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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Tricky to Communicate

 It is so curious how common it is, when you are attracted to study something, what usually attracts you is so seldom the real thing. You can only find out how misguided and naive you were later, once you dedicate yourself to learning about your interest.

After reading a few books on better explaining and communication, I decided to apply its message to introducing Alexander Technique. 

 Most of the models that were suggested by the book use a "solve a problem" model. Although I recognize that the motivation to change and improve is often driven by a negative problem, it has always seemed to me to be a tawdry appeal. We are hit by so much advertising in our culture. Alexander Technique ends up sounding like snake oil if you list the many ways that it can be applied.

The advantages are a bit like learning to read, because the skill can be applied to so many interests. In our culture, reading is essential, but how would you convince a grownup who lived in a illiterate culture that they should invest the time to learn to read?

Of course, I ended up using Alexander Technique to solve many of my own problems. My "natural" voice mannerisms used to modulate up and down, which meant to prospective sign buyers that I was possibly unreliable so they didn't want to give me half the money up front to make them a sign. I was able to change my voice mannerisms with A.T. and it had other advantages for me in that it changed how others regarded me in their first impressions. To give you an idea of its many other applications, I've used it to walk without a congenital limp, to learn to juggle, to play nine-ball at a pool table, to prevent wrinkles on my face and to stop being petrified about public speaking.

But after thinking about all of these, I decided to select as the motive for my little storyboard the same reason that originally attracted me to become interested in it.



Flow - it's a term coined by this guy, (who's last name I can't spell) 
http://www.ted.com/talks/mihaly_csikszentmihalyi_on_flow.html

Here's my story board...




 In my case, my desire to evoke FLOW that was what attracted me to Alexander Technique turned out to be the "real thing." It did not disappoint. My original motive came from a desire to find a way to evoke an elusive state of mind that made me very, very happy. Abraham Maslow seemed to have called it "peak experience."

If you're the sort of person who can imagine something from a sketch or an idea, what do you think of this story board plan? (You can click on the image to make it bigger if you have trouble seeing it at its original size.) 

Of course, from seeing a sketches of images on a story board, it can be hard to imagine what the sketches are indicating. The quality of the pictures that might be used to illustrate would influence the final result. For instance, here's a picture of a Balinese dance teacher with his arms guiding a younger dance student, his hands entwined and supporting.



But this next one shows the "embodied cognition" in the teacher's stance who has her hands on the torso to show the way she knows the younger girl in front of her could move.The teacher is emulating or modeling in the way she moves at the same time she is communicating it. That's part of what makes the Alexander Technique so unique. I racked my brain to find another example of this somewhere in the world, and this was the only thing I could come up with. But how many people have been to Bali and would have known about this method of communication?


Can you think of another example where the teacher uses this direct "showing" method of teaching?

What do you think of this style of presenting Alexander Technique?

(Also, I'd love to see the results of a story-board to illustrate or plan out what you'd like to communicate that you might have made.)










1 comment:

  1. Thank you Franis, I LOVE your story board and your post is so warmly encouraging, I agree that coming to a solution via a 'problem' has tawdry appeal...coming to a solution in order to experience FLOW is very appealing indeed...who wouldn't want to do that?!!

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