Archive | February 2013

Limitations of the Brain

Do you know what grinds my gears? When you are limited by your brain. What I mean by this is that your brain limits you in different ways such as lack of ability and numerous dysfunctions. For example, one setback that I am annoyed by is emotions. Emotions will take over your ability to make decisions, process information, and control your actions. In a lot of cases, people will choose different options for decisions based on their emotions. When making a decision on whether or not to do homework, you might choose to just put if off if you are sad or depressed. If you are happy, you wouldn’t care that you would have to do homework. According to Peter Zafirides, who describes it better, “…we still have the same options, but our emotions skew our view of options.”

Another limitation that bothers me is how much sleep is healthy for us. With all the things that school and sports are making me do, it is hard to find the time for adequate levels of sleep. In my sophomore year alone, I have done homework at every single hour of the day, at some point or another. Your brain doesn’t operate at its fullest when you lack sleep in your daily routine. Sleep is when information is stored, memories are sorted, cells are repaired, and more. When you miss out on sleep, your entire body is suffering from not being able to recuperate. Granted, you still make it through the day, but you are not operating at full cognitive function. I guess the only way for me to fix this is either cut back on extracurricular activities, increase my productivity level for homework by tenfold, or keep falling asleep in class. In all honesty, the last latter one is probably what will happen.

A third limitation I can’t stand is nerves. Things that you have done a million times you will still screw up with nerves. I see this all the time on tests and basketball. On tests, people who have studied for hours will start to forget answers because they are a nervous wreck about doing well. And on the basketball court, I can’t remember how many free throws I have missed because it was a tight situation. I know the reason why I do this, but I have trouble fixing it. Instead of thinking about how important it is to succeed, I need to think about what I am doing. If I have done it a million times, I just need to let my instincts kick in, and the rest will be clockwork. Seems simple, right? It never seems to work out that way.

This is why the brain can irritate me. I would just like to point out, however, that the brain is an amazing piece of machinery. It just has a few kinks here and there that can sometimes cause the unit as a whole to fail. You know that saying, “Only worry about what you can control”? The worst part is that most of these kinks can be controlled by the owner of the brain.

Dear brain, please don’t grind my gears by limiting our success together!

Sleeping

Do you know what grinds my gears?  The need for sleep. .Sleep is such a wonderful thing.  As children, we don’t seem to value or cherish the amount of sleep we get.  For example, I regret not taking naps in Kindergarten when we were supposed to be napping.  Now, my napping period is any period that I can get away with. I’m not saying that it’s right, but almost all high school students want to take a nap at some point.  Now a lot of teachers frown upon napping, and I can’t blame them too much.  However, we are in high school now, and we should be responsible for our actions.  If we want to take a nap, let us.  Repercussions will probably follow, but please just allow us the instant gratification of a twenty minute nap.

In other news, research shows that a 10-30 minute nap actually improves creativity and productivity. Granted, there are times when full attention is needed. We could be learning something new or maybe due dates are being discussed. However, there are a lot of times when I know everything about what the teacher is talking about. During these times, I start to doze off. If I fall asleep, that’s my own fault, but please just let me sleep. If I am that tired, a twenty minute nap during the middle of the day could give me the boost I need to make it through the rest of the class periods. If this becomes a daily ritual of naps, then I fully understand that the problem should be addressed. Think of it this way, teachers: Would you rather have a straight-A student take a nap during your class because they were up all night doing YOUR homework, or have a juvenile delinquent disrupting the class? That trouble maker will hurt his education as well as those around him. The only one affected with the former is the sleeping student. Trust me, when you are that tired, you are paying the same amount of attention shaking off the drowsiness of a long night as being full out asleep.

Along with that, if you have students who are constantly falling asleep in your class, it may be partly your fault. I know that notes are a staple in student’s education, but a forty-five minute lecture while sitting in the same spot, listening to the same voice, about the same topic, while staring at the same spot on the clock will cause a lot of students to fall asleep. This can be solved by getting the students more involved in class by either including discussion or asking opinions. Finally, if a student is in a difficult struggle with slumber, let them get up during class and walk around a bit (but not being a distraction). Part of the reason why students fall asleep is from a lack of blood flow. Walking around the room once or twice can get the blood moving enough to make it through that last arduous ten minutes of notes.

Once again, these are all just suggestions!

Please don’t grind my gears by zzzzz……