ESP Biography



MERI JADE PILTSER, ESP Teacher




Major: Computer Science

College/Employer: New York Institute of Technology

Year of Graduation: 2007

Picture of Meri Jade Piltser

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Spending as much time as I can catch moving, in the woods, or exploring life. Completely fascinated by how people work, both mentally and physically. Especially development, education, optimization, happiness and decision making.



Past Classes

  (Look at the class archive for more.)


Awkward Dance of Gender Performance in Splash 2014 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2014)
Gender performance is the set of behaviors that we use to communicate gender to the outside world. It comes in as many types as there are gendered expectations of behavior -- everything from clothing and hair styles to how much space one takes up when seated in a public space. While gender identity encompasses one's internal feelings about one's gender, performance centers around behaviors that communicate something about gender to the outside world. People who do not think of themselves as transgendered may still feel deeply uncomfortable with the gender performance that society expects of them. This class will be a small group discussion of the dissonance between personal identities and gendered behaviors, and how to go through life as a person who may not fit well into any set of gender norms.


Dabrowski and Overexcitabilities in Splash 2014 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2014)
We will talk about the implications of heightened sensitivity for everyday living in gifted people and take a quiz to see which Dabrowski's Overexcitabilities manifest in us. "Overexcitabilities are inborn intensities indicating a heightened ability to respond to stimuli. Found to a greater degree in creative and gifted individuals, overexcitabilities are expressed in increased sensitivity, awareness, and intensity, and represent a real difference in the fabric of life and quality of experience. Dabrowski identified five areas of intensity-Psychomotor, Sensual, Intellectual, Imaginational, and Emotional. A person may possess one or more of these. “One who manifests several forms of overexcitability, sees reality in a different, stronger and more multisided manner” (Dabrowski, 1972, p. 7) - See more at: http://www.sengifted.org/archives/articles/overexcitability-and-the-gifted#sthash.SVDb8uHh.dpuf


Procrastination in Splash 2014 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2014)
We all procrastinate, but some of us have more trouble with it than others, and for some of us it can be a serious handicap. Andy went halfway through college before he started learning to do his work on time, and was well into adulthood before he learned that there are strategies for reducing procrastination beyond "just do it." We will talk about how procrastination is related to time management, and how they can be completely different animals, and strategies for dealing with both.


Procrastination, Perfectionism & Productivity in Splash! 2013 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2013)
Understand what gets in the way of getting things done and how to set patterns and goals to make it work better.


Social Norms and and Gender in Splash! 2013 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2013)
Societal expectations are often impossible and it feels weird not to fit into any of the pre-made boxes, lets talk about making a coherent self concept that does not depend on jumping through hoops that don't make a lot of sense. Likely to be especially useful if you are gender-queer or any other kind of weird.


Communication and Boundaries in Splash! 2013 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2013)
Effective Communication and Conflict Resolution for negotiating social difficulties in a positive and constructive manner. Also, knowing what healthy boundaries look like.


Effective Communication and Conflict Resolution in Splash! 2010 (Nov. 20 - 21, 2010)
Effective Communication and Conflict Resolution for negotiating social difficulties in a positive and constructive manner.


Stress, Anxiety, and Depression Management in Splash! 2010 (Nov. 20 - 21, 2010)
A discussion based class where participants share coping strategies for increasing emotional stability and reducing depression, anxiety and stress in everyday life.


Introduction to Website Design using WordPress in HSSP Summer 2010 (Jul. 11, 2010 - Jul. 11, 2011)
Introduction to basics of website layout and structures. Design and create a 5 (or more) page website/blog on a topic of your choice, using Wordpress. Primarily lab work with some lecture time and video tutorials. Can run longer than 90 minutes if there is interest. This course is not for experienced website designers.


