BRAIN AND BEHAVIOR INSTITUTE 2003

Forum 2 - "The Brain is Wider Than the Sky ..."
Thinking About the Size of the Brain


. Name:  Regina Toscani
Username:  reginatoscani@hotmail.com
Subject:  Emily's poem
Date:  2003-07-07 13:04:35
Message Id:  5823
Comments:
"Wider than the sky" "deeper than the sea" "just the weight of God"
If the brain of a person can be all the above, then each person is the creator of their own world. Each person has their own reality.
Name:  Shellie Herdan
Username:  Anonymous
Subject:  Day one am
Date:  2003-07-07 13:15:06
Message Id:  5824
Comments:
Day one am--the Institute started well. I thought I would be a little bored--no not at all.

I especially enjoyed writing our bio and then discussing them. It was a good technique having someone interview. I would like to try this with students.

Now about science well jury is still out. I do like the idea of getting children to learn by doing instead of just giving it to them.

Shellie Herdan


Name:  Angela M. Grant
Username:  ajgrant@earthlink.net
Subject:  THE BRAIN AND EDUCATION
Date:  2003-07-07 13:15:33
Message Id:  5825
Comments:
I believe that Emily Dickinson was saying that there are no boundaries for the capabilities of the mind. In essence like a sponge, the brain can take in so much that it is difficult to imagine how much "absorption" takes place. Like I tell my students "thinking is free!" In reference to education, you have to utilize your brain. The brain gives one the ability to accomplish and believe anything that it wants.
Name:  Antoinette R. SIsco Soliman
Username:  tonisisco@aol.com
Subject:  Introduction
Date:  2003-07-07 13:18:49
Message Id:  5826
Comments:
Hello,
My name is Antoinette. I have been teaching in a school setting for seven years now. As a special ed. teacher, I have seen the joys and frustrations of "the normal learning curve". From my teaching experiences, I have learned that many assumptions have to be re-evaluated and dynamic in order to ensure success. Previously I was an administrator for nine years, in both business and academia, so I have had a varied employment backround.
What I expect form this seminar : I am hoping to continually grow my teaching style and sound practices to ensure an envirnment for success.

PS I am spelling challenged so .....


Name:  Paul Grobstein
Username:  pgrobste@brynmawr.edu
Subject:  If Dickinson is right ....
Date:  2003-07-07 13:21:21
Message Id:  5827
Comments:
then all teachers should be thinking of theselves as brain surgeons. And so we should know as much as we can about the brain?
Name:  Carol Tyson
Username:  jttyson@comcast.net
Subject:  science and the brain
Date:  2003-07-07 13:21:38
Message Id:  5828
Comments:
If everything is in the brain, then what and how we teach would be a cakewalk.BUT what about external factors ?What impact do they have on our ability to conceptualize?
Name:  Mo
Username:  Anonymous
Subject:  Brain Theory
Date:  2003-07-07 13:25:00
Message Id:  5829
Comments:
I believe that everything could possibly be in the brain. From my summary of observations all thinking starts and ends with the brain. Who I am and what I want out of this life is thought about everyday. Through the brain I can start to gather information on how to go about being the best person that I can be. Sometimes my first mind speaks to me. Most of the time I do not listen which leads to bad decisions. Without a brain humans cannot survive. Until new observations come into play I am inclined to think that this summary works.
Name:  Angela M. Grant
Username:  ajgrants@earthlink.net
Subject:  
Date:  2003-07-07 13:25:50
Message Id:  5830
Comments:
I believe that Emily Dickinson is saying that the brain is capable of inputting and outputting so much information that it is almost impossible of imagining the possibitities for thinking. As I tell my students, "thinking is free!" Like a sponge, the brain can absorb so much.
Name:  linda m
Username:  Anonymous
Subject:  emily's brain
Date:  2003-07-07 13:26:42
Message Id:  5831
Comments:
Implications for education
Thought 1--students can learn more than they are often given credit for
Thought 2--before I heap any guilt on myself for not teaching them more, I am keeping in mind that school districts tend not to support teachers in ways they need to be able to demand more from students. Large classes, many classes, extraordinary amounts of paperwork--somedays my brain is full.
Thought 3--putting Thought 2 aside, students can still learn more than I give them credit for.
Name:  Miss Geneva E. Tolliferreo, M.
Username:  Anonymous
Subject:  ...on Emily
Date:  2003-07-07 13:27:39
Message Id:  5832
Comments:
I agree with Miss Dickerson's belief that the sky is finite and the brain in infinite. That our brain is as infinite as we allow it to be, or as limited as the sky, is an excercise of our free will. We set limits {in major part based on society's influence on us}, the infinite universe does not.

