System 1: ATTENTION CONTROL SYSTEM
Mental Energy Controls (5): When I was a kid I was always praised for being the most attentive in class by teachers. One teacher called me “Iron Man” because I would never get distracted, even when most other kids would.
Alertness (5): My friends call me a good listener. I am able to stay alert in lectures for about 50 minutes, but after that I slowly start to fatigue.
Consistency (5): Was fairly consistent in attention abilities from day to day and grade to grade. I can usually depend on sitting through a chemistry lecture without falling asleep or dazing excessively.
Mental Effort (6): I was one of the few kids who actually studied in grade school. Doing work outside of homework was very rare for kids when I grew up.
Sleep Control (4): I don’t have severe problems but sometimes have trouble falling asleep. This is usually easily corrected by reading in bed. Once I’m asleep I’m out for good.
Intake Controls (5): Overall I am a good note-taker, highlighter, reader, listener, and studier.
Selection (6): I take good notes. I work for the Aggie newspaper and I’ve developed a knack for spotting only the important quotes so I don’t have to write down the entire interview.
Concentration Depth (5): When reading complex material (such as articles in National Geographic or scientific journals), I am able to decipher the detailed language while still keeping a perspective on the overall message of the story.
Concentration Time (5): In most classes I can gauge fairly accurately how long to spend studying certain topics based on an estimate of the proportion I think they will be represented on the test.
Mind Activity (3): Tend to associate new information with too much knowledge in my brain. I take frequent mind trips, but I’ve learned to catch myself and control them by consciously exerting more attention energy in order to stay on task.
Wait and Excitement (6): I tend to get good grades in sciences, even though I’m not the least bit interested in them.
System 2: Memory System
Sensory registrar (5): I have an almost heightened sense of smell and taste which is especially keen when recalling certain memories. That is, I can not only see something I’m supposed to remember but entailed in that memory is everything else about that moment, the smells, the tastes, etc.
Pattern Recognition (4): I’m no prodigy, especially when considering that I’ve never mastered the rubrics’ cube and I label myself as ordinary because distinguishing shapes among shapes takes me a little longer than most. I’ve always had a difficult time deciphering the image in the magic eye paintings which are supposed to hold hidden images.
Short-term (5): I can study by route repetition twenty minutes before a test and ace the test. This is mostly true if the test only requires me to regurgitate information I’ve just learned and not to actually analyze a question.
Duration (4): Remembering certain dates and events that take place during those dates is a little difficult for me to accomplish. If a personal event is juxtaposed with a noted holiday then I can more easily remember an event, but the duration of those specific events isn’t full of details and doesn’t go into a lot of action. So, the duration of my memory for anything sticks with the clear facts and not the minute details.
Span (4): This subcategory entails some of the definition of duration. My capabilities in memory span are not by any means advances and noteworthy so I ascribed myself to an ordinary score. Again, details are not a strong part of my memory system and the span of memory I have is limited to only a few memories as opposed to arbitrary events such as the cereal I ate the day my dog died (I do not recall).
Active Working (5): As in my short term memory I do apply myself stalwartly to actively utilizing my memory system. I do not have an idle mind but use it to memorize specific facts for tests (I am very good at route memorization).
Long-term (5): My long term memory is above average. I have a knack for recalling specifics in long-term memory, and although I do not get hung up on details, I do remember certain things such as the color dresses my mother wore to church how I lost my first tooth (in a graham cracker no less). Also when studying for exams, not the easier quizzes I use short term memory for, I don’t have to study too hard because I retain information I was exposed to in class, and from my notes.
Semantic (4): Although my grasp of language is good, I do not delve into semantics, double-entendre’s elude me and I have never been very fond of poetry and the analysis it requires, the metaphors and similes it uses does not entertain me or cause me to think any deep thoughts.
Episodic (6): I have a great ability to relate events in sequential order and though my thought patterns may be askew I can still originate the cause of a series of events and the after math of one action. This also pertains to my long-term memory because I can relate the interconnecting ideas between chapters so that visually the book is in my head whenever I take a test.
