Sunday, June 18, 2023

The Proof is in the Pudding

Carefully designed Cognitive Behavior Modification (CBM) (Meichenbaum, 1995,1977) techniques and strategies that included self-verbalization, mnemonic organization, modeling, and study skills still fell short of desired academic and career improvement, because some important foundation components were missing.

Many theoreticians, although looking at all the ramifications of the problem, were not focusing on an important issue; poor information processing capability, with deficient cognitive functions (J. P. Guilford,1967; Intelligence Theory, containing a 3-D Model of 128 various mental cubes).

Subsequently, we are each born with our own unique profile of underlying, high to low, information processing areas (Meeker, M. 1999; Gilford’s student), and distributed parallel processing, feedback loops (Erland, J. 1986, 1989), (Rumelhart and McClelland, 1986), which can dictate our daily endeavors.

Yet, alternative cognitve, intelligence theories address, and interface with 8 types of  experiential, personal, talent capabilities (Gardner, H. 2006). 

Unfortunately, many of us are not familiar with earlier, established scientific findings, and how they personally affect each one of us.

Severe deficiencies within multiple cognitive functions, may be termed learning disabilities, Dyslexia, or simply, under-functioning.

Weaker cognitive areas do not disappear with maturation or the passing of time, unless with an intervention.

Cognitive deficits may include inadequate visual and auditory sequential memory capability that ultimately interferes with the integration of information.

The information processing dilemma may be misdiagnosed and blamed on a poor attitude, lack of motivation, or Long-Term, latent Covid effects.

Many now suffer from memory fog created from lasting Covid. Subsequently, the inherent strong and weak cognitive areas may also be adversely affected.

Individuals possessing several of these problems, may develop some compensatory and coping skills.

Furthermore, cognitive and memory deficits carry within them a high degree of stress that can result in underachievement, or even chronic situational depression.

We may be told to try harder, or to seek help with counselors, or mental health and medical professionals. Sketchy prognoses can be made, pills prescribed, creating an unfortunate situation.

Subsequently, as disillusioned individuals, we do not achieve our maximum potential.

We find it difficult to enter the career fields of choice, or be able to compete and advance in our chosen fields.

Braced with indecision, we become embarrassed, or too proud, to consider we could be performing at much higher output levels.  

Let alone, be trained by rotating, cubistic faces.

Case in point: It was difficult for me to realize my own short-comings, as I had struggled since birth, compensating. I felt lagging, or “behind,” fast- paced classmates.

The puzzeling part was that I read like lightning, and was sent to upper grades for reading classes. I read classic literature by age 10.

In teaching my program, it was quite accidental that a personal, new revelation was realized. When studying memory and cognition theories, I understood that unfortunate hidden, gaps were within my own information processing system.

Technically, it was easy to identify my visual and auditory closure issues. What I saw and heard short-circuited, or was incomplete. 

Then, this deficit led to visual and auditory sequencing memory, not functioning optimally, as required for procedural learning.

Finally, a cascade of shortfalls creates poor memory integration needed for conceptualization.

Fortunately, and unexpectedly, I soon recognized increasing sharpness with my own verbal and written communications. I had gradually gained auditory and visual memory closure and transfer.

And, with great relief.

My original intention of applying a procedural system was to accelerate my own three children, plus strengthen my husband’s information processing capability, following a series of heart operations.

As I had worked for, the family all wound up excelling in their chosen, fields of endeavor. My spouse could now embark on a new career path.

Coincidingly, I internally followed my own internal mental progress, but self-help was not my intent.  

My daily puppetry, memory-span-drill workouts are now hinged with physical activity to create a whole-brain wellness regimen; without pills.

It is unusual that one affected with many cognitive shortcomings, would arrive with a solution. 

Nevertheless, I did through internal monitoring.

My only regret is that I did not have this surprising, sharpness benefit earlier, during my younger schooling days.



Erland, J  K. ( February c 1986, 1989).  Contrapuntal Thinking and Definition of Sweeping Thoughts.  Lawrence, KS

Erland, J .  K. (1995).  Cognitive skills training improves listening and visual memory for academic and career success.  in ERIC Clearinghouse, Journal of Accelerative Learning and Teaching, 20, (1 & 2) 87-101.

Gardner, H. (2006).  Multiple Intelligences:  New horizons, the development and education of the mind.  New York:  Basic Books.

Guilford, J. P.  (1967). The nature of human intelligenceNew York: McGraw Hill.

Guilford, J. P. (1984).  An odyssey of the SOI model: An autobiography of Dr. J. P. GuilfordTokyoJapan Head Office International Society For Intelligence Education.

