Thursday, December 30, 2010

Key Concept - Play

As I was reading the section on Play in this book, I became more interested in the effects of technology on the brain. Some of the references to J.P. Gee's studies on the topic of gaming and learning made me do some further research. There are numerous resources on this online. It has been interesting reading. My next step is to attend a Brain Institute dealing with the effects of technology on the brain late in January. I am looking forward to learning more!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Reflecting on "A Whole New Mind"

I found this book to be interesting, although not a surprise in it's message. The way that our education system has been focusing on the left brain has always concerned me. We have many students who have been taught a process, and can perform very well in the realm of a controlled set of expectations, but when presented with a problem that does not fall into their formula (or "box"), have no idea how to begin to solve it.

The sections on Symphony and Play were my favorite parts of the book, but the left side of my brain did appreciate the information on the outsourcing of jobs, and made me question how we are training students.

I am a right-brainer by nature, and a left-brainer by necessity. My brain had a real workout the past 5 years with half of my job being a music teacher, and the other half a webmaster. I also had to work with a lot of school data for our school improvement committee. Now I am back to just I am on Sabbath!

I have always been fascinated with brain research and how students learn. I appreciated this book and Pink's take on the subject.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Final Post For A Whole New Mind

I am also glad that I chose this book. I tend to be more of a right-brained thinker. It was good to read "A Whole New Mind" and be reaffirmed that this side of the brain is important in our world of study to pass the test to prove you “know” that standard.
I look at how education has changed over the years and feel like we are letting our students down by not enhancing their right brain by using love of the arts. In the 80’s when I first started teaching they offered band to fifth graders, and it was a given that you would be in music and art. Most of the students I taught were in band. Recess and physical education were also an important part of each day. I have watched them whittle down the art and music time, plus wait until 6th grade to start band. Recess and PE have been cut down to have more time to drill to the standards. I don’t think this has helped! I think it has hurt. When I taught kindergarten 20 years ago it was a time to learn about letters, learn how to play, and be creative. My students knew a lot of the letters by being creative in centers. Now it has some centers, but they don’t have the time to explore like we used to do. They are busy” learning” to read and write.
I really liked the part about the labyrinth. There is one in the VA hospital in Minnesota. I never thought about it when I was there, but while reading the book I remembered it. I think it would be neat to have one in the gym or on the playground. It think it would be beneficial for all of us, and especially for those students who like to be up and moving to be able to walk it to help focus..

The parts that talked about taking a Sabbath was a reminder that we all need a break every once in a while. I think we can all relate to that during the Christmas season.
I want to end with the quote “Gratitude works. Feelings of gratitude enhance well-being and deepen one’s sense of meaning.” I like the idea of a gratitude visit. Sometimes I think that our school children are expecting a lot and don’t see gratitude modeled as much as they should. There is another great book out there called “Eight to Great”. It is about 8 keys to success. The author goes around to schools teaching eight keys to becoming successful. One of the keys is gratitude. You are to list three things each day that you are grateful for, and they can’t be repeats. It is amazing how much we have to be thankful for and how that can change your attitude for the day.
Overall, I really liked the book, and have passed it on to my husband to read. It was full of good ideas to improve our life in this crazy fast-paced world.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Animoto - A Whole New Mind

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Final Post - A Whole New Mind

I am so glad that I chose this book and that I was a part of this group, as the insights on our blog have been truly wonderful. Overall, what "A Whole New Mind" did for me is it gave me permission in a way to use the side of me that comes most natural to me - the feeling side. Not everything in our classrooms and in education needs to be so directly tied to science and standards. Some of what we need to be helping our students do is developing their right-brain, creative, feeling side to their personalities. We can do that daily through our interactions, conflicts and resolutions, conversations, etc. The more we can be an example for our students or point out things to them in their days that will help them in life, the more well-rounded they will become.

The section of the book on "Meaning" was particularly of interest to me. I appreciated the quote by Dr. Lauren Artress that says, "We are not human beings on a spiritual path, but spiritual beings on a human path." This right-brained side of us is where that spiritual side is most deeply felt. We need to do our best to help those in our care to know this side of them.

Can We Play?