Implicit (5): My friends say that even when they don’t tell me something’s wrong I can tell by the way they’re acting. I can do this because in the past I’ve witnessed them act the same way and the reason behind their actions was always due to some serious impetus.
System 3: Language System
Automatic (4): In responding to conversations or casual greetings I never take the time to analyze what is being said to me and just give a typical response, one not thoughtful, nor caring, but programmed.
Literate (4): As I’ve stated before my knack for studying poetry is not up to par with any great poetics class. Although I am good in science I do not enjoy science, because it has to do with different mechanisms in the brain. I am more well versed in mathematics and sciences but as for the arts and literature and by extension being literate I do not fair so well. There is no back story to this, it is just innate in my nature. I do okay but am no genius, and what I do great in for this subject is thanks to my long-term memory and my study habits.
Abstract (5): I have long loved the abstract artists, and have been reading philosophy and theology since I was in bible school, trying to find answers. I have not great talent in the arts but I do enjoy them and can safely say I do fairly well in philosophy subjects.
Receptive (3): Although language is about communication sometimes I have a series of dazing out moments when someone is having a conversation with me that I am not particularly interested in. Although we speak the same language sometimes it takes me awhile to understand what they are saying to me. This could almost be called aphasia, but I do not have the medical definitions for such a symptom.
Listening (5): Even though my reception is a bit off, I am a good listener. From class lectures to truly stimulating conversation everyone knows I am good at listening and not interrupting.
Reading (6): I have a true talent for reading. Though my literature interests are not exceptional I can read with interest almost anything. I start my day out by reading the headline news stories around the world, and have my own collection of National Geographic magazines and every article has been read.
Expressive (5): In conversation I can listen but I can also but my ideas into words fairly easily. When I was a child I was talking before I was walking steadily. This is because my mother would always express herself and encourage me to do the same. My first sentence was I sad.
Talking (5): In communication there is listening and there is talking; my skills for both are very well developed. In order to appropriately express myself the ability to talk well comes with the territory.
Writing essays (5): I can express myself with ease and this translates well with writing essays. Essays are part analysis part opinion and I have no problems with either. In fact I usually do better in classes that require essay writing for grades as opposed to classes that require exams.
Metalinguistics (6): My talents for listening and talking and expression lead strongly to metalinguistics. I recognize the idioms, maxims, and cultural quirks in language. This has to do with studying foreign language as a post-secondary student and finding out relevant language issues in other languages helped me to recognize the same things in my own language as it applied to culture.
System 4: Spatial Ordering System
Perceiving (3): As in the magic eye reference my perception of objects in space and depth perception isn’t very developed. Although I am a basketball player I do better with objects that are further away from me than close to me.
Remembering (2): As I’ve said previously I do not remember details but do better at remembering when there is a story involved. Therefore remembering spatial order is more difficult for me.
Creating (3): My abilities in art were always graded on effort as opposed to end result. Crafts and objects were never my strong suit. Putting shapes into appropriate places to create form has always been difficult. I can never quite draw a decent hand, or head, because smaller objects are even harder to construct than the broader ‘body’ drawings. I can’t draw noses, but do better at beach balls.
Organizing (5): Although I do not like to organize I have a slightly anal retentive, obsessive compulsive nature. This is prevalent in my color-coordinated closet.
Higher thinking with spatial processing (4): I can place objects according to color but according to shape proves to be difficult.
System 5: Sequential Ordering System
Perceiving (3): Placing objects in a row according to a preordained set of rules isn’t highly developed in my mind. I can recognize great differences between objects but the smaller the difference the less likely it is I will recognize it.
Remembering (5): My long term and short term memory skills are very advanced. Although it may take me awhile to decipher the object difference among things once I do perceive a pattern, it becomes easy for me to remember that pattern or sequence.
Creating (3): Again, my artistry isn’t fully developed although I can appreciate art it has never been something in which I excel. I have never advanced far past the elementary concepts of drawing, but admittedly I do better in clay which gives me room to create something larger and three dimensional and therefore easier for me to construct.
