My Brain(s)

Hey Heather, are you near a computer?

Lol I can be, why?

I need a liiittle bitty favor…

“Oh my gosh, Hannah. How does this happen?”

I breathed in and out, “There was no avoiding it, mom.”

“Yes, there was, if you had only-”

My phone buzzed with a message from Heather, I replied and turned to my mother.

“She’s forwarding the information now. We’re going to be fine.”

“But  you always do this, you wait until the last minute and try to fix everything. It never turns out.”

This had been going on for about an hour. “No I don’t, and yes it does.” I said matter-of-factly. Heather texted back. “We’re good, she sent it.”

We were at Office Depot, trying to rush and get several pages printed for my board I was going to use at the science fair in about fifteen minutes.

While Mother Madame picked up the pages I ran to the bathroom to check my make-up. I was sporting the Einstein look for the fourth day in a row, but nothing could be done at that point. I had not slept for about 48 hours and for once I didn’t care about looking perfect. The main reason for my lack of sleep being this:

Left hemisphere. Medulla oblongata marked near the top of the spinal cord.

For Heather’s 17th birthday I made her a tiny baby grand piano of out of paper clips, half a hanger, string, tongue depressors and wrapping paper. It turned out rather beautifully, so I tried channeling my MacGyver-esque piano making skills to make a brain… it didn’t turn out. And I needed a brain for the science fair. So, three days before the fair I ran to Wal-Mart and bought some cheap Crayola clay and, after over a dozen failed attempts, I managed to come up with the brain you see above. I have named it Fornix. Because the only part of the brain I could not get right if my life had depended on it was the fornix. If you don’t know what the fornix of the brain is (I had no idea until recently), I have marked it below:

The job of the fornix, in a nutshell, is to pretty much act as a bridge for communication when it comes to memory storage. For individuals with amnesia, it isn’t unheard of for the fornix to be damaged. So, if we all had the fornix that my clay brain has, it’s safe to say we would all have pitiful memory. Teacher Madame only had the time to view each table for a few moments, so she missed my slip up, thank goodness.

I was placed next to all of my favorite classmates, and ended up getting hushed by several people while talking to a fellow named Jon. I hadn’t seen a couple of them in a while so I couldn’t help trying to talk to all of them, even if I had to resort to hand signals and well-timed facial expressions. I loved being around those people, and I am truly going to miss them.

Now, let’s talk about narcissism. Specifically, my narcissism.

Do note, I’m not referring to the clinical definition of the mental disorder, but the common definition of someone who is over-confident and self-loving to a delusional degree.

I haven’t said anything on my blog before because I wasn’t certain how to phrase it. But I’ve noticed that ever since my mother made it clear about how she feels about my abilities, as well as the lack of support from everyone on my side of the keyboard, my mind seems to have started using a form of defense mechanism. I remember that night feeling like I was at a fork in the road. Either my opinion of myself could begin to lean towards agreeing with her, or I would need to build up the way I see myself in order to protect myself and my confidence in my abilities. Either I go to a community college and make dresses, or I reject that version of myself and never look back. Maybe that’s why all I can think about lately is getting out of here. It’s difficult to remember how I feel about my classmates and how much I love being around them when all I can focus on at home is starting a life somewhere else.

I need to tell you, I don’t think this narcissistic version of me is bad. I don’t tear anyone down in order to feel this way, and my perception of my physical appearance has improved dramatically. I’ve mentioned before that I still have spells of bulimic thinking, and perhaps a more positive view of my appearance, as well as my mental abilities, can get rid of the thoughts for good. But I am worried about this going too far. It hasn’t happened yet, but I do worry about starting to see myself as superior to others. One of my worst fears is treating anyone badly and thinking it’s justified. So, if I ever start sounding full of it, you have complete permission to give me a talking-to. (And ya’ll, I’m not kidding.)

Until I Write Again,

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic

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A Ruined Brain

I kept waiting for that feeling of giving myself permission to go to sleep. But, simply put, the brain I had just made out of modeling clay was dreadful beyond belief, and I had just realized that I didn’t even include the parieto-occipital sulcus (a crack-like separation in the brain near the back, where the parietal and occipital lobes meet – hence, ‘parieto-occipital’).  Not to mention the inside of the brain itself. I knew I’d get it right if I gave myself enough time. I checked my laptop, it was nearing six in the morning. I leaned back in my chair and just stared at the dreadful blob of clay.

“I really don’t like you.” I mumbled to the brain before grabbing my scalpel and removing the convolutions I had just carved in. While everyone I know was dead asleep after the homeschool prom, I was sitting in a freezing livingroom with stale coffee and cheap modeling clay while watching old episodes of Monk and The Office.

I don’t mean to sound like I was pouting this entire time, I decided to not go to the prom and a million bucks couldn’t change my mind. I do love being around people, but the past few months I just want to avoid accessing my social self as much as possible. I just want to get out of Texas, I’m impatient. I do have a project that will last the entire Summer, and I am looking forward to spending my birthday with Heather and being with old friends, but so many times during the week I find myself in an extremely impatient state of mind. I just keep thinking Get me out of here. Off to a clean slate, a place where no one knows me, somewhere that can be mine. Somewhere they can say ‘Hannah lives there’ and have a picture in their minds of me not being home, of me moving on with my life. Everyone wants to know my hurry, but goodness, I can’t help it. I still feel like I’m just trudging through the thickest mud, inching my way to elsewhere… Ahem, anyway, back to the story.

I was upbeat, enjoying the solitude and the excuse to stare at pictures of the brain for hours, but the closer it got to sunrise, the more my little idea seemed like a lost cause.  I wanted to call Heather and exclaim all form of ‘woe-is-me’ monologue to her, but I had enough self-control to resist the impulse.

I completely redid the brain after several minutes of arguing with myself, eventually deciding to trash my hours of progress when I could no longer deny that I had completely ruined two of the four lobes.

I nearly finished it tonight, and I must say, I’m quite proud of it. Even if I have to redo several structures.

I must get up in the morning to go to church with Heather Madame, so I will leave you with that.

Until I Write Again,

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic

Murder Of A Future Once Certain

I think the impossible dilemma when dealing with time, is the unpredictability it contains. Not regarding spacetime curvature or the actual counting down of a giant glittering sphere on New Years Eve, but the curious, human pondering of the contents of the meaning of the evershifting hand dancing pleasantly inside our pocket watches. Time, and what it contains for the human being.

We use our minds for memories and planning; the wonderous cognitive, executive functions of the frontal lobe forever biased by the amygdala when it comes to our overall view of our futures. Such beautiful roadmaps we create using experience and ambition. Such plans, using the key players we are currently focused upon, like a child using the nearest dolls to formulate an improv fairy tale, in which there is always a damsel in distress, and always prince charming to save the day.

What a shock to the system it is, even for a moment, when we glance down at our plans, schemes, and future mapped out before us, and suddenly grip the paper in utter terror when we realize that the page is white as snow, without a mark or a timeline to be found. An impossible fork in the road, leading a million places at once, and nowhere to go, because we have obliterated our own compasses for the sake of the everchanging heart. The unreliable beat of the ripping and tearing drum of every step we take, until we fall through into a formerly acoustic hideaway, once comfortable and safe, is now unsure and dangerous.

But time has a way of gentle healing, just as it specializes in the act of murder of a future once certain.

-Classic