Everyone in the classroom was aware that the new girl was different. They had all grown up in the area around Charlottesville, a
rather affluent area with Southern manners, rolling green countryside, country
estates and horses. She moved here from a broken home in Washington, D.C. to
live in Albemarle County with her grandmother. She wore a black, leather jacket
with gang slogans stenciled across the back. Her language was crude and out of
place. Most students ignored her. Once when I rearranged the seating, one of
the boys refused to move where I assigned him. Later he told me privately that
he refused because he didn’t want to sit next to a Negro. It was 1968.
As time went on, the new girl’s sullenness began to soften. Her
schoolwork improved. She began to smile and reflect enthusiasm in class. I
attributed the change to the influence of living with her grandmother. Once
when I asked a question, she excitedly raised her hand and said, “I know! I
know!” One of the white boys remarked…
Current research in brain science indicates that life change
rarely occurs as a result of logical thinking. Change occurs when information
is processed in the part of the brain not accessible to conscious thought... the
Conscious, logical thought is often referred to as
left-brain function. It is sequential and slower than the processing speed of
the right brain. These two types of mental processing complement each other.
Each has its own advantages.
Face recognition software in a computer must process a huge
amount of data. But how does our brain recognize a face? We do not consciously analyze the light and dark areas of the
image, but somehow we quickly recognize the image of a human being. We even may discern something about the person’s mood. We can identify the person if we are
acquainted. Most of these responses are not the result of logical thinking. They are the product of right brain activity.
Right brain function is associated with art, music,
Whenever I would ask my grandfather about the war, he would
clam up like a spy. Actually, he really was a spy. Grandma would then begin
showing me his military photographs, how he learned the language, how he arrived
in Germany and, of course, happily show off his medals. At the age of 12 I
wanted to know what it was really like in the war. But Grandpa would only wave
his hand at the TV, as if to say, watch “Seventeen Moments of Spring.” I would
watch, be impressed, and then ask again, “But tell me something about you.”
Silence. He drank habitually, like all of his war-time
buddies from the front lines. And then it seemed he would begin to feel
better. He would begin to smile and cut out paper swans for me. Apparently the
port wine helped him for a while to forget what was terrible to remember. Then I, taking advantage of the moment, would ask him again about the war, and again I would not receive an intelligent answer.
Jordan Petersen, a professor
of psychology at the University of …