Organizing (5): Not only is my closet color-coordinated, but my books on my bookshelf, though not in a Dewey decimal system are alphabetized by authors last name and by subject matter.
Higher thinking with sequential processing (6): Since my organization skills are developed past the term average and my innate abilities in science and math are strong, my higher thinking with sequential processing follows suit.
System 6: Higher Thinking System
Mode of representation (4) My mode of representation in higher thinking is average because there doesn’t exist for me a link sometimes between concepts and applying those concepts to a course of study.
Favorite mode (5): My favorite mode is between rules and critical thinking. My organization skills lead up to the fact that I govern my life by a set of rules (hence my strong ability in math). My critical thinking (6): My communication skills have been well developed since an early age, therefore my ability to decipher what a teacher or parent is telling me (or the television) and apply its validity is very strong. I am not a cynic though at times I can be cynical especially when the media becomes to subjective and culturally oriented.
Least favorite mode (5): As has been pointed out before my least favorite system subcategory is art (although I can appreciate it I cannot accomplish it which becomes frustrating) and so my least favorite mode is creativity.
Use of more than one mode (5): I have a natural multi-tasking ability and this goes for critical thinking coupled with problem-solving and the other modes. Each goes hand in hand with the other and there is no real delineation among the modes.
Concepts (5): I am good at math and science which abound with concepts as well as rules. I am better at concrete concepts than abstract concepts but do very well in either category.
Conceptual thinking (5): I do not have a monotonous higher thinking system and this is shown in the various activities in which I excel. Conceptual thinking is easy for me because of my quickness in sequential thinking and applying that to key concepts and further reading in chapters. I can remember the setting of stories for each chapter, and facts for history books all in order. Applying sequences to end results and the concepts therein has never been difficult for me, as one teacher said, “You are builder” which meant I build upon concepts and include each concept with the next forthcoming idea.
Conceptual memory (6): As with Levin’s conceptual mapping I too visualize concepts and thereby make mental notes of what I need to know. I remember historical dates by visualizing the numbers in my head. Geography then is very easy for me since it already is in visual form.
Rules (6): My higher thinking hinges upon my concepts of rules and how applicable they are to my educational situations. My math skills, especially in probability (if p then q) is something which I take pride in knowing and being good at (if not necessarily enjoying it). I am very liberal when it comes to rules, but instead allow them to thoroughly guide my education.
Rule-guided thinking (6): Since my system of rules abounds in my education, my rule-guided thinking is also a testament to this fact. That is probably why English and ‘literate’ are so difficult for me to grasp since there are so many exceptions to the rules.
Memory of rules (4): Although concept mapping aids in my deciphering between memorized facts the other systems of memorizing, or almost innately knowing something elude me. I have trouble processing anything out of order.
Problem solving (5): Since I am by no means impulsive and rely mainly on logic to guide my field of knowledge and memorization, problem solving is no problem. Verbal math problems at the end of chapters I very easily understood and excelled. I have great understanding of step-by-step problems and this proves itself helpful in my sporting activities as well as education since the consequences of actions are so easily foreseeable and the results of the actions are clearly defined.
Identifying problem (5): Since my abilities in problem solving are based in step-by-step processing identifying a problem is merely an extension of this higher thinking. If going through a problem step-by-step, then the item that is out of place can more easily be recognized and corrected.
Previewing outcome (4) Although my critical thinking skills are well developed and organized my previewing outcome skills are far less exact. I often consider too many possibilities for an outcome even though I do problems step-by-step.
Assessing feasibility (5): Along with gathering identifying a problem I have a high aptitude of gathering information and finding out whether or not certain outcomes are possible. Also, since television has a high impact on culture I am also cynical enough to know what offers are bogus and what offers are legitimate.
Mobilizing resources (4): I have the right amount of knowledge and high level of thinking to analyze subjects and come to certain conclusions, but my ability to mobilize my resources and gather them is certainly lacking. Consider this: though my step-by-step procedure is intact I have a tendency to not work well with others and though my mobilizing and accomplishing of tasks is high these tasks are not done as well when with a group (such as planning a trip with others, or group projects for school) because I have to control every aspect of the task and a group doesn’t allow me to do this.
