Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Hunter Joerger Teaches Me A Thing or Two

This year I mentored a student at my son's high school, Mr. Hunter Joerger, while he created his senior signature project.

In the project, Hunter illustrated his neuroscience research about the connection between brain growth and the development of identity with photographic portraits of young children. This week all the graduating seniors celebrated with a school wide party and display of their projects. Hunter's wall of photos rocked the audience. Compassionate, clear, and sensitive, his exhibition was sophisticated and riveting.

Here's my favorite quote from Hunter's paper:
"Photography can be used to examine the root of perception of identity because it can be analyzed both analytically and viscerally. And it is at the connection between the analytical and visceral that the importance of identity and the ability to perceive it can be understood."

Yes, Hunter's paper taught me how the superior colliculi and thalmus collect and pass visual information and non-verbal awareness on to other parts of the brain. But Hunter himself taught me a thing or two about being an educator. Like how much more important it is to listen than talk. That it's far wiser to be patient than insistent. And that there is great benefit in allowing a flower to bloom, rather than tear the petals apart in search of color. A project develops much as the brain itself does. One lives. One learns.

Thanks for the lessons, Hunter. =]

And bravo! Toss your hat into the ring of experts. You da bomb.

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