Getting in Touch With a Unique Study
by Art Goodtimes
Oct 31, 2013 | 1550 views | 0 0 comments | 66 66 recommendations | email to a friend | print
PROJECT TALENT… Eureka! <Gk. I have found [it]> … For years, I tried to discover what happened to this monumental research project that had lost touch with me and I with it. Finally, noodling around the Internet, I found it … Project Talent was intended as the first scientifically planned national inventory of human talents. The study was conceived and led by Dr. John C. Flanagan, the founder of the American Institutes for Research (AIR) and a Harvard-trained psychologist. A national longitudinal study, Project Talent first surveyed 440,000 American high school students in 1960. Originally funded by the United States Office of Education and conducted by the AIR in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh, it began as a survey of the aptitudes and abilities of American youth. According to Wikipedia, high school students in 1,350 schools across the country were administered an extensive and rigorous series of questionnaires that assessed cognitive skills, collected demographic information, and surveyed their personal experiences, extracurricular interests, and goals for the future. At 1, 5, and 11 years after projected high school graduation, participants were asked to complete additional mail questionnaires that focused on their work and personal life. In 2009, the AIR began preparations for additional follow-up studies. Over the past 50 years, researchers have utilized Project Talent data for studies in economics, sociology, psychology, psychometrics, history, health, education, and many other fields. Project Talent’s combination of aptitude, cognitive, social, psychological, and health measures make it a unique data source for life-course studies. The study is also of particular interest as a profile of a generation that came of age at a time of unprecedented cultural, social, and technological change … … As a high school freshman in 1960, I took the three day battery of tests at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Mountain View (CA). I was particularly impressed that – as a Sixth-Latiner (what first year students were called) who went on to graduate in Rhetoric in the Catholic Minor Seminary – journalism, which was the profession that the tests indicated I might be most skilled in pursuing, turned out, indeed, to be my longest lasting of several careers … I’m in the process of retrieving my records, and I look forward to participating in the study’s followups.

TALKING GOURDS … Come join us for the Talking Gourds Poetry Club at Arroyo Telluride at 6 p.m. this first Tuesday in November (Nov. 5) and hear our visiting guest poet from Superior, Colorado, Uche Ogbuji … Born in Calabar, Nigeria, Uche has lived in Egypt, England and other places, but never anywhere longer than three years, until he came to Colorado. Here he was instantly smitten by the mountain landscape and cultural flavor, and he has now settled near Boulder with his wife and four children. He works as a computer engineer and entrepreneur, but his abiding passion is poetry. His poems, drawing on Igbo culture, Western classicism and hip-hop style, are widely published, including in Soundzine, Lucid Rhythms, The Flea, Mountain Gazette, Victorian Violet and Scree. He’s on-line poetry editor at “Kin Poetry Journal” and “The Nervous Breakdown.” He blogs at Copia and micro-blogs on Twitter. In his spare time he snowboards, coaches and plays soccer, trains in American Kenpo, reads and writes a great deal.

WALDORF SAMHAIN … Janet Gelman and John Putnam hosted a lovely, kid friendly Halloween enchantment in the Ski Ranches last weekend – practicing Rudolph Steiner’s holistic blend of mental/social/spiritual educational epistemology (i.e., drawing out the wisdom of the magical child by affording children the opportunities to experience and learn). Instead of celebrating Halloween by frightening the little ones with a night out of time, devoted to trickery, this gathering of parents and friends treated youngsters to a forest walk -- a clutch of us posted at various stations along the path in the guise of angels, earth goddesses, wizards and faeries. Singing, telling stories, giving away stones blazoned with paper hearts … Make no mistake, I love All Hallows’ Eve. Who doesn’t get a kick out of big league pretending? But Jean Piaget’s biological model of intellectual development suggests kids two to seven are not usually so conditioned by their social milieu as to not be able to imagine almost anything. And so Steiner would suggest: magic first, fear with age … I got to recite Hopkins’ The Windhover to starry-eyed kiddos all costumed-up on a candle-lit trail in the Fox Farm spruce-fir. Great fun.

MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY … Help out families with children who have special needs, by bailing me out of Brown Dog jail this Wednesday, Nov. 6, at noon … It’s a clever way to raise money for a good cause … If you can help us out with a donation, call me at 970/729-0220 and I can give you the particulars … Thank you!

“PULL OUT HIS EYES … Apologize,” says James Joyce in Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. I wanted to pull mine when I read last week’s UBC headline, with its glaring error (Tuesday instead of Monday the 28th)… As it was, the Courtney White talk was star-crossed. He decided to cancel with a storm coming, a rental car without snow tires and a new deadline for getting back to New Mexico … I was bummed, as I think (in spite of my misinfo) that a lot of people were interested in the Carbon Ranch concept and were curious to hear him talk about the new agrarianism and the radical center … But he promised to come back. And maybe next time, if I fuss over it in my column, I’ll get the date right.

THE TALKING GOURD

Pre-Storm Blow,

Almost Halloween

A long smudge of clouds

Winslow Homer gray

stream past Lone Cone

backlit a la Bierstadt

with tufts of golden cumulus

against a windy blue dusk

Here at Cloud Acre

everything’s wild

creaking & groaning

A makeshift tarp flaps

The elms shed their shapes

in an ambush of leaves

The willows tap dance

& even the stars are

a frenzy of dark energy

Out in Snyder’s pasture

a sage green Warhol half-ton

hay truck, going nowhere
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