Thinking logically (6): Again going back to the step-by-step analogy, I can put two and two together and get four. My reasoning and logical skills are developed enough to realize the probabilities and realities of problems. I can apply data from one source into another source.
Considering different strategies (5): I can predict certain outcomes and have a myriad of possibilities for those outcomes. My mind is constantly constructing different avenues to take and the infinite probabilities on those outcomes which is probably why science comes so easily to me; because my hypothesis is open-ended.
Picking best strategy (4): Although I may predict several possibilities in a science experiment or any other experiment I do not limit myself is choosing the most likely outcome.
Starting and pacing (3): I tend to rush through projects in order to come to the end result faster. On math quizzes I never take the extra time to re-check my answers because I’m confident enough in my first answer and because I want to be done fast. I have no problems starting projects or in the execution part, but making sure I have enough time to do everything I want to do (such as the many extracurricular activities I’m involved in) isn’t a strong point, and often I find myself in a time constraint.
Self-monitoring (4): Even though my pacing isn’t high level I do recognize my weakness and try to counteract it. This type of self-monitoring can be seen in not taking a second job, and not joining more sports than I’m already involved.
Dealing with impasses (5): I often find myself in a predicament that I did not foresee happening and thus have to come up with a quick solution to the problem. I am very adaptive and can make changes fast accordingly.
Knowing when problem is solved (6): Since science and math deal mostly in logical thinking coming to an answer and knowing I’ve come to an answer has never been a problem for me. I know when to stop and when to keep going. I know my limitations in art won’t give me masterpieces but I also know when I’ve done my best in that subject and effort is most of the grade so I know when to stop painting. In science although many solutions may be possible, I don’t bother with finding all of them but focus on the main problem and solve it.
Critical thinking (5): My slight cynicism keeps abreast of false representations especially in the media and so my critical thinking, or deciding what is true and what is only trying to be sold to me is developed highly. I am frugal to begin with and already a concrete thinker and have been taught through experience (I once sent in money to a box-top toy and got back something very fragile and chintzy) and now go on what I’ve learned.
Getting outside help (2): I do not work well with others because my disposition is very introverted. I do well in subjects but only on independent projects: though I may go to certain trusted sources for the occasional advice and succor I do not make a habit of it because I’m very independent.
Uncovering the authors point of view (3): I haven’t mastered this critical thinking ability. The author’s point of view for me is often too subtle to recognize and the abundance of obtuse and objective data does not aid in deciphering what their own view may be. This is especially hard in reading novels.
Uncovering your own point of view (6): I do know what I like and don’t like, and as difficult as it may be for me to know someone else’s mind about a matter I do not have the same drawbacks with myself. I am an excellent communicator and have never been hard-pressed to show this.
Enumerating the facts (6): Although opinions I am less discerning over I do well in deciphering the facts. Often it is the facts I remember most such as historical dates, formulaic expressions, and chemical compounds.
Weighing the evidence (5): My critical thinking abilities and my step-by-step process each aid my higher level of weighing the evidence. In science especially hypotheses are tested and either proven to be true or false. I am good at separating my opinion and focusing on the objective part of an assignment, conversation or experiment.
Searching for errors and exaggerations (3): Since it is difficult for me to find the opinion of the author in a certain body of text finding the errors, exaggerations, or falseness in their logic since sometimes I confuse opinion for fact but never the other way around.
Creativity (2): Again my creativity isn’t any exaggerated amount, though I can create I am not very good at it and the impetus to create doesn’t come to me often.
Creativity – in general (2): Still in the area of arts and crafts I don’t do well I sometimes may think of a new play for basketball but that is usually the extent of my creative prowess.
Divergent thinking (5): I do not consider this to be creative but merely thinking in terms of the problem I can come up with several solutions to many problems such as time management problems, etc.
