Thursday, January 25, 2007

Well, hopefully this has worked. I've switched this blog to invite-only after temporarily, until I can switch it over to a new address. At any rate, Sir Bubby La has not been happy these past few days. This came to a head Monday, along with the tips of two new teeth, which we'd suspected was the issue. I got him the paracetamol the other day and within a few minutes... blessed peace, sunshine smiles and cheerful chattering resumed. Gods bless Harmon Nothrop Morse!

There was a particularly cute moment in when Lala filched a carrot. Steamed carrots are recent additions to La's Favorite Foods. It raw though, so he bit down and was rather offended when it crunched. Still, it looked like a carrot, so he tried again and was rather disgrunted to discover it still crispy. "La, the carrot isn't steamed yet. Give it to me so I can steam it." He held it up but when I took it changed his mind and shrieked. I quickly chopped and put it in the pot. "Bubby, it's not steamed yet remember? Do you want cherios instead?" Lip still trembling, he pointed to the pot and in this low, heartrending, mournful little voice says, "Nuuuuuuuu.... yum yum cawwo yum yuuuu-uuuu-mmmmmm..." that last bit broken by hiccuped sobs. Poor mite.

Am VERY excited about our first show tomorrow! *dances around* I have been bouncing around all week giddy and I can't think of a nicer way to spend Australia Day than a show with my pup, bubba and DH! I've no idea how she'll do since she's dead-center in the middle of the gawky-gangly-lanky-no-coat-and-ears-dancing-around-everywhere stage. She looks positively coltish but I intend to have a lot of fun! I'm really hoping to find a pair of shoes in the resale shops though, I'm dying to get a nice pair of Hush Puppies 'silhouette' style or 'isis', that I can run in anyhow for daily life but I really don't want to go in wearing my kumfs walking shoes with a dress suit!

Starting up Freestyle again on the 2nd of Feb! Can't WAIT! I've missed it so much! Sierra is going into Level 2 this time and Miss Hope will be practicing with the Level 4's. (No, she's not in that level though, this is just for me to socialize her in a setting with other dogs training and doing some Level 1 training since I can't make the Level 1 classes which are on a different day!) I have a ton of Bubby La photos I'll post later tonight hopefully! Still trying to find time to resize them!)

Am currently reading 3 of Alfie Kohn's books. I read the one, Punished By Rewards partially a few years back after it was recommended as interesting on a training list. I started reading it and found it one of those books I got annoyed with and put down every few sentences because I disagreed with how he put this, that or the other. This time I'm determined to finish it as I do feel like I agree with him on a lot of his concepts and precepts, in a round-about way but I find the way he frames it contrary. The first page in and I've got the deep-seated urge of wanting to talk with the man and argue his wording. *sigh* His examples of rewards for example aren't rewards but bribes - this for that, dangled in front of the people - BRIBES by his own wording. A very different thing than a reward! Even the most staunch behaviourist will admit bribes are a poor motivation scheme! Second, when you're dealing with human beings of course things aren't as black and white as a skinner box with rats. Is that honestly a revelation to anyone??? Seriously??? There -are- definitely parallels in learning, some quite close together... heck Stanford University recently proved that African Cichlids (a type of fish commonly kept as pets here) have the ability to use transitive inference which humans achieve at 4-5 years old and the ability to infer through an abstract representation and logically arrive at the correct answer isn't something you'd typically think of when you think fish!) but humans are more complex by far. What we consider rewarding, non-rewarding or punishing can be hugely intricate. In humans, a reward might be the satisfaction of a job well done and a sense of accomplishment - which you might argue isn't one applied externally in the classical sense (but which could be considered so in a non-classical sense in that the teacher/director/manager may have set the environment and student up in such a way as to lead them to it as a natural conclusion and thus they've applied it via the domino method...) it's still a reward and it's only because the internal reward (satisfaction) is interrupted by the external reward (praise, reinforcement, whatever) that it becomes an aversive. IOW it's not a matter of the external reward but a matter of the teacher(director, manager, whomever) not being skilled in observing the correct timing and delivery! And anyone who has spent more than 2 minutes studying behaviourism knows that a reward or aversive is defined by the individual being rewarded/punished - not the one applying it! So if the interruption is aversive because of bad timing (but not because of the external reward itself) then by definition even though the teacher may have intended it to be a reward it is in fact a punishment. *grump grump grump* Slightly apart from this, I’m also feeling really annoyed with seeing it said that you either punish or reward as if one is the direct opposite of the other. Grr! The opposite of reward isn't punishment or vice versa! Anyhow, time for me to log off and go get some groceries so there's something for dinner!

No comments: