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The Power of Dissonance

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  • After doing some lit searches I happened upon this editorial by a lecturer I had at university. I thought it would fit nicely here. Does Physiotherapy have a certain future? By David Nicholls. Available in the Sounds of Silence
    Last edited by EricM; 23-09-2007, 04:58 PM.
    Eric Matheson, PT


    • Barrett,

      That is a beautiful quote.


      • Dissonance and Weight

        This morning I carried into the airport three suitcases. The largest weighs 47 pounds and contains my clothing, a projector and a few books. The other I check is 35 pounds, and it’s packed with books and papers, articles, handouts and bits of paper I think I might need. Oh yes, there’s also three juggling balls and two harmonicas. I also have a heavy carry-on. More books.

        All of this I spread out on a table in front of the class and refer to regularly.

        A few weeks ago I traveled a parallel path with one of the other Cross Country instructors. A very nice man teaching some sort of course about “emotional intelligence,” we found ourselves standing and waiting for a hotel shuttle at one point. I was breathing with a little difficulty after hauling my stuff to a remote location. He was standing quietly, serenely; a small gym bag in his hand.

        “Is that all you’ve got?” I wheezed. “Yes,” he said, and made no further comment.

        We do the same job, he and I, but it seems that I find it necessary to carry a whole lot more backup with me. I felt like a defense lawyer whose client is obviously guilty of a horrible crime. Those guys always bring a lot of paper into the courtroom.

        Here’s my latest idea about dissonance. I call it Barrett’s Law of Dissonance and Weight:

        The amount of dissonance offered by any teacher has a linear relationship to the weight of his total baggage when boarding a plane.

        Maybe it would help if I lightened my load.

        I have to wonder as well how much dissonance this man has to offer, and how much teaching of new material he actually has to do.

        I didn't ask him how often he changed his underwear, but I was tempted.

        Maybe next time.
        Barrett L. Dorko


        • It reminds me of the joke they tell about Snowbirds (people who go south for the winter) here.

          When Snowbirds come for the winter they bring $100, their clothes, and underwear and don't change any of them.

          My wife just got offered a job that is going to work out to be about $180K a year. She is very good at her job. A good therapist and a very good manager. We've talked about your course and she has wanted to go and just had scheduling problems, but she is definitely one who is going to face a good deal of dissonance in your class. I'm not sure what is in it for me to let her go.

          I'm reminded of a conversation I had with a friend of mine who is a doctor and a devout Christian who does missionary work in the third world during his vacation time. I am an atheist and he wanted to talk to me about religion. I told him "Think about it from my point of view: we are friends, if you convince me you are correct you have saved my soul, improved my life, given me hope and joy. If I convince you, I've ruined your life and your afterlife too. Where's my motivation?".

          Hmmmm. I meant to tell a story that would cheer you up.


          • Hi Randy,

            I couldn't disagree more. Your story is one sided. In the first instance changing someone's mind is only positive and in the second, the person's life is ruined. Besides that being an inaccurate generalization of changing one's mind about worldviews, it suggest that developing an understanding of the neurophysiology of pain, an appreciation of the ideomotion in us all and the reasonableness of touch as a form of manual care will ruin someone's life.
            Last edited by Jon Newman; 26-09-2007, 01:55 PM.
            "I did a small amount of web-based research, and what I found is disturbing"--Bob Morris


            • Randy,

              I presume that this kind of salary wouldn't translate to your wife actually seeing any patients. I may be wrong.

              In my experience, managers aren't thrilled with my ideas for obvious reasons.
              Barrett L. Dorko


              • Oh. Nevermind. I guess it could.
                "I did a small amount of web-based research, and what I found is disturbing"--Bob Morris


                • ??

                  I figured that Randy was making a bit of a joke....that's all.
                  Maybe I'm wrong?



                  • I find the idea humorous, but not really a joke. I think Barrett has many times pointed out that he has made personal and professional sacrifices to continue talking and believing as he does. They may be worth it, but you can't blame people for weighing them.

                    The job actually is a home health position that would be pure patient treatment. She currently works in an outpatient clinic where she is the only therapist and she sees all the patients. It is a little complicated but the salary is a result of being in the right place at the right time. The area we live in just has a very high demand and a limited supply. She had worked for the company before and everything went great, she left and everything went bad, so now they want her back.

                    Any PT's want to come here? The only recommendation for it is high salaries and a low cost of living and if you like warm, sticky weather it is pretty nice.


                    • Now warm sticky weather is something that might ruin my life.
                      "I did a small amount of web-based research, and what I found is disturbing"--Bob Morris


                      • I like cold and overcast days. Where do you live, anyway, Randy?



                        • The tip of Texas, near Brownsville. A hop, skip and jump from Mexico.


                          • Nari,

                            Brownsville is not for you then. Better look into either mine or Diane's Vancouvers! Although, I don't know of any PT jobs paying 180K around here...whew! Also, you may find the lack of creatures that can kill you in 10 seconds a bit boring. Brownsville would be more up your alley there, (king snakes and fire ants, Randy?). We do have huge slugs.

                            Should start cooling off your way soon.....down to the 90s maybe? Out of curiosity, does your wife's job ever take her across the border?
                            Cory Blickenstaff, PT, OCS

                            Pain Science and Sensibility Podcast
                            Leaps and Bounds Blog
                            My youtube channel


                            • With a salary like that, air conditioning is affordable.
                              Cory, we've got bears here... and cougars.
                              HumanAntiGravitySuit blog
                              Neurotonics PT Teamblog
                              Canadian Physiotherapy Pain Science Division (Archived newsletters, paincasts)
                              Canadian Physiotherapy Association Pain Science Division Facebook page
                              WCPT PhysiotherapyPainNetwork on Facebook
                              Neuroscience and Pain Science for Manual PTs Facebook page

                              SomaSimple on Facebook

                              "Rene Descartes was very very smart, but as it turned out, he was wrong." ~Lorimer Moseley

                              “Comment is free, but the facts are sacred.” ~Charles Prestwich Scott, nephew of founder and editor (1872-1929) of The Guardian , in a 1921 Centenary editorial

                              “If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you, but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." ~Don Marquis

                              "In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists" ~Roland Barth

                              "Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but certainty is a ridiculous one."~Voltaire


                              • Cory

                                The idea of Tromso in northern Norway sounds good to me. So does Churchill in Canada, but as the tundra/ice is melting it would be very barren. I wouldn't miss all our venomous critters; I'd just sidle up to a polar bear before it became extinct....

                                No, I wouldn't appreciate Brownsville at all. No offence, Randy.

                                Barrett, apologies for distracting from the thread.