Tonight I had a chat with a person called turnip. I tried to do a more
pure vanilla MOL. I think her summary of the chat is very good at the
end and this may be a way of evaluating how much self learning takes
place. Her summary is all the more impressive given that we started out
with a difficulty finding words to express herself.
From: David Goldstein
Subject: 8th MOL example
ICQ Chat Save file
Started on Thu Jan 22 23:03:58 1998
<turnip> hi david
<David> Thanks for considering doing the exercise. Would you like for me to tell you about it?
<turnip> please..and where you are and the purpose etc, etc...
<David> I am in NJ. The exercise is designed to help a person become more aware of thoughts, feelings, etc., which are at the edge of his/her awareness. We can start talking about any topic and subject. I will take the role of guide. My main role is to help you notice background issues. I will not give any advice or make any interpretations. The purpose is to find out if people chosen at random can benefit from this exercise. It works well with my patients and selected volunteers.
<David> OK, shoot.
<turnip> you are a psychiatrist?
<David> No, a psychologist.
<turnip> why the internet?
<David> I just became aware of chat rooms. It occurred to me that it would be great testing grounds. It is hard to obtain a random sample from my practice or
<turnip> i hear ya
<turnip> sorry didnt mean to interrupt
<David> It takes anywhere from 15 minutes to 30 minutes to start and reach a natrual stopping place. Do you have the time?
<turnip> yeah but i have to check the meatballs first but a few more questions
<turnip> are you doing research?if so for what?
<David> Informal research. There is a group of people around the country and world who are interested in what is called Perceptual Control Theory. The exercise which is called the Method of Levels is derived from this theoretical framework. At the end of the exercise, I will ask you for permission to save the buffer so that I can share the conversation with this group. The
<turnip> thats fine
<turnip> how many people have you asked and how many responded yes or nno
<David> So far I have done it with seven people. A few people have said no thank you. I am surprised. After we get going, I think that people see that it is a legitimate thing and that I am not some weirdo.
<turnip> lol you are probably a weirdo anyway
<turnip> let me go for a sec and then im here ok?
<turnip> ok 1 more question tho?
<turnip> of the 7, how many men?
<David> Maybe about three.
<turnip> oh you dont ask gender?
<David> I try not to just select one gender. Sometimes it is hard to tell.
<turnip> i know but you dont ask after you get going?
<turnip> or its not an issue
<David> It is not an issue. It usually becomes apparent during the conversation. It is not relevant to the purpose of the exercise.
<David> Any more questions?
<turnip> nope go ahead
<David> We start by you choosing any topic or subject which you feel comfortable talking about.
<turnip> hmmm thats tough
<turnip> im thinking
<David> We can even start with what is happening right now.
<David> For example, I can ask you what is it like for you to be thinking about choosing a topic or subject for this exercise?
<turnip> ok that i can handle
<turnip> i am having difficulty choosing a topic for 2 reasons
<turnip> 1. i feel like im being put on the spot and i dont function well there and
<turnip> 2, i dont know what topics really interest me
<David> OK. Now I will ask you to tell me more about each of the things you said. Describe what you are experiencing by the phrase "put on the spont." so I will understand your experience.
<turnip> i feel like i am going to give the "wrong" answer to the question of topic. it makes me feel ???/
<turnip> im trying to find the right word
<David> OK. As you are saying this, please be aware of any background issues, such as Im trying to find the right words.
<David> So now I can ask, what is it like to trying to find the right words?
<turnip> frustrating that i cant cuz its right there
<David> You have a sense of what you want to say but can't find the words, is that it?
<turnip> yeah i want to say embarrased but thats not quite it
<David> Is this experience you are having something that is familiar to you or does it only happen once in a while?
<turnip> not being able to find the right word?
<turnip> once in a while
<David> So, it is happening now and it sometimes happens at other times.
<David> And when it happens you feel frustrated and embarassed?
<turnip> frustrated yes, embarrassed was for the initial question...how i felt about not being able to choose a topic
<David> OK, frustrated. I am thinking ...As you step back and look at your frustrated feelings, what thoughts and feelings to you have about that?
<turnip> im not sure that it goes any farther than that
<turnip> frustration stems from inability to find a word that i know is there, and as an intelligent person its just frustrating. doesnt make me feel any other way.
<David> Is the frustration you experience consistent with your image of yourself as an intelligent person?
<turnip> a person can be both
<David> So, sometimes you are frustrated when it comes to expressing your thoughts. How do you usually handle this?
<turnip> the frustration, or trying to get the thought across?
<David> Trying to get the thought across?
<turnip> ask the person/people i am talking to if they get the gist without me being able yo completely express it.
<David> What is it like for you to have to ask people this?
<turnip> i have no problem with that
<David> Have you found other ways of expressing yourself other than words?
<turnip> in general? or what? clarify please\
<David> OK. In general to start with.
<turnip> i have found other ways in my life to express myself yes.
<David> Tell me about them.
<turnip> i write stuff down
<turnip> i am tattooed
<turnip> i dont have any specific talents..musical or such for expression, but
<turnip> those things are a way of expressing who i am
<David> Can you tell me a little more about the writing stuff down
<turnip> i sometimes write down my thoughts and feelings about things, especially if i have had an unpleasant hahahaha
<turnip> encounter with someone.
<David> Hope present company is not included.
<turnip> not at all
<turnip> i was laughing cuz i got stuck again...
<David> The laughing at yourself when you are stuck may point to a background stuff. Any thoughts about this?
<turnip> yeah 2..
<turnip> i can and do laugh at myself often and i was even more aware of my "stupidity" than before
<turnip> that i have a sense of humor and am not afraid to admit mistakes
<David> The laughing at yourself, what do you think it means?
<David> How would you describe your sense of humor?
<turnip> sick and twisted
<David> You do have a sense of humor.
<turnip> i know
<turnip> its important
<David> Has it always been or have you worked hard to develop it?
<turnip> comes natural
<David> What is it like to have a natural sense of humor?
<turnip> its fun, makes the bullshit in life easier to deal with
<David> Does it ever abandon you?
<turnip> never totally abandons me no, but certainly gets put away at times.
<David> Do you put it away or does it go away by itself?
<turnip> do you mean do i have to work at leaving it, or am i appropriate with it?
<David> I mean when it leaves you, do you want it to leave or is it all of a sudden not there like your words sometimes?
<turnip> oh very good!!!!!!
<turnip> i suppose i want it to leave
<turnip> its always there, just not always THERE
<David> Where do you think we are now?
<turnip> in terms of what? the end of this?
<David> I am trying to reconstruct our conversation so far. Can you do it for me?
<turnip> i cant make a decision if i feel pressured at times
<turnip> this causes me frustration
<turnip> i do have other ways of expressing myself, however im not sure they can fix that frustration, or even if they should
<turnip> i have the ability to laugh at myself and certain situations regardless of their severity
<turnip> and thats it
<David> I agree.
<David> I wonder what you thought of the exercise, keeping in mind that it was a one time thing?
<turnip> i think it was useful in helping me know how i feel when i cant do something i know i am able to do
<turnip> you follow?
<David> Yes. I think it was helpful too.
<David> May I save the file buffer to show to other people involved in this project?
<turnip> be my guest
<David> Thanks very much for participating.
<turnip> your welcome, thank you
<turnip> bye for now