Thursday, February 21, 2008

In Terr Ess Ting

Last night, in bed, instead of reading my Bible, I read a few pages of 1001 Things Your Kids Should See and Do then chucked that book at the far wall with a deep sense of failure filling me up from my toes to my nose:

53. They need to listen to Mozart or Beethoven every morning before school.
55. They need to watch a tree grow from a seedling over several years. And see how that pretty much describes the mystery of life.
56. They need to watch a colt find its legs.
57. They need to open a kool-aid stand.
66. They need to sign with a deaf person.
175. They need to write thank you notes.
176. They need to remember the appearance of their body is not as vital as the development of their mind.
180. They need to get things done without your help.
181. They need to stay away from their friends when their friends are acting stupid.
384. They need to suck honeysuckle.
417. They need to plan, shop, purchase, prepare and serve dinner for the family once a month.Without mom's help.
435. They need to learn to budget.
562. They need to start tithing. With their own money. Even if they only make $10 a week.
599. They need to stand up for the unpopular student.
600. They need to let gossip die with them.
715. They need to develop solid time management skills so a report that takes 15 hours isn't started three hours before it is due.
716. They need to use a daily planner. Not just carry one.
729. They need to realize that studying in bed just leads to falling asleep.
967. They need to work. After school. Weekends. Christmas break. And summer.

Oh my goodness. Of the couple hundred items I read at random, I think they've done 2 of them (51. They need to sleep outside and watch for falling stars and 28. They need to see you struggle with difficulties.) Not to say we haven't had discussions on say, tithing, or gossiping, or studying, or working... I've tried. I really have. But if the kid likes doing Math 10 for 6 straight semesters, what can I do? It's ultimately his life. And apparently, with regards to tithing, "it's not a New Testament thing to do", and work? Like have a part time job while going to school? Oh don't get me started on that.

The only thing I haven't attempted is the Mozart for breakfast thing.

But after tonight, I am intrigued. Inspired. Motivated.

I went to a Terry Small seminar at our school and learnt about the brain. I am such a student. I love learning; taking notes, writing in coil bound lined notebooks, thinking about things I don't usually think about...

And this is what I found out:
That if you listen to Baroque music while studying (Baroque = music from the 1600 - 1750 time period; Vivaldi, Bach, Scarlatti, Pachelbel, Handel etc. and has 55 - 70 beats per minute) you will experience a 25 - 400% INCREASE in learning.

Baroque music actually helps brain development. Studies were so conclusive that in Georgia, as newborns left the hospital, they were given a CD of Baroque tunes to help them with the development of their brains.

And why does this work? It has to do with brain waves. There are 4 different types:
Alpha - you are calm, relaxed and alert
Beta - you are stressed and agitated
Theta - you are in a twilight zone, all floaty and drooling
Delta - you are in a deep sleep

And guess what? The alpha waves beat at about 62 beats per minute. So, Baroque music helps your brain waves stay in that zone which is, by the way, the perfect zone for learning.

The other thing I learned was a prune a day will keep Alzheimer's at bay. He looked at the 70 of us in the library and announced that 50% of us would have Alzheimer's by the time we're 80. We'd have a 92% chance of NOT getting it if we eat a prune a day.

So simple.

Yet... a prune? Shudder. Couldn't I just take a pill?

Oh, and another thing (see, I LOVE this stuff!) - people learn and memorize 10% more and 30% faster ON THEIR FEET. Meetings without chairs finish 85% quicker.

Oh, I could go on and on about things like synapses, cross lateral movements, the value of questions ...

it was all so riveting.

I think I want to go back to school.
I love being a student.

Sat behind me for this presentation. (I dragged him there... the seminar was supposed to teach you how to get better grades by studying smarter.)
He heckled and jeckled throughout the entire event.
Anybody want a 13 year old?

Three things I'm thankful for:
1. It's well past midnight and Clint and I are eating beef stew and talking about the gifts of the Spirit. He is very opinionated on this (and most) topics.

2. Max needed a grad picture for the yearbook, so I booked an appointment for him to be shot in a cap and gown at Sears Portrait Studio. He brought along a ceremonial samari sword and wore a the turquoise dress shirt he bought for Sam's grad last year. The gown was a shiny black polyester and the cap did not fit on his big head. The photos are interesting but the quality is so poor, I doubt they'll be able to use them in the yearbook after all that. But we had a nice time at the mall, regardless.

3. I just got two nice emails in the last hour:
- "I want you to know that God is especially fond of you Jane. You have been faithful even when life hasn’t made sense and He will honour that." (A friend is writing a paper on mentoring, and is including me in it. I jokingly told her only to put me in if I was her favorite mentor, otherwise not to bother and then she wrote me that nice note.)
- Another friend just wrote to tell me "You are great."

Go figure. I'm not PMSing anymore, so I don't really need all the affirmation. I have to remember to send nice emails. They sure are wonderful to receive.

Good night,

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