The Daily EO: February 11th, 2013

When I was in University, I got a job working for the ADAM project.  That is the Adult Development and Memory project.  Essentially, seniors came in and did a bunch of tests, then three years later they came back and then three years later again until.. . . well, they could not come back for many reasons.

As you can imagine, the study was a long one, and started many years before I got there.  Before modern things like bubble sheets – you know those things you used with multiple choice exams?   Well, as it was thought that perhaps switching from writing answers on a sheet to filling in little bubbles would possibly skew results (ie, a senior may not be able to understand these new fan dangled bubble sheets or not have the dexterity to fill them in correctly).  So, they needed some undergraduates to sit and fill out the bubble sheets to allow for the data to be analyzed faster and more effectively. (Say, cheaper than paying an undergrad full-time at minimum wage).

So, that is what I spent an entire summer doing – bubble sheeting.  Filling in bubbles with lead.  It was pretty boring.  Until I realized that if I memorized the data  (ie, question 1 What is your gender, I knew that A= Male and B = Female, no need to look it up), I could go really fast.   So fast in fact, that I could do bubbling sheeting twice as fast as anyone else.  I would take 8 hours worth of work home, watch TV while completing it in 4 hours.  That was a good summer.

I was mentioned in a published psychology paper too – all for my bubble sheeting speed and accuracy.  It looks like the project is ended now, but I hope that over the span of the study it gave some insight on how the human brain ages and processes information over time.

I find mundane repetitive tasks a challenge.  How can I do it faster and better?

When I had to review and determine the action required for over 150 reports at work, I took it as a personal challenge on how quickly I could get it done.  I got into it on Friday, but had to leave before I could really get it done.  It was bugging me.  Alot.  I needed to complete the work and quickly.

February 11th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  So much did it bug me that I took BC’s first Family Day to go to the office and complete the work.




The Daily EO: May 15th, 2012

As I promised last Tuesday, Emile and I returned to the United Church for the final movie in the “Think About It” movie series today.  The movie was called “The World According to Monsanto”.  It’s a documentary about Monsanto, one of – if not the largest – Agro/Biotech companies in the world.  It had allegations of FDA/government/Monsanto collusion, scientist smear campaigns, worldwide food/farmer control and destruction of our natural specimens.  If only half of the things in the movie were true, then it is horrifying.

The movie was presented by two gentlemen who care deeply about many issues the world.  One was moderate, and I listened while he spoke.  The other was a rabid protester who was practically foaming at the mouth just introducing the movie.  “The most EVIL company on earth.” foam, foam.  “Agent Orange!”  drooling, foam.   Emile and I were avoiding eye contact so we wouldn’t giggle.  And what is funny about poisoning our world?  Nothing.  But it’s the messenger in this case.  Get ahold of yourself, man!

See, there are a bunch of us in the middle – we care, we modify our behaviors when educated about the impact, but we just don’t care *that* much.   So, when faced with an activist or protestor that seems to only see the Black and White of an issue, it turns us off.  I start to think that this person doesn’t truly understand the complexities of the issues, hasn’t researched the problem and I really shouldn’t take anything they are saying as anything more than ranting.  The hallmarks of such a protestor is someone who presents opinion as facts, whose conversations connect not through facts but instead unrelated “evil acts” by corporations/governments and who cannot see small marginal changes as improvements.  So moderate types like me have difficulty relating to such a person and therefore we toss the message out with the messenger.  That only harms the cause.  You’re losing me – and I am the majority!  The people in the middle who care, but just not as much as you do.

The “discussion” at the end of the movie was more of the same.  Are all genetically modified foods harmful?  I don’t know.   Are there any pesticides that can be used in moderation without damaging our ecosystem?  I don’t know.  Is Monsanto the most evil corporate on earth?  Well, heaven doesn’t seem the goal.    But we didn’t discuss that.   Instead, all the participants seemed to think it was more helpful to bring up all sorts of scandals, conspiracies, cover ups, corruptions, etc that have ever happened (or alleged to have happened, or even probably didn’t happen) that were unrelated to the movie or the issue.  Then an activist stood up to invite us all to a “peace picnic” on Sunday evening in the park.   She then used it as an opportunity to brag about all the protests she has been involved in.  “That was me!” echoed through the church.  Get me out of here.

I occasionally wonder what is wrong with me – why don’t I care enough?  I do try.  I buy organic when I can afford to, I avoid GMOs in soybeans, I drive a small fuel efficient car, I buy natural and organic health and cleaning products.  I am doing okay.  But I am not suddenly going to move into a yurt and shun all corporations, screaming “Kill the corporate pigs!” while banging on a hand-made drum.  Let’s be real here.

So, you want my heart?  When speaking to me, bring a coherent unbiased presentation of the facts, speak about one issue at a time, tell me your ultimate goal in this protest and then tell me what I could do in my every day life to make a difference.  I will listen, I will think about it, I might support you and I may even make the suggested changes in my life.

Because right now? I am thinking you are all a bunch of wackos – and that you should be avoided – along with your message.

May 15th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  Giggling in the sanctuary with my husband about the lack of grey in some people’s worlds.

Maintenance May Day 15:
Left my quarter in my shopping cart for the next person.  (soul)
Attending the movie as noted above to learn more about BioTech and GMOs. (knowledge)