Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Entelechy: Baby You Were Born This Way

English: Photograph of a Monarch Butterfly.
English: Photograph of a Monarch Butterfly. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
"It is inside of you, like the butterfly is inside of the caterpillar. He then used a word that I heard for the first time, a word that became essential to my later work...A great word, a Greek word, entelechy. It means the dynamic purpose that is coded in you. It is the entelechy of this acorn on the ground to be an oak tree. It is the entelechy of the caterpillar to undergo metamorphosis and become a butterfly. So what is the butterfly, the entelechy of...?"

Entelechy is the realization of your potential.  An acorn must become an oak or rot and die on the ground.

Entelarchy is one of the components of being gifted.  If you are gifted, you have to do it.  Some people think of being gifted as being just bright; but it is more than that.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Feldenkrais Method and Dr. Weil's Wellness Therapies

What is Dr. Weil's view regarding Feldenkrais?Dr. Weil often recommends trying the Feldenkrais Method for the treatment of any kind of neurological injury or insult, especially since it claims success in training the nervous system in developing and utilizing new pathways around areas of damage. Feldenkrais has specifically demonstrated success in helping to rehabilitate stroke victims. It is also effective with head injuries and other neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis. Feldenkrais can be an effective part of an integrative-medicine approach to any painful condition from degenerative arthritis to fibromyalgia. Because it can help a person feel more comfortable within his or her body, Dr. Weil also feels that Feldenkrais can be an effective adjunct to psychotherapy and the treatment of mood disorders.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Artistic Adventures

Since Wilma has pushed me into  arts and crafts, I have been taking classes over at the Fleisher Art Memorial.   I have taken color theory, drawing,  abstract painting, memory and observation (painting), collage, kiln fired glass and ceramics.

Color theory was a good class that gave me the foundations for making decent color choices.  There is a lot more to learn about color and I do like color tremendously.  Color excites me and calms me down. I really like watching color and seeing how it reacts to objects around it.

Drawing and Painting were tough.  Drawing was awful.  Fortunately, I had a really good teacher that could teach anyone to draw... and that includes even me.  Drawing took a lot of effort for not much payoff.  I can get recognizable objects and some shading but it just takes a lot of effort.  Well.. Duh... My vision reports say that copying is a problem.  Also, holding a pencil is a problem.  My hands get too tired.

So, I left the world of realism and ventured into the abstract for painting.  That went a bit better but it
pointed up the difficulties I have with composition.  Finally, after  I did sit down with my occupational therapist's artist son, I did get better with composition.  Painting was also really hard for me in that I don't work well on an easel--but work better on the table.  Same problems with holding a brush as it is with holding a pencil.

Onto glass.  My kiln fired glass objects have come out like kindergarten... but part of the probl
em is that I don't have modeling skills to work with making an object out of clay, imagining how that object would look if it were reversed into a plaster mold and painting it. As I have taken ceramics, my clay molds are starting to come out better.   My glass blown pieces are pretty nice; but the instructor was literally holding my hands every step of the way.  I love glass so I will persevere.

Since my clay models for making glass were pretty crummy, I have been taking a ceramics class.  That seems to be going surprisingly well, despite my lack of 3D vision.  I can rely on touch a lot.  Of all my senses, my finger tips seem to be working the best.  The hand therapist at the Hand Center ran a special hair over my fingertips and found that they were very sensitive.  So I can rely on touch to create things. I will be casting my first objects next week.  I have a large cup upon which I have molded a mountain and waves.  This seems to be coming out nicely.  I have a bowl that is a little problematic but I think I can save it.  I am making an African dish with a mask so I can get away with irregularity.

So some things seem to be working and some things artistically, not so much.  Will create a blog on tumblr or pin up some stuff on pintrest and let my gentle Readers see my progress.
Copyright © 2010-2012 Traveller Journey Through The Cortex
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Thursday, July 26, 2012

My Fame Grows

Another one of my therapist is writing a book which will include a chapter about me.  Also, my interview will be posted on YouTube.  Will let my Gentle Readers know more as things transpire.

