Sometimes, that seventh song has been JUST what I would have written about anyway, or it gives a very good idea on what to write about. What I wanted to write briefly about was an event that happened last night.
Last night, I had dinner with the Chicago chapter of G.R.A.S.P. at a Thai restaurant near Welsh-Ryan Arena. Several different conversations happened, but generally we all focused on one person, rather than breaking into several smaller conversations. Topics included academia and teaching, industry, TV, law, and much more. I found it enjoyable to share my own experiences, and also listen to others’.
After dinner, we all headed to said arena, for a talk by Temple Grandin, as part of a collaboration between many organizations, including Northwestern University and F.A.N. (Family Action Network). A few months ago, one of my friends gave me a copy of Grandin’s book “How I See It,” and I have read it on-and-off since obtaining it. Mom told me that Grandin was her inspiration for how to raise me once I was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, twenty years ago (!!).
The talk started with representatives from F.A.N., talking, and it was the long, drawn out laundry list of acknowledgments and thank-yous to organizations. Once they finished with that, Eustacia Cutler (Grandin’s mother) spoke.
Her main thesis was “risk and trust,” when recalling some of the decisions that she made in helping Temple to grow as a person in the 1940s and ’50s. She also talked of individualized teaching being more beneficial to students than generalized teaching, and considered physical pain versus silent pain.
After a standing ovation, Temple took the stage and talked, going around the main idea of how different minds process information differently. The diversity of different minds is important to this world. Topics ranged from animal science to education, and recommendations for parents (after all, the audience of this talk was the Family Action Network…). A few things that stuck out to me: each person has the potential of having different sensory inputs that they are particularly sensitive to. Also, examples of how she processes from the bottom-up (instead of the top down) helped to remind me of those concepts from psychology classes that I took as an undergraduate.
An important thing: When a person has particular strengths, those need to be emphasized and developed. Oftentimes, strengthening a strength may be able to overcome for a shortcoming somewhere.
Speaking of shortcoming, however, this is one reason that I wrote about this talk under the title “Don’t Speak.” The reason for that: A basketball arena is NOT a lecture hall! The acoustics in the arena were beyond horrendous for hearing most of what Cutler and Grandin (and the other speakers) were saying. Although I tried to pay attention, the echos, slamming noises elsewhere in the arena, and non-air-conditioned venue made it all very distracting.
The next time that I listen to Grandin in person, I will make sure that it is in a place with better acoustics!
Today is the one-hundred and forty-second day of M.M.X.I.V. That makes twenty weeks and two days.
.היום שבעה ושלושים יום, שהם חמישה שבועות ושני ימים לעומר
Today is the twenty-second day of the third round of M.A.P.L.E. That makes three weeks and one day.
The song for the day: “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt.