- Thoughts for inspired living

August 26, 2008


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:07 am

As the children head back to school, my thoughts turn to teachers. Did you have a favorite one? I did. Reminds me of a story . . .

He was my 10th grade biology teacher, Mr. Coletta. He had us call him by his first name, Rich. Rich had an interesting method of teaching especially when it came to testing. The day before a test he would put the test questions on the board. That meant you knew in advance what the questions were going to be. He encouraged you to research the answers and write them out that night so that the information would be fresh in your mind the next day. There was really no excuse not to do well on the test outside of pure laziness or indifference.

His method involved rehearsal vs. rote. His method involved a number of senses including the kinesthetic sense of physically writing out the answers as practice. It was quite ingenious for the time.

I had another teacher as an adult who taught me more about rehearsal. I’ve spoken of him many times. His name was Dr. Dave Dobson.

Dave taught us this wonderful exercise of rehearsing yourself in calm and collected feelings. It goes something like this:

Can you think of a time that you felt calm and collected? Involve as many senses as you can. What does it look like, sound like, feel like, smell and taste like to be calm and collected for you? Rehearse yourself in those feelings so you know exactly what it feels like to be calm and collected. Continue this rehearsal so that you can produce these feelings at a moment’s notice. Next, imagine a situation where you have some feelings that come up that are scary or bothersome. The minute you begin to experience those feelings, immediately bring to mind the calm and collected feelings you rehearsed yourself in. Rehearse this switching exercise over and over again until you become adept at it.

The result of this mental practice is that your mind will automatically throw the switch for you. This means that you will be able to respond appropriately and offer yourself more choices when scary or bothersome feelings come up.

Just like with Rich’s method, you have to do the rehearsal to do well on the test.

So I wonder how soon you’ll do this homework assignment and reap the benefits of rehearsal taught by two great teachers.

All the best,


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