The Dragonfly Forest

They have been given names such as devil’s darning needle, ear sewer, horse stinger, skeeter hawk, and the snake’s servant. Actually, Dragonflies are beneficial, peaceful, and stunning. You are a Dragonfly if you are: ADD/ADHD, dyslexic, dysgraphic, Asperger’s, NLVD, autistic…

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Understanding the Time Paradox & Why People Do What They Do

Because of Day-light Savings Time I have been thinking a lot about Time.  When I think about Time I can’t help but think about Dr. Philip Zimbardo & John Boyd’s book – “The Time Paradox: The New Psychology of Time That Will Change Your Life.”   Our behaviors and decisions relate to how we perceive time.   The different time perspectives consist of:  Future, Past (positive & negative), Present-Hedonistic, and Present-Fatalistic.   By understanding a person’s perspective of time we are able to empathize with the person and have a better comprehension regarding choices and behaviors.    We enter the world as Hedonistic Presented centered – we want it and we want it NOW!  As we get older some of us change that perspective based on our life experiences, culture, family values, religious beliefs…  

Here is a brief overview of each orientation:

Future:  behaviors are dominated by a striving for future goals and rewards; focus is on if-then reasoning, probabilistic thinking, and logical analysis; and good at delaying gratification

Past:  behaviors and choices are made based on recalling similar situations that did or did not work in the past; rituals and traditions play important roles in their lives; suspicious of the new and different; most prone to prejudices; and have a stable sense of self over time

Present - Hedonistic: behaviors are self-indulgent, playful and focused on things that bring immediate pleasure; avoids things that involve much effort, work, planning, or unpleasantness; often do poorly in academics because there is little concern for future consequences; and do well on creative tasks, activities with immediate feedback, sports, and high energy activities.

Present-Fatalistic:  behaviors are a result of feeling helpless and hopeless toward the future and life; believe it does not pay to plan since nothing works out for them as they envision; feel their lives are externally controlled (either by religions values such as being a subordinate to the higher powers or is a byproduct of economic failures/being lower class); believe in luck for changing rather than hard work or planning; superstitious; perform poorly in school/work because they have little external control; and have more psychological problems. 

The ideal Time perspective is to have high scores for Positive Past, Present Hedonism, and Future while having low scores for Negative Past, and Present Fatalism.   

The video presented is only a brief clip from Dr. Zimbardo’s lecture but it will give you a 10 minute visual of how these perspectives influence our lives.  Enjoy!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

How the brain works

As a Dragonfly, you already know that your brain is different but you need to know how the brain works, grows, and changes then you need to know exactly how YOUR brain works.  Sarah-Jayne Blakemore does a great job teaching about the brain, especially the adolescent brain!  Enjoy

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Learning to let go! Lessons we need to learn

Once, a professor began his class by holding up a glass with some water in it. He held it up for all to see and asked the students, 'How much do you think this glass weighs?' '1 pound!' ....'2 pounds!' .....'3 pounds!' ......the students answered.

'I really don't know unless I weigh it,' said the professor, 'but, my question is: What would happen if I held it up like this for a few minutes?' 'Nothing' the students said.
'OK what would happen if I held it up like this for an hour?' the professor asked. 'Your arm would begin to ache' said one of the students.

'You're right, now what would happen if I held it for a day?' 'Your arm could go numb, you might have severe muscle stress & paralysis; have to go to hospital for sure' ventured another student. All the students laughed.

'Very good. But during all this, did the weight of the glass change?' Asked the professor. 'No,' replied the students.' 'Then what caused the arm ache; the muscle stress?

Instead, what should I do?' The students were puzzled. 'Put the glass down' said one of the students. 

'Exactly!' said the professor. 'Life's problems are something like this. Hold them for a few minutes in your head; they seem OK. Think of them for a long time; they begin to ache. Hold them even longer; they begin to paralyze you. You will not be able to do anything.'
It is important to think of the challenges in your life, but EVEN MORE IMPORTANT to 'put them down' at the end of every day before you go to sleep. That way, you are not stressed, you wake up every day fresh, strong, can handle any issue, any challenge that comes your way!
Remember friend

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Lessons from The Breakfast Club

 I while ago I was at an event where awards were given out to 2 athletics, 1 male and 1 female for outstanding sportsmanship (it was an event for ALL students not just athletes).  As you know I think giving accolades is a great way to the build self-esteem of students.  You should also know that I am not fond of exclusion and this was not an event for only athletics it was an event for all students.   This means that MANY of the students were excluded from even being in the running to win these awards.  

I was sitting with a group of kids who knew that their names would NOT be called because they do not play a sport.  One student stated "I wish I could be recognized for my music."  Another pointed out that the school cares more about students who play sports than students who have other talents - this student is an exceptional artist.  It breaks my heart that adults set up school situations that assure an "us versus them" culture.  Maybe it is because "when you grow up, your heart dies" (quote from the Breakfast Club).  

Rewarding some students while purposefully excluding others is wrong.  All students have a special strength but they also have in them other qualities as well.   Instead of rewarding only athletics all students should be in the running and the rewarded for being a kind and empathetic student~ these are qualities that every student can display.  

This whole situation reminded me of the movie The Breakfast Club.  Here's the ending scene but if you have not seen this movie in a while do so and learn the importance of inclusion and empathy - so "Don't you forget about me":  

"Dear Mr. Vernon,
We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it is we did wrong, but we think you're crazy for making us write an essay telling you who we think we are.  You see us as you want to see us, in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. 
But what we found out, is that each one of us is a brain,
and an athlete,
and a basket-case,
a princess,
and a criminal.
Does that answer your question?
Sincerely yours,
The Breakfast Club"

Why do some people think it's okay to exclude?  We should be embracing and including all students not making them feel judged and excluded!  Maybe more should watch the movie "The Breakfast Club" and practice the lessons that are learned - we all want to have value & belong! 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Courage is acquired

You are not born with courage.  Courage can only come from experience.  When you overcome an obstacle or challenge in your life you develop and gain courage.  Courage is an acquired trait.  So every time you are going through some tough times in your life remember that you are making yourself stronger, you are building courage!