Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Day 7: Psychology Project I've Already Done

     So this term I am taking an Intro to Psych course and we got our next project the other day, and our teacher had us spitball ideas for what we could possibly do with this assignment. One idea a guy came up with since it was Halloween on Monday/the day we got this project, was to go trick-or-treating on Tuesday, the day after Halloween. This probably sounds like a very odd project for everyone who has no clue what this project is about, so before I go into any more detail I will tell you about this assignment.
     This project is based on social psychology or the scientific study of how we think about, influence, and relate to one another. For this assignment we are supposed to violate a "social norm" such as dressing up in unusual clothes, acting like an animal, talking to yourself in the elevator, etc. (These are some of the ideas listed on the paper.) On the back of this paper is a list of even better ideas entitled, "30 Fun Things to Do in an Elevator" that I would love to do if I had the courage for, but will need to do no matter what if I want the grade for this. Some of the things listed on this are:
  • Blow your nose and offer to show the contents of your tissue to other passengers
  • Grimace painfully while smacking your forehead and muttering, "Shut up, darn it, all of you just shut UP!"
  • Crack open your briefcase or purse and while peering inside ask, "Go enough air in there?"
  • Offer name tags to everyone getting on the elevator. Wear yours upside down, (You can probably tell that this will confuse some people, wondering what to do which is how this relates to social psychology.)
  • Listen to the elevator walls with a stethoscope
  • Announce in a demonic voice, "I must find a more suitable host body."
     And this is only one-fifth of the ideas on this paper we received!

     Now to the reason I started writing this post, which was to tell a story very near and dear to my heart. ;)

     In about 2010 or 2011, my cousins moved to Idaho. I went up with my grandma to visit them and see their new house for the first time--my parents and two younger siblings were going to join us that weekend, but I had three or four days just with my cousins. Something else you should probably know about them: they are all boys (my cousins in this particular family that is).
     It was the Fourth of July and we were bored. And of course, when a group of people (not to be sexist, but specifically guys in this case) get bored, what do they do? They find something stupid to do. And when I am with my cousins, I act like one of them. So as a review: hot summer day, it's the Fourth of July, and we are bored.
     One of their (very, very) few neighbors, Keesha (hope I remembered that right) was over at the house that day as well, so I was not the only girl. My cousins lived in a small town called Dingle which is the one road town you drive through from Montpelier, Idaho to the Bear Lake North Shore. There are not very many people in that town!
     Our most brilliant plan was to go trick-or-treating for the Fourth of July (because who wouldn't think of that?!). So we went to the first house, that of one of the older ladies in their ward, and told her of our idea. She told us good luck and that she (sadly) didn't have any candy to give to us.
     So onward we went, riding bikes and switching every once in awhile since Keesha's bike really sucked. After every house it was a race to see who could get back to the bikes the fastest so they didn't get stuck with the bad bike (which I thankfully only had to ride two or three times--but also when we were making the longest journeys). We went to about three or four houses, knocking and saying, "Trick or Treat!" at the doors and then explaining our plight to whoever opened the door to us. As you can probably guess, not many people were willing to just hand out candy to strange children (even though it was more socially acceptable to go to stranger's houses in Idaho than it is in Utah).
   
     Now we were faced with a dilemma. With a so far unsuccessful mid-afternoon, we rode our bikes to my cousins' grandparents house and my cousin, Cannon, came up with quite the idea. "We need a song or something--something people will be willing to give us candy for--a 'trick.'" So there we sat, Keesha, Cannon, me, and one of Cannon's three younger brothers, Logan (the other two decided to stay home--boy did they miss out), plotting. We decided to write a (fairly rough) parody to "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." How we came to this, I have no idea. Cannon grabbed an orange piece of paper and I think a crayon for writing and the song started out fairly simply; the first line wasn't hard to come up with:

"Will you give us candy please?"
Then we needed something that rhymed with "please." Plus a reason they should be handing us candy. 
"If you don't then we will--" (what rhymes with please?) "--sneeze."
This is quite the original song. I doubt you've ever heard (or read) anything quite like it!
What should we write next? Umm... Well, what do we want?
 "It can be any kind, 
We really, really do not mind"
So what are some things that sound good right now?
"Oreo's and gummy bears--" (what rhymes with bears?)
As sugar deprived as we were, we could not think of anything that rhymed with "bear" and would fit into our song. So someone suggested we forget rhyming and use that as a reason to emphasize the point that we needed candy in some shape or form:
"Just thinking about them makes us lose the ability to rhyme"
We said this part fairly quickly, not really with any tune. Then we just repeated our first reason we should be given candy:
"Will you give us candy please?
If you don't then we will sneeze."

     After we wrote this song, how successful do you think we were? Let me just say--we got candy from every house we visited from that point forward. Until we went back to the first house to show the older lady the song we came up with, even though we knew she didn't have candy still. When we finished, her reply was, "Well, then I guess you're just gonna have to start sneezing!" So we all laughed and then pretended to sneeze as we walked out of her house and back to where my cousins lived.
     The most memorable part of this day, besides being our Halloween on the Fourth and having a special song, and visiting the older lady down the road, would be one specific house we visited. It was an older man that looked like a biker: gray hair, a goatee, bandanna around his head, and gray tank top. After singing our song, he invited us into his house. We walked to the kitchen where he said he had something special for us because he liked our song so much (don't worry--it's nothing bad or scary). We stood around the island in his kitchen and he pulled one of those big, Costco sized Nestle Toll House semi-sweet chocolate chip bags. My cousin Logan piped up saying, "Well thanks, I'll just take the whole bag!"
     I don't think he was expecting the response he received. The man looked at him and said, "If you're gonna say something like that, then you don't get any!" and proceeded to pour a handful's worth of chocolate chips into the rest of our palms.

     So how does this relate to my project? Besides being one of the most memorable and fun days I have had in my life, we have been told to do something deviant, or something not considered a "social norm" and I think that trick-or-treating for the Fourth of July. Even if there were parts that weren't as enjoyable, it was an amazing day.

What do you think of this story?

I think this is a well-timed post since my cousin mentioned above, Cannon, left for the Mexico City, Mexico MTC yesterday to prepare for a full-time LDS mission in Asunción, Paraguay. (Good luck!)