My Thoughts on a “Power of Positivity” Post

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NOTE: Originally posted on Medium.com:

I want to share my thoughts on a Power of Positivity post from my Facebook subscription. For me, as I started to read it, a fleury of ideas surfaced. The messages from the post should have been obvious and I guess they were / are. But the story and images shared were ‘OMG’ / ‘WOW’ inspiring for me. I know: “What took so long?” More on my reactions to the post later; first, some background … I’m thinking some of you might find this background material familiar.

Remember back in school (for me that’s so long ago, I believe dirt was clear’ as it hadn’t become dirty as yet), we had the standardized tests; our teacher would announce: “Next week on the 24th, we’ll be taking the XYZ Test.” No practice tests, no home prep, no computer administering (had no computers — electricity was reasonably new (again, I’m old…). I certainly don’t remember higher stress levels for anyone involved.

But I digress. On those tests, there always seemed to be a ‘reading comprehension’ section. Probably the tests still do today as well. We were supplied a piece to read, after which we were given questions to assess our comprehension skills. I’ll share another fact about my life. I studied engineering including being awarded a PhD. I was a true geek — > i.e., my comprehension piece was not that different from a simple rewrite of what was supplied; multiple-guess questions, if used, were mostly just that: guesses.

Why? Because I was never required to write pieces that forced me to honestly Consider [Shameless plug for this blog — my thoughts on Considerations / Considering]!!! Other than our final report after a summer NSF Traineeship, the longest paper I believe I was assigned in undergraduate college was three pages. High school most certainly required more. Graduate school changed that of course. I had to learn how to Learn Effectively  — to Consider pieces and their possibly related material in order to be able to use that learning to address meaningful situations. Again more of my thoughts and efforts on these topics posted on this blog.

OK, back to the Power of Positivity post … The image of the holes remaining in the fence really hit home. Yes, we apologize, yes we hopefully learn and refine our words and actions. But the holes remain … My thoughts and plans:

  • I must do my best to eliminate the initial issues as much as I can — fewer nails driven, fewer nails to be removed, fewer holes remaining.
  • Neither I nor anyone else can ever get to a point where no nails are driven and thus no holes to be dealt with. We are all human and perfection is a valuable target but one never reachable.
  • Therefore, whether it’s in the initial period when we’re Effectively Learning through Considering or when our imperfections happen, we will have holes remaining  B— which I believe should be our responsibility, beyond and not in substitution for the absolutely critical seeking and receiving forgiveness.
  • What would / could we do in the case of literal holes in the fence. We could locate / mark the holes. We could fill the holes with compound. We could then sand the compound / fence as needed and paint using matching paint.
  • Depending upon our selections made and skills used, the holes would likely disappear at some distance from the fence, especially with shorter glances. But close-up study would still reveal the locations of the original holes.
  • Likewise, for the figurative driving of nails, the location of the ‘holes’ cannot be completely eliminated, regardless of efforts made. With the impossibility of eliminating the behavior holes completely, hopefully fewer of them will arise — testing the forgiveness offered, especially for those really tough ones that cause the re-identification of the previously mended behavior holes.

Bottom line then: There has to be an upgrade of trust between both parties … The offended must trust the offending to be empathic and diligent to eliminate most of the behavior nail driving. The offending must trust the offended to accept that efforts are being made but that perfection won’t happen. Ideally they can support each other in addressing and understanding the behavior nails driving and holes — keeping them from becoming issues / wedges between each other.

I trust this discussion of my Considerations might be of some value to you. Maybe at the processing level, maybe at the behavior level, maybe both …

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A New a Learning Opportunity – for Me at Least

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I just learned of a new learning opportunity, thanks to Charlene Doland.  It’s the Connected Learning Community (on Google+). They have a terrific Website that includes what they call Maker Cycles – an opportunity to practice skills associated with connected learning. They facilitate Google Hangouts and a #CLMOOC Twitter chat (this Thursday the 10th beginning at 7:00 PM ET). As I said, I’m very new to these opportunities and wanted to share with you. As I understand, I missed their CLMOOC facilitated in June.

i gained and continue to gain so much from the opportunities related to the DLMOOC earlier this year that I’m excited to promote these new opportunities – through this short post to this blog!

Considerations and Memory

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I am a dedicated follower of the Brain Pickings newsletter of Maria Popova.  A recent piece discussed short- and long-term memory.  According to the piece, short-term memory consists of four so-called slave systems. Of interest to me and of relevance to this blog is the fourth slave: the episodic buffer.  This buffer “gathers all of the diverse information in from the other slaves, and maybe other information from elsewhere, and integrates them together into what might be described as a multimedia memory.” if you’ve read other posts to this blog or have discussed “considerations” with me, I trust you will hopefully see that this episodic buffer could also be termed short-term memory considerations. i of course am not a brain-function researcher. But I am a firm believer in the importance of “considerations” to effective, deeper learning. Again to me this is the development of long-term memory. Continuing this thinking, may I suggest a few items relating this transferring knowledge from short-term memory to long-term memory:

  • The transfer is the conscious expansion of the considerations relative to the topic. Whereas short-term memory happens “on the fly” as events raise the topic, the transfer to long-term memory happens by design.  That is, the learner decides the importance and sets out to deliberately build long-term memory. To me this means identifying other information to integrate into the vision of the topic as I’ve chosen to call the outcome. In particular, this additional information should include contrasting viewpoints (e.g., if the initial short-term memory resulted from a cold-weather experience, then effort must be made to find comparable information related to the other seasonal weather experiences).
  • The transfer will improve when these additional sources enable the comparison of these viewpoints. Some outcomes will not vary with contrasting viewpoints, some will. Not only will the vision be more complete (helpful in subsequent use), I am convinced the vision will provide those “hooks” to provide recall from long-term memory.
  • it is important to remember that increasing the viewpoints will also help identify the “outliers” – those that don’t mesh with other viewpoints. The tendency is to immediately dismiss those viewpoints as flawed in some way, a distinct possibility. But it’s best, I suggest, to keep them included in the vision – identified as     appropriate. Subsequent discussion or application of the vision will provide input supporting the validity of the viewpoint or its classification as an outlier.
  • The considerations will enable that vision to reside in long-term memory. But now to what the late Paul Harvey called “the rest of the story.” The vision demands regular assessment, starting with self-assessment of course: based upon additional viewpoints gathered as they are identified. But there is also a need for discussion with others. This discussion has many benefits: identification of inappropriate interpretations, of additional interpretations, and further reinforcement of those “hooks” to name just a few.
  • And of course, there is the ultimate reinforcement of and reason for developing this long-term memory: its application to address situations that make people’s lives better.  It’s reinforcement because not all applications will go as planned of course (maybe very few?) – more input to the refinement of the vision; and of course, this refinement emphasizes the hooks as well.

Summarizing then, there is apparently the most elementary levels of my “considerations” notion in short-term memory. However, it’s the conscious expansion of these considerations resulting in the vision, together with the assessing / refining of that vision through discussions with others and applications, that lead to valuable long-term memory. I trust this posting will prove of some value to you – in term of your understanding of short- and long-term memory. More importantly, possibly, this posting might provide input to the process / plan that I utilize when I “consider” a topic (memory) triggered by an article identified of value to me.