Michelle's Map

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Michelle's Map by Mind Map: Michelle's Map

1. My baby pics!

2. Adolescence

2.1. Physical: few times in life are defined so much by physical changes. Adolescence is marked by a huge growth spurt and the sexual maturation of the body. This means different things depending on a persons gender. As a girl I experienced an early growth spurt and then quickly reached full height. Around age ten I grew to about 5'2 it seemed to happen overnight, as did many of the changes that occurred during puberty. I was terrified. I was losing what had been a slim petite figure, experiencing hair growth. Although the age puberty started for me was average, most of the girls I knew as I entered middle school were still very short and seemed to remain slim. Like many girls who experience early growth I recieved unwanted attention. Not from the opposite sex necessarily but from classmates who noticed how tall I suddenly was. There was a plus to my rapid growth. I began to look into nutrition, at first I was hoping to lose weight, but as my investigation into healthy eating progressed it sparked a passion for food, and a passion for using food to nourish the body. It came to my attention later in adolescence that many of my friends(and many adolescence around the country) suffered from inadequate nutrition.

2.2. Social: Like many adolescents I deeply embroiled in the question "who am I?". This question is defined by a myriad of factors. Who are my friends? Who is my family? How well do we all get along? Am I in an intimate relationship? How well am I doing in school? Does school matter to me? Do I like myself? Do others? I had good friends although, I loved my family and they are wonderful, I was and am in a relationship. I did well in high school and was definitely college bound, as were all my friends. The last two questions were hard to answer and to this day I have trouble answering them in a positive way. Socio-economic status bolstered my self-esteem a little, as did my close extended family; however, my gender and appearance played a huge role in making me feel inadequate. I felt pressure as a girl to be thin, but in my transition from middle childhood I gained weight, and grew much taller than my classmates. I dieted and attempted to make myself as small and unnoticeable as possible. This is an on-going battle in the lives of many women, and my struggle with these feelings helped my to find my identity(since this period is know to Piaget as the identity v. identity confusion stage).

2.3. Cognitive: As children grow into adolescence they begin to exhibit metacognition. This is the ability to think about thinking. This can be used to improve study skills, and many school related skills improve during adolescence. More and more teenagers are able to use operational thinking and logic to process the world around them. Adolescent thinking also undergoes a change that my mother called the 'what if' stage. Teenagers can reason about the future. I was able to reason and plan for future events much more accurately but this also lead me to think critically about what could go wrong in the future. I also experienced what is called the 'imaginary audience'. Like many adolescents I thought that my peers where waiting for some awful social faux-pas to be committed on my part. Along with the turmoil that comes with the growth of teenage mind, there is a silver lining. As opertational thinking abilities grow so does reasoning. I recall sitting in an AP government class and eloquently being able to state a valid argument. This is a triumph of adolescent thought development.

3. Prenatal

3.1. Physical: After conception cells divide and the cells develop. There are three stages of development in the womb. Germinal, Embryonic and Fetal. In the fetal stage the little conglomerate of cells begins to take the shape of a person. Fetuses organs become more complex and the fetus begins to move anout. I can give little account of my mothers pregnancy since I am adopted, so I will simply focus on how the fetus develops

3.2. Cognitive: The brain develops along wit the other growing organs of the fetus. Hemispheres for and myelin begins to coat neurons, this will aid in speedy transmission of electrical signals in the brain. Fetuses can hear, sleep, and can recognize sounds that they heard while in the womb.

3.3. Social: During the 8th and 24th weeks of development an important physical change is occurring: the differentiation of male and female characteristics. This physical change will affect socialization for the rest of development.

4. Preschool!

4.1. Physical: Running, jumping and growing stronger! These fun and exciting physical milestones! But the fun of these milestones is often juxtaposed with worries about good nutrition and illness. As a child I was a 'good eater', which meant I wasn't picky and I more often than not finished my plate. The problem was not getting me to eat a diversified diet; the issue for me was getting me not to eat. Specifically strawberries, as a child I had a terrible allergy to them! I grew out of this allergy but this is an example of the many nutritional problems that parents and children my face in this exciting time of growth. Illness such as chicken pox and ear aches are also hallmarks of young childhood. Although many of the children in my neighborhood, and extended family had chicken pox, I never caught it. This became worrisome to my parents who feared I might catch a more severe case later in life, but thanks to modern vaccines this is not a worry.