As for my learning environment, this is the fundamental statement I would offer my students...take your limits off and see how far you really are able to go. Continuing from there we are now ready realize an infinite number of summary observations.


Name:  Joyce Theriot
Username:  bjpriot@zdial.com
Subject:  Thought's on Emily's Brain
Date:  2003-07-07 13:28:10
Message Id:  5833
Comments:
The Brain - is wider than the Sky -
For - put them side by side -
The one the other will contain
With ease - and You - beside-

Dickinson's poem in my opinion is her way of describing the higher ability of the human brain. We have unlimited facility to "see" and take in great beauty (sky) which generate emotions- love that is boundless like the sky (you).


The Brain is deeper than the sea -
For - hold them - Blue to Bue -
The one the other will absorb -
As sponges - Buckets - do

Dickinson considers emotion in her first verse and in the second verse she follows the noble calling of humanity to elevate itself through knowledge. She says that man has no constraints on the amount of knowledge that we can "absorb" (sponge) because the brain's intellectual capacity is very deep (than the sea).

The Brain is just the weight of God -
For - Heft them - Pound for Pound -
And they will differ - if they do -
As syllable from Sound -

Dickinson asserts in her last verse that the spiritual center also arises in the brain. She does not simply compare our brain to God, but rather the brain's weight. She is saying that if we have God in the brain then there's nothing to be measured as greater than God.


Name:  John Dalton
Username:  JD5258875@aol.com
Subject:  Emily Dickinson's "The Brain - is wider than the Sky "
Date:  2003-07-07 13:28:11
Message Id:  5834
Comments:
The Brain - is wider than the Sky -
For - put them side by side -
The one the other will contain
With ease - and You - beside-
The Brain is deeper than the sea -
For - hold them - Blue to Bue -
The one the other will absorb -
As sponges - Buckets - do

The Brain is just the weight of God -
For - Heft them - Pound for Pound -
And they will differ - if they do -
As syllable from Sound -


In Emily Dickinson's "The Brain - is wider than the Sky," we are confronted with a Romantic meditation on the nature of reality. We are introduced to three differentiated elements: the 'Brain', the 'Sky' or 'sea', and 'You'. I think that one can safely assume that the 'Sky' and the 'sea' represent nature, the not-me, and that the 'You' represents the individual, the me. It's a rather standard Romantic bifurcation of the world. The intriguing question is what does Dickinson mean by the 'Brain'.

Her concept clearly has religious implications: "The Brain is just the weight of God." It suggests a definition of man that posits the 'Brain' or consciousness as a margin where the 'You'/me and 'Sky' or 'sea'/not-me intersect. It hearkens back to Emerson's Oversoul. It predicates monism, wherein man is just part of the greater whole, but possesses the ability to merge with the universe through the medium of the 'Brain.'


Name:  Sheila Michael
Username:  Anonymous
Subject:  Education
Date:  2003-07-07 13:29:34
Message Id:  5836
Comments:
In relationship to computer science the Brain is designed to absorb all information and for input and output. Data can be input into the brain and processed through many channel before output. The interpretation (transformation) of the data in the brain is dependent upon the application process. The internal brain processing procedure involves memory, interpretaion and transformation.

As teachers we must assist student in developing the mind to think, process, and explore. Education must be a colloborative and interactive effort to encourage thinking and application of concepts and ideas to daily practical living. It must stimulate an open mind, receptive to a way of thinking to broaden the student's knowledge base of thinking and retention.


