My Journey to Higher Ed in a Tracksuit

This week’s Write 6 x 6 options were quite a struggle for me. My competitive nature was not going to allow me to skip this week. I am not an expert in neurodiversity or DEI, although I have had some exposure in my classrooms. I simply need to read those submissions coming in from my expert peers. So that left me with identifying a movie or TV show representing my journey to higher ed.

After much deliberation, Ted Lasso was where my mind rested.

While Ted Lasso travelled from the USA to England, I headed west from Ireland to the good ole US of A. While Ted was not actually a soccer coach, he used his knowledge of American Football to rally his fictitious British professional soccer team to success.

While I knew absolutely nothing about higher ed before crossing the pond, I took my experience of competitive swimming and a high school education and I figured out a path to a masters degree in Physical Education, and ultimately a lifetime of community college instruction.

While Ted had to adapt to a new language that was still English, I also experienced many humor-filled situations where a biscuit is not actually a biscuit!

I still scratch my head and wonder how I got here. I had two absolute career “no-nos” when I finished high school in Ireland. I did not want to teach and I certainly did not want to be a PE teacher. While I am not exactly a PE teacher, I am essentially teaching future fitness trainers and health professionals about how to safely and effectively prepare bodies and minds for optimal health and fitness.

When Ted left his family back home in the US for his big adventure, I felt his loneliness as he tried his best to fit in with new colleagues in a new culture. Ted wore his signature tracksuit to work on most days, and that is generally my attire, and has been since the the ’80’s.

I think I may just have stumbled upon an idea for my future novel.

Ain’t nothing to it but to do it!

 

Who Wants to Go to Space Camp?

I’m not a space nerd. I’ve had absolutely no interest in space or science for that matter my whole life. But if you have a good friend like Sian Proctor, you kind of get dragged into it a little. I watched her takeoff into space in a rocket ship, build cool things on a reality TV show and live on a Mars simulation for a summer. None of those things are anything I would ever want to do. Nope. Not me.

But Dr. Proctor is cool and we started teaching together at SMCC 25 years ago, so when she asked me for help I always try my best to help out, even if that means flying to Alabama to attend Space Camp. Yep. I went to adult Space Camp last summer and I was sure I would not like it.

It was awesome! I had so much fun, and Sian is looking for some new faculty and students to go this summer with her foundation. All expenses paid. At Proctor Foundation for Art and Science, we are dedicated to bringing community college students and faculty on experiential journeys of scientific research and exploration. Our focus is on the BIPOC community: those who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color. Check out how to apply here: https://proctor.foundation/

And check out my adventure below.

Apply today or encourage your BIPOC students to apply. Or you can donate to the foundation. Applications are being accepted through the end of February. So hurry.

 

Learning: The Infinite Journey

Personally, I have always liked learning new things. I find challenging myself to grow to be rewarding. I embrace the value of lifelong learning in numerous ways. 

In my opinion, one of the key pieces to lifelong learning must be desire. In my personal life I have pushed myself to learn how to knit, change out a bathtub, use a jackhammer, install tile, put up drywall, install solid core doors, put up cabinets, and many other things. What is interesting is that most of these came from my internal desire to change things in my home or learn a new skill. 

Here are some pictures of the project I have taken on and learned from along the way (before on the left and after on the right):

My desire to learn things in my professional life is strong and I find it fun to learn new techniques and technologies to push my instruction and productivity. There is something very satisfying to me when I attempt a new activity with my students. The thrill of not knowing if the activity you built will be a smash hit or just a huge flop can be exciting both in a good and bad way. The suspense of not knowing can also add to the excitement. This semester I have changed my classroom yet again using strategies from Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics from Peter Liljedahl. 

Using strategies from the book, my students are randomly grouped into groups of three every class using a line up activity (Example: Second letter of their last name or distance they drove to campus). Then my students participate in a non curricular task which encourages them to think and has multiple options for solutions and strategies to solve. Once the task is completed they are then given curriculum tasks that are in line with the competences of the course. The students are standing at the boards the entire class with the purpose of problem solving and actively thinking about the task in front of them. 

This new take on my classroom has been invigorating and keeps me on my toes as much as my students. Everyday poses new ways of thinking and pushes everyone in the room to think, not just memorize. 

My desire to push myself out of my comfort zone and try new things has led to growth whether in trying something new and it working out or failing miserably, I am still growing and learning. I truly believe that this attitude helps me be a better teacher and colleague. 

