Friday, March 6, 2015

The conscious experience of me fainting.

I just fainted and here is the list of the relevant conscious experiences I had in chronological order.

  • I step out of the bath
  • I open the door
  • I feel a cold rush of air
  • I see my wife
  • I tell her I have been in the bath for awhile and I am feeling dizzy
  • I am vigorously washing my face. 
  • I see Amy calmly looking down at me with the shower head in her right hand asking if she should spray me with water.
  • I am confused why she would ask that as I am not thirsty.
  • I notice I am laying in the bathtub incorrectly - I was lying perpendicular to the tub intersecting it in the middle with my body.
  • I stare up at Amy confused in a new way.
  • I think - I had just gotten out of the tub.  Why would I get out, see Amy, get back in the tub in such an unorthodox fashion, and wash my face?
  • I notice the sensation you get on your palate after you inhale water through your nose.
  • Amy says I fainted.
  • I laugh

What is interesting about this is once Amy believes I am not dead she starts to recount her first hand experience observing me faint.  She points out a powerful moment of me staring up at her with eyes wide open.  I also recall that moment as when I realized it was odd I was in the bathtub when I was just recently standing up.  However, there were 4 conscious events in between that moment and when I told Amy I was dizzy.  I was fully conscious yet clueless I had fainted for 4 full conscious moments.  It wasn't until I had made the connection that I should not be in the tub did confusion set in and I reconnect with Amy emotionally.  

So the big question is, during those 4 conscious events, where was I emotionally? 

My justification for why I would be able to consciously wash my face after fainting and not think it is weird is because when the blood left my brain from standing out of the bath too quick, I fell back into the tub.  As the blood came back to my brain my conscious mind realized it was under water.  It also recalled it was in a bathtub and it knew the only logical reason it would be under water in a bathtub was to wash the face.  So that is what it told me to do.

My justification for being able to see Amy offering to spray me with water and be confused but still not be aware I had just fainted was because of how calm her face was.  If she had been all panicky, I would have been irked out of my ignorant state and figure out something weird just happened.  But she was so calm.  When I finally stopped washing my face and looked up to see her offering water, my brain could only interpret it as she thought I was thirsty.

To get the account of Amy my wife, please follow this link.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Smart people are ALWAYS bored

Smart people are NEVER bored.

I read the above comment some random person on some random thread in some random location on the internet.  This statement has an interesting truth behind it and I think the best way to illustrate it is by saying that we will never understand intelligence until we stop using the word "smart" as an adjective to describe a noun and start to use it as a verb to describe what a noun does.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The eyes are much more emotional

Sometimes the counter on my microwave reaches zero yet still takes a couple seconds before it sounds the beeping melody of completion.  This is irrelevant if I am sitting in the other room and only have the sound of the beep to tall me the microwave has completed it's function.  However, once I was looking at the microwave, I saw that the counter was at zero so I naturally placed my hand on the door handle so I could open the door the retrieve the contents therein.  To my surprise I found myself frozen in that state because the the beep still hadn't sounded.  It took so long to sound although my visual system was staring at a big 0 that I began to feel like an ass with my hand on the handle doing nothing.  By the time the beep caught up with the 0 displayed on the timer I was furious.

My eyes gave me the sign that the microwave was done yet my ears wouldn't let me continue until it also received its own sign.  This false expectation induced by my eyes caused me to quickly lose my patience.  If it had happened the other way around, if the microwave had beeped seconds before the timer had reached zero thus causing my eyes to wait for their signal, would I have been equally perturbed at the microwave's incompetence?  Perhaps I would have found it comical....I must re-engineer this faulty microwave and find out.

As humans I think we are much more dependent on our eyes than any other sense.  We believe the things we see with much more faith than information received from the other senses.  I think this reliance causes us to become much more emotionally attached to our visual system than any other.  Any discrepancy, for example seeing the timer saying zero yet the microwave not dinging, therefore would likely be met with much more emotion.  Hence I got so frustrated.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

"Teaching style" as a product

I just finished an interview for a teaching position here in Osaka Japan.  The position is for a company that dispatches individuals to Japanese companies to perform business English lessons.  I don't have any experience with teaching English to business professionals but the company was willing to see my demo lesson and I was willing to give it.

On the day of the interview/demo lesson I was late.  I didn't seem to care, nor did the man waiting for me yet I wonder how much of my failure in life is because I just can't seem to care enough about being a couple minutes late.  I guess it is hard for me to care because I am always occupying my "waiting" time in other completely natural moments of wait - the the barber - with books to read and thoughts to think.  After the fellow waiting for me ensured I was indeed James we moved to the bar of a fancy apartment building.  I was served tea and water as the patient interviewer man interviewed.

At some point in the verbal altercation I felt urged to bring up the topic of the demo lesson I chose.  This revealed 2 things: I am horrible at gleaning meaning from emails, and the topic of this post - according to this man my teaching style is not a style.  The wonderfully understanding man told me that I was not to teach about how to retrieve a stapler from a co-worker but as he put in the email, I was to teach about properly conducting a phone conversation in a business setting.  He then went on to show me a manual outlining the politics and guidelines of his wonderful company.

It blew my mind.

Although I was not able to understand in the email that I was to teach about phone conversations what I did understand was that the purpose of this demo class was for them to see my teaching style.  That much was plastered all over the email.  As I read through the manual of the company I was bombarded with papers upon papers that outlined the style of teaching the company has designed prior to seeing me.  How would they see my teaching style if the style they want me to teach has already been defined?  It was "highly recommended" for me to follow it for the demo lesson I was to conduct shortly?  They should have said in the email that we want to see if you can teach how we want you to teach.  The wonderfully patient man even gave me a handout that he also "highly recommended" I use and pass out to the students during my lesson.

I gave the lesson, there was an awesome energy in the class and I did not do or use anything that was highly recommended.  After the nice man heard this I could see his brow age as frustration took over his face.  We still managed a friendly goodbye but I highly doubt the dood will return.

Here is how our teaching styles differed:

Their                                                                                  Mine

 Teacher generated objectives                                 Student generated teacher guided objectives
 Evaluation at the end of lesson                                Ongoing evaluation throughout entire lesson
Linear class flow                                                     circular class flow

What I realized is that this company has a product in the same way apple has the iphone.  The product of the company is their teaching style.  They want all their employees(teachers) to be teaching within the framework of their product.   When the dood said in the email that he wanted to see my teaching style what he really meant is he wanted to see if I could improve UPON their product.  This means I would have to already agree with their product and understand it well enough to improve upon it.  I understand it as it is similar to many other companies I have worked for and I do agree it can be improved, but not improved UPON - improved from within.

I think I just stumbled upon why I have been having a hard time in the education world as a professional.  I don't see education of as product as most companies/schools do.  I see it as something the world needs.  Therefore my approach is to not make a target market happy, but to make humans happy.  I guess if I am to be successful in this business I gotta figure out how to make humans a target market.