I think the time has come for adults with learning disabilities to have their stories told.   Right now there is a  civil rights movement, neurodiversity, that is focusing on the twenty somethings and their entree into the workforce.  Well, hello.  There's a whole lot of us older adults who have managed somehow and have stories to tell both of the difficulties trying to keep up but also of the unique perspectives and strengths that we have.  Also, I think we can help out the clinicians and researchers a lot because we can relate our past struggles and give them detailed feedback about the effectiveness of the therapies.  We are better subjects than children.  We are more patient and have a lot more tolerance for mindless repetitive exercises.  We can tell you if something is really onerous and, no matter how hard we try, it is really just too much to ask.  We are committed. We can tell you the history of living with a disability so that you can help the children.  We can tell you how much we can outgrow or compensate for certain conditions and how much we can't.

I think we have a lot to offer but not too many outlets to share.  Research studies at NIH and the universities put age limits on clinical trials.  There are lots of stories about children that are written by parents and lots of websites for those stories but there aren't too many places for adults.  A lot of knowledge is going to waste and a lot of the same mistakes are being made because no one is asking adults what we did to get around our difficulties.

Copyright © 2010-2012 Traveller Journey Through The Cortex
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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Who Cut The Cheese?

It really does matter!

I think I have a problem with industrial Cheese--but not all artisanal cheese.   I am wondering if I really have another sensitivity to cheese which is not really a  casein allergy but a reaction to something used in processing cheese on a mass scale.

You know, when you are on a diet that doesn't let you eat some of your old time favorite foods, every once in a while, even the best of us falls off and eats something we shouldn't.  Once every couple months, I do go out and eat Italian and I pay mightily for it.  So, I try to really limit myself to something I will really enjoy.

This time, the sin was buying some DiBruno's cheese and sausage.  Generally, I really stay away from this stuff because my husband has high blood pressure and this stuff is no  good and, of course, I often end up itching like mad.  But, last week, I was weak and bought some mozzarella and cheddar cheese.

DiBruno's (Photo credit: snowpea&bokchoi)
Quel surprise!  I ate a little bit each day for the past week and I don't have a stomach ache.  I am  itching only a little bit;  but I have been eating cheese daily for over a week so I am probably taxing myself.  Didn't bother taking the glutenease or lactase.   I wonder if it is because DiBruno's does not use the crap that Big Cheese dumps into its cheese.

DiBruno's is a family run company that started out in 1939 as a little cheese shop on 9th Street in the Italian Market here in Philadelphia.  For those of you not from Philadelphia, the Italian Market is still pretty much like it was when Rocky Balboa ran down 9th Street-- a bit dingy,
English: Bronze statue of Rocky Balboa at the ...
English: Bronze statue of Rocky Balboa at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, created by A. Thomas Schomberg, as commissioned by Sylvester Stallone. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
fires lit in barrels, stacked produce on carts, piles of trash.  The neighborhood is changing a  little bit.  Italians are moving out and the Hispanics, Chinese and Vietnamese are moving in.  But the more things change, the more things stay the same.

"Just about every Saturday morning, Emilio Mignucci gets up early and drives from his house in Havertown (where he moved when he had kids) to 9th Street to open the original Di Bruno’s store for its busiest day of the week. After pulling the various cheeses out of the ancient refrigerated walk-in, stacking the pepperoni, he’ll unlock the doors at 8 a.m. and work behind the counter in a black polo shirt monogrammed with the Di Bruno’s logo, jostling for space with whichever of the 12 employees are on that day, bantering with customers, offering samples — trying to keep the spirit of Danny and Joe Di Bruno alive."  Philadelphia Magazine

I think that it is the same drive to keep the spirit of Danny and Joe DiBruno that keeps the current owners who are descendants of Danny and Joe from crapping up their cheese.   My suspicion is that I am not allergic to the cheese itself but to whatever is happening to the milk or cheese processing.

Copyright © 2010-2012 Traveller Journey Through The Cortex
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Girrll Power: Hots for the Smart

Apparently, women are moving ahead of men in IQ stakes.  Found a cute little ditty praising smart girls.

