One really weird thing that teachers do is think about thinking. I mean, how can a person actually teach someone else how to think and how to learn if they don’t themselves understand the underlying processes? Now that I have retired from teaching and spend all my time feeling sorry for myself, I thought I would try thinking about thinking one more time at least. Hey, just because I am retired, it doesn’t mean I can’t still do some of the weird things I used to do as a teacher, right?
This time I made a map to aid me in my quest to follow the twists and turns of how Mickey thinks and how Mickey learns. Don’t worry, though. I didn’t actually cut Mickey’s head in half to be able to make this map. I used the magical tool of imagination. Some folks might call it story-telling… or bald-face lying.
Now, a brain surgeon would be concerned that my brain maps out in boxes. He would identify it as a seriously deformed brain. It is not supposed to be all rectangular spaces and stairs. It probably indicates a severe medical need for corrective surgery… or possibly complete amputation. But we are not going to concern ourselves with trying to save Mickey from himself right now. That is far too complex a topic to tackle in a 500-word daily post. We are just discussing the basics of operation.
You see the three little guys in the control room? They are an indication that not only did I steal an idea from the Disney/Pixar Movie Inside Out, but I apparently have too few guys doing the job up there compared to the movie version. (It probably makes sense though that a young girl like the one in the movie has a much more sensible configuration in her brain than someone who was a middle school teacher for 24 years. Seriously, that job can do a bit of damage.) The three little guys are not actually Moe, Curly, and Larry, though that wouldn’t be far from descriptive accuracy. They are Impulsive Ignatz, currently in the driver’s seat (or else I wouldn’t be writing this), Proper Percy the Planner, and Pompositous Felixian Checkerbob, the fact-checker and perfectionist (also labeled the inner nerd… I am told not everyone has one of these). They are the three little guys that run around in frantic circles in my head trying to deal with a constant flow of input and output, trying to make sense of everything, and routinely failing miserably.
I shouldn’t forget the other two little guys in my head, Sleepytime Tim in the Dream Center, and little Batty up in the attic. I have no earthly idea how either of them function, or what in the heck they are supposed to do. But there they are. The other three run up and down stairs all day, locating magic mushrooms and random knowledge in the many file cabinets, record collections, book stacks, and odd greasy containers that are stored all around in the many nooks and crannies of Mickey’s mind. They collect stuff through the eyes and ears, and it is also their responsibility to chuck things out through the stupidity broadcaster at various inopportune times. It is also a good idea for them to avoid the lizard brain of the limbic system in the basement. It is easily angered and might eat them.
So now you should be able to fully understand how Mickey thinks. (Or not… a qualifier I was forced to put in by Checkerbob.)