Learning Lessons While Dreaming

A few days ago I read a story about a woman who went to Auschwitz as a girl with her little brother. On the way there her brother lost his shoe. She chewed him out and called him a "stupid boy!" Soon after that moment, they were separated and she never saw him again.

Last night I dreamt I was driving and my seven year old stepson was in the front seat. I was really mad at something he’d done and I said "If you can’t listen then I don’t think you should go to South Dakota with us." He started crying and then I lost control of the car and we started spinning off the freeway.

The point of the Auschwitz story was the woman now tries never to leave anyone with a conversation she doesn’t want to be their last. Obviously my mind thought that was an important lesson for me to learn and taught it to me in a much more emotional way than any story I could ever read!

High achiever vs Gifted vs Creative

I just read an excellent article about the difference between a high achieving student, a gifted student and a creative student.  Our schools tend to treat high achievers and gifted students the same and they are not.  Although a student may be both a high achiever and gifted.  For example:

the teacher announces an assignment, and the high achiever quickly tries to determine what the teacher most wants so he can please and satisfy the teacher’s intentions: "What do you really want?" The gifted learner ponders what to do that would most interest her as she learns: "What I would like to do is…" Simultaneously, the creative thinker’s mind begins to race with all of the diverse and varied possibilities that could be explored.

The comparison table in the article is also really interesting.  I’m not sure the classifications are right and I might add more than the three he has, but it is really interesting food for thought.

You are always becoming smarter. Pass it on.

From NPR’s Student’s View of Intelligence Can Help Grades:

The students in the latter group "learned that the brain actually
forms new connections every time you learn something new, and that over
time, this makes you smarter."

By the end of the semester, the group of kids who had been
taught that the brain can grow smarter, had significantly better math
grades than the other group.

You can get smarter.  So pass it on!


Right brained or left brain or both?

Remember the spinning girl?  If she spun one way, you were left-brained, if she spun the other way, she was right-brained.  I thought it was a trick because she kept changing directions.  A friend came over and actually watched it with me and he swore it kept going the same way all the time even when I called out the "switches."

Today yet another test shows that I’m right brained and left brained.  This test said that I’m a:

  • 49% left brain thinker
  • 51% right brain thinker

They even broke it down further:

  • 38% logical / 39% intuitive
  • 34% symbolic / 37% concrete
  • etc

So I guess I’m a bit of everything – but not random!  (I’m only 17% random.)  And what is fantasy-oriented? 

Learning Calligraphy

Last week I decided to learn calligraphy.  Why?

  • It looks cool.
  • I like doing things with my hands.
  • I like paper and notebooks.
  • I wanted to revisit what it’s like to learn how to write as our seven year old is working on his writing.
  • I love learning new things even if I don’t take them up as life long hobbies or careers.
  • I was in the middle of reading The Privilege of the Sword and it seemed appropriate.

So here’s how I did it:

  • I went to the library and checked out four books on calligraphy.
  • I read the first couple of pages of each one to see what I neededComplete Idiot’s Guide to Calligraphy had a really good list with descriptions.
  • I went to SuperWalmart and bought a 2mm calligraphy marker.  (They only had one calligraphy marker to choose from, it was 2mm on one end and 5mm on the other.  Luckily all the books said to use a 2mm one.)
  • I bought some cool paper just because it was cool and writing beautiful letters on gorgeous paper sounded like fun.
  • I taped a folder to a lap desk I had to create my writing surface.  (You are supposed to prop a writing board up on your lap and a table.  My lap desk was a bit too small of a surface and I soon migrated to my customary spot on the sofa instead.)
  • I started practicing.  The book I liked best suggested 30 minutes a day will get you there.  It’s been about four days and I can write all the small (minuscule letters) ok but my capital letters need a lot of work.

So it’s been fun.  If you are interested in learning calligraphy, I recommend starting with a calligraphy marker and a book, Calligraphy (First Step Series) or Complete Idiot’s Guide to Calligraphy. Have fun!