Body: An eclectic guide to Metabolism, Nutrition and Fitness in Splash! 2009 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2009)
It is very hard to find coherent non-contradictory information about how your body works. We each have different bodies, different experiences and different perceptions, many of which change with time. On the other hand, since we have some biological similarities, there are patterns that can be seen and learned from. The goal of this class is to dispel misconceptions about how our bodies function and provide quality information with which to make decisions. The goal is to allow you to minimize the damage you do to yourself, and maximize your enjoyment along the way. Nothing here will apply to everyone, but much of it will apply to many. If you have a perfect body that does exactly what you want, you probably do not need this class, although you may find it interesting anyway. We will focus on: - Impact of exercise and food on happiness and health. - Creating an accurate understanding of how metabolism works and what it means. - Meaningful indicators of health and fitness; why they can not be based on weight, size, and strength alone. - What real food is and isn’t, and how to tell the difference. - How to make food tasty; as opposed to slimy, or crunchy in all the wrong ways. - A look at some specialized diets, from vegan to high protein. - How to go from un-athletic to fit in a way that feels good. - Achieving specific fitness goals, such as endurance, strength, flexibility, weight loss/gain, lung capacity, and bulk. - Progressive training and avoiding injury. We are also likely to cover base metabolic rate, some physiological difference between genders, blood sugar, hypoglycemia, allergies, food sensitivities, cooking, sleep, substances and moods. Bring questions and stories if you like; there is a lot we can learn from each other. This class is part of a three class series entitled: “Things I wish I knew without experimenting on myself.” Each of these classes stands alone, but also complements the others. - Body: An eclectic guide to Metabolism, Nutrition and Fitness - Mind: Evolve! Patterns, Decisions, and Sustainable Change - Life: College, Career, and Money and a few other thoughts


Mind: Evolve! Patterns, Decisions, and Sustainable Change in Splash! 2009 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2009)
Many people have trouble reaching their goals. A resolution gets made, tried for a period of time, then lost in the entropy of life. Why does this happen? What works better? "If you can not measure it, you can not improve it." - Lord Kelvin If you have a perfect mind that does exactly what you want, you probably do not need this class, although you may find it interesting anyway. We will focus on: Knowing where you are now so you can get where you want to go. Deciding where to go next in ways that leave you happy when you get there. Learning how to design and implement sustainable changes. Why you must track progress, and why you want to enjoy it, too. Why “Evolve Now!” is often ineffective, while “evolve over time” works. We are also likely to cover the nature of habits, the inconsistency of memory and personality, plasticity, simplicity, motivation, feelings, choice and freedom. Bring questions and stories if you like; there is a lot we can learn from each other. This class is part of a three class series entitled: “Things I wish I knew without experimenting on myself.” Each of these classes stands alone, but also complements the others. - Body: An eclectic guide to Metabolism, Nutrition and Fitness - Mind: Evolve! Patterns, Decisions, and Sustainable Change - Life: College, Career, and Money and a few other thoughts


Life: College, Career, and Money and a few other thoughts in Splash! 2009 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2009)
Choosing a career or college, managing finances, and building a relationship are among the most challenging parts of life. Inaccurate assumptions, insufficient information and inability to envision the future clearly can lead people to making less than optimal choices about life. The goal of this class is to give you as many questions as possible. What to consider? Who to ask? How to interpret the answers to make them useful? If you have a perfect life that does exactly what you want, you probably do not need this class, although you may find it interesting anyway. Some of the topics will be: - A few thoughts on how not to pick a career or a college, and what may work better. - What are musts in choosing your employment and what may help you get hired. - Basics of budgeting and finance. Why it is not (very) complicated or scary. Why it is important. - What can you be when you grow up? Some interesting and overlooked choices. - Bits about Student Loans, Credit Cards, Annual Fees, Credit Rating - Scholarships and why a cheaper college may be a better option for a first degree. - Why should you have a bank account, credit cards, library card and a passport. - Sharing finances and personal loans, and why not to. - Relationships and the sanity meter. Bring questions and stories if you like; there is a lot we can learn from each other. This class is part of a three class series entitled: “Things I wish I knew without experimenting on myself.” Each of these classes stands alone, but also complements the others. - Body: An eclectic guide to Metabolism, Nutrition and Fitness - Mind: Evolve! Patterns, Decisions, and Sustainable Change - Life: College, Career, and Money and a few other thoughts