Hessler, G.  (1982).  Use and interpretation of the Woodcock-Johnson psycho-educational battery.  Hingham, MA:  Teaching Resources.

Kess, J. F.  (1992).  Psycholinguistics:  Psychology, linguistics and the study of natural language.  Philadelphia:  J. Benjamin’s Publishing Co.

Meeker, M. N.  (1999) Structure of Intellect Systems. Teacher Training.  Vida, OR:  Structure of Intellect: Based on J. P. Guilford’s work.

Meichenbaum, D. (1991, 1977).  Cognitive behavior modification:  An integrative approach.  New York:  Plenum Press.

Mahoney, M., & Michenbaum, Donald. (1995). Cognitive and constructive psychotherapies : Theory, research, and practice. New York : Washington, DC: Springer ; American Psychological Association.

Rumelhart, D. E., McClelland, J. and the PDP Research Group.  (1986).  Parallel distributed processing:  Explorations in the micro structure of cognition.  Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.


Sunday, June 4, 2023

Creating a Video-Sound Stage

 "The Best Conditions Became Evident at the Right Moment"


My previous blogs offered my personal stories to encourage the application of creativity,  as I did successfully that results in enthusiastic, engaged learners.

 I have earlier related “How to Follow Oral Directions” was my masters 1980 experimental project. Puppets were shown to be as effective as peer role models. 

Then, obtaining unusual outstanding results with my students/clients, solid longitudinal data verification was deemed necessary authentication.

 The historical role model puppets emerged as the data catalyst. 

This outcome revealed any type of action puppet can be noteworthy for instruction to motivate current non-focused, screen-addicted, students having weak listening memory.

 My objective with this immense filming project was to condense, consolidate, and complement my unpublished instructional and training manuals (each lesson, research documented). 

And then, convert earlier filmed lessons, as a live data collecting prototype, to an easy- to- use, high-quality, stand-alone-deliverable product.

 The staging creation process was not easy to formulate, as there were many decisions and time delays locating and installing the needed equipment.

 Fortunately, I have had a life-long background for understanding staging requirements.

 By age 4, I existed on a home stage in our living room.  My earliest fond memories were those of acting in front of a home movie camera in bright lights. 

Now, everyone is in front of a cell-phone lens, taking multitudes of self-absorbed “selfies” every few hours.

Yet for me, it was not a spontaneous, reactive occurrence, because it was then 1941, and 8 mm silent movie cameras were rare, new, products, available only for the invested person. 

But, we became one, using Kodacolor movie film. Family members were often the subject matter in the home stage environment.

 This action involvement progressed eventually to my early 1960 teaching with classroom stage productions. 

The family 1970s puppet show staging followed naturally with lighting instruction offered by the University of Kansas theatrical department where I was enrolled.

           With 5- generations of filmwork development completed over decades of technical, upgrade hurdles, and finding that commercial film companies were not a realistic pursuit; the home stage studio became a work-in- process, trial endeavor.

 Now, let’s fast- forward to 2017. My grand-daughter was enrolled in film studies at Cal Arts and offered lighting and staging input to complement mine. 

A freshly engaged, novice, photographer and sound editor, put the studio production into slow, steady, forward gear, as there were many sound and lighting considerations.

 Subsequently, moon-lighting his day job, he could only schedule four hours weekly, as an up- skilling training project (2-3 hours filming, and 1-2 hours editing and producing uploads into Drop Box). Although he had his own rock band, was fond of comic action, he welcomed the opportunity to practice studio photography. 

He soon realized increased dedication to this immense, ongoing, project.

It was a high-risk endeavor, and I never thought we would get beyond the first 3 or 4 lessons. Subsequently, I was agreeable with the initial slow production set-up pace.

 We ordered the necessary lighting equipment and a 5’ camera slider that had serious shipment delays. Finally, the historical stage puppets were in place ready for the necessary action. 

I had become a multi-vocal puppeteer who could readily switch vocals with the required timed pacing. This aspect eliminated the need to hire several puppeteers with additional film production staff. 

And, most importantly, it would be the same photographer, not rotating ones trying to learn the complex choreographed, panning system.


My small filming-sound studio was now soon complete with computers/screens. As if my magic, we gradually finalized over 3 - 6,000 lesson segments through countless takes and retakes. An early-effort, 2 minute segment, had up to 13 retakes of my vocals with constant staging challenges. 

We re-filmed the first eight lessons several times, because the practiced filming and puppetry improvement was noticeable.

In a culture of pill-popping, as an easier solution than mental, action workouts, the re-filmed lessons run from a brief 10- minutes up to 24, averaging 16.  The participant applies resilient, cognitive, whole-brain responses and interaction. 