GCC  fosters opportunities for life-long learning in our community. How do you embrace the value of life-long learning? Write about the importance of continuous professional development in your role here at GCC and share your personal experiences and growth.

 

My Office Accoutrements

I was on a Zoom call recently when someone looked at my background and said “Is that real?” We were in the process of setting up, and getting our meeting started so I didn’t realize she was talking to me, so I didn’t answer. (“You talkin’ to me?!”) But I digress.

As a matter of fact, my Zoom background isn’t a background at all. It is my office. It took years to learn that others used something similar as a background. In my office I have books. Behind me (while I’m sitting here writing this) looms a large two-tier floor to ceiling bookcase, and that was what she was seeing. But that was only one wall. I have two more walls of bookcases. In fact, my home is filled with books, and books, and books. Outside my office I have more floor to ceiling bookcases, which house hundreds of my husband’s books. The ones in my office are textbooks, reference books, music scores, and books and anthologies of poetry (mostly public domain) of poems I use or have used in my music. Anything I’m currently reading in fiction, Mick Herron, Ann Cleeves, or John Sanford (you have to know that reference or you won’t get the fact that he’s a Pulitzer-prize winning reporter with over forty books); or non-fiction, Malcolm Gladwell, for example, is in my Kindle, quietly holding hundreds more books. I don’t read so much as devour. But again, I digress.

Where my office doesn’t have books I have artwork, mostly paintings by my mother, whose work I greatly admire, in oils, watercolors, or pastels. When we moved her out of her home recently, we had to deal with her office – her art room. I’ll never forget when I mentioned to my husband that my mother won “Best in Show,” he glibly shot back, “What breed did she register under?” because he knew she had a fistful of ribbons that she’d won in competitions over the years. Along with ribbons were paints, paint brushes, paintings, ideas for paintings, and books about painting. We soon realized this was part of a floating iceberg – there was more art and were more canvases squirreled away in other parts of the house! She is 91, and now living in an apartment. She went to an art class recently given at her facility but pretended not to know anything so as not to show anyone up. Very Minnesotan of her – not a surprise since she was born and raised there. But again, I digress.

I happen to be very visual – and visually pleasing things help me to write and think. Sometimes I’m not looking at something as much as staring, thinking of the words I’m trying to elicit from my sometimes-slow-as-molasses brain. On my desk is a two-foot-high sculpture which I lugged on a plane, stowed between my feet coming back from Houston. I love it and am happy I went to the trouble to get it to my very first office, and every subsequent office since.

Minnesota Nice

I have finally tucked my degrees on a wall next to the aforementioned large bookcase when I moved to Arizona, but you won’t see them front and center. They would only be slightly noticeable if you completely entered the room. So, if you just stick your head in you surely won’t see them. And on a Zoom call they’re just out of focus enough that you can’t read them either. (That’s so “Minnesota” of me. You work your buns off only to place your degrees in a spot that people “might” see, but again, they “might not.” So, that’s being very Minnesotan, understated, but still honest, a bit like my mother, an award-winning artist but not about to show up a budding volunteer art teacher who was providing the little art class to other ninety-year-olds.) Again, digressing…

Office Particulars

I, too, have a stack of legal pads – I love legal pads (but prefer other colors to yellow if I have the option) and love to write things down. It’s a mnemonic, a memory tool, and I’m an inveterate doodler as well. So, somehow between the computer, the occasionally working printer – which is virtually brand new – and my legal pads I get my work completed. They all sit happily or grumpily on my desk (depending on threatening deadlines) along with a calendar of course deadlines, which week we happen to be in, and what my students’ imminent deadlines are.

Technically I have two offices and three desks. Two desks at angles to each other, in beautiful cherry, a wood that is not currently in vogue, but I don’t care. A cherry drafting table sits downstairs and looks at me imploringly under heavy brows when I descend the staircase. It sits next to the grand piano. It used to scold me, but now we have an “understanding.” When I feel like using it – I do. First plan regarding moving in, do not dream of moving a grand piano upstairs! Very good plan. At least the piano doesn’t have an attitude.

I mentioned going through my mother’s artwork and her office. Unfortunately, there will come a time when someone has to do that for me – and my music. Hopefully I’ll get to it before then, but one never knows. There are copyrights involved so there is some consolation on getting something for their trouble. Some of my music is in the closet with extra shelving. Some of the music is in a computer on pdfs (which computer does that reside in is the real question), some hard copies in file folders based on a previous method of storage. We (my husband and I) are trying to decide the next best way to store scores, parts, and recordings that go with each piece when it needs to go out to performers or conductors. This decision came after spending Christmas Break frantically searching through several computers, other closets in other rooms which hold older pieces, not to mention downstairs near the piano, where it might have also been, in an effort to find my second string quartet and vocal chamber piece that had to be sent RIGHT NOW.

