Well, I took some time away from blogging this summer to focus on home projects, my non-profit (another story), my business, and most importantly my family. We took several trips, had some nice summer activities, and I did more research on creativity and education. (which is fun….for me)
The grandparents were gracious and offered to watch the two kiddos to allow the wife and I a “kid-free” 4 day weekend in Seattle. We enjoyed some time downtown and Pioneer Square where we climbed the Smith Tower. We took the elevator which was one of those old elevators that traditionally need an operator and so did this one. I think he was there mostly for aesthetics because the elevator seem to have been adapted to operate without him, but it was very cool and you felt like you stepped back in time. The history of the tower was interesting, especially the fact that it was, at one time, the tallest building in the world. It was a bit confusing, why the 35th floor observation deck was adorned in Chinese elements but there were legends on the wall that tried to explain it. One item in the room was the wishing chair. It apparently is for use by single women wishing to get married and your wish is supposed to come true after sitting in it. There was a girl sitting in it when we got up to the deck but as I didn’t get her twitter handle, we may never know.
We took some pictures on top of the deck which is surround by a complete metal enclosure. I got the impression they’ve had jumpers before. Earlier in the day as we were coming into the city, we say a rather large creepy Art Deco type building. It spooked us. I imagined it was a hospital now turned into an asylum, cuz well, that’s just were my mind goes with things like that. We managed to see it from the Smith Tower (pic below). After a quick google search, we discover the building is mostly abandoned….which didn’t help the creepiness. It has a medical company in the bottom few floors but otherwise nothing. I couldn’t help but think the massive amounts of revenue that could be generated during Halloween in the abandoned floors but I could never implement a project like that. I hate the horror genre.
I also experimented with urban photography with my smart phone camera. (My wife had the Canon, she got some really good pictures) I tried to get shallow DOF effects using the position of the camera next to objects. The green one is just a little moss stuff in a potted plant outside of a plaza near Pike’s Market. The one with the tree is basically 3 ft away from the green moss picture focused a buildings to make the leaves out of focus. We also stopped by our favorite toy store in Pioneer Square and I saw this new game (new to me) Creationary. It is like Pictionary but you have to use Lego blocks…how neat.
This is where my summer got creatively interesting for me. We traveled north from home to Coeur d’Alene Idaho. It is a bit of a resort town mixed with other small towns around it. We were visiting my sister-in-law who just had a baby and was having a garage sale to prepare for a move. We decided to go up and help her. As always, when I hear garage sale, I grabbed my books.
I got all books on the topic of creativity. One book struck me with its peculiarity. The book stated research on how to stimulate the right side of your brain by making yourself do things with your left side of the body. Once fact struck me strange. Did you know that your brain changes which nostril is dominant about every 15 minutes? If you test your nostrils, you will notice that you are breathing slightly more through one than the other. It will also change soon.
They applied this oddity to creative thinking. If you are not in the right frame of mind, can’t think through a process (i.e. writer’s block), or just can’t get creative, make yourself breathe through your left nostril. This will stimulate the right side of the brain, strengthen synapses, and possibly lead to your mind coming to a great conclusion. This theory was also followed by making yourself do things with the left side of the body to stimulate the brain and become more creative. Because if you don’t use it, you loose it with the brain.
So, without a proper measuring method, I have set off to make myself use the non-dominant side of my body to stimulate the right side of my brain. I am going to try to learn how to write with my left hand as my little one (2.5 year old) learns how to write a little in this next year. I figure the big dashed traceable letters will help me. I am also going to try to fold my arms and hands the other way, sit with my left leg up across my knees, and try to handle/pull/push/manipulate things with my left rather than my preferred right. Will this help me? I have no idea but I thought it could be a fun experiment. How will I know if it helps me? I imagine I will be able to see some tangible, right-side-of-the-brain results toward the end of the 1 year experiment. Perhaps my problem solving will become easier or perhaps I will be able to compose music more easily.
I have noticed that my eldest daughter is favoring her right hand more and more, which is not a bad thing, but I do ask her to try to use her left hand. From what I understand, the brain doesn’t decided dominance until about age 6. So maybe I can experiment and see if I can make her ambidextrous..hmmm. Nah, I probably shouldn’t mess with her mind that much. I am looking forward to starting some formal homeschooling with her. It’s going to be an interesting year.
What do you have planned? Was your summer awesome?