Convergent thinking (4): I do like structure and rules but still want the freedom to come up with more than one possibility for a problem therefore my convergent thinking isn’t at the top of the list. I can find the exact solution to a problem but I also like to have options for that final solution and want to keep in mind the probability of change to occur.
System 7: Social System
Social missions (4): As I’ve stated prior I am a bonafide introvert and conversation exists only with a select group of people for me. I do sports well but in group projects I do not have the necessary skills to collaborate in a strict classroom setting. For me sports are different since the environment is different which the act of group is played out.
Friendship mission (5): I make friends well enough and tend to keep the one’s I get. I still have friends I talk with from grade school.
Popularity mission (4): I have never been on a mission to gain popularity with a group of people I do not know nor desire to know in any capacity.
Political mission (5): I have a slight interest in politics and have run for school office several times and won in different years and for different positions.
Social language functions (4): My communication skills are highly developed and though I lack literate skills sometimes, interacting with my specific group of friends has never given me problems.
Communication of feelings (6): My mother was a great aid in helping me to develop a keen sense of self and to always express exactly what I mean and what I want. I do not have a passive personality and do not fear confrontation.
Interpretation of feelings (6): I know not only what I’m feeling but also what my friends are feeling. This has to do with being socialized with this select group of people and sharing the same culture as much as it has to do with my ability to be empathetic.
Code switching (1): I have little time to reconstruct myself to fit in with a group of people. I am understood well because I express myself well not because I change my language to interact with a specific group. I was never good at that in my school career and remain less apt in this area today.
Topic selection (5): I am a good listener but I am a good talker too. I tend to navigate the conversation to topics I want to discuss.
Topic maintenance (5): This follows suit with the prior category; I keep up to date with news (as said prior) and have no problems giving exact examples of dates and ideas behind movements.
Requesting skill (6): My communication skills have been dynamic since I was five. I was brought up to always be polite so when asking for something I am never rude because everything is circumstantial, someone may be busy in a restaurant or have other life issues to worry about so when I ask for something I consider this possibility and try and be as polite as possible. I go by the maxim, be twice nice, but after the third time niceties are no longer necessary.
Perspective taking (6): This goes along with being empathetic and having the ability to realize if something is bothering someone or in taking others feelings into consideration. I try to do this whenever in conversation with someone.
Complimenting (5): Complimenting is a habit with me. If I find something interesting or pretty about someone I tend to tell them so. I feel that complimenting with sincerity is an excellent way to be considerate.
Lingo fluency (3): I do not dumb down my language when I’m with my peers or other people or children. I have never talked baby talk to my pets growing up because I feel it is demeaning.
System 8: Motor System
Fine motor (5): perhaps in the arts my fingers are missing the synapse which tells them to draw lines a certain way. I do better with larger objects as in playing sports I am excellent at basketball despite the high level of fine motor connection and concentration required. My hand-eye coordination does better with physically engaging activities as opposed to something I perceive as being as ‘quiet’ as art.
Oromotor motor (5): Communication hasn’t been a problem for me in any stage of life; I’ve never stuttered, had a lisp nor did I have to attend speech class. I’ve been talking since before I was two and I haven’t stopped nor had problems since.
Musical motor (4): Although my accomplishments in sports is coordinated and full of a type of rhythm, that skill has never translated itself to any other beat/rhyme/ dance etc.
Gross motor (large muscle) (6): Again, handling large objects is a lot easier than handling a pencil for me. My handwriting I feel is atrocious and my artistry is no better but manual labor, hauling bricks, or cinder blocks like I did for my first job was easy.
Interest and intention (4): This category is average for because on one end I’m interested in gross motor function but on the other end fine motor function is difficult, which levels me out.
Previewing (5): My step-by-step abilities come into play with previewing as well as my mental mapping. I can foresee a problem as in basketball and try to take evasive action to avoid a collision.
Planning (5): I do fairly well in planning. I can make a list of necessary items to accomplish during a day and witness the end result of those items.
Action (5): In action I stay on task okay despite my time issues in over achieving and my action follows suit because I actually get involved in what I am doing and do not like to fail, or waste time.
