Sunday, October 18, 2009

Regression in the Service of Sanity

The title comes from something else that the psychiatrist who teaches our "Foundations of Human Behavior" class called "regression in the service of the ego." I liked it and thought it was fitting.

Anyway, when I study I often like to listen to classical music because lyrics distract me. Music helps me pace myself and limit how I sometimes read the same things over and over again without it going in. Last week while studying hardcore for exams I listened to quite a bit of classical music. I came across the following:

Beethoven - Symphony No. 7, Movement 2 - Allegretto.

This was the best recording I found on YouTube. The beginning is a bit too legato and it's a tad faster than my recording.

The moment I heard the opening to this piece I had a flashback moment to high school (I think sophomore year) when I played it. I was 6th chair then. I missed playing pieces like this - I missed the feeling of the strings under my fingers and the vibrations of the cello body against my legs. I missed how the subtle layers of the piece build on top of themselves, ever-gradually crescendo-ing. I missed the focus, the concentration, the intensity that music brings. It's what people would call "being in the zone," and it's been a long time since I've felt in the zone.

Hearing and smell are powerful triggers. Even though sight dominates our senses, it betrays memory the easiest in my opinion. Things visually change - houses, plants, people - all things subject to age. But smells and sounds can remain fresh. The sense of smell has the more direct tract into the brain via cranial nerve I (olfactory). There are smells that will bring back memories of when I was 3 or 4. And for me, hearing is the second most powerful memory trigger. I'll hear a song or piece and either associate it with something or be transported back to when I played it. There are very few things I truly missed about high school, but orchestra was something I dearly miss.
For a total change of subject, a friend linked the following on Facebook:


Lyrics found here.

I totally lol'd at this when I saw it. I found it hilarious!! There are subtle inside jokes there, hehe. This will be in my head when we start dissecting the thorax . . . tomorrow. Note: Rollin's and Netter's are anatomy textbooks. And my anatomy lab doesn't look anything like the anatomy lab in there.

And the following was created by med students somewhere in Canada:

Piss in my Scrubs

Oh Canadians. :-P


Anonymous said...

Smell is a very strong sense for me, but I think my favorite sense is touch (which is supposed to be a combination of senses apparently :P). There's a lot that goes on with touch, and I'll leave it at that. :]

Dave83201 said...

Damn that is a great video. I had just sent a link to another Australian blogger the other day with the You Tube video this is a parody of. In the US the video is well known because of SNL... but those from outside the US won't have seen it. Check it out and compare --

tracy said...

You write beautifully and i love the part about your being a musican and that feeling coming back to you.

i love the videos...i should sent the first one to my niece's husband, who is M1 in Texas...he's such an innocent lad (but not for long!), i'm not sure about the second! Hee. i'm sure you know the whole "Med Students of Genius" series. i also love "Penn Med: The Office" and "U of M Med Students", all on "You Tube".


Aek said...

Dave83201: I have seen the original parody that "Piss in my Scrubs" was based off of. :-P

tracy: Aww, thanks. :-) I haven't seen the YouTube vids you mentioned in your comment, but I'll be sure to check them out!!

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