Copper River Record September 2015
By Janelle Eklund
It never ceases to amaze me how time flies. Why is it that when you are a kid time seems to go slow but as we age it seems to speed up? Is it because when we are young we are more of a free spirit: playing - running - jumping - absorbing - observing - having fun - not many concerns - life is pretty easy? And as we age we gain a lot of knowledge - ideas - thoughts - fears - joys - concerns - schedules filling our brains - our days are more focused - there is an urgency to get things done and never enough hours in the day? Curious to find out more, on the internet, I Googled 'why is time slow as a kid and fast as an adult. On one blog web site Neuroscientist David Eagleman describes it this way: "When our brains receive new information, it doesn’t necessarily come in the proper order. This information needs to be reorganized and presented to us in a form we understand. When familiar information is processed, this doesn’t take much time at all. New information, however, is a bit slower and makes time feel elongated."
So when we are a kid we are learning a lot of new information which takes awhile for our brain to process. As we age we have already processed a lot of information and our brain doesn't have to work very hard so it's processing time faster. But if we learn new things that the brain has to process it will help our perception of time slow down.
Summer seemed to have gone fast. Us adults use a lot of information we have already processed - growing seeds, planting the garden, getting firewood, harvesting, hunting, berry picking, our jobs, etc. This blog web site offers ways of getting your brain to perceive a slowing of time: keep learning, visit new places (could be in your own back yard), meet new people, try new activities, be spontaneous.
With that, WISE is planning new activities for the upcoming second and third grade Changing Seasons program. This program focuses on changes in wildlife adaptations, weather, plants, observation, web of life, fall gathering, and fish. Four of these are presented each year, with the other four being presented the next year so when second graders become third graders they are learning something new. The adults teaching the presentations may change the curriculum but still use the same subject. Since, for the most part, the same adults present each year this change helps their brains to learn and teach something new. For example, as a presenter, I just worked with my partner presenter on coming up with a new idea for the microscope observation station. This took awhile and time slowed down as we processed new information.
This year Changing Seasons will be at the Glennallen school on September 15, Slana school on September 16 and Kenny Lake school on September 23. Starting time is usually 10:00am. Each station is about 30 minutes, with an hour for lunch. Time schedules will be adjusted for each school. Homeschooled 2nd and 3rd graders are welcome to attend and can sign up by calling Robin Mayo at 822-3575 or 259-3575; or if you are connected with Copper River School District Upstream Learning contact Ramona Henspeter at 822-3234 ext 226. This year stations will focus on Fall gathering, birds, boreal forest, and observations. Parents are welcome to come as a chaperone or observer and learn something new!
From my light to yours-
Who We Are
WISEfriends are several writers connected with Wrangell Institute for Science and Environment, a nonprofit organization located in Alaska's Copper River Valley. Most of these articles originally appeared in our local newspaper, the Copper River Record.