 I like a girl in satin
Who talks dirty in Latin
A girl who's flirty
When she quotes Krishnamurti
If she likes to be goosed
While reciting from Proust
I'll know she's my kind of creature
Among her delectables
Her intellectables
Must be her sexiest feature

I've got The Hots For The Smarts
The Hots For The Smarts
IQ off the charts
Give me brains over hearts
I've got The Hots For The Smarts

I like a girl from Mensa
With a furrowed brow
When the tenses get denser
She gets it - and how!
I need a polymath 
Called Cindy or Cath
Who likes her Plato not too platonic
An autodidact
Who can add and subtract
While sipping her Tolstoy and tonic...

Copyright © 2010-2012 Traveller Journey Through The Cortex
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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Feeling my way towards 3D vision

HVS (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I last left my Gentle Readers with some thoughts about a new approach to vision.  I have since rethought things. I talked with my physical therapist and apparently there are some other things that can be done before I throw in the towel or run around to a bunch of different folks.

I recently read a book about vision by Dr. Melvin Kaplan which had a wonderful chapter about strabismus.  He also had a lot of very interesting things to say about vision therapy in a holistic approach that I I will leave for another post.

Problem #1:  As a developmental optometrist knows, in strabismus there is a misalignment between the extra ocular muscles that control the eye and the accommodative muscles that control the focusing of the eye.   My eyes are really not aligned properly and not in a manner that the average optometric exam uncovers quickly.  The use of stereograms accompanied by an exercise that jumps the eye back and forth across the midline of the body brought out some diplopia.   When I shifted the stereogram to the left side, I fused my eyes correctly.  We tried a new set of lenses to see what is happening.  It is really weird to put on a set of prism lenses  that accounts for a shift to the right (or left) and get a much better sense of space.  Using this type of prism lenses is not something that a developmental optometrist reaches for first.   Apparently my problem now is not your typical base in/base out problem but something else.

One thought that I have on this new piece of evidence is that it poses some questions on what is happening on my right side of the brain.   My guess right now is that there is something about how the inputs from the nasal portion of the retina of the left eye are not fusing properly with the inputs from my temporal portion of the right eye.  I think (I need to check this) that both these inputs are right hemispheric dysfunction.  It all makes me wonder if there is something to the Non-Verbal Learning Disorder, at least in terms of describing right hemispheric dysfunction.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Binocular vision course

English: Example of hazel-green eyes. Photo ta...
English: Example of hazel-green eyes. Photo taken by myself of my own eyes. Laurin Guadiana (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For those of you who want to enhance your understanding of Binocular vision (i.e. seeing with two eyes and depth perception), I found an interesting set of lecture notes from the Souther California College of Optometry exam resources web site.    Who knows?  Maybe I will have the equivalent of a degree in optometry by the time I finish with all of this.
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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Backsliding in Vision Therapy

Stereogram of Venus
Stereogram of Venus (Photo credit: Electric-Eye)
I've backslided a bit.  Sigh!

Had a visioncheckup with Dr. Seiderman and slid backwards on the Worth 4 Dot.  Last time I had 50% near and 70% far with no suppression.  Yesterday, I got 50% near and 50% far with some suppression.

I don't know what the problem is.  I didn't get much sleep the night before.  Went to bed late.  Got up in the middle of the night.  Got up early to take my husband to the train station.  Worked on my report of a workshop I gave with a friend and then drove 1 3/4 hours to Lancaster.  I wonder if I could chalk it up to lack of sleep.

The other possibility is that I might have had a false reading for the first exam.  We are wondering if I had just had vision therapy prisms or other lenses right before the exam and that might have skewed the previous results.

I showed Dr. Seiderman a certain problem that I was having with one of his exercises.  It is a stereogram with a series of sports pictures that fuse at different levels of depth.  You bounce your eyes to the center diamond with R/L letters to and from each picture.  One side of the stereogram is for convergence and the other is for divergence.

 The weird thing is that I am fusing nicely on the left side of the stereogram and that I have double images on the right side no matter whether I am converging or diverging. If I move the card across the midline of my body, I can get all images to fuse nicely.  Also, I don't have problems fusing when the image is dead center.