3/21 – Gallery Walk & TED Talk

If you didn’t participate in today’s discussion, but would like credit, please comment on the blog no later than 24 hours from the time of our discussion.

We’re going to skip our usual writing day and move the deadline for Task 5 out one week because I literally got back to my house yesterday at 6 p.m. and haven’t looked at or responded to ANYTHING yet. So I’m buying us a week.

In lieu of the writing day, we’ll do three things:

  1. We’ll do a gallery walk of the art you created during Fire & Ice. In fifth hour as you walk, I’m going to ask you to complete this Gallery Walk Peer Sheet.
  2. Then we’re going to watch a TED Talk by Karen Thompson Walker, author of The Age of Miracles, a book I really loved. I listened to this talk over break, and Walker references the Nabokov essay we read (!!!). I think listening to this talk will help solidify the differences between “artistic” and “scientific” reading.
  3. We’ll talk about the TED Talk. Like circle it up and talk, talk. Because the truth is we haven’t gotten to TALK much since we’ve been doing Fire & Ice the last many days. 🙂

Tomorrow, we’ll start Midsummer, as you can see from the Calendar for the rest of our 10H year together that I’m giving you today.


14 thoughts on “3/21 – Gallery Walk & TED Talk

  1. This ted talk was really cool. As Mrs. Walker talked I realized how this all relates to chess. In chess you sometimes have to find the move that you will fear least and a move that will make your opponent fear most. But Mrs. Walker talked about how fear can create its own story, and for chess (if you want to be good), you have to plan out several moves-around 3 to 5 at least. But one difference that we can see is that chess players usually notate (write down the moves played) during the game, and we revisit these notations of our matches in order to improve our strategies and find our weaknesses, whereas I think in fears you are imagining one situation.
    But like what Mrs. Walker said, we remember the most vivid fears. In chess we try to find our most vivid fear and plan for it. Checkmate is what our eyes are glued to first, and we will look at a potentially lost pawn later in our thinking time. Time is another one of the fears we have in the game. If we run out of it we lose. Sometimes we try to add that fear to our opponents by moving more quickly and pressing them for time. Not to mention that sometimes people will try to intimidate you too.
    So I guess this video has kind of changed my perspective when I’m thinking in chess from “what’s best for me?” to “what’s worst for them?”. Chess now appears to me as a game of fear.

  2. We listen to the vivid memories more than the gradual because they have a more intense emotional pull and we can imagine it more presently so there is more of an emotional reaction.
    Fear is feared and often, people do not like to face their fears. If fear is a story and “we are the authors and readers of our story,” we can write our own ending. We can manipulate our fears so they can no longer be feared. We pick the least likely to occur/ vivid fears first and dwell on them instead of picking our fears apart to figure out why we fear them.

  3. We tend to listen to the vivid memories more than the gradual because they have a more intense emotional pull and we can imagine it more presently so there is more of an emotional reaction.
    Fear is feared and often, people do not like to face their fears. If fear is a story and ” we are authors and readers of our own story,” we can write our own ending. We can manipulate our fears so they can no longer be feared. We pick the least likely to occur/vivid fears to dwell on first instead of picking our fears apart to figure out why we fear them.

  4. This video was interesting because of the unusual perspective of fear that was given. The most profound part, for me at least, was the example she used. The crew feared cannibalism above all else, and because of their fear they were forced to do that very thing. I can connect this with sports, especially the recent NFL/NHL stories surrounding CTE caused by concussions. Sadly, former NHL player Todd Ewen committed suicide at age 49 after suffering from depression. Ewen was certain he was suffering from CTE, and after his death his brain was donated for research of the condition. The results were shocking, showing no signs of CTE at all. Unfortunately, Ewen was simply suffering from depression, and his paranoia and immense fear of CTE after his years of head trauma playing sports may have lead to his suicide. Instead of reading his fears like a story like this video suggests, he succumbed to them. This is why I buy into the part of the video that suggests fears can be evaluated and properly understood.

  5. The thing that I thought was the most interesting was the idea that there are two ways to look at fear. The first way is with an artistic mindset. The second way is with a scientific mindset. The first way is much more common and is even more frightening to our minds than the scientific view of fear. This is because when we can visually imagine a fear it feels much more vivid, even though it’s probably not going to happen. Looking at fear with a scientific mindset allows us to make sense of something we’re afraid of. It allows us to realize that the fear we have is extremely unlikely and thus something we don’t have to worry about. I think that the best way to analyze fear is with a combination of both mindsets. We need to realize that whatever we’re afraid of probably wont happen, but we also need to imagine it happening so that we have motivation to take extra steps towards preventing it. A Fear is not something we should just push away because having that fear can make us more productive people. On the other hand we should not hold that fear to close because it will push us into anther more realistic danger.