Feedback and regulation (4): I do well with criticism but still I have my time issues and as much as I like to follow rules and regulations I get caught up in what I’m doing and my time though not wasted gets rapidly used in one project as opposed to the three projects I have to do.
Graphomotor (3): Again the inability to do art and my sloppy handwriting all point to graphomotor dysfunctions. I do better with written essays because I’m permitted to type them on a computer which I’m better at. My attention span only lasts for fifty minutes and typing is faster than recording with pencil and paper and so I get frustrated and this show in handwritten work I turn in.
My mental energy controls were very much gushed over and praised when I was a child. This was done by being attentive in class as well as acting with respect and discernment in towards my family. One teacher called me “Iron Man” because I would never get distracted, even when most other kids would. This attention and the ability to control its direction was indispensable growing up and trying to achieve my personal goals in school as well as at home: I did not as it were have a child’s attention span.
My alertness is marked distinctly as above average. My friends call me a good listener. I am able to stay alert in lectures for about 50 minutes, but after that I slowly start to fatigue. Didactic teaching isn’t one in which long periods of time should be required of students. For me class involvement and interactions are two very key components of a working classroom ; that is a classroom where students are retaining what they’re learning. As good a listener as I may prove to be, even the most interesting lectures can be too verbose after fifty minutes.
My consistency was marked as above average as well. This was done because I am fairly consistent in attention abilities from day to day and grade to grade. I can usually depend on sitting through a chemistry lecture without falling asleep or dazing excessively.
Sleep control was rated as ordinary, or at least between ordinary and below average. I don’t have severe problems but sometimes I have trouble falling asleep. This is usually easily corrected by reading in bed. Once I’m asleep I’m out for good. The problems of getting asleep deal with over exertion in thinking and by reading I relax enough to allow busy thoughts to disseminate.
My intake controls are rated as above average since overall I am a good note-taker, highlighter, reader, listener, and studier.
My concentration depth is rated as above average because when reading complex material (such as articles in National Geographic or scientific journals), I am able to decipher the detailed language while still keeping a perspective eon the overall message of the story.
As for concentration time I rated myself as above average since in most classes I can gauge fairly accurately how long to spend studying certain topics based on an estimate of the proportion I think they will be represented on the test.
As for my mind activity I rated myself as below average. This rate was given because I tend to associate new information with too much knowledge in my brain. I take frequent mind trips, but I’ve learned to catch myself and control them by consciously exerting more attention energy in order to stay on task.
I am particularly good at mental effort because of my history of studying in school. As far back as grade school my penchant for continuous studying was developed and only grew stronger with my career in school. This affinity was brought on by the attention my mother gave to my studies. She was a great instigator in setting up studying time and specific times for each subject. When I was in first grade we started a personal grading system that went beyond the grading system in grammar school. My mother would have me set my own personal goals to achieve throughout the year whether or not it dealt with reading a certain amount of books or writing subsequent reports of books I was constantly learning and regurgitating something. Thus, studying became almost second nature. In studying for school, the task was easily accomplished because of my background at home. Perhaps it can be said that this affinity was trained, or it may be assumed that I was keen on knowing the world around that studying to understand that world led me to be a natural student. My mother’s involvement in any case aided immensely in this avenue of mental effort. Also, it must be noted that the association I had with other children outside of grammar school wasn’t an extreme amount. I had friends but primarily when school ended I did my homework first and an extension of this regime was then to focus my attention on any curiosities I had about some minor point in my homework. These natural curiosities, or affinities, were what inspired extracurricular games with friends when I did indeed spend time with them. Some games that were invented because of homework assignments were scrabble games consisting of only using animal names, states, foreign countries, or presidents and their families. Other variations of games consisted of basketball spelling (forward and backward), anagrams, and math fractions done by dividing fruit. Along with creating these games the work outside of homework that I accomplished included pictoral representations of history lessons. These posters and detailed drawings were turned into the teacher for extra credit sometimes, but being a natural student I committed to these drawings because I indeed did enjoy representing the revolutionary war on poster board using color pencils. I did many such posters and many wars depending on the time frame in history class being studied. Doing these extracurricular projects honed my skills in understanding my subject matter better and in the area of attention control the amount of time and effort exerted on these games, and art pieces was if anything exceptional.
