concerned-I become excitied.

Feelings About the Morning Session
Name: J.Odom
Date: 2005-07-20 13:00:59
Link to this Comment: 15600

My Feelings were mixed. I felt frustrated that in the scheme of things most of what we see is ambiguous, according to our sense of reality, and our nervous system function. The filling in mostly a lot of missing parts is a strange process. I understand the various concepts of what is being told to by our nervous system and it has changed my aspect of what reality really is. We are very complex organisms.
Also, I feel that there is a sense of excitement because of all of the above reasons. I am learning that ambiguity is not always bad(less good)! It will take a lot of practice to really change but I am willing to work at it. Today, you explained why sometimes what I think is a good lesson another person thinks it is not as good!

Brain-an inventor
Name: shellie
Date: 2005-07-20 13:09:32
Link to this Comment: 15602

The more I learn about the brain the more fascinated I become. I can't believe everything the brain can do. The interesting thing about today's information is that the brain,not I. all on it's own, is doing all these things.

I really liked Sherry's points concerning Paul's teaching. I agree with her--she was right on target. I wish teachers were able to learn from his example.

I know "hands-on" education is a big idea. I really see by Paul's example how well it works. You just let things happen and students learn by doing. The problem I am hearing teachers state is that their hands are tied by time constraints. But taking the time for experience teachers save time in other ways. Students will learn much better.

day 8
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2005-07-21 07:46:18
Link to this Comment: 15607

Sorry to have missed conversation with Earl, expect/trust it was rich. Lots of interesting thoughts from morning session, lots of rich ideas here. Want myself to remember "have always been partly mistrustful of people ... now I have to be mistrustful of my own brain", and the tyranny of having to get it "right" (observers looking over one's shoulder with a check list), and the "seven step lesson plan" (with no space/room for either students or teachers to play a bit). And the evidence that, given a little room, people DO come up with interesting questions ("what happens if someone else rotates my foot?"). Still intrigued with the Mississippi metaphor. Turns out "Life on the Mississippi" is available on line at several places, eg here.

" I felt frustrated that in the scheme of things most of what we see is ambiguous ... The filling in of missing parts is a strange process ... Also, I feel that there is a sense of excitement because of all of the above reasons. I am learning that ambiguity is not always bad (less good)! It will take a lot of practice to really change but I am willing to work at it ... "Judith

"taking the time for experience teachers save time in other ways. Students will learn much better." ... Shellie

"Today's class lends new meaning to the idea of living on the edge. I somewhat see the parallelism of seeing only the edges of images to seeing/understanding a concept. The educator can only call attention to the edges. The students must fill in the rest. Once we lay the foundation for them to look or question beyond the obvious,they're on their way." ... Rosa

"Did our early ancestors interpret their surroundings in a vastly different manner than we do in these contemporary times. Or to put it another way, was green once teal? Or maybe some other color altogether?" ... Randal

"The question "what is really there?" lends itself to stregnthen my belief that ones perspective allows them to see things uniquely." ... Tiffany

"Whenever I'm reminded of just how much reality we construct through the "glass darkly" of our sense perceptions, I always counter with just how much agreement exists about what is" ... John

Two organizational matters before getting on with it today ...

posting/Dr. Thomas
Name: shellie
Date: 2005-07-21 09:25:06
Link to this Comment: 15608

I have been looking for the posting --mine have gotten eaten up by the post comment monster. Of course I have no memory of the postings.

Dr. Thomas's lecture was interesting as usual. He was concerned that we would be bored because the material was the same. He didn't get that with this group things are always different.

His information about the anxiety,hormones.the brain--all so much. He spoke about the big influence the pituitary gland plays. This was thought provoking for me because currently my son has a pituitary tumor-adenome. Many questions were raised about this that I must pursue. I was told it was too small to operate on but I am still going to get an opinion from a neurologist.

