Latest Happenings in Dakar

I know I have been remiss in writing.  I’ve had a couple of things to write about, but just haven’t had the chance to sit down and get them out.  Anyhow, Brian and I went out to lunch on Labor Day since JP had school and Fatou was home with Matty.  Even though we went to the mall, how often do you get to eat a fairly cheap lunch with a view of the ocean?

There’s also a bowling alley attached to the mall, and while we did not go bowling, we did have to walk by the bowling alley because that was the only entrance that was open at the time.  Who’d have thought you’d find an Alien statue outside a bowling alley in Dakar, Senegal?

Earlier this month I went to an open house at my son’s school.  My favorite part about the principal’s speech is that several times he cited research (and what research psychologist wouldn’t love that?).  My favorite research that he cited I learned back when I was in graduate school doing research at Bing Nursery School.  The director of the school was my advisor’s wife and the school’s philosophy I think was based on my advisor’s research.  Anyhow, the school was very focused on praising the child’s behavior than some inherent trait. Like if they made a picture, you would praise the child’s color usage, paint strokes, etc. but not say things like “What a great artist you are!”  Well, the principal at my son’s school was asking parents to praise their child’s efforts and not say that they’re “so smart.”  He also gave good explanations as to why this should be (easier for the child to stop trying when they think they’re smart because they don’t want to mess that label up, and it motivates children more to praise their efforts because that’s something they have control over).  So, it was great to see psychology research in action all the way in Dakar, Senegal.


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About Jenny Ellis

I am a Foreign Service spouse learning how to make my way in this different lifestyle. We started our life overseas in March 2011. Before that, I worked at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as a Research Psychologist and then a Management Analyst. To find out more about my life, feel free to read "About" above. :)

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