To read about F's and my London trip, start here and click "newer post" to continue the story.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Interesting article here about how our minds wander.

I am very apt to be distracted. I always used to hate having the radio on in the lab and now that I AM THE QUEEN it isn't. Because I can't concentrate and think. I suspect other people don't concentrate and think as well as they think they do with all that yackety-yack, either. Even so, when I'm reading something boring and tedious it is very hard to keep my mind on it so that it makes sense. I usually have to read it aloud. At one time it would have bothered me for people to hear me reading aloud when I am alone in my office, but I don't care anymore.

"You are old, father William," the young man said,
"And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head--
Do you think, at your age, it is right?"

"In my youth," father William replied to his son,
"I feared it might injure the brain;
But, now that I'm perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again."

"You are old," said the youth, "as I mentioned before,
And you have grown most uncommonly fat;
Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door--
Pray what is the reason for that?"

"In my youth," said the sage, as he shook his grey locks,
"I kept all my limbs very supple
By the use of this ointment - one shilling a box--
Allow me to sell you a couple?"

"You are old," said the youth, "and your jaws are too weak
For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak--
Pray, how did you manage to do it?"

"In my youth," said his father, "I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw,
Has lasted the rest of my life."

"You are old," said the youth, "one would hardly suppose
That your eye was as steady as ever;
Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose--
What made you so awfully clever?"

"I have answered three questions, and that is enough,"
Said his father. "Don't give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Be off, or I'll kick you down stairs.

- Lewis Carroll, of course. I find that his little verses have meaning for me somehow. When F and I were at the zoo looking at the Chinese alligator I inflicted How doth the little crocodile on her, which inexplicably I seem to have memorized.


Tsiporah said...

I will have to admit my mind wandered reading that article...LOL. I can not believe you don't allow music in your lab. I actually find that music (turned down fairly low) actually helps me focus while I am doing research at the office. I also usually have the T.V. or a radio or most often a chattering child in my ear while I am studying at home. I just can't stand total silence...that makes my mind wander. In fact I find myself reading aloud when it's too quiet...LOL.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

I can't stand external noise because I can't tune it out. When I first started my previous job they had the radio on a music station all the time. That was when "Dance With My Father" had come out. It's a poignant little song. It will bring a tear to your eye. After the 45,567th time I was ready to hear something else. No one else even noticed what they were playing.

My daughter is the same way. She used to volunteer at a cat shelter where they treated the cats to an easy listening station that did a lot of repetition. One day when she came home she walked up to me, gripped my upper arms, looked me in the eye, and said, "MY HEART WILL GO ON." I said, "I'm so sorry."

I know lots of people who, like you, need some background noise. I told my group that they could wear a Walkman with one earplug (both would be a safety hazard.) No one does, though.