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May 2010

Intelligence vs. Literacy.

I do not know Chinese. Neither the official Mandarine, nor Cantonese, nor Hokkien nor Teochew – none of them. From that perspective – I am illiterate. Does it make me dumb? Does it say anything about my intelligence or lack thereof?

When little kids in Singapore point my illiteracy out to me – unintentionally, simply by doing their primary school homework in front of me: all of it in those mysterious Chinese characters – does that insult my intelligence? – Obviously not. Nor shall I feel insulted by discovering my illiteracy as a newbie in any field.

  • Intelligence – is my toolkit, my ‘inner game’.
  • Literacy – describes my knowledge of a specific subject or mastery of a certain skill.

 

Being literate empowers me to ask intelligent questions and expect expertise growth – provided that I put the effort in.

Illiteracy is a domain below. If I am illiterate I am not able to ask intelligent questions – the ones that are going to lead to my further growth. If I am illiterate then no matter how hard I try – I’ll never go beyond the copy-paste repeats/parroting of what I hear or see. I’ll be an easy prey for whoever wants to abuse my trust since I won’t be able to tell a friend from a foe. I’ll wander aimlessly getting more and more desperate and becoming an even easier prey.   

Continue reading "Intelligence vs. Literacy." »


Mathematician’s Lament – On Math and Elegance of Reason

This is a 25-page essay about math written by a mathematician turned high-school math teacher and I wish that everyone have read it before getting to high school – it would have made a ton of difference.

http://www.maa.org/devlin/LockhartsLament.pdf

At first glance this is an off-topic in respect to ABR and that’s why I kept it on my desktop for a few weeks without really being sure whether I should bug you with it – you have hard time for finding spare minutes to read practical tangible stuff – whilst this one appears to be somewhat remote.

However, I decided to go ahead with it for one main reason – it’s about elegance, it’s about seeing art and fun, it’s about understanding that math is a toolkit of your thinking, a huge booster to your inner game…

Unfortunately, what most of you think about math is the exact opposite – numbers, dreaded formulas and regimented routines.

I lost count of times when someone tells me as a compliment: “Sure you are good with numbers since you studied math ”… That drives me crazy – I am not an number-cruncher for goodness sake! Sure I am literate – but numbers have nothing to do with math! Try complimenting a writer on knowing alphabet and drawing letters really neatly..

Anyway, I have a hidden hope that after reading this essay -- your ‘inner game’ in respect to ABR will change a little bit and you’ll be more likely to look at your everyday ABR work not as a regimented dread of repeated automatic movements but as an active quest in looking for the best response through every single application.

If that ever happens there are two winners: you – since a daily dread will turn into an exciting quest; and your child – since your efficiency will skyrocket…

Well, and I guess there is a third winner: me –being happy in helping you to elevate your game…

P.S. I know you are very busy and a 25 page reading is very likely to be postponed indefinitely…

If that’s the case – please do me a favor and read pages 1-5 to begin with -- but do it today.

If you have more time – read pages 18-22. Then if you have a bit more time – pages 8-11.

P.P.S. And this post is an excellent opportunity to draw one’s attention to one of the most influential books that I have ever read: “Mathematics and the Physical World” by Morris Kline. If you have older kids who are in high school or about to go to college – this book will change the way one looks at higher math once and forever. I admit that I read it just after I graduated – I wished so badly I had it a few years back – that would have made my studies times more efficient.


U-shape Grip ABR 3Q Technique- wonders of makeshift training tools

I am not sure whether all of you have watched the previous video but I can't wait to upload this. I guess one needs to be in my position of spending countless sessions teaching the U-shape and frequently being frustrated by the stubborn V-squeeze and C-squeeze challenges -- let alone the teaching of the rhythmical / oscillatory application... and suddenly I stumbled upon this: a most ordinary styrofoam cup!

I do encourage everyone to practice after watching the video.

For the parent of quadriplegic kids, especially with 'grippable' necks -- I want to remind: U-shape grip applications -- anterior and posterior neck are the user-friendly fixtures of your program -- whether they are in the current home exercise plan or not. These are the applications that you shall be considering as the ones being always with you -- opportunity-based. Think of accumulating U-shape hours on a monthly and yearly time budget -- then even small 5-10-15 min injections of this 'fascia fitness' are going to pile up to a sizeable impact.

But I do encourage everyone to do this practicing -- even if you are not using the U-shape grip per se in your home program. This training tool gives you an amazing clarity of the perception towards oscillatory/rhythmical 3Q application. Perfect this skill with U-shape grip and it is going to boost your efficiency with staple grips like semi- and full "accordions"...

I hope you'll find it as fascinating as I do! 

P.S. Some self-promotion :-) In the left-hand column of this blog just under the comments you'll find the small rectangular space that invites you to subscribe to this blog -- don't hesitate, jsut go ahead and do it! :-) Thanks!


ABR techniques for Cerebral Palsy--Super Soft Ball Rolling & 3Q compared

Dear Friends,

Apologies for being away for so long -- the overzooming is my big challenge. I find the proverbial multi-tasking an unachievable feat especially when I am expected to combine 'field' live teaching or assessments  -- with writing. I keep trying -- it's still doesn't work. Unfortunately I am unable to write without passion -- even the blog posts -- otherwise I feel I am sort of cheating the audience. But on the other hand, that makes my blogging somewhat irregular...

On the bright side: the ABR training in Montreal went really well -- I concentrated on Super-Soft Ball Rolling Technique. That shouldn't be a surprise -- most of the families were seasoned ABR 'veterans' who are well-versed in the classic 3Q technique. (Please re-read http://blyum.typepad.com/on_abr_and_beyond/abr-classic-technique-3q-principles-illustrated.html -- it's one of the links in the right-hand column). Seeing my immense enthusiasm for SSBR and in the light of my advice of putting at least 50% of your home program into it -- some parents got the feeling that '3Q is out SSBR Technique is in'. Nothing could be further from truth -- in this video made during one of the classes in Montreal I am addressing the issue in details.

To be honest -- I have addressed it over and over again -- for each new group of parents -- so 10 classes on the same subject within less than a month. This is the filming of Class # 9. I guess the need to present the same subject several times in a row -- improves the delivery. Anyway -- in the next few days I'll put the videos of the few other classess -- Class #7 etc. They are about the same subject but I do recommend to watch several of them -- there is enough difference and nuances to make it a good learning tool. The video is 'as is' -- no editing done -- so you are getting the same thing as the ones who were present...

Altogether I am continuously amazed how good the response to Super-Soft Ball Rolling Technique is, partiucularly so because it addresses the 'soft spots' of 3Q-based ABR program and I hope that the video does good enough job of explaining it.

http://vimeo.com/11733691 -- smaller file that should load faster but the picture quality might not be so great.

This one is larger so might take a bit more time to load but the picture quality is better