Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Chole’s Journal #2: Getting Smarter with “I OPT”

By: Chloe (aka "OE"--Shannon Nelson's daughter)
Official Corporate Mascot

Professional Communications, Inc.

I am almost 8 and one-half now. I’ve grown up a lot. But I think I remember most of the important stuff that happened since my last blog. I think I will try to update it.

The first thing I remember is that there was a AWESOME fire. The offices where I worked for my first 18 months burned down. Mommy, Umpah (my name for Dr. Salton) and Carolyn had to work real hard. Things at the office were a mess. I was still real little so Mom and Esther decided that I should stay home. Esther would take care of me and do some work from my house.

If I was older I would have been worried. But it turned out to be really cool. We spent a lot of time learning new stuff. I learned how to tie my shoes. It’s is hard when your little. Your fingers don’t go where you want all of the time. And there are a lot of steps. You got to put the laces in the right place, twist them, fold them and pull them. One little mistake and nothing works. Esther said that making mistakes was okay. She said if I practiced I would learn. She was right. But it took a real lot of practice.

We also had a bunch of tea parties. It was fun doing complicated things just right. Esther and I had good talks at the party. Mommy and I sometimes had tea parties after work. I did not know it at the time but I was learning lots of things at the party. Now I know that I was learning social skills. That’s when you and someone else do something together. You can tie your shoes alone but you can’t have a tea party by yourself.

Mom told me that tea parties and tying shoes are kind of the same thing. She said I was learning procedures. These are just regular ways of doing things. Procedures make things easier. Then you have more time for really important stuff. Mom said that this was an LP strategy. She told me that she used it a lot. That gave her more time to take care of me. Now that’s like REALLY important stuff.

I worked with Esther during the day and Mommy at night learning procedures. There were lots of them. Buttoning your shirt. Eating soup with a spoon. Brushing your teeth. Getting video games to work right. Tons and tons of stuff. But all of the while Esther and Mom were sneaking in new stuff that had nothing to do with procedures. They were teaching me analysis. That is how things link to each other. It started with reading.

Me and Esther read a lot of books together. Then we would take walks. We saw frogs and worms and beetles and lots other creepy crawlers. Mom would read to me at night and on weekends. Some of the books had interesting stories about things other kids did. Mom said that books are fun. But they are also a way to learn about real things—frogs and beetles and things I could do if I wanted to. I got real interested in learning how to read. But it was a lot harder than tying shoes or tea parties or buttoning your shirt.

I know now that you need a different way of thinking to read. The procedures Mommy told me about are like real easy. You just figure out how to do things once. Then you do the same thing over and over and get the same result. Reading was different. The letters in the words changed all over the place. At first you could figure out some words. But you couldn’t put them together into a story. To do that you need to know ALL the words. I was still to little to do that.

Esther took care of me for about a year. Then Carolyn quit PCI to go back to school. It was time for things to change again. I was now big enough to go to school all day! And was I ever ready! I was going to learn to read, play with other kids and learn about all kinds of stuff. Yea for me! I was really excited.

school they used phonics to teach me to read. You just sound out words. At first it was hard. I made lots of mistakes. But I remembered that Esther said it was okay to make mistakes. Umpah told me that the reason reading was hard was that I had to learn to think in a different way. He said that with procedures you just needed to learn each part and then do them one after the other. All you have to do is remember. But with reading you have to be able to figure out how one thing leads to another.

Umpah told me that the phonics I used was really a system. He said this was a lot harder than a procedure. I had to learn the sounds letters made. Then I had to put the sounds together to make words. There are a bunch of letters that go together in lots of different ways and made different sounds. Since I already knew how to talk, once I could sound out a word I knew what it meant—most of the time. But then I had to put the words together into sentences that made sense. No wonder it takes a long time to learn to read. It is REALLY hard for a little kid.

I now know that what I was doing was learning to use what Umpah calls analysis. I was learning how to link one thing to another. Squiggles on a page became sounds and sounds became words. Then words went together to make sentences. Sentences went together to make stories. That’s a lot of stuff that has to go together just right.

I also learned about math in school. When I was really little it was just counting. Then I learned about addition. Next about subtraction. Then came multiplication and division. Now I’m learning about fractions. Talk about analysis! Everything is linked to something else. It’s AWESOME. I love it!

I think I am beginning to understand why Esther uses a lot of analysis. It helps you figure out stuff and make the right choices. But most of all, it is FUN! You know about things before they happen. You know things that other kids don’t. Even grownups treat you better. They want to hear what you have to say. And they really listen. Sometimes I am even able to get them to follow my advice! Knowing about HA stuff kind of makes you feel like a grownup even when you’re still just a kid.

Mom says I’m growing up fast. But I know I have a long way to go. In math there’s something called Algebra. Lots of kids say it is hard. But I figure I’ll be able to do it. All I got to do is to pay attention to how things fit together.

There is are gobs of other stuff to learn. At school we studied the solar system – another system. We studied biology and learned about environmental systems. We studied evolution and learned about how everything – plants, animals and even whole galaxies—turn from one thing into another. There are systems all over the place. I’m going to be working on analysis for a while. But I don’t mind. Its fun and a lot of the things you learn are really cool.

I’ve been in school a long time. I’m now in 3rd grade. When I started it was okay. We got to play a lot. As the years went by things began to change. At my school the kids tutor each other. When I was the tutor I had to explain something to younger kids. Then the light went off! That HA analysis stuff helped me put things into words other people could understand. The HA strategy wasn’t just about how to think. It was also about doing stuff.

Well, that’s about where I am. I’m understanding more and more. And I’m pretty happy about it. I understand why Esther likes the HA style. I see how Mommy uses her LP style to get a lot of stuff done. And I even see why Umpah likes using the RS style—its really exciting and just a lot of fun.

But Umpah tells me that there is more to come. Umpah invented the “I Opt” system (another system!) that I’m using as a lens for these blogs. Umpah is really, really, reeally old. He knows lots of stuff so I listen to him – most of the time. Umpah says that when I get old—maybe even a teenager—that I’ll begin to explore something called an RI style.

Umpah says that you get lots of ideas when you use RI. I told him I get lots of ideas now. He said that these ideas are important. But he say that I’ll be getting different kinds of ideas when I learn about the RI style. He said that I’ll be getting ideas that no one ever thought of before. Never before! Not ever! Boy, I can’t wait to try that out!!

I figure that I’m a pretty lucky girl. I have lots of friends to play with. There are lots of grownups who like me and help me when I need it. I’m learning lots of new stuff all of the time. And, since I am a junior Organizational Engineer, I know how I know things.

I’ll blog again when there is more to tell. But now I’ve got some homework to do and I’ve got to setup a weather station Umpah gave me. He says that if I pay attention to the numbers I’ll be able to figure out weather systems---another system!! Even in my time off I’m learning about systems! I’m sure glad I’m a kid and have time to learn all of this stuff. There sure is a lot.