Saturday, December 31, 2011

Vision Therapy, Driving To Amish Country and Math Skills

Amish family riding in a traditional Amish bug...
Amish Buggy Image via Wikipedia
Drove out to Lancaster County for another session of vision therapy.  The funny thing is that as my vision improves, the scenery changes!  I am seeing more detail of the farm country as I go by.  I am incredibly aware of everything around me from seeing the various processing plants and trucking facilities that bring Lancaster County foods to the Philadelphia market to the scenery of farms and rural homes that line the secondary highways and main streets of Lancaster County.  As I was
arriving at vision therapy,  I got behind an Amish buggy.  In the cloudy haze, the buggy had its rear lights on.  As we approached the turn for the clinic's parking lot, the buggy put on its turn signal (yes, the Amish do have turn signals on buggies!) and pulled into the parking lot.  As the occupants of the buggy got out, I noticed that the child was one of my fellow patients.

Bernell Variable Tranaglyph
 Becky, the head therapist, was running the group today and was working my ornery old left eye.  We had started to work on some of the variable tanaglyphs that exercise binocular vision with polarized lenses and I found sometimes that I couldn't even see the "L" in a lineup with "R".  That means my left eye was flaking out on me.  I did OK with another variable tanaglyph where I only had to match up letters in a circle.

Bernell Accomodative Flippers
I did a little bit of patching on the right eye and also had me work on some quizzes and brain teasers with flippers.  I am really good in American History.  But a good part of that is because I had the Best Ever American History class with the Most Amazing Teacher.  When my American History Teacher dies, I am sure that there will be hundreds of us coming to his funeral.   He was very strict but had a great sense of humor.  We didn't just memorize facts but we learned cause and effects and how to integrate facts into a cohesive whole.

Brain Teaser Image via Wikipedia
 I did OK on the brain teasers.  Some of them I know I will have to work on at home.  Especially the shapes and nets and mathematical sequences.  In addition to working on basic visual system function th
English: The Mathematical Illustrator's Barnstar
More Brain Teasers Image via Wikipedia
at exercises the left eye and works on 3D vision, many of these exercises also work on higher order cognition that is associated with the visual system.  I mean, who would think math and vision go together?  But they do.

 I did well in math until I switched schools.  Unfortunately, I screwed myself up and convinced myself that I could go directly into Pre-Calculus without Trigonometry.  The two school systems had curriculum that didn't mesh well so I chose not to bore myself and took a class that I was not prepared for as opposed to repeating 2/3 of a year of math.  You have to understand that I was incredibly bored in my first school system and could get away with jumping around in the curriculum.  I was warned that I was taking a tough schedule... but hey, I was used to tough... I just never knew how tough tough can be in the real world.    Well, pride certainly went before a fall and I almost flunked Math.  But I just soldiered on.  Did Calculus and Statistics in college and did kind
Rectangle Circle Brain Teaser
Image via Wikipedia
 of mediocrely.  At the beginning of my career,  I worked for a leading econometrics forecasting company (using a lot of math) and realized that while I could hang with the best in the business, I was definitely not in their league.  Somehow, they could put together these mathematical models and draw inferences much better than I could.   So, does this mean I have an innate problem with math or does it mean that like a lot of people that I am good enough but definitely not a candidate for the Math Olympiads?  How much of my mistakes arise from simply not being doing these exercises from some time and how much is innate?   How much picking at yourself is good in order to give a therapist some feed back and how much is just "picking on" your self?   I mean, we are all not perfect.

Anyhow, back to vision therapy.   I also wore some funny glasses and looked at a piece of paper with rows of colored dots that was spinning on a turntable.  I had to recreate the dots with colored pegs on a gridboard.

Finally, I played a game with one of the kids.  Becky wanted to try out a new game.  Unfortunately, I forget what it is called but it involved matching cards by matching their background color and number of dots on the dice.   Jake and I have played other games before and we are getting competitive with each other!  Fortunately for me,  I was losing  but I had to leave early before I officially lost.

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