I’m supposed to be grading papers, but I just knew I’d be distracted by the desire to write a blog post if I waited. I actually thought of what I might post last night, but I just couldn’t fit it in considering I was multitasking by watching TED talks, working on my top secret sewing project and texting my sister all at once. But, getting my very own blog shout-out inspired me to get back here to write. Many thanks to one of my former classmates for mentioning me on her blog, Jairus’ Daughter. I think the same year that I was holed up in the yearbook office, she was in her office editing the student newspaper. And, all that journalism experience served her well because she graciously made my ramblings sound so much better than I deserve.
Now, isn’t it a shame that I’m about to follow her shout out with inane observations about last night’s eclectic activities?
I’ll have to leave the top secret sewing project out of it since it’s…well…top secret. I’ll post pictures when it’s completed and gifted to the appropriate person. But, I decided instead of watching more reruns of Coach, I would enrich my brain by listening to some TED talks. I cannot tell a lie; all my smart friends should sit down now. Probably before last night, I had watched a total of one TED talk. Oh sure, I knew that all the cool kids were doing it, but I had never gotten around to firing up the TED channel on my Roku. Now, whoa! Guess what I found only two TED talks into my adventure? Videos of kids eating marshmallows.
Really, that was a discovery. I had to stop sewing to watch.
I’ve been geeking out a little bit lately with sociology based books, and I think it’s almost standard practice that when you write a sociology book, you have to discuss the study done years ago on kids who were left alone in a room for 15 minutes with a marshmallow. The kids were told that they could eat the marshmallow right away when the researcher left the room, but that would be their only marshmallow. Game over. Or, they could wait 15 minutes for the researcher to return, and they would then get two marshmallows. Good kiddo. A follow-up study was done. Man, I love longitudinal studies. Who wants to volunteer as my lab rat? Kids who didn’t wait got poor grades and had behavioral issues. Game over. Kids who waited for the marshmallow were successful and well adjusted. Good citizens. The marshmallows were a greater predictor of success than the IQ tests administered to the kids at the same time.
But, I digress. I was listening to the audio version of How We Decide a week or two and actually chuckling aloud as I listened to Jonah Lehrer’s descriptions of what those poor kids did to avoid eating the marshmallows while the researcher was out of the room. I thought to myself, “I want to lock kids in rooms with marshmallows. Maybe I should get my PhD in sociology. ” I even told me mom that I was going to test my own kids with this marshmallow test and enact interventions if they didn’t wait. I think she’s less eager to become a grandparent now.
So, imagine my pure bliss when Joachim de Posada recapped the study and a parallel one done with Hispanic children and included video of the kids resisting the marshmallows. Too funny. I felt like yelling, “It’s worth it! Hold out. You’re going to rule the world some day because you can delay gratification. Be strong.”
After sandwiching that TED talk between two others that sang the praises of the arts and sciences in education, my brain started to hurt, and I turned Coach back on. That’s when the earth shattering text came (after midnight, mind you). More in the next post….
Send me some TED talk links!