Picture of students using computers in the library

Sand Shark Kara, leaves the Kara Corner

November 09, 2013

As a USCB student my education is happening continuously-- this is not my awkward college promo commercial and I am far from pulling the wool over your eyes, it is indeed true, and almost hauntingly so... Kara and I have hopped in the car for a road trip: Columbia bound! 

En route Kara and I blasted Dub Step and Black Violin, yet we had no idea that our minds would soon be "blasted"-- by learning and memory. 

(Pictured below: a rare sighting of Kara outside of the Kara Corner, her natural habitat at the University of SC Beaufort!)

Kara leaves Kara Corner

This Fall, I am taking an online psychology course with Dr. Williams called nothing else except: Learning and Memory. Ironically as I write this absent of my books in this Columbia location, my memory fails me in sorts, to most of the appropriate and accurate terminology in the learned and applicable knowledge I hope to unveil to you. However I trust you will recognize, all to well, the fascinating wonders and ailments of our humanity.

After a dance session and arts & crafts in the passenger seat, where I drew a portrait of Kara driving (pictured below), we stopped for gas.

Kara Portrait

As I returned from the restroom facilities Kara approached me with an expression I have not yet seen and learned quickly it was the “Ohh crumb” look. I sort of leaned in trying to decipher this look which is when Kara spoke, “We have a problem” and it was at that moment Kara first saw my “Ohh crumb” look. I unleashed my words slowly and with terror “What--what happened?” Kara replied, “mmmm...probably just about the worst thing that could happen... happened..” In this moment my brain proceeded to play reels of images of the worst road trip horror stories I have heard from friends, then it hit me like a brick, “OH NO! You PUT DIESEL in the CAR?!” Kara gave me another look, equally mysterious as the first one I saw moments before, “What?! No..the keys are locked in the car.” ...”Oh” I replied. We proceeded to go outside and stare at the car from 30 feet away. Once we realized our Jedi mind powers would not work in this context we developed a plan to use the gas station’s phone book and my dinky little cellular to seek aid from AAA. In the course of the two hour wait we learned many things, some of which I would like to share with you now:

  1. Gas stations at truck stops have literally everything you need: showers, an awesome movie bin, bluetooth, junk food, funny t-shirts, and snow globes.
  2. If you stand in a gas station long enough it does not matter what you are wearing people will assume you work there.

After Kara and I considered ourselves official employees at the gas station, based upon three people approaching us with inquiries about the establishment (in which we were clearly "working" at) we decided to take a "lunch break" and walked over to the adjoining McDonald’s. There Kara remarked “I do not understand how I locked the door and left my keys on the seat.” I returned, “Do you always lock your door immediately upon exiting?” Kara replied “Yes... it’s just habit now”. 

 "Hmmmm"

My mind whirled, Kara had experienced some form of operant conditioning. She learned locking the car every time is rewarding because it protects the vehicle she has invested in. Kara also became familiar and comfortable to the idea of her keys always being on her. However acting like a form of tolerance: her normal behavior and the consequences of her normal behavior, may have been altered due to the change of environment. Just as an addict may develop a tolerance to their drug and has chosen to up the dosage to break the tolerance to get their high, a change in their environment combined with that upped dosage (that they think is their newly, always "effective" regiment to a high) can quickly result in an overdose. The body’s perception and inner workings change and adjust differently to different environments in its own forms and efforts to maintain homeostasis. Consequently the drug addict’s body in this case will find the higher dosage as too much to process, in the new setting, and sets it over. In Kara's case there were multiple changes in environment. Despite attending many gas stations in the Beaufort area, Kara was not familiar with a large scale truck-stop gas station, and furthermore had never been to that specific one in Bowman, SC. In addition Kara and I had only hung out on campus prior to this trip and the experience of finally bonding off the school grounds was enthralling to us both. Not to mention the distraction of the awesome road trip we were partaking in and the coming weekend of fun. Perhaps Kara and I's change in environment resulted in altering the processes and results of our normal behavior and in a repercussive fashion there in by the consequences of such changed behavior.

When I discussed this with Kara we were entertained by the fluidity of such outwardly appearing chaos. Charmed by this psychology time flew by-- that is in addition to feasting on McDonald’s and "working" at the gas station.

The kind sir who unlocked the car did it with as much ease as we did locking the keys inside of it. The road trip continued on without diesel in the tank but with enlightened minds. The trip to Columbia and departing the Kara corner of USCB has been an adventureful journey to say the least.

(MEET TAYLOR GLAZIER. Kara and I traveled to Columbia to reunite with my best friend and fellow graduate of South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities: Taylor Glazier. Taylor happens to be a graduate of USC Columbia, with a Bachelor's in Visual Communication, Taylor currently owns August Night Productions, a video production company that specializes in shooting live events, weddings and music videos. Taylor is a brilliant example of what the wonders of some polished learning and memory may do for you!) 

Yours Truly: Learning, Remembering, & Reuniting: Sand Shark from Gamecock Territory,

                                                                                                                                           Erin Dailey 

ps. check out below an  example of the hopeful aforementioned Jedi Mind Powers