Name: keith
Date: 2005-07-21 09:25:41
Link to this Comment: 15609

As you all know, I have been in situations where people close to me (in fact living with me) have had OCD. Both cases were somewhat severe but not as bad as the video. What interested me was that the 2 people I lived with treated their's differently. One used med.s and they didn't seem to have an affect. In fact, she tried many and was still searching for the answer. The other used therapy (which was interesting because it was a request from his mom who was a pharmacist). His treatment was extremely effective.

With the latter case, however, he slowly slipped back into old routines as years passed without therapy. I found this interesting because the woman in the movie has not. Yet!!! I was curious to know if any research has been done to show the statistics of individuals who relapse after therapy has ended, and if there seems to be any correlation to time? I liked the idea that there seems to be evidence with other brain disorders that a combination may be most effective. It seems rare that two different approaches ever agree to work together. I like the future implicatioins of this idea.

Name: Cleat
Date: 2005-07-21 09:34:25
Link to this Comment: 15610

Its hard to sometimes make sense of this ambiguity...via the brain, blind spots,and the nervous system. Its like the body and mind is a machine that we sometime and sometimes not have control over. And if so, whi is that?

The Afternoon Session
Name: J.Odom
Date: 2005-07-21 09:34:26
Link to this Comment: 15611

The afternoon session was very interesting and informative but I found
myself not fully engaged the entire time. The lecture was too
much for my I-function to take. I learned a lot about OCD but I also
learned how my students feel when I lecture too long. Yesterday,
made be re-think the the "Paul Method" of teaching is more engaging
and effective for not only myself but also for my students! Bravo
for the "Paul Method"! I have learned a lot at this institute and
my eyes have been opened. I am getting really excited about what I see!

Perception vs Vision or seeing
Name: Linda Slat
Date: 2005-07-21 09:35:28
Link to this Comment: 15612

The lecture by Earl Thomas was fascinating for many reasons. Although some of the lecture was familiar to me from a prior Institute, a lot of new information was presented through the wonderful questions posed by other Institute members. As educators we need to take more risks in modeling this kind of teaching and learning. There is a thin line between staying on topic and using the class as vehicle for learning, and making it safe for students to generate questions.

I found it particularly interesting that he did not favor drugs over talk therapy, but thought a combination of the two were often the answer to successful treatment. However, my understanding is that in many cases talk therapy alone can do the same things to the brain as chemicals. I still would like to understand more about the way that happens in the brain, and if expectation affects the outcomes in the same way.

I also heard how much parts of the brain work to keep other parts in check or inhibit other parts.
It makes a clear case for how easy it is to have chemical imbalances that affect behavior.

Stress and Anxiety
Name: Sherry Mor
Date: 2005-07-21 09:38:27
Link to this Comment: 15613

The session with Earl Thomas was very informative. Looking at mental illness as brain disorders
appears to be a less wrong way of viewing this phenomenon and provides an opportunity for
both medicinal and behavior therapies to be used in conjunction to treat patients. I was impressed with the short period of time the brain archetecture was changed when the therapist used medication and cognitive behavioral therapy with the woman on the video. I was struck by the thought that there is probably a lot of woman who may have the obsession that the woman struggled with, that never gets any help. Thinking about the long term effect on the children in these families is frightnening.

Re. Earl Thomas
Name: Antoinette
Date: 2005-07-21 11:23:30
Link to this Comment: 15614

Amazingly enough, I am finally remembering some of this information from the summer of 2003. Yesterday, I begn to think just as Freud made a philisophical assumption denying the brain's physical properties and focusing solely on "talking" to the brain to produce pain aviodence, he missed out on any possibility of realizing the value of combination therapy. The story now accepted that pharmecology/ medication and cognitive therapies / talkig to the brian, work best in combination.
Maybe a educators, while many of our students are on ADHD medication, that introducing bio-feedback may be a way to teach students to seek a supportive successful combination for them.