KC - I love this paragraph from your Super Summary: "The effective use and recognition of humor is one of the highest and most evolved human cognitive functions and indicates high emotional intelligence. The skillful use of humor can reduce hostilities, deflect criticism, relieve tension, improve moral, and help with communication. Research shows that laughter can decrease stress hormones and boost the immune system. People who laugh are more creative and productive, and work well with others."

We live in a world full of humor if we take a moment to notice it. And humor naturally leads us to "play." I appreciated the quote from this chapter from Brian Sutton-Smith who says, "The opposite of play isn't work. It's depression." That is what many of our classrooms are full of - not work, depression. If we can get our students to feel a sense of "play" in our classrooms learning will increase.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Final Reflection

I found myself engulfed in the part about empathy. Sometimes I wonder if I am actually too blunt or maybe should be more open to social cues I see or practice. In the section on empathy, I went to one of the websites and actually took the 60 question survey and got my results. I am happy to say I scored in the above average range for showing empathy. I found many of the things interesting, including the book about studying facial expressions. I think I am pretty good at reading facial expressions but some people are just plain hard to read about what they are thinking. Other people it is written all over their faces how they are feeling. This section was most interesting to me because of the career I am in. I believe as teachers we need to make sure we are empathetic with the parents we come in contact with because they have the best interests of their children in mind and want to be supportive. I need to work on being more empathetic in certain situations because sometimes I just like to tell it like it is before thinking it through. Great book!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Part Six Comments

I think it is safe to say that we must work for happiness and meaning. We must not take for granted that both will come easily without work. Everyone's vision of what these two ideas mean are different. Therefore, what we make of them is our choice and what we choose to do to find meaning in all things or find happiness in what we feel or want.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Comments of the section on Meaning

I agreed fully with Daniel Pink about people seaching for meaning. I do think that happiness should be taken seriously, but that happiness is really an outward thing that is dependent upon the circumstances. Joy comes from within, and I think maybe it would be better to strive for joy. I think if we depend just on searching for happiness, we will be disappointed. We can't always avoid negative events or emotions, but we can use them to become better people.. Our troubles can sometimes lead us to our passion or purpose. I became a teacher because of the way a teacher made a difference in my brother's life. He struggled with a learning disability and she made a difference.
I did think that this section was good, and it reminded me that attitude is everything!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Reflection of A Whole New Mind

I found this book to be interesting to read a second time. I remembered many of the parts he discussed of how we all think with different sides/parts of our brains. It was interesting to read what side of the brain controls our parts of the body and also how he explained the six senses of aptitudes and connected them with our thinking processes. Each chapter he wrote I found statements I needed to process more thoroughly of how they fit into my life and some things I need to work on to be more of a right brain thinker. The chapter on designs made me value the designers out there with their creativity to 'see the picture' before its built. Next the chapter on stories and how we are all the authors of our own lives and how those stories impact our lives. The chapter about symphony and how we all try to work together and learn from each other, which can be a challenge at times. The empathy that each of has definitely depends on the individual. Play, I need to have more of that in my life. I feel that is an important part at work or home that needs to be happening more these days. Finally, the chapter on meaning and how people have enough to live, but nothing to live for. We need to find some spirituality in our lives in which to be more satisfied.

I found myself listening more to people and their ideas and figuring out if they were left or right brained. I also reflected on how learning to think more right brained will take time and that we are all developed in our own ways. Many of our thought processes are also developed by events that have happened to us that make us think or react to situations in ways that are different than our colleagues or friends. Those that master the six senses will have a huge advantage over others.

Some comments that I found that I wrote down were:
Take the BUT our of excuses!
Take time for the Sabbath...even a few minutes.
Take a walk through a labyrinth for moving and meditation ( I need to do that, I have one a few blocks from my house).

The moral of the story is that change is inevitable when it happens the wisest response is not to wail or whine but to suck it up and deal with it!!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Whole New Mind

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Meaning - Super Summary

In this section, Mr. Pink suggests that because we live in an era of abundance and are "freed" from true suffering and struggle" we now have the luxury to search for true meaning and purpose in life. We do not have to struggle to survive so we are able to focus our attention on deeper aspects of life. Pink quotes Robert William Fogel, a Nobel laureate economist, "People have enough to live, but nothing to live for; they have the means, but no meaning." Gregg Easterbrook, an American journalist agrees, stating, "A transition from material want to meaning want is in progress on a historically unprecedented scale... and may eventually be recognized as the principal cultural development of our age".

