Ran two meetings for third- and fourth-year teachers. Had a book club in Barrington on Wednesday night with some of the nicest and smartest readers I’ve encountered.
Began a unit on sensation and perception, which always seems unmanageable. Too much to show and explain. How do we see? That simple question leads down paths that have no end. Toward biology and physics and philosophy. All quite interesting. And exhausting.
Covered subliminal messages. Science has more or less discounted the power of these messages. Their influence is minimal at best. Yet students are fascinated, and as a result, I feel an obligation to share the “fun” material: the backmasking messages in music, the hidden images in Disney movies and in ads. All this no longer intrigues me, but I put on my game face and allowed the material to lead, and yes, students are fascinated. Why all the satanic references in backward lyrics, they want to know. Mostly, they’re not there. The discovery of such lyrics were the result of manic searching during the 70s—and then again in the 80s and 90s. If you’re looking for satan, I told them, you’re going to find him.
I’m more interested in vision, which, once you examine the process, seems miraculous and impossible. Why, for example, doesn’t the world become disjointed every time we blink?