My office was better organized when I taught at Hamline University because I had a secretary and an honors student assistant. But that was many pieces ago and a different institution and state. I simply have more music, larger pieces, and need a new organizational system. But it’s the middle of the semester, I’m working on two CD projects, and helping my students with their deadlines. I’ve finally gotten a couple of these 6×6 writings under my belt, which I’ve been owing. My accoutrements are scowling a little less as I walk into the room. What I probably need for my office is an assistant or perhaps less judgmental furniture . . . but I digress.

 

NeuroDiversity – Changing Our World

They told her that her organs were shutting down and at some point they would have to deliver the baby – no matter what. The answer to the question was that her life was to be spared – period – but they would hold off as long as they could because it was still too early.

Each nurse greeted the woman with “You will not seize on my shift!” and the woman thought, “I didn’t even know that was an option,” lying there, the clock not ticking but jumping hours, missing parts of days until they said, “Baby’s in trouble.” It was said, back then, surgeons had less than three minutes in this situation; I’ve heard from some it’s more like 90 seconds before things can go incredibly wrong. Timing is critical.

The baby remained in the hospital for three and a half months; first in the NICU, (the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, in an isolette) then the Special Care nursery – in an isolette without a top – now that he could regulate his temperature better. He never made it into the “regular” nursery – the one that everyone visits where they have balloons and ooh and aah over recent deliveries. “Ooh, I think she has your nose;” “No, I think he looks more like his father,” “Well, at least he doesn’t look like Aunt Edna!”

Fast forward down the road about twenty years. One of the doctors of this million dollar-March of Dimes baby (and yes, that’s probably what he cost – in 1990s dollars) mentioned that people (referring to colleges because the mother was having difficulty with the college’s Disability Services) would never know how far the boy had come because these individuals couldn’t imagine where his road had started at one pound five and one half ounces.

The starting point. . . How much one has been through and now that individual’s road with varying difficulties with sensory problems, learning, and communication issues, has led to the doorstep of a college. Speaking as a college professor, I’ve found that the colleges (and universities where I’ve taught) seem to concentrate on the doorstep. It’s easy not to admit someone, but to truly admit someone when that individual has special needs or is on the spectrum might be a better place to start on that road.

Not realizing how tremendously far an individual has come, remember, timing is critical, the obstacles overcome, the communication deficits struggled with and achieved is really where the conversation begins. The physicians know how incredibly smart that student is because of testing to the nth degree, witnessing the determination to achieve even while lying in an isolette trying simply to gain a few ounces. Remember, the next time someone shows up on your doorstep, that individual’s IQ might be equal to or higher than yours, but the road that person took may have been riddled with unbelievable obstacles and may have taken much longer to get to and through this doorstep. It won’t show in traditional ways.

“If we make it difficult, or at least, not any easier, maybe he’ll go away.” Is that how you want to be remembered – for making it difficult for someone else to learn? I’ve been surprised by unlikely sources as I witnessed this happen, but I believe we need to help people learn. I know that GCC has been very good in helping students, but I’m casting my net at a wider audience.

Dr. Temple Grandin, the gifted autistic author, scholar, and expert animal behaviorist, credits those with autism (just one of the many kinds of disabilities in our world) as the people who truly change our world through their new ideas. Think about it.

Remember the March of Dimes and Autism Awareness.

Dr. Anne Kilstofte volunteers with Silver Spur Therapeutic Riding Center of Cave Creek for children and adults with SPECIAL NEEDS and works very hard to ensure that her students’ disability needs are met in her Musicology classes at GCC. She is pictured below at a fundraiser for SSTRC with “Rhoney.”

 

Neurodiversity and Trauma

We likely all have a certain type of neurodiverse learner in our classrooms — the student with a history of childhood trauma. Whereas definitions of trauma vary and our understanding of the effects of trauma are constantly being updated, one thing is clear: Complex trauma physically changes the brain.

Although trauma manifests in many ways, one hallmark effect is the development of an overactive stress-response system. This can lead to hypervigilance, attentional difficulties, distrust of teachers as authority figures, loss of self-efficacy, and a host of other issues that interfere with learning.