After suggesting that this movement towards meaning is happening around the world, Pink defines to practical ways for people to gain meaning in their lives; 1) Taking spirituality seriously and 2) Taking happiness seriously.

1) When discussing spirituality he writes of a conference at MIT where the Dalai Lama was participating in a "gabfest" with scientists about the links between Buddhism and science. The Dalai Lama was interested in learning what scientists were learning about the brain and scientists were curious about what the brain was doing while people meditate. Scientist have found that spirituality appears to be "hard-wired" into the human brain and runs through the right hemisphere - which makes sense considering that the right brain is responsible for the big picture type of thinking. Mr. Pink makes it very clear that he is not describing religion, but "the more broadly defined concern for the meaning and purpose of life" or "the belief in something larger than ourselves". Another interesting point he makes is that we should take spirituality seriously because of its ability to improve health - stress, heart disease, anxiety disorders, etc. can be improved by attending to the spirit. Pink also mentions recent surveys that suggest employees would be more satisfied in their workplace if there was a sense of meaning incorporated in their daily work.

2) According to Dr. Martin E. P. Seligman, founder of the "positive psychology" movement, things that contribute to happiness are being engaged in satisfying work, avoiding negative events and emotions, being married and having a rich social network. Seligman suggests that to live with the highest form of happiness a person must use their signature strengths to achieve gratification in the main areas of their life. He also states that the happiness is good for business because happy people are more productive.

Portfolio highlights:
  • In order to gain more meaning in life write a thank you letter to someone who has been kind and generous to you and read the letter to them - it is called a "gratitude visit".
  • Take the 20-10 test: If you had $20 million in the bank or knew you had 10 years to live, would you be at your current job?
  • Take a Sabbath: not necessarily a religious rest, but a day when you turn off the world. Don't check the email, pay the bills or answer the phone. Allow some time to rest and relax.
  • Visit a labyrinth.
  • Picture yourself at ninety. What does your life look like? What do you regret, what did you contribute, what have you accomplished?
Afterword: Our future will depend on these three questions:
1) Can someone overseas do it cheaper?
2) Can a computer do it faster?
3) Am I offering something that satisfies the non-material, transcendent desires of an abundant age?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Summary- Play

I also enjoyed this section on play. As I thought about it,I realized in my family it seems as if play comes easier to the guys. We sometimes tease them about growing up, but I think I need to lighten up more. I liked the part where they talked about wanting people to relclaim their childlike playfulness. My granddaughter was here over Thanksgiving and it was so much fun to watch that playfulness and be a part of it. I need to do that more.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Part 5 - Play

I enjoyed this section because of the content being about "play". I definitely believe people need to lighten up and stop taking everything SOOOO serious. Although I believe "play" needs to be a bigger part of our lives, this is going to depend on a person's personality. If a person tends to be work driven and doesn't like to take a break or have a little fun, it is going to be harder for that person to relax a little and get a little silly. More outgoing people who like to socialize, tell jokes, and have fun probably won't have much of a problem being a little playful. I supposed there could be a balance of both but hopefully more towards the playful side!!!

Play - Super Summary

This section of the book talks about Play and its importance in work, business, and personal life, through the use of games, humor, and joyfulness. Games teach whole-minded lessons. Humor is an indicator for managerial effectiveness and emotional intelligence. Joyfulness proves to make people more productive and fulfilled.

The formulation of Laughter Clubs, development of computer and video games, and the use of humor are discussed in this section. The purpose of the laughter clubs is to make people more playful. Playfulness activates the right side of the brain.

Video games can be "the ultimate learning machine." (J.P. Gee - U of Wisconsin) Gee states: "...when kids play video games they can experience a much more powerful form of learning than when they're in the classroom. Learning isn't about memorizing isolated facts. It's about connecting and manipulating them." Playing video games increases visual perception, the ability to detect changes in the environment, and the capacity to process information simultaneously. Evidence also shows better pattern recognition and problem-solving abilities.