I scored myself as privileged in the area of selection because of my note taking. I do have a certain talent for taking notes and this is prevalent with my work for Aggie newspaper. Working for a paper and having a limited amount of time to peruse and strike upon the key points of not only articles but also interviews has strengthened this skill. I’ve developed a knack for spotting only the important quotes so I don’t have to write verbatim the interview, only the interesting dialogue. Working as an editor I find myself transferring any selection skills I attain at work into my everyday life. For instance while reading I retain information, especially from textbooks by denoting a story. My note-taking skills are enhanced through my work at the newspaper because I associate a personal story with the information being written. In Levin’s book, his concepts were easily assembled into notes because his theories were put into practice through stories and I associate facts well when there is a story integrated into them. This skill is further used by watching television, especially the news, and remembering only the facts, not the opinions, or the suggested avenues of thoughts that newscasters or interviewees may deliver. This attention towards minute details has been honed not only through my work at Aggie’s but from the beginning by being an astute student. By paying attention to strict details homework assignments were made more compact and more understandable since I included the essential points of the chapter in review questions.
One other area which I scored myself as privileged is in wait and excitement. I gave myself this level because although I’m a good student and receive decent grades in the area of science I do not by any means enjoy the subject. Science does not hold my interest. The affinity towards subjects cannot be delved into without considering the background of the student but as Levine stated in chapter eleven he had a penchant for animals and neither of his parents were by any means animal lovers. My family does not consist of brilliant scientists or for that matter there exists no true animosity towards science in my family. My interest may be peeked by animal shows and the history of biology and genes for certain animals but beyond the realm of half hour tv segments that do not get too technical, physics, chemistry, biology has never held my interest. That does not mean that I cannot ace an exam, because my ability to retain knowledge in texts I’ve read and notes I’ve taken is still on a high caliber, but to show genuine interest is something that science has never done for me.
One area that blatantly sticks out that I have no affinity towards is mind activity. I have a wide range for my frame of reference so when I make allusions of new material with something which I have already learned about the subject or topic I tend to bounce from one topic I’ve referenced to several others that have something to do with this new and pertinent information. Thus, though my mind activity is active it is not directed. This becomes cumbersome because this causes me to exert my direct thinking which further detracts and distracts from the original topic being referenced.
The other area which leaves me feeling as if I have no control is sleep control. I rated myself as ordinary on this because the power of attention I use during the first hour or so of lying down to actually sleep is used trying to push away the overwhelming thoughts I have during this time. Thus, more mental and attention energy is being used and this exertion further keeps me from sleeping. I do eventually fall asleep and afterwards I am restful and out like a light it is the first part of sleeping where I lack any control.
In order to improve cognitive functioning the following must be given credence: it can prove to be a slow process. Cognitive functioning in response to Levin’s neurodevelopmental systems has to do with strengthening strengths as well as affinities. Though the negative can be overwhelming to try and improve when it is paired with also focusing on strengths the task does not present itself to be too difficult. As with Raoul in Levin’s study, the help of the community, that is, the support of both family, mentor and school is essential. In retaining my ability with mental effort my mother was shown to be a prime example of strengthening a strength. The identification (the table) of such strengths and weaknesses is elemental in deciphering how to improve in each area. Once these are identified a system of progress can be discovered. For instance, I had trouble falling asleep for a few years until I discovered that reading in bed helped me to relax enough and throw away worry to bring me to that point of, not exhaustion, but physical relaxation that my mind would follow suit. In another area I discovered that my mind activity was too exhausting to be productive and in order to retain new information into my frame of reference I had to take control and recognize when I was associating and making too many allusions with other topics. By noticing this and by slowing my mind activity down and really focusing it at the task at hand I have steadily been able to exert myself less but at the same time use my energy as a tool to center my thoughts.