Thursday, September 12, 2013

Alex's Successful Thinking Shift - General To Specific



Song:  Arwen's Vigil

Artists:  The Piano Guys




Just a few days prior to this night's synopsis of "Musashi"...
Alex had been having problems relaying what he had read...
the relationships among the characters...
and especially, the chronology of the story...
and the significance of the major events.

For a detailed description of the method I had Alex use (mental outlining)...
to shift his thinking from specific to general...
to general to specific:

Literature - Mental Outline


Last night, during Alex's synopsis of "Musashi"...
he had started his synopsis as I had shown him...
he kept the characters, and events, straight in his mind...
and he knew the significance of each event.

He first told of the main characters in his portion of the reading...
he told me of the main settings in the portion of the story in order...
 he gave a general accounting of the characters in the appropriate setting...
he then gave me his synopsis...
in the correct order...with the correct emphasis on the pertinent details...
and, he did it without hesitation.

As he had done his synopsis so well...
I then questioned him on possible motives of the characters.

He had surprised me with his insight.
He had come up with perfectly reasonable answers.

Just a few nights after I had shown him this method of thinking...
he had grasped the concept, and had applied it very successfully.

He had retained far more information while knowing
the all important relationships among the characters and events.

Alex had a big smile when, at the conclusion of his synopsis...
I had told him how well he had done.

I then reiterated the great importance of thinking from general to specific.

I had told him that in doing so...
he is establishing the parameters of his information...
and with just the most general components remembered first...
and put into correct order...
he is establishing a timeline in his mind.

With just the main characters...
the settings, and the main events set in his mind
in correct chronological order...
he will then have cause and effect established.

A logical sequence will become apparent...
and with this, he will automatically see the important relationships...
and the details which are important.

He won't have to try to remember the details...
they will automatically manifest themselves because they will
make sense to be at the appropriate location in the story.

I had likened it to numbers.

I had told him that with a logical sequence...
with which a system or pattern emerges which then dictates
the following actions or path to take... details naturally emerge.

Just as people normally cannot remember random digits beyond 10 or so...
random details are also meaningless.

However, just by knowing the sequence of numbers...
an infinite number may be conjured in the mind by following the system.

By Alex having the general outline of the story in his mind...
any detail which is important to the progression of the story...
is triggered automatically.

As cause and effect is established...
motives also become much easier to discern.

With Alex's mind freed by a more efficient way of looking at things...
he may then look at details and motives in the proper perspective.

Before, Alex was so tied up in trying to remember the details...
 he hadn't seen the logical progression of the story...
or the over all pattern of human behavior.

Alex had made such a huge gain in his ability to synopsize his readings...
I had told him to keep up with our successful pattern of:

1)  Just the main characters.

2)  Just the setting/s...in order.

3)  The correct characters in the correctly ordered settings...no details.

4)  A synopsis of the story with only the relevant details.

5)  A discussion period which delves into
the motives and rationales of the characters...
the significance of the major events...
and into some of the finer details.

I told Alex that, besides us using this method throughout the rest of the book...
we would also be using this same method with news articles in future discussions...
and that he should look at everything in life in this manner...
general to specific.


General to specific...
large to small...
with everything kept in context and perspective...
there are no worries...no worries at all  :)

Our new mantra!  :)











2 comments:

  1. Excellent that Alex has picked up on this so quickly. Must be very rewarding to see him apply your teachings so well.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes...we are practicing everyday with this technique. It is always such a pleasure to teach Alex because he applies the lessons eagerly.

    ReplyDelete

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