4.2. Cognitive: As the body grows larger and more efficient so does the brain. Myelin continues to coat the neurons, speeding up brain communication. The brain also lateralizes, and certain functions become associated with a specific hemisphere. Children begin to have what Piaget called preoperational thought. Children learn that words and symbols have meanings beyond the obvious. Along with preoperational thinking children experience centration. This causes kids to focus on one aspect of something like size. I remember thinking that if i could push my least favorite foods into a 'small' pile on the plate, my parents would think I ate most of the food. Children also deal with their ability to remember events during this stage. Children's memories are not always reliable because they can be influenced by what adults and other children tell them. As children age this becomes less of a problem, and children can plan and think about the past and future more clearly.

4.3. Social: Children begin to develop a sense of self and others during this stage. Many children go to preschool and play cooperatively with other children. A sense of self includes many aspects of personality such as individual skills like being good at art or climbing trees. Identity also includes gender and race. Children at this stage have strict gender ideas, I remember as a child I was one of the few girls in my neighborhood and although I liked to play with the boys outside of preschool, when I went preschool I recall being self-conscience. The other girls would often avoid playing with boys and so I did too. My mother recalls how friends of the family would often gift Barbies and baby dolls to me, but I usually didn't like to play with them and they 'somehow' ended up in the dog's chew toy basket. Development of identity at this stage is very important but it is also important to allow children to develop identity with few gender stereotypes.

5. Early/Emerging Adulthood

5.1. Physical: With the tumultuous growth of adolescence over many adults settle into a career or school. Physical maturation has finished and the body and brain work more efficiently together thanks to increased pruning and myelination. Young adults are usually active and less likely to get sick. However nutrition and physical activity become increasingly important. More than a third of adults are obese and many Americans do not get enough physical activity. This(along with choices such as unprotected sex and excessive drug and alcohol use) can cause the body to age before its time. Hopefully when I truly get settled into adulthood I can continue the good habits I have developed. My field of study causes me to be very aware of the food I eat, and eating well has never been and issue; I only hope I can stay active. Physical activity not only staves off weight gain, but also being active can reduce some of the stress that comes with the exciting time of life!

5.2. Social: Piaget called this stage of development intimacy v. isolation. And the earliest years of this stage(called emerging adulthood) are used for sorting out relationships and practicing life skills that will be important for the rest of a person's life. In this stage young adults focus on forming long term relationships with friends and potential partners. We look for friends with whom we can share goals and dreams, and friendship's which last often have a level of intimacy; this intimacy allows for closeness and trust. In partners we look for intimacy, passion, and commitment. Although two people may function in a relationship with only two or even just one, I hope to experience all three. My current partner and I have proceeded cautiously when it comes to discussing future plans but for three years we have been good friends and a happy couple. It would be nice eventually settle down together. Settling down can mean many things. It can mean cohabitation for some(my aunt and uncle have been cohabitating for 20 years), civil unions, or marriage. Marriage is the likely choice for myself because it offers many legal benefits, and my parents want me to get married instead of just cohabitating. After I get married I plan not to have children, it is likely that it would be very hard to provide for children in this economy and my aging parents will likely need care.

5.3. Cognitive: Those early psychologists who studied life span thought that cognitive development ceased as people entered adulthood. However, many psychologists now believe that during this time adults exhibit postformal thought. Strict logic gives way to experience and decisions based on previous life choices. The dualistic thinking of younger years gives way to an entire rainbow of grey area, and this is important in many aspects of adult life; things are rarely just right or wrong, black or white. College is a great place for young adults to practice and expand postformal thought. College requires experiencing what works and what does not work in the balance of academic and social life. College students also face class settings that require them to integrate and discuss important ideas and issues with people whose beliefs differ vastly from theirs. In college experience this has held true and college has been a wonderful place to gain the crystallized intelligence that comes from experience and study, This also leads to practical intelligence which will be crucial in my career path, and my furture family relationships. This type of intelligence requires social experience and observation.

6. Middle Childhood

6.1. Physical: Running, jumping, swinging! Children's bodies grow and become stronger as they enter school and play there and at home. I was shorter than most of my classmates during my elementary school days, but I wasn't the shortest, and the range in height was amusing for the teachers and the kids, and we often as to line up shortest to tallest. Children need adequate nutrition to support their growing bodies no matter how tall or short they are. Parents and caregivers must be cautious of children overeating. Childhood obesity is a growing concern in the U.S. This is due to many factors, but can be linked to poor nutrition and lack of exercise. The solution is to educate parents and schools on providing healthy foods, and I think it's very important to keep recess! This provides kids with much need exercise. Recess is also a great way for kids to practice their new fine motor skills! They can now climb balance and jump with ease and precision.