Frued-Earl Thomas lecture
Name: SMichael
Date: 2005-07-21 12:39:54
Link to this Comment: 15615

I'm understanding the two parts of the nervous system to be what you experience and what is actuallly happening in relationship to the mental disorders and the Brain. Freud's model of action patterns explain many behaviors I see exhibited in children. The spontaneousness of the nervous system and the reduce brain activity, (if a mental disorder exist) is in effect. The anxiety or stress factors are unseen, with no outward signs observable, to identify in the individual that something is wrong. The hyperthalamus is not controlling or regulating nervous system reaction, so disputions in the brain cause irregular behaviors which the individual will have no control over. This can explain ADHD, and many responses from children like, "I don't know ?", or "I didn't do anything?"

Frued-Earl Thomas lecture
Name: SMichael
Date: 2005-07-21 13:27:29
Link to this Comment: 15616

I'm understanding the two parts of the nervous system to be what you experience and what is actuallly happening in relationship to the mental disorders and the Brain. Freud's model of action patterns explain many behaviors I see exhibited in childrenwith mental disorders. The spontaneousness of the nervous system and the reduce brain activity, (if a mental disorder exist) is in effect. The anxiety, fear or stress factors are unseen, with no outward signs observable, to identify in the individual that something is wrong. In many incidents the child has no way to communicate what is exactly occuring or wrong. The hyperthalamus is not controlling or regulating the nervous system reactions, so disputions in the brain causes irregular behaviors which the individual will have no control over. This can explain ADHD, and many responses from children like, "I don't know ?", or "I didn't do anything?"

Name: Keith
Date: 2005-07-21 14:14:08
Link to this Comment: 15617

Hey guys! As Paul was talking about color and other things, my brain was going freely with its creativity (sorry paul, not my fault... right?!?!). So here is a little poem I wrote which addresses many of the topics we discussed.

So let me say thanks,
to you, Oh master Paul.
Because it's reality,
"I" am now, not sure of at all.

So watch as I try to sum it up,
and use to extent, the precious in puts,
to sort this out and give to you,
some story of mine, "I" will call... out puts.

So synapses you speak of,
and the tiny neurons to boot.
Controlling my....Well, my everything,
Including the color of my suite.

So now, Oh Paul, "I" am in quite a quandry!
For what am "I" to do?
For you just insisted on telling me,
that red is green, and green is blue?!?!

Now on to mood!
"I" am angry! "I" am sad.
And now that "I" realize that,
"I" am all the sudden... glad!

The nervous system that we have,
Oh! How wonderful and great!
Paul, "I" have to say to you,
My mind is in a random state.

And to you! Ms. Dickenson. "I" must salute.
For you convinced me of my brain and the sky.
But "I" must say of you, "I" am not completely sure.
And, well, dont feel too badly.
The same can be said for me, myself, and "I".

So to you, Paul, "I" say thanks
and continue your wonderful way,
of convincing me only of uncertanty,
and that night is now... day!

Thanks Paul and Bryn Mawr for another wonderful institute!!!


Name: Laverne
Date: 2005-07-21 14:16:55
Link to this Comment: 15618

Yesterdays speaker was very interesting. The movie he showed was even better than the discussion. I 'd read about compulsive behaviors but never really saw a person that exhibit the behavior. During the movie there was talk and some times laughter about the things the women did, but by far nothing was funny. It was very sad to see this women so mentally disturbed, I was glad when I saw she was getting better through cognitive therapy. I have never thought so much about the brain and what it does and can do until taking this class. I shared an experience I had with Dr.Thomas in class yesterday because one of the drugs he had on his list was one I had been prescribe to take. I had been having heart palpatations and went to the doctor to see if I was developing some kind of heart problem. Before this medicine was prescribe to me I had several test done such as 24 hour holter monitoring, stress test blood work etc. Every thing was normal so this particular doctor says to me I think your depress and I want to put you on "paxil". I did not feel depressed, I was worried about my heart, but not depressed. To make a long story short, by the time I left the office "I was depressed" She had succeeded in convincing me I was depressed so I took the medicine which by the way made me more stress because, 1. I hate taking pills and two I did not know what they were doing to me and most important my heart palpatations were still coming ,even more-so now. So I quit the pills that was a relief, I finish up my class at West Chester which was really demanding and school let out for the summer. Guess what no more heart palpatations. Why do Doctors blame every thing on depression? Personally I think I was stressed, from having to much (*#*# ) to do, but I did not need to go on brain altering meds.

