Sunday, September 4, 2016

Reflection on WOK Presentation

In our lesson for the WOK project, Bryce and I presented on Sense Perception as a way of knowing.

At the beginning of the class period we introduced a cute activity that was intended to draw light to the interconnectedness of our senses. Volunteers were asked to close their eyes and hold their noses, and were given either a slice of pear or a slice of apple. The theory was that it would be impossible for them to decipher what it was without being able to employ their sight and smell sense preceptors. However, it was a flop. Everyone was able to easily determine which fruit they were fed.

Maybe what gave it away was the difference in texture between an apple and a pear. Perhaps if it had been two equally crisp fruits the mind would’ve had more trouble with it. Maybe the tongue was able to pick up on texture and the mind used memory to fill in the rest the blanks.

Or it could’ve been that my fault was in telling them the options before they partook in the activity. Their brains might've pre-developed a taste and so when they ate a slice, their brains filled in what they “tasted” from memory. But this is a stretch, I think the first scenario is more plausible. Whatever happened, the activity was quite disappointing.

On a lighter note, the second half of our teaching experience seemed to go much better. We watched a Ted Talk by David Eagleman, a neuroscientist, who presented his invention. He went into a greatly complex history of sorts on our perception of reality and how partial our senses actually are. We only pick up a select few things that are all around us and we call those few things our reality, our “umwelt.” He explained how impartial our brain is, in that it is able to adapt to new stimuli and eventually make sense out of it and provide communicable information. Then he presented the vest he had created that helped the deaf be able to “hear” by turning sound into vibrations felt in the vest.

The video was interesting, but the discussion that took place after the video was even more intriguing to me. I had planned a few major points to cover and talk about, but everyone chipped in and cultivated a discussion I hadn’t even dared to hope for. They took the video and ran with it to places that hadn’t even crossed my mind, coming as a great relief to me.

Overall, the presentation was a daunting task for me, seeing as how I will always hate standing in front of people and having to talk to them in any situation. But it ended up being a very pleasant community discussion. I definitely have a newfound love in my heart for those people who talk and talk, and bring in new ideas that give the discussion some amusement. This WOK was a good challenge for me.