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Diane R. Graves
Associate Professor
Department of Psychology
Hood College
The Power of Communication 

This directed case study begins with an intentionally ambiguous story: Q suddenly realizes that it is time to relay a message to Z (another inhabitant of their home) to let Z know that it's time to produce some items and send them on to accomplices in the neighborhood.  The accomplices receive and promptly use Z's products.  They then create their own products and share them with others in the neighborhood and beyond.  The messages and products cause amazing, life-changing events, and the neighborhood is never the same again.  Upon learning that the story is a metaphor for the chain of events that occur in the brain and body during puberty, students interpret the metaphor to explain what "Q," "Z," "messages," "items," "products," and "accomplices" refer to.  A set of included questions guides students in their translation efforts, and particular emphasis is placed on identifying the similarities and differences between male and female pubertal processes. The case is appropriate for courses in biopsychology, human biology, human reproductive biology, human physiology, or developmental psychology.