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On Mon, 16 Jun 1997, Ed Ketz wrote:

> Here's a completely unscientific observation that seems to suggest that
> music is a good facilitator.  Being a folk-rock junky, I usually turn my
> tape player on when I come into our learning center so I can listen to my
> tunes before we officially open for business.  Sometimes I get so wrapped
> up in what I'm doing that I forget to turn the machine off, so Simon and
> Garfunkel, Arlo Guthrie, Credence, CSNY, John Denver, Pete Seeger, etc. are
> bopping in the background when students come in.  When I do turn the music
> off, students actually come up to my desk and ask me to turn it back on.
> This intrigued me, so I started asking them why and got answers like, "It
> makes it easier to study," or "Sometimes it gets noisy when the tutors are
> helping or people are talking, and the music makes it easier to
> concentrate," or "I can't do my work when it's quiet."
>
> I should also say that our learning center is set up so that there are
> designated "quiet areas" where students who want crypt-like quiet can go to
> work and study.
>
> Ed.
> "Humor is Dramamine for the soul."
>
Ed,

A folk-rock junky, eh?  Sounds good to me.  For a while one of our tutors
was a real "funky blues" fanatic.  This is one of the few music styles I
never acquired a taste for, so I found it very distracting.  HMM.  Maybe
we could have separate areas set up with different types of background
music and see what happens?  Maybe we could do likewise with aroma-therapy
rooms?  A whole new concept in education, perhaps!  Too bad we're stuck in
one room (shades of Dilbert and the Cubicle Police!), 'cause I'd sure love
to experiment!

I grew up in the era when "crypt-like quiet" was believed to be the only
effective way to study.  Since then, I have discovered that I, like some
of my students, do NOT function well in this type of environment.  I like
classical music, folk music, classic rock--but if a "fav" comes on, I
sometimes get so wrapped up in it that I forget that I'm supposed to be
studying!  That, to me, signals that my brain is ready for a break anyhow,
so I go with the flow, sing along (to myself if I'm not at home alone!),
and then get back to cracking the books when the song is over.  So far I'm
still an honor student in spite of working 40 hours per week.

Like the song says, "Different strokes for different folks, and so on and
so on and shoobie-doobie-doobie.  Um-sha-sha!"  (Sorry, got carried away
again!)

Peggy Keller
Lead Learning Assistant for English
Albuquerque Technical Vocational Institute
525 Buena Vista SE
Albuquerque, NM  87106

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"Let a smile be your umbrella, but keep your mouth shut or you'll drown."