6.2. Social: Children's view of many things is changing ! This includes their perceptions of themselves and others. Children learn to face challenges and work with peers. Facing these challenges can have a lasting effect on self esteem in later life. Working through life's challenges is not the only way children grow druring this time. Children begin to deepen their understanding of 'self'.Children start to define themselves not only by their own strengths and weaknesses but also by how they believe others perceive them. At stage a gap begins to occur. A noticeable gap occurs in the self esteem and moral reasoning of boys and girls. Girls learn that their morality is based on self sacrifice and they begin to compare themselves very harshly to their peers causing a gap in self esteem. As a child I remember the closer I came to adolescence the less happy I was with myself. While the other girls my age were still short and thin, I began to gain weight and height. I also felt inferior and school and was nervous about speaking in class.

6.3. Cognitive: Reading, writing, and arithmetic. The three Rs of school. Much of a child's day at this stage of life revolves around learning and practicing cognitive skills that are blossoming. The information process approach indeciates that as children's memories increase they are able to 'encode' more difficult concepts, and more quickly. At the begining of school teachers would have us learn songs about our multiplication tables but as we entered higher grades these math problems became increasingly easy. Children also learn to read, write and speak more effectively during this stage. I remember entering school with(what my teachers told me) was an excellent grasp of language and words; however, my parents and teachers discovered that reading was not something I grasped as easily, This was hard, I could articulately answer questions, but often dreaded reading out loud because I stumbled over many of the words. Eventually this passed, The teachers were very helpful and looking back it is obvious I was not the only child who struggled with this.

7. Middle Adulthood

7.1. Cognitive: Senility, inability to learn new things, basic absent mindedness. Are these really the hallmarks of aging? As a person ages do they really lose some intelligence? Well the answer is both yes and no! Yes, it is more difficult to absorb new information, and use fluid intelligence, but because of the vast amount of expertise in so many areas, a person's crystallized intelligence more than makes up for the lack of fluid intelligence. My significant other often jokes that when we're old I won't be able to remember when he messes up or gets on my nerves, but maybe I'll have become an expert and can use selective optimization to make up for my lack of memory if I really concentrate on keeping a close eye on his shenanigans :)

7.2. Social: An important part of social life is personality. How we act may influence the type of people we choose to be around. This is true in middle adulthood. Changes such as raising a family, success or failure in a career, empty nests, and physical changes can all influence one's personality, but some traits remain remarkably similar throughout a one's life. I hope to maintain my level of happiness and my free spirit well into late adulthood. These traits will likely affect my view on many of middle adulthood's challenges. I hopefully will not be facing empty nest syndrome since I am not planning to have children, but I will likely be facing challenges in caring for my aging parents, or my spouse's. I have already experienced this a little in aiding my aging grandmother around her house and nursing her while she is sick(88 and still doing her thing!). Along with the added work of caring for parents there is actual work. Middle adulthood is a time to feel comfortable in work and therefore taking more time for leisure. However, this is also a time when burnout can occur. I hopefully I'll feel satisfied with my job and be on the way to retiring

7.3. Physical: Menopause, reduced reaction time, and the increased potential for weight gain! These are the many physical changes are seen as inevitable and are often dreaded. However, these changes can be offset by staying in shape, and understanding the bodies capabilities. Along with being able to offset the dreaded signs of aging, it is also important to understand that the deterioration of age is not as severe as most people believe. Reaction time in regards to certain situations slows, but experience brings quicker reaction time to activities such as driving or riding a bike. Although middle age is not the rapid loss of capabilities it is still very important to stay in shape and maintain a healthy lifestyle. At this point eating a high caloric and high fat diet can cause weight gain and an increase in LDL cholesterol that was not as severe in earlier life. I hope to maintain my health by exercising more and continue to eat right. I also hope enjoy the benefits of post menopause, and stay close to my partner. At this time many adults remain sexually active with the leisure of an empty nest and the eliminated worry of pregnancy.

8. Late Adulthood

8.1. Physical: As we age we experience many new challenges and experiences. Retirement brings an even greater opportunity to engage in hobbies and activities, but these experiences must be done with a little bit of care because of the deterioration of the body. Though I hope to be active and stay young old( a term for healthy active, but aged individuals) for a long time I will, like many others, experience the loss of reaction time, some mental functions, and my senses, but this is not the end. I hope to stave off memory loss and dementia by keeping myself minimally stressed, healthy and active. Hopefully I can use my career back ground to maintain good nutrition in my golden years. Along with maintaining my health I hope to maintain physical relations with my partner. There are many reasons that scientists think we age, and by researching this they are discovering many ways they might be able to eventually delay aging substantially.I hope to do all that I can to stave off the worst parts of aging, and if possible not age at all ;).