The infographic below outlines some practices college instructors can employ to more effectively teach students who have experienced trauma. The good news is these are not instructional “add-ons,” but rather universal best teaching practices that benefit all learners.

View Trauma-Sensitive Teaching Practices for Higher Education on Canva

Do you have a trauma-informed teaching strategy that works well for you? Add it to the comments!

 

Learning by Living

One of the prompts for week two Write 6×6 was to address something newly learned and how that felt. I know there are many ways I learn, and I am not referring to the traditional learning styles of visual, auditory and kinesthetic. Instead I am referring to learning while living and below are my stories.

Just recently I was trying to remove the toilet safety bars from one of my guest bathrooms. I spent at least 45 minutes laying upside down under the commode trying to unscrew the bolts that held the rails in place. Determined to remove the bars, I did what most young adults and teenagers do when they need help with something, I Googled it! I googled “how to remove accessibility toilet rails.” I watched a 40 second video and five minutes later I was VICTORIOUS! Clearly necessity can lead to learning. 🏆💪🏆💪

Sometimes I learn things from my ‘brilliant ideas.’ For example, last week while spring cleaning I had the brilliant idea to wash my bathroom light fixtures in the dishwasher instead of washing and drying them by hand. I figured while the light fixtures were going through the wash/dry cycle in the dishwasher, I could be cleaning other things. Two hours later I learned two things from this brilliant idea. First washing light fixtures in the dishwasher is a horrible idea and second I’m never buying frosted light fixtures again! 🤣 😆 😂 🤣

I also learn unintentionally. Owning a couple of Parson Russell Terriers (commonly known a Jack Russel) requires house rules, patience and consistency. Everyday my dogs are always fed breakfast at 7:00 am., given a carrot snack at noon, and fed dinner at 5:00 pm. Through this consistent scheduling, I’ve unintentionally learned that my dogs now know how to tell time. 🤦🏼‍♀️Most pet owners understand exactly what I am talking about. 🐕😃😃 🐶

Yesterday Beth Eyres (CTLE Co-Director and Residential English Faculty) and I were casually discussing the amount of soaps, lotions, shampoos, conditioners and other hygiene products we have accumulated as gifts from friends. We both jokingly agreed that using the amount of products that have been gifted to us is not possible in two lifetimes… let alone one lifetime!  I told Beth that the cupboard below my bathroom sink is so full of such items that I am afraid to open the cupboard for fear of everything falling out, yet I did not want to throw it away. Beth, with her extensive wisdom of all things GCC, told me I could donate those items to the GCC student pantry, which is an absolute win-win solution in my opinion. Goes to show that no-agenda, casual conversations can be extremely valuable. 💝

Sometimes my learning occurs because I am truly intent on learning.  For example, last week I attended the CTLE AI playground hour and stated I wanted to learn about and how to use an AI image generator.  Thanks to Christine Jones (Residential English Faculty), within 10 minutes I had a free account with hotpot.ai and generated an illustrative image with the prompt “jack russell terrier dog that is mostly white in color with some brown and black colors.” Within 10 seconds that image was populated.  When I changed the directions from illustrative to animation with the same description, the second image populated. 

So while I can’t say that all of my learning ended with a successful conclusion to my initial desired outcome (remember that photo of my light fixtures? and imagine dogs staring at me for 90 minutes prior to dinner!!!), I have benefited from my learning whether it was learning for a necessity, from a brilliant idea, through unintentional behavior, via causal conversations or for specific intent. Some of the learning brings me immediate joy and some not so much! However, while some of the learning might not bring me joy at that moment, it usually makes me smile when I recall the experience.

 If you have a ‘learning by living’ story you want to share, please post the experience in the comment section.  I’m very curious to hear your life lesson and whether it brought you immediate joy or the memory brings a smile to your face now. 

 

The Chair: A Lesson in Grace (and Gravity)

My journey to higher education was circuitous.  Prior to my first job as full-time faculty, I embarked on two entirely different career paths informed by two separate graduate school experiences and punctuated with nine moves across three countries, and four children thrown in for good measure.  In other words, it’s a long story.  A quicker story (you’re welcome) centers on the TV show that best represents my journey in higher education: The Chair. This Netflix series starring the magnificent Sandra Oh chronicles the first year of a newly elected English department chair at a small liberal arts college. 

