Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thanksgiving break!!!

Well, I am officially on Thanksgiving break! I have loads of homework to do before the break is over, but I thought I'd take today off (being a Saturday and all), especially since I had to take two exams on thursday and one on friday and my brain is a little tired.

Well, in my nutrition class we are just learning about food safety. There's a lot I could say, but it isn't the most exciting use of blogspace. However, if you have any questions I'd love to answer the ones that I can (having taken a similar course three times before now).

The main things I would recommend are:


Every home (especially those with the elderly, young children, or pregnant women since they are the more at risk for getting illnesses from food) should own a simple dial thermometer and use it correctly.


If you enjoy eating cookie dough or cake/brownie batter (especially for those at risk as mentioned above) buy pasturized eggs. These could be used for home made egg nog as well! :) Tis the Season!

Dates on foods ("best if used by" or "best when opened by") are completely ambiguous when the food item is opened (depending on what it is) somewhat prior to those dates; remember that freezers do not kill bacteria, let alone a fridge. So, you count from when you open the item, not from what the date says (unless, of course, the date has passed).

Okay, enough of that....

In my Principles of Learning class we have learned all about reinforcement and how amazing it is in teaching.

Well, we started with chicks. The chicks took a lot of patience! However, once you got a hang of them it wasn't as hard to have the patience.
This is not a picture of my chick, because I forgot to take a picture.

Then we switched to rats. I felt as though I had to learn patience again, but I really didn't. They have more room to roam and so the control is harder to gain. However, once again, you really do get the hang of it.
These are both pictures of my rat. He's doing lots better now days. I got him trained in the skinner box (with pressing levers) and in the maze over the past week and a half! Big progress! :)

We still have the rats, but are also learning about bigger animals. We were able to learn about training horses. They are hard because of how big they are, but it's still pretty much the same process as with the chicks.

We also had the opportunity to help assist the Psych 111 class while they were training their chicks. This was a rather interesting experience! I didn't feel like I was helping to train chicks, but that I was training the students!

In class we took a couple days to watch this movie:

Disney's The Miracle Worker (2000)

If you haven't seen it, you should rent it! They have so much of what I've been learning in my class in that movie (uses of reinforcement, patience, skinner box and all)!!

Okay, now for my last piece of advice (if that's what you can call all this), is to Enjoy the Process! Whether you're training a chick, a rat, a dog, a horse, or a child, you need to learn patience and then enjoy every minute! If you use reinforcement correctly you will save them a lot of frustration and you a lot of time in the long run.

1 comment:

Hassler Family said...

I am going to rent that movie this weekend. I am so glad you are paying for all of us to get an education! :) Love you!