Saturday, June 5, 2010

My Guinea Pigs

When we enrolled in preschool the application asked if it was okay for the school to pass our contact information on to the Ohio State University for possible participation in studies and child related programming. Since the kids were born at OSU and I am deeply grateful to the institution for their ultimate survival, I checked the box that said yes. Sure, I will allow my preschoolers to become guinea pigs under the right circumstances. That was over two years ago.

Last week, I got a call from the Cognitive blah blah blah department. The researcher asked if the four and a half year olds could help with an upcoming memory study. I was given a ton of details about the actual project including the names of the doctors, their credentials and the process for conducting the study. In the end, all I heard was, they play computer games that are designed to show us their reasoning and memory capabilities under our supervision for about two hours.

Hmmmmm, let me see, when do you want them?

After the post yesterday it probably seems like I would drop my kids off anywhere. While that is partially true, I will only allow them to frequent places that stimulate, educate, entertain and exhaust them- so long as the facility is accredited and trustworthy. I really do investigate the situation and must feel completely comfortable before I would leave my precious children in the company of "strangers." Giant Eagle, Bright Horizons and now, the fine folks at OSU join the list of quality choices.

I scheduled Eli, CJ and Natalie to participate in the study. (Charlotte was disqualified because they needed four year olds) The team assured me that the kids would have fun and enjoy themselves. They would not really know or understand that they were being tested and recorded, it would just be a good time. I watched as the computer game went through a series of memory games and I sat nearby as each child participated.

Natalie and CJ were thrilled to sit in front of the computer

and answer the questions. They were loving the one on one attention from the OSU grad student. I totally beamed with pride as I saw the smile on CJ's face as he answered correctly

and is praised on the monitor screen. The whole testing process was video taped and the computer screen actually tracked the participant's eye movements for the study. (Eli was in the playroom next door when my battery shot craps)

At one point was even able to run across campus to Whole Foods and pick up a few things for dinner. This is a luxury that only a triplet mom can understand. Going to the grocery store for a five minute run is heavenly without guinea pigs tagging along.

As the testing concluded, the four year olds were issued a certificatefor their official Bachelor of Childhood. After getting diplomas at the end of preschool last week, and now completing their advanced degrees from The Ohio State University, I would say that my little guinea pigs are ready for Kindergarten.


tomandcheryl said...

I just stumbled upon your blog for the first time. I don't know what made me click on it from someone elses but my daughter participated in the same study at OSU. Too funny! Then I was wondering where your kids went to preschool.
Well, enjoy, I just had to write about the coincidence!

Helene Eichenwald Slutsky said...

thanks Cheryl, they just graduated from Agudas Achim in Bexley. They loved that study.

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