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November 11, 2019: Making Associative Leaps

When I was in graduate school, there were several areas of critical thought, some being literary criticism, psychoanalytic criticism, feminist criticism, deconstruction criticism, and reader response criticism. I most enjoyed the latter, but as I was told, it was passé. The reason why this was considered to be passé was that some contended that there was no self and no author. I think the author died of a transient ischemic stroke. The self just threw up her hands and walked away.

I contended that we are both individually and socially constructed. I was to learn that this was like saying that two like objects could occupy the same space.

That, I thought, was a nice analogy. I did not then know about four-dimensional geometry, but if I had, I would have used the fact that some thought 4D space existed as my counter argument.

Reader response criticism was, and remains, my favorite area of critical/creative thought. I like being able to say things such as “I the reader am enjoying Lorrie Moore’s Who Will run the Frog Hospital because. . . .” In this case, because she makes some major associative leaps. This statement, coincidently, fits in with the frog imagery.

Associative leaps – it’s easy to picture literal leaps. The frog hops from lily pad to lily pad. The writer asks the reader to do the same. If the associations are too far fetched or too tangential, well then, the reader doesn’t make the connection.

Many contemporary poets have taken the idea of associative leaps to an extreme. Some readers are able to make the connections. Me, when they are too tangential, I am left feeling cold, lost, isolated. I want to tell the poet “whatcha go ahead and do that for?”

Today, I made an associative leap, not in writing, rather, but in my day-to-day life. I have been attempting to learn the information on my practical skills sheet, the one that deals with spine immobilization. I first visualized the steps, then I watched the YouTube video, then I again visualized the steps. I next got down on the kitchen floor and went through the actual moves.

Then, after a few hours of this, I went outside and did agility with the mares. I again tightened up the circle in this month’s course, and for starters, I put Tyra on the lead line. It did not go well. I got frustrated. I walked Tyra over to the enclosure and put Hrimmi on the lead line. On the way back up to the Playground of Higher Learning, I decided that I would just let Hrimmi figure out where to go, off lead. I’d toss treats onto the target and click when she moved in the right direction. Amazingly, this worked. Raudi did the best because I figured this out. I’m next going to make the circle bigger, again put treats on the targets, and get a longer lead line.

The associative leap is this – I the diligent EMT student, am studying and learning a set procedure. And I, the diligent horse owner, am teaching my horses a set procedure. In both instances, I am going by the use of set patterns. The horses and me, we are all creating and following new neural pathways.

Next: 313. 11/12/19: A Conversation with Raudi

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