Monday, June 11, 2007

On My Mind

Recently I've come across a couple of statements that have stuck with me. One of my high school friends used to call this "letting it marinate in your mind." Well, my brain is soaked through and through, but I still have come to no steadfast conclusions. So, I'm sharing. I invite conversation...

(1) Last week I was talking to a friend about the expansion of the universe. (This is yet another thing I cannot wrap my mind around.) He started talking about the speed of light. He made this statement: The speed of light is the fastest measureable thing in the universe. Speed of thought might be faster, but that is not measureable. I am fascinated by this concept of the speed of thought. When I tried to discuss with another friend later, it was much trickier than I would have expected.

We stagnated at the definition. She was recognizing thought in a form of complete words, while I was focusing on the thoughts we don't even realize we're having. I imagine these thoughts to look like brightly colored speeding cars blurred in photographs. I decided to check the ever-trusty wikipedia, but for the first time it's definition didn't help me much. "Thought or thinking is a mental process which allows beings to model the world, and so to deal with it effectively according to their goals, plans, ends, and desires." All in all, the page on thought was pretty bare, and didn't mention anything about speed.

(2) I've been reading Suite Francaise, a graduation gift from my dear friend Paddy. It's an incredible book and is quickly filling up with underlined sentences that I want to read and reread. One of these sentences was: There is nothing more consistent in people than their way of expressing anger. This sentence caught me offgaurd, mostly because I am in a career in which I am trying daily to get students with emotional behavioral disorders to change their way of expressing anger.

Now I realize that this one sentence in Irene Nemirovsky's book is not the utter truth, but it still got me wondering. Much of what I do is teaching kids how to cope with frustration and anger, how to calm themselves down, think before acting, etc. However, when they do get angry, when all those strategies have failed them, they express it in the same way. This gets me going on my typical circle of thought about whether or not people ever actually change. My general conclusion is no, but in the end I guess it depends on the day you ask me. Or the minute, for that matter.

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