Workouts give feelings of exhilaration and pleasure

 Artificial Intelligence (AI) can imitate this complex staging with “faces and voices”, but, creating the same warm, comforting, interactive, appeal is questionable.

Hopefully, this article will encourage others to engage with in-depth, meaningful, projects that offer insightful well-being and accomplishment.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

The Stuff Dreams are Made Of

 " Schemes and Dreams of the Chipper Chopping Chums"

My first marketing endeavor was to create and produce my first road show,  a theatrical puppetry company, while I was in graduate school.

It was a puppet show, named “Voco Poco Puppets” to match my extensive teaching experience in theatrical productions. As a family creative, team project, we performed a variety of seasonal shows at shopping centers.

Our ’Voco Poco Puppets’ back-to-school Fall promotionals was publicized as: “The Schemes and Dreams of the Chipper Chopping Chums”. 

The Script: Our featured ventriloquist puppets dreamed of being super stars like Wonder Woman and Superman. They thought they could reach those imaginative roles by dreaming about the fantasy world and that somehow it would become a reality.

And sometimes, dreams do come true.

Subsequently, Madeline and Wayne moved on to the Edutainment world to create better lives for many through instructional games to enhance cognition.

The family wrote and scripted the comedy and songs for each event. An electric piano was purchased for Mark, and as an advanced pianist by age 11, he welcomed a paid professional role performing current "Pop and Rock" pre-shows that attracted large crowds for the puppet dramas.

The shopping center’s marketing agents booked us regularly, as they remarked we were a “darling show.” After a 5- year performance stint, my children grew older, had formed new interests, and I had acquired my special education masters degree, ready to teach.

Progressing from public school teaching to my own company with a film studio, my lighting, and sound stage with a continuing coursework background, was included for the updated Bridge to Achievement film work. 

Interestingly, the featured Butch and Lily puppets had been early 1940s Hollywood figures that appeared as comedy nightclub stage acts in California and New York City. I purchased Lily from the retired performing artist, Lucille Elmore, who had become my vocal coach and mentor.  

She later bestowed Butch as an addition to my ongoing creative instructional film work. She explained that “I don’t want Butch ending up in a stored box”. 

And, indeed he didn't.

View Lily and Butch O'Malley below in Lucille Elmore's 1940's stage acts:

The characters'  vocal cadence have offered over 85 years of cheerful, comforting, reassuring glow to give a viewer a sense of well-being. 

The puppets had transferred themselves from 3-Dimensional stage players to a filmed 5-Dimensional rotating, instructional visual-sound system. These role models became successful tools for cognitive skills training.

Puppets as role models generate research outcomes

Data Outcomes Summary

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

The Long Wait for a Cognitive Skills Film Production Project: Three Podcasts Reveal Surprises

With the finalization of a six-year film production, entailing 6 arduous years of filming- re-filming-editing puppetry training segments, I find myself at the cusp of a completed project. 

The cognitive skills retraining program, created in 1980, has become a reality for consumer, upskilling, and educational corporate licensing.

The re-filming and full compilation (four generations of previous versions) had been an ongoing goal to complete a complex film set of 48 lessons. 

The project lay latent for a number of years in trying to find the right entity who could perform this highly detailed work. 

Finally, it was decided that the only way this could happen was to create a home film studio, where I did not have to transport five ventriloquist puppets and remain on location to perform the vocal work.

I would have to train someone from scratch, as I had a unique rotating sound and visual system with vocal phonological requirements.

By luck, a local sound engineer applied to my on-going advertising search. My high-risk endeavor was planned to obtain a full lesson or two. 

My background began as a classroom teacher, parent of three, special education teacher and specialist, learning scientist researcher, and finally, a data analyst. 

I partnered with five research universities to monitor my experimental research for several years. 

This partnership provided evidenced-based longitudinal findings with  subsequent research awards, which gave me a unique background for creative insights.

This arduous adventure will be related in a series of articles and podcast episodes.

With that being said, I now offer Podcast Season 1, Episodes 1 to 3, with an interview by my daughter, Christina Erland Culver, CEO of EdNexus Advisors, an Educational policy expert. 

My beginnings as a child reveal having a natural curiosity for the profound. This became the root for developing procedural instruction for helping others find hope and self-purpose.

Episode 1

Now, let's review how I began my first class that included Christina as a role model, with home schooling instruction.

Episode 2

An important discussion with Christina explains how and why the various sound repetitions integrate visual and auditory (listening) memory that is so integral in following oral and written directions, the foundation for implementing accurate procedures.

Episode 3

Let's review a Summary of the Data Outcomes

Data Outcomes Summary

My stories will continue in future blogs and podcasts . . . . . .