The research in these areas is so compelling that university medical programs and the military have developed games for their training programs. Other universities have begun to offer degrees in entertainment technology and have included video games in their media studies programs.

The effective use and recognition of humor is one of the highest and most evolved human cognitive functions and indicates high emotional intelligence. The skillful use of humor can reduce hostilities, deflect criticism, relieve tension, improve moral, and help with communication. Research shows that laughter can decrease stress hormones and boost the immune system. People who laugh are more creative and productive, and work well with others.

Pink offers activities to promote Play such as the "Cartoon Caption Game" and "Dissect a Joke". He also informs us of a sense of humor scale that has been created, and provides the url for the site to take the test. He is adamant about our need to examine and understand video games to be able to understand the powerful new grammar, narrative pattern, and thinking styles that games are teaching. He provides many websites and magazine titles which will aid in our investigations.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Symphony and Empathy Comments

The comments how left brainers think about tasks and how we need to get it done so we can check one more thing off the list is definitely hitting home. My husband can put it off until tomorrow and it seems to work out just fine, me on the other hand if something could go wrong (technology is a big one) it will happen to me...I am learning to laugh at this but its very time consuming and frustrating. I do wish I could stop and smell the roses and think more right brained but it doesn't come easy to reprogram these thought processes. As for empathy, yes, I often feel the pain of a close friend when they are struggling with issues in their lives. Empathy, unfortunately doesn't come easy to some as it does for others, maybe they have been hurt so bad that they don't want to feel anymore or maybe they have never been hurt and don't know how they should feel. It's interesting after reading this how you can pick out who is left/right brainers by how they accomplish or feel about issues in their lives.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Comments On Symphony and Empathy

When reading the part on Symphony I thought of the differences in our family. My husband is very task oriented and sees details. When watching a movie, he will notice the smallest details that I never caught.

It kind of reminded me a little of seeing in black and white or in gray. Those of us that see gray areas are looking at the whole picture and not just items. I was intrigued with the many ways that we can enhance symphony.
I liked when the author said that leadership is about empathy. It is about having the ability to relate and to connect with people for the purpose of inspiring and empowering their lives. When you look at great leaders around you, they do more than come up with good ideas. They inspire you and make you feel a connection to the purpose or ideas.
I know that we all tend to lean towards left or right thinking, but I think it is really important to try and be more balanced. I agree with the super summarizer that creative things tend to take time. I used to feel more creative than I do now, and I really think that in our fast paced world we have to decide to slow down. that is really hard for some people, especially those that think they need to be finishing tasks or accomplishing things. The best thing this book is doing for me is showing me that I need to slow down and look at more of life.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Part 4 Super Summarizer

When I really start thinking about left brain vs. right brain, I start to think about time. For instance, as teachers many times I hear or say, "We need more time, there's just not enough time." I feel like I don't have enough time to be more right brain. Right brain people may be more fun, more creative, and more artsy. It takes time to do that. Left brain people are on a mission to finish a task quickly and check it off a list. be more right brain here are some things us left brainers can do:
1. Listen to great symphonies
2. Draw
3. Keep a metaphor log
4. Look for solutions in search of problems
5. Create an inspiration board
6. Do some real brainstorming and write ideas down
So can you be left brain and still have empathy? I don't think left brain thinkers are totally unemotional or rude, it might just take us longer to feel empathy or understand others. I hate to brag but it seems as though women are more empathic. The male brain is not hard wired to have emotions like the female brain. Ways to practice empathy:
1. Test yourself (measure individual empathy and related qualities)
2. Eavesdrop
3. Empathize on the job
4. Take an acting class
5. Get mind reading
6. Don't outsource your empathy
7. Volunteer

**Many of our emotions don't just fall into place. We need to be constantly working on them to sharpen our skills in certain areas. I think people can either be very left brain or very right brain as other people may be a mixture of both and somewhat balanced. People may sometimes rely on one side more than the other but I think that is logical to think most where our strengths are. This was an interesting section to read and I don't believe I ever would have realized that there are strategies to try to incorporate more symphony and empathy into our lives.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