Name:  Lois Mackey
Username:  loismackey@yahoo.com
Subject:  Response to Emily Dickerson theory About The Brain
Date:  2003-07-07 13:29:45
Message Id:  5837
Comments:
I believe that she theorized in her poem that there was no limitation to the human brain in its manner of thinking. That God gifted man-kind to have that ability to expand his cognitive skills.
Name:  W. Keith Sgrillo
Username:  wsgrillo@hotmail.com
Subject:  response to poem
Date:  2003-07-07 13:29:51
Message Id:  5838
Comments:
The poem expresses the idea that reality is relative to the individual and how they precieve their experiences. The brain is wider than the sky and the sea because the sky and sea can only contain what is put in them. In contrast to that the brain is not only able to internalize what was put in tghe sky, but the sky itself.

"I think therefiore I am" is a quote that I feel compliments the poem. I am aware of my existance but can not prove yours. I can merely rely on my observations of you and assume that these observations are real (I suggest "Vanilla Sky" with Tom Cruise on this topic). My reality is how internalize my observations and how i define them. My experience in a situatioin that is similar to abother's is based on my constructs and vice versa. For example, a person who is "color blind" may see green as red and red as green. Although the majority of us would see it as we believe to be correctly, this is that individuals "reality" of a color scheme. So for this individual he or she has constructed their own version of reality.

A dream sequence is very similar to this idea of observations and reality. In a dream, most people are unaware tgaht they are dreaming. In a dream, one may realize they have the ability to fly. In the concious world one believes that people can not fly (witghout aid). But in the reality of the dream it is possible due to the observation of that dream.
The Brain is wider than the sky because the brain is able to internalize not only what is in the sky but the sky itself.


Name:  Julie Leavitt
Username:  julieleavitt
Subject:  Emily D. Poem
Date:  2003-07-07 13:30:05
Message Id:  5839
Comments:
What story do you hear/see in Emily Dickinson's poem? Do you think the brain is wide enough to contain the sky ... "and You beside"? What would this imply? In general? About education?

Implications-We must be "Broadminded". The more open minded we are to thoughts ideas the "better"- more intelligent we will be. Our minds are like sponges which absorb knowledge.

About education- the culture of education equates book knowledge with intelligence. The more book knowledge the more intelligent- the more intelligent the better the brain- the better the brain the better the person. People who don't fit this pattern often don't suceed in school.


Name:  
Username:  Anonymous
Subject:  Emily Dickinson
Date:  2003-07-07 13:30:47
Message Id:  5840
Comments:
I believe that wee are all the some total of all our previous experiences. As a poet, novelist, woman, living in the 1830's - 1870's, Emily's possible outlook on life came through her freedom to express of ideas as a writer. She was not inhibited from writing about "science" or the "scientific process".
Given that the brain is capable of seemingly limitless outcomes, as an educator, it is my chosen profession to provide the envirnment for my students to learn. Although test results often drive funding, classroom size, grants and ect. real learning happens when children and adults are allowed to explore...feed their curiosity. Often as teachers we forget about learning as SAT 9's approach or PSSA testing. We want our kids to really understand, history, science, math, ect, but external constraints often get in the way.
Think back to your first or second year of teaching when "real learning" generated unit planning. Over yaers of teaching we too have gotten bogged down in the ...........
Name:  Pam
Username:  Anonymous
Subject:  Dickinson poem
Date:  2003-07-07 16:58:47
Message Id:  5842
Comments:
At first glance the poem suggested that it's substance consisted of a parrallel comparison of the brain's hemispheres. However, while I reviewed and reflected upon Dickinson's poem, a new perspective surfaced. The historical frame developed centuries ago may have assisted the writer in her quest to explain the endless activities and storage of the human bain.


The comparison presented by Dickinson suggested that brain activity and the sky are difficult to be measured by the scientific community during that time period.


Name:  Nia Turner
Username:  nturner@brynmawr.edu
Subject:  Response to Emily
Date:  2003-07-07 17:05:44
Message Id:  5843
Comments:
The idea that everything is in the brain is interesting to me,
and reminds me of the Matrix. This notion makes me rethink life.
What if life is a manefestation of the brain? Imagine if this
journey called life is just a test, and that some outside being is
observing our behavior and interactions and forming a "summary of
observations". I think Emily proposed provocative thoughts about the
brain's capacity. I also am reminded of Kant and his ideas of time
and space.


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