I have become very interested in a point that is mentioned in an article by Sherry Turkle entitled: “Video Games and Computer Holding Power”. In her piece, Turkle discusses the experience you feel when you are playing a video game and are so into it that you can’t tear yourself away from it and you always want more.  In a side note, Turkle also discussed psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi’s (Mee-high CHICK-sent-me-high-ee) philosophy about a sensation he has dubbed to be FLOW.

This is what I understand flow to comprise of(from the combined perspectives of Turkle and Csíkszentmihályi, as well as what was brought up in class discussion): a unified zen state of action and awareness where what you are doing, thinking, and feeling all come together and you lose track of time because you have become so merged with the activity and inside the thing you are doing that the world just melts away because you are in such a hardcore focus of concentration and happiness.

This can all be related back to education in the wonder of discovering something that would give this feeling of FLOW to students so that they couldn’t wait to get to class and learn and read their books because they were in such a wonderful state of FLOW.  Students would be able to learn faster because they just couldn’t stop themselves from learning because they would be so into it.  Dr. C. dubs this mystery thing that has not yet been discovered as EduCrack.  What WOULD educrack be?  I suppose every student has some aspect of educrack (or at least I would hope that they would), and perhaps it is this educrack that allows students to have a desire in a certain field of study.  I found my educrack when I first started taking art courses.

My Educrack: the traditional black and white photography darkroom.  In high school and in college I have never felt a more intense sensation of FLOW then when I have been in the darkroom.  I would spend hours upon hours totally enveloped in the developing process that I would lose complete sense of all time, I was so happy and obsessed with what I was doing that I didn’t want to tear myself away from it (although part of the reason why I may have been SO happy was because I was getting unintentionally high from the long exposure and up close contact I had with the photography chemicals as I hovered above the trays for hours watching my photos take form in the red safety light ambiance of the darkroom).

Ok, this is probably crossing the out of line boundaries of thought BUT, the feeling of FLOW probably is a reaction of the FLOW induced activity triggering some part of the brain to produce a brain chemical (maybe something endorphinish) which in turn gives the body and brain the sensation of FLOW.  If there were a way to harvest this then maybe it could be made into pills or something that students could take.  I don’t really like this idea though because it seems intrusive and also it seems wrong to me and slightly mind controlling for students to be forced to take some sort of pill.  I guess students will just have to discover the FLOW sensation on their own.

***Ok so this photo kind of goes against what I usually do for my blogs because A.) It was not taken with me cell phone’s camera, and B.) It is not completely recent, I took it while I was still in school in New Hampshire.  Anyway, here is a photo of my beloved EduCRACk DEN aka the advanced darkroom where I spent hours getting my fix from developing my photographs*****


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