By Neil Ostafichuk
Did you know that the right brain develops first and does so by the time children are 3-4 years of age? The left brain, on the other hand, doesn’t fully come online until children are about seven years old; that’s why the first seven years are recognized as such a critical period in child development. The left brain is the logical, calculating, planning side and is one of language, numeracy, literacy, analysis and time; keeping us anchored in the pragmatic world, and in past and future. The right brain, on the other hand, is responsible for empathy, intuition, imagination and creativity and is where we wonder, dream, connect and come alive in the absolute present. While the left brain is more interested in outcomes or product, the right brain cares much more about process—the journey is what matters, not the destination.
As an article from Vince Gowman points out, there is one more vital piece to understand: The right brain connects us to our boundless sense of being. Being is primary; hence the right brain developing first; thus, human being, not human doing. The left brain is far more interested in doing. Young right-brain dominant children, by contrast, are quite content being and that’s why play is so important in child learning and development and maybe not so much in teaching them to count to 5000 or recite the ABC’s by the time they are two. Now mix in the looming spectre – no, wait, it is here already – of the effect of too much screen time on young children and I have to say todays moms and dads are faced with some pretty impactful and formative parenting decisions. And to think all our parents had to worry about was impending nuclear destruction.
From the “Reducing Screen Time” file, you may have heard or read the latest update on the Community Park Project where the bids for the Park came in but were over the budget figure. First off, those bids did not include the actual skatepark as that contract was awarded earlier in 2018 to New Line Skateparks. (Yes Virginia, there is a Skatepark) That portion is scheduled to start construction in March and be done in June (with cooperation from Mother Nature of course). A couple of other contracts were completed in 2018 as well – those were site demo and excavation as well as watermain relocation. So, currently, RDCK is reviewing the mandatory and optional items from the bid process in order to see what we can reduce scope on, substitute products or look at alternate methods of construction to lessen costs. They will then work with the lowest compliant bidder to negotiate proposed changes in order to meet the construction budget.
While disappointing, it is not uncommon to have bids come in higher than expected – we did run into this on occasion with the Community Complex Upgrade 10 years ago – despite having the best Quantity Surveyors who have their fingers on the pulse of the construction industry, we still had bids come in over budget on specific tenders and, as we are doing today, you pull back and retool; all with the intent of getting the best value for the budget without losing parts of the project. There are many legitimate factors that can influence what a contractor submits as their final price such as the constantly rising construction costs, complexity, availability, familiarity etc. but as we move forward, rest assured the new park will reduce screen time.