I have to agree with you Sandy on stories and how the students as well as my own children remember stories. We can be having dinner and something is mentioned and it brings up a story, remember when we did this or that and how much fun we had. I am finding our more and more about teaching standards that if I put in a story as an example they remember it faster and the analogy I used to try and help them. When you also mentioned how people see things differently its really interesting to hear what children say about events or pictures and point out things we never even thought of or didn't understand or intrepret it that way.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Section 3 Story and Symphony

I really found the section on story to be interesting. Like a lot of the teachers I know, and as some of you have mentioned, I use stories in my classroom. I find them to be very powerful learning tools. When I share in stories, they remember! I use personal stories, which they love. I also thought of books I have used to teach. A couple of examples that come to mind are the Bearenstain Bear books. I have used those to teach manners, not following the crowd, telling the truth, bullying etc... I have had students bring up "just like Pappa, or little sister in our book". When I started this section, I immediately thought of the fact that in the Bible Jesus taught in parables or stories. Actually the Bible is one story after another. It is powerful.

It was amazing to see the difference in the author's two pictures in the symphony part of the book. It is so true in the part where he said "The most creative among us see relationships the rest of us never notice." I have a very close friend who is an artist. She would point things out to me that I never connected. I do think you can enhance your ability to do this. I have, just being around her and having her point things out. Try to look at things differently, it works!

Friday, November 12, 2010


Well everyone I found out so much while trying many, many times to do this assignment and how many ways you can make these work. Sorry you have to see three different times I have submitted this and several computers later as well.

Author of Our Own Lives

Author of Our Own Lives

I hope the voice works on this one...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Section 3 Summary

I thought Sharla's response was interesting because I also tell many personal stories to my students in class. It seems the more personal the story is, the more students remember. When we are teaching reading comprehension strategies like questioning, connections, and now visualizing, students want a picture of our personal lives so they can connect with us more. I remember being in a training one day and the instructor gave us two stories (one that was a story of a man who was having a medical problem and the other story telling us a bunch of information and directions of what to do when going on trip). Which one was easier to remember? Of course, the story of the man. Somehow most of us had some kind of connection and couldn't remember anything from the other story. I love the part in the book where it says "Storytelling doesn't replace analytical thinking, but supplements it by enabling us to imagine new perspectives and new worlds". This is so true because we can still be very left brain thinkers but the stories we tell and hear can enhance the right brain. Everything has a story and we should take time to read and listen.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Section 3 Response

I loved this section on "Story" especially. I was thinking of the way stories have become more and more a part of my days at school. The lessons that I have attached personal stories to have become class favorites and the ones students have no trouble remembering. Story is a huge part of my life both personally and professionally, and I appreciated the insight Pink offers into telling stories. It sort of gave me permission to continue to make stories a part of my days at school. Students come back many years after I had them in class and bring up those stories to me along with the stories that are created during our years together. This section is a new favorite of mine in Pink's book.

Section 2 Response

This section of the book had some appeal to me as I was reading about the CHAD school. I was thinking of how much I would have enjoyed such an experience for my own education. I completely agree with much of what Pink has to say here as he shares the importance of design in our lives. I would love to give my own elementary school I work in each day an overhaul. I, too, think that the design and beauty surrounding us as we learn and work and play is vital to our outlook being positive.
I was reminded of how different things are today with the focus on design compared to my grandparents' generation when everything was about utility. I was thinking how my grandma would laugh at some of the things we spend our time on today, but how I have come to find the beauty and aesthetic value of things to be important as well.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Section 2 Response to summarizer

Chapter 2 Summary
This chapter brought some good information to share. When I read it, I kept think about lesson plan design and how much time we put into lesson plans, I sure don't do that with home design. We take into consideration how our lesson plans look, do they make sense, is everything included. As teachers we also look at classroom design (environment), seating assignments when needed, and many other things we take into account. I do not think of these things as design, but instead necessity for our teaching.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Summarization of Part Three p.100-148