Retina Architect and Ambiguity
Date: 2005-07-21 14:21:10
Link to this Comment: 15619

What we think we are seeing may not be the total sum of reality . Transmitted neurons being induced and/or interpreted by the brain cause a great deal of ambiguity. The nervous system is comfortable with dealing with ambiguity.

Name: Laverne
Date: 2005-07-21 14:38:03
Link to this Comment: 15620

For some reason the subject of color was not getting /keeping my attention. Wave length, cones, rods, color, no color, photons, electrons I heard you but nothing was registering. The incident I spoke of about my niece seeing and knowing the color purple happened over twenty years ago and its crazy but I think about it still. Now sleep walking was a story I became very interested in because my significant other does this. He use to deny it but now I think he is more embarrassed by it. He is dedicated swimmer and bike rider who goes to the gym every day. He eat fruits and nuts for breakfast and raw vegetables for snack. Drinks plenty of water and green tea and looks like a picture for good health. The problem is he gets up at night eats every thing he would say is unhealthy for you at night and does not remember it in the morning. I have woken up to a half gallon of Ice cream in bed with us. Sometimes he has bags and bags of potato chips on his night stand, empty of course. What I wanted to know was do you think his I-function really wants to have these things and at night the rest of his nervous system along with the I-Function gets it. I know its not him doing this consciously. You said "Dreams give you the capacity for experiences that you don't normally have. I tried putting healthy snacks around but he never touches them.

Stress and Anxiety
Date: 2005-07-21 14:40:08
Link to this Comment: 15621

Dr. Earl Thomas lecture on "stress and anxiety" caused me to be appreciative of the "state of mind" I am presenting operating in. I often question my state of mental soundness.However, after listening to lecture on "stress and anxiety", my coping skills are not so bad after all.

Earl Thomas Lecture
Name: John Dalto
Date: 2005-07-21 15:07:37
Link to this Comment: 15622

Our presentation on anxiety and pharmoacology was very interesting. I am especially fascinated by the implication that you can radiclly affect obsessive-compulsive behavior by the combination of drugs and Cognitive Behavior Therapy. I recall my original impression when I learned that drugs were even a possible cure. It really changed my mind about the etiology of psychological problems. It convinced me that there was a chemical basis for treating behavior, and it convinced me that much of our behavior may have a physical origination. I thought that we could have benefitted from more discussion of implications from the film.

after two weeks ...
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2005-07-22 16:38:56
Link to this Comment: 15624

Thanks to all for an enjoyable, rich, productive time together. Among the last things we talked about that I'll take away from BBI05 is the idea that one can/should use stories but not get stuck in them. Stories are useful but they too can sometimes get in the way of getting things less wrong, and so they too need to be tested/criticized and changed. Yes, of course, part of the difficulties we all run into in the classroom is aspects of our students as well as parents, administrators, local and national politics. And its worth noticing/telling stories about those things to try and help change them. But its also worth remembering that we ourselves are the things we can most easily change, and so changing ourselves is the quickest and easiest way to get things less wrong. Maybe being able to do so is the most important modelling we can provide not only our students but their parents, our adminstrators, and so forth?

Along these lines, Yaena, Kate, Rebekah and I had an interesting conversation the other day, thinking about the oddness of classrooms that both teachers AND students think don't work very well. Maybe we and they ought to get together and change them, at least in our little local gardens?

