March 28, 2012

Downhill learning

Connor is my 14 year old Autistic son (in case your new to this narrative).

He is a two times gold medal cross country skier with Special Olympics.  He has increased in skill to the point he is working out with the adult group.  On his first trip to Mt. Bachelor  he was enthralled with the ski lifts and wanted to downhill ski.  Last Friday we went to a learning session.

The mind is fascinating and even more so when teaching Connor.  Imagine someone makes a series of sounds and associates them with an object.  Not to tough actually we do this all the time.  Now think of associating these sounds with a concept previously unknown.  That is a real mind bender, as we usually formulate questions to cement the concept.

The first struggle was his ski poles.  He knew he should have them, this was reinforced by everyone he saw having a pair.  However, the instructors want the fundamentals of stopping and turning prior to pole use.  This escalated into a melt down and Connor acting up trying to get his way.  Coaches however, are made of sterner stuff.  With my intervention he started the learning process with a request for poles every bunny hill run.  Accepting, barely the "not yet" response.

After demonstrating the snowplow stop and turning.  He got to go up the beginner lift.  Because it was a lighter day on the hill he got to sit alone on the lift.  This was a turning point as, one of the best things ever!  He even forgot his pole quest as he got to ski down the hill and solo lift up.  He took pains to ensure he was the only one on his lift.

This became a detriment as he was more focused on getting back down to the lift instead of gaining the skills of turning and stopping on the hill.  All in all he progressed to the point where the next hill awaited.

This is where things got scary.  Up till now he was paying little attention to the skills he needed.  I got him some poles, which made him happy. The coaches wisdom quickly presented itself as Connor lost control and started hurtling down the hill.  He attempted to stop by laying on his back, which did not work.  I gave chase and was shouting for him to snow plow.  He got up one time and gave it a mediocre attempt, only to lay down again.  The second time he got up he was able to stop.  This truly scared him, the being out of control, going so fast and his attempts to stop via instinct not working at all.

He abandoned the poles and began to learn from the coach.  So my giving him the poles and his downhill plummet successfully broke his paradigm.  What happened next was his quickly learning to turn, stop and control himself,  the next two runs he applied the knowledge and gained back his confidence.  The last three runs we did were sans poles and he was skiing parallel for a goodly portion.  I noticed that his precision on the slope.  He appeared to make his cuts and turns at exactly the same points each time, with adjustments made for other skiers.

There was more then a little pride seeing his confidence and skill surpassing those familiar jackets who we had shared the mountain with.  By this time his grin showed enjoyment on the slope as well as on the occasional solo lift going up.

March 16, 2012

Voters are Stupid...

I just find it fascinating, after all of these years of polls and these guys have used polls to make news, not reflect it, they have used these polls to create public opinion, and all of a sudden two bad polls (for Obama) in the same day and the respondents are stupid.

March 15, 2012

Gloria Purvis - HHS Mandate is Anti-Woman: Catholics Need to Speak Up

On February 27, the Catholic Information Center and the women's web-magazine Altcatholicah cosponsored the panel discussion, "Women Challenging the HHS Mandate." Here, panelist Gloria Purvis discusses how the HHS Mandate is anti-Woman and how Catholics need to get speak up on the issue.

March 05, 2012

”Rush Limbaugh Isn’t the Only Media Misogynist,”

 ”Rush Limbaugh Isn’t the Only Media Misogynist,” Powers asks if all liberal media personalities are held to the same standard as their conservative counterparts. For the Democratic strategist, the answer is a resounding “no.”

March 04, 2012

In the name of "what we think you should be like"

When, exactly, do we help our fellow man .vs. hurting them differently?

I am re-reading a wonderful book, Born To Run, In looking up some of the runners written about, I came across an interview where someone takes issue with the authors romanticizing the living conditions of the Tarahumara Indians of the Copper canyon, when they live in "abject poverty".

In reading the book I did not get the same impression.  Which got me thinking about the early missionaries, bringing technology and religion to various places on earth.  This goes back to that well meaning gesture or the road paved with good intentions.

Is it right to look at a society and proclaim the inadequate based upon our own?  This idea bring up images of atrocities.  The Hey!  you should be like us! Mentality permeates our nobler then thou culture.

Gene Roddenberry pondered the corruption of one society upon another.  His solution was observation and gleaning understandings well before imperialistic actions.

There are peoples ways of life that are good and bad and nigh impossible to judge from an outsiders standpoint.  There could be delicate balances trampled underfoot while striving to "make things better" for those who are "less lucky"...  Which is really a crock of crap.

Then again look at our current information age and the struggles that abound.  Wouldn't it be great of some extraterrestrials came from elsewhere and pointed out how we would be much better off enslaved?

Yeah... me neither...