In this part of the book by Daniel Pink he discusses how stories are easier to remember than facts. Stories are how we remember. Our experiences and our knowledge is all organized as stories.
Stories amuse; facts illuminate.
Stories divert; facts reveal.
Stories are for cover; facts are for real.
Pink goes on to say stories exist where high concepts and high touches intersect. Story is the high concept because it sharpens our understanding of one thing by showing it in the context of something else.
He goes on throughout this section explaining how stories are emotional with his need to tell us the story of a variation of Joseph Campbell's story "the hero's journey." Many people can retell a story rather than read a manufacturers manual as well. Pink goes on to tell other stories of businesses and hospitals with doctors and how the story of healing patients is so powerful.
He ends this section of story with we must listen to each others stories and that we are each the authors of our own lives.
Daniel Pink has also listed seven of the best festivals for checking out websites of storytelling festivals the amazing stories that authors have written the fascinating people who wrote them. He also listed many book titles we should try and check out and read some time in the future.
The next section of Daniel Pink's book is about symphony, which is the ability to put together the pieces which is part of the attribute of the right brain's hemisphere. Symphonic thinking is mainly the ability of composers and conductors who perform and produce unified sounds that are pleasing to hear.
One of the things that Pink describes in this section is symphony is a way to learn to draw, a skill such as a self-portrait he demonstrates what happened to him in his art class. Drawing is about seeing, the goal is to trick the left hemisphere and the right hemisphere can work. The Left hemisphere won't know what the Right hemisphere is doing.
The chapter on how Reese's peanut butter cups came together with R-Directed thinkers understanding the logic of this sugary concoction is interesting of how it was invented. As Pink explains how combining two existing ideas that no one else had thought to unite until then.
He continues to discuss how the composers and conductors have a variety of many responsibilities as they try to make sure all the instructions work and are performing in perfect relationship with each other.
I thought while reading this the section on a recent study of self-made millionaires and how such a high amount of them are dyslexic. Dyslexics have difficulty with L-Directed thinking skills. They are able to see the big picture and are capable of problem-solving. Business people and poets seem to be able to see the big picture as well in their careers.
Pink ends this section with his sketch of himself as he took a drawing class and tried to use his thought processes to produce the big picture of himself. It was personally interesting to see as I had read this and think saw him in one of the videos we watched earlier in this class and I could pick him out right away just from his 'big picture sketch.'

Monday, November 1, 2010

Summarize of Section 2: Chapter 4

This chapter consisted of two parts. It talked about the importance of design to our society and a portfolio of ideas to help us develop design.
Everything around us has been designed. Design is a whole-minded aptitude. It is a combination of utility(L-Directed Thinking) and significance(R-Directed Thinking). Design in its simplest form is the activity of creating solutions and it is something that everyone does every day to some extent.
This chapter talked about schools, such as CHAD, that teach Architecture and Design. They have students attending more and seem to be very successful. It talked about how the design of hospitals affect the recovery of patients, and our our automobile industry has made design an important part of the automobile. It even talked about the election and failed design for the voting ballots.
The second part of the chapter contained a Portfolio for Design. It made the following suggestions:
1. Keep A Design Journal- When you see a great design, make a note of it. (Include the design of experiences, too)
2. Channel Your Annoyance- Choose an item that annoys you, think of ways to improve it, and send your idea/sketch to the manufacturer.
3. Read Design Magazines- There are eight must-read magazines listed.
4. Be Like Karin- He is a world famous designer. He has a fifty-point guide to life and design.
5. Become a Design Detective- Look for design trends, notice what constitutes the spaces that feel good to you, try to determine if they appeal on the emotional level or in a physical way.
6. Participate in the Third Industrial Revolution- Design something yourself.
7. Visit a Design Museum- Ten museums are listed.
8. CRAP-ify Your Design- For effective design there are four elements you need to use.
9. Put It on a Table- Find an object that is special to you, and place it on the table. Explore questions about the object such as how it makes you feel and why you are connected to it.
10. Be Choosy- This ended the chapter and I want to quote the author because I love what he says here. "Choose things in your life that will endure, that are a pleasure to use........Choose things because they delight you, not because they impress others. And never let things be more important than your family, friends, and your own spirit."

