The following articles are about Watch experiments:
May 16, 2011
Every semester, I post a sign on my office door for one week: "It's that time of year. Please do not disturb unless urgent." It is the marker to others, and to myself, that the end of the semester is near. While students stay awake studying and writing, professors are up reading and grading. In academia, it is the storm before the calm.
When I was a student, the call of spring seemed tantalizing, but tolerable; I could take in small bits and still be productive.
Three decades later, neither my body nor my mind can work efficiently in an unstructured environment. By the time I set up a cushioned chair to support my back, don a baseball hat and sunglasses to allow me to see my laptop screen without glare, put on SPF 80 sunscreen and take Advil for a possible "sun headache" … the great outdoors somehow loses its appeal.
Instead, I sit on a comfortable, supported chair in a quiet, air conditioned library and gaze out the window at a world in full bloom. My mind wanders to being outside, but for graduation, not grading. I imagine the graduates sitting before me, surrounded on the hillside by proud parents, family and friends. I wonder about each of their paths to arrive at this day, and their journeys yet unknown. I think about my own.
At Vassar, graduation tends to be an oddly appropriate event. Usually, praise and acclimations bestowed upon the graduates are related to effort and hard work, perseverance and resiliency. Authentic accomplishments are recognized, not only in the graduates but in the commencement speaker's own life work.
The roads, rivers and superhighways beyond the college's main gate are not portrayed like a rainbow path on a Candyland game board. No one hands out a road map. Diplomas are not stamped with "certificate of guaranteed success."
And not once have I heard the words, "You did it! You're so smart!"
So what's this got to do with a column on parenting in the early years? Everything.
March 16, 2010
By Amy McCampbell
Last year, the Sears Tower (or, as it’s known by its new name, the Willis Tower) unveiled a glass balcony on its 103rd floor. Visitors get to creep about four feet out from the building…and 1,353 feet high above the city of Chicago.
Some of us on the Mind in the Making team were talking about and just how much it reminded us of an experiment we filmed, UC Berkeley Professor Joe Campos’ Visual Cliff. In it, a baby is placed on a large box that’s covered by a piece of clear plexi-glass. Halfway across, there’s what looks like a drop, though it’s clearly safe to cross thanks to the sturdy platform. On the opposite side of the platform is the baby’s mom, either making a smiling face (signaling to the baby that it’s okay to cross), or a fearful face (which tells the baby to stay put).
You can watch the experiment here.
The experiment is so powerful… you can really see the babies reading their parents to try to figure out what to do.read more