Cognizant of human minds: Meet Mr. Patrick Waddington

Mr. Patrick Waddington helps a student with a physics question. Waddington
was recently hired as the new Physics instructor.
Photo Credit: Alexis Drevetzki

“What motivates people to act and react a certain way? Is that the healthiest and safest decision under those circumstances? Can I use these motivations to reduce stress in my life?”

These are questions posed by Mr. Patrick Waddington, the new Physics instructor who also wields an interest in the human mind.

“I suppose it started when I was a kid, and I noticed that people reacted vastly different to how I would at a given situation. I have an even keeled temper, so I wondered why someone would fly off the handle,” Waddington said.

This curiosity carried on into his later life, where Waddington had the opportunity to expand his knowledge of psychology.

“It initially started in high school as a side project, and continued on in classes at college,” Waddington said.

This amassed awareness of the human mind has led to a change in Waddington’s life, as he approaches teaching and personal disputes in a different light.

“I think I am more mindful of how I instruct my students. I am also able to step back from a confrontation and logically find solutions,” Waddington said.

Furthermore, the students in Waddington’s classroom have endured the effects of his interests, as his understanding of psychology plays a role into how he interacts with students.

“I think that he has a unique and fun style of teaching. He tends to try to incorporate many jokes and references to the lesson in order to bring in our attention more,” junior Tiffany Chen said.

Moreover, Waddington finds fascination in some of the leaders of psychology. These people have fueled Waddington’s captivation for the human mind.

B.F. Skinner was an interesting person in the history of psychology. He was like ‘papa’ behaviorist with his work on different types of punishments and rewards. Is it a better punishment to remove something pleasant (dessert) from someone acting bad; or is it better to give something unwanted (slap on the wrist)? He also looks remarkably similar to Orville Redenbacher, the popcorn guy,” Waddington said.

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Due to Waddington’s extensive knowledge of psychology, he has learned several certainties.

“A person’s current lifestyle can affect how they react to a situation. If everything is stress free, they may try to make drama so that there is some conflict in life. If a person has experienced a lot of hardships, they may be more suited to handle an emergency situation,” Waddington said.

On the other side of the coin, however, there is information that causes frustration to Waddington.

“Being mindful that not everyone has the same history as myself, and therefore, would react vastly different than I would,” Waddington said.

Although there are many careers that tie in with psychology, Waddington is content with his current position as a teacher.

[vision_pullquote style=”1″ align=”center”] Rule number one about assessment of the mind: you can’t test yourself. You hold a personal bias and will skew the results with your expectations. [/vision_pullquote]

“Education is greatly considerate of each student’s thought process. How would they interpret the information? What information is giving them difficulty? How can I best change my approach so that their mind latches onto the material better?” Waddington said.

Waddington also has advice for those seeking to learn about psychology and the wonders it holds.

“Rule number one about assessment of the mind: you can’t test yourself. You hold a personal bias and will skew the results with your expectations,” Waddington said.