The contents of a story changes every time it is repeated unless recorded. There is a group activity used by communication experts to demonstrate how stories change as they are exchanged by word of mouth.

Communication Group Activity

To begin the group activity, a dozen or more people gather together in a room and seat themselves on chairs in a closed circle facing the center of the circle. The facilitator of the group picks one person and whispers in their ear a sentence or phrase. That person then turns to the person seated next to him/her and whispers in their ear what they remember hearing.  This process continues until the last person in the circle hears the phrase and the sharing stops. The facilitator then reads aloud the original sentence or phrase. The last person to hear the whispered sentence or phrase repeats aloud what they remember hearing. In nearly every instance of the exercise, the sentence or phrase has changes drastically from the original form. It’s a fun way to demonstrate how information is processed during an exchange between people.

My favorite way to write is to use a keyboard connected to a computer and the internet.

Some people prefer to write things down on paper with a pencil or pen. My handwriting is difficult to decipher so I just type. I strongly suggest learning proper keyboarding skills for many reasons. I suggest learning how to type properly without doing the ‘hunt-and-peck’ thing with 2 fingers or looking down at the keyboard while expressing ideas. It takes some time and practice to do it correctly but in time the rewards will outweigh the efforts.

When teaching computer skills to middle school students, my first lessons were along the lines of learning how to type (keyboard) properly. In fact, I would have the students insert the floppy disk (dating me here) into the hard drive, open the typing software program, then place a cut-out cardboard cover over their hands. They were forced to learn how to use the keyboard correctly.

I had a very good reason for this exercise. I knew how important computers would become in the lives of these kids. Their parents were still playing catchup with the world of electronic devices and many still resisting the transition from of a world of paper, pencil, and pen to a world of computers and keyboarding. I knew these kids would never really enjoy the full experience of the computer if they spent most of their time looking at the keyboard and pecking at the keys. Everyone of the kids was upset to begin with but nearly everyone of these kids mastered the use of the keyboard without looking constantly at their hands and fingers. It almost became second nature for them to communicate with the computer.

I suggest you do the same thing by learning to keyboard properly without constantly looking down at your hands. Our brains can process information hundreds of times faster than we can write or speak. Learning how to type anywhere from 30 to 60 words per minute (without doing the spell check)  is a good goal.

Anyway, there’s a start. I hope you got something meaningful from the time you spent reading about my ideas.  The ideas and methods of book writing included here were all gained through my academic and work experiences gathed over a period of many years.

In the next post I would like to talk about comfort. Sitting in a chair for any lengthy period of time is hard on most every part of the body. As my wife will tell you, this first pic resembles how I sit in a chair while working. It leads to some serious back aches.

This pic shows a comfortable way to sit while working but is a little expensive. Sitting up straight in a chair is something I gave up trying to do back in the 3rd grade.  Some of the next areas I think deserve mentioning are patience, persistence and self discipline. Grab yourself a keyboarding program and begin to practice proper keyboarding if you haven’t already mastered this skill.  All new learning involves pain at first until new neuropathways are developed along with some new muscle-memory (transition commonly referred to as frustration).  I still can’t remember where the top row of symbols are located without looking first.  Fortunately most symbols are rarely used. The rest of the keys are automatic and it makes my life better in many ways. 

Your success means our success.

Author: olypenn

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