Anyone who’s served as an academic department chair will recognize the story arc: The department’s first female chair begins the semester with big ideas, brimming with optimism for her department, students, and colleagues, and then literally and figuratively falls out of her chair.  Crises emerge immediately: Budget cuts with an expectation by administration to reduce faculty; Lack of opportunities for diverse faculty; Managing the fallout from an accidental but inappropriate classroom moment by a revered faculty member.  And did I mention the student evaluations that no one seems interested in reading?  And the ongoing struggle over faculty offices?  The Chair works through all of these challenges with humor but doesn’t shy away from the very real and often seemingly conflicting concerns of faculty, students, and college administration. 

When I became a department chair, I worked optimistically but also quickly realized that some days would feel conflicted as I navigated challenges with faculty colleagues who I admired and wanted to support, students who deserved a consistent learning environment in which they could thrive, and our administration who were trying to manage competing resources with transparency.  Sometimes we succeeded. Sometimes we fell short.  But thankfully, throughout my time as department chair, the most constant thread was grace.  Grace extended to frustrated colleagues.  Grace shared with confused or worried students.  And grace offered to me by all. 

Now I have a different role but I haven’t forgotten the healing feeling that accompanies extending and receiving grace.  I hope grace will be the thread that runs through our time here at GCC as well. 

And if you see me fall out of my chair, don’t worry.  I’ll be fine.  But also … help!

 

AI: The Hype and the Challenge of Critical Thinking

Generative AI is here to stay.  In light of this, there are all sorts of voices telling us to use and adapt to this new intellectual terrain.  My goal is this post is to not add to the discussion in regards to how to use the various AI tools.  Rather, my modest goal is to express reservations about the alleged unending glories of the seemingly unalterable “singularity” which is the eschatological dream of some.

My thinking was recently stimulated in this direction by reading Robert J. Marks’ book, Non-Computable You: What You Do That Artificial Intelligence Never Will.  Dr. Marks is Distinguished Professor of Engineering in the Depart of Engineering and Computer Science at Baylor University.  Furthermore, he was the founding Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transaction on Neural Networks, one of the most prestigious technical journals for peer-reviewed AI research.  In other words, he is well-qualified to offer an assessment of the current state of AI research. 

Marks argues that, though AI is powerful in computing power and does offer some surprises, there is a fundamental gap in terms of true creativity.  In place of the well-known Turing Test, Marks draws attention to the “Lovelace Test” as more effective test for software creativity.  Named after Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), who is considered by many to be the first computer programmer, the Lovelace Test defines software creativity as the ability of a program to do something “that cannot be explained by the programmer or an expert in computer code.”[1]  Marks claims, along with others, that the Lovelace Test has not been met by current AI systems.

In spite of the failure of AI systems to generate true creativity there are all sorts of claims regarding the future of an AI-enhanced humanity.  As Marks notes, “Many worship at the feet of the exciting new technology and without foundation predict all sorts of new miraculous applications; others preach unavoidable doom and gloom.”[2]  In light of this, chapters five and six of Non-Computable You (which by themselves are worth the price of the book!) are taken up with mitigating the “hype.”  Chapter five is entitled, “The Hype Curve” and Marks graphs the dynamic in the following manner:

Marks explains the details:

  • The launch phase.  In the beginning of the hype curve, newly introduced technology spurs expectations above and beyond reality.  Poorly thought-out forecasts are made.
  • The peak-of-hype phase.  The sky’s the limit.  Imagination runs amok.  Whether negative or positive, hype is born from unbridled speculation.
  • The overreaction-to-immature-technology phase.  As the new technology is vetted and further explored, the realization sets in that some of its early promises can’t be kept.  Rather than calmly adjusting expectations and realizing that immature technology must be given time to ripen, many people become overly disillusioned.
  • The depth-of-cynicism phase. Once the shine is off the apple, limitations are recognized.  Some initial supporters jump ship.  They sell their stock and go looking for a new hype to criticize, believe in, or profit from.
  • The true-user-benefits phase. The faithful—often those whose initial expectations included the realistic possibility of failed promise—carry on and find ways to turn the new technology to useful practice.
  • The asymptote-of-reality phase. The technology lives on in accordance with its true contributions.

A number of examples of the hype curve are given by Marks, including the Segway, cold fusion, and String Theory.  Even in the realm of artificial intelligence it seems as those the hype curve begins to resurface again and again.  What to do?

This is where chapter six, “Twelve Filters for AI Hype Detection,” is so instructive and helpful.  This chapter contains a brief, but masterful, demonstration of the teaching of critical thinking.  And it is precisely this virtue of critical thinking that ought to the mainstay of higher education instruction.  This chapter, although devoted to the topic of AI, has a much broader application.  I cannot reproduce Marks’ entire presentation so I will simply quote his summation provided at the end of the chapter.