And maybe help and support each other in our little local gardening projects? Looking forward to seeing what other things struck people from our two weeks together, and to ways we find to keep working together during the year (and years) to come.

Some closing thoughts.
Name: Sherry Mor
Date: 2005-07-25 00:52:06
Link to this Comment: 15626

I found the brain and behavior institute to be a great experience in which I learned a lot.
I ever believed in the idea of absolute right and /or wrong especially in education. The method of interacting with the world as a series of stories and trying to get new stories less wrong is in keeping with my personal belief system. Whenever a student would tell me they couldn’t do something I would say “You learned to walk didn’t you? And that was as a baby. If you could do that, then you can learn anything!” That was the story I told. Although I was on the right track, I didn’t count on the“ I function”, getting in the student’s way. It is my intent to review what was taught and to read some of the resources that are including in the workshop outline. Knowing that the brain/or nervous system learns through conscious and unconscious inputs I plan to work on activities for my classes that amerce my students in the idea of being a professional in the culinary arts industry. I want to incorporate the academics from the school district’s core curriculum with the information I’ve learned about the brain.. Rather than concerning my students with learning solely about the brain, I want to shape my teaching techniques, classroom management and student activities using the information I’ve learned

7-22-05 Comments: Reflections...
Name: Miss T.
Date: 2005-07-25 12:49:43
Link to this Comment: 15641

Greetings Colleagues,

It is always enlightenng to participate in this forum. I always arrive with a sense of expectancy and leave having learned (or realized) something new.

It is great to see familiar faces and refreshing to meet new people.

I look forward to sharing much of what I have learned with my colleagues. I hope this will peek their interest to attend future sessions.

In my opinion, the I-function is simply our will making things happen.

Everyone, pleae enjoy a blessed Summer.

Name: smichael
Date: 2005-07-25 12:57:02
Link to this Comment: 15642

A New Story
Name: Tiffany Wi
Date: 2005-07-26 09:13:09
Link to this Comment: 15648

To say that I learned a lot during our two weeks together would be an utter understatement...Instead I would concede to having created a New Story. This story is full of interesting facts that I have shared with those close to me about frog brains, rattle snakes, dreams, and of course the I-function. But the story that comes to the "forefront of my mind" (I’m not sure about the validity of that phrase anymore) is the concept of "seeing". At first, having to question if what we see is really there made me uncomfortable, and on the last day of class it made perfect sense. Our conversation on "diversity" brought me to an understanding of "seeing" that will undoubtedly affect my day to day life. The idea that I can see something ,cherish its very essence, depend on it for strength, and see it as something that God has made important to me for a very specific reason -- but another can simply say, that I what I "see" ... doesn’t even exist. The implication of this is profound, and it brings a sense of clarity to ME (I recognize the individuality of my I-function)! I think of the many ills of our society (concerning the criminal justice system, distribution of wealth, housing, health care, education, etc) that have been perpetuated generation after generation--and I ask has this cycle continued simply because we haven’t been able to "see things eye to eye"? I’ve often thought that people see certain things around them because either they didn’t want to “see” them (because of the benefits) or because they didn’t have to see them—--maybe the I-function was designed in this manner for a reason. And while I am even more clear that I need not spend any energy trying to get people to "see" what I see or "think" like I think . . . I walk away from this class questioning every story that was presented to me!

Thank you for pushing me to create a NEW story!

Be Blessed...