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Super Summary for Chapter 2

The chapter started out by defining knowledge workers and how they have shaped the character, leadership and social profile of the modern age. It then went on to say that we have created an SAT-ocracy or regime in which access to the good life depends on the ability to reason logically, sequentially, and speedily. Today though we are moving into an era in which L-Directed thinking won't be enough. The writer gives three reasons for this shift.
ABUNDANCE- He talked about the abundance of shops and what we can buy. He talked about how this prosperity has made people think more of beauty, spirituality, and emotion which are more R-Directed. One quote that was quit interesting to me was: "The United States spends more on trash bags than ninety other countries spend on everything" I noticed that that quote was interesting to the people who summarized before me. Another quote from the auther was: " For businesses it's no longer enough to create a product that's reasonably priced and adequately functional. It must also be beautiful, unique, and meaningful........In an age of abundance, appealing only to rational, logical, and functional needs is woefully insufficient."
ASIA- This section talked about how L-Directed white-collar work is migrating to other parts of the world. It can be done a lot cheaper there. It talked about if routine L-Directed work can be done for less overseas then workers here will need to command a new set of aptitudes. They will need to use R-Directed abilities tackling the big picture rather than the single component.
AUTOMATION- This part started out discussing John Henry vs. the new steam-machine and how it was a parable of the Industrial age. It showed that the machines could do some things better than human beings. This is so much more true today. It compared the computer to the human thinking. A computer is faster, stronger, and full of more information than a human mind. They don't get tired, or get a headache, or choke under pressure. Antomation has changed the work force. Doctors can use the computer to diagnos symptoms. People can use the computer to handle a divorce or set up a will. The computer can share specialized knowledge quickly. We can use automation for a lot of L-Directed thinking that we used to depend on people for.
Conclusion of the chapter- The three above forces are tilting the scales in favor of R-Directed thinking. The writer asked what happens next and then said he is going to examine that in the next chapter.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I was very interested in the first chapter and how it talked about how each side has different functions. The part in the first chapter that talked about the spouse having to go get the most important ingredient for dinner and how the brain picks up on that really hit home to me. I have worked with a student that had brain damage. She would have picked up on the going to the store part, but would be oblivious to anger or annoyance of others. It made it very hard for her to relate.
The book is easy to read, and I have enjoyed it so far.

Section 1 Response

As I was reading your summary I was focused on the first section number 4: The left hemisphere analyzes the details, the right hemisphere synthesizes the big picture. I wish my left would help out my right a little bit!
Chapter 2
We sure need to pass alot of tests to be able to get to where we are. So it seems that India has many more "smart" people in their country....pretty soon is there going to be anyone working in the United States? Or will India be running our country? What do we need to do to produce that many "smart" people?
Chapter 3
Japan has focus so much on academics and now says thats an outdated approach. They are trying to foster more creativity, artistry, and play. I don't think we will ever see such a thing on our National Standards that are soon to be!

Section 1 Response

After reading this section of the book I thought it was interesting to try and understand really how both sides of our brain really work. How each has a job just like we tell our students you have a job of learning the materials and I have a job of teaching the materials you need to know. The next part of this section is also something to really think about as we are becoming more technology based as more and more jobs are being taken over by machines rather than humans. How our world is becoming so dependent on technology that it will be interesting to see in the future how our children survive in a world that everything seems to be fast-paced and readily available to them with a click of a button.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Super Summary for Section 1

Super Summary for Section 1 of A Whole New Mind

Chapter 1 focuses in on the differences between our brain’s hemispheres. It goes through a series of explanations for how each side handles the same input or situations. There are four key areas that the author centers around:

1. The left hemisphere controls the right side of the body, and the right hemisphere controls the left side of the body.
2. The left hemisphere is sequential, and the right hemisphere is simultaneous.
3. The left hemisphere specializes in text, and the right hemisphere specializes in context.
4. The left hemisphere analyzes the details, and the right hemisphere synthesizes the big picture.

This quote identifies the Savior vs. Saboteur Mentalities of right brain and left brain thinking:

“Many popular writers have written that the right hemisphere is key to expanding human thought, surviving trauma, healing autism and more. It’s going to save us. It’s the seat of creativity, of the soul, and even to great casserole ideas.”

This quote sums up in a poetic way the differences between the hemispheres:

“…even the most powerful computers in the world can’t recognize a face with anywhere close to the speed and accuracy of my toddler son. Think of the sequential/simultaneous difference like this: the right hemisphere is the picture; the left hemisphere is the thousand words.” p. 19

Chapter 2 – Abundance, Asia and Automation: social and economic forces.

