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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz, CA

November 7, 2013
Social, Interested and Focused!

Annie Murphy Paul: The Power of Interest

Christine: Sometimes Science Doesn't Know

History.com on Veterans Day
Fall Library Book Sale at the Civic
This Week
"Mughal Miniatures: Tales of Love"
Click to view our Business Directory
  Social, Interested and Focused!

(Special Event Images / Graphics) NormanRockwell_Social-1957.jpgWe are social.  Our children are social. Some of us are a little more social than others, some a little less so.  Caring parents and teachers parlay children's sociability to heighten their interest in learning, at the same time maintaining focus.  It's a challenge. 

Matthew Lieberman describes the problem: 

"Think about how amazing the brain is, and then consider that a huge portion of that amazing brain focuses on making us social. Yet, for a large part of our day, whether we are at work or at school, this extraordinary social machinery in our heads is viewed as a distraction, something that can only get us into trouble and take us away from focusing effectively on the 'real' task at hand.

We are built to turn our attention to the social world because in our evolutionary past, the better we understood the social environment, the better our lives became. Although the brain is built for focusing on the social world, classrooms are built for focusing on nearly everything but. It isn't the students' fault for being distracted by the social world. They desperately want to learn, but what they want to learn about is their social world-how it works and how they can secure a place in it that will maximize their social rewards and minimize the social pain they feel.

Evolutionarily, the social interest of adolescents is no distraction. Rather, it is the most important thing they can learn well. How do our schools respond to these powerful social motivations? Schools take the position that our social urges ought to be left at the door, outside of the classroom: Please turn off your social brain when you enter the classroom; we have learning to do! It's like telling someone who hasn't eaten to turn off the desire to eat. Our social hunger must also be satisfied, or it will continue to be a distraction precisely because our bodies know it is critical to our survival.

(Special Event Images / Graphics) NormanRockwell_homecoming-marine-1945.jpgWhat then is the solution? Giving students a five-minute break during class to socialize? Letting them send text messages as they please? I believe the real solution is to stop making the social brain the enemy during class time and figure out how to engage the social brain as part of the learning process." -Matthew Lieberman, Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired To Connect"

 

 

Annie Murphy-Paul discusses research on the topic of Interest and learning. Are your students interested, learning and socially engaged?

In my personal culture war is abhorrent, but I am thankful for warriors who fight for freedom from tyranny.  Wars between peoples and the ideas they cherish dominate world history.  Monday we honor veterans who have fought to preserve freedom. We are fortunate to live in a country that is free from the strife we read about in other countries. 

Have a reflective Veterans' Day. Enjoy your families, Parmalee

 

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  Annie Murphy Paul: The Power of Interest

(Photos General) StudentsInterested.jpgIf there is just one message I could share with parents, educators, and managers, it would be about the transformative power of interest.

In recent years researchers have begun to build a science of interest, investigating what interest is, how interest develops, what makes things interesting, and how we can cultivate interest in ourselves and others. They are finding that interest can help us think more clearly, understand more deeply, and remember more accurately. Interest has the power to transform struggling performers, and to lift high achievers to a new plane.
 
So what is interest? Interest is a psychological state of engagement, experienced in the moment, and also a predisposition to engage repeatedly with particular ideas, events, or objects over time. Why do we have it? Paul Silvia of the University of North Carolina speculates that interest acts as an "approach urge" that pushes back against the "avoid urges" that would keep us in the realm of the safe and familiar. Interest pulls us toward the new, the edgy, the exotic. As Silvia puts it, interest "diversifies experience." But interest also focuses experience. In a world too full of information, interests usefully narrow our choices: they lead us to pay attention to this and not to that.
 
What Interest Can Do For Us
Interest is at once a cognitive state and an affective state, what Silvia calls a "knowledge emotion." The feelings that characterize interest are overwhelmingly positive: a sense of being energized and invigorated, captivated and enthralled. As for its effects on cognition: interest effectively turbocharges our thinking. When we're interested in what we're learning, we pay closer attention; we process the information more efficiently; we employ more effective learning strategies, such as engaging in critical thinking, making connections between old and new knowledge, and attending to deep structure instead of surface features. When we're interested in a task, we work harder and persist longer, bringing more of our self-regulatory skills into play.
 
Interests powerfully influence our academic and professional choices. A seven-year-long study by Judith Harackiewicz of the University of Wisconsin and her colleagues found that college students' interest in an introductory psychology course taken their freshman year predicted how likely they were to enroll in additional psychology classes and to major in the subject. Interest predicted such outcomes even more accurately than students' grades in that initial course. In general, writes Harackiewicz, "research has found that interest is a more powerful predictor of future choices than prior achievement or demographic variables."
 
In fact, scientists have shown that passionate interests can even allow people to overcome academic difficulties or perceptual disabilities. One study found that students who scored poorly on achievement tests but had well-developed interests in reading or mathematics were more likely to engage with the meaning of textual passages or math problems than were peers with high scores but no such interests. Another study, of prominent academics and Nobel Laureates who struggled with dyslexia, found that they were able to persist in their efforts to read because they were motivated to explore an early and ardent interest.
 