8.2. Cognitive: There is a prevalent misconception that as we age we definitely become senile and unable to learn. This is far from true! The brain is highly plastic and can deal with many challenges and learning curves well into late adulthood. While some mental faculties do diminish crystallized intelligence and experiences more than make up for a lack of fluid intelligence. Memory changes with age as does intelligence. Medications hinder memory make it foggy, and normal brain deterioration causes reduced short-term memory, but this does not mean we are destined to forget. The decline of memory is vastly overstated and it is possible to keep our wits about us late in life. My grandmother, at 88, is far better at remembering appointments, grocery lists, birthdays, and phone numbers than my mother or myself! This is because she takes a lot more time to listen attentively, and she keeps active which helps keep her memory strong!

8.3. Social: Kanasta at the senior center and bingo. When I think of socialization in old age this what I imagine. And I am not alone, I am also not correct. Socialization can encompass so much more than stereotypical 'old age activities'. Many older folks stay in touch with family via exciting new activities such as Skype, and can pass on their legacy via stories and advice to children and grandchildren. It is important to maintain a sense of worth in age. This can mean many things. Like previously mentioned it can mean aiding grandchildren or children, it can also mean help in the community and staying in touch with friends. As we age we also begin to review the lengthy journey we've been on. My grandmother looks back and relays stories to me, and I relish the exciting experiences she has had, and I hope to make memories which just as rousing and fulfilling. The activity and conituity theories suggest that while many older adults become more introverted it is important to continue doing what has been fulfilling throughout life. Although in my old age I may want to continue many activities of my younger days I may need help. I hope this help comes first from family, and if necessary I hope to find a community care facility that will still allow for independence.

9. Facing the Great Beyond(Death and Dying)

9.1. Physical: For me, the physical aspects of dying are lack of brain function, coupled with inability to function away from life supporting equipment. I hope that I will maintain my dignity and a little be of control over my place of death and manner of death. I will one day write a living will and in it I will include a wish for a DNR. And I'd like to pass away at home surrounded by friends and family.

9.2. Social: I have experienced the grieving process and a death leaves and impact on an entire community. As I prepare to start my life as an adult I have to consider the eventual death of my family, friends, spouse and myself. This event is far away, but I hope my legacy will be well remembered and my hope is to leave only good memories with those left behind, like my family and friends who have gone before me.

10. Infancy

10.1. Physical: I was born 7 lbs and 20 inches long! (Absolutely average). My adoptive parents took me home to Idaho from California, and I just grew! I grew a little extra. Babies usually double in weight in the first half year and triple by first birthday. My mom accidentally forgot to water down my formula and I put on a lot of weight before she realized, hence the chubby cheeks. During this sensitive period of brain growth my parents provided my grown mind with plenty of stimulation! Mom read to me, and both parents loved to talk to me. My body also developed rapidly but very normally. I walked around 10 months; however, I did not crawl. One of the videos mentioned that in some cultures babies roll prior to walking, although this isn't typical for American babies, this was my preferred mode of transportation prior to walking. Like all infants my sense of touch was how I processed my world! My mother had to be very careful since I was indiscriminate about what I put in there and almost choked on crackers and dog biscuits.

10.2. Cognitive: Both physical and cognitive development are closely linked all throughout life but especially in infancy and childhood. As the brain grows neurons begin to be surrounded by myelin, this insulation will help speed up the transmitting of messages. During this time synapses are forming and being pruned in order to make brain function more efficient. Infants learn about their world by acting. They act out expariments such as dropping toys, or in my case throwing my food up into the air and watching it land everywhere. Along with developing motor skills and exploring their world infants begin to talk and use words! I began speaking at a little less than a year; I said simple words like 'ball' and 'mama', but my mother remembers it was not too long after that, I began to use whole sentences! I apparently didn't always know what the words meant( I mostly just mimicked sentences I heard my parents use).

10.3. Social: As the brain and body develop so do basic social skills. Emotions such as anger, happiness, and disgust are shown early in an infants life. Babies also smile very early and at almost anything. As infants grow they become more wary of the world around them and become more discriminate in their emotions. Infants also begin to understand that not everyone is someone they know, and otherwise calm babies may become distressed at the sight of a stranger. As a baby I am told I had relativly little stranger anxiety. People could walk right up to me in the store and hold me without much protest. Despite being calm around strangers I experienced a lot of separation anxiety, which continued long after the 14 months it usually does. But patience on my parents part helped me overcome this.