This chapter focuses on the shift that is happening as more and more emphasis is being put on the skills of right hemisphere thinking over the long dominating left hemisphere ways of looking at the world and success in the world.

Abundance: Whoa – here is a quote worth contemplating – “The Unites States spends more on trash bags than 90 countries spend on EVERYTHING. In other words, the receptacles of our waste cost more than all of the goods consumed by over half of the world’s nations.”

Our left brains have made us rich. Businesses have moved from providing for the “needs” of consumers to providing for the “wants” and also not only “wants” but wants that are beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. We are living in a time when the standard middle class have few needs that aren’t being met, yet human satisfaction is still low. This has accelerated humans’ search for meaning and beauty in the world.

Asia: Outsourcing has become a huge issue due to the ability to purchase goods and services from countries in Asia at a fraction of the cost of producing them ourselves. “One in four IT jobs will be offshored by 2010.” This is forcing our knowledge workers to develop skills that cannot be produced overseas.
Automation: The stories of John Henry (super-human physical laborer) and Garry Kasparov (super-human chess player of our time) give examples of how things once thought to be only reached by a select few are now being surpassed by machines. This has forced professionals to develop aptitudes that computers can’t do better.

Chapter 3 – Explains High Concept and High Touch

The main characters in our present day and days to come are the “creators” and “empathizers,” two very distinct right brained skills. We have moved from and economy built on people’s backs to and economy built on people’s left brains to an economy emerging that is built on people’s right brains. In other words, the services and products that will keep our economy going are those that are “high concept,” meaning artistic and novel as well as “high touch,” meaning the ability to empathize and understand the subtleties of human interactions.

As new generations are entering the university setting, a shift has taken place. The Master’s of Fine Arts has become the new hot area of study. The shift is from IQ to EQ for success in the world. There is also a shift to more devotion to meaning and transcendence – in other words, the quality of life. “Meaning” has become the new “Money” in this Conceptual Age.
Design, story, symphony, empathy, play, and meaning are the new 6 senses.

Introduction to the 6 Senses – these will increasingly guide our lives and shape our world.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Whole New Mind - Or Is It???

I think this image represents the essence of this book, from what we have read thus far. The two sides of the brain handle different concepts and emote differing responses, but work in conjunction with one another. I think my sides are balanced - hope so anyway!!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Is the traditional business world at war with creativity?

The title of this picture appears to sum up our book exactly. I was very surprised to find something to tie in so completely. What I find very interesting about this picture is that the right-brainer in me says, "Where is the creativity in the photograph?" The picture doesn't really show traditional thinking being at war with creativity. A left-brainer must have created this photo.

A Whole New Mind Image

I have not read the book yet, but I chose this picture because I thought that it showed the difference between left-brain and right-brain thinkers. Some people think that right-brain thinkers are a little ditsy sometimes. I have a feeling that the book is going to teach us how right-brain thinking is the way of the future.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

What's Your Brain Like?

I chose this image because I like how it gives such a wonderful picture of how our mind functions. There is value and importance to each side, yet they are so different. I am looking forward to this literature circle to explore this idea more deeply and understand more about how new generations are functioning.

A Whole New Mind - Book Image

I chose this image because the rows remind me very much of myself. I am a very analytical and sequential thinker. I like things to be lined up and I like to cross off items on a "to do" list. I have a very hard time sometimes just letting things flow and I believe sometimes I have a hard time letting go of some of the control. I chose this book because I thought it would give me some insight into how I could be more creative and intuitive.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Using our heads and brains with technology

I chose this image because I am definitely using my head and brain an awful lot with this class, but at the same time I like the challenge. So far I am learning if I miss one simple step or don't have the complete step by step directions it can be very difficult to use technology. It is like the concept of a young child not learning to crawl and going right into walking. They miss an important step in their new start in life and all the steps that need to be taken.

Welcome to Literature Circle One!

Your Super Summarizer schedule is as follows:

Section One--Due October 28, Sharla Cass-Steever
Section Two--Due November 4, Sandra (Sandy) Fairbrother
Section Three--Due November 11, Janis Mathis-Anderson
Section Four--Due November 18, Holly Mehlhaff
Section Five--Due December 2, Kathy Cruse
Section Six--Due December 9, Andrea Elwess