Q. I have started volunteering in an Alternative Learning Experience (ALE) Program. That is, of course, not like going to a regular classroom every day. How does this different program help the brains of children learn?
Q. How is it that so many young people exhibit anger or disgust towards school?
Q. We are so enjoying Birds & Brains. We have two parakeets and all of us, kids and adults, think it is so cool that you’ve done something no one else has done that we know of: teach brain function using a cast of “birds.” It’s brilliant. I hope you do more of that series! My question: What is the reason they are only 5-7 minutes in length? The kids wanted them longer.
Q. What you share in your brain-function seminars is fascinating as well as practical and helpful. What information is available for the general public?
Q. Why do I have to take general subjects in college? I want to zero in on my area of interest and forget all the other stuff that I’ll never look at again. It’s a waste of my time!
Q. I’ve attended several of your seminars and notice you use only black and white backgrounds for your PowerPoint® presentation. Don’t misunderstand me. I love your seminars and find that I recall so much more of the information in the days and weeks following than I expected to. I do wonder the reason you avoid using a colored background. I’m visual and “color is good.”
Q. As a company administrator, I have made it a policy to mentor younger individuals, usually quite successfully. Recently an employee whom I mentored for several years moved to a different organization. Initially, it seemed they wanted to continue our association and even expand it to a personal friendship since we were no longer working for the same entity (and I am careful to avoid mixing business with pleasure). As they moved up the ladder in the new position, however, it seemed a level of competition has developed and strained the relationship. They do many things well and have some excellent skills but frankly they differ from mine. I have always stressed the concept of identifying and honing “your own gifts” rather than trying to copy another’s style and mimic what they do very well. Over the past couple of years I’ve sensed a distancing by this individual unless they want something from me. The perception of some observers is that there may be a lack of accurate perception about what they do well. Any ideas?
Q: Dyslexia runs in my family. I have learned what works for me and how to compensate for what is more difficult. Our son is having some math challenges and the teacher said he probably has something called dyscalculia. I am flummoxed. I never heard of this before!
Q. I don’t understand IQ tests and what it is that’s really being measured. Can you explain this?
Q. What’s all the hype about IQ anyway? I know there is more than one type of intelligence. Why not measure all of them?
Q. It's funny to think I wasted years of my life going to college when it wasn't needed. Go figure!
Q: Did you really say that newborns could be taught any language on the planet? That cannot be true. Do you know how many languages and dialects exist?
Q: How are memories stored and retrieved?
Q. Not long ago I read something about how you learned to practice the vibraharp in your mind when you didn’t have access to the actual instrument. I think you called it ‘virtual rehearsal.’ At first I thought this idea was ridiculous. (You don’t even want to know a few of the comments I made.) Well, I’ve since changed my mind. I teach piano and two of my little students have no piano in their home. They are able to practice on their grandmother’s piano—but not every day. I decided to give this idea a try. I mean, it couldn’t hurt, right? Although I was not sure it could help, either. I told these little piano students to practice at home in their minds (with their open music books) on the days when they are unable to practice on their grandmother's piano. They were, of course, almost as astounded by this instruction as I was by the concept. Guess what has happened? They have discovered that “virtual rehearsal” works and are making progress by leaps and bounds. Naturally, I am so pleased . . . and grateful. You also said once that “What you don’t know you don’t even know can limit your options and sometimes cause you a great deal of trouble.” This ‘virtual rehearsal’ experience was a great object lesson to me and has encouraged me to be more open minded. Again, as you said, “No one can know everything.” What do you think made my brain so ready to brush off this information?
Q. After spending a couple of decades taking care of my husband and four children, I finally obtained my GED and recently enrolled in Junior College. When I leave/return from class, however, my husband often makes derogatory remarks. In addition, I‘m absolutely forbidden to bring any of “those lesbian classmates” to our home. I don’t understand what’s going on and this doesn’t seem fair.
Q. I can’t seem to figure out the answers to riddles (What’s black and white and read all over?) or to silly questions (Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain on earth?) that my kids bring home from school. What are the answers and how can I improve?
Q. My nephew, Rolly, appears to have a right-brain energy advantage and is struggling in school. How do I help a right-brainer learn? Sometimes he seems not to even want to try for fear he won’t look smart. Any ideas?
Q. I stumbled onto your website recently. Amazing. Humongous. Where do I start?