"Don't be in a hurry to condemn because he doesn't do what you do or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn't know what you know today."
El Hajj Malik El Shabbazz

Brain and Behavior, the "Review"
Date: 2005-07-26 12:36:13
Link to this Comment: 15660

Brain and Behavior, the "Review"
Name: J. Odom
Date: 2005-07-26 13:06:53
Link to this Comment: 15662

The two weeks at the Brain and Behavior Institute was an exciting, energizing, as well as thought provoking.
The institute was challengng to the point that it made me think about thinking sometimes as a teacher but mostly how my students would think. I enjoyed the "Paul Teaching style," and will use it in my classroom. The Institute also allowed me to get the know my teaching style a little better and that it can be "changed". I will incorporate a lot of fun and games into my lesson plan.

wrapping/rapping up
Name: mrobb
Date: 2005-07-26 23:29:29
Link to this Comment: 15679

I have never participated in any professional training where the desire to know what it meant to us and how we applied it was as real as it has been with Brain and Behavior. From the first day's Forum entries, we were prepared to reflect, to share, to observe, to reflect and we are invited to continue the process even after the Institute ended. The phrase "community of learners" has never felt more real; nor could the title "teacher leader" be more aptly used than when describing Paul's exemplary teaching.

I attended the institute to improve my science teaching, but the implications of what I've learned extend far beyond the classroom. The institute reminds me that we are all works in progress. Not until our last breaths will the works be complete. That is reason for hope, for patience, and for continuing effort to affect outcomes.

like synaptic transmissions
Name: mrobb
Date: 2005-07-27 00:02:50
Link to this Comment: 15680

A noiseless patient spider

A noiseless patient spider,
I mark'd where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark'd how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launch'd forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,
Till the bridge you will need be form'd, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.

Written by Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

Old Walt

Old Walt Whitman
Went finding and seeking,
Finding less than sought
Seeking more than found,
Every detail minding
Of the seeking or the finding.

Pleasured equally
In seeking as in finding,
Each detail minding.
Old Walt went seeking
And finding.

Written by Langston Hughes

Name: Linda Slat
Date: 2005-07-27 09:13:29
Link to this Comment: 15683

The 2005 Summer Institute was a wonderful experience on many levels.

I really enjoyed the other participants comments, questions, and was energized by their curiosity. It's very encouraging to know how many great people there are working in Philadelphia. And of course, our "Lead Story Teller", Paul Grobstein always inspires me to be more patient, less judgemental, and enthusiastic about doing the work I love with students.

I see counseling as a special kind of teaching. The information presented on the Brain and Behavior reinforced the idea that with help, practice, reinforcement we can change behavior with our students, clients, etc.
The concept of talking to the brain, the role of drugs, and how the combination of the two work on a neurobiological level was of most interest to me as a mental health professional. Sometimes people need "some scientific stories" to help them belive that change is possible. At work, this is one of my biggest challenges with students, and their parents.

I'm not sure where I'm going with my "creativity" web page, but think that teaching students to "think Outside of the Box" will be a focal point.
I will go forward working this year to inspire, motivate, and encourage students to think of their own lives as creative projects, with the idea that it's not about getting it right, but getting it less wrong. And of couse the idea that we are all scientists, making observations, and creating stories based on these observations.

Name: KEith
Date: 2005-07-28 08:57:56
Link to this Comment: 15702

Hello Everyone,
I trust you are enjoying the rest of your summer. Just wanted to say thanks again to Paul and all of you for helping me to expand my story. As always, the Institute has opened many doors to understanding the world in which "I" exist (of course now Paul has convinced me once again that you are all a figment of my imagination).

I am looking forward to trying to apply some of the expriences of the institute to my profession. Have a great summer.


Name: Shellie
Date: 2005-07-28 20:56:02
Link to this Comment: 15736

Thanks to Paul and all the group of BBi05. This summer institute was great. I learned a lot and had a great time doing it. I am looking forward to using some of the ideas in the fall with the kids. I hope they can get it less wrong. Have a great summer.

Name: Laverne Me
Date: 2005-08-02 21:19:26
Link to this Comment: 15812

I just wanted to say that the summer institute 2005 was something I am so glad I took part of. I feel like I gained a great deal of information about the brain so much that I can't wait to share it with my students. Paul your style of teaching, your quiet energy, and your knowledge helped me understand things about the brain that I 'd never thought about before.
Thanks Paul!
Have a great summer!

