Learning and Memory: The Brain in Action

By Marilee Sprenger | Go to book overview

3
Pieces and Parts:
The Anatomy of the Brain

It has been an extremely difficult week at school and at home. The
class play had its final performance last night. I have been holding
about seven rehearsals a week, and I am beat! I think I deserve a day
off! This is not something I have ever done, but, by golly, other people
do it. Why not me?

I ask my husband to call my principal and say that I am sick. (Okay,
I’m a big chicken. I admit it!) He grudgingly does me the favor because
he knows how tough the last month has been on me.

We are each vulnerable to the tricks our brains can play.

My husband leaves for work, and I roll over and try to fall asleep.
After 15 minutes I am wide awake—and hungry! I dash to the kitchen
and open the refrigerator door. Much to my dismay, there is no milk!
You know those crazy people on the commercials who discover there
is no milk? I become one of them. I have visions of making chocolate
chip cookies and eating them warm and gooey straight from the oven. I
can’t do that without milk!

I call my sister-in-law to borrow some. Not home. I sit and ponder
the entire situation. Can I possibly sneak into a grocery store and pur-
chase milk without being seen? Do I take the chance? How about if I
travel to a small town nearby? Yes! That’s what I will do!

Our fears and our guilt may cause responses that we are not proud of.

I throw on my sweats and my sunglasses. (Who cares that it’s a
cloudy day?) I drive 20 miles north of town to a supermarket. I walk into
the store like a criminal, head down and collar up. I grab a basket for
protection and head for the dairy aisle. I don’t know where the milk is in
this store, so I scan several aisles until I find it.

The control that we pride ourselves on may be only an illusion!

As I turn the corner to head for the checkout lane, I spot her. At the
end of the next aisle is a blond woman with glasses. The assistant prin-
cipal’s wife! I do what any mature, responsible person would do. I turn
around and run like an idiot! I go back to the dairy aisle and stand there

-30-

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