BCI Session 1

For my first BCI session, I spent some time behind the building where I work. The ICC is set in a lovely little wooded area, just below an elevated pond. I considered walking up to the pond and sitting on the rickety bridge that overlooked the dam, but on my way there I encountered a chipmunk poking his head out from behind a rock. I determined that if I found a spot near him and sat long enough, I might perhaps gain its trust.

So I found a rock nearby. The rock was very uncomfortable to sit on, but I was already seated, and surrounded by what I believe was poison ivy, so I thought it best not to move around too much.

The first ten minutes I sat with my eyes closed. I could hear the chipmunk, since scurried under the rocks for protection, clicking every once in a while. I don’t know why it clicked. I think it is a way that it communicates with other chipmunks.

I sat and tried to focus on my other senses. Frequently I got distracted with what I was pondering, and opened my eyes to begin looking around as I pondered. This happened multiple times.

One thing I noticed was that the wind was always at my back. I assumed that it must have been cool air from above the pond rushing to replace the warm air that was rising from the parking lot not too far in front of me.

I wondered if there was a way that we could control airflow in or around a building through the strategic colorization of surfaces. I’m sure it’s been done before in some regard.

Once I opened my eyes, I began to notice all the little spider webs around me. While there were probably a half dozen webs I could spot, I only saw two spiders. One spider had built his web over the span of two rocks’ he sat on his web like it was a nearly invisible trampoline. I determined that I should try and bring him some lunch. So I grabbed a twig and tried to convince an ant to crawl on it so that I could flick it into the web.

Ants are very cautious of long, moving twigs. I tried for 10 minutes and no ants climbed on.

I finally got lucky as a particularly large ant began crawling on one of the rocks adjacent to the web. I used the twig to flick the ant into the web. Success! He landed on the web and immediately began to twitch and struggle, signaling to the spider that lunch had arrived.

Almost too fast to witness, the spider bolted over to the ant and made a split second decision to retreat and let this one go. Perhaps it was too big or too active? I don’t know. It was underwhelming.

Ungrateful little spider. See if I ever try to feed you again.

As I finished my time, I got up to leave. Around the same time, the chipmunk began to wander out. Apparently he had forgotten I was there. We stared each other down for a good five minutes. I grew bored/itchy and decided to leave. I wonder how long the chipmunk would have stayed there without moving? I’m afraid I lack the resolve to find out.