Author Archives: Felicia Maria Tavarez Puntiel

My name is Falisha or Fee-li-cii-ahh?

My name is Falisha or Fee-li-cii-ahh?

Have you ever tried learning a new language as an adult? Did you grow up speaking more than one language? Did you learn the second language as a child? I did. I was 11 years old soon to be 12 when I first landed through the gates of JFK airport in NYC.  All the words I now know in the English language are because I have stored them in my lexicon. Lexicon is a person knowledge of the meanings, sounds of words and how we use them. I have been learning English words since 11 years of age until now. I learned the Spanish words from birth to 11 years of age. Am i a dominant in English or Spanish?

Language is defined as a system of communication which uses symbols and sounds that let us express our ideas, feelings, experiences and thoughts. (Cognitive Psychology Pg.294). As I started a new school. Learning a new language was not easy. I was accustomed to speaking Spanish and learning in Spanish.

I remember my first day of school at I.S 90, an uptown Washington heights school. I remember my English teacher and how he pronounced my first name. I had to look twice to see who he was calling. Then I noticed it was me whom he was calling. He was calling me by my first name. I was used to been called Felicia with a Spanish sound to it. When my English teacher said my name, it had a whole different tone to it. The phonemes which are the short segment of speeches, seems to have changed the sounding of my first name.

Although, I believe myself to be bilingual and not a late second language learner. My idea of a late second language learner would be 18 year of age and older. An online article has me questioning myself or my children bilingualism. An article called (Study Shows How Bilinguals Switch Between Languages by Kalim Gonzales), describe how we switch from one language to the other and how some people perceive bilinguals as being more proficient on one language more than the other. The article also states, that the reason why some late second language learner have an accent is because they are dominant on the first language and not the second.

My questions are; are my kids going to know one language more than the other? Are they going to be more proficient in English than Spanish because they will be taught all their classes in English instead of Spanish?  What if they learn to read, write and speak Spanish as well as English? Will that still make them dominant in English and not Spanish? My conclusion is that, being proficient or dominant in one language has a lot to do with how often the language is spoken.




Goldstein, E. Bruce. (2011). Cognitive psychology connecting mind, research, and everyday experience (3rd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Study Shows How Bilinguals Switch Between Languages, Kalim Gonzales, Retrieved on 11/19/2016 from

Military Problem Solving(Obstacle Course)


Military Obstacle Course


Do you remember the last time you solved a problem? I recall back when I attended Military basic training in South Carolina, we did our shared of obstacle courses. We were a team and worked as a team to finish or get around the obstacles, and completing it which was our goal.

I remember trying to solve the problems we faced to get to our goals, and somehow we would stop and think because at first it all seemed so difficult. We would somehow get into the fixation stage of the problem. Fixation is the tendency of focusing on specific characteristics of problems which keeps the person from arriving at a solution, which is the goal of the problem. (Cognitive Psychology, Pg329).

As I was looking for videos on YouTube, I encounter a video which made me retrieve long term memories from 2003 while in South Carolina. I remember as my basic training company had to cross a “bridge” with about 3 long pieces of wood. There were 3 long sticks stuck on the grown where we could place the pieces of wood to build a bridge so all the soldiers could make it to the other side. We needed to do it in a way so the wood would not fall, and make sure all the recruits made it to the other side without falling or letting the pieces of wood fall. I remember we used creative problem solving, by convergent thinking.  Convergent thinking is thinking that finds a solution to a problem which has a correct answer. (Cognitive psychology,  Pg 349).

Another problem we encounter was when we were supposed to climb over(scale a wall ) this fence which was over 8 feet tall. No recruit was to be left behind. We employed creative problem solving, by helping one another jump over the fence. Having the recruits put their foot on each other shoulders. The last recruit was the tallest one. We recommended for the recruit to back away and start running while we made a pyramid on the other side, while having another recruit hanging to be able to pull the last recruit over the fence. By using Convergent thinking we made it to the solution which was for all the recruits to make it to the other side.

In conclusion, problems do not necessarily have to be numerical. There are words problems, numerical problems, and everyday problems. What problems have you encounter lately?




Goldstein, E. Bruce. (2011). Cognitive psychology connecting mind, research, and everyday experience (3rd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.


Got Memory?


Have you ever wondered how you encode, and later on retrieve a phone number? Do you still remember the first phone number of the home you grew up in?  I do. I first encoded the number when I got to the United States at age 11. I remember it starts with a NYC 212 area code. I still remember the rest of the sever digits. How do I remember important information at work? Encoding is defined as the process of acquiring information and transferring into the long term memory (LTM). Cognitive Psychology, Pg173

How do I get information into my long term memory? I try using Shallow processing method which is through the maintenance rehearsal process. It consists of repeating it until it is passed into long term memory. When I came to live in NYC, I never had memorized a phone number before.  There are a lot of risks while going to school, coming home from school in a big city like New York City. I needed to memorize the home phone number.  I memorized it by a process called chunking.  The phone number was 212-368-1108. I practiced chunking while trying to keep it alive on my short term memory, then it was passed onto my long term memory.  I am now 32 years old, and I first memorized the number at 11 years old.

Another instance when I use memory, either short term or long term is at work.  I need to recognize inmate’s faces and their name and inmate number in case of an inmate on inmate assault or inmate or staff assault. Most of the time if I cannot recall the inmate name or number, I use my long term memory and remember the inmate block.  By retrieving such information I can log into the computer and search for more information. Although I might have a computer available, I rely on my short term, and long term memory to retrieve important information at work.

In conclusion, memory sure is a powerful thing. It helps me keep others and myself safe at work. I can retrieve information from the yard, chow hall etc. By retrieving such information, I can go back and analyze if I certain gang members gathered in the yard, etc. It helps me get home and to work. It helps me not forget my 4 months old in the car. It helps me remember that I need to pick up the 7 year old at school. How do you use your memory?




Goldstein, E. Bruce. (2011). Cognitive psychology connecting mind, research, and everyday experience (3rd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.


Humans are always using the perception in our everyday life. Perception is an experience which, result from stimulation of the senses. When we walk, listen, talk, see, and touch an object we use perceive things.

Movement also facilitates perception. The starting of perception is with Bottom-up processing which receptors are involved. Also building blocks called Geons are responsible for us being able to recognize objects. This is backed up by the Recognition-by-Components theory.

When I was about 9 year old, back home in the Caribbean I used to run around like a wild animal. Climbing trees, eating fruits, and touching anything I could reach.  One day, I was looking for something on the ground which was covered with leafs. On the corner of my eye I saw what I thought it was a black (dark colored) stick. I went to grab it, and then I gave notice it was a short, black snake.  I perceive and acted by reaching to grab the “stick”. Then I recognize the object not to be a stick, but it was a snake.   We take into account, physical regulatory and semantic regulatory when we perceive.

In conclusion, we all use our perception in our everyday life.  We perceive stimuli and then take action towards these stimuli. My story is similar to that of Crystal but at the same time we have different stories. Both perceptions involved a process. The only thing is that her perception of the objects kept changing as she got closer. My perception of the object was different from the corner of my eyes, which it changed once I looked at it directly. Two processing streams in my brain were responsible for the depth and object perception which I used in what I described above.

Work Cited:

Cognitive Psychology Connecting Mind, Research, and Everyday Experience. Goldstein, E. Bruce. 2011. Third Edition. Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.