How To Promote Interest
So what can parents, teachers and leaders do to promote interest? Read on>>>>

Annie Murphy Paul is a book author, magazine journalist, consultant and speaker who helps people understand how we learn and how we can do it better. Her latest book, How to Be Brilliant, is forthcoming from Crown.  Read More...

 

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  Christine: Sometimes Science Doesn't Know

(Photos General) GregSouzaTheConductorNov22-2006.jpgThis particular blog is about taking care of babies. Science gets it wrong often, and babies are important. I want to talk about taking care of the neediest babies - the ones in NICU (neonatal intensive care unit).

Needy babies need lots of care. Ideas about the best way to do this change over the years. About a hundred years ago, doctors went through a phase where many believed that touching sick babies was the worst thing to do for them. So babies weren't picked up and hugged or snuggled. Even older babies were left alone. Guess what - mortality rates went up. Even healthy babies had more problems. Medical people returned to holding and touching babies.

Science has learned a lot since. Most babies, even those in NICU, respond positively to touch and massage. The only exceptions seem to be the very youngest who can get overwhelmed by too much stimulus. This has led to another phase...
  Read more>>>

Christine is a scientist and a mom living with her family in Santa Cruz.  Visit her website, Science Fun.

 
 (Special Event Images / Graphics) NaturalHistoryStorytime.jpg Natural History Storytime
Bats...Bees...Coyotes...Anemones!

Every Thursday, 3-4pm, we will highlight a different local animal, habitat, or natural history topic with stories, songs, puppets and Museum artifacts. Families of all ages are welcome.

Free with Admission: $4 for Adults, $2 for Seniors, Kids are free! Become a member and enjoy free programs throughout the year. Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History

  History.com on Veterans Day

(Holidays) VeteransDayPoppy.jpgOn the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in the First World War, then known as "the Great War." Commemorated as Armistice Day beginning the following year, November 11th became a legal federal holiday in the United States in 1938. In the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became Veterans Day, a holiday dedicated to American veterans of all wars.

Veterans Facts

The brave men and women who serve and protect the U.S. come from all walks of life; they are parents, children and grandparents. They are friends, neighbors and coworkers, and an important part of their communities. Here are some facts about the current veteran population of the United States.

(Holidays) VeteransDay_HonoringVeterans.jpg

  • 9.2 million veterans are over the age of 65.
  • 1.9 million veterans are under the age of 35.
  • 1.8 million veterans are women.
  • 7.8 million veterans served during the Vietnam War era (1964-1975), which represents 33% of all living veterans.
  • 5.2 million veterans served during the Gulf War (representing service from Aug. 2, 1990, to present).
  • 2.6 million veterans served during World War II (1941-1945).
  • 2.8 million veterans served during the Korean War (1950-1953).
  • 6 million veterans served in peacetime.
  • As of 2008, 2.9 million veterans received compensation for service-connected disabilities.
  • 5 states have more than 1 million veterans in among their population: California (2.1 million), Florida (1.7 million), Texas (1.7 million), New York (1 million) and Pennsylvania (1 million).
  • The VA health care system had 54 hospitals in 1930, since then it has expanded to include 171 medical centers; more than 350 outpatient, community, and outreach clinics; 126 nursing home care units; and 35 live-in care facilities for injured or disabled vets.
  Fall Library Book Sale at the Civic

Fall Book Sale - Members Only Night Friday 5:30 - 8:30 pm

Come support your libraries at the Fall Book Sale! Friday, November 8th is Members Only night from 5:30 to 8:30pm at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. Get there early for the best selection! Not a member yet? You can join at the door!

Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, 307 Church St, Santa Cruz

 

(Graphics) ReadingWildThings.jpg Saturday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Come support your libraries at the Fall Book Sale! The sale is open to the public from 10am - 12:30pm and from 1pm - 5pm at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. Get there early for the best selection! 

Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, 307 Church St, Santa Cruz

 

  This Week

(Graphics) EventCalendar.jpg(Ads) SantaCruzParentFacebook.jpgBelow is only a partial list of upcoming events and activities so be sure to click on our EVENT CALENDAR so you do not miss anything >>

THE WEEKEND

 

 

School Corner

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Gateway School K-8, Open House 11/11

 

Lucille Packard Children's Hospital, Autism Spectrum Disorders,  Parent Education Program, Navigating Social Services 11/9

 

Santa Catalina PreK-12, Open House for PreK-8 11/11

 

Spring Hill K-6, Open House 11/22


Mount Madonna PreK-12, Open House 11/23

 

Soquel Parent Ed Nursery School, Storytelling, Quilt & Bake Sale 11/23

 

All School Events, November

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Come enjoy our wonderful monthly breakfast!

 

2nd Sunday of every month 8:30am to 12:00pm

 

The cooks, wait-staff and kitchen helpers are all part of our vibrant Senior community, and all proceeds go to the Center.

