Back to Work

This week, I’ve been back to work. We had a really good freshmen convocation, with a great faculty speaker who talked to the students about frontal cortexes and brought in a real human brain to show them while she talked about it!

On Saturday, I accompanied the Honors students to DC United, which is the Major League Soccer team that plays in DC. They ended up having extra tickets, so the whole family got to go! We sat in the supporters section, where they throw confetti and bang on a drum and do chants and people swing their scarves, and unroll flags, and more. The bleachers shake for a good part of it. Seamus is a little sensitive to noise, so we went for a walk to find our friends who were on the other side of the stadium. We hung out with them for a while, because it was much calmer there, and Seamus enjoyed playing with their two-year-old. He’s very interested in playing with kids younger than he is because he can draw them into games, like tap each other on the head, that Gilbert’s just not into.

Back to the point though. Soccer is a rough game! Most of the players weren’t older than about 30, with most of them being between 21-25, an age at which their frontal cortexes haven’t fully developed, as I learned at faculty convocation. And yet, here they are, getting hit, or hitting if you prefer, with a ball in the frontal cortex regularly. Now, I don’t mean to be circular, but the frontal cortex determines rational decision making and risk assessment (as I also learned at faculty convocation), so my question is soccer damaging their ability to think rationally so they keep playing or is their ability to think rationally already damaged, so they go for these big hits? It was a beautiful night to be out, and as my friend said, they don’t keep going when it’s a tie. They just stop when the time’s up.

Yesterday, I was all dressed in my first day of classes clothes, and the boys were sitting eating breakfast at the kitchen table. I said, “Bye, guys, I’m going to work.” Gilbert, in his silly, high-pitched voice, “Mommy, can I give you a hug and a kiss good-bye?” and he held out his little yogurt covered hands and puckered his yogurt covered lips. So I gave him my arm to hug and kiss. He was satisfied.

My students were great yesterday. I met both classes, and there was a nice moment when a student said, “This looks like a lot of work, but I’m really excited to read The Feminine Mystique!” So, I’ll say the semester is off to a good start.


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