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."