Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Freud & Dr. Seuss

One of my favorite parts of teaching the psychoanalytic perspective is all the "inside" psychology jokes that students are able to get once they've been introduced to that cigar-smoking, Austrian psychiatrist. Freudian humor (school-appropriate, of course) ALONE is a good reason to take a psychology course, in my opinion.

Here are some great links for those who enjoy Freud and need a good laugh:

A Freudian analysis of Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat.

Or, on a similar vein, Green Eggs & Ham.

For the bold: a Freudian analysis of the 90s-era MTV show Beavis and Butthead.

Given his belief that jokes were related to the unconscious, I'm sure Freud himself would approve.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Book Review: My Lobotomy by Howard Dully

My Lobotomy My Lobotomy by Howard Dully

Whoa. This is an AMAZING story. The author, Howard Dully, underwent a lobotomy at the age of 12. The predictable part: his life was pretty terrible for many years thereafter. The surprising parts: apparently the operation was at the behest of his stepmother, who urged it basically because she didn't like him and wanted him to disappear AND he managed to survive the ordeal (albeit damaged) to eventually lead a semi-normal life. In fact, the plasticity of his brain at 12 was likely what saved him from becoming an institutionalized zombie. He was one of the youngest lobotomy patients every worked on by the "lobomist" Dr. Walter Freeman.

The most striking thing about this story, to me, is that despite the obvious risk and consequence associated with the lobotomy, the worst damage done to Dully seems to have been a result of the broken relationship with his family. Due to his youth, his brain recovered. However, even in his late fifties as he uncovered the details of the story, he continued to question whether he was loved because of the remarkable dysfunction of his family. Yet he does not come off as a "victim" as you might expect. He seems a surprisingly resilient man.

I suppose he had to be.

Dr. Freud

Whether you find his ideas intriguing or repulsive, it is impossible to deny that Sigmund Freud had an incredible impact on the early years of psychology. If you're looking for more information on this controversial figure, there is no shortage of documentation on his life. In addition to the A & E Biography production we watched in class, these websites provide a wealth of information.

PBS special: The Young Dr. Freud companion site.
The Freud Museum in London.
The Freud Museum in Vienna, Austria.

Below, another historical video about the man, the myth & the legend, Dr. Freud.

Lunch Friends Extra Credit

This year in AP Psych we have learned a lot about individual differences, learning and the benefits of social interaction. If you'd like an opportunity to put that knowledge into practice AND earn some extra points in AP Psych, here's an opportunity for you.

Ms. Schmidt, one of our special education teachers, would love for you to come to her room (#128) during Lunch & Learn to visit with her students, who have various cognitive disabilities. They like to play games, talk, and when the weather is nice they do activities outside.

Read and print this form for more details on how you can help out, make some new friends, and earn some credit in AP Psych all at once. You can only earn these points once, but I hope even after you've earned the credit you will continue to stop in and visit your friends in rm 128.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

AP Exam Registration Due March 19th!

Chi-Hi Students, don't forget that AP Exam Registration forms and payments are due Friday, March 19th! You can pick up the form in Student Services (you only need one form for all the AP Exams you plan to take).

Don't let forgetfulness or disorganization be the reason you miss taking the AP Exam! Get it in today!

If you have questions about whether or not you should take the test, I'm always available to assist. However, my general approach is that everyone in an AP class should take the exam. You're already preparing for it...why not give it a shot? But of course, everyone has different circumstances, so if you want some help thinking it over, stop on by.

Practice AP Exam Scheduled for March 28

Looking for some extra credit AND a way to prepare for the AP Exam? Mark your calendars...

I will be administering a full-length practice AP Exam for any students who wish to take it on Sunday, March 28 at 5:00 PM. The whole process will probably take about 3 hours, since we will do 100 MC questions and 2 Free-Responses AND score it to see how you did.

We'll have a short break time for snacks after the test-taking part, so feel free to bring some munchies (for yourself or to share) for the scoring portion, if you like.

Students who complete the whole process will get 5 points EC on their test score category for 3rd quarter. Sorry, no alternate or make-up dates since this takes me so long to do (and because I can't release the test materials to you outside of class).