Friday, 24 July 2015

The Hawthorne Effect

My final summer class was yesterday and the end of the session is always bittersweet. When I refer to the term bittersweet I think of a discussion I had with a confidant a while back who always explains everything so eloquently. In his words, bittersweet is about the full spectrum of life rather than the simultaneous highs and lows of an experience. I always love his stories, letters and the word journeys he takes me on. He has an ability like no other to perfectly string together verses that shape the meanings of my moods or frames of my mind.

In the final discussion of my class, we explored science fiction. The week’s reading by Vint and the references to xenotransplantation had inspired one of my students’ discussions. In her post, she put forth a wonderfully creative exercise for us all to craft a being pieced together from a variety of species that would best represent our true selves.

It was a bit of challenging exercise if you truly delve into the depths of the beings you choose as it takes research, time and honesty to critically assess the best species to use for each of the parts of your mad scientist creation. In today’s fast paced social media driven society, we can float on the surface of the water in our self-awareness and the medium very much distorts the message. It makes me think of a recent article that highlighted the false reflection of our lives through social media. This final exercise was such a fun and thoughtful way to end the term. I have included her description of how to approach the task and shared my own exploration below.

Now is your turn to play a "mad scientist" without actually hurting any animals. Create an alien which contains animal parts to express your personality or style. The parts can be based on actual behavioral/physical traits or popularised ones (like the “heart of a lion” denotes courage). Remember, this type of xenotransplantation is purely fictional, but make sure that the parts you choose relate to your personality and explain why.

I am a collection of beings...

I am an empath, a forgiving person and I will instantly respond to another in need.
  • My creature has the heart of a Rat
I am a soft spoken person and patient to a fault. However, when the need arises to defend my wellbeing or survival I am quick to respond and hold my position strong.  
  • My creature has the jaws Crocodile
I am quite sensitive. Although I may not reveal it on the surface, my feelings can be deeply hurt quite easily. However, I am able to quickly redevelop from an affront.
  • My creature has the skin of a African Spiny Mouse
I am a problem-solver, learn from observation, and I have a mind that is constantly seeking adventure and new experiences.
  • My creature has the brain of a Cephalopod
I am hyper aware of my surroundings and I approach situations from new perspectives.
  • My creature has the eyes of a Dragonfly
I have an acute intuition and I can quickly see through ambiguity.
  • My creature has the stomach of a Bat
I am an explorer, a wanderer and I love to discover the hidden.
  • I have the “feet” of an Adelie Penguin

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