  6. I found this discussion to be somewhat enlightening. I have always told my fears as stories without acknowledging the fact that I am indeed telling a story. This perspective, as Jimmy said, was unusual when I initially thought about it. But I considered this proposal of perspective more in the last few hours and I have related it to a fear I had when I was younger. I used to fear house fires. I had a crazy image in my head that I would go to sleep some night, wake up in a house that had become an inferno and have no way to escape. Being the four year old I was, I constructed a foolproof plan to prevent my demise in the event of a fire. Every night– I can’t make this up– I would check the smoke detectors, make sure I had at least one window cracked open (and a means of destroying said window if it became necessary), and I made sure my door was open so that I would be able to more easily escape or become aware of a fire. This fear stemmed to all other kinds of protocols, carbon monoxide planning, tornado drills, etc. I think about this now as a perfect example of the way our brains lay out our fears as stories with characters, plots, and the mental “time travel” we experience.

  7. I really liked the Ted talk, it was really thought provoking, and that new ways of thinking about fear.The part I thought was the most interesting was the reading of fears part, more specifically the mental time travel part.I really connected with that part, and it made me realize the similarities between fear and reading. For example when you read you visual what is happening or what might happen, this is exactly like fear and when you visualize your fear. You read the dialogue in a book, you think about the dialogue that might happen in your fear. It really just made me think a lot, making me appreciate the talk even more.

  8. What I found interesting while listening to the Ted Talk today was how she spoke about how you fear the things that are the most unlikely to occur or something you lack experience or knowledge in. Like the men in the Essex, they decided to take the longest route hoping that they would make it to land instead of heading to the island with cannibals. The men feared the cannibals because they had never come in contact with them and decided to go with something they had “more experience with”, like going a few days without food. This surprised me because I never thought of fear working this way, the more I considered it, the more I can see now how this applies to my day to day life. For example, when I was younger, I used to play the piano and would go to competitions. I would always fear that I would mess up although it had never happened to me in the past but would continuously pop up into my mind every time before a competition. This talk helped me to consider fear on a different level.

  9. Hearing this TED Talk was very interesting to me because I had before thought of the idea that our minds seem to focus on the more imminent and visually striking fear then the long-term ones, such as dying of a heart attack as a result of bad eating. I liked that she used the example of the crew of the Essex using the more irrational fear of a cannibal-inhabited island to scare themselves out of reason. As soon as she mentioned this, I immediately thought of many occurrences in my life in which I had acted out of an irrational fear completely concocted by my brain. I also found interesting that she related the entire process of a brain creating fears to writing a book- the device of suspense largely relies on the readers imagination coming up with different scenarios of what happens in the end. I found myself doing this during the video as she didn’t reveal the fate of the Essex crew until later in the video. This meant that I found myself wondering anxiously what happened to them while I pictured them either getting flushed away by a storm or eaten by cannibals.

  10. I liked how she kind of broke up fear in two different ways, the unimaginable hyphothetical to the everyday normal fears. For example the Essexx crew had the unimaginable fear of cannibals while there was a more real imaginable fear of being starved. It is again tied to our human imagination. Starving is boring, cannibals is intense and hair-raising. I think that the real imaginable fear is good because it keeps us in check, it protects us to some extent. Many times people think of something that is scary like oh, my mom is going away for a week and began to imagine their mother in a plane crash or car accident. In order for that fear to go away people need to expose themselves to that and more often than not, nothing happens. Exposure therapy.

  11. I agree with Jimmy that fears can be properly evaluated and understood. Of course in order to properly to that we must come face to face with that, I’m not talking about the unrealistic fears, but rather the more normal everyday fears. When we come face to face with them, more often than not we realize nothing bad happened, and life still went on. This is when we truly began to understand our fears and the place they have in us. I think this is the response towards a more artistic fear that is reasonable.

    • Sam, I like how you’re responding to other folks in this (admittedly weird) format. It makes it seem more human. Thank you.

  12. The thing I liked about the TED talk was how she said humans are born optimistic. That seemed to support her position immensely since she argued that there is an artistic and scientific way to look at a situation fearfully. The scientific way was the more dreadful and prolonging task, for example, instead of facing being killed instantly by cannibals (the artistic fear), the men on the Essex decided to face the fear of starvation, the much less far fetched decision. Her point to me was that since humans are born optimistic, we can overcome the prolonging scientific fears that face the world today if we learn a little more about the artistic fears and how far fetched they are.

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