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October 15, 2019: Lightbulbs

It seems to be yet another ideas day. I’d been in a funk about what happened Saturday in my EMT class, being the one person who failed twice, in her ability to assess a patient. I went down and have come up for another round. The analogy is boxing, my grandfather, supposedly, paid his way through medical school by boxing. It is too late to pass this information on to my father, but I think that this could have caused neurological problems; which is why his post-medical school behavior was so erratic. Anyhow, I’m back in the ring again, and again standing square on both my feet.

My EMT teacher Dorothy made the astute observation that “you know it (meaning the course material); you just don’t know you know it.” This was huge. This, and a supposed now passing grade, got the ceased up wheels to begin turning again.

My latest idea follows: My good friend Pamela Nolf, who lives in Washington State, has a shared interest in cognition and animal behavior. We go back and forth in emails, sometimes we rapid-fire emails to one another, and sometimes we take time in responding to one another. She gets my cognitive wheels turning, and vice versa.

A draft

I recently said to her that animals teach us. Her response was, is this induction or deduction? I wrote back and said that her simple query got the lightbulbs going off in my head because in my dissertation I argued that the personal essay is inductive – this was not a popular idea at the time. I added that Malcolm Gladwell, in his essay "Late Bloomers" posits that there are late bloomers who make their mark later in life. He did not say, as I think, that they are primarily inductive thinkers.

I continued – if we give horses autonomy, they more readily act in an inductive fashion, figuring out things as they go along. I do not think that they set out to teach us anything. But we, in taking an inductive approach, open ourselves up to learning things from them. Yes, they are spirit animals, sent as guides in our hero journey. But it is up to us to open ourselves to possibilities.

I followed with an account of this morning’s horse-related insight, telling Pam that for the past few mornings I’ve been working with the horses on staying out of my space when I enter the gate. No, they do not say to one another, “well, this is today’s lesson.” Rather, they see this as yet another new, fun game. They don't like this game because they have to wait for the treat and/or hay bucket. It is actually a hard life lesson for them. I am learning new things because they, by virtue of being at the gate and pestering me, and by virtue of my seeing this as an unsafe practice, presented me with this opportunity.

This morning, in writing the above, got me thinking. I am seeing a very tangential connection here. I am now going to check out the possibility of getting an interdisciplinary PhD, one in which I further explore the mind/body relationship, my three areas of study being kinesiology, philosophy and neuroscience.

Next: 286. 10/16/19: My Father’s Daughter

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