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Vn91.1 Squirming and Thinking 9/14/77

Miriam had a very bad night last night; she had missed a dose of
medicine and played with kittens. Miriam and I were up much of the
night. Still wheezing badly this morning (she had reached the point
where she could not hold down any orally-administered medicine), she
went with Gretchen to the doctor for a shot of adrenalin.

Robby and I were left alone in a quiet house. While I was attempting
to write in the reading alcove, Robby assembled a puzzle on the
living room floor. He left off the puzzle and lay on the floor, bending
his body back and forth at the pelvis. When I told him that was most
distracting, that he should stop squirming, Robby sat up and said:

Robby

Daddy? You know all that stuff about 3 hundred and 60? [This is
a back reference to our discussions in Logo Sessions 61 and 62
of the effect of reducing an angle by 360 degrees]
Bob

Yeah.
Robby

I understand it now.
Bob

Wow! How did you figure it out?
Robby

Well, you know if you have an angle that’s 3 hundred and 61?
Bob

Yeah.
Robby

And you take away 360?
Bob

Uh huh.
Robby

It’s 1, and that’s like it’s starting all over again.
Bob

That’s really great, Rob. When did you figure that out?
Robby

Now.
Bob

Just now? When you were squirming around there on the floor?
Robby

Yeah. Squirming around helps me think.

Robby returned to his puzzle. Shortly thereafter, Miriam came bounding
into the loft, so full of energy that she pushed me into leaving early
for our Logo session today.

Relevance
This particular incident, though it occurred with Robby and not
with Miriam, highlights what I see as the central methodological
problem in the study of learning: being able to observe the
manifestation of a centrally-determined mental process, being there
when it happens.

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