The Hype List

In a nutshell, here is the list of twelve things to consider when reading AI news:

  1. Outrageous Claims: If it sounds outrageous, maybe it is.  Recognize that AI is riding high on the hype curve and that exaggerated reporting will be more hyperbolic than for more established technologies.
  2. Hedgings: Look for hedge words like “promising,” “developing,” and “potentially,” which implicitly avoid saying anything definite.
  3. Scrutiny Avoidance: Any claim that such-and-such an AI advancement is a few years away may be made with sincerity but avoids immediate scrutiny.  Short attention spans mean that when the sell date on the promise rolls around, few people are likely to notice.  Remember the old proverb often attributed to quantum physicist Niels Bohr: “Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.”
  4. Consensus: Beware of claims of consensus.  Remember Michael Crichton’s claim that consensus regarding new technology and science is the “first refuge of scoundrels.”
  5. Entrenched Ideology: Many AI claims conform to the writer’s ideology.  AI claims from those adherents to materialism are constrained to exclude a wide range of rational reasoning that is external to their materialistic silos.
  6. Seductive Silos: Claiming AI is conscious or self-aware without term definition can paint the AI as being more than it is.  Seductive semantics is the stuff of marketing.  In the extreme, it can misrepresent.
  7. Seductive Optics and the Frankenstein Complex: AI can be wrapped in a package that tries to increase the perception of its significance.  Unrecognized, the psychological impact of the Frankenstein Complex and the Uncanny Valley Hypothesis can amplify perception far beyond technical reality.  The human-appearing body in which a chatbot resides is secondary to its driving AI.
  8. True-ish: Beware of those tricky headlines and claims that are almost true but intended to deceive.
  9. Citation Bluffing: Web articles and even scholarly journal papers can exaggerate or blatantly misrepresent the findings of others they cite.  Checking primary sources can ferret out this form of deception.
  10. Small-Silo Ignorance: The source of news and opinion always requires consideration, but those speaking outside of their silo of expertise need to be scrutinized with particular care, especially when the speakers are widely admired for their success in their silo.  Don’t be dazzled by celebrity.  This caution applies to famous actors speaking about politics but also to celebrated physicists speaking about computer science.
  11. Assess the Source: I trust content more from the Wall Street Journal than from politically motivated sites like the Huffington Post or yellow journalism sites like the National Enquirer.  But even if the article appears at a site or periodical that has earned a measure of trust, it’s wise to assess the writer of the article.
  12. Who Benefits?: Remember financial greed, relational desires, and the pursuit of power.  These are the three factors used by police detectives in their investigation of crimes.  They are also good points to remember when considering whether a report on AI is true or hype.  Is there a hidden agenda or emotional blind spot?

As mentioned, this hype-detection list is applicable to a wide range of claims and our students can only be strengthened by inculcating these elements of critical thinking.

AI technologies are here to stay and we must navigate this techno-terrain with wisdom.  Educating students about the hype curve as well as the principles of hype detection will equip them to responsibly interact with the new and emerging technologies.


     [1] Robert J. Marks, Non-Computable You: What You Do That Artificial Intelligence Never Will (Seattle: Discovery Institute Press, 2022), 42.  A more rigorous formulation of the Lovelace Test (LT) is found on page 359 in the endnotes: “Artificial agent A, designed by H, passes LT if and only if (1) A outputs o; (2) A’s outputting o is not the result of a fluke hardware error, but rather the result of processes A can repeat; (3) H (or someone who knows what H knows, and has H’s resources) cannot explain how A produced o.”

     [2] Marks, 102.

 

The Neurodiverse Learner

After reviewing some of the amazing resources compiled by our own Roxanna Dewey, this image spoke to me.

It inspired me to try something completely different and challenged my thinking. I have a sister with Downs Syndrome and a nephew with ADHD. This poem is dedicated to them and their relentless pursuit for happiness and belonging.

In the realm of learning, a different kind of pace,

Neurodivergent journey, a unique embrace.

Words may dance, and numbers may speak,

A symphony of learning, where strengths peak.

Challenges woven in the mosaic of thought,

Yet resilience blooms, a lesson well-taught.

Minds may wander through a different haze,

Neurodivergent learner, embracing diverse ways.

Unlocking potentials, like keys in a song,

Learning’s rhythm, where strengths belong.

A canvas of minds, where colors combine,

Neurodivergent learner, let your brilliance shine.