Name: bob
Date: 2005-09-08 11:19:24
Link to this Comment: 16057

Hey now be nice about us kids just because were dumb don't make fun of us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Importance of technology
Name: SMichael
Date: 2005-09-20 14:32:20
Link to this Comment: 16228

Technology is the equalizing tool for regular and special education classes. It provides the learner with tools to assist in academic skills building for remediation and enrichment.
Educators have long recognized that there are other types of literacy as wellas reading and writing that students need to develop multiple literacies, i.e. technology; in order to function and thrive in the 21st century.
Using the computer as a tool is an important part socity. Technology will focus on strengthening writing skillsand develop additional skills while teaching applications (word processing, spreadsheet, typing skills, database, data management and presentations, and Internet use) learned and practiced and reinforced by doing activities on the computer in the computer labs and technology education labs.
Application programs in math, language arts, science, social studies, and research and writing across the curriculum will integrate this resource with the general educational focus with the content standards and cross-cutting competencies while each student’s level of computer literacy is increasing.

MIss T.'s Resource Consideration
Name: Miss T.
Date: 2005-09-24 15:17:05
Link to this Comment: 16278

>The following proposal will serve to support both Brain and Behavior
>and Making Sense of Change Programs:
>As an admininstrator the best way I can implement what I have
>learned in both programs is to provide professional development. In
>the School District of Philadelphia this is known as 'turn around
>teaching or training'.
>Simply put, because funds are so limited across the board for a
>variety of numerous advantages, I could best use the resources from
>these programs to share with co-administrators, faculty, and staff
>the importance of and the way to engage our students in learning.
>Professional sessions are costly in many cases. Folders, copies,
>and other essential are not always as available as one may expect.
>Once staff has been trained, incentitives will be needed for staff
>and for staff to share with students. Although I am an advocate of
>intangible rewards, in reality students like 'stuff' and so do
>adults (including me).
>Because most of the information can be taken directly from the
>Serendip site and the Internet, the expenses are able to be
>maintained within the allotment.

To better able deal with this on-going problem, staff needs to brain storm (under the direction of the principal or principal's designee) in these sessions on how to fund-raise monies earmarked for professional development. Once funding begins to become available, a designated account needs to be identififed soley for these funds. In accordance with school district policy, these monies will be submitted to, and maintained by, the school operations officer who will keep the principal apprised accordingly. Hopefully, this will reduce the funding strain to offer professional development sessions to deal with issues specific to, and in conjunction with, understanding brain and behavior issues and we deal with making the necessary changes.
>Thank you.

give more info
Date: 2005-12-01 10:36:22
Link to this Comment: 17263

give more info
Date: 2005-12-01 10:37:04
Link to this Comment: 17264

Name: Mark
Date: 2005-12-01 10:39:46
Link to this Comment: 17265

can you give more information on the topic of how suger affects the brain

Name: matthew n.
Date: 2005-12-01 10:44:55
Link to this Comment: 17266

shut this web down

Manic Depression
Name: Audrey
Date: 2006-01-03 06:11:54
Link to this Comment: 17519

Hi all
I an 21 years old, female, and have been living with what I now know to be manic-depressive disorder since I was about four years old. I get prone to agressive outbursts and have been in rehab for alcoholism recently, but have been renowned as 'the artist kid' since forever but also dubbed as mad, and even in one fit of eccentric frustration was sent to the psych ward from school. I stay awake for days on end, and cannot move for weeks. Since being diagnosed I have more questions than ever:

Is this condition a maddness or like a chemical thing?
Are there ways you can control your moods without medicine or are you completely at the mercy of your brain?
How does a manic brain differ from a normal one?

Anyway I'll stop there but will add that my heart goes out to all that live with this because while people see the beautiful results of your mania they never see how dark the depths of the depression are. Does the high from the praise you receive from your creative mania outweigh the torture of the lows? I still don't know, but am seeking to understand the nature of this condition.

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