 

Adults: $5
Children under 10: $3

 

Market Street Senior Center
222 Market Street
Santa Cruz

 

Christine:
Good News
on the
Flu Front

Researchers may have finally opened the pathway to a real flu vaccine. Not something temporary like the annual flu shot - but a real vaccine.

(Graphics) Christine_RhinovirusAC.jpg

There are three rhinoviruses. Using their normal naming brilliance, scientists named them A, B and C. The structures of A and B have been known for years. Rhinovirus C has only been known since 2006, and there has been no knowledge of its structure. The three-dimensional structure knowledge is very important since that info is used to construct a vaccine.Without that information, all previous attempts at vaccines have failed. A vaccine needs to be able to physically dock onto a virus. So a flu vaccine needs to be able to lock onto each rhinovirus.

 

It turns out that C may be the most dangerous virus of them all...Continue>>>>

 

Christine is a local mom and scientist.  You can get more science news from Christine's website.

Ask Nicole:

Practical solutions to everyday parenting challenges
Separated parents
and
Addressing Teen Anxiety

by Nicole M. Young, MSW

 

Dear Nicole,

My teenage daughter has changed since school started. She's no longer her happy self. She is more anxious and refuses to participate in activities she used to enjoy. Should I be worried?

--Chris, Santa Cruz

 

Dear Chris,

Being a teenager (and the parent of a teen) can be very stressful, which can lead to anxiety. Your daughter might be reacting to the pressures of school work, issues with friends or a recent event that left her feeling scared or disappointed. Teens often react by trying to avoid the situations that cause anxiety, and even can feel ashamed or embarrassed about their feelings.

 

Try talking to your daughter about how things are going at home and school. Listen for signs that she feels disappointed, overwhelmed or fearful, or that she believes she has no control over negative things that happen to her. Reassure her that her feelings are normal, then offer some suggestions for coping with them. Teach her how to take slow, deep breaths whenever she starts to feel stressed or anxious.

Encourage her to have realistic expectations for goals and capabilities. Have her write down her thoughts when she starts to get anxious. For each negative thought - "I can't do this. I'll never get through this." - have her write down a different, positive thought - "I can try my best. I will be ok."

 

With your support and encouragement, your daughter will develop important skills for coping with stress that she'll use throughout her life.

 

Nicole Young manages Santa Cruz County's Triple P - Positive Parenting Program

www.facebook.com/triplepscc

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 "Mughal Miniatures: Tales of Love"

(Ads 2013) UCSCTheater_Mughal.jpgUCSC Theater Arts Department
Three great love stories from Iran and the Indian subcontinent
Date: Th, Fri, Sa and Su (Nov 8-Nov 17)

"Mughal Miniatures: Tales of Love"

11/8 & 9 and 11/14, 15 & 16 - 7pm  ~  11/10 & 17 - 3pm

Professor Kathy Foley directs three great love stories from Iran and the Indian subcontinent that have been told throughout history in folktales, songs, pictures, and epic stories. Our production features student actors, dancers, puppets, screens and shadows as well as live music.

Admission Required

Admission details: Fri-Sat-Sun, November 8-9-10 & Thu-Fri-Sat-Sun, November 14-15-16-17 7:00 pm (Sundays at 3:00 pm)

$15 general $12 seniors 62+ $12 youth and students w/ID $12 UCSC faculty, staff, Alumni Assoc. members w/ ID (max. 2 ticket

Sponsored by: UCSC Theater Arts Department


Location: Second Stag, 1156 High St., Santa Cruz Map
website Santa Cruz West Side

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Salinas' Veterans Day Parade
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  Salinas' Veterans Day Parade
American Legion Post 31
Date: 11/11/2016 at 2:00pm
Details: 2016 Monterey County Veterans Day Parade The 6th Annual Monterey
City: Salinas Phone: (831) 210-0466 view all details >>
     
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4th Annual Veterans Day Celebration
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  4th Annual Veterans Day Celebration
Friends of the Fort Ord Warhorse
Date: 11/09/2013 at 9:30am
Details: This family-friendly event honors veterans with historical color guard, national anthem, invocation, and flash museum, in WWII w
Special Instructions: 10-11am, museum open 9:30-1pm
City: Marina Phone: 831-224-4534 view all details >>
     
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Family opera: “Amahl and the Night Visitors”
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UCSC Theater Arts
Date: 12/04/2016
Details: This chamber opera is one of the most beloved and frequently performed operas in the repertoire, and families are invited to att
Special Instructions: Two performances: 11:00AM and 2:00PM
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Movies at the Ranch: Vertigo
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State Park Rancho del Oso
Date: 08/09/2014 at 6:30pm
Details:   Rancho del Oso goes Hollywood with movie nights at the
Special Instructions: Meets at the Rancho del Oso Nature and
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4th Annual Veterans Day Celebration
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  4th Annual Veterans Day Celebration
Friends of the Fort Ord Warhorse
Date: 11/09/2013 at 9:30am
Details: This family-friendly event honors veterans with historical color guard, national anthem, invocation, and flash museum, in WWII w
Special Instructions: 10-11am, museum open 9:30-1pm
City: Marina